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Journey with Bill & Mary Ann on the Amsterdam's 2016 Grand World Voyage - 114 days +

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Report # 9 Sailing Towards Puerto Limon January 8, 2016 Friday Partly cloudy & 80 degrees

 

The islands of the Caribbean have been sailed around as we head towards the east coast of Costa Rica. Would have been nice to have stopped at one of them, but this time of year, the area is flooded with many cruise ships. Last year we had two stops. One at Santa Marta, Colombia, and San Blas Islands, not your typical island stop for sure. Puerto Limon in Costa Rica will be a nice place to spend our first day in port. We have always taken tours there, so tomorrow we plan to walk the nearby town and tour the sites on our own. And perhaps shop for a small wooden bowl for our pillow chocolates. Costa Rica produces some of the most beautiful products made from local hard woods. And they are not overly expensive.

 

It was much warmer today, and humid as well. Knew that was coming. There were many more folks out and about on the lower promenade deck this morning. We were treated to a display of boobys as they hunted the flying fish the ship had stirred up. The only other life we have spotted is the occasional cargo ship on the horizon.

 

Despite the many activities happening on the ship today, we decided it was time to claim our space at the aft pool for the early afternoon. Normally, it is not busy back there, but today we were surprised to see many sunbathers lounging on the chairs poolside. Guess we will have to start coming earlier, although we did secure two lounges by the back railing. Sure was nice to kick back and enjoy the warm sun after spending a couple of days busy in the room. Fresh air has to be better for us.

 

We had a call waiting for us after lunch from the guest relations manager, Christel. She wanted to know what she could do to catch us up on the President’s Club perks. Someone new was assigned to this job for all of the members, but somehow we seemed to have slipped through the cracks. She kindly printed a copy of our welcome onboard letter, then brought up our shipboard account to give us the detailed info on where our credits had come from. Everything made much more sense after she explained the details. Unfortunately, the statements we are given do not break down the credits, so it is difficult to calculate them correctly. Anyway, we are back on track.

 

Sometime around 6pm, we had a surprise delivery of four tasty chocolate-covered strawberries given to us from our travel hosts. Very thoughtful.

 

Our tablemates agreed that the show in the Queens Lounge last night was very good. Assuming the Finkel family would be leaving the ship tomorrow, we were happy to see they are scheduled to perform once again tomorrow evening. Guess they may debark in Panama instead. Anyway, their group was eating in the dining room near us once again. They had a fine time, like us.

 

The entertainer this evening was an internationally known singer and double platinum recording artist by the name of Bobbie Eakes. Doubt we will make it up that late tonight, but someone we know will, and give us their opinion.

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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Hi! Trying to figure out this website...enjoying following your progress. We remember hearing the pianist Finkle on both the Infinity and the Queen Mary...yes, he is excellent!

Sending love and reporting rain about every other day since you departed! Nice to see the hills turning green!

Love from me and Dick

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Hi! Trying to figure out this website...enjoying following your progress. We remember hearing the pianist Finkle on both the Infinity and the Queen Mary...yes, he is excellent!

Sending love and reporting rain about every other day since you departed! Nice to see the hills turning green!

Love from me and Dick

 

Welcome to Cruise Critic. .

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Report # 10 Puerto Limon, Costa Rica January 9, 2016 Saturday Partly cloudy & 85 degrees Part # 1 61 Pictures

 

The Amsterdam arrived to the Caribbean port of Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. The skies were clear with a few scattered clouds, and there was no doubt that it would be hot and steamy today.

 

The population of Costa Rica is around 4,253,877 (according to the 2012 census). It is not large, as it only has 19,725 square miles, but it is as diverse as a country can be. The capital is San Jose, and it is located in the interior of central Costa Rica. The main language is Spanish, although, due to a large number of citizens that attend higher education, English is widely spoken.

 

Due to the tourism boom from the US retirees and real estate speculators, about 2/3rds of the coast is foreign-owned. Native Costa Ricans, called Ticos, have turned ecologists, to sustain a balance between the natural resources and the tourist attractions.

 

The best time to visit is during the dry season……..December through April. Things to do and see here are traveling to the rain forests, or try a canopy zipline, see the volcanic craters, and view the wildlife. In and among the towering hardwood trees and palms are howler monkeys, sloths, birds, and butterflies in the mangroves.

