Seabourn Odyssey to Puerto Quetzal

Michael loves her Kindle and I am jealous. There is no way i could have brought 1000 page “The Dome”  by King on this trip. It alone would have put me over the AA weight limit.

So this was a nice slow day, but it had its problems. There was an envelope in our door slot inviting us to the Captain’s Table for dinner. I dread the Captain’s, any Captain’s, table.

My first Captain’s Table seating was a New Year’s Eve. The captain sat directly across from me and topping off his uniform was a silly stiff paper hat, a tight elastic strap under his chin holding the upside down cone in place. OK, I’m going to say it. He looked stupid. The British woman next to me told me I had to put my hat on or I would insult the Captain. The invitation hadn’t said and “wear a silly hat”, but I did as told. The elastic made it hard to chew.

The largest Captain’s Table was on a World Cruise. It consisted of four long tables that formed a square with a large space in the center. It was impossible to talk to the Captain unless you were sitting next to him. I was not. This was about a six course dinner and the Maitre d’ rang a huge gong to announce each course. Seeing as some of the diners were quite old, they tended to fall asleep between courses, and, when the gong gonged, the somnolent ones jumped several inches off their chairs. Watching the Maitre d’ approach the gong, and then the aftermath, was my entertainment for the evening.

One  Captain, with whom I sat on two different cruises, told basically the same stories and tolerated no interruption. A whispered “please pass the salt” to a tablemate, got an upraised hand, palm forward, and a stern “listen” from the Captain. He actually was charming, but the second time around, I had a hard time overcoming the urge to give away his punch lines. And I never did get the salt.

My favorite was the Captain who firmly tapped each of his rolls on the table. When I asked him what he was doing, he blushed and shyly admitted he was a former freighter Captain, and while the cruise line had given him an etiquette course on hosting passengers, he had yet to overcome the habit of tapping his rolls in order to get the weevils out. Now, when at a Captain’s Table, I always tap my rolls. Deep down inside, I’m hoping for a weevil.

I’m not sure what it is about my quirky nature that makes me just want to say “no” to the Captain’s Table invite. I simply don’t know how to do it without getting on someone’s walk-the-plank list.

Before dinner, there was a gathering in the Grand Salon, Odyssey’s main showroom. Our cabin in the bow area is on the same deck as the showroom in the stern. It takes 90 seconds for me to make the walk.  Small ship amenity.

Tonight was the night that Captain Mark Dexter would hand out awards to frequent cruises based on the number of cruise days they have spent with Seabourn. As we waited, the band played and I noticed something strange. Look carefully and you’ll see the drummer behind a glass barrier.

Hmmmm. Was he too loud? Or did he have the Swine Flu?

Awards dealt out, it was on to the table.

Our table was oblong with eight people including the Captain. It was also the special Chef’s dinner. Actually it went quite well. All the guests were experienced travelers with interesting stories. I didn’t get to talk much to Capt. Dexter as he and I were on the same side of the table and separated. But the man across from me was from Athens and had a wry sense of humor. We passed the time easily.

I handled myself well except for eating. The trilogy of Foie Gras threw me. One Foie was on the end of a thin stick which was inserted in the small glass. The rest of the Foie, I figured, was in the white and dark layers which took up at least half the petite container. A forkful into my mouth. Oh my. It all was uncooked hard rice pellets, for decoration, and certainly not for swallowing.

I must explore what wine goes best with Rice BB’s.

Dinner finished just in time to make the 10 PM show. (Yes, we were at the table for 2 ½ hours.) Paul Williams was the headliner and he was backed by the ship’s vocal quartet. Nice not to have gyrating dancers and lip syncing singers. Paul is a prolific song writer and all loved him.

Now for the really bad thing. When I got back to the room my TABASCO was gone. Sonette probably thought it was from room service. I am determined to track it down!!!!

Join the Conversation

RICHARD HIRSCHHORN,M.D. says:

LIKE YOUR BLOG.
I AM TAKING MY WIFE ON THE ODYSSEY NEXT JAN, 2011, AROUND THE HORN FOR OUR 50TH ANNIVERSARY.
NEVER BEEN ON ANYTHING BIGGER THAN OUR 19 FT. SLOOP UP IN MAINE SUMMERS.
PLEASE PUT US ON YOUR BLOG.
WOULD WELCOME ANY SUGGESTIONS.
THANK YOU

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *