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mimmy52

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About mimmy52

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    St. Louis, MO

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  1. Now I am in stitches. So Aprille and Marty are still youngsters. Thank you, Aprille, and I'm pleased you'll be contributing too.
  2. I hope you will continue to be wordy. I don’t want to miss out on anything. I’m thoroughly enjoying your report and love your sense of humor. If I’m not being too nosy, can you share Aprille’s age? Or about what is is?
  3. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your cruise. What a wonderful daughter and son-in-law you have!
  4. We had talked about how exciting it must be to sail on a ship with tall sails.
  5. I had lunch in the buffet, then ran into Bro and Sil. Sil suggested it was Mimosa time and that sounded good. We got our Mimosas from the Wave Bar but then music started. Nothing against music, but Bro and I both have hearing aids and talking over loud music doesn't work for us so we moved right inside to a corner of the Garden Cafe. And since we were near the buffet area, I looked over the desserts and chose a no sugar added chocolate pudding. Didn't look like any pudding I was used to but it was very tasty. And then I went back for olives because I love olives. Took a short nap after that, then went up on deck. Saw this little boat go by that seemed to be kind of a party boat. At any rate, the passengers were loud and seemed to be having a great time. The Logos Hope was their destination. I didn't see exactly how they got on, but they transferred right from the water. All aboard time today was 4:30. After 4:30 I started hearing announcements requesting four people, called by name, to check in with guest services. We left over 30 minutes late. Every evening when I'm leaving my cabin to meet up with The Four for pre-dinner drinks, I cross over the studio lounge. There always seems to be a good sized group getting together for dinner. I took a picture of the bulletin board for today. Ever since I got on the ship, I've been struck by the symbol for the public restrooms. Hands on hips makes the character seem angry. There are times when a line to the ladies room makes me feel like standing with hands on hips, but there's never a line on the ship. We met in Maltings for a pre-dinner drink, then went to Taste. The service tonight was so poor we wondered if everyone was new that night. It took forever to get our wine and my pre-dinner drink had been a Diet Pepsi, so I was impatient. The food, when it arrived, was good. I had creamy spinach soup for my appetizer. Linguine with Little Neck Clams for the entree. It was delicious, but even so I have to say MSC has it all over NCL when it comes to preparing seafood (and pizza and French fries too). For dessert, milk chocolate mousse. Oh, yummy, yum, yum We went from the restaurant to the Comedy Club to see Howl at the Moon. I carried out my second glass of wine to take with me and the reservation person stopped me. She poured my wine into a different glass, then handed me the empty one. We laughed, and I called her tricky. There were three performers at Howl at the Moon so two were able to continuously perform. They were very talented and interacted with the audience. I sat with Sis and Bil near the back in the high chairs that had tables. Bro had made a song request and tipped a million dollar bill which they found funny. When Sis and Bil left, I moved up with Bro and Sil in the regular chairs and they'd managed to find seats with a little side table. A man from the audience was called up a couple of times to perform on his harmonica. He did a good job. Sometimes one of the performers would play the drums. Shortly before I left an entertainer from Burn the Floor came in and played the guitar. It was a fun evening, but I didn't last any later than 11:30, then it was my bed time.
  6. I was on my tour solo today because when I went to make my excursion reservations a month or so prior to the cruise, the excursions The Four had chosen were sold out. Sis and Bil were spending the day at Copacabana Beach but I'm not much of a beach person anyway and Bro and Sil were going to Harrison's Cave. Both excursions were available once I was on board, but I would have had a whole set of rearranging to do by then since I'd signed up for the tour of Hato Cave in Curacao. Anyway, we had now arrived at the submarine. The tour description had talked about being seated in spacious, air-conditioned comfort, so I thought perhaps the bench indentations were a bit bigger. That was silly thinking of course. They were the same as the other submarine, so we were packed in tightly again. The water was murkier than in Aruba. I don't know if that is always the case or if there were causes that made it that way for today. I still saw fish, especially schools of fish, but the coral wasn't as well defined. The pictures aren't great (understatement) but I'm sharing some anyway. We went down to 147 feet although for such a short while I missed getting a picture. The guide and the sub captain were bantering during the tour. It was supposed to be funny but it wasn't working very well. Or maybe my sense of humor has been short circuited. There was a sunken ship here too. We were down about 45 minutes to an hour before we surfaced. On the way back, we were all offered a glass of rum punch. If we'd been offered that before going into the submarine, I might have found the banter to be clever. Or I might have fallen down the ladder. Once we were back in the office we were given a certificate certifying we'd completed a voyage beneath the Caribbean waters and bestowing the title "Atlantis Submariner." So now I have two certificates. If you're thinking about taking a submarine voyage, I highly recommend it. Both were very much fun and very interesting. I'd choose Aruba over Barbados though, even with the rum punch. We were dropped off back at the terminal building.
