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February 4, 2020
The Best – and Worst – Home Office in the World

Russell writes…

After four port days in Hawaii, we now have four days at sea. I very much enjoy the at-sea days. With no port to rush out to, the days aboard ship force me to relax. But for this particular cruise, I have a second reason to need sea days.

I will not be presenting any lectures aboard this cruise – contract rules won’t allow it. (Gail did try.) Nevertheless, I continue to research and write new lectures. I have brought seven hardback books aboard with me (I do not do e-books) in case I couldn’t rely on the ship’s internet.

Yesterday I met the only other passenger I know of who is also doing work. She’s a 22-year-old grad student who is working as a (remote) TA during the sea days. (She found out four years ago that her parents were considering a world cruise, and she inserted herself into their plans. They ended up scheduling around her.) Larkin shares the same struggle that I do – she finds too many activities that are more fun than doing work.

The Regency Seven Seas Mariner – click for a larger version. We are in cabin 773. (image from cruisedeckplans.com)

A day at work (The Garden Promenade, deck 6)

The ship has a fairly consistent routine for sea days, and so do we.

I get up at 5:00 am. Thanks to the curtain across our “suite,” I can work at the desk while Gail is still sleeping. She gets up at 7:00 am with the sun. (We are currently on Hawaii time, two hours behind California time.) We grab breakfast at about 8:30, four flights up at the La Veranda buffet. With the weather getting warmer, we can sit outside on the back deck and watch the ocean go by.

At 10:00, lecturer Terry Bishop gives a 45-minute talk related to the area we’re sailing through. He is currently presenting a multi-part series on “Pacific Exploration.” Unfortunately, the 10:00 time always conflicts with exercise and dance classes, but you can’t have everything.

The Atrium (deck 5 and up). Gail is scared to death of the floating stairwell.

The Constellation Theater (deck 5)

Sea days have many opportunities to earn “Regent Points,” a mock currency that can be traded in for merchandise. We are more competitive than we probably should be. There are daily Mensa puzzles, noon Visual Trivia and afternoon Team Trivia competitions. (Gail and I are on different teams, and boy you should see the dagger looks we give each other!) Last night we sat in on “Guess That Tune” from Clive the bar pianist. We did terribly, but had a ton of fun and still earned a lot of points.

Our collection of Regent points

We have lunch at about 1:00 at the Pool Grill or Compass Rose buffet. (“Buffet” is a relative word. They recently stopped all self-service for health safety, and everything is now served by the hardworking staff.) We have dinner at about 7:00. We have a choice of Compass Rose (buffet), Sette Mari (Italian), Chartreuse (French) or Prime 7 (steakhouse). We always request a “sharing table” (as opposed to dining alone) so we can continue to meet other passengers.

The evening show is always at 9:30. It is a shame this is the only seating, as it is too late for many passengers. After the show we walk around, socialize, go dancing or retire to our cabin to work on these fine blog posts.

Gail with ventriloquist Patrick Murray and vocalist Mark Preston

In between all of this, I try to read, research online and write new lectures. That is, when we’re not eating, socializing, playing board games or looking out at the ocean. So far, I have finished one book and not accomplished much else.

At breakfast this morning, we were treated to a rainbow off the ship's stern (La Veranda, deck 11)

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