WELCOME TO LAUTOKA
Tammy...We both appreciate your very nice comments. Thank you.
As we mentioned, yesterday afternoon was the Crew Tug O War event which was a completion between several departments on the ship. Before the event began, there was a parade. Each department was introduced by Cruise Director Gary Hunter. They came out in costume and marching to music they selected. On our first couple of World Cruises the winning team came from the Engineering Department. In recent years they have been overtaken by the Waterside (former Crystal Dining Room) Team. We tease them that one of the prerequisites for hiring the Waiters/Senior Waiters for Waterside are the size of their muscles. This year the final round came down to the Engineering Department and the Waterside Waitstaff Team and the winning teams was Waterside. Congratulations to all of the teams.
We received sad news yesterday about the passing of Anne Marie's Hematologist/Oncologist who she had been seeing for several years until she was on a leave of absence mid-way through last year. She was only forty-five years young and leaves behind her husband and two children. Very sad and another reminder to appreciate each day we have and not put off until tomorrow those things we can do today.
We began last evening with a pre-dinner drink at the Avenue Saloon with friends John and Linda. We also sat with Antonio who we have known for many years. Antonio worked on ships for thirty years and twenty-five of those were with Crystal Cruises. He began on Crystal Harmony, worked three years on Crystal Symphony and opened the Crystal Serenity Specialty Restaurants starting with the maiden voyage in 2003. He retired from Crystal in November 2016. It has been wonderful sailing together with Antonio and Keith has also enjoyed playing Paddle Tennis with him.
These are the Waterside Dinner menus.
We dined at the Japanese Specialty Restaurant Umi Uma with friends Joe and Maria Rita. Joe and Maria teach Yoga and Joe teaches Memoir Writing. We first met Joe and Maria on World Cruise 2007 and have sailed with them on several World Cruises, the 2016 Northwest Passage and with Joe on Crystal Symphony in 2009 crossing from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. While the four of us have dined at various venues, we have fond memories of dining together at Umi Uma.
Dinner was superb. Waiter Richie took wonderful care of us as did Sommelier Adrian.
We won't go through all the food items we ate. We did enjoy lots of Sushi and Sashimi along with Hot Soba Noodles for Keith and Scallops and Shrimp Stir Fry for Anne Marie. We dine for two and one-half hours and enjoyed lots of great conversation and lots of laughs while we ate this amazing dinner. First photo is a quintet of Nobu Special Sashimi, Second photo is Nobu Style Tacos, and third photo is a Platter of Sushi and Sashimi that the two of us shared. Truth be told Keith had the majority of the items on the platter.
When we arrived back to our room, there was a nice letter from World Cruise Hostess Stacey along with two beautiful tote bags.
The letter covered the upcoming World Cruise shore-side event for Monday evening February 4 in Auckland, the final World Cruise Games Awards Ceremony and Closing Ceremony and Super Bowl LIII Viewing on Monday (remember Monday in this part of the world) starting at 12:30 PM.
The letter included information from the Front Office about a mandatory face-to-face inspection with immigration Australian Officials on sea morning February 6 and that it might be a lengthy process. Each guest will be assigned to a specific group and is asked to wait until their respective group number is called before going to the inspection.
The seas were relatively calm last evening and we slept well. We began today as we always do with an early morning workout for Keith.
We enjoyed breakfast in our room followed by a walk by the two of us.
We arrived to Lautoka, Fiji on-schedule.
Lautoka is the second largest city of Fiji. It is known as the "sugar city" as it is located in the heart of the sugar region of Fiji. The main sugar mill was founded in 1903. Today it remains the largest city employer.
The port is the second largest port in Fiji. It is used for bulk sugar, molasses, wood chips, petroleum and gas and for cruise ships such as Crystal Serenity.
Local highlights include:
Central Market which caters to farmers and growers and sells fresh local and imported vegetables, spices and fruits.
Botanical Gardens which is located on site acres and features groves of palm trees, shrubs and flower beds.
Sugar Mill which is the largest sugar mill in the Southern Hemisphere.
Koroyanitu National Heritage Park which is home to six self sufficient villages. The park has walking paths through forests and grassland and is a great place for birdwatching and viewing natural beauty including waterfalls.
Garden of the Sleeping Giant which opened in 1977 and has a beautiful orchid collection covering 49 acres.
