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Enjoy the "Treasures of the World" with Bill & Mary Ann on the 2014 World Cruise

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Report # 132 Sailing Towards Cabo San Lucas, Mexico May 10, 2014 Saturday Partly cloudy, cooler, less humid, 79 degrees

 

Well, just when we thought we saw the last of them, we spotted flying fish once again all around the ship this afternoon. After passing Acapulco late yesterday afternoon, the Amsterdam headed northwesterly, across the bottom of the Sea of Cortez as we made our way towards Cabo San Lucas on the tip of the Baja Peninsula. Gone are the turtles, and back are deep swells and choppy waters due to winds and currents. One good thing coming from this, are the temperatures have dropped and the worst of the humidity is about gone. We suspect that Captain Fred is going about 18 knots or better, and it is causing a bumpy ride. Sort of feels like a constant earthquake, making walking a little harder. It is also a good excuse to use the elevators instead of the stairs.

 

During breakfast, we asked Presti about how many folks will be getting off in San Diego. His answer was about 600. However, another 500 will be boarding there, and another 100 boarding for a one day, one night cruise from Vancouver to Seattle. He admitted that this one night cruise is a nightmare for the crew, since most all of these guests will use the time to party, drink, and gamble all night. He even suggested that perhaps a better option for the staff would be to keep the Lido open for 24 hours, and cut off room service. So if people get a busy signal trying to order room service at ungodly hours of the night, it could be the phone will be off the hook. Or not. It depends on how well equipped they are to handle the traffic. Added to this, many of the regular crew members will be going home, and new ones will be taking their place. The problem arises when there is a gap between the time the travelers go home and the new crew members arrive. To complicate the situation even more, the ship needs to be ready for possible inspections that take place when a ship goes into a US port, such as Seattle. Now we are really glad we are getting off in San Diego, avoiding that scene.

 

We spent some time fine-tuning the last of the packing. You would be surprised how much little stuff we stashed away over 4 1/2 months. Before we knew it, the last suitcase was nearly full. We hope the other duffels settle and make some more space in the next day or two. Got to remember.....bring less.

 

While we took advantage of the pleasant conditions at the aft pool, life continued on the ship. Barbara H gave a talk on San Diego, while the port shopping guy, Chris, lectured on the tips to use while shopping in Cabo San Lucas tomorrow. Dancing With the Stars at Sea continued with teaching of the jive. Not sure when the final show will be happening, but it should be before we get off the ship in San Diego.

 

Dinner was in the Pinnacle Grill for us, our final freebie. We had a veal chop and a small filet mignon. Baked potatoes, mushrooms, and a caesar salad filled us up. For dessert, we asked for a naked Baked Alaska, meaning just the Jerry Garcia ice cream, but our waitress informed us that their freezer had broken down, and the ice cream was gone. So we had to settle for raspberry cheesecake and three tiny scoops of praline ice cream. Life is tough......

 

Here is a catch-up on the entertainment. There was a Ballroom Cabaret with Anastasiia and Sergii at 7:15pm yesterday. Following them was Avener the Eccentric. Not sure what his show consisted of, but he is famous for playing a ventriloquist in "Ghetto" on Broadway, although it was his dummy that was nominated for a Tony Award. More recently, although it has been many years now, he was the holy man in Michael Douglas' film "The Jewel of the Nile". This evening, Van-Ahn Nguyen, a concert pianist probably wowed the crowd. We remember her from last year and recall that she was quite talented.

 

Looking forward to tomorrow and Cabo San Lucas. If we are lucky, the restaurant we usually find excellent pizza will still be there.

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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Thanks for the information on the numbers getting off and on in San Diego - we'll be among the 500 embarking for the ride up to Vancouver -cruising up the coast beats flying anytime.

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We'll also be among the 500 boarding in San Diego. I'm down to the last of my packing. Does anyone know what kind of games are available in Explorations? I'm wavering on packing my travel scrabble. I've got Phase 10 and Farkle, but they don't take much room.

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Thanks for the information on the numbers getting off and on in San Diego - we'll be among the 500 embarking for the ride up to Vancouver -cruising up the coast beats flying anytime.

 

... and I will be embarking in Seattle bound for Alaska. Whoopppppeeee!!!

 

Susan

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I was wondering now that your cruise is almost over, what have you done with your little garden?

 

I'm gong to miss your blog every morning. Thanks again for taking us along on this world cruise, I've loved every minute reading your blog. Still have to catch up with the pictures on the blog your son has put together for you.

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Report # 133 Cabo San Lucas, Mexico May 11, 2014 Sunday Part 1 Sunny, 72 degrees Happy Mother's Day !

 

The final port of call for this cruise was Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. By the time we woke up, Los Arcos was looming in our window, big as life. This would be the best time to photograph these natural rock formations, since the sun was hitting it just right. The good thing is that we were anchored here by 8am, but sadly, our departure time was 3pm.....way too early unfortunately. That's the way it is, so we made the best of our time here.

 

By the time we finished breakfast, most of the tour groups had gone over by tenderboat. There was a total of 18 tours today. Some were site-seeing, but most were adventure tours. This is the first time we noticed parasailing as one of the options. Usually that is something you have to "sign your life away" to do. Other active excursions were ziplining, snorkeling, swim with dolphins, 4x4 jeep ride, helmet diving, and sportsfishing. If we heard correctly while listening to the tour descriptions on TV, there was an age limit of 69 on some of these excursions. Hey, that is getting a little too close for comfort. This was not spelled out in the tour book, and what about all the folks who booked these tours online? How do they check your age there? Oh well, since we did not book anything in Cabo, we need not worry.

 

We headed to the tenderboat before 10am. Using our 5 star status, we were able to get on without getting tender tickets. It was surprising to see that the Coral Princess was not in the bay like we had suspected. It is not unusual to have two or more ships here in one day. Anyway, we would have the city to ourselves. Maybe because it was Sunday morning, the town was slow in waking up. Only half of the shops were opened, but the scores of vendors and guys offering to sell boat trips to Los Arcos made up for it. This is another place that the "no thank you" t-shirt might be helpful. With the amount of boats in this marina, we guess that the locals get a lot of business, which is fine.

 

We took our time walking past the numerous souvenier shops and restaurants getting ready for 2 for 1 margeritas and beers. Of course, we would do this later, but first, we made our way towards the Medano Beach. Along the marina walkway, we were able to get some great photos of a sealion begging fish food from a local fisherman. Pelicans were also fighting over the scraps he was throwing them. Fish were swimming in schools in the marina as well. The water was clear and clean today, enough so that we could see pufferfish blimping around the rocks. Nothing seems to bother them, since they are poisonous.

 

We made our way to the Puerto Paraiso Mall, the highend shopping complex in Cabo. It is a great place to stop for a restroom break. Then we headed along the rest of the marina walk to the beach.

 

Taking off our shoes, we had a nice cooling stroll in the surf. Considering that there was a nice breeze blowing, it was still fairly hot in the sun. A few young local teen girls were actually swimming with jeans and t-shirts on. And here were concerned about getting our shorts wet. That happened anyway, because the waves were unpredictable......gentle at first, then surprise....a big one. Anyway, it felt great, but we did not have the time to spend much more than 1/2 hour on the beach.

 

Our favorite restaurant was still there.......Baja Brewing Co. So we stopped and ordered two Blonde beers and a margherita pizza with tomatoes and onions on it. Sure was good, just like we remembered it. Must be good, because this place had no empty tables outside on their patio.

 

We managed to make the long walk back to the tenderboat landing without buying a single thing. Frankly, we have no more room for anything in our seven pieces of luggage.

 

Sailaway was at 2:30pm, and we did not want to miss it. There were a few reason we didn't want to miss it. First, it is a pretty sailaway, leaving the harbor and the beaches, and also passing by Los Arcos. This would be our last sailaway of the entire cruise, but even better, what we had warned the folks about came true. Once the ship left the calmness of the bay, we hit choppy seas, and wind. A big and cold wind. As Captain Fred turned the ship to head north, the pool swirled around and around, and overflowed. Towels, chair pads, hats, and napkins flew everywhere. We see it every year, and were prepared with warmer clothes to put on. Sure emptied the deck of people in a hurry. Even us eventually.

 

The rest of the afternoon was spent downloading photos, and doing nothing but watching TV or reading. We considered skipping dinner, because it was the last formal night and one of us was sporting a headache. Good thing we didn't, because Tom G the dining room manager, had a surprise guest for us this evening. Our guest was the future cruise consultant, Joanne. Her husband, Michael, has already gone home, so she was free to join us. We ended up talking for over 2 hours, and barely noticed it when the dining room was almost empty. Actually, with today being a port day, we think a lot of guests chose to eat in the Lido. The folks that are staying onward after San Diego will have one more formal evening, and probably the majority will not dress up for that. For a change, it was not unbearably hot tonight in the upper dining room. Either the air-conditioning has been fixed, or the cooler weather has helped a whole lot. We think it is the weather.

 

Tonight was supposed to be a Black and White Ball. However, according to Joanne, it had been decided that since so many folks did not seem to have the formal wear to attend this affair, the event was reduced to a Black and White Party in the Crows Nest at 9pm. An added bonus for changing this was that they did not have to decorate the dining room. Truthfully, the over-the-top decorations in La Fontaine have stopped ever since Yamtana, their head decorator and waiter, was not on the world cruise this year. He was very artistic and saw to it that special formal nights had that extra special touch. Of course, we did not attend this party because we were still eating dinner. Would we have gone anyway? Probably not. The entertainment in the Queens Lounge was Irish Soul, an act performed by the singers and dancers.

 

One more day at sea, and we will be wrapping up this 130 day voyage. Think we are ready.

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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Interesting about the Baja Brewing company. I used to like the place that was there before that. I think it was called Senior Greenburgs. I always tell people it's gets very cold, very fast once you round the rocks but few people believe me. I can't believe that's your last port.

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Hi

 

I am another regular reader who wants to thank you for your writing efforts over the past 4 or 5 months. I've enjoyed your writing quite a bit.

 

Thank you for taking the time to write these journal entries.

