Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Emerald Princess, December 2008, Day 2

At sea, heading for Aruba

Emerald Princess BridgeWe had calm seas overnight and we slept well. In fact we slept through the more formal Da Vinci dining room's breakfast with waiter service and we went to the buffet breakfast in Cafe Caribe. It was less crowded than yesterday's breakfast because we were there later in the morning.

Commodore RomanoAt 11:00 A.M. we had a tour of the bridge and met Commodore Romano who conducted our tour. He became a Captain in 1990 and in January 2008 he was made Commodore of the entire Princess fleet -- 17 ships.

It was no surprise to learn that in 2008 the normal operation of the ship depends on computers and radar, but the highly trained staff is ready to take over and run the ship themselves in case of emergency. All of the ship's systems -- heating, air conditioning, drinking water, sanitation, electricity, communications, etc. -- can be monitored and run from the bridge.

Emerald Princess Bridge

After the tour we had lunch in the Da Vinci Dining Room. It has waiter service and is a little more formal than the Horizon Court. There are more items cooked to order. The burgers in the Da Vinci are very good and don't appear to have been kept hot on a steam table. Then it was nap time.

We each signed up for Internet access in the Internet Cafe on Deck 5. You get 100 minutes for $55.00 plus an activation fee of $3.95. The computer system on the Emerald Princess is faster than others we have known on ships and the sign-in is very quick.

This was "formal night" and there were ladies in gowns and men in suits and tuxedos. We don't do formal on vacation so we got away with dark trousers and dark, long sleeved silk shirts buttoned all the way up. Nobody seemed to notice our lack of jackets and ties. And really, who cares?

We had dinner early in the Michalangelo so we could go to the 7:15 show in the Princess Theatre. It was a show we had seen, and enjoyed, on the Coral Princess in April 2007 -- "What a Swell Party."

It's a collection of show tunes, many by Cole Porter. This production on the Emerald Princess had the best singers of any show I've heard on a ship. All the lead singers did a fine job (not always the case with shipboard show singers) but hearing Regina Levert was a real treat. What a voice. What a pro.

As usual the dancing, music and lighting were excellent. The sets were good too and the sound was loud but well balanced and not so loud that it distorted the band and singers.

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