The Island is divided by mountains. Lautoka is located on the dry side of the island which allows for sugar cane to be grown. The other side of the island is the wet side and the number one crop is rice.
We took the tender ashore. The tides were low at the tender drop-off so we exited the tender and returned to the tender via an inclined gangway. We did not have a tour booked. We took the shuttle into town which was a ten minute ride. Dear friend John was on the shuttle with us to the town and on the tender which took us back to the ship. A couple of minutes into the drive we could see the Sugar Mill.
We were dropped off at a relatively small mall but it did have a large supermarket and department store. Nearby is a sport stadium which is home to soccer and rugby and the Central Market is close-by. The supermarket that we visited had lots of products which we would see in the United States.
The local people who we met were very friendly. Originally, we planned to walk into town and several taxi drivers asked if we wanted a tour and when we politely said no thank you there was no additional pressure from them. We were greeted with the word Bula (the way the pronounced the word it sounded like Hola) which means hello.
After returning to the ship we enjoyed lunch at Marketplace. We kept to our regular afternoon routine; Paddle Tennis for Keith, a long walk for Anne Marie, reading and writing and speaking with fellow guests and members of Team Serenity. It was HOT, HOT, HOT with a high of 87 degrees F and we think 99% humidity.
Below please find the daily Reflections program.
Anne Marie & Keith
SECOND OF TWO DAYS AT SEA ON OUR WAY TO LAUTOKA
Gilly, we enjoyed your comments about going the reverse direction of the international dateline.
Emily, thank you very much for your very thoughtful comments.
Tammy Vig, we appreciate your comments and wish you a wonderful time on your first Crystal Cruise. We are fortunate that we sail on a cruise line that we truly love.
Kevin, thank you for your comments. On-Board Serenity and Symphony we used indoor cycles that have the knobs and no computers. I will use my iWatch to keep track of heart rate and the total workout. At home I teach indoor cycling where we use a lever and have a display of all the key items. The ones on ship are the traditional bikes so you teach it differently. An example is speed, at home we can say go at x RPM but on the ship it might be go fast at 50% of your capacity, 80% and all out.
We wanted to note how calm the seas have been since leaving Pago Pago. Anne Marie sat out on the verandah for one of the first times of this cruise reading a book. Keith sat out on the back deck of one of the passenger decks with good friend Bob. You couldn't see a white cap. For us there is something very special about the sea.
We think back to the quote from President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. "I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it's because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it's because we all came from the sea. And it is interesting an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to sea - whether it is to sail or to watch it - we are going back from whence we came." - Remarks at the Dinner for America's Cup - September 14, 1962.
The world is indeed special and we are humbled to have the opportunity to see so many places through our own eyes.
We began last evening at the Avenue Saloon for a pre-dinner drink with friends John & Linda. John and Keith had a Samuel Adams Lager Beer. Keith asked the bartender about the $350.00 Samuel Adams Beer he had remember hearing about and he went next door where it is stored and brought one out. He explained that it is similar to a port wine in terms of its life after the bottle is opened. It can last up to one year and is served in a port glass. The ship does sell the beer by the shot. The alcohol content is 27% and we thought a beer such as La Fin Du Monde was high in alcohol. We certainly got an education on it but it won't be one we will have in this lifetime. LOL.
We are sorry we are unable to post the dinner menus from Waterside as they were not available on line.
We dined at the Prego Italian Specialty Restaurant by ourselves. We enjoyed three courses; an appetizer portion of the additional item of Ravioli, Caesar Salad and Veal for Anne Marie and Rack of Lamb for Keith. Keith also had a side order of Grilled Vegetables which looks like a work of art. We didn't get a photo of the Veal.
The evening entertainment included two shows by Danny Elliott on Piano and singing. He was accompanied by the Crystal Showband.
The good news is after losing the day of Monday, January 28 before going to bed we moved the clocks back one hour as we sail into a new time zone. We believe before this segment ends we will be moving the clocks forward one hour.
With the turn back of the clock Keith was up early and back at the Fitness Center for his early morning workout. He really appreciates the Fitness Center being open 7x24. The only exception is in extremely rough seas where it might temporarily close. We enjoyed coffee in our room followed by breakfast.
While Anne Marie went to Personal Training Keith did a combo run and walk outside the ship on the Promenade Deck. The weather was terrific and with ear buds in place and listening to upbeat music and enjoying views of the South Pacific Ocean the time went by quickly.
Keith played Paddle Tennis in the morning. Enjoyed a great game with Bill Toone's wife Sunny as his partner against Hubert the Jeweler and fellow guest Cindy. Later Keith played singles against the guest who won gold last week. It was HOT HOT HOT. In between games Bill Toone pointed out an Albatroz who was flying back and forth. He gave us a great lesson and we learned that when it is young it will stay out at sea for six years. It sleeps in the air as it turns off one side of the brain for 30 seconds and turns off the other side for 30 seconds as it alternates going back and forth. Amazing. We have been very fortunate to have on-board the sailing Bill and Sunny and to have sailed with them several times in the past. They are truly wonderful people. Bill Toone is a conservation biologist who is recognized around the world.
Anne Marie also took Yoga taught by instructors Joe and Maria Kita.
Today is the second of two sea days as we sail to our next port-of-call of Lautoka, Fiji.
The program included three lectures:
Destination Lecturer Ken Rees spoke about Fiji.
World Affairs Lecturer Ambassador Scott DeList spoke about war, terror and crime in the Cybersphere.
Marine Biology Lecturer Jay Christofferson spoke about Oceanic Life.
On top of this there was a Cooking Demonstration by Guest Chef Alex Patourt.
We returned to Waterside for Lunch. These are photos from yesterday of some of the buffet items. We also included a photo of the Salad Entree that Keith. The only item that is not visible is chicken which we added to the plate after eating some of the salad. One of the photos is of Anne Marie with Senior Waiter Fabio. Fabio is assigned to the section where we eat and brings beverages and clears tables. Fabio works at Marketplace during breakfast and lunch. At dinnertime he works at Churrascaria dining venue which is a Brazilian Steakhouse in the evening.
This afternoon had some special World Cruise Events. One of them was the Crew Tug o’ War with representatives from several departments.
We enjoyed the rest of the day as we always do. Paddle Tennis for Keith and a walk for Anne Marie. Met up with friends and also watched the Tug O' War.
Below is the daily Reflections Program from today.
Anne Marie & Keith
CROSSING THE INTERNATIONAL DATELINE
FIRST OF TWO DAYS AT SEA ON OUR WAY TO LAUTOKA
Catherine you are so right. The lecture about the future reminds us of book such as the one you mentioned. He brought up many items and also several ethical issues and decisions that might have to be met.
Speaking of the changes brought about by tech a friend sent this to Keith today.
Before dinner last evening we had a pre-dinner drink at the Avenue Saloon. John and Keith tried an IPA Beer.
We returned to Waterside for the second night in a row. This evening's dinner featured two menus. The first one included Crystal Classics and the second menu featured a special dinner created by the guest chef Alex Patoot. The guest chef is known for his home style Cajun cooking and is reflected in the menu he created.
The Chef’s Menu included five courses. First Couse Shrimp Remoulade; Second Course Seafood Gumbo; Third Course Crawfish Etouffee; Fourth Course Smothered Roasted Duck and Fifth Course Pecan Pie with Chantilly Cream.
These are the menus.
We had the Crystal Classics menu:
First Course; Crisp Ricotta & Buffalo Mozzarella Cannelloni, Second Course; Red and Green Caesar salad and Main Course Broiled Cod (Keith) and English Roast Beef (Anne Marie). We were happy with our choices. It was a busy night in Waterside. We guess everyone wanted to eat there and one of the attractions might have been the Celebrity Menu.
We thought the appetizer was delicious. It was hot on the outside and the ricotta cheese was warm on the inside. Keith found the Broiled Cod to be tasty and Anne Marie was pleased with her choice of English Roast Beef. We prefer a traditional Caesar salad with romaine leaves over the mixed red and green one.
The featured entertainment was a special show developed on-board for all guests. They call it Adventure in Pago Pago- A Short Tale. It featured the Crystal Ensemble of Singers and Dancers, Sarah Combs & Tom Lowe and also included Dancers Curtis and Beverly, Karin Kovacova, World Cruise Hostess Stacey Huston, Cruise Director Gary Hunter and the Crystal Showband. They performed it two times at 7:45 PM and 9:30 PM. The show was upbeat and entertaining and we laughed a lot. For those of you who remember Cruise Director Gary Hunter wearing a dress in some shows. Well, he did something similar wearing a hula grass skirt and a coconut bra like top for part of the show. Way to go Gary. Stacey and Gary did a lot of singing and this was truly a team effort. The on-board entertainment team is amazing. We went to the first show, and it was close to a full house.
