Our Cruise Holiday Part Three: Entertainment Afloat

Introduction

In this post we’ll talk about some of the entertainment venues we visited on Ovation of the Seas.  We don’t tend to spend a lot of time in bars as we are not big drinkers nor did we want to go to all of the themed nights and entertainments but there were plenty of choices for those that did from game show type entertainments, to theatre performances, live bands and movies.

We did not take a lot of photos in the entertainment venues while performances were on but on our walks round the ship by day we were able to get a few so we can give you some idea how they look.

The Music Hall

The outside of The Music Hall.

Vanda

On our first night at sea Naomi and I were keen to find something to do after dark. The ship’s newsletter had a list of what entertainment was on and we were pleased to see that there was an INXS cover band playing in the Music Hall, a small theatre/dance venue, so we decided that we would go and see them.

The band was excellent, they really sounded like INXS and we enjoyed them. Naomi has a story about this band so I will leave her to tell it. During the course of the voyage there was also a Queen cover band and an Elton John show but we did not see either of these.

Naomi

While we were at the airport in Sydney getting our luggage Vanda met a friend of hers and they started chatting. I was watching all the other passengers as I usually do. I wonder where they are going or where they have been. I even make up stories about them in my head sometimes to pass the time away. Airports can be boring if you have a long wait for your flight. While we were at the Hobart airport I saw a married couple obviously going on holiday. The man had on one of the best Hawaiian shirts I have ever seen plus the straw hat etc. I half expected to see him turn up on the ship but he didn’t. Back to Sydney and I noticed some young guys collecting a large amount of luggage. I was sure they had musical instruments. I could see what looked like keyboards and guitars as well as sound equipment. One guy had long curly hair and sunglasses. He was standing back a bit and looked really cool. They must be a rock band I said to Vanda when she introduced her friend. Look at them I said they have got guitars and stuff. I wondered where they were heading and then said as a joke. Wouldn’t it be funny if they were on the ship? I didn’t expect they would be as you usually get some pretty ordinary entertainment and nothing like them. Well I was very surprised to see that we were going to have an INXS tribute band on board so I said let’s go see what they are like. We can leave if we don’t like them. We had to sit in the upstairs part as it was very crowded. We could not see the band from where we were on the second level. I said to Vanda I really have to go and see if it’s that band from the airport. I looked over the balcony and thought the singer looked like the cool guy at the airport but he was a bit far away to see properly. I said to Vanda “It looks like those guys but I am not 100% sure.” Well, half way through a song during the instrumental break up comes this guy and sits down at the table right next to us. He spoke to us too but I was too surprised to answer him. I got my answer though. It was the same band. Who would have thought and how cool was that. Sadly they got off at Darwin but they were really really good.

Casino

Casino, Ovation of the Seas
Looking down into the casino which had gaming machines, poker and blackjack I think.

Vanda

We also visited the Royal Casino which was on the same deck as the theatre. We do enjoy playing the “pokies” but we are sensible about it and always have a budget.  The ones on Royal Caribbean ships are different from the ones we play on at home. American style machines are harder to win on, you have fewer choices in how you play and of course they are in US currency so we had to be mindful of the exchange rate.  I did OK though. I had a few small wins, enough to keep playing for some time without going over my limit. Winning money is great of course but I don’t gamble expecting to win. I just enjoy setting off the feature on the machine to see what it does. For me what I spend is the price of entertainment the same as for a movie or some other event.

Naomi

I love casinos and having a bit of a gamble. I don’t go to the tables as I am not so good at cards so I stick to the slot machines. I love to play on the slots so I couldn’t wait to visit Ovation’s casino. It was nice and big and there were plenty of machines. I was pleased to find plenty of Aussie machines there as I prefer the pay lines on them to that of the American machines. I think the Aussie ones are easier to win on although I know everything is to chance here. I met some nice people while I was playing to chat with. One older gentleman had won over $500 bucks while I was chatting with him. I ended up losing but I won it all back later in Singapore at the casino there. That was way cool as I was able to blow it at the shops.

Theatre Royal

Theatre Royal, Ovation of the Seas 2018
The Theatre Royal is quite large but not easy to leave once a performance has started.

Vanda

This was the largest entertainment venue, a theatre that spanned two levels. It is used for both live performances and movies.

