Wednesday 1 January 2020

Silver Muse cruise, Day Nine - New year beginning, cruise ending

With thanks to Silversea for this cruise
We set off at a leisurely pace this morning, everything considerately later than usual, for those who were up late last night (not us, obviously). It took ages to cross Melbourne's vast harbour to the heads that protect it, where we were escorted by the pilot boat through the 2km-wide, churned up gap with a lighthouse and spectators on one side. Then we were back in Bass Strait, heading for the Tasman again to sail, eventually, northwards to Sydney. For quite a distance, we had coastline to watch, which was a novelty.
Everyone was very chilled-out - if you can call people that who are basking in hot sunshine - and the pool deck was the most crowded bit of the ship, although there were always spare loungers and chairs for latecomers (despite a German family I've been observing doing the cliché German thing of using their towels to claim loungers for the entire day, including in their absences).

I was pleased to hear that the big net of balloons that hung over one end of the pool deck, that was still in place when we went to bed after midnight last night, was not opened to let them disperse into the air and sea, and no doubt kill many sea creatures. "The fun police," someone harrumphed, but I was pleased, and just surprised that in these environmentally enlightened (some irony there) times, anyone had ever thought that was a good idea at all. [Side note: I read today that it's estimated that half a billion animals have died in Australia's bush fires so far. Heartbreaking.] [Update: Apparently there was never any intention to release the balloons: the net was just how they were displayed.]
There was lunch, there was downtime, there was sitting on the veranda in the sunshine with the sea sloshing peacefully below, and then there was Trivial Pursuit. Reader, we came first! With 19.5/20! Questions included: what is As on the periodic table; who played Galadriel in LOTR; what country does Denmark border; what port sees the most cruise passengers; what's the longest running show in the West End; and how many millimetres are there in a kilometre?
Although there is still all of tomorrow left on the cruise, the relentless winding-up has begun: the comments form delivered, the disembarkation instructions, luggage labels. As always, it feels too soon. The most emphatic part of this process was the ceremonial crew parade of 400 staff over the stage for the farewell tonight, with standing ovations and cheering. (It followed the Voices of Silversea doing Queen hits, which left me full of genuine admiration for Rami Malek. Say no more.)
We ate this evening at Spaccanapoli, which is a pizzeria overlooking the pool deck, with a perfect view of the lowering sun tonight heading for a smoke-tinged sepia sunset. It was really warm up there - bare legs and arms temperature. And the pizza was good too.

At the Arts Café we had coffee on the rear deck as the sun finally slid into the sea, and we rounded the Wilson Promontory to turn northwards. It was a quiet evening as I prowled around the ship afterwards: not many people in the public areas at all. Probably bracing themselves in their cabins suites for the last day of the cruise tomorrow. And meanwhile, the staff were taking down the Christmas decorations. Holidays over, no question.


the queen said...

Congrats! Impressive to do so well with such hard questions. Because I have no idea. Argon? Viggo Mortenson?Sweden? Miami? Cats? 10,000?

TravelSkite said...

As is arsenic; Cate Blanchett; Gernamy; yes, Miami; and one million. WE got most of them - better team today (though we entered fully into the cheating culture).


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