The Block Party

 

One of the most memorable events of a cruise such as this is the Block Party.  We first came across it last year, when just a few days into our cruise, everyone was invited to step outside their suite door with a glass and meet the neighbours.  I’ll admit that this was a scary prospect to begin with, but it really did turn out to be quite the key to a whole lot of fun.

Tonight was our “block party” night.

At 6pm, the captain sounded the cocktail bell and, regardless of dress (or state of undress) everyone opened their door with glass in hand to find someone there with a bottle and a plate of canapes to share – oh, and all the neighbours too!  It’s funny how we can “live” next door to someone for a couple of weeks or more and never see them – the block party is a great way of making introductions and in some cases, finding that the neighbours here turn out to be neighbours at home too!

At some point during these shenanigans, the captain and a couple of senior officers made their way through the ship and shook hands with every single person on board.  No time to stop of course, but again, good fun and a good way to ensure that everyone gets to know a few more people around the place.

It also meant the bar was especially noisy this evening and as we sat enjoying our drinks before dinner, we noticed how spirited everyone was!  We had fun company for the evening – even if they did forget where we were meeting and needed to be tracked down…

 

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We hadn’t made special plans for dinner tonight, hadn’t booked a table at one of the premium restaurants or anything but had simply arranged to meet our friends.  Even so, the menu needs careful consideration and there are difficult choices to be made.

 

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Will it be salmon or dumplings?  Salad, soup or risotto?

 

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One of our favourite salty breadsticks helps the decision making process! 

 

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We’ll have a sorbet, for sure, and then will it be fish, pork or beef?  Difficult decisions!!

 

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Of course, talking twenty to the dozen means that before we’ve even realised, the first course has been delivered – dumplings Shanghai-style were the most popular on our table

 

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washed down with a great Orvieto wine tonight.  We were off to an excellent start, for sure.

 

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Sorbet time – a different flavour each evening.  Tonight’s pear variety was particularly good, I thought.

 

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Next, I chose the Malaysian Beef which was served with a mild spicy sauce and rice - very good, I thought (though someone not so far from here would have liked it to have been spicier)

 

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Finally dessert, on which most decided to pass.  I chose a simple scoop of vanilla ice cream and an espresso to make an affogato.  Sorry, it disappeared too quickly to make it into the photograph!

 

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Meanwhile the petits fours were disappearing fast – and sadly, one of our friends had to attend to her responsibilities elsewhere and we couldn’t detain her any longer.

 

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Comfortable though we were, easy as it was to continue talking and nibbling petits fours, it really was time for bed.  We wished everyone goodnight, thanked our super waiters and made it upstairs in rather calmer seas than last night, thank goodness.

Tomorrow we’ll be in Townsville, but not until 11am, which means we’ll have a relaxed breakfast.  How can I even think of the next meal right now?  Heaven knows!!

A few hours in Townsville

What an evening!