On June 23 I was invited to attend the Google Next Event, as a customer of Google and a potential partner. It was quite a shock comparing the overall tone and spirit to the same event in New York, last year. In New York everything was oriented toward networking, and you had the feeling that anyone could be anyone, and it didn`t matter if they represented a large company or a “start-up wannabe”.
Saturday, May 2, was our last day at sea. We got up late, but still on time to have breakfast at the Britannia restaurant. At 10 am we attended a very interesting lecture by Aldon Ferguson on Covert Operations in the Cold War. After yet another time change, we had lunch followed by an unexpected nap. We graciously avoided the Guest Talent Show, and went to the Library instead, to catch up on some work and return the books we had checked out.
On Friday, May 1, our bodies finally caught up with all the pre-cruise accumulated stress, by sleeping until 1pm, taking into account the time change. So we headed straight to lunch (“would you like some coffee with your steak and kidney pie, dear?”), followed by a very nice walk around the deck. After the afternoon tea we worked with our laptops in the Library. My wife decided to go back to the room early, so she could get ready for the formal dinner and Masquerade Ball, while sipping rosé champagne.
On Thursday, April 30, we made a resolution to get up early (7am is early even if you are not on a Transatlantic crossing!) so we could have breakfast at 8am and join the fencing class at 9am. There is something wonderfully stylish and timeless about fencing in the ballroom of Cunard’s Queen Victoria. After the fencing class we went back to the stateroom to shower, and then straight to a Galley Tour, where we inspected the cooking areas.
On Wednesday, April 29, as the Commodore announced we were right “in the middle of our crossing,” we woke up really late. You realize how late when the steward greets you “good afternoon,” and you go straight to lunch (right after my wife’s immigration procedure). It was surprising, at least to me, that although we were half an hour late for that scheduled process, 80 people were still to show up, most of the from the USA.
On Tuesday, April 28, we finally woke up early enough to enjoy a full service breakfast at the Britannia restaurant and attend the morning lecture “Meteors, Meteorites and Comets”, by Howard L.G. Parkin. While the Royal Court Theater was fairly full, by the time his lecture was over, it completely filled out for the next lecture: “Survival in Solitude”, where Terry Waite told us how, while working as negotiator for the Archbishop of Canterbury, he was taken hostage in Beirut and survived for 5 years, 4 of which he spent in solitary confinement, enduring torture and a mock execution.
On Monday, April 27, we woke up quite late again, so we had breakfast at the Lido restaurant, and went straight to the Royal Court Theater to listen to the lecture by Howard L. G. Parkin “The Constellations – Myth, Legend And Mystery”, right after which we attender another lecture, this time by Simon Dinsdale, in which he shared some of his experiences as a Royal Family bodyguard. After a light lunch, we went to the library.
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