This weeks Cruise Blog is by our guest blogger Dave Warne. Dave is the Commercial Director for WEXAS, our parent company, and this was his first cruise experience. Join him onboard Orion Expedition Cruises Orion II on his recent trip and discover the amazing ports of call
Day 9 - At sea
I wasn't really looking forward to the relatively long passage at sea between Makassar and Bali - around 36 hours - but I needn't have worried. Not only is the sea calm and weather beautiful but there is a varied lecture programme onboard Orion II between meals.
We attend 2 of the 3 lectures on offer; an introduction to Bali's fascinating culture and modern Indonesian politics. The second of these is an insight into the complex politics and the challenges faced by the world's 4th largest country. What might seem a rather dry subject turns out to be fascinating; the audience is clearly engaged and the large number of questions means that the lecture runs well beyond its scheduled finish.
At this point it is worth a comment on the quality of guest lecturers and speakers who appear throughout the cruise. Of particular note are historians Michael and Kim Saunders, who not only present a range of excellent and informative lectures on Indonesia, but also accompany us throughout our travels in Sulawesi, supplementing the information provided by our (also excellent) local guides.
I manage to find time to spend a couple of hours on the spacious sun deck reading and enjoying the jacuzzi. Somewhat to my surprise I am the only person there for most of the afternoon.
The pre-dinner slot is reserved for a briefing on the disembarkation details for the next day. We are also given a first viewing of the DVD that is given to all customers as a record of their voyage - a nice touch. At this point there is also an announcement that due to the delayed departure from Tawau and missed excursions early in the trip, Orion would be offering either a pro-rata refund or a discount off any future Orion cruise - which is greeted by murmurs of approval all round.
Our final evening meal follows the 4-course formula that we have enjoyed on most evenings. A perfectly cooked fillet steak rounds off what has been a culinary adventure to equal our off-ship experiences. The after dinner entertainment, for us at least, is limited to trying to squeeze everything back into our suitcases, ready for our arrival in Bali in the morning.