These are photos that we took the morning of the show outside of the Galaxy Showroom.
We slept well as we are sailing to Lautoka. The big news is that we have crossed the International Dateline. This means that when we went to sleep it was Sunday evening, January 27. When we woke it became Tuesday, January 29. For those on-board who have a birthday on January 28 the bad news is that you lost out on a birthday celebration but the good news is that you remain the same age. LOL.
Keith was up early and returned to the Fitness Center for an early morning workout. We enjoyed coffee and saw a beautiful sunrise.
Breakfast followed an hour later in our room.
Keith attended an indoor cycling class. This was the first time on the World Cruise that the sign-up sheet was full. However, seven people didn't show up so we had five people spinning. Maybe there was confusion about Crossing the Dateline. LOL.
Anne Marie walked inside the ship and attended Yoga taught by Maria and Joe Kita.
Today is the start of two days at sea before we arrive to Lautoka. The program included lots of enrichment activities. The lectures included:
Forensic Science Lecturer Judith Fordham spoke about Happy Families on the Curious Case of Kissing Husbands.
World Affairs Lecturer General Anthony Zinnia's spoke about Pacific Poor: The US & China.
History Lecturer Carol Baxter spoke about That Magnificent Gal in Her Flying Machine.
Keith changed it up this morning and played Paddle Tennis. Temperature at 83 degrees Fahrenheit and humid. It was a lot of fun. For those of you who were on the 2015 World Cruise and played Paddle Tennis you might remember Harry. He's a wonderful man. He's now 87. We both ran into him at the World Cruise Awards Ceremony. We had heard from someone who finished second in Table Tennis that he lost to an older man. Sure enough it was Harry. Keith asked if he still played Paddle Tennis and he said he had not been up there but would so Keith and he could play together. Sure enough Harry took a chance this morning and Keith played with him. Keith kept reminding him no running and that it is only a game and that worked well. Harry is a role model as are many other people on the ship and back home. It was a lot of fun and Harry might give it another try. As he was leaving Keith reminded him "no running".
We didn't participate this year but today they had the Golf World Cruise Game Event.
We enjoyed lunch at the Lido Cafe. As you know by now we each make a large salad of fresh vegetables, steamed and grilled vegetables and we add a protein. We have lots of choices when it comes to the cooked vegetables and the protein. For example we can choose Chicken or from time-to-time Turkey or a fish. In addition to the themed buffets
Mediterranean; Asian and Latin many items change daily including hot items, sandwiches and soups. Three days ago, we noticed Australian Meat Pie. We wish we would have had a device on-hand to take a photo of the pies.
Yesterday one of the choices was this large salmon in the third photo.
We don't eat the desserts but added a couple of photos of them.
We had lunch at Marketplace and kept to our regular afternoon routine. This included Paddle Tennis for Keith, a long walk for Anne Marie and visiting with guests and crew.
The Paddle Tennis Men's Double Event was held today at 3:00 PM but Keith decided to pass on it. He's played a sufficient amount of Paddle Tennis.
Anne Marie & Keith
This is the daily Reflections Program from today.
WELCOME TO PAGO PAGO
Linda..We will be sure to give your parent's a hug for you.
Doris...Glad you enjoyed our post. Hope you can find a Crystal Cruise sometime out of New York which works for you.
Carol...Thank you for your very kind comments. At the conclusion of the cruise we will provide some summaries about packing. In the past I could get a sense of counties people are from when they provided a passenger book. World Cruises tend to have a higher age group given the time of year they sail and the length of each segment. With that said on this first segment we do have some younger people and a few children. We've met people from several different countries around the world. Very happy to hear about your hotel choice and hope that you enjoy it as much as we did. Wishing you a wonderful trip.
Bob...I will be sure to pass along your greetings to our friends.
Janie...Glad you have viewed our Blog. The comment form you used is a great way to make comments. If you have questions if you look at the top tab on the far right hand side it will say contact us and you could use that for questions.
Sophie...Glad you are enjoying the Blog. The purse has a photo of one of the USA States highlighting places to visit.
We began last evening by attending the Captain's Quarters Reception. It was a Black Tie Optional (BTO) evening. They hold this one or more times depending on the length of the voyage. With this voyage being 26 days in length they have already held it a few times. It provides a nice opportunity to chat with senior officers and senior staff and fellow guests. They serve various drinks along with Canapés. Captain Giske and Crystal Society Hostess Alissa welcomed each guest to the Captain's Quarters.