  7. Saturday, February 1, Bridgetown, Barbados I woke up way too early this morning, couldn't get back to sleep, so decided it was time for breakfast. No trouble with buffet lines this early. The Epic was arriving in Barbados around 8:00 and I was on deck 16 to take pictures. There goes the pilot boat. The P&O Britannia is in port and the Logos Hope is next to it And the Seabourn Odyssey is also in port The Star Clipper A picture of the Star Clipper taken a little later Yes, we are docked in Bridgetown. A tip from the Freestyle Daily reminds us that wearing all types of camouflage apparel is illegal on the island. I had signed up for the "Best of Barbados" excursion, but changed it because I was tired of long rides on buses. I couldn't decide what else I wanted to do and finally decided since I'd enjoyed the Atlantis Submarine so much in Aruba, I would do it again in Barbados. Meeting place was on the pier through the terminal building and the excursion ticket said to allow 30 minutes to reach the terminal building, so I left in plenty of time. If you didn't want to walk to the terminal building (and it seemed that most didn't), there were shuttles available. Some shuttles were regular buses but the little trains were the fun ones. Passengers were disembarking from the Seabourn Odyssey I spent some time looking through the shops Went to the meeting place early following the red dots on the floor. These people were in line for a long time. Apparently something had happened to their transportation and they were late leaving because they didn't get on their bus until I was on mine. I'd been sitting on a bench, having checked in with the Atlantis people and been given my boarding pass, when the woman next to me jumped up and hurried away. I followed. I hadn't heard our tour being called but there was a van waiting. It only took half our group, though, and I had to wait for the next van which took about another ten minutes. Traffic was horrible just trying to get out of the parking area. Our driver is trying to get into that long line of vans and buses as is the white bus with the phone number on it. People on that bus were the ones who had been waiting in line so long. Once we managed to get into the flow of traffic, it was stop and go until getting out of the port. After that it was just a short ride to the Atlantis office where we each had to sign our name in a book. Once that was taken care of, we headed to the boat that would take us to the submarine.
  8. We had a kind of Meet & Greet that I talk about in post #17. Basically a flop due to miscommunication so no officers attended, at least not while I was there. We didn't get around much to the various music venues. We saw the Beatles in the Epic Theater. Saw the Priscilla production which was great, enjoyed Howl at the Moon in the Comedy Club. We only ate in Manhattan once and there was no music then although there might have been later. Entertainers from Burn the Floor performed in there a couple of nights, but we didn't get to see them. We pretty much stuck together at all the venues. The only waiter I would highly recommend is Akita Thomas who started out in Taste and was moved to O'Sheehan's so I have no idea if she'll be around in April or if she is, where she'll be. I hope you have a great TA and that you have some time in Barcelona. I love Barcelona. It's so different and quirky.
  9. Our last stop was at the sand portion of our Green to Sand excursion. We were taken to a golden sand beach at the Pigeon Island National Landmark for 90 minutes of relaxation. Our guide had bottles of water for us that were greatly appreciated. Someone said that at the entrance to the park you could buy beer, soda, and very basic snacks but water was enough for me. I guess this was one of the island's pigeons Our beach was secluded from the bigger beach that was across a spit of land The sun was starting its descent as we were there When time was up, we walked back to the bus, passing the entrance Once we were back in Castries, traffic was just as bad as it had been when we were leaving. Plus it was now dark. We got back about 6:30. As usual, we had dinner at Taste, but just for three of us. Sis and Bil had reservations at Moderno. They were afraid they'd missed it since we had just arrived back at their reservation time, but they were told it was okay. I always find it interesting to see how the food matches up to its description. I decided for my appetizer to try Grilled watermelon "steak" salad with arugula, bibb lettuce, toasted almonds, Balsamic reduction. For my entree I had the classic Fettucini Alfredo with mushrooms. Pretty good. Chocolate ice cream for dessert, so no picture. In the theater tonight the "Epic Beatles" were playing music through the years. They did not look anything like the Beatles but their sound was good. I couldn't even tell who was supposed to be who until "John" introduced them. We were allowed to take photos of their last set when the guy who was John looked a lot more like John once he had the clothes, the glasses, and the hair. So people decided to use their cell phones as points of lights. Made me laugh.