 

Charles

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Hi Bill & Mariann

 

Just a shout out to thank you for yet again a fabulous blog of your journey, I have followed your annual blogs for several years, very enjoyable.

 

I look every December to see if there will be another one. Great job. Enjoy your time at home until your next adventure.

 

Judy

 

Sent from my A110 using Tapatalk

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Your daily blog has been like my daily newspaper, except 10x more informative! Thank you for all the great insights!

Marty

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I have enjoyed reading about your journey! Thanks for taking us along!

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Report # 134 Sailing Towards San Diego, California May 12, 2014 Monday Partly cloudy, a chilly 66 degrees

 

Well, we never thought we would be able to say it was a chilly day, but when we went outside on this fine, sunny morning, we were chilled in no time. Even though we are sailing in a northwesterly direction off of the coast of Baja California, we must have picked up a different current that carries cooler waters. Gone are the balmy days and nights with high humidity that makes us hot and sticky. That part, we will miss somewhat. Where we live, we can still get hot days, but the evenings usually cool off for comfortable nights.

 

Not a whole lot was happening today, except the regular activities that keep most folks busy during the day. Since all of our luggage will go out in the hall before midnight, we had to finish up the last of the packing. We had decided a long time ago that we would not take anything but our hand carrys on the plane. So it was necessary to separate the liquids and sharp items to be stashed in the Fed Ex bags. Most all of the toiletries we had originally brought with us are gone. It has taken several of these long trips and many lists to get it close to correct.

 

Hoping to get some fresh air and sun, we went to the aft deck for a short time. Short, because it was windy and cool. If you wanted to stay on the lounges, you needed to use many towels under you. The wind blew right through the mesh, so it did not work for long. The few folks that were out there with swimsuits on were in denial for sure. We went back to the room, and watched a good movie, about a little boy who mysteriously appeared to a childless couple with some strange qualities.

 

At 3pm, there was another Indonesian Crew Show held in the Queens Lounge. We don't think anyone missed it. And it was just as good as the one they performed on the world cruise. Nice to see the pride in their culture from these gals and guys we have come to know so well. Of course, a special drink, a Rasa Sayang, was served in a souvenier glass for $9.75 during the performance.

 

Our cruise director, Gene, gave a disembarkation farewell reception in the Queens Lounge at 7pm for those of us who are headed home tomorrow. Even though we did not go, we suspect it was like all other disembark talks we have attended in the past. Basically, he tells you all the same things that the detailed letter sent to us says......only with some humor mixed in for good measure. The most important thing is that everyone needs to attend the Border Protection Inspection beginning at 7am. All the non-US citizens will be seen on the ship, while the US citizens will be checked in the cruise terminal. Once that is done, if everyone co-operates, then disembarkation should begin by 9:30am. A few years ago, some passengers did not respond to the urgent calls to see the officials, thus delaying the departure of guests who had early flights. Very frustrating when you are waiting to leave. It has been mentioned that there should be a fine for not responding as required, but so far, it has not happened. We simply hope that the message for this inspection has been delivered so everyone can understand the importance.

 

Dinnertime was good as usual. Some of our favorite items were on the menu, as well as roasted chicken. Noticing that another entree had tempura onion rings, we added a plate of those to our order. The best part of dinner, however, was the apple strudel with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. Bet we will be thinking about this dessert tomorrow when we are at home with no dessert. Darn......

 

The Dancing with the Stars at Sea had their finale tonight at 9:30pm. Six finalists were competing for the one spot that may or may not earn them a free cruise if chosen the winner. It is a fleet-wide contest, so the competition probably gets extreme at that point. We could have gone to see the show, but we knew we had those heavy pieces of luggage to haul out of the room. We did not want to wait too long, because there may not be a lot of room outside to leave it. Our neighbors on both sides of us are also leaving, so space may be limited.

 

The Cruise Log was waiting for us on our bed tonight. It stated that the total distance we have traveled since leaving Ft. Lauderdale will be 5203 statute miles when we land in San Diego tomorrow. Added to the 40,000 plus miles we have already traveled, well, it's a long, long ways. And will surely give us plenty to talk about for the remainder of this year......at least until our next adventure.

 

Thanks for following along with us. It has been a pleasure, and when we get home and somewhat settled, we will give our final thoughts about this world cruise. So stay tuned, and adios for now.

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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There are no words that adequately express how thankful I am to you for keeping your blog. I will miss my daily reading of it... until next time!

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Thank you so very much for your wonderful trip log. I have enjoyed it from day one, as I did those for your past cruises. I really admire your stick-to-itness with all the internet problems you faced. THANK YOU!!!

 

We have traveled with you before in person, and love still sharing your experiences. Thank you again.

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Safe travels home. And thank you for taking us along on your latest journey.

 

A question if you don't mind. How many WC have you done? You seem to have it down to an art. Have you found over the years you have become more efficient at packing for such a long trip?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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I appreciate your efforts to keep us posted on your travels. Hopefully, someday, we will be able to do a World Cruise and, if not, we will continue to enjoy yours vicariously! Best wishes to you both! :D:D

 

Lynne

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