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This morning’s signup was a little on the quiet side. Nothing devastating or anything to worry about, but we had 18 sign up for this morning’s class (out of a total number of twenty), and only 12 for the afternoon.

Once again, there was a lot going on around the ship throughout the day, most notably a ‘Jubilee Fete’ on the Lido Deck, scheduled to run from 2pm.

We’ve seen these sort of events before and they are always a lot of fun. More importantly, I think they always help to bring passengers together, with different crew departments setting up stalls featuring lots of crazy activities and games.

Amongst the stalls were a number of ‘Guess the Weight of…’, and variations on the Hoopla theme. One stall in particular – ‘Royal Potty Toss’ had guests throwing loo rolls into a toilet – and was very popular and extremely noisy. ‘Hit the Rat’ was where a toy rat was sent hurtling down a tube, and the participant had to try and whack it with a bat as it exited from the bottom end… a surprisingly tricky task.

In one corner of the lido, our resident Magician, Albert Llorens, was challenging folks to ‘Find the Queen’ from a deck of cards, but by far the event grabbing the lion’s share of attention was ‘Corgi Racing’. We’ve seen similar races in various guises over the years (usually billed as ‘Dolphin Racing’), but of course, with this being part of the ship’s Jubilee celebrations, racers had corgis strapped to their heads. Six tracks were marked out on the deck and two shakes of a dice would determine which corgi got to move forward, and by how many spaces. Hitting a blue cross would send them back one space.

As always with these things, the excitement level was turned up to 11 by way of an enthusiastic commentary from our Cruise Director Tracy Clegg, and a whole cast of fun characters, as portrayed by the various ‘runners’. Mostly, these were played by members of the entertainments team, but in one memorable race, the guest racer was none other than Captain Corgi himself. I’m not sure if his spectacular win was fixed or not, but it all provided a great deal of entertainment.

Passengers were encouraged to have a go at all the various games, and their scores were marked by the crew; by 3pm, everyone’s grand total could be calculated so that the appropriate prizes could be awarded.

My afternoon class (painting skies) was a little on the quiet side, but then I put that, at least in part, to the amount of drinking up on deck and the fact that folks can only have so much of a good thing. The truth is; I’m always clashing with something, and this afternoon, there was yet another ‘special’ afternoon tea on in the ‘Living Room’.

We’ve been going into dinner at about 7pm – 7:15pm, and generally sitting on a table adjacent to our fellow craft tutors, Tia and Jerry. By the time we arrive, however, they are usually on their dessert, and are vacating their table before we’ve got to our main course. This leaves an empty table next to us, which one would expect could then be taken over with another couple of guest entertainers/lecturers/tutors (we’ve all be segregated from the passengers for the duration of the cruise as a covid precaution). However, despite the fact that on two separate occasions now, a couple of lecturers have come to join us, they’ve been told that they are not allowed to, and that the staff are not even allowed to clear the table and reset it… once it’s been sat at, and eaten at, that’s it…

This has caused a bit of dismay at dinner, and on more than one occasion, left us sitting by ourselves, and another couple having to sit at another table somewhere by themselves, away from the main group, all of which is a little bit annoying, and – considering the same rules don’t seem to apply at breakfast, with the same tables – seems just a little bit silly. Of course, rules are rules and the staff in ‘The Grill’ are only doing as they have been instructed, but it does all come across as being a tad bonkers.

Peter Woolley

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