17 Nov – At Sea

17 NOV  At Sea
Well some “movement” as the Commodore calls it – the infamous Bay of Biscay lived up to its rep. I was pleased to see a full group of 28 students the first day out. Hardy sailors all. My obligation aboard is to teach classes 10-12 and 2-4 on all sea days – so I worked  through the unwellness and had a good start with lots of enthusiastic & sympathetic folks.

The package is supplies is available onboard and includes a decent set of watercolors, 4 brushes, paper, pencil and extra palette. Knowing there would be some challenges with the broad range of absolute beginners to advanced – with no sequence to their attendance…I came well prepared. Easy exercises for the newbies,  and challenging projects (to trace and paint ) for the more experienced. Lots of quick demos and personal attention. From the positive feedback it sounds like it was MUCH more than the repeat voyagers were used to.  Word spread fast – and I was up to 35 students by the 3rd day out!

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Finding my way around the multitudes of entries and stairs – and getting used to the schedule of activities & dining. Found the best exit to access the promenade (3 times around = 1 mile) and a quiet spot for my 6:00 am tai chi. Extra points for balancing on a moving ship ;-) I was determined to maintain my morning ritual whenever possible – and eat sensibly – but that 7am coffee sure was a welcome sight. The early morning were great. The ship and decks pretty empty I enjoyed many sunrises in the coming weeks – the vast sea with nothing else to see in all directions.

The Ship. Not having experience of other cruise vessels it is impossible for me to compare – but I think they would have a hard time living up to Queen Victoria’s level of opulence and service. My stateroom steward Chris, was an angel, and the pursers, tour office and tech staff who handled my barrage of questions were so patient. I was surprized to find a card from the commodore and festive balloon on my return – to celebrate my birthday. (the champagne can wait for calmer seas)

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I will simple provide some photos of the interior to give you a sense of the luxurious surroundings, complete with a 3 story theatre and ballroom. Best scones at sea I am told.

My cafe spot – overlooking the ballroom11_QnVic (4)

The decor, including original paintings & mural panels throughout.11_QnVic (6)

My set of stairs/elevators just beyond the shops & casino
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the casino stairway and surrounding shops. The stone, wood and trim was astonishing.
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This was my favorite spot to sit.
On the 3 levels: Puzzle alcove (tables near the ship model) at the top of the stairs
Quartet on the mezzanine – you can see the music stands on the left.
and the Purser and Tour offices on the lowest level.

and then they started decorating for Christmas ! (the Xmas decor team was from Vancouver!)
Lots of folks had their portraits/photos taken on these stairs or near the tree.

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