The day did not start well. I was awaken in the middle of the night by a crying child. Jonah had wet the bed. After a quick wipedown, I settled him in our bed. I was too tired to do anything else. Our planned sleep-in did never eventuated. Elliot and Lara were so excited that they came bounding into our bed with a resounding, "Its morning Mum!". That was the end of sleep. It was time for breakfast. We awoke to calm waters and Malcolm felt good. He was happy that his improvement was achieved without drugs.
|Not a bad view to wake up to! Other than the children who were right in my face...|
We were blessed with another sunny day with blue skies. Concierge guests were able to have breakfast and lunch at Cagney's so we thought we'd give it a go. We passed through the Messina Straight as we ate. We were able to enjoy the view of Sicily on our starboard side including that of the imposing snow capped Mount Etna. The availability of eggs benedict and bircher muesli made for one happy Belinda. If you were so inclined, you could have steak for breakfast...
We wandered to the well stocked library to borrow some books and attended the interdenominational Sunday church service. It was run by the multi-talented cruise director. He was not a minister of any sort but rather just led the guests in prayer, bible readings, inspritational stories, personal reflection and songs of worship. This was when we discovered that not only was he once a star singer in Las Vegas, he also played the piano very well!
|Sicily on our right|
|They were pretty good waffles. Couldn't resist stealing some of the childrens!|
|The very organised and well stocked library|
|Waiting patiently for Daddy to make his selection|
|Enjoying the lounges|
No cruise travel would be complete without trivia. We took on the competition but sadly lost. We didn't have any luck with the shuffleboard tournament either. Lara and grandpa were unfortunately knocked out in the first round. Malcolm and Elliot came second to a pair of Italian middle aged ladies. By chance, we stumbled upon my parents who had been busy at the Asian fusion demonstration and tasting. Lara decided to join them for napkin folding lessons.
Malcolm had to prepare himself for the afternoon's activities. It was time to get serious...Flag trivia was on. No man could be expected to compete and win without being fed first. We headed for the open deck at the back of the ship some for German fare. We enjoyed the sounds of live Oompah music while we ate under beautiful blue skies. My sunglasses had been buried for so long that I had forgotten it was alive. This would have been a good time to revive it. The german food was good. It was amusing to see the Oldies come alive with the music. They were singing, clapping and dancing. Fortunately both our parents refrained...
As Malcolm had to focus for flag trivia, my parents took Elliot and Lara to the kids club. The final results for flag triva was closer than expected. We had swapped answer sheets for marking with who turned out to be Malcolm's competition. He was starting to sweat when he realised that both had scored 19/20. Both had got Bermuda incorrect. You could see Malcolm's eyes light up when he saw the bonus question. And with Madagascar...he won!
|Any tournament is serious business for the Albanys|
|Oktoberfest in January|
|What Malcolm has been training for his whole life|
|Our 430pm snack|
|The children's creation at cupcake decorating|
|Only one way to eat those cupcakes|
After all that hard work, it was time to relax. I chose to watch a movie in our room with Jonah and then had the most wonderful long shower. Malcolm chose to go swimming with the children in the main pool in the 14 degree warmth...all because of slide! As expected, they didn't last long and soon migrated to the hot tub in the undercover private courtyard.
The troops gathered in our suite for pre dinner drinks before heading for dinner at Alizar, the only other restaurant which didn't have a cover charge. We discovered that the all the restaurants had the same "classic" menu which remained unchanged. They then offered a selection of specials for the day. What I didn't understand was why it was always so dark in the restaurants. Didn't they know that I had photos to take?!?!
The show in the evening featured Roberto and Donata, a pair of Polish ballet dancers who then became trained in acrobatics and now performs as aerialists. They were awesome! Some of their manouvres were really a cut above others that we have seen. I returned with the children to our suite and Malcolm continued to party with Dixieland Jazz. All in all, a very full first day at sea!