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Yesterday evening was the Captain’s reception and the first formal night. The reception was the usual thing – we arrived at the Red Bar about 20 minutes or so early, found a couple of seats, and waited for a while. Then the waiters brought the drinks round, the cruise director (Leon de St. Croix) introduced the Captain and the senior officers, the Captain said a few words, and that was pretty much that. Oh, he did present the ’employee of the month’ award, to a cabin steward. Then we went into dinner.

We drank the first bottle from our wine package with dinner, the bottle of claret. This was pleasant – light-bodied, not too acidic or loaded with tanin. If I wanted to be critical I could say that perhaps not overwhelmingly claret-like, but then this was a mass-market non-vintage wine and not a classed-growth.

Now for a topic of interest to CC’ers: dress code observance. Last night almost all the men were wearing dinner jackets, there were very few even in business suits, and almost no-one not conforming. if I had to put figures on it, I would say 95% were in dinner suits or the equivalent (I saw one elderly gentleman in a kilt), and abut 99% in dinner suits or business suits.

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