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Old May 6th, 2011, 03:33 AM
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Evening at Sea on Symphony May 5 Ď11
It was another indoor day on the Symphony. Thereís tonight and 2 other nights left in the cruise. I have to be honest, because of the situation at home Iím pretty anxious for this cruise to end; a really unfortunate space to be in, as under normal circumstances Iíd be looking forward to every remaining moment.

Those of you who may have happened to also follow me as I was writing the Virtual Cruise from Sapphire Princess in March (also the Hawaii itinerary) may recall some problems I had with the shipís internet service. It wasnít awful, but was occasionally spotty.

Iím not sure of the reason (perhaps Crystal purchases more satellite band-width) but, except for one day when I had trouble uploading some pictures, the service has been very reliable, and not that slow for a shipís connection. Itís been sort of about the speed of the old days of dial-up service.

They sell packages of Internet time onboard at C U @ Sea aft on Deck 6. Thereís an initial set fee of $5. Pay as you go is pretty pricey at $0.75 pre minute. The smallest package available is 2 hrs (120 minutes) for $50 ($0.42 per minute),10 hours (600 minutes) for $200 ($0.33 per minute), and the largest package -25 hours (1500 minutes) for $300 ($0.20 per minute). Pricing is the same whether you use the ships desktops, or bring your own laptop or I pod.

Tonight I dined with one of my tablemates, Anthony, another solo cruiser, at PregoÖ for a repeat visit.

As it turns out Anthony, from New York, is a long time collector of cruise ship paraphernalia, who used to work for Cunard Cruise Line, and had made for a terrific and entertaining tablemate. Iíve enjoyed all my dining room tablemates company, but tonightís dinner gave me the opportunity to hear more of Anthonyís story, and more about his collecting hobby.

Without question Prego is my favorite place to eat on the ship, and I had to pull a couple of strings to get a last minute reservation in the sold out restaurant tonight. Earlier in the cruise it would be easier to get a reservation. I know several people dined there several times.

For my meal tonight I began with a Caesar Salad, repeated the Mushroom soup in a bread bowl, that is fantastic, followed by an appetizer size portion of Chicken Ravioli, and my entrťe was a superb version of Osso Buco, accompanied by a safron rossoto. Dessert was a three piece sampler.

In the showroom (Galaxy Lounge) tonight Classical Pianist, Sujeeva Hapugalle, performed, and though I am not a piano aficionado I thought the performance was excellent. Once again the show for late seating diners was pre-dinner, and the show for early diners after dinner. Once again, they make the change because we lose the last hour of time tonight, as we get back on Pacific Daylight Time.

At 10:15 P.M. the Starlight Club was filled for The Liarís Club. With the time change coming, and a busy day of interviews, etc. I passed the Liarís Club on my way to bed.

Returning to my suite I found vouchers to hand to the staff (for my pre-paid gratuities) as well as directions and luggage tags for disembarking the ship. This does mean the end of the cruise is near.
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