One night we decided to go and see “The Greatest Showman”, a film supposedly about P.T Barnum. We thought this might be OK as it was a period film but it turned out to be not our sort of thing at all. We probably should have realised that it was a musical. I don’t mind musicals but I felt that in this case the music swamped the story, what there was of it. I did not like the way the scenes jumped around and while I do accept artistic licence in a film I had been expecting it to be a biographical film and this was anything but. Both of us felt that the music and costumes were not appropriate to the era the film was set in. Had we been at home I would have googled the reviews of the film before we went and tried to watch a trailer. As it is we were trapped in a very crowded venue in the dark so we didn’t feel we could comfortably leave. We would have if we could have.

Theatre Royal Ovation of the Seas
I took this at the end of the Farewell Show when performers, officers and guest services staff assembled on stage.

Most of the movies being shown were fairly recent ones so I’m sure other people enjoyed them. I probably would have watched “The Darkest Hour” at home on TV but not on the pool deck, it didn’t seem quite the place to be watching a film about Dunkirk.

Naomi

If you are a fan of the PT Barnum picture or the music you will not like what I have to say about it. It had to be one of the worst pictures I have ever seen. I am not a fan of musicals and I would not have gone if I had realised that. While I had been taking some film of the ship I met two men who had told me they were going to go and see it. They thought it would be quite good. I suggested to Vanda that we go too. I couldn’t stand the music to be honest. Much too millennial for me. I soon recognised it as the awful music they played every single day in Windjammers. Why does everyone have to sound as if they were churned out of the Idol machine? They all have such dreadful whiney voices. The film was very obviously not shot on location either. The scenery was all very computerised looking. No one looked like they were really where they were. Last of all the fire scene and resulting injuries to the man who went back to save his girlfriend! How farfetched was that? They hardly had any burns and as for smoke inhalation? Give me a break! They could all still sing! The worst picture I have seen in a long time.

I did like the idea of the big screen outside and if you want a top spot to relax at night by the pool grab a deck chair lay back and enjoy a movie and a drink from the pool bar.

 

The big screen on the pool deck. You can also see the Sky Bar and North Star Photo by Naomi

270 Lounge

270 Lounge Photo by Naomi
270 Lounge Ovation of the Seas
Looking down from the library area into the 270 lounge which was used for talks, games and multi media presentations. Photo by Vanda

Vanda

This is a multipurpose room which we’ll talk more about later. We saw a show there called “Pixels” which was quite clever technically although dance is not really my thing. The show combined singers, dancers and aerialists against a background of computer graphics

Naomi

I did like this area. It was nicely decorated and very spacious. This is very good venue for all sorts of entertainment. I think they could have given up some space for the poor library. Maybe they could have had more books and games then. We had a lot of trouble finding a place where we could sit with a game or something. Vanda wanted to write and I wanted to draw and colour. I had to go to Windjammers to find a table where I could use my pencils or play a game of Scattergories. I was very thankful for Windjammers and the fact I had taken my own stuff for my entertainment. The ship does not supply much at all by the way of games, books or things like that. You really must take your own along. The 270 Lounge got used for quiz games, lectures and shows. I didn’t go to see much of it as it didn’t interest me very much. I am not into lectures or docos. I spent much of my time just enjoying the ocean. I will say that the entertainment areas were all nicely decorated, comfortable and easy to get around. There is also the robotic bar that I really loved. Two robots serve you your drinks. They looked a bit like funny animals and they were very clever. I enjoyed watching them. We’ll probably talk about them later but to me they were entertainment also.

A View of the 270 Lounge

 

Conclusion

So there are just a few things you can do on a cruise ship in the evening. In another post we’ll share photos of the bars including the Robot Bar which we both thought was a lot of fun .

Ten Favourite TV Shows

Just for fun today a list of some of my favourite TV shows. They are not in any particular order. These are all shows I’d happily sit down and watch again.

