Izaac had been super keen to try Bingo so Luke and I met him with Michael in the morning. They bought paper tickets but there were also tablets on offer that automatically kept track of which numbers came up. These cost more but, in the end, not one round was won by the tablet players so make of that what you will. The Bingo was hosted by ‘Lady Fortuna’ who I initially thought was a drag queen but wasn’t. I guess getting very spangly and having big hair is part of hosting Bingo. She told terrible jokes but kept up a steady patter during the round. Neither Michael nor Izaac won any rounds but it was kind of fun, if a little pricey at $40 for the 6 x 6 game sheets.
After all that excitement Luke went to the talk on Tauranga and managed to stay awake through most of it. Then he also went to the ‘welcome to cruising’ talk, which was about the various jobs onboard and other aspects of cruises.
I spent a short time in the gym trying to get to 10k steps for the day (eventually achieved) and we finished off the day playing Poker in Hollywood Lounge with Michael, Izaac, Dad and Luke. Michael brought chips and a wealth of knowledge, which was lucky because the rest of us needed a lot of help. I hadn’t played it before so I feel like I learned a lot, although unfortunately I came second to Luke.
The Hollywood Lounge is a huge indoor area at the front of the ship on deck 17. I’m told it used to be an adults-only area and currently has a pool and two spas, plus heaps of curtained-off cabana areas that people seem to claim for the whole day.
There are basically two ways to get food and drinks onboard, outside of the restaurants. First, you can go up to the bar or to the buffet and get it yourself. The other way to go is to use the Medallion app, possibly the most unpopular, frustrating and confusing aspect of life aboard. Everyone hates it but it does allow you to order food and drink to wherever you are on the ship. Your photo is attached to your account so waiters can find you by looking around for you. During the poker game we discovered a new down-side to the app: the bar can cancel your order at any time and if you aren’t keeping an eye on the app you won’t realise for ages. Also they don’t say why the order is cancelled, so if you’ve ordered drinks for several people, they might cancel the whole order because one of the items isn’t available at the nearest bar and you have no idea which item it was. Fortunately we had a waiter who told us what was going on so we ended up just ordering drinks individually. The wait staff seem as frustrated by the whole system as anyone else but complaining about it brings us all closer together!
We’re all looking forward to our first stop tomorrow; Bay of Islands! Fingers crossed the weather improves as it’s become progressively more foggy as we’ve gotten closer to NZ.