Centenary World Cruise Day 22-25: Oh, Say – Can You Sea?

Day 22:

We’ve joined the Guest Choir on the ship, and today is the day before our performance. Every leg of the trip, a new choir forms, practices for a few days/weeks, then gives a performance in the Grand Lobby. So, our performance is tomorrow, and the choir directors have decided that today was the right time to introduce a new song.

It was also Burns Night. The ballroom had a large selection of malts on offer, and the Scottish officers of the crew gave all the traditional readings/speeches/toasts. It was great fun, but I can see why there weren’t very many Americans. If you’ve never heard or read it before, spoken Scots can be hard to follow, and the crew doing the readings had some impressive accents. Afterward, there was the traditional singing of “Auld Lang Syne,” where everyone held hands. That always kind of chokes me up.

Day 23:

And today, the performance of the choir. We had one last rehearsal at 11am, with the performance to follow at 3pm. The only guidance we were given for clothes was “black and white,” and the men’s section leader said he’d be wearing his tux.

When we came down at 2:45pm, nearly all the men were wearing tuxes (including the Pirate), and all the women were wearing lovely dresses or slacks. We got to stand there for 10 minutes, getting more and more nervous as the crowd coming to see us swelled in size. The Grand Lobby is a big circular area on Deck 2, with curved staircases running up each side to Deck 3. The choir stood on Deck 2 opposite the staircases, so we had an excellent view of the crowd forming on the stairs and around the upper rail of the atrium.

We were told that this is the largest Guest Choir they’ve ever had – about 80 people total. We joked that, if the choir continues to grow, everyone on the ship would be singing, and the audience would consist of 3 maintenance guys and a customs official.

As often happens, the actual performance sounded better than any of our rehearsals — for the rest of the evening, we were celebrities. It seemed like much of the staff and a lot of the passengers saw the performance, and everyone congratulated us on doing such a good job.


Absolutely nothing happened today. I took a nap to celebrate.

Day 25:

Today is the Pirate’s birthday. Most of the day was very low-key, which was a good thing. I overheard someone else talking about how this was now the longest amount of time he’d ever been on a cruise, and I realize it was the same for me. The longest cruise I’d been on before now was three weeks, and we’ve passed that.

Dinner was Indian food at the schmancy restaurant, and it didn’t disappoint. While the appetizers and mains were excellent, the desserts were confusing. There were three tiny desserts – a carrot halvah, something that looked like crème patissiere on a tiny rectangle of toast, and something that tasted like the kind of mousse one makes by combining pudding and whipped cream (in this case, banana pudding), except this had vermicelli in it. Because who doesn’t love surprise pasta, right?

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