DAY 3:  Sea Day

After an exciting first day aboard the ship, it was time to enjoy a relaxing day at sea as we steamed our way from Bangkok to Sihanoukville, Cambodia.  Being the first day at sea, this was also the first formal night for dinner.  It was fun to dress up and see everyone else do the same.  (Although, I must say, people seemed to have widely varying definitions of what "formal" meant.)  I had met my tablemates at dinner the night before, and they were just wonderful.  They were the kind of people that I "clicked" with right away.  So I will do a quick recap of Day 2's dinner before I proceed on to Day 3.

I had chosen the late seating (8:00), because I liked staying up late and I didn't want to be rushed back from my shore excursions.  I also didn't want to be rushed out of the dining room.  Anyway, when I first arrived and sat down, only one other couple was at the table.  Their names were Peter and Marikarmen.  Peter was a German from Switzerland, and Marikarmen was  from Barcelona.  They were currently living in Barcelona.  When I sat down, the first thing Peter said to me was, "What languages do you speak?"  I said I spoke English and some Arabic.  Peter said he spoke German, English, and Spanish.  Marikarmen spoke Spanish and English.  Peter said the reason he asked was that when he and Marikarmen go on cruises, they usually end up being assigned to some kind of "international" table.  He assumed this was because no one could quite figure out if they were German or Swiss or Spanish or what!  I said I must have been assigned to that table because I was an American living in Egypt and they probably weren't sure what my ethnic background was. 

Peter and Marikarmen

Peter, Marikarmen, and I were soon joined by a couple named Alejandro and Margarita.  They were Mexican, living in Mexico--much more "straight-forward" than the rest of us, that's for sure!  They spoke Spanish and English, and Alejandro worked with a software company that sent him on trips all over the world, particularly Europe and the Middle East.

Alejandro and Margarita

As dinner progressed, we enjoyed talking with each other and learning about each other's backgrounds.  In fact, we enjoyed each other's company so much that we were the second-to-last group to leave the dining room!  We talked so much that we missed the show!  Fortunately, that evening, it was more of an introductory show, so we didn't miss much.  It later became tradition for the five of us to go to the 10:00 show together after dinner.

That night, the other couple who was supposed to be at our table did not show.  But not to worry, we met them the next night.  So with that, I'll proceed to Day 3.

I enjoyed sleeping late in my cabin.  I then took a look at what was on offer for the day and picked out which activities I wanted to do.  I decided to lay by the pool for a while and work on my tan.  I don't remember what else I did that day, but I think it involved a nap.  =)  I also informed my cabin steward, Moicza, that I would be out the next two nights to go to Angkor Wat.  The ship was also doing an Angkor Wat excursion, following roughly the same itinerary as I was, so I wouldn't be the only one off the ship those next two nights.   (I was doing it on my own, because it was much cheaper that way and I could make my own schedule.)   Moicza told me to be careful because she didn't want anything bad to happen to me!  I said I didn't really want anything bad happening to me either, so I would most definitely be careful.

Also on this day, I had the opportunity to meet some more friends.  Before going on the cruise, I had joined a message board on the internet called Cruise Critic.  (I would highly recommend the site to anyone who is considering going on a cruise.  Even if you don't join the message boards, there is so much helpful information there.)  Anyway, on the message board, there were "Roll Calls" for each cruise.  So you could look up your cruise and interact with others who were going to be on that same cruise.  I found seven other people who were going to be on mine!  In talking on the internet, we arranged a time to meet up on the boat.  The time was the first Sea Day, right before the early seating dinner.

So I showed up and met the others, and they were all so nice.  I arranged with one lady who was NOT going on the Angkor Wat excursion to call me at a certain time in my room the day that I was due to return to the ship.  That way, if I wasn't back, at least one person would know before the ship took off!  (In reality, the ship knows too, because they see that you've scanned out with your passenger card and not yet scanned back in.)

I then went back to my room and rested a little, then finished getting ready for my dinner at 8:00.  When I showed up at the table, Peter and Marikarmen were there (they were almost always the first ones to arrive).  Alejandro and Margarita arrived soon after.  And then, lo and behold, the missing couple from the first night arrived!  Their names were Andrew and Boh.  They explained that they were too tired to make dinner the night before and so had opted for the buffet.  Peter then asked his usual question:  "What languages do you speak?"  Boh was from Thailand and only spoke Thai.  Andrew was from Russia and spoke Russian, English, and Thai.  So we decided that we would speak in English, with Andrew translating for Boh.  (Although, with so many Spanish speakers at the table, there were lots of Spanish conversations too!  I could follow about a quarter of those...haha!)

Andrew and Boh

The food was just wonderful, and I discovered a favorite dessert:  the Princess Love Boat Dream.  It was pure chocolate and strawberry heaven.  I did try other desserts throughout the cruise, but that one was definitely my favorite.  I kept raving about it so much that Margarita made me take a picture:

The Princess Love Boat Dream

After dinner, we went on to the show.  All of the shows were wonderful, and we enjoyed them all.  I sometimes had to "translate" ideas, idioms, and jokes for my international tablemates, as some of the things in the shows were obviously targeted to Americans.  But we all enjoyed ourselves every night, and I never had to worry about going alone to the shows!

I will post some pictures of my stateroom when we come to the next Sea Day.  But for now I will end the recounting of Day 3 and invite you to stay tuned for Days 4-6 and my adventures "off the boat" in Cambodia and Vietnam!

DAY 2:  Bangkok and Embarkation

Southeast Asia home

Wandering Penguin