As we push off from Bermuda to return to New York, and are therefore back in international waters, THE SCRAPBOOK can report on some (but not all!) of the activities that have transpired so far on this summer's WEEKLY STANDARD cruise.
In sum: The panels have been great, the dinners lively, the conversations interesting, the on-shore activities fun—and cruisers and TWS staff seem to be having an awfully good time.
Fred Barnes delivered a boffo talk and took questions for an hour yesterday, before his departure this afternoon for London, where he'll join Mitt Romney for the rest of his foreign trip, to Israel and Poland. Fred brings with him some "constructive criticism" for Mitt from Bill Kristol—which, needless to say, Fred has no intention at all of transmitting. But he will be reporting on Romney's trip in next week's magazine.
Claudia Anderson and her husband Bill are walking away with this year's Most Gracious Table Hosts award in a landslide; each night, as the dining room empties out, their table is still in the midst of lively and spirited discussion.
The younger staffers—Lee Smith, Jay Cost, Kelly Jane Torrance, and John McCormack—have been working hard, preparing a long report on the relative merits of Cafe Cairo and Flanagan's Irish Pub ashore in Hamilton, and of the Neptune Lounge, the Crow's Nest, and the Ocean Bar on board the ship. Meanwhile, Terry Eastland and Catherine Lowe have been dealing discretely and ably with the Bermudan and ship authorities so as to prevent media scandals or diplomatic incidents (enough said!).
Andy Ferguson, Richard Starr, John Podhoretz, Phil Terzian, and Byron York have starred on several panels. Brit Hume stole the show early in the week with his talk—and apparently has since been ripping up one of Bermuda's finest golf courses.
Bill Kristol was telling one and all that he was looking forward to patronizing a used book store at 34 Parliament Street, in Hamilton that he'd discovered online—only to discover that it seems to have been replaced by a hair salon. He nonetheless effusively praised the one real existing bookstore in Hamilton for its near-complete collection of the works of Lee Child. (May we say, under the protection of The Scrapbook's anonymity—get a life, Bill!).
Jonathan Last has patiently been waiting for the ship to leave port so the casino can reopen—but is lamenting to one and all the absence of a craps table (the Veendam is a somewhat smaller ship than we've been on for past cruises, which has its advantages, but also this one disadvantage). Well, blackjack it will be tonight for Jonathan, ably assisted by Steve Hayes.
And John McCormack and Lee Smith claim to have caught fish galore on an ocean fishing expedition yesterday—and have the photos to prove it.
Next cruise: December 9-16, in the Eastern Caribbean, departing from and returning to Ft. Lauderdale. Be there or be square!