 

Since Puerto Limon is situated on the east coast, some of the excursions were limited to a two hour drive away. Offered were kayaking, rafting, ziplines, canopy walks, or a trip into the mangrove canals. There was not enough time to make it to the capital, San Jose, so it was not offered. Best to do that from the Pacific side, since the road system is much better. Most of the coffee plantations are situated up high, but you can visit banana factories. Interesting to see how the fruit is grown, washed , sorted, and distributed worldwide. However, with today being a Saturday, we doubt any of the factories were operating fully.

 

What do you eat here? A plate of meat, beans, rice, and fried plantains called casado. The favorite drink? Try palm wine, known as the fire water of the rural farmers. Excellent coffee can be found everywhere as well.

 

Here’s a random fact: Costa Rica tops the list in world ranking of happiest nations. And the citizens outlive their North American counterparts. Never knew that before now.

 

We were not alone in the port today, as the Silversea’s Whisper was docked directly across from us. She is a small 5 star-rated luxury ship of 28,258 gross tons. She holds up to 429 passengers (all berths full). And believe us, since we have sailed on her sister ship, the Shadow, all of the passengers become “spoiled”. It is all inclusive, but needless to say, their trips are expensive.

 

Since we have visited Puerto Limon at least twice on past cruises, we decided to stay in town instead of taking an excursion. Always fun to mix with the locals to see how they live. So with the ship’s map in hand, we headed off the gangway, and through the souvenir building. On our way, we passed an ambulance with several medical staff folks attending someone from the Whisper. We also had a medical debark today, a single lady. But that’s all we know. Sounded like her situation was serious enough to send her to the hospital, and eventually home. Short world cruise for her unfortunately.

 

In the terminal shop, we spotted a covered hardwood bowl for our pillow chocolates. We told the vendor we did not want to lug it around town, and we would be back later. Bet he has heard that a lot, but we did intend to buy it. Out of all of the upcoming ports, we knew that this one had quality souvenirs at good prices. Yes, we would be back.

 

There was a community park by the name of Parque Vargas, right across the road from the pier. Strolling through it, we found three sloths that were hidden in the towering trees. They were sleeping, as they seem to do for 23 hours a day. And they were difficult to spot, as they blended with the tree trunks. A local was drawing people with cameras to see these unusual creatures, but then begging a dollar from everyone if they took photos. He mumbled that it was a fee that he needed to pay to keep “his” sloths in the park. Somehow, we don’t think so. You would be surprised how many elderly folks came up with the money.

 

Continuing on, we found the local fruit, veggie, and basic flea market. Because it was Saturday, the place was full of shopping families with lots of little kids. We got to see their small meat markets, where the majority of the cuts were beef or pork. The next most sold item was chicken. Don’t believe we saw any fish, except in the pet store, where they had many fancy goldfish, parakeets, canaries, cockatiels, and miniature bunnies.

 

The streets and shops were getting even more crowded, so we decided to continue on to the Catholic cathedral by the name of Sagrado Corazon de Jesus. It has been recently completed, replacing a very old church that was destroyed during an earthquake, we heard later. All that remains of the old church was the bell tower. The new spacious church is ultra-modern in design, and seats a few thousand parishioners. Since Christmas was a few weeks ago, there were still forms of trees decorated with flashing lights on the sides of the altar. Even around town, decorated trees stood in the squares, with no hurry to end the season too soon.

 

Visiting several shops, we found that the best souvenirs were back at the pier. So we headed back, hoping to perhaps find a decent restaurant or hotel to stop for a drink…..soda or beer, anything cold. It was blistering hot outside, and we had built up a mean thirst. Most all of the likely spots were full of cruise passengers, taking advantage of the free internet. No seats anywhere.

