Saturday, May 14, 2011

Silver Spirit at Sea

Sea days stretch before us every other day on this segment of Silver Spirit’s World Cruise. The itinerary is perfect for relaxation between days touring ashore, but what is there to do on board? Actually, there’s a lot on tap—fitness classes and seminars, games and competitions, dance and language lessons, and my favorite, enrichment lectures.

When I saw the lecture title “Buckingham Palace”—a guided tour of the most famous address in the world, I expected insights into the palace and how its public rooms are used. Happily, journalist and author Brian Hoey offered that and so much more in his presentation. For instance, he shared that the Queen does not like to see men in formal wear with a clip-on bow tie. Gentlemen invited to a formal occasion at Buckingham Palace should learn to tie a bow tie properly.

Hoey has enjoyed many interactions with the British royal family over the years and was once invited to present one of his books to Her Majesty. Before entering her apartment he was instructed that he should give a little bow and take a seat when the Queen offered it. But how would he know when it was time to leave? Easy. The Queen would have her handbag on the arm of her chair and when she picked it up it was time to go.

If I should happen to get busy with some other activity and miss one of the lectures I’m interested in, they are taped and shown later on the television in our suites. I love the idea of being in “two places at once” and not missing anything.

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