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Donald - Looking at advertisement for an Alaskan cruise, I wondered when your next cruise to Alaska will be.

 

Azamara and Cunard will both be cruising to Alaska.

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To Sharon and Marion

It is so interesting to read your stories about river cruising. And, Sharon, thanks for your usual informative photos and narrative.

I think it was Conte who wrote about bad weather and river cruises. It was a story about the river water volume being so high that a ship got tossed up into a small town square. As I did my research, it seemed that the word "bus" was used quite a lot for getting pax from port to port, town to town. I do not want to cruise on a bus tour.

Due to climate change, I decided not to sign up for a river boat cruise. In the ensuing years, I have had no reason to regret this decision as I read the weather reports in the paper and also the comments from Sharon about lousy weather in the UK which seemed to worsen.

I dunno - maybe I missed something but the idea of clinging on to ropes to disembark to a bus in yet another quaint village put Paid to my plans.

Ruby

[/quote]

 

No buses at all on my cruise Ruby - and lots of boats on the Rhine. I was really lucky with the weather as in most places I had bright sunshine, albeit cold.

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Donald - Looking at advertisement for an Alaskan cruise, I wondered when your next cruise to Alaska will be.

 

Azamara and Cunard will both be cruising to Alaska.

 

Marion, I will cruise solo June 3-10 and with David August 5-12, both round-trips Vancouver-Alaska-Vancouver aboard Celebrity Infinity. Next year David and I are booked on Celebrity Eclipse for our first experience aboard a large apartment barge, because Celebrity is using her on the round-trips, while Infinity will be used on the northbound to Seward and southbound from Seward cruises. It will be very interesting for us to see if we will like or dislike the monster ships.

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Marion, I will cruise solo June 3-10 and with David August 5-12, both round-trips Vancouver-Alaska-Vancouver aboard Celebrity Infinity. Next year David and I are booked on Celebrity Eclipse for our first experience aboard a large apartment barge, because Celebrity is using her on the round-trips, while Infinity will be used on the northbound to Seward and southbound from Seward cruises. It will be very interesting for us to see if we will like or dislike the monster ships.

 

Must feel nice to have three round trip cruises booked for Alaska. I looked up Eclipse and saw that it gets good reviews and is the same class as Solstice, which is a popular ship cruising Down Under.

 

It will be interesting to see whether you like it.

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Yesterday, global warming ("fake news"?) resulted in Vancouver just breaking by a hair-width the previous record for the day of 25.0C (77.0F) in 1973 with a 25.1C (77.2F). Today was another scorcher but not quite up to the 1997 record. How were the weather in England, Australia and Dallas? I understood that it was unusually chilly in England the previous winter.

 

During the past winter Vancouver had mostly below-normal temperatures and high rainfall. Already in southeastern British Columbia the heavy snow-packs which piled up during winter quickly melted under above-normal temperatures, causing widespread flooding. People had to be evacuated from their homes. That's really sad, as people usually move to these spots to enjoy their retirement years.

 

Residence prices in Vancouver have become astronomically high. Bungalows that used to fetch five figures in dollars now get seven figures. There are signs in windows of many, many businesses around here, even Wendy's Burgers - "Now Hiring!" People on low income simply cannot afford to live in Vancouver.

 

Donald.

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Here is an illustration of the new Celebrity Edge class of cruise ships. I think that I found how to add .jpg to here - click on it and see if you can open up the picture.

 

Donald.

edge.JPG.57d972bcac0894034d66219f63cd3a15.JPG

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Donald, that does work. But more interesting to me is that when I saw your posting on the CruiseCritic app on my android phone, the jpeg was immediately visible in the body of the posting. When I clicked on the picture it opened a larger version in a separate screen. I've been trying to find a work-around for posting pictures here in the text. Gone are the days when photo sites allowed linkage of the URL of a picture in my albums directly into this site. Very frustrating.