 

So we kept our promise to the vendor, and purchased the beautiful covered hardwood bowl in the terminal shop on the way back to the ship. To sweeten the deal, he had dropped the price $10, so it was a good deal. Once back onboard, we went directly back to our cabin where we had presents awaiting us. The first was a bottle of champagne, chilling in a bucket of ice, with two fluted glasses next to it…….compliments of Captain Jonathon and Hotel Director, Henk. Couldn’t let that go to waste, so we popped the cork, and indulged. Someone had to do it, right? The next gift was a full-size photo of us with Henk M, Gerald B, Captain Jonathon, and Gene, our Cruise Director at our embarkation. And the last was an invitation to the Captain’s Dinner in the Pinnacle Grill on March 23rd. Only we had a problem with the date, because we won’t be here on the ship, but on the safari in Sri Lanka. We’ll have to re-schedule immediately. Hopefully they have us together with friends Barb, Ed, Jan, and Don with Peter, the purser. And hopefully, they will want to change the date too. If not we can either make another date, or decline, and receive the complimentary gift anyway. It has always been such a nice affair, that we would hate to miss it.

 

The dining room was closed for lunch today, so we wandered up to the Lido for our sandwich fix. We are so pleased with the return of the custom sandwich maker, that we thanked Henk and Christel for going back to the old service. We have heard nothing but positive remarks about returning the service.

 

We had intended to go back to town for a second walk about, but all aboard time was 3:30pm, and it was already that. We grabbed the camera, and headed to the sail away party on the aft pool deck, and got there in time to watch the Whisper have her lines dropped, and slip out of the harbor. Despite the heat outside, it was crowded with guests enjoying the canapes, drinks, and calypso-style Caribbean music on the speakers. Judging from the passengers back here today, it appears that the age has gotten a tad bit younger than us. A good thing, perhaps keeping the music selection in the 21st century.

 

As it turned out, we were ½ hour late leaving, because a few tours were running late. That confirmed that the Captain will wait for HAL shore excursions if they are late. Seems odd to us not to see Irene and Leslie, the managers normally on the Grand Voyage, standing in the parking lot, nervously waiting for the “missing in action”. There was a different group waiting, as Leslie and Irene are on the Prinsendam, we heard.

 

After we were well away from the port, we stayed to watch the sun dip behind heavy gray clouds, and disappear. We did get a decent sunset, but not spectacular. The good thing was that it cooled down, once the sun was gone. According to Jonathon, tomorrow will be a hot one as we transit the Panama Canal.

 

At dinnertime, we shared stories of the day with our new tablemates. We all did different things, so it was fun to see things through each other’s eyes. Bonnie and Paul had done a trip to the canopy on their own, and were quite pleased. And they saved lots of money also. It was a good day for all.

 

We took notice of a group of fellows, eating at a table for eight at the window. Too young to be passengers, Barb asked if they were entertainers. Barb is NOT shy. As soon as they spoke, we knew they were singers, especially with the British accent. They described their show, and we seem to remember them from previous trips. They will be onboard to Tahiti, lucky guys, so we will definitely check out their performances.

 

The clocks had to be set ahead one hour tonight, darn. Seems that Costa Rica is on Central time, but Panama is on Eastern. So it is well past 1am, and way past our bedtime!

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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Sounds like a good day in Costa Rica. We stopped in Puerto Limon years ago and it sounds as if it has since expanded as a port stop. When we were there it didn't have anything similar to a "souvenir building" and not much beyond the fence other than perhaps the "local" in the community park. :D

 

Thanks again for bringing us along, Barb

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What was the feedback from her performance? I have followed her career since she won Miss Georgia. Hopefully she was as great as I remembered from when I was 10!

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Good morning,

Thank you for my daily cruise joy as I read your message. I look forward to it everyday.

I am amazed by your window garden. I never heard of planting bulbs in your cabin. I love the idea. Have you ever had problems with items falling out of the window? Please send us some photos so we can see your progress. Do you give them to the crew at the end of the cruise? Sorry, can't think of the end of a cruise.

Another question as I have never done a world cruise. ( It is the latest addition to my bucket list.) Do the yearly cruises change every year? I think I read you have been blessed to do this cruise a few times and I wonder where you still would like to visit?

Please let us know your favorite destinations.

 

Thank you so much for all your efforts to include us in your wonderful journey.

 

I will enjoy my garden in Arizona but I would love to see yours.Have fun.

 

4boysnana

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Report # 11 Transiting the Panama Canal & Fuerte Amador, Panama January 10, 2016 Sunday Part # 1 Sunny & 91 degrees 65 Pictures

 

The country of Panama is important for many things, but the most important aspect is the link from the east to the west via the Panama Canal. It is the world’s most famous shortcut. And is also the source of a major employer for the citizens of Panama. The population is 3,360,474, with the capital at Panama City. The area consists of 29,112 square miles, and the language is Spanish.

