Today you will plunge into the magical atmosphere of the endless holiday. If you think that in the sea you will have time to feel bored, sunbathe or read a book, then you are mistaken. The entertainment program schedule is so busy and interesting that you'll literally have to decide between performances.
Every night, you are given a brochure with the program of activities for the next day. Let's start with a concert hall. Every day, there are 3-4 lectures on various topics. Before each port, the ship's main guide tells everyone about it in detail, about the history of this place, its peculiarities. He tells you things you should pay attention to. It's very helpful:
Besides him, we had 3 specially invited lecturers on our board - they were experts on Antarctica, its geology, fauna, and icebergs. John Splettstoesser is the most famous of them. He spent several years in Antarctica, several times crossed the entire continent, was twice awarded the Polar Medal (once in the United States and once in the Soviet Union). And there's a glacier and mountain range in Antarctica named in his honor. He's an amazing storyteller, and it's very interesting to listen to him. When we were in Antarctica, he was on the bridge all the time and he commented on the radio on everything visible around the ship:
In addition to lectures, there are also meetings with the captain and other crew members taking place in the concert hall:
Usually, they are held in the format of Q&A, and you can get an answer to any question. Here are some examples of the questions:
Does the staff sleep on the ship when we are at sea?
Is there a lift from the stern to the bow anywhere on the ship?
Did I watch the cable or satellite TV in Antarctica?
Are there transgenic fats in the food on the ship?
Buses with running engines wait for us when we are in the port. They pollute the atmosphere. Could you ask them to stand with turned off engines?
How much fuel a day do we use?
And of course, there are daily evening concerts in the concert hall. It can be a concert of the invited stars, or some performance, organized by the local highly professional animators:
In addition to the concert hall, there's a cinema on the ship. There are 3 sessions of new blockbusters a day. Between sessions, there are cooking shows and various master classes:
There were also several tours to the galley. 6000 dishes are cooked here every day:
The main life is at the upper central pool. There are "seasonal" sales - you can buy sweaters and hats before you enter in Antarctica, and sunblock and bikini before Santiago. Every day, while we were in Antarctica, we could buy hot wine punch here:
A lot of contests and competitions take place on the ship. Everyone can take part in them. For example, a table tennis tournament:
The competition between chefs for the best ice sculpture (you can see it in the title picture):
Or the competition for the best penguin of towels:
Also, there was a contest on the ship for the best passengers' photo in three categories: "People", "Landscape", and "Wildlife". Voting took place in the last 5 days of the cruise. I participated and won two first prizes and one second. I got two vouchers for $100 for each first prize, and $50 for the second. So my hobby started to bring me money. I won in the category "People" with the photo from Rio:
And in the category "Wildlife" with a flying penguin. Moreover, this picture won unprecedented 80% of the votes in this category:
Many people on the ship play 'bridge'. We had a special room for card games, and there were lectures on 'bridge' strategy held each day.
The ship has a casino and Duty-Free shops. They work only when the ship is in international waters.
In the evenings, there are themed parties or tastings at the pool. For example, here are photos from "The Dessert Night":
Chefs prepared a huge number of desserts for every taste:
This is for diabetics - desserts without sugar:
Liquid chocolate flows in the central cones. You take fruit skewers or profiteroles, dip them in the chocolate waterfall, and enjoy:
Dancing parties take place on the upper deck in the evening. There were almost no young people on our cruise, so discos were "for those who are 60+", but the situation can be absolutely different on other cruise ships. The cheaper the cruise is, the more young people choose it. Here you can dance with the captain and take a picture with him:
In any cruise, you will have several formal evenings when you can come to dinner only in the evening dress. In other days, you can wear shorts and sports clothes.
In most ports, the ship stops at the pier and you can come ashore through the lower deck. But in some places, there are no berths capable of accommodating large ships. In this case, passengers are transported to the shore on lifeboats:
It takes 5 minutes to lift them up. It's even faster to bring them down:
It's quite comfortable and dry inside of them:
There is wi-fi internet on the ship, but it doesn't work in all cabins. I was not lucky this time and I had to go to a nearby lounge with a laptop. The ship also has its own cell phones that work all the time, even in Antarctica.
There are always many older people on cruises, there's a ships hospital on cruise liners. We even had an equipped operating room and a resuscitator. There is also a necessary stock of medicaments.
And finally, I promised to describe the financial aspect of my voyage. Major cruise lines can be divided into 2 classes: standard and premium. They have different interiors, cabins, service, food, cutlery, etc. I chose the
which belongs to a premium class. I travel a lot and I'm very capricious in terms of hotels and services. It's very hard to please me - I'm a killjoy. But this time, I was surprised and fascinated - it was hard to find faults...