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Travel Diary: Oceania

Monday, Tuesday March 18-19, 2019

The first of two sea days on our way to three ports in the Philippines. Oceania had a nice cocktail party. Listened to music first and then had dinner with Paul and Pat Feren at Polo Grill. BGM joined us. Very pleasant evening. Just about closed the place down and missed the show which started at 9:30.

Lunch with Michael and Dana Werner. BGM did not join us.

Coffee with Damien the General Manager whom I really like. He leaves the ship soon in Tokyo to go back to his home in Lyon but returns to the ship in Rome. He works very hard to please the passengers, and, although there are always discontents, the vast majority of the passengers are very pleased. The around the world cruises for the next two years are just about sold out, and many of the people on this cruise are returning for one or both of the next two years. About 200 passengers get off in Tokyo but an identical number get on. The ship is entirely sold out for the entire cruise.

Oceania had another safety drill at 10:15 which was not a good time for those who use the gym. Many waited until after the drill so the gym got overloaded. It is a good idea to exercise early when this type of scheduling takes place because the delay caused us to miss a champagne tasting which we would have probably attended.

Tuesday March 19:

Same old great day. BGM attended two lectures about the Philippines and the surrounding areas. Then Yoga. She exercised while I was having lunch with two couples from Canada who have become friends. Both are very nice couples. The Canadians I have met are very nice and very knowledgeable about not only what is happening in Canada, but in the United States. On the other hand, what I know about Canada is limited to probably what an average third grader in Toronto or Vancouver knows.

So I asked for some lessons about Canadian history and what was going on in Canada of interest to them. One of the men is a very successful real estate lawyer in Toronto and the other man, with the help of his Wife, who is a CPA, built a very successful helicopter business that now has about 140 employees. The lawyer’s Wife, is BGM’s yoga instructor, a travel agent, and a very bright informed lady so I walk away from lunch feeling a little more worldly than when I began. (the lunch was okay but not as good as the conversation).

After listening to music at Happy Hour with Paul and Pat Farren, our friends from Atlanta, BGM and I attended another birthday party in the Polo Grill for the Wife other friends we have made and will keep as they live in Hollywood, Florida. I have talked about Ilya and Lana previously. They are both very accomplished people originally from the Ukraine. There were four table of guests and we had the honor of sitting with the celebrating. Although Ilya’s first language is Russian, his English is very good, and he has a wonderful way of expressing his thoughts in a second language.

It continues to be a wonder that so many people, few being Americans, can speak multiple languages fluently. It is also a disgrace to the educational system in the United States. The joke in Italy is, “if one speaks two languages, he/she is bilingual; three languages, trilingual, four languages, quatralingual, (sic) one language, American”. I understand that some people have the gift of mastering languages but not everyone who speaks multiple languages has that gift.

Anyway, it was another very nice day. I lost an inlay at dinner so when we dock at our first port in the Philippines tomorrow, I will try to find a dentist. We do not have much planned so nothing special is likely to be missed.

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