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Travel Diary: At Sea, Oceania

Sunday, Monday February 17-18, 2019.

One of two consecutive sea days on way to Pago Pago. Oceania put on a very nice brunch from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The five other couples with whom we have become close all sat together and had an enjoyable time.

At 5:45 Oceania threw a very nice cocktail party. Good food, some entertainment and a completely open bar including Crown Royal although I bring mine from the cabin.

Came in second again in the poker tournament but should have won. My full house was beaten by 4 of a kind which is very rare. F__K!

Monday February 18. At sea. BGM invited to a special lunch with some woman most of whom are in her yoga class but not all. She met some very nice people including a woman from Houston and the Wife of a retired Florida lawyer from the Searcy Denney Firm—last names unknown but I expect I will meet them soon.

Oceania had another very nice cocktail party and then we went to dinner at Polo Grill with Michael and Dana. It appears as if our friendship with them will not just be another “shipboard romance” and that we will see them once the cruise is over. They are both very interesting people, quite affluent, with major homes in Florida, New York, Aspen, Las Vegas and someplace in North Carolina.

After dinner we went to hear our friend Jack Siegel sit in with the jazz band on board. Jack is a very accomplished trumpet player—a professional musician. At my request, he play “Some of These Days” which, If I had to pick one favorite song, this would be it. I have collected close to a 100 recordings of this song which was Sophie Tucker’s theme song, written by a black man Shelton Brooks who also wrote “Darktown Strutters Ball”. There are more vocals than instrumentals of this song, but only Louis Armstrong played it better than Jack did. I was truly amazed. My Father used to sing this song to me from the time I was about five years old, and it is hard to hear it sung or played without tearing up.

I won the poker tournament coming from way behind. The lady to whom I usually come in second, did not make the final two and I had an easier time winning against the other remaining player. One of our regulars did not show up, but a new player sat down. I asked him where he was from and he said “Philadelphia by way of France”. I had not seen him on board, so I asked when he got on and he said “two days ago in Tahiti” and he is staying about two weeks until the ship reaches Sydney.

He came on board as a celebrity chef and a true celebrity he is. He was second to Guy Savoy in Paris, a three star restaurant of great renown. There are very few chefs in the world as well known as Guy Savoy. Then, when Bernadin opened in New York, he was the first Chef. Bernadin is considered by many to be the best restaurant in New York City. No doubt he is a great chef, and no doubt he is not a great poker player. Whether he will be back at the poker table remains to be seen, but I will keep my fingers crossed.

Tomorrow is Pago Pago and then we have another sea day before getting to Fuji. We cross the international day line and lose February 20.

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