It was a full house with many guests at the quarters and a fun event.
Photos with World Cruise Hostess Alissa and Captain Giske.
These are the dinner menus from Waterside.
We dined at Waterside for the first of the next two nights.
We had Ahi Tuna (Keith) and Shrimp Cocktail (Anne Marie) for the appetizer, followed by an appetizer size salad of the Salad Entree. The appetizer for Keith was the tastiest of the dished. We both had Pan Seared Char fish for the entree. It was one of the less creative entrees we have had.
We enjoyed some Chablis wine which is part of inclusive and we also sent a bottle of Merlot for dinner which is not part of inclusive. Both wines were terrific.
After dinner we listened to Carlos Rayan play guitar at the Crystal Cove. From time-to-time Keith plays Paddle Tennis with him.
We went to a cocktail party at Al and Jeff's suite. It was very well attended and we spoke with guests and members of team Serenity. It was a lot of fun and we very much appreciate the invitation. We had seen Al and Jeff the night before for drinks and canapés.
The main entertainment for the evening featured Cruise Director Gary Hunter. In addition to being a Cruise Director Gary is a Ventriloquist. Gary had been a Cruise Director on another cruise line and before coming to Crystal Cruises he would perform on Crystal as a Ventriloquist. When Serenity made its debut, Gary was selected to be one of the two Cruise Directors. Also performing is the very talented Violinist Irina Guskova. They performed at Stardust providing a very intimate venue for their performances.
Once again, we slept well as we sailed to Pago Pago of American Samoa. The seas were relatively calm. We stayed with our same routine which included an early morning workout for Keith followed by breakfast in our room.
American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States. It consists of seven main islands and two coral atolls.
We arrived to Pago Pago at 9:00 AM. It is the capital of American Samoa It is covered with ferns, breadfruit and pandanus trees and has been populated by Polynesians for 2,500 plus years.
The town is a ten-minute walk from the Cruise Ship pier.
Major attractions include:
The Cause P.F. Sunai Ocean Center which includes a Marine Sanctuary.
The Jean P Haydon Museum which was contructed in 1913. The museum is dedicated to the culture and history of American Samoa.
Church of the Sacred Hearth which was built in the year 2001.
Fagatogo Market which includes fruits and vegetables and fresh fish.
National Part of American Samoa.
Some views from the ship.
We didn't select a tour. Lack of Air Conditioning on the buses would have been an issue for Anne Marie. It would have been a nice way to see the scenic part of the island. We walked into town. Since it was Sunday only a couple of places were open. It was hot because of the combination of the temperature and humidity.
We passed two churches holding services. The locals we spoke with were not pushy and friendly. We purchased one shirt for Keith.
Other than Honolulu we don't have any tours on this segment of the World Cruise. We have two tours planned for the next segment and a total of twelve tours while sailing Serenity. We have pre-cruise tours planned for the River Cruise along with several from the Mozart River Cruise Vessel.
Once on the ship we enjoyed lunch at Marketplace followed by a one hour walk for Anne Marie and more Paddle Tennis for Keith. We enjoyed conversations with guests and crew and read and wrote.
This evening we return to Waterside for dinner and plan to go to the special show.
We cross the International Dateline and have two days at sea before our next port-of-call.
The daily Reflections Program follows.
Anne Marie & Keith
ON OUR WAY TO PAGO PAGO - DAY 2 AT SEA
Gilly welcome home and thank you for your comments.
Jonathan...Your memory is spot-on about Fanning Island. There was a beautiful beach. We didn't see anyone going in while Keith was there but we know of one guest who was returning in the afternoon to go for a dip. Maybe others did as well.
All....We welcome comments and questions. That way we know you are reading our Blog. LOL, but it is true.
We began our evening with cocktails at Al and Jeff's suite. We were introduced to them via our friends Ashley & Kelly. It was very kind of them to invite us for cocktails. This is another aspect of cruising we greatly enjoy. We also met them briefly on the cruise that followed the 2015 World Cruise but did not have the opportunity to speak with them. We could have stayed all night conversing but we would have been late for our next dinner date.
These photos are from our room before we visited with Al and Jeff.
These are the dinner menus from Waterside.
