Even though the ship has turned sharply away from the Australian continent, in many ways it feels like we are still there. The guest lecturers we heard were both from there. One was a policewoman who will give a number of lectures on forensics. The other is a retired naval officer who gave a talk about the Batavia, a ship which belonged to the Dutch East Indies Company which was marooned off the Australia coast in the early 1600’s. Some of the crew mutinied and the two year ordeal that lead to the rescue of a handful of survivors was quite a soap opera. They built the first permanent building on Australian soil: a tiny coral and stone fortress to protect the good guys from the musket fire of the bad guys. We’ve never heard of any of this. He’s talking about the Kon Tiki next. We might catch on a bit more on that topic.
The entertainers are also from Down Under. We only understood about 75% of what the comedian had to say. He spoke rapidly and we missed some of the words and he talked about TV shows and news topics that we had never heard of seen. At one point he said, Americans in the audience - If you did not understand that story, get an Australian to explain it to you”.
It feels like most of the passengers are Aussie, but that could be because most of the newly arrived Americans are in bed sleeping off the jet lag. We have seven time zones to conquer on the trip home. Usually the time change occurs overnight. Our captain has found that the crew and passengers do better with the change occurring at high noon. This meant that the lunch hour was very busy, because everyone showed up to eat at the same time. The verdict is out on whether this helps with the adjustment overall.
We are enjoying the slow pace and the fact that we can find all our belongings now that we’ve unpacked. Inevitably, whatever I wanted was always in the bottom of the suitcase. The ship feels like an old friend. We’ve sailed on her before and the basic layout is familiar from other RCL cruises we’ve taken. The live music performed here and there is also fun. A Caribbean band feels slightly out of place here, but we love their sound no matter where they are.