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Live from the 2019 Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage

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Great report.

 

Glad you are making different items than what you had on the world cruise.

 

Wonderful that you have figured out the internet and pictures on the iPad.

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Kathi,

 

I love your reports, still no better at trivia than I was before. The only penguins I would want to touch - would be the fake ones. If you see a real one wearing Y-fronts/briefs, watch out - [Bloom County 😄 ].

 

Glad you are getting your troubles fixed or able to work around them.

 

Carole

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January 7, 2019

 

Santa Marta, Colombia

 

 

I knew my good luck would run out eventually.  It has been twenty months since my doctor prescribed nasal drops and I had my last sinus infection.  Last evening before bed I started feeling the symptoms.  I was hopeful that it wasn’t what I thought it was but when I woke up I knew the truth.  I have taken two azithromycin and I will know in twenty-four hours if it is a bacterial infection because it will be almost gone, if viral then I am in for seven to ten days of a yucky head.

 

I decided to take the “Santa Marta’s Highlights” tour.  Santa Marta was founded on July  29, 1525 by the Spanish conqueror, Rodrigo de Bastidas.  It claims to be the the oldest city in Colombia.  

 

We left at 9 am and went to the Santa Marta Cathedral which includes the remains of the founder.  Then to the gold museum although it was more a museum of the history of the area.  After a short drive out of the city, we went to Quinta San Pedro de Alejandrino where Simon Bolívar died.  Our last stop was at a beach front hotel for a cold drink and Colombian music and dancing.  The tour was not the best in part because the guide was not very good and partly because I wasn’t feeling all that great.  I didn’t even stop to buy anything.

 

Upon return to the ship I had lunch and then took an hour nap before afternoon trivia.  We had 13 out of 17 and tied for first place.

 

  1. Who was the first woman named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year?
  2. Who shot Achilles?
  3. How many eyes does a bee have?
  4. Which movie features a maid named Magenta?
  5. Which is further north - Norway, Sweden, or Iceland?

 

After trivia I went out on “my deck” for sail-away which was delayed about 30 minutes because a crew member was ill and had to be taken away in an ambulance.  Just like on my last cruise, there is a forward facing deck outside of my cabin that I refer to as “my deck”.  It is a great place to watch sail-ins and sail-aways.  

 

I then worked some on the blog and got ready for dinner.  Evening trivia was at 7 pm.  We only had 11 out of 17 and the winners had 16.

 

  1. What is the national sport of Canada?
  2. What instrument does the Muppet “Animal” play?
  3. How many toes on an ostrich?
  4. Who is the patron saint of children?
  5. Who said, “God does not play dice with the universe”?

 

All seven present for dinner.  I had French onion soup, Chicken Kiev (not all that wonderful) and pavlova for dessert.  Six of us from the table went to the show which was a singer/comedian Carl Strong who had once been one of Gladys Knight’s Pips.

 

 

Afternoon trivia

  1. Billie Jean King
  2. Paris
  3. 5
  4. Rocky Horror Picture Show
  5. Norway

 

Evening trivia

1. lacrosse

2. Drums

3. 2

4. Nicholas

5. Einstein

 

Smooth sailing until next time!

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Great update, Kathi.

 

Oh dear on the nasal issue.  I sure hope you don’t end up with 7 - 10 days of yucky head.  Fingers crossed for you.

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Kathi, get well soon.  Can we get together with your laptop in perhaps the Explorers Lounge for a look at your posting problem?

 

Roy

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Another 'my deck' for Kathi.

 

Unfortunately, I never got up in that area, so I will have to look at old pictures to identify where you are. It's nice that you seem to have found acceptable cabins with a 'my deck' readily accessible on these older, traditional ships [without many balconies].

 

I badly bruised my little toe just the night before travelling to FLL, but all the necessary walking seemed to have me working through it faster. May your early recognition of possible symptoms, bring you good results also. Living in FL, I tend to find those nasal annoyances spring up when I go north of my area. I didn't have any on my recent southern jaunt/cruise. Good luck.