 

The best time to visit is mid- December through mid-April during their dry season. You can watch the sunrise over the Pacific, then view the sunset over the Caribbean.

 

What’s to eat: chicken and cilantro soup called sancocho, or a meat-filled yucca puff called carimanolas. And what about drinks? A sweet corn, cinnamon, vanilla & ice milk concoction called chicheme, or a sugarcane liquor served with milk called seco.

 

Interesting random fact: Panama Canal makes almost 4 million US dollars every day (2012)… probably more now.

 

We transited the 48 mile long canal today for the umpteenth time. We have lost count of our transits. It was built in 1904 and finished by 1914. A high price was paid not only money-wise, but in lives lost to malaria and yellow fever. Simply put, three locks raise ships 87 feet to Gatun Lake, then two locks lower the ships back to sea level. The locks are 100 feet wide, and 1000 feet in length. Major work is in progress to add more and larger locks to accommodate even bigger vessels in the future. We have had the privilege of seeing this progress over the years. We would estimate that it will be several more years before the work is complete.

 

We did have a local narrator today, but he was not very informative. In our opinion, Barbara H, our port lecturer, had done a much better job on past cruises. But now she is not allowed on the bridge to conduct the talk. Too bad.

 

In keeping with a tradition of “swimming” the Canal, there was a Panama Canal Crocodile Swim event taking place at the aft pool at 11am. The thought of plunging into the murky waters sounded gross, but they do actually add one glass of canal water to the pool, just to make it authentic. This event brought out the fun folks in the crowd, who took turns performing their own swan dive into the pool. Henk, our Hotel Director, was present, already visiting with us and Barbie, when the event began. He was pleasantly surprised to see how many folks turned out for this special swim. Of course, if you take the plunge, you receive an achievement certificate as your reward. Several years ago, we dipped our feet in the pool, but it did not earn us that award…..darn. You had to jump in fully, or no banana. Anyway, Henk has been more visible, and probably for two reasons. He can keep in touch with what’s happening in our world, and also work on keeping his tan from their recent vacation stay in Curacao.

 

Although it was hot today, we have seen it worse. Most folks still had to be careful to avoid sun stroke. Even our tablemate, Paul, admitted he was feeling the heat later in the afternoon, and had to stay inside to cool down. Bonnie is still nursing her twisted knee, so she laid as low as she possibly could.

 

Too many things were happening this fine Sunday with football games…..the playoffs. Good excuse to come inside and cool off for some folks.

 

Actually, after we exited the final lock at Miraflores, it began to rain. Sure felt good. Instead of continuing in a southern direction, we dropped anchor and stayed off of the coast at Fuerte Amador, very close to Panama City. We will be here until 4pm tomorrow, and will have a chance to tour this area for a change. Four years ago, we took a tour out of the area to a hacienda. Back in 2003, we took the tour to the Embera Indian Village. So tendering into Fuerte Amador and staying in town will be new for us.

 

Dinnertime continued to be fun, as we all got to know each other better. Some of the cruise stories Barb has reminded us of simply have our new tablemates in disbelief mixed with laughter for two hours. And they have been able to share some insights into cruise life on different lines, far different from our HAL experiences.

 

We received our first set of “Captain signed” certificates for transiting the Panama Canal today. Bet we will see more of these………

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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How exciting!!!! I hope to someday do a World Cruise, as I cannot get enough travel. Please travel safely and enjoy yourselves. We were on the Amsterdam just after the World Cruise last year, and she's a lovely ship!

 

ENJOY!

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Report # 12 Fuerte Amador, Panama January 11, 2016 Monday Partly cloudy & 90 degrees Part # 1 64 Pictures

 

We had a rather short day here in Panama, with the tender boats stopping by 3pm. Most of the long tours had to go off of the ship by 7 or 8am in order to make it back on time. Many of the excursions took the folks back to different areas of the Panama Canal for closer look at the operations. One such tour took the guests to see the inner workings of the new locks. Others included a tour of old and new Panama. This old city was plundered by pirates, namely Henry Morgan, who laid waste to the entire settlement. This area is full of churches, convents, colonial palaces, bridges, military buildings and even dungeons. Now they are all in ruins. Finally, one tour we took back in 2003 was to the Embera Indian Village, where we got a glimpse of what life was like back centuries ago. It was pretty authentic, getting to the village by motorized canoes, then entering a village of natives dressed in period costuming or barely dressed at all. We discovered later that it was all a show, because we saw the minivans that had brought these people to the staging area. After the tour had ended, the “natives” climbed on the other side of the hill, changed to shorts and t-shirts, and went home in their vehicles. Very funny………

