• Upcoming trips

    Feb 3 - Feb 13 Caribbean cruise May 1 to May 14 London vacation. (Hotels and details later). Hope to see you all then.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    December 7. Went to the Met to see the abridged version of “The Magic Flute”. We have seen this production before and still the charm of the great puppet characters keeps the children in awe and their parents happy with their parenting. An amusing interlude.

    December 9. Saw the Manhattan School of Music’s production of “Cendrillon” by Nicolo Isouard at the Florence Gould Hall. The MSM is having both its concert halls renovated and is using outside premises like the Alliance Francaise’s hall. The School and its talented young students put everything they have into this production; Scenery, lighting, costumes and acting was superb. As was the directing and conducting. Refreshing also, was that the cast was of the age to be convincing in their parts.

    December 10. The first of the “Peoples Symphony Concerts” this season (Their 118th year!). “The Variation String Trio” did the honours accompanied by guest pianist: Orion Weiss. Their programme included a new work by Nina Young (b.1984) Very interesting, but not, I think, a world-beater.

    December 31 Went to the Kaye theatre at Hunter College  to see the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players’ production of “H.M.S. Pinafore”. Cast and orchestra captured the high spirits of the musical romp and the sets were surprisingly professional. Reminded me of the old Sadlers’ Wells days,

    January 2, 2018. Saw the Met’s “The Merry Widow”. During the first act, the acoustics left a lot to be desired and words were difficult to hear, even in English. But all went well in the second and third acts; the Russian style dancing was rousing and the sets were spectacular. There are usually only six ‘Grisettes’ (Can-can girls) on a regular stage, but the Met’s vast space seemed to be full of them; three, even, descending from the top of the proscenium arch! All with their frilly knickers a-shaking

     

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“Epic” journey

We were disappointed with the much-hyped Epic. Built like an outsize container ship it is designed for maximum people-carrying. There is little  spectacular decor.  There is no  atrium  rising  with elevators to the top deck, for example. The capacity of the  theatre  is less than a sixth of 4,300 or so passengers the ship can carry, instead of the usual half.

 The ship was clearly not ready to take on passengers. TV’s, telephones and toilets worked spasmodically and the ship’s building contractors were still aboard coping with faulty sprinklers and a host of other technical hitches. Bad luck played a part: because of some hitch at the terminal, we spent two hours waiting in the ‘Express’ lane to disembark!  The ship’s crew did their very best to cope with all the complaints and still keep smiling faces. Full marks to them!

Our biggest disappointment was the abrupt change in demographic focus aboard the Epic. There are six 10-pin bowling lanes, a full size basketball court, climbing walls, a massive water chute complex and bungie jumping for the young family groups and couples. But gone are the library, reading rooms and game-playing rooms. There are no quiet places to sit and read. There are no adult lectures or art classes to attend.

For us, the entertainment was a disaster. There is now an ‘Entertainment Box Office’ where tickets are issued for both the free and extra-payment shows. Because of the small capacity of the entertainment rooms, there are long lines to first, get the tickets and then, more long lines to get the best seats. We refused to pay extra. We saw two glitzy shows in the main theatre but, by far, the best entertainment we enjoyed was provided by the resident magician/comedian. He could have easily filled the main theatre several times over, but he was restricted to a corner of one of the bar rooms with little head space for him to work in and, without raking, it was difficult to see around the heads in front of you. Another innovation which didn’t seem to work was the introduction of a dance band  into the main dining room at 9.00 pm, after most people had eaten and left. A kind of ‘Dinner/Dance’.  We saw one or two  brave couples doing a shuffle but the majority of the diners finished their meals and went.

Drivers on the bridge

Bridge equipment

Keeping the log

The Captain's Table. (not for dining)

Alexandra our friend and server. We have met before on other ships of the fleet

Dance in front of the huge screen-saver

Overhead view of a bar

Pub decoration

Magician supreme!

. . . . and there it is. Gone!

Stage lights

Talented performers and loud, loud music

Ethel inspecting one of the ship's kitchens

Soup chef

Explanation of the high-tech theatre equipment

Alexandra served us at "Le Bistro", one of the speciality restaurants.

Fancy chandelier

Happy guest

Dining down under

Screen-saver slide show

Dinner companion - Fred

Dinner companion, Ed Hanin.

Chute!

More chute

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3 Responses

  1. Fabulous photos.

    Sandy

  2. Thanks for the pictures. Garish and glarish and looks like LOUD!

  3. Sandy, John and Ann. Thanks. I would like to have included a picture of the massive ship, but neither in Southampton or New York was I able to get far enough away to get more than a portion of it in the frame.

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