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Donald, that does work. But more interesting to me is that when I saw your posting on the CruiseCritic app on my android phone, the jpeg was immediately visible in the body of the posting. When I clicked on the picture it opened a larger version in a separate screen. I've been trying to find a work-around for posting pictures here in the text. Gone are the days when photo sites allowed linkage of the URL of a picture in my albums directly into this site. Very frustrating.

 

Conte, I used the CC feature that used to result in these tiny impractical thumbnails of pictures. To my surprise it now will show pictures in reasonable sizes after the jpg has been clicked on. Perhaps CC has realized the limitations of transferring photos from photo sites by those unwilling to pay for third party hosting.

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I remember when Hulu was a free service. All the college students were using it. When Hulu became a "pay to play" service, there was much moaning and gnashing of teeth while financial decisions were made to stay or leave the service.

I still smile at the memory of a gentleman many years ago who was "informed" about the e-world. He said it was a completely flawless system of negative/positive. Oh really? What about power supply, lightning strikes, the dog ate your router?

 

Speaking of corporate decisions, I don't get the financial gain for the structure of Celebrity Edge. There must be some reason to step so far out of maritime tradition to build a truly ugly ship. What are the red vertical "ladders" on the side of the ship? The lifeboats?

Ruby

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Speaking of corporate decisions, I don't get the financial gain for the structure of Celebrity Edge. There must be some reason to step so far out of maritime tradition to build a truly ugly ship. What are the red vertical "ladders" on the side of the ship? The lifeboats?

Ruby

 

The "red vertical ladder" is actually the elevator system for a structure protruding from the side of the ship which serves as a poolside lounge during the days at sea, and the furniture is removed before it is lowered to the bottom deck to be used as a embarking and disembarking platform. Its use as the poolside lounge is shown in the attached illustration.

 

 

Donald.

2113921002_edge2.jpg.c117bfc7e17adabe12476b7d0baa624a.jpg

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I found out from elsewhere in internet that the "red ladder" elevator also serves as a cocktail lounge in the evenings when it is lowered to the promenade deck. As for the bottom deck, it is used as disembarking and embarking for cruisers using tenders if the ship is not at dock. That made sense, as I've seen a few passengers have a difficult time negotiating the swaying and bouncing side ramps into the tenders.

 

So, that elevator has three uses: afternoon poolside lounge, evening cocktail lounge, and sea tender area when needed. Can we imagine the Titanic with it?.

 

Donald.

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Unseasonably hot in UK too, with temps in the mid 20s. Trouble is that then brews thunderstorms. Just hope it holds for Greenland and Iceland in July.

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Unseasonably hot in UK too, with temps in the mid 20s. Trouble is that then brews thunderstorms. Just hope it holds for Greenland and Iceland in July.

 

Just returned from London, where I experienced the best continuous sunny warm weather I have ever experienced in London. As I save museums and art galleries to visit in London in bad weather, I didn't visit as many this visit. Spent all my time outside in beautiful Royal Parks and gardens.

 

As I went over to attend the wedding at Windsor, I bought a small light camping chair, took a picnic, and caught the 6.12 am train to Windsor to have a front row seat for all the pomp and ceremony the British do so well. The happy crowd listened to a live recording of the wedding, sang along to some of the hymns and "Stand By Me", and cheered and clapped, where appropriate. Of course seeing the carriage parade with the happy couple, after the wedding, was a highlight. Even managed to bring the souvenir chair home, as hand luggage.

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Wow! I know someone who attended the royal wedding! Did you wave to the TV cameras so your family could see you in attendance? What a lovely memory to have.

I was particularly interested in watching the young attendants wrestle with Meghan's train. Some of them took their task seriously, some of them were otherwise distracted. It looked as simple as herding cats. But the beautiful weather certainly put a cheerful air on the proceedings and all best wishes to the happy couple.

Donald - Bon voyage for your Alaska cruise. It will be a lovely break in this hot summer.

Sharon - Are you off to Greenland and surrounds? Since we no longer have upcoming voyages in our software, I'm confused.

