TOKYO: “Cupid’s avocado” for dinner, heart-shaped messages for the crew, but also painful separation: for those trapped on board the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, Friday is no ordinary Valentine’s Day.
Wearing a red dress and a red hair tie, the ship’s entertainment manager Natalie posted a Valentine’s Day video on Twitter to try to keep spirits up.
“I just wanted to check in with everybody and say that we are all hanging in there, doing fine and keeping together as a big family,” she said, admitting with a smile: “This hasn’t been my regular attire for the last week or so.”
Passenger Matt Smith, 57, was marking Valentine’s Day on board with his wife of 21 years, Katherine Codekas, also 57 — and admitted this was not their first-choice location for the special day.
“After 21 years of marriage, we don’t make a big deal of it, but I usually get Katherine a card at least,” he told AFP from the ship.
“I think she was a little disappointed with our setting,” he added.
“Facebook reminded me this morning that three years ago we were in Las Vegas. Way to rub it in!” Passengers onboard were being offered a “Valentine’s Day” breakfast, Smith said.
“We were reminded what day it was by the delivery of what the crew member said was a ‘special’ breakfast,” he said.
“Not sure why hard-boiled eggs, sausage, and sauteed mushrooms are special.” The dinner menu, on the other hand, promises several special treats in honour of the day.
“Cupid’s Avocado and Shrimp salad” to start, followed by “Shrimp Valentine Japanese style with rice and vegetables.” The main course is the French classic Coq au Vin with mashed potato and vegetables, and a “Valentine’s Day surprise dessert of the day” is promised.
“Coq au Vin, yes please,” tweeted Yardley Wong, who has been posting her efforts to keep her young son entertained on the quarantined vessel.
“A special meal for Valentine’s Day, a reserved bottle of red,” she added, with her usual hashtag #hanginthereDiamondPrincess and a picture of a bottle of wine.