 

Carole 

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Kathi, Hope your head clears up with the Zithro so you don't have a week of misery.  I always take zithro with me as well when I cruise cause I usually catch something on the airplane when I travel.  I am finding that I am still not that good at the trivia questions, so please start posting the easy questions so I feel better.  Neil

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January 8, 2019

San Blas Islands, Panama

 

What a great day!  I woke up with no congestion although I was not fast enough with the pills to stop the cough that I always get with a sinus infection.  I am hoping that the cough will not linger.  I finally went to the Front Office and spoke with Patrick about my internet issues.  He solved the problem in a minute.  Turns out my computer was logging me in with my cabin and password from the Amsterdam last year.  I felt like a total dunce but at least I am now back on my laptop!

 

Although it was not a sea day, we did not get to the San Blas Islands until about 11:30 so I went to the Crow’s Nest to see if any other needleworkers showed up.  Over the course of the next hour and a half, two did.  I was able to do six rows on my newest shawl.

 

After that I got my computer “fixed” and then went to lunch.  An update about the made-to-order sandwiches.  Today there was someone making them rather than you making them yourself as I reported earlier.

 

I decided to go to shore just before 1 pm.  As I was leaving my cabin the announcement was made that tender tickets were no longer required.  I did not have to wait long.  Not too bad getting in and out of the tenders.

 

If you have not heard of the San Blas Islands, you are not alone.  I had never heard of them before booking this cruise.  There are about 378 islands and only 49 are inhabited.  The indigenous people are the Guna (formerly known as the Kuna).  The village where we landed was mainly wooden and corrugated metal houses and buildings and some dirt lanes and alleys.  The people were very friendly and virtually every man, woman, and child had something to sell.  I walked all over the village in about a half hour, bought a couple of things and then went back to the ship.  Had my afternoon ice cream and sat and talked with Inga from the dinner table.

 

We came close in afternoon trivia with 13 out of 19.  The winners had 14.  Shades of the “The Bridesmaids” from last year.

 

1) Leather is sold in different qualities – top, full, corrected, and split.  Which is the best quality?

2) What is the origin of the word “Ouija” as in Ouija Board?

3) What is the first movie to have two Academy Award nominations for the same character?

4) What was the capital of Australia between 1901 and 1927?

5) Bonus – Name the actors who played King Arthur and Guinevere in the 1960 Broadway musical and in the 1967 movie. (4 points)

 

Watched the sail-away from my deck before getting ready for evening trivia and dinner.

 

Only Pat, Patty, and I played evening trivia.  We had 13 out of 18 but one team had all 18 points.

1) What is the official language of Liberia?

2) Which continent is home to the largest number of countries?

3) How many countries changed to the Euro in January 2002?

4) Who was the director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy?

5) What was the first month in the ancient Roman calendar?

 

The Ocean Bar and dining rooms were decorated for Tropical Night and the servers all had straw hats and floral shirts.  Passengers were encouraged to wear tropical attire.

 

Phillip, one of my dinner mates, asked if we could move to a different table by the window.  Last night we were told that we could but would not have the same servers.  Six of us said we wanted to stay where we were if we had to give up our servers.  Today we were told we could move and keep our servers so we are now at table 119.  All of us were present at our new table tonight.  I had a fruit starter, sweet and sour pork, and pineapple crisp for dessert. 

 

Again the six of us went to the show together.  The show tonight was Devlin billed as the “Matador of Magic”.

 

Afternoon trivia

1) Full

2) It means “yes” in French and German

3) Titanic (Kate Winslett and Gloria Stuart for the role of Rose)

4) Melbourne

5) 1960- Richard Burton and Julie Andrews  1967- Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave

 

Evening trivia

1) English

2) Africa

3) 12

4) Peter Jackson

5) March

 

Smooth sailing until next time!

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And now for the very late embarkation day post!

 

January 4, 2019

Embarkation Day

 

I was able to sleep about eight hours which is great for the night before a cruise.  I packed the rest of my stuff and headed downstairs at about 10:35.  The one negative to the hotel is the amazingly slow elevators but I made it down in less than five minutes.  I was headed to the desk to ask if they had the number for a taxi or would call me one when I noticed a sign for a shuttle.  I signed up and the lady told me they had an opening at 10:45 or 12:15.  Looking at my watch, I asked her isn’t it already 10:45 and she said no, only 10:42 and I had time to make the shuttle.  So I paid the $6, went outside, and saw Roy who was also taking the shuttle.  It arrived about a minute later, we loaded up and was at the terminal by 11:00. 

