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john watson

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  1. French bread was traditionally made in the long baton shape so the soldiers could secrete it within their uniforms and still march. This was at the suggestion of Napoleon. This does not in any way reflect badly on the French people. Napoleon just wanted his army to look smart. Napoleon was of course famous for being at the centre of chauvinism. The aforementioned bread is often cut at an angle to increase the size of each slice and offered in lieu of bread rolls on a table for two on a P&O cruise. Regards John
  2. I saw a system of "card counting" I think it was on YouTube where you score tens and non-tens. It was something like add 1 for a non-ten and subtract 1 or whatever for a ten. This gave an ongoing tally which indicated favourable or not favourable chance of the next dealt card being a ten depending on whether your tally figure was high or low and how extreme it is. I've used random numbers and assumptions on this for discussion purposes only. The fewer the decks used the better it is for counting players. The problem with card counting is the type of "Shoe" the dealer uses and how many decks are in it. You can find out by waiting and observing whether a manual shuffle takes place at any time. You can also ask how many decks are being used and they will normally tell you. The problem is if they are using an auto-shuffling shoe and feeding cards back in because the purpose of counting is to assess the residual deck and how many tens are in it. Regards John.
  3. There are two types of table, straight Blackjack and "Lucky Pairs" Blackjack or something similar. The second format is same as Blackjack but at the start you can side bet on whether your two first cards are a pair various odds for how similar the "pair" is (twp Queen of Hearts is 5000 to one as I recall) In this second format all the Kings have been removed from the cards used, reducing the odds of getting a "ten" next card. You place your ante bet (minimum stake varies some nights) then the dealer deals one card all round. You can see his card which may be strong or weak. If he has a six it is very weak whereas if you have an ace you are very strong. His six is weak because dealer must take cards until he has a minimum of seventeen. If he gets a ten to make 16 he must take an additional card. You can stick at any number even as low as twelve hoping he busts. You can double your stake and get only one further card. So if you have 6 + 5 i.e. eleven an up coming 10 will total 21. Any pair dealt to you can be split ideally two aces, not a good single hand will split into two separate hands of an ace. So you split the two aces bet the same again as your ante and have two hands with two chances of a Blackjack if ten/s come up. If you get a third ace you can split that and have three chances. If dealer has an ace he will offer "insurance" against him having a Blackjack. You can surrender at any time and get half money back. Well that's the friendly "Lucky Pairs" Blackjack version of the game. Dealer will advise on options at any time it's your turn. It is all filmed on CCTV, you never touch any cards and give hand signals scratching with one finger for another card or waving like a horizontal karate chop for sticking. The signalling is important for the CCTV. Dealers have no real pockets in their clothing and "wash their hands" sort of Jazz Hands to show CCTV they are not palming anything. Just ask "what are my options" if you get confused, dealer and players will give advice. Sitting position is a thing as the player to left of dealer gets dealt first so best not sit there to begin with. Watch an ongoing game for half an hour or more to get the idea. If you join a table with a few players you will have a longer session as it takes time for everybody to make their decisions. Limit your nightly expense, I do max £20 a night and next night do something other than casino unless I got an ongoing pot from last night. Walk away anytime saying "Cash Up Please" dealer will exchange your £1 or 50p chips for the relevant number of £25 Orianas plus the odd £1/50p chips. Take these to cashier for cash or keep for later night. Regards John Regards John
  4. The breaking of bread instead of cutting it is in the Christian tradition as Christ would have done it and followed by many Christians. Alternative ways of dealing with bread rolls will not indicate anything bad, just that people follow different rules and etiquette. Just because someone does something radically different does not make them bad people or not normal. Regards John
  5. Americans use the cutlery in a different way to Europeans. It does not mean in any way that they are wrong or it is an inferior system. In the Far-East chopsticks are the norm this again simply shows an alternative tradition. Regards John
  6. So Brian, presumably your mate only turns one of his trouser pockets inside out. Regards John
  7. No, it does not you need a proper divorce. Regards John
  8. Yes, this is crucial in terms of appropriate transport choice as is attempting to travel directly there to catch a flight as opposed to get to ones hotel. Regards John
  9. P&O tends to cater for British people from the United Kingdom, a bit like the shop on League of Gentlemen where they had a Local shop for local people. I have noticed on the American cruise lines which tend to be a tad more multi-national that they tend to separate US citizens from the Brits for dining purposes. Some of the major cultural differences can be seen at the dining table. Often US people tend to cut up the entire plate of food, set the knife down and eat the whole meal using fork alone obviously with one hand. Our holding both utensils using both hands for the entire meal is strange to them. I find people watching interesting and sharing a table with foreigners provides a lot of amusement. I was allocated a shared breakfast table on Princess recently and two Japanese couples were the only other diners. They talked a lot in Japanese and I decided in a lull to say something in English as I can talk slowly and clearly. One of the ladies could only just understand some of what I said, so it was a good gambit. Next day, got the same table with an English couple and one of the Japanese couples and no conversation going on. When I turned up the lady was delighted, she recognised me, confirmed this and we had a good conversation which I suspect she did not understand completely. Incidentally, Princess do a Japanese Breakfast Menu, it's the same stuff in Japanese! Regards John
  10. It's not just breaking your bread roll instead of knifing it that might cause problems. We had a table of eight but two were from USA. They did not realise the tradition that your bread plate is situated to the left. I do not mind where you have your bread plate and if you wish to move it that is fine, same as left handed knife users. Problem is that people start using their neighbours plate and that person has no plate. After civilised discussion and explanation the first night where six people agreed it transpired that the couple left our table for the duration. It appears some people are more flaky than your bread roll Andy. Regards John
  11. Looking at the brochure all these suites have wraparound balconies. F731 is the only on situated on the starboard side. Depends on the itinerary which way they face but generally it evens out except for long straight tracks. The suites on F deck appear to have bigger balconies. Regards John
  12. Sometimes you do not have to ask people to know how many cruises they have been on. A couple of years back at Muster Drill in the theatre on Britannia I noticed a couple next to me who were sitting there with the life jackets, warm clothing and hats, listening attentively. So I thought, here goes I'll ask "Have you brought your medication with you?" Apparently they had not and could not give a satisfactory answer to "What are you going to do when they check?" Regards John
  13. You need to find a vacant machine to use. Most people use the launderette on their deck but this is not compulsory you may look on other decks too. You set the machine and can leave it running on a wash. The driers are the same too, however sometimes naughty people take your stuff out and put theirs in. If the cycle has finished it is not unreasonable for them to remove your load carefully and load theirs. You can estimate time and come back or stay for the duration if you prefer. Realistically when you consider the daily cruise fare sitting waiting is expensive risk is someone might steal your stuff. I should consider hand washing small items in cabin and sending shirts, dresses etc. off to the paid laundry service if fabric is not delicate. Regards John
  14. In the past cruise lines did not use landfill, it was not their first choice disposal system. Regards John
  15. Totally agree with this. Blackjack is a much easier to understand game than many and while you sit playing there are a few fellow players to chat with who are not your opponents. I tend to limit the spend by predetermining which nights to play and how much cash to use on chips. Regards John
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