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Scrapnana

Live from the 2019 Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage

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Posted (edited)

 

Once again I will be writing a blog and posting on Cruise Critic (and hoping that whatever the issue CC is having with the HAL forum will soon be permanently fixed).  I will not be posting pictures on CC that will be on my blog.  I am hoping that fellow passengers will post anything they wish as well.

 

The cruise starts this Friday - January 4 - so not quite live yet but I left home today so I will start with that.

 

If you want to view the pictures, here is a link to my blog.  https://2019halgv.blogspot.com/  

You can subscribe to the blog and get an e-mail whenever a new post is made.  Just scroll down to the bottom of the page on the blog and enter your e-mail.

 

January 2, 2019 

 

Home to Fort Lauderdale

 

The day started very early – actually it was a continuation of Tuesday.  As some of you already know, I am a night owl.  Since I had to leave home at 3:30 am, I decided not to even try to go to sleep Tuesday night.  I left home and drove to my friend, Carolyn’s house.  Once again, she was nice enough to offer to drive me to the airport (even at 4 am!).  I left my car at her house where my daughter and son-in-law will pick it up later.

 

 

We arrived at the airport about 4:20 and since I had already checked-in and printed my boarding pass at home, all I had to do was print my luggage tag.  I had taken a number of items out of my suitcase and was able to get it to 48.8 pounds at home but it weighed 52 pounds at the airport.  Luckily, they did not charge me extra.

 

 

Getting through security was a breeze since I have TSA pre-check with my Global Entry.  Boarding was supposed to start at 5:25 but it was about 10 minutes late.  Even so, boarding went quickly and we pulled away from the gate right on time at 6 am.  We were number 1 in the queue for take-off and we were off by about 6:10. It was a very smooth flight and the seatbelt sign stayed off once we reached 10,000 feet until we started our descent.

 

 

I really like flying JetBlue because they have lots of leg room (even the very tall guy sitting next to me was not bumping his knees on the seat in front of him), free wi-fi in flight (although I did not use it this time), and, best of all, non-stop flights between RIC and FLL.

 

 

I nodded off after my orange juice and pretzel breakfast for a few minutes and suddenly we were getting ready to land.  The flight was close to 20 minutes early landing.  My suitcase was one of the first ones on the carousel, there was no line for a taxi and I was at the hotel just before 9 am ($16 for taxi).  I was very pleased that my room was ready (I had checked in on-line Tuesday night) and I was upstairs by 9:02.  I totally destroyed the room with unpacking various items in hopes that things will be better distributed on the way to the ship on Friday.

 

 

I was yawning so much I decided that a nap was in order.  I slept for about three hours.  It was then time for a swim.  The hotel has a very nice pool. I read for awhile and then did some laps.  There were a few kids playing in the pool but they stayed near the edge so I could swim with no problems.  I only did about 2/3 of my normal laps before getting out and reading some more.  Although the high was in the low 80s, there was a nice breeze and it never felt warm.

 

 

One of the reasons I chose the Renaissance Cruise Port Hotel was because it is on SE 17th Street which I knew had a number of stores and restaurants nearby.  About 3:15 I started off for the shopping area where the Panera is located (same Panera where I spent some quality internet time on my 2014 WV) which is about a 7-minute walk (remember, I walk slowly).

 

 

I first went to the Ross store where I found a new bathing suit.  I swim at the YMCA about four days a week and the pool does a number on my bathing suits.  The Y pool is where my old bathing suits go to die so I am always on the lookout for inexpensive suits (the one I found was only $19.99 so no big deal when it dies).

 

 

Next stop was the $ store.  One of the things I had to leave behind was hairspray so I stocked up for the cruise plus I found a few other items.  They did not have a few things I needed so I will walk across the street to Walgreens tomorrow (another plus for the location).

 

 

By then I was very hungry since the juice and pretzels were hours before so Panera was my next stop.  I had a dollar off a pasta dish and a free bagel on their loyalty  program so I had my favorite, tortellini alfredo, and brought the bagel home for breakfast tomorrow.

 

 

As it was getting on towards sunset, I walked back to the hotel.  I tried to organize some of the stuff I had pulled out of the suitcase while I watched the evening news.  As I finish this up it is not even 9 pm but I feel myself fading so I don’t think it will be a late night.  Of course, every time I say that I have a hard time getting to sleep!

 

 

Smooth sailing until next time!

Edited by Scrapnana

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Wishing you a fantastic voyage!   Enjoy!

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7 minutes ago, dfish said:

Wishing you a fantastic voyage!   Enjoy!

Thanks, so much!  I am looking forward to so many new ports.

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Loving this already! We actually booked a cruise on Sunday, sailing out of FLL this coming Sunday, ourselves. We have a travel blog and I was thinking of making this cruise my first ever daily ‘live’ blog post series. I was trying to think about how to do it and you just made it clear! Pics on the blog, text on both. Thank you for that! I will look forward to reading about your voyage for the next couple of months as well! 

 

Bon voyage and thank you again! 

 

Michelle

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Looking forward to both your blog & live posts.  Thank you for taking us along with you.

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Kathi have a wonderful cruise - I will be following this thread and your blog. 