  10. January 31, Castries, St. Lucia, cont. Our tour guide was giving us a lot of information, but her accent was so strong it was work for me to try to understand anything, so I just gave up and enjoyed the scenery. Our first stop was described in the excursion information as "...historic Morne Fortune, home to St. Lucia's Governor General and the highest point in Castries. Pay a visit to the many vendors..." We came to a viewing area, that's true. The "many vendors" were in this building Every tour bus was stopping here and it wasn't a large area. It was a great view overlooking Castries though. We could see the Epic and the Disney Wonder in the distance. Bro caught them with his zoom lens If we passed the Governor General's house, I either didn't see it or didn't understand what was said about it. There is a dirty toilet here but you won't get another chance to use a bathroom until much later in the tour. One of the ladies had interesting footwear. When you can't decide if you want boots or heels, you choose a pair that's a combination. Then back on the bus. It was not easy getting in and out of the front seat. I had to climb over a kind of console in the middle of the two seats and step down. We continued on A shy egret We did see a lot of greenery, lush vegetation as the tour description called it. On the northern end of the island we came to a viewpoint on the Cap Estate. The views were spectacular. What is it that compels people to put their mark on nature?
  11. Despite the captain's announcement that we would be arriving 30 minutes late, we were pulling into St. Lucia around 1:00. All five of us had booked the same excursion today, "North Tour--Green to Sand." The cruise director had announced that we would meet in the theater at the original time on our ticket. We complied. It seemed that every tour was meeting in the theater and all at the same time. They started calling tours and we waited. The theater started emptying out. We were the last tour called. Then we lined up on the pier before walking to a shopping/eating area where we stood in the sun. Maybe sitting down with a drink would be a better thing to do. It certainly seemed more inviting. We finally moved to the parking lot After another little wait, we were able to board our bus. It had been an hour and 15 minutes since we had arrived in the theater. I had the seat next to the driver, but it wasn't an easy seat to get into. There were a couple of obstacles I had to climb over. I had a great view, though, and thought maybe I'd get some nice pictures. It took me a while to realize that the pictures I was taking had license stickers as a feature. We could see the Disney Wonder docked at a different pier. Traffic was a nightmare. We were moving very slowly. We passed a local market place. Our first stop was supposed to be the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. I don't know if was because we were running late or because the traffic was so terrible or maybe there was no available parking, but we didn't stop. We drove past. Pictures on the internet show a very different and unusual interior than other churches I have visited, so that was a disappointment. After a couple of turns and still in traffic, we were stopped near a Calabash tree that our guide said was the national tree of St. Lucia. I was on the wrong side of the bus for picture taking so again I'll use one of Bro's. Then we were finally out of the city. Our guide said the official language of St. Lucia is English, but her accent was so strong and she talked so fast I had trouble understanding a lot of what she said. I did hear that St. Lucia is proud of having gained its independence in 1979. Our drive was much like the photo above and the photos below. For the most part the roads were in bad shape.
  12. Friday, January 31, Castries, St. Lucia We weren't due to arrive in St. Lucia until 1:00 this afternoon, so when I woke up this was the view from the bridge. This seemed like a good day to have breakfast at Taste. I wanted pancakes and they're usually not very warm when you get them from a buffet. A daytime view of Taste. One thing I didn't like about eating alone in the MDR was being seated next to strangers, in this case a couple. We were at separate tables but the tables were only inches apart. Even that wouldn't have bothered me except the couple seemed to be disagreeing on every subject they talked about. I never know how to behave in such a situation. Obviously they must know I can hear them so it doesn't bother them that a stranger is listening to their conversation. I just try to avoid eye contact. A mention of the servers in Taste. They were professional but except for Akita, they were not personable as they had all been on MSC Poesia. The food was slow coming out but it looked great. I think the pancakes might have been sitting somewhere a while. They weren't any warmer than if I'd had them at the buffet. Every morning in the atrium area near the guest services counters a bulletin board was set up with suggestions for things to do in the port. For some reason I didn't take a picture of the entire board, but two of the examples: There were also descriptions of beaches on some of the other cards. Where are we now? Are we getting close to St. Lucia? It was another beautiful day and with the morning free I decided to explore the ship a little more. The sports area on deck 17 There are tables and wicker couches up there too although no umbrellas. Looking down on Spice H2O In an area near Spice H2O there are also wicker couches and chairs. I've seen threads on this forum about people who have their feet up on couches and how gross that is. That doesn't bother me. What does bother me are the people who put their feet on tables. A Mimosa seemed to be in order. I sat in the Great Outdoors and enjoyed the drink and the weather. On my way back to my room after visiting the shops, a man on the elevator was telling us that a ship had arrived in Rome after a two week cruise and the passengers were quarantined. I know that's old news now and that those passengers were fine unlike what has happened since. As I was walking to my cabin, the captain came on the PA to announce we would be 30 minutes late arriving in St. Lucia but would make it up by staying 30 minutes longer so we could do our tours. He then said that for extra protection from coronavirus, we would be handed our plates in the buffets and we would be served by crew members, so be patient with lines. When I entered the Studio Lounge, I noticed the food and drinks that had been out on other days were already gone. No pastries or cookies. No orange juice, iced tea, or water. Had lunch in the buffet with Bro and Sil, and the place was a madhouse. The lines were so long you couldn't tell what the offerings were. I settled for pizza and fries. Bro said when they'd eaten breakfast in the buffet that morning, they were already handing out plates and the crew was serving.