We dined at the Umi Uma Japanese Specialty Restaurant with dear friends Bob and Glo. We have known them since 2008 and have enjoyed several World Cruises and other cruises with them including wonderful times at sea and on land.
This is the Umi Uma menu.
There is no question that over the years we have enjoyed some memorable meals at Umi Uma (formally Silk Road) and this one was terrific. We had spoke with Head Waiter Sigi a day before we dined and discussed the meal and he organized the meal so there was very little we needed to order. In fact, we waited for all of the items to be served before we ordered an entree. More on that in a moment.
We began the meal with a quintet of Nobu Sushi Specials. They are mainly sashimi with a couple of them lightly cooked. Sigi explained the order in which they should be eaten so that the last one would clean the palate. Each one is unique with its taste which is what distinguishes Nobu from the majority of Japanese Restaurants. The next course was a large platter of Sashimi and Sushi. This was followed by a Nobu appetizer.
Decisions.....Decisions. Should we order an entree or something else for the last course. Each of us ordered something different. Anne Marie had the Nobu Salad with a couple of pieces of Nobu Tuna on top. Keith decided to have a small plate of Sashimi with a few pieces of Salmon Egg Sushi. Bob has half portions of two entrees and Glo an appetizer.
Bob and Keith ended the meal with a fruit plate.
Waiter Richie took wonderful care of us and Sommelier Adrian did likewise. Bob and Keith had the Japanese Beer while Glo and Anne Marie had Nobu Chardonnay.
We also enjoyed lots of laughs and non-stop conversation and dined for two and one-half hours.
It was nice to be together with dear friends, with delicious food and the terrific service and ambience of Umi Uma.
The featured entertainment was from international virtuoso Gary Arbuthnot who performed two shows and was accompanied by the Crystal Showband with a special appearance from Violinist Irina Guskova.
The good news is that when we arrived back to the room we turned back the clocks as we are sailing into a new time zone.
The seas were relatively calm throughout the night as we continued to sail towards Pago Pago. It was easy for Keith to get up this morning having turned back the clock and he enjoyed a challenging workout at the Fitness Center. We enjoyed breakfast in our room as we got ready for the day to unfold.
We walked inside the ship before Anne Marie went to Yoga.
During his morning talk from the bridge Captain Giske covered the distance to Pago Pago from our current route and we will keep to 19.7 knots per hour. Wind was 26 knots and the outside temperature was 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keith was supposed to played mixed Paddle Tennis as part of the World Games. He went up to practice but it started to rain so the game has been postponed and will be rescheduled. Thirty minutes later he went back up and played for an hour. He was happy just to play.
There was lots on the schedule including three lectures:
Destination Lecturer Ken Rees spoke about our next port of call in American Samoa, World Affairs Lecturer Sir Mark Lyall Grant spoke about the role of secret intelligence in International Affairs, and History Lecturer Carol Baxter spoke about Jessie Miller who during World War I met aviator William Lancaster.
Since this is a food and wine themed cruise (this cruise seems to have everything and more) the guest chef on board (this is in addition to the celebrity chef who is also on board) conducted a food demonstration.
Speaking of food, we enjoyed lunch at the Marketplace, followed by Paddle Tennis for Keith and an hour long walk for Anne Marie. We also met up with friends and read and wrote.
We also caught up with a presentation we had missed which was given by Ambassador Scott DeLisi about The Four Horseman of the Robot Apocalypse. He spoke about how fast technology is changing and the challenges the world has. He noted that the X-Box which plays video games and sells for $450.00 and is more powerful than the previous Nasa Computer back in the days of the Moon Program which cost 50 million dollars with a large footprint. He noted that more people die today from overeating than lack of food. He spoke about the challenges of automation and that so many jobs could be eliminated because of technology and the biotech revolution and artificial intelligence. By the 2020's most diseases will go away because of nano technology. By the 2020's self guiding cars take over the road and humans no longer drive. While the benefit are that seniors could drive the downside are all the jobs that it will eliminate including truck, bus and taxi drivers. He spoke about who would control the settings for decision making. His example is what happens if a child runs in front of a car and the choice is hitting the child or moving over and hitting an upcoming car. By the 2030's it is believe our mind/consciousness could be uploaded to a cloud. By the 2040's non-biological intelligence will be a billion fold more intelligent than biological intelligence. By 2045 we will multiply our intelligence a million fold with artificial intelligence. There will be challenges with those who are not educated. The challenge of many basic jobs going away including those that one went to college for. What will the world do with the labor market that is no longer needed? The challenge for most people that their jobs might change too rapidly. Will all this happen? It's anyone's guess. However we have seen so much change since many of us were young that we know there will be a lot of change and that the change is coming faster and faster.