 

Ruby

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Wow! I know someone who attended the royal wedding! Did you wave to the TV cameras so your family could see you in attendance? What a lovely memory to have.

I was particularly interested in watching the young attendants wrestle with Meghan's train. Some of them took their task seriously, some of them were otherwise distracted. It looked as simple as herding cats. But the beautiful weather certainly put a cheerful air on the proceedings and all best wishes to the happy couple.

 

I had a front row seat next to a delightful lady from Yorkshire, dressed in British flags and decorated hat. Within five minutes, a photographer and reporter from New York Times interviewed her. We were a fun crowd who all enjoyed the day.

 

A friend's daughter put a short-out for people to watch the Royal Wedding with her (in the middle of the night).

My younger daughter replied "She didn't have a tiara. Had a wicked wit. And had a mother on the Parade Route". My friend's daughter replied that she wanted me to adopt her. They had the whole British Street Party deal, with British flags, high tea, etc. My daughters got home around 1.30 am.

 

I listened to the wedding live, but didn't see it until 5.00 pm on the Sunday. Needless to say, I brought home my favourite weekend newspapers and a magazine full of wedding photos, to enjoy at my leisure.

 

Bon Voyage to Donald and Sharon for your future cruises.

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Thanks for the Bon Voyages. Rain is forecast for Sunday but I am hoping that it will be clear when the ship departs.

 

Speaking of rain, Vancouver had a record low of 1.4mm for all of May, breaking the previous record of 4.5mm in 2015. The normal precipitation for May is 65mm. The mean temperatures also exceeded the normal on all except one day during May.

 

Weather is weird nowadays. Alaska? I dunno. But I'll still enjoy the cruise.

 

Donald.

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On the subject of Greenland, in 1959 the passenger motor ship Hans Hedtoft sailed on her maiden voyage from there to Copenhagen. Aboard were 55 passengers and 40 crew. In her cargo hold were the historical parish records of Greenland - births, deaths, marriages - intended for the Danish archives. During heavy seas the ship struck an iceberg and sank a few hours later. Everybody aboard had crowded into the public room. It wasn't possible to use the lifeboats. The only wreckage found was a life-ring. Sad about the loss of the ship and everyone aboard, as well as the irreplaceable data of these parish records, lost forever.

 

It is the last known incidence of a ship lost due to an iceberg. How many of you knew about this?

 

Donald

127128053_1959HansHedtofta.jpg.c7f38c778e7dc05ce1c27d276d412ca2.jpg

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Thanks for the Bon Voyages. Rain is forecast for Sunday but I am hoping that it will be clear when the ship departs.

 

Speaking of rain, Vancouver had a record low of 1.4mm for all of May, breaking the previous record of 4.5mm in 2015. The normal precipitation for May is 65mm. The mean temperatures also exceeded the normal on all except one day during May.

 

Weather is weird nowadays. Alaska? I dunno. But I'll still enjoy the cruise.

 

Donald.

 

The weather is weird nowadays.

 

Vancouver is known for its wet weather, so it is hard to picture it with a record low of 1.4mm and high temperatures for May.

 

I have friends staying a week in Vancouver for Christmas. I hope all the rain doesn't come then!

 

London had record warm sunny weather for May, whilst I was there, so I was lucky.

 

I hope you get a fine sailaway.

 

No, I didn't know about that ship lost to an iceberg. How sad for all on board. When I visited Newfoundland, I was surprised to see icebergs off shore, as well as some being washed up on shore. Now that was an exciting sight for an Aussie!

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Thanks for the background about the Hans Hedtoft. When I clicked on the Image, I was startled to see how small she was, almost like a tender on a modern apartment barge. I had no clue about this maritime disaster. And, as you say, what a huge loss of human life and irreplaceable documents. Thanks for posting this time in history.

