Day 2 Sunday 15th September 2019: Atlantic Ocean
Overnight we had the occasional shake as Sapphire Princess hit swell. Our bed was at 90° to the travel of the ship and probably this contributed to why we were being disturbed as much at night.
The International Dining Room, at the stern, closed for breakfast at 9 am and we rushed to get there before then. There were two queues outside the restaurant; one for passengers who wanted to eat as a couple and a much shorter queue for others who are willing to share. We were there at 8:45 am and after a short wait we were placed on the table for four.
Our table companions well well travelled and we learnt more about crossing the Pacific on a cruise ship with Princess Cruises. I had a mushroom omelette with American bacon. The bacon was delayed so I added maple syrup much to the amusement of our server.
On deck in the morning
After 10 am we added extra layers of clothes and set off for our first walk around the Promenade Deck. Sapphire Princess has steps from Deck 7 to Deck 8 at the bow. This allows for views looking forwards. The downsides of this is the climb up the steps and the strong winds that seem to get trapped under the roof of Deck 8.
We walked from the steps past the stern and to the other side’s steps and then back again. We kept repeating until an hour or so had passed. Three circuits including the bow on Deck 8 is a mile. As we were missing out the bow we used our phones to measure just how far we had walked.
On one of our circuits we glimpsed porpoises behind the ship. Later on a later circuit we saw more singelton porpoises leaping out of the sea.
I was trying a different lens and found that I had difficulty keeping focus on the Pope voices. This was even more apparent as I tried to track and shoot images of seabirds around the ship.
Lunch and afternoon
After an hour of circuits we went to Alfredos in the Atrium for a pizza and salad (from the nearby International Café.)
I called at one of shops in the Atrium that sold watches and asked if I could have some help with the strap on my watch. It was explained to me that staff were not allowed to help passengers with their watches (not the experience that we have had on P&O in the past.) Instead I was offered a watchmaker’s screwdriver. This ‘help’ was unfortunate as the band’s screws were even smaller.
Back outside on the Deck 7 we did more circuits but this time there were no porpoises to see. As the temperature dropped we went back to our cabin and watched the rain drops on the ship’ web camera.
Club Fusion was again the venue for the late afternoon hors d’oeuvres. The venue was even busier than the previous evening. On the next table where a couple from Australia they had told Wales and England before joining Sapphire Princess.
The couple were from Melbourne and told us about cruising from Australia. All the ships that they had travelled on used Australian dollars even the US registered chips from Princess cruises. This shit being priced in US dollars they did find strange as it was sailing out of the UK.
They drove hundreds of kilometres around Australia as this was the norm rather than flying. Their roads were clearly a lot less congested and the ones we have in the UK.
We went down to dinner over an hour earlier. The queue outside the Savoy was much shorter and after I had declined to go to the back of the ship and eat in the International Restaurant we were given our first bleeper of the cruise. However, five minutes later it went off and we were soon on a table for six.
The conversation livened up when we started discussing Premier League football. Before that we had very patchy conversations about cruising and where everyone lived in England.
I started with beef satay that unfortunately was cold, jerk chicken with a mound of rice with some beans then pumpkin spice sponge for desert. Not a great meal. The wine we tried to order was not available when our server consulted her list of out of stock wines. Instead we had to settle for a $37 Malbec.
Susan Wilding in the Princess Theatre
By the time we arrived at the Princess Theatre seats were already at a premium. At 10:15 pm when the show started the theatre was full. The guest artist was Susan Wilding. Her background ranged from opera to jazz. After a vocal medley from the Sound of Music thankfully in the show improved!
The highlight for me was when she sang with a video of herself, singing in harmony performing a song from The Greatest Showman.
In our cabin, we found one of our excursions tickets with a letter explaining that the original one that was delivered on our first day had the wrong start time.
The clocks went back a second time. A good job as by the time we we are back at our cabin we were exhausted.
From the Cruise Log
At Sea — Sunday 15th September 2019
Overnight and throughout the day, Sapphire Princess continued along her Great Circle route towards Newfoundland, making a series of minor alterations of course to keep herself on track. At 6am. Sapphire Princess was steering due west along a charted course of 270°. By noon she was steering 268° and at 6pm she was steering 266°, curving her course more towards the west southwest along her track.
The clocks were once again set back one hour at 2am. At approximately 9am, Sapphire Princess reduced her speed from an average of 22 knots, or 25.3 mph, to 17.5 knots, which is 25.3 mph, in order to disengage her Gas Turbine, which had been running since her departure from Southampton. Sapphire Princess would remain running on her 4 diesel generators for the remainder of her Trans-Atlantic crossing.
The depth below the keel was approximately 3000-3500 metres, or 9800-11500 feet, as she passed over the Isengard Ridge throughout much of the day. Isengard Ridge marks the southern edge of the Rockall Plateau (a major deep water continental fragment formed between Greenland and Europe, lying west of the UK and Ireland) and is named after a feature of Middie-Earth in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fiction.
Noon Position: Latitude: 50° 08.0′ N • Longitude: 010° 34.1’W
Wind: Strong SWly breeze. Force 6
Sky: Partly cloudy (5/8 cloud cover)
Seas: Slight Seas + Short Low NWly swell
Pressure: 1024 hPa
Air Temperature: l6°C/61°F