04 November 2022

Resorting to cruises

We are sailing off Milford Sound after the trip across the Ditch. The Ditch, as confirmed by a trivia question today. Not the Tasman, much to the amusement of an Englishman in our trivia team. This is one of the things you do on a cruise, along with a pop choir (at least something I do) and drinking and shows and eating and meeting people. We are on the Majestic Princess on a 12 day cruise Syd>NZ>Syd. A return to cruising post-pandemic, hoping not to be struck down. Let's hope. There nary a mask aboard, or at least in view, at least so far. That might change. In the meantime, we are eating and meeting and that the essence of a cruise for me. It's a floating resort, after all, so not an intellectual experience, or a challenging travel experience, but it is an opportunity to meet people from outside Canberra and that interests me, even if many of the Australians know Canberra well enough or have kids here. The other observation is age. This is not a young population, even if it is big. MP is 140,000 tons and able to carry 3,500 passengers so quite big and that can change the experience. Also, given a trip to NZ in the era of La Nina, this is also not a warm, sunny trip. Plenty of proud grandparents, even great-gps of recognisable ages. We are ensconced at our bar as a place to meet people, and always sharing tables, again as a means to meet people, and otherwise chatting where feasible. And listening to the bands, which is the interest of CJ.

I always expect decent entertainment on a cruise ship. Not always stars, despite the story of the Seekers, but decent musicians and entertainers who go through a selection process and work hard on the job. Often well trained, on the job or formally. So classical players will appear, piano or strings, or covers bands with long lists of tracks on instant recall, and a show band that can read its way through often well- or messilly-annotated charts. That's another skill, of course. The whole tends to the predictable, the popular, the variety, but decently done. I have yet to watch a proper show on this trip and, given problems with raising the curtain in the theatre, we may not, but we did see the dancers, perhaps 8, lithe and long, bouncing through, squinting at a mate, perhaps, running the Zumba or Line dancing class. You need some movement given the food and grog on tap. All a part of the resort experience. So, what of the resident musos?

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