 

P.S. About your sailaway - I cannot imagine sailing out of the port and under Lion's Gate Bridge with a view of brown grasses and trees. I count on Vancouver's beautiful green as being a polar opposite to our Texas summers. And "they" say there is no climate change. Uh huh. When you return, I would like to know if you see the temp changes in AK that you do in Vancouver.

Ruby

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When I visited Newfoundland, I was surprised to see icebergs off shore, as well as some being washed up on shore. Now that was an exciting sight for an Aussie!

 

This year there are fewer icebergs floating off Newfoundland. Tour operators are apprehensive about the potential loss of tourism business to their region.

 

 

P.S. About your sailaway - I cannot imagine sailing out of the port and under Lion's Gate Bridge with a view of brown grasses and trees. I count on Vancouver's beautiful green as being a polar opposite to our Texas summers. And "they" say there is no climate change. Uh huh. When you return, I would like to know if you see the temp changes in AK that you do in Vancouver.

 

Ruby, I will let you know if the sun shone or it rained during departure from Vancouver. I've never had a rainy sail away from Vancouver. We'll see, we'll see. For sure I will make a note of temperature changes, if any, in Alaska.

 

Donald.

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Ruby - Did you see Royal Caribbean has bought 66.7% of Silversea?

 

Donald - Are you back from Alaska yet? Did you have a good cruise? Looking forward to your comments on your latest cruise.

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I had a great cruise, though the standards of the cruise line has slipped a bit, such as no more daily news sheets from various countries around the world and no more daily programs left in the cabins. These daily programs have to be picked up outside the Guest Relations desk.

 

Ruby, it was overcast when I boarded the ship in Vancouver, and it drizzled (or rained) while everyone were inside for the Safety Musters, but stopped raining afterward. We had a nice sail away. The weather was splendid at Hubbard Glacier and I enjoyed viewing a major calving at the ice face, the best since 2000. The glacier is one of only eight in the world that is advancing, not receding.

 

Both Juneau and Ketchikan were rainy in the morning but cleared up during the afternoon.

 

 

Without further ado, the photos:

1) the Captain honoured me as the Top Cruiser;

2) beautiful cat at Icy Strait Point;

3) crow surveying its domain atop a restaurant sign in Icy Strait Point;

4) the entrance to Hubbard Glacier (zoomed in from a faraway photo vantage);

5) the "Blue Pillar" in the act of breaking off and descending into the water.

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My favourite photographs:

 

1) wave action as the ship began to increase its sailing rate out of Juneau;

2) clouds & mists around the mountains in Ketchikan;

3) rainbow as the ship departed from Ketchikan (my first big Alaskan rainbow ever!); and

4) Holland America's Westerdam ahead of us in Inside Passage.

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A side-by-side view of the Blue Pillar calving at the start and end of the calving. This gives a much better picture of how awesome it was.

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Welcome Home, Donald.

 

Thanks for the photos.

 

 

How lucky were you to be there to see the major ice calving - the best since 2000! I can imagine the view was spectacular.

 

WOW - Top Cruiser - a well deserved honour!

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Donald - the pix are lovely and the calving photos in particular demonstrate why tourists flock to AK to enjoy the ever-changing scenery. Sounds like you had a great cruise; I particularly liked the cat. Did you buy any books?

Marion - about Silversea being bought - uggghhh! That percentage is a controlling interest; it should be interesting to watch the Italian owners deal with the American mass cruise line. Thanks for telling me.

 

Ruby

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Donald Did you buy any books?

Ruby

 

Once I was inside the Juneau bookstore and at the Classics section, my eyes gravitated to the History section. I bought "The Worst Hard Time" by Timothy Egan, an untold story of those who survived the Great American Dust Bowl; "Killers of the Flower Moon" by David Grann, about the Osage Murders (never heard of these) and the Birth of the FBI in the 1920s; "City of Light, City of Poison" by Holly Tucker, about murder, magic and the First Police Chief of Paris, during the late 1600s (also never heard about it); and "The Handmaids Tale" by Canada's premier novelist Margaret Atwood. I am very disappointed with this book (which I am more than halfway reading) because it was written in the narrative style, and the TV adaptation was much, much more interesting. Atwood's writing is in her own distinctive style - I had read her novel "The Blind Assassin" two or three years ago, but if I were to be asked what it was about, my mind would have been absolutely blank.