    • Star Trek – The original episodes look dated now but this is the show that began it all. My favourite episodes “Trouble with Tribbles” & “City on the Edge of Forever”
    • Doctor Who – Watched the first season from behind the couch as a small child, the Tom Baker years were my favourite until “new Who” began and I fell for David Tennant. My favourite original series episodes “Genesis of the Daleks”
    • The West Wing – I think Hubby and I have watched this series in its entirety about three times and we never get tired of it. Wonderful characters and great stories. Martin Sheen will always be the President to me now. Favourite episodes “The Crackpots and These Women” (1st Big Block of Cheese episode) “Isaac and Ishmael”. Really hard to pick a favourite here, I liked them all.
    • Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister – Yes Minister and it’s follow up Yes Prime Minister are also favourites of ours and I think Hubby has nearly worn the books out from reading them.  Nigel Hawthorne  was wonderful as Sir Humphrey doing Civil Service speak to Paul Eddington’s hapless MP Jim Hacker but I had a soft spot for Derek Fowlds as Bernard who had some funny lines. My favourite episodes “Party Games” & “The Key”
    • Hamish McBeth – I love shows with quirky locals and this one set in the Scottish Highlands had plenty of them. Good stories and it reminded me of visiting Scotland, one of my favourite places.
    • Northern Exposure – More quirky locals this time in Alaska. I didn’t see this series right through to the end but I enjoyed the first few seasons very much.
    • Sea Change – Another town full of quirky locals this time here in Australia, Sea Change was and still is one of my favourite shows. Some of Australia’s best known actors appeared in the series including Sigrid Thornton, John Howard (not the one who was PM), David Wenham, Tom Long, Kevin Harrington, Kerry Armstrong, Bill Hunter and my favourite, William McInnes. Favourite episode, again it’s hard to choose but probably “Checks and Balances” which featured Jim Keays and a story about a special guitar.
    • Kingswood Country – An Australian sitcom from the 1980s; the plot summary doesn’t make it sound very funny but it was although some of the jokes sound dated now. It might not be considered very PC but it was harmless and silly although the jokes probably wouldn’t make sense to anyone unfamiliar with Australia at that time.
    • The Gilmore Girls – This is another series I’ve watched from start to finish a couple of times. I liked the characters and the dialogue and yes, more quirky locals.
    • Gilligan’s Island – Most of the sitcoms from my childhood I can’t watch now as I find them annoying but I can never get tired of the seven stranded castaways. Even as a ten year old I knew the plots were silly but they were never meant to be taken seriously. The Howell’s huge pile of luggage and Ginger’s evening dresses were so silly they made us laugh and the characters were loveable. Even Mr Howell was really not so bad as he liked to pretend to be.

Full episode of Yes Minister- Party Games -1 hour

 

Why I Hate the WWE

The other day Hubby was watching WWE on television for a couple of hours. I had to leave the room, it annoys me even more than “Pawn Stars” and that’s saying something!

In the adjoining room I could still hear it and in my opinion being forced to listen the ranting of professional wrestlers is like living next door to a quarrelsome dysfunctional family.

I posted about how much this annoyed me on Facebook but I still felt irritated. I don’t wish to put down people who like watching WWE as apart from Hubby I have at least one friend who likes it  however, I feel the need to rant about what I don’t like about it.

First of all I don’t enjoy watching fighting. I don’t like boxing either; boxing is probably more dangerous than wrestling because the fighters really are trying to hurt each other. As far as I’m aware it’s not fake. Even as a child I remember that wrestling matches on TV had an element of comedy while boxing was deadly serious. However wrestling matches seem somehow dirty to me. I walked in yesterday to see one wrestler stomping on another’s head and kicking him when he was down on the ground. They grab each other’s hair. It’s ugly! I fail to understand how anyone can enjoy seeing that. If you saw it in a real fight you would say it was wrong. I know it’s not real but I don’t want to see it.

Second, these shows are scripted, there are relationships between the characters. These guys don’t just fight each other, they go on and on endlessly about why they are doing it.  Everyone has a grudge against someone else. It’s like a bad soap opera!  If they just came on, fought and left I could handle it a lot better. I think I find the talking more annoying  than the fighting. There is not one likeable character. In a TV series I need at least one person in the show I can feel sympathetic towards but I don’t feel anything for this bunch of ego maniacs. Yes, it’s acting and yes nice guys probably wouldn’t bring in as many viewers as mean ones. I’m just saying I don’t watch characters I don’t like, same reason I don’t watch Two and a Half Men.

Third, there appear to be no rules, or they operate on the “rules were made to be broken” theory. Yesterday’s episode ended up as what looked like a free for all. If there are rules in a sport I expect to see them adhered to even though certain cricket commentators who go on about the laws of cricket can be very irritating too.

Fourth, I find these men very unattractive. Grown men running around in budgie smugglers and not much more looks ridiculous even if they are very fit.

Some years ago Louis Theroux featured wrestling in one of his “Weird Weekends” documentaries. It was very interesting and I certainly don’t dispute the fact that these people train very hard and could be considered real athletes. It’s a commercial enterprise though, the top performers are very well known and they help the company sell a lot of merchandise while no doubt getting rich themselves. It is competitive but it is not a sport as far as I’m concerned.

These are my reasons for disliking  the WWE Universe. You may agree or you may not. I will continue to not watch it and I will continue to complain about it although not necessarily on this blog because it might start to sound like a broken record. At any rate my purpose in writing this was blow off some steam and I have. I feel better now. Thanks for reading.