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rafinmd

Around the Horn in 80 days.

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Thank you Charles Aunt and lastlook.  I just hope we have someone covering the World Cruise.  Definitely not as much as last year with Pete and Judy on Seabourn and Scrapnana on the Grand South America.

 

Roy

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Final preparations for Prinsendam final Grand South America and Antarctica voyage.

While I will be posting this to the getaways blog the actual account of the trip will be on my major trip blog:

 

http://morethangetaways.wordpress.com

 

I have updated the itinerary page on that blog and have the framework for the menu and daily program pages but will not create them until New Years; that makes it a little easer to post files to those pages.

There are a lot of things to be covered for a trip this long

 

As Fire Department treasurer I have a number of reports to do.  I owe the membership a report for the last quarter of the year.  I have mostly prepared it noting that the cutoff date was a little early.  More daunting is end of the year tax reports.  I must do year end reports for our (2) employees, and 1099's for some of our vendors and contractors.  We have made our final payments for the year and I would like to go ahead but the government reporting systems will not allow me to do it until the year actually ends.  I should get most of it done New Years and Wednesday morning but it will be a few hours of mad rush.  Our office manager is not experienced with this but we will go over any loose ends Wednesday morning.

 

Personal taxes are an issue as well.  With the changes to the tax law I paid less withholding than last year’s taxes but am not sure it will be enough.  I filed an estimated tax payment to cover the difference.  I have started my return but can’t get a feel for my actual taxes until my mutual funds report sometime after I set sail.  With just 3 weeks until my next cruise I may need to file an extension in April.

 

The post office will only hold mail for 30 days.  Most of my mail goes to a UPS store but there are some things that can only be delivered to my residence.  I’ve set up forwarding my home mail to the UPS store until the end of February and will hold my March mail at the Post Office but cannot submit that hold request until the end of January.  I’ve added a reminder to my calendar.

 

For a cruise of this magnitude I would like to go to the port at least 2 days early but must be home January 2.  I am compromising.  I’ve booked HAL air on the first flight January 3.  It’s at 6:45AM.  I’ve decided to stay Wednesday night at an airport hotel to have a little less to worry about before the flight.  A local senior transportation agency has secured a ride for me to the hotel at 4PM Wednesday.

 

I am mostly packed but still have a few things there to take care of there.  I think everything will come together but will be very thankful when I am actually at the gate at BWI.

 

My weekend started with a breakfast meeting of my church mens group and I’ll take my parting shot from there.  In cruising there are a number of real germaphobes who will carry sanitizer with them 24-7 and wipe down every surface they touch.  I am not among them.  I will use the sanitizer  dispensers at the meal venues and wash my hands at the appropriate times but for the most part I just go about my life and especially use the hand rails as needed when on stairs.  One of the breakfast participants was a research physician for a major drug company.  I shared my  philosophy with him and he found merit in my thinking.  One of the prime weapons against  disease is a strong immune system.  If we avoid every possible encounter with any organisms we do not allow the immune system to flourish.  It is a controversial topic but that is my opinion and I am sticking to it.

 

Roy

 

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Great start to your live blog of the Grand SA Cruise on the Prinsendam. Looking forward to sailing with you again. We arrived early in Ft Lauderdale. We have had too many delayed flights especially this time of the year. Plus, we like to acclimatize to the time change. We hope to see you at the Boatyard on the 3rd. Hope your flight isn’t delayed. 

 

 

 

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I am in awe of your logistics!   Personal taxes are enough to make me choose carefully my cruise dates, lol!  Enjoy! 

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Roy, I'll be reading daily to see what your next adventure brings (and thank you Scrapnana also).  My longest cruise (to date!) will be overlapping with yours at the end but happily I have internet included so can keep up to date with your adventures.  Have a wonderful time!

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Roy,

Just found this thread,  thank you for the opportunity to travel along with you.

Wishing you safe travelling and a wonderful cruise.

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Thank you for taking us along with you.  I'm looking forward to your posts both here & on your blog.

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Thank you all.  One heads up, the way Cruise Critic has been working lately I'll try to post  timely but may post to the blog well ahead of this thread.

 

Pre-day 1, Wednesday, January 2, 2019, BWI Airport, MD

 

While I would like to have been in Fort Lauderdale 2 days early I have a number of tax responsibilities as treasurer at my fire station that I could only do in person after January 1 and decided on leaving at least a 1 ½ day cushion for my travels.  I actually accomplished a lot on New Years Day including the things that must be done physically at the station.  This morning I met with our office manager and finished almost everything with the exception of one Maryland report where the state is not ready yet.  Either she or I should be able to accomplish that final step before I board.

I left the station about 11:30, went to Panera for lunch, and did my final bit of packing in the afternoon (computers, snacks, and meds).  

 

For a few years after retiring I volunteered with a local agency that provides transportation for seniors but had to step down when I reached the out of control stage of cruising.

 

Neighbor Ride Volunteer Ruth showed up at 4PM, precisely on time and I was safely delivered at the Laquinta Inn at BWI airport at 4:30.  She had a roomy vehicle and my large and small backpacks fit into the back effortlessly.  I quickly checked in and set up a 4:50 shuttle to BWI airport as well as a 4AM wake up call.  While I will watch some TV tonight I will almost certainly head off to bed quite early.

 

https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/lq.jpg

 

My flight is scheduled at 6:45 in the morning and we have had a run of ideal weather that should provide no challenges to the morning nonstop flight.