 

There was a complimentary shuttle to a mall this morning, so we had breakfast in the dining room (always nice), then grabbed the camera and headed down to the tenderboat. By 10am, there was no wait, and no need to get tender tickets. Actually, we don’t have to get the tickets……just use our card to go to the head of the line on deck A. We never do that, but we take a seat like everyone else. Unless we are escorted by a staff member, we try to go when the crowds are off the ship.

 

Many passengers were wearing the “almost” Panama hats, made in China, we got last night at dinnertime. Last year we got some decent hats, but this year they are starched cloth and made for kids from the age of 5 and up. One size might fit all. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts. Once we got off of the tenderboat, we found that the Panama hats were sold in all of the shops. Oddly enough, the original Panama hats were made in Ecuador, and still are we think. Excellent quality hats can run in the hundreds of dollars, and were created for the workers of the canal to protect them from the unrelenting sun. The tradition has stayed and everyone here wears them.

 

We lined up for the shuttle, which was a smallish van. We watched the local show by the colorfully-clad dancers in the outside patio while waiting. The bus took us across the Causeway for about 4 miles, then through part of the outskirts of Panama City to the Albrook Mall. We sure did not expect to see such a huge, modern, two-story complex chock full of highend shops, restaurants, and department stores. You needed a map to navigate it. Spending two hours walking, we never covered all of it. Since it was still too early for lunch, we decided to take the shuttle back to Fuerte Amador, and find a restaurant there. We were concerned about traffic, and getting stuck in town.

 

We did find the best place to eat…….Lenos and Carbon, an Argentinian steakhouse with a view of the marina. The menu was actually an ipad that we scrolled to check out their drinks and appetizers. We ordered nachos and one order of chicken fajitas with two ice cold beers. Our timing was good, because the place filled up within the hour. We saved a little room for some ice cream. The currency here is the US dollar, and everything was priced close to what we pay at home.

 

We headed back by 2:30pm, along with many other people that were returning from tours. The boat ride back was not as smooth as in the morning. Going way to the front of the boat, we had a merry-go-round trip back to the tender landing. Took some time off-loading the folks too. By the way, there was a table set up near the stairs on deck A for shoreside- purchased alcohol drop-offs. First time we remember seeing that on a world voyage.

 

The sail away began at 3:30pm, but this time, there were fewer people there. Perhaps it was too warm, and too many folks had way too much sun yesterday. We noticed that no band was present to play “Anchors Away” as they have always done in the past. Looks like the band has been pulled from this event. Too bad, because it made the world cruise “grander” than a 7 day trip. Another tradition to bite the dust. Yes, we did have “canned” music for one hour. A few trays of egg rolls were circulating around the deck, but for the most part, all of it was gone by the time we got there at 3:50pm. Have not seen the umbrella drinks being sold yet either. People have backed off of the sweet, fancy drinks these days.

 

We always look forward to sailing out of harbors for the birdlife. Last night, there were hundreds of birds flying low around the lights of the ship, plucking tiny fish from the water’s surface. To our surprise, they were non-existent today. We saw a couple of pelicans and a small flock of boobys. Other than that, nothing. The Captain mentioned during his short talk that we may be in for some rain in a few days. Actually, we have a long stretch of sea days ahead of us on our way to Nuku Hiva. Seems like we just did that. Oh yeah, we did, in November of last year.

 

Dinner was different tonight with the offering of veal cheeks, which was more like a braised meat with a tasty gravy. The sliced sirloin was good as always with cheesy grits. Barb recommended it and she was right. Even though it was not on the menu, one of us ordered jello. It came in the tiniest of glasses with a few blueberries. Was enough. We have been pretty good about not ordering the overly-sweet and sticky desserts. The fruit plate has been a nice way to end the meal.

 

Good news: we had two more gifts…….journals by Moleskine and one hour back on the clock. Always a gift when it goes back.