  13. I see that if I forget to insert a photo, Cruise Critic does it for me. Somehow I missed inserting that last cactus picture into the part where I mentioned cacti. A few more pictures of the salt flats. Just a little further brought us to old slave huts on a pretty coral beach. Back in the 1850s, slaves worked the salt fields and were housed in these huts. They were not high enough for a person to stand upright in them and the doorways are so small they would have had to crawl through. Then we started back to the ship. As we got closer to the harbor we passed these colorful buildings. Rofino said they are part of a hotel being built. This homeowner has double protection for their yard. The Epic comes into view. The shops near the pier looked interesting, but it was already 12:30 and that was all aboard time. Back when we had been at the house/museum, Rofino said all the guides had received a text from the Epic to be sure everyone was back by 12:30. The three of us met up with Bro and Sil in O'Sheehan's for lunch. I started with the delicious spinach and artichoke dip and a Stella Artois and finished up with fish n chips that were mighty tasty. Inside cabins are so confining. I took my book up to deck 18 for the afternoon. A lot of the lounge chairs had been pulled out of the shady area and even though no one was using them, they had towels pinned to them. There was only one left in the shade. I settled in with my book, took off my shoes, started to read. A few minutes later I heard, "Excuse me, Madame." The woman in the lounger next to me had been asleep but now she said to me, "My husband is in that chair." Apparently he was invisible. I went over to a chair that had partial shade and pushed it back as far as it would go. There was quite a large shady area, but the loungers that had been pulled out into the sun were blocking it. Still I was able to get comfortable and read for about an hour. We had reservations for the 7:00 Priscilla Queen of the Desert show, so to stave off hunger (as if that was needed) I met Bro and Sil in O'Sheehan's again. Bil had enjoyed lentil soup at lunch and I was craving that. It was very good. Even though we had reservations for Priscilla, the seats were still first come first served. We got in line before the doors opened and a stand by line was also forming. We got some good seats. I think everyone in standby probably got seats. The stage is set. It was an excellent production, entertaining, good performers, humor, and absolutely fabulous costumes. Bro had seen it a few years ago and said that despite all the warnings there had still been a lot of people who walked out. We were watching to see if many left this time, but we only saw one couple leave. No photos allowed during the show. A couple of the entertainers were outside the theater when we left. This is one of my favorite pictures of the trip. Time for dinner. The chandelier in Taste was white tonight. We sat at Akita's station and once again had terrific service. She is such an enjoyable person and such an efficient waitress. So different from a lot of the other servers we encountered. I had cheesy potato croquettes as a starter. They were good but a lot of cheese. Sauteed eggplant and zucchini with a side of spaghetti for my entree About this time Akita stopped by our table to say she had been called away to work in O'Sheehan's and another server was taking over our table. We were surprised. Maybe she was too efficient to be in Taste. At some point I filled out a hero card for her, but when I turned it in I was told they were phasing them out. So no more hero cards. There was still dessert to come though. Cannoli. Yum. Bro and Sil invited me to sit on their balcony for a while so we brought wine with us. We watched the moon go down behind the horizon. I had never witnessed anything like that before. Maybe it was the wine, but it seemed kind of magical out there in the ocean watching the moon disappear.
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