 

Donald.

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Vancouver had cooled down to below-normal temperatures during most of June, but now we are entering our second heat wave. Marky's favourite position is now in front of the fan.

 

Donald

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Vancouver had cooled down to below-normal temperatures during most of June, but now we are entering our second heat wave. Marky's favourite position is now in front of the fan.

Donald

 

Cute photo - beautiful smart cat.

 

Hope Vancouver doesn't get too hot.

 

Winter has arrived here, with cold mornings below double figures, but warm, sunny days.

 

What an interesting selection of books, you chose! Hope you enjoy the rest, better than the first.

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Donald - the pix are lovely and the calving photos in particular demonstrate why tourists flock to AK to enjoy the ever-changing scenery. Sounds like you had a great cruise; I particularly liked the cat. Did you buy any books?

Marion - about Silversea being bought - uggghhh! That percentage is a controlling interest; it should be interesting to watch the Italian owners deal with the American mass cruise line. Thanks for telling me.

 

Ruby

 

Ruby = There has been some interesting chatter on Azamara thread about the likely affect on that line of three ships.

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Flooding? Um, nope. We are in fairly severe drought conditions. My lawn sprinklers are working overtime. You have seen headlines about flooding in Texas? Color me confused. However, Texas is so large that I'll bet we have four different kinds of weather at any given time.

I think you said earlier that global weather is weird right now. A hearty Yes! from this side of the world.

Ruby

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Flooding? Um, nope. We are in fairly severe drought conditions. My lawn sprinklers are working overtime. You have seen headlines about flooding in Texas? Color me confused. However, Texas is so large that I'll bet we have four different kinds of weather at any given time.

I think you said earlier that global weather is weird right now. A hearty Yes! from this side of the world.

Ruby

 

Torrential rain and Flash flooding in South Eastern Texas, the same area hard hit by Hurricane Harvey.

 

And your area is in drought conditions, as you say Texas is a big state. It is dry here also.

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As you say, weird weather. We are in the midst of a heatwave too. High 80s all week and wildfires in the north. Proofreading world cruise book before starting next. However my back problem has finally been diagnosed properly as lumbar arthritis so won’t get much better than it is now so better cram in my travels now.

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For those of you still cruising, a question: Do all ships still have teatime? I've heard that the apartment barges have many different food shops and am curious if teatime is still an option or if the baby got thrown out with the bathwater?

If there is no teatime, how do the ship's pax meld into a social group after the boat drills are over? Or does everyone have friends onboard to socialize with? Color me confused.

Sharon - congrats on your world cruise book and another upcoming in the future.

Ruby

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For those of you still cruising, a question: Do all ships still have teatime? I've heard that the apartment barges have many different food shops and am curious if teatime is still an option or if the baby got thrown out with the bathwater?

If there is no teatime, how do the ship's pax meld into a social group after the boat drills are over? Or does everyone have friends onboard to socialize with? Color me confused.

Sharon - congrats on your world cruise book and another upcoming in the future.

Ruby

 

On Celebrity, a one-time teatime social is among the options for Captain's Club members. I've never attended one, as I simply don't go for tea and scones (my apologies to Sharon). Cruise lines usually have a meet-and-mingle social activity on the second day for those who signed up for these prior to the cruise, as long as the number is above the minimum. On Celebrity the minimum number is 25, but on my most recent cruise only 11 showed up, plus eight officers. Coffee, tea and muffins & pastries were offered. I had a pleasant chat with two women from Australia as well as three or four of the officers who remembered me from past cruises.

 

 

Donald.

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For those of you still cruising, a question: Do all ships still have teatime? I've heard that the apartment barges have many different food shops and am curious if teatime is still an option or if the baby got thrown out with the bathwater?

