Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cruising to South America, Part 3. On the ocean

Our first morning on the Atlantic Ocean.  As we plowed thru nearly flat seas toward our destination the ship settles into a routine.  It took me days to find a routine that worked for me.  I wanted to sleep late but it was too warm.  Getting up early seemed ridiculous when you're confined to a ship but after a couple days that's exactly how it was.  Up around 7 and spend the day being really busy with shipboard things.

Passing Cuba.  We stayed well offshore but you can't help but wonder how differently things would be if this island country was open for American tourists.  I understand that there are miles and miles of untouched white sand beaches.

 Morning on Deck 11.  There's a nice little grill open on the pool deck which serves coffee, fruit smoothies and bakery treats.  After coffee I walked the track on Deck 12 for exercise until my left knee started aching.

 The pool deck is a great place to spend the day if you can sit still that long.  Between the pool and hot-tubs, a full bar and grill you don't need to move from that deck for hours.  Lunch is varied, from hamburgers and hot-dogs to shrimp curry and salads with ice cream for dessert.  I wish I could say that I spent hours here but I didn't.  There was too much to do and not enough hours in the day to do it.
 Every day a band provided live entertainment at the pool during lunch.

Linda having lunch by the pool.

 The ship provides all sort of education seminars and events while on the water.  In many ways it is a floating classroom.  Between the people you meet from all over the world, the diverse international crew and the seminars offered a person can spend the entire trip learning.

One of the first things on this trip was a wine tasting event, where you got to sample 4 different wines and learn how to sample and analyze each one.  You need a notebook to keep track of the hints.  It was great fun.
Linda at the wine sampling event.

One of the great things about owning a camera is all the diverse things you can do with it.  Like spending time organizing a table top for a photo. The crew of the ship really got used to seeing me with a camera all over the ship, posing things, moving things, arguing with myself over the light, etc.  This photo is from the wine sampling event.
One of the centerpieces at the wine sampling event.

 The ship had lots of ways to get around, deck to deck.  From stairways to elevators, going up and down could also reveal some beautiful and interesting photo moments.  One of the coolest thing on the ship were the staircases.  Teak and chrome; all reflecting lights in spotless glass.  I kept stopping and pointing a camera at them, puzzling the people I was with.

     There was an art auction on board.  While I wasn't impressed with the art, the display and location for it was pretty awesome.  I wandered through it all and didn't see anything I couldn't live without.

One of the many bands in the Horizon Lounge.  Here you could dance until midnight every night.

Joe, one of the dance instructors on the ship.  He was a constant dance partner as I was alone.  He was a really cool guy.  Teaching dancing on a cruise ship is his second career after retiring.

Several shows happened on the ship, from dancing to Broadway, comedy to puppets.  At each port a local act would come on board and perform while we were in port. 

There was a meet and greet with the crew and the Captain's executive staff.  This happened right after the cruise ship in Italy hit the rocks and partially sank.  Our Captain (Captain Stan) promised he wouldn't hit any rocks while we were on this cruise.

He was French and I loved his accent.  With the crew being international and English being the 2nd or 3rd language for many I felt so inadequate.  Americans have no clue how poorly our lack of mufti-language skills is received.

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