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Hi Kathi,

 

I am really looking forward to your blog, as I know that it will help me plan for the same trip in 2020. I am really interested in your choice of excursions and getting ideas about what to pack to meet the diverse weather conditions unique to this cruise. I hope that you will be posting some trivia questions as well, so that I can practice for 2020. Already signed up for your blog and will be following your live posts. Hope you don't mind if I share your blog link with our Volendam, 2020 roll call.

 

Have a fabulous cruise!!

 

Bonnie

 

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Thanks for continuing your blog. Will be following until we board the Zaandam on the 30th. Then I'll play catch up later. Say hi to Sherita and both of you have a fantastic journey. --Susie

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Happy New Year,

Thank you for taking us along with you.

Wishing you a fabulous cruise.

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Sounds like you are off to a great start, Kathi for the New Year with a great Grand cruise.

 

Looking forward to all your posts here and on your blog.

 

Have a simply wonderful time!  Happy New Year and Bon Voyage!

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Kathi, we may both be getting lunch at Panera today.  I’ll emai; you my cell number when. I arrive and break out my laptop.

 

Roy

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Sounds like a great itinerary. Looking forward to reading your blog.  

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Your blog will be my reading after our cruise.  Have a fabulous time and I eagerly await your reports.  Safe travels.

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Kathi, Happy New Year!  Hope you enjoy "doubling the Horn" and more on this unique cruise.  Already enjoying your blog and post here. :classic_biggrin:

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Kathi. I look forward to your posts again for this cruise.  I know I enjoyed your thread last year on the WC.  I know that Roy also posts on his trips as well, so we will have two of you to watch on this cruise.  Hope you and Roy both have a great cruise.  Neil

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Following!  Bon Voyage...and thanks for doing the blog....always enjoy reading and seeing the pictures!

 

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2 hours ago, travelnap said:

Kathi. I look forward to your posts again for this cruise.  I know I enjoyed your thread last year on the WC.  I know that Roy also posts on his trips as well, so we will have two of you to watch on this cruise.  Hope you and Roy both have a great cruise.  Neil

I also expect that Sherita (Scluvsrain) who has her own blog will be adding depth to my and/or Kathi's threads.

 

Roy

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Posted (edited)

Looking forward to seeing you and Roy tonight. We are just relaxing around the hotel down the street from you and hope to see you around the time you arrive at the Boatyard. We had planned to do a primary walk to find the restaurant, but the relaxing atmosphere right on the water and a good mystery destroyed those good intentions. 

 

So glad you and Roy are documenting our cruise. Will look forward to reading and maybe even chiming in when we have something to say. Glad you both made it and weren’t stranded at an airport. We remember that crew and passengers were late in arriving in 2014. Consequently, the Prinsendam didn’t leave until close to midnight. Hope that doesn’t happen again.

Edited by Storylady

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14 hours ago, SusieKIslandGirl said:

Thanks for continuing your blog. Will be following until we board the Zaandam on the 30th. Then I'll play catch up later. Say hi to Sherita and both of you have a fantastic journey. --Susie

Hi Susie!

 

 I will post here on this live thread as often as possible too. I’m trying to get my own blog caught up as well. Not an easy thing when I’m 2 months behind.....

 

i arrived late late last night - my connecting flight in Phoenix was delayed a few hours due to a mechanical problem- we had to wait for a new plane but all’s well that ends well. The airport was jammed last night and I waited about twenty minutes for my Lyft because traffic was at a crawl. I’m at the Embassy Suites down the street from Kathi’s hotel. 

 

Another of our cruise buddies - Patty - is also here so we walked to the Walgreens  too and did some shopping as well as a trip to Ross and the always-fun Dollar Store. We picked up some school items for the kids at one of our ports in Brazil as well as some party things and some door decorations. Lunch at a burger bar next to Panera was good and gave us a chance to rest after our shopping spree. 

 

Looking forward to to our group dinner tonight at the Boatyard. 

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18 hours ago, Classynfun1 said:

Loving this already! We actually booked a cruise on Sunday, sailing out of FLL this coming Sunday, ourselves. We have a travel blog and I was thinking of making this cruise my first ever daily ‘live’ blog post series. I was trying to think about how to do it and you just made it clear! Pics on the blog, text on both. Thank you for that! I will look forward to reading about your voyage for the next couple of months as well! 

 

Bon voyage and thank you again! 

 

Michelle

Even though I purchased an unlimited internet plan, I have found that I don't have the time to spend uploading pictures to both the blog and CC. In some ports I get kind of carried away with posting pictures!   I figure it is easy enough to check the blog if a person really wants to see the pictures.  

 

Thanks for following along!

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17 hours ago, travellersrest said:

Hi Kathi,

 

I am really looking forward to your blog, as I know that it will help me plan for the same trip in 2020. I am really interested in your choice of excursions and getting ideas about what to pack to meet the diverse weather conditions unique to this cruise. I hope that you will be posting some trivia questions as well, so that I can practice for 2020. Already signed up for your blog and will be following your live posts. Hope you don't mind if I share your blog link with our Volendam, 2020 roll call.

 

Have a fabulous cruise!!

 

Bonnie

 

It wouldn't be my blog if it didn't have trivia included!😁

Feel free to share the link as you wish.  Thanks for reading!

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