Day 83

This is the second of three sea days, so expect most of the same type of activities. With more time for breakfast, Pat had informed Lorenzo, the maître ‘d, yesterday that she would like whipped cream for breakfast with her waffles. She prepared a plate of sliced fruit while waiting for the waffles and he delivered a whole bowl of whipped cream. It was a long breakfast but she finished the whole thing. Then, we raced downstairs for our Easter service, led by Jamie, our cruise director. There were several hundred people in attendance today in the Seven Seas lounge. A 15 person volunteer choir had been practicing for the past 2 weeks and did a great job on an Easter call to worship. There were responsive readings and a thought provoking sermon by Jamie. It was not as wonderful as being at home, but it was the next best thing.

Terry, our 10 AM speaker, was continuing with yesterday’s story, “Zulu Wars – Part II.” Lord Chelmsford lost many troops and was being recalled to England, but before his replacement would arrive he planned a second attempt to clear his name and teach the natives a lesson. He was going to march to the Zulu main location, Ulandi, with 5,317 troops, artillery, and Gatling guns arranged in the form of a square with equal strength on all sides. He reached his goal and achieved a one-sided victory. The Zulu lost 3,000 warriors and the other 17,000 scattered into the plains. Their villages were burned to the ground. The British lost only 10 men and 87 wounded. He continued his pursuit for the King Cetshwayo for weeks before capturing him and returning to Cape Town. Chelmsford’s replacement, Wolseley, established 13 Zulu kingdoms, with 13 Kings, but that idea failed within 2 years because of tribal infighting. During this time, Cetshwayo requested a meeting with Queen Victoria and surprisingly, she invited him for tea, meeting with him at the Osborne House on the Isle of Wright. He convinced the Queen that only he could restore peace among his people. She agreed and gave him a parting gift, an inscribed silver love cup. Back home, the 13 kings did not like the idea of his return. There were bad feelings for a long time, but on 2-8-1884, Cetshwayo was found dead. No cause was officially determined. The British did not want to create trouble, so they declared it was a natural death. The Zulu territory became a Protectorate in 1887 and later annexed to the Natal Colony in 1897. The final toll for this conflict was 9,000 Zulu killed and 1,530 British troops. Lord Chelmsford was made a general in 1888 and died in 1905 during a game of billiards.

Mike Scott spoke on our second South African stop, Durban, which has a pleasant urban waterfront, called the Golden Mile. He showed slides of many town center sites on the tours, especially the Ushaka Marine World, an aquarium and water theme park. There are churches, mosques, Indian Markets, and a great Botanical Garden. He showed us sites on the out of town tours, including our scheduled safari on a game reserve and the range of animals that could be seen. We will report on that from our own trip in a few days.

The noontime games were fun for our group of Lisa and Morrey, Twila and Bob, and us. We played 31 and Pat came in first for 3 Regent points. Bob, Art, and I went off to ping-pong and expended some energy. I did OK. After lunch, I left for the slots tournament and came up empty. I decided to join Pat at her card craft and we both made a card featuring a picture of our ship and 12 miniature pictures of highlights from our ports.

We had to excuse ourselves from trivia today because we were invited for a 4:30 galley tour. Executive chef Michael led us through the food preparation areas and explained what staff did in each section. They all work very hard preparing our meals. Everything is made fresh daily- ice cream, breads, desserts and, of course, individual meals. He is looking forward to buying more fresh produce, fish, and meats when we arrive in Richards Bay on Tuesday.

Before dinner, there was a procession of home-made Easter bonnets that about a dozen women made by hand from craft materials. They were all very creative. Most took many hours to construct, and the girls modelled them on stage. This was followed by a pre-dinner show by Jean Marie, one of the world cruisers. She had a spectacular voice and sang Broadway tunes and other well-known songs for about a half hour. This was a special treat.

We had a nice ham dinner tonight in the main dining room. This was a special Easter entrée because we have not seen it on the menu so far.

Headliner Showtime tonight starred the Graffiti Classics, a 4 person group of two women and men, who played classical violin, viola and cello. They mixed their music with comedy to make a very entertaining and funny show.

Yours in travel,

Pat & Mac