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Travel Diary: At Sea, Oceania

Thursday-Sunday February 21-24, 2019

Came in 3rd out of the money in poker tournament even though I knocked out the strongest player, or at least the one who has been in the money the most.

Very nice dinner in Toscana with Roberto and Damien, the head of food and beverage and the general manager.

At , the head sommelier’s suggestion, I bought, on sale six bottles of what he said was an excellent amarone. Paid $85 per bottle using some of my shipboard credit.

Went to a lecture on the Battle of Midway which was very good, but received an important phone call about 15 minutes into the lecture and missed the rest.

After dinner went to see cooking demonstraton by celebrity chef Olivier Dessaintmartin, who is a much better chef than he is a poker player. Learned he was really not allowed to play because technically he is an Oceania employee so he cannot play again and my dreams of paying for the cruise at the poker table have been shattered. He really is a celebrity having worked as second to Guy Savoy in Paris and then being head chef op;ening Bernadin in New York City. BGM was not as interested as I and left early.

Saturday February 23. At sea. Nothing of note. I did win at Poker.

Sunday February 24. Oceania had a very nice lunch for the ATW passengers. Open seating, but we found our friend Michael and Dana and sat with them. Lunch was very nice and included white and red wine both of which were quite good.

One highlight was that I won the poker tournament again, and did so without only two buys in instead of the customary three so I won $335. The second highlight was that we saw a singer from Perth, Australia by the name of Karen Beckett. She did what was billed as a “Salute to Barbra Streisand”. Her selection of Streisand songs was almost perfect—“Happy Days Are Here Again”, Second Hand Rose” “Evergreen” to name a few. However, she did a lot of other songs and she was really terrific. She was very polished, had a very good voice, and basically conducted the band.

The “lowlight” was spending the rest of the day trying to find a way to fly from Auckland to New York and then back to Sydney to meet the ship. We needed to be at a funeral that we could not miss even though were are literally half way around the world. We will go and come back missing only the port of Wellington, and the time we intended to stay on our in Melbourne and Sydney. We made all the arrangements, had the tickets bought and were partially packed when we received word not to come so our travel plans were scrapped. I was a little concerned about flying 31 hours from Auckland to Dubain to New York, and three days later flying 21 hours from New York, to Dallas to Sydney, but we had no choice. However, plans for the funeral changed and we cancelled.

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