 

My parting shot will be about the need to check and recheck the details of a major trip as I had a close call this afternoon.  My neck pouch with my passport has been attached to my daypack since I returned from the Grandeur of the Seas 6 weeks ago.  I knew that my required VISA for Brazil was glued into the passport.  I did one last physical check and found something missing.  For our travel to Devils Island near the end of the cruise we are required to be vaccinated for Yellow Fever.  The certification of the vaccine is something that is very hard to replace and I only carry it when needed.  It stays in my document box unless I really need it and I did not for the Grandeur so it was still in my strong box.  Fortunately that was something I could take care of in seconds.  They do not always ask for it but if they did that would put me in a very difficult predicament.  I am sure there will be other challenges and mistakes on the trip but at least one was averted by the skin of my teeth.

 

oy

 

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Happy (just slightly after) New Year, Roy! We seem to be experiencing some technical difficulties, but hope you are having a wonderful trip. 

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Thanks for the heads up about possibly posting to your blog first.  I will be eagerly following along.  It should be a most interesting cruise.  Have a wonderful time.

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Love all these live posts! Our 10 day Zuiderdam Cruise will be overlapping with the beginning of your journey, but I am hopeful the internet will work well enough thatI can blog and keep up with your adventures! Looking forward to it. 

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Thank you Scrapnana, classyfun, and whoever I missed on page 1.  Sitting at BWI Gate D2 with my plane parked outside.  Clumsy posting from my IPAD so I’ll sign off for now.

 

Roy

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Safe travels, Roy.

 

So glad you re-checked and got your yellow fever docs.

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8 hours ago, Classynfun1 said:

Love all these live posts! Our 10 day Zuiderdam Cruise will be overlapping with the beginning of your journey, but I am hopeful the internet will work well enough thatI can blog and keep up with your adventures! Looking forward to it. 

 

Just a heads up for anyone blogging from this voyage, it's been two weeks and I still cannot get internet in my cabin. They checked and apparently I'm in a dead zone on the ship. Beware of cabin #388.

 

Find your posting spot early. I can't image doing an 80 day cruise in this situation and also posting a blog.

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Looking forward to your detailed reports, Roy!  Happy New Year too.  I'm jealous that you are "doubling the Horn"! :classic_rolleyes::classic_biggrin:

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Thank you Jacqui, Rich, Carole, and Krazy Kruizers.

 

Pre-day 2, Thursday, January 3, 2019, Ft. Lauderdale, FL


There were some periods I had trouble sleeping but I was still ready to start my day when my 4AM wake up call came.  I was in the lobby at 4:45 for the 4:50 shuttle to BWI and through TSA PreCheck by 5:30.  After a stop at McDonalds for milk and coffee I was at gate D2 by 5:50 with my plane parked at the end of the jetway.


Flight delays.  Not this time.  Boarding started precisely on time at 6:10. When they called the for the handicapped to board I headed for the restroom and had barely left the gate before they called my group A.  That was before they called the families with children but when I got back from the toilet I walked right onto the plane.  I was a bit surprised that the extra room section was lightly booked; I had an aisle seat on row 4 and there was nobody in the other 2 seats.


We pushed back from the gate 7 minutes ahead of our 6:45 departure time and were airborn about 6:50.  I spent most of the time reading (A Hole in the Wind– a climate scientist report about his cross country bicycle trip) and we were by the gate 20 minutes ahead of our 9:38 arrival time.  We had to wait for our gate to open up but I was still on the jetway 10 minutes ahead of scheduled arrival.


I use The Airport Shuttle for most of my trips to BWI (both Amtrak and airport) and have found them very convenient and reliable.  My experience at FLL was somewhat less satisfactory.  They only have one pickup point at that huge airport and it was a very long walk from the Jet Blue terminal.  After I finally found it the van that showed up was not for me, but a few minutes later they put me in a private sedan.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/shuttlefll.jpg


I arrived at the Renaissance hotel about 10:40 and was quite surprised to find that there was a room ready for me.  After some unpacking and internet checks I headed off to lunch and shopping.  Lunch was a combination of soup at Panera, skim milk from Burger King, and ice cream at McDonalds.  I had planned on shopping at CVS, Walgreens, and Publix.  My first stop was the CVS at next to BK and McD, followed by Publix.  After those 2 stops there was no need for Walgreens but I did make a final visit to Office Depot for some USB drives.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/renaissance.jpg


A Cruise Critic dinner had been set up for the Barnyard which turned out to be just a stones throw from the Renaissance.  17 had registered but we had 4 no shows, and we were put in a small, private room with a huge table.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/boatfeast.jpg


I do not eat seafood which was the focus of the menu (as I am sure is true for most waterside restaurants) but they had a very nice petite sirloin which I joined with a salad, green beans and mashed potatoes.  Service was fine, but with our conversation dinner continued for at least 2 hours.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/dishes03.jpg


I was in bed a little after 11.  My parting shot will be about the TSA.  I found them pretty professional at BWI.  I’m pretty sure my airline ticket price includes a “9/11 security fee”, yet during the government shutdown they are working without getting paid.   Something about that seems wrong.


Roy

 

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Glad you arrived in Ft Lauderdale without any problems yesterday.

 

The Boatyard used to be the Bimini Boatyard and undergone quite a few changes.

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2 hours ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

 

 

The Boatyard used to be the Bimini Boatyard and undergone quite a few changes.

And it definitely seems to be the place to go in FLL.  Most of the restaurant was full when I arrived around 5:45 and when we left after 8, people were everywhere waiting for tables.  And all this on a Thursday night!

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