Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day 53: Red for Luck

Well, it turns out that we weren't quite the wusses we had thought we were yesterday when we decided not to go ashore. The captain came on the loudspeaker as we left port early last night to tell us that the team on the bridge had to work harder to keep the ship steady while at port than he could recall. For the first time in seven years, he said, they had had to drop a second anchor. Apparently we're dealing with a couple of days of gale-force winds, and he has just come on tonight to tell us they are going to take a different course on our way to Bodrum Turkey in an effort to stay clear of the rough seas. The good news for me is that I have something other than last night's drinks to blame for how out-of-sorts I've felt today.

I got quite lucky last night. First, we had a fantastic dinner at the steakhouse on board. LK thought a bottle of barolo would be perfect with our veal chops, but there was none on the wine list. We asked the sommelier and she managed to produce one jiffy quick. It was very nice - and to my relief, it wasn't even all that pricey when we got the wine bill at the end of the meal.

We had a nice chat with the sommelier and have ended up signed up for a wine-and-food pairing she is doing in a couple of nights. That should be fun. Linda even got to tell her that she was a very popular celebrity on Cruise Critic, with lots of people singing her praises online. She seemed very surprised and obviously happy to learn it. I told her I'd bet anything that the powers-that-be in the cruise line probably got briefed on all that Internet commentary,and was surprised they didn't share it with her. I asked if she they might not share this stuff for fear she might want to bargain harder next contract. The look on her face made me think I may have hit the mark.

The restaurant was on Deck 10, our room is on 8. Yet miraculously we ended up at the casino again, which is on Deck 5. I think it was because I didn't want my friends John the Casino Manager and Jinn the Dealer to be jealous because I had made a new friend in the restaurant.

Anyhow, I got very lucky, Not so much playing cards, although I did come out a little ahead there.

But the casino was having a lucky draw last night, and I had a couple of tickets, plus a few LK had collected. First they drew a number, and the person wasn't there. Second number drawn, and I looked at my tickets. Unfortunately, my arm wasn't long enough to read the numbers, but it kind of looked like I had the winner. Just couldn't tell if a 3 from an 8 or a 1 from a 7. I had to ask Jinn, the blackjack dealer, to read it for me. It was worth the embarrassment, because it was the right ticket.

But that didn't guarantee any cash. I then had to pick red or black and hope the roulette wheel would spin me a win. I dealt with that pressure the way I learned in business. I delegated, and asked Jinn to choose for me. Her pick was easy - red is the lucky color in China. Red, I said, and they spun the wheel.

They were taking pictures and video, obviously hoping for some "See how exciting our casino is!" footage. Only, I am from Vermont and the only way you could tell if I was excited would be if I tapped my foot very fast. The guy with the microphone even got a laugh from the room by noting that he seemed more excited than I was. It's pretty obvious I will never get called to the stage for The Price Is Right.

In the end, I gave him a break. When I won the $500, I smiled and gave him a thumbs-up.

Bodrum tomorrow.

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