This was one of those lectures that makes one think about the future and future generations. I like these types of lectures that are thought provoking and where you walk out having learned something new.
Tomorrow is Pago Pago.
The Reflections Daily Program follows.
Anne Marie & Keith
ON OUR WAY TO PAGO PAGO - FIRST OF TWO SEA DAYS
Mary...We are glad you found our Blog. Thank you for your nice comments.
We began last evening by attending the first World Games Award Ceremony which recognizes the guests who finished first, second and third in the competitions that have taken place to date. They refer to the ceremony as the 2019 World Cruise Games Thrill of Victory Medal Ceremony. Guests are given either a Gold, Silver or Bronze Medal based on where they placed. Their name and the country they represented is mentioned as they are called up front for the award for each event.
Keith received his Gold for Basketball.
In earlier years we both entered lots of events as it was a great way to meet people. We have cut back to entering a few events and for the ones we enter to have fun.
Our dear friend Glo won three medals. Congratulations Glo.
They changed the medals from prior years. They are larger and heavier and everyone seemed to like the new look. We do.
Keith's personal trainer Melanie Hossack on the left side and Anne Marie's personal trainer Charlotte Bane on the right.
Olympian Dr Terry Schroeder presented the medal. He is a six-time Olympian. He won silver medals as the captain of the water polo team in 1984 and 1988 and was the coach of the silver medal water polo team in 2008.
In addition to the guest and crew World Games our three fella's are having their own contest. The Crystal Serenity Bear has won one medal. LOL.
Before dinner we attended a Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle Party. Spoke with some people who we already knew plus some people for the first time.
From there we went to Waterside for dinner. It was a wow.
We have tried to change things up on this cruise. We have tried to change things up on this cruise by ordering appetizers on most nights and going with the salad on the menu rather than a pre-ordered salad.
We began with a Slow Cooked Salmon Appetizer (Keith) and a Gratinated Seafood Crepe (Anne Marie. Both of these were excellent choices as they were very tasty.
We both had the Nicoise Vegetable Salad. Another excellent choice.
We both had the Hawaiian Kagami entree. Never had this fish and it was delicious and was enhanced with the sides.
Keith changed it up as he ended the meal with some cheese and crackers.
Photo of Head SommelierJiri with AnneMarie.
The evening entertainment included Swingin' in the Cove, featuring vocalist Karin Kovacova and the Crystal Showband. It is similar to a mixer with Ambassador Hosts on hand for dancing.
The highlight of the evening was the Liars Club. This is offered on selected cruises. The key is to have the right three people and we did. The distinguished liar panel included Dramatic Liar and Actor Bruce McGill, Journalistic Liar and Destination Lecturer Ken Rees, and Rabbinical Liar and Rabbi Morrie Hershman.
We slept well last evening. Captain Giske had said there would be strong sea swells and that we needed to go at a high speed to reach Pago Pago on time in two days.
A view from our room before we had breakfast.
We began the day as we always do. Keith worked out at the Fitness Center and we had breakfast in the room.
Before breakfast we felt a thump. What could it be? A rogue wave? A whale? As it turned out we crossed the Equator at 6:30 AM. LOL.
Keith had another workout with the personal trainer while Anne Marie walked inside the ship. Anne Marie attended Yoga and Keith taught by Maria and Joe Kita while Keith walked inside the ship.
This is the first of two sea days as we sail to our next port of call. There was lots on the schedule. There were three lectures.
Forensic science Lecturer Judith Fordham spoke about the Real CSi. World Affairs Lecturer Ambassador Scott DeLisi spoke about the changes in Biotech and artificial intelligence. In the afternoon Master Mixologist Booby Gleason hosted wine tasting of carries American Whiskies.
We are enjoying another afternoon on-board Serenity. It began with lunch at Waterside and continued with Paddle Tennis for Keith and a long walk outside the ship for Anne Marie on the wrap-around Promenade Deck. We got together with friends, read and wrote. It is humid and hot outside but for us better than it being cold.
We are looking forward to another enjoyable evening on Serenity.
Daily Reflections Program follows.
Anne Marie & Keith