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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Report # 13 Sailing Towards Nuku Hiva January 12, 2016 Tuesday Partly cloudy, rain & 81 degrees

 

The Amsterdam has now begun the eight day journey to Nuku Hiva in French Polynesia. This should be the longest stretch at sea we will have on this voyage, even longer than trans-Atlantic. No doubt there will be some special activities happening during that time. As we will be crossing the Equator soon, it would seem likely that we would have the Equator Ceremony. But there is no mention of it on the itinerary that ends in Sydney, so perhaps it will happen later on in the cruise.

 

A Polynesian Location Team launched their program that will take place while we are sailing in French Polynesia. Familiar to us because they have been on every South Pacific cruise we have done, this is the first time we have seen them on the world cruise. This group will be teaching Polynesian dance, crafts, and perhaps ukulele playing. It should be a fun activity for the guests.

 

How do you prepare and serve 12,000 meals a day? Well, if you took the kitchen tour today, you could find out. A behind the scenes look at this operation gave a quick glimpse of the planning and work that goes into the massive job of feeding 1100 or so passengers and even more crew. Sure have a new appreciation of the kitchen crew after this tour.

 

Today we’ll concentrate on the fitness classes that are offered during sea days. They start at an ungodly hour of the morning 7am with morning stretch and fab abs. That must be a reminder not to overeat at dinnertime, we would assume. Sit and be fit is conducted by show host Jodie, who happens to be the wife of the Cruise Director, Gene. She continues later in the day with aqua aerobics, and we can say that it is sure working for her. Of course, did we mention she is at least 30 or more years younger than most of us? Makes a difference.

 

Then there are qi jong, and tai chi classes with tai chi master, Cathy. She has been on the grand voyage for many years now, and it very popular. Some activities such as indoor cycling, body sculpt boot camp, and core conditioning pilates have a fee applied to participate.

 

Fitness seminars held today included burn fat fast, relieving back pain, and total body conditioning. At least there are options like these to help the folks burn some extra calories from the wonderful meals served all day long.

 

As you might expect, the weather has gotten warmer and much more humid. After breakfast, we took our daily morning walk, and noticed a huge difference going from the dining room to the lower promenade deck. It’s like entering a steam room outside. The sun was mostly out, but as the day advanced, the clouds got thicker and darker. No doubt in our minds that rain was on the way sometime today.

 

So before it did rain, we hustled to the aft pool, and took advantage of the sun while it lasted. The larger-than-usual group of sunbathers back there have established their territories, so to speak. The atmosphere is more like a shorter cruise, where the folks try to do everything and be everywhere before the trip ends. Perhaps it is true, because many of these people may be on segments as opposed to the entire trip. Anyway, we have our little group at the very back railing, where the breeze blows most of the time.

 

Shortly after 3pm, the rain began. Good time for lunch anyway. The Captain had mentioned during his PM talk that rain would start by tonight, and probably continue through tomorrow. Pretty common since it rains a whole lot around the Equator.

 

We relaxed on deck five at the Ocean Bar at 5pm, listening to the music of the Neptunes. They seem to be better and more upbeat from the group that played here last year. The dancers seemed to like their music because the dance floor was crowded. There are several dance hosts on this cruise, and plenty of ladies to keep them on their toes, so to speak.

 

Dinnertime was fun as usual. One new entrée was on the menu……a BBQ pork chop. Although it was tasty, it could have been cooked better. Don’t think pork is supposed to be on the pink side. One of us got served a chop that was more than pink, so it was safer not to eat it all. Our waiter said he would bring something in its place, but we said no. Now we know if pork is on the menu again (and it will be), we’ll order it well done.

 

The entertainer this evening was a fellow named Kermit Apio, the winner of the Great Comedy Festival, and a frequent guest on Comedy Central and National Public Radio. The fact that there is another hour back on the clocks tonight, may help fill the lounge with customers. We missed the show last night, which was the Huber Marionettes. Just saw him on the last cruise in the fall, so we did not attend.

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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Thanks for keeping us all up to date on your World cruise. I'm enjoying your posts very much.

Helen

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Speaking of that rare pork chop, has any one heard of anyone contracting trichanosis (sp) . I haven't!!!

 

I think it is not uncommon today to be served a port chop with a little pink, say medium. That's the way I cook mine, it makes for a juicer more tender chop.

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