If there is no teatime, how do the ship's pax meld into a social group after the boat drills are over? Or does everyone have friends onboard to socialize with? Color me confused.

Sharon - congrats on your world cruise book and another upcoming in the future.

Ruby

 

P&O still have teatime - either in the buffet or a sit-down version in the mdr. Britannia also has a pay extra tea with cakes by Eric Lanyard!

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Posted (edited)
As you say, weird weather. We are in the midst of a heatwave too. High 80s all week and wildfires in the north. Proofreading world cruise book before starting next. However my back problem has finally been diagnosed properly as lumbar arthritis so won’t get much better than it is now so better cram in my travels now.

 

It must be a relief to receive a proper diagnosis, Sharon, although not good news for future travels. Lucky you have managed to do more cruising than most people would dream of. What cruise is next?

 

You must be happy that you are at proof reading stage of your world cruise book. What will your next cruise book be?

 

Heatwave conditions in the UK and USA have both been in our news, plus the fire in the north of UK. Over 100 in Texas in June!

 

17-24c here - beautiful winter weather.

 

Ruby - When I travelled solo on Azamara Journey in December, everyone was very friendly, so there was no shortage of people to talk with. Much as I love afternoon tea (scone with jam and clotted cream is my favourite), I don't attend on ships because there is so much food at meal times. On Ocean Princess, a waiter would bring a trolley, with afternoon tea, out on to the side deck to those relaxing on deck chairs - now that I couldn't resist!

 

Donald - On the recent Sea Princess World Cruise, over 100 attended the Meet and Greet activity. Whilst the ship started in Auckland, and departed Sydney, they waited until after Brisbane to hold the event, so all w c passengers could attend. Later they had a bring a gift worth $10 event, where everyone draws a gift, which other passengers can then steal. Sounded a lot of fun and a great way to meet people. All these events were organised by Aussie passengers.

 

They called their c c group, Nauti Nomads, which set the tone for a fun world cruise.

Edited by MMDown Under

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It must be a relief to receive a proper diagnosis, Sharon, although not good news for future travels. Lucky you have managed to do more cruising than most people would dream of. What cruise is next?

 

You must be happy that you are at proof reading stage of your world cruise book. What will your next cruise book be?

 

Heatwave conditions in the UK and USA have both been in our news, plus the fire in the north of UK. Over 100 in Texas in June!

 

17-24c here - beautiful winter weather.

 

 

Off to Greenland and Iceland in 3 weeks on my beloved Oriana which P&O announced yesterday has been sold to China :( One of the few classic ships still sailing gone ........sob! ..to be replaced with a monster of 180,000 grt carrying over 5000 pax. Grr.

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As a solo traveler of many decades, I have so much enjoyed meeting pax. By the end of a cruise, on my small ships, it is amazing how many people I can at least nod to.

I attribute much of it to the evening meal where I walk up to the maitre d' and ask for a large table, single seat. I have met and enjoyed so many people from so many lands.

At one meal, I was seated with 2 bespoke gentlemen from the UK, each of whom had superb, quiet manners. I mentioned a book I had read about Edward VIII and his abdication which said that he was not invited to the royal family dinner after the funeral for King Bertie. One of the men looked at the other, and the second man shook his head no, meaning that was not correct. I always thought that man must have been a member, directly or indirectly, of the royal family.

OMG! We're supposed to watch what we eat?! Not gonna happen with this gal. But one entree I learned about on the Saga/UK ships is the fish called flake. I had never heard of it but it is a nice choice. And, if I have an outstanding food item, I order it again for "dessert." There is nothing wrong with an extra serving of lamb chops for dessert. Wa-hahaha!

Sharon - what a tragedy about Oriana! So sorry. You must be wearing a black armband at this news of a Chinese acquisition. Is Oriana a wooden-hulled structure and they had to get rid of it, or is she considered too long in the tooth?

Ruby

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