Very few people were there and I only had to wait a couple of minutes before I was checked in and sent upstairs to wait.  The members of the “President’s Club” (the highest level of the loyalty program) were taken first to meet the head of the Mariner’s Society (whose name I have forgotten) and Orlando Ashford the Holland America President.  Next, the four and five star Mariner’s (this is my first cruise as a four star) got to have our picture taken with the bigwigs and then get on the ship.  Everything was continuing to go very smoothly as it had since I left home.

Too good to last!  I go to my cabin, insert my key card and I can only get a red light (door will not unlock).  OK, time to find Guest Services.  With the new key card in hand I return to my cabin to see the red light again.  Arggg!  Back to Guest Services and the young man helping me decides to come with me and try again.  Same results!  So he tells me to wait and off he goes back to Guest Services.  A couple of minutes later he runs down the hall and success was finally had!

I knew my solo cabin was going to be small but considering the odd layout of my world cruise cabin, it seems to be more functional even though likely it has a smaller square footage. But, the absolute best part is the closet – the walk-in closet!  Lots of hanging space, shelves galore and four drawers.  I smile every time I go in it.

None of my suitcases had yet arrived so it was time to have lunch in the Lido and do some exploring.  I found the pool which is at the end of my corridor, just past the gym.  Then upstairs to the Lido.  I had a good lunch of chicken, rice, and fresh fruit.   A little more exploring after lunch and then back to my cabin where my two suitcases sent through FedEx had arrived.  I emptied them out before heading to the Mariner’s Reception. I sat and talked with Sherita and Patty from our Cruise Critic roll call and had two Mimosas.

I emptied half of my third suitcase before the Muster Drill.  Being on a small ship sure made a difference because it was less than 15 minutes. 

By that time I needed to shower and change for the evening.  Because of that I was late for the Sail-away Cocktail Party which started right after the Muster Drill.  The drinks were all rather watery at that point so I didn’t finish even one drink.  I talked with some friends from the 2018 WV and then went to meet Roy for sail-away on the top deck.

We were supposed to depart at 6 pm but a couple were delayed arriving because of flight issues.  We actually left after 7 pm.  To show how addicted I am to sail-aways, I had to miss Trivia!!!

I went to the showroom because it was still about 25 minutes until dinner.  Linda, the Cruise Director, was introducing some of the entertainers and enrichment staff.  I had to leave before it was over to get to dinner.

 

I am at Table 157 with a man from North Carolina, a lady from Vancouver (but originally Austria), a California couple, and a couple from Alberta.  I had a Caesar salad (minus the anchovies), beef Stroganoff (which was delicious), and very disappointing Key Lime pie.  I have had the pie onboard HAL before but it did not taste like that.

Returned to my cabin to unpack the last suitcase.  I hope my stewards are able to take my suitcases to store somewhere because my bed is too low to put them underneath.  No way I can trip over three large suitcases for 80 days.

As I finish this up it is just about 11:30 and I am ready for bed!

A busy sea day tomorrow with our Meet and Greet, three (!) trivias, arts and crafts, and a show tomorrow night.

 

Smooth sailing until next time!

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Glad to hear that it was a simple fix for your laptop.

 

Have been to the San Blas islands -- quite a few years ago -- while doing a repositioning cruise from Ft Lauderdale to Seattle.  We were able to walk the island in a short time as well.  Very enjoyable.

 

Loving the trivia questions.

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Great reports, Kathi!

 

Glad your laptop is up and running.  Actually, your problem is a good tip.  If I have problems logging in on my cruise, I'll know to check that.   So glad your problem is solved.

 

Crossing my fingers that your cough goes away too and all your sinus issues are better.

 

 

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Early morning shots from our Panama Canal Transit day. It is rainy and soooo muggy!!!

 

You can’t start the first of 3 transit locks without the ever-famous Panama Rolls!

 

Our first lock transit of the morning began before the sun rise at a little past 06:00, also known as “why is someone talking outside my cabin at this ungodly hour!”

 

We’re now in Gatun Lake. 

 

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5A68853C-F620-4156-BBB7-BEE03FECC7D1.jpeg

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53 minutes ago, kazu said:

Great reports, Kathi!

 

Glad your laptop is up and running.  Actually, your problem is a good tip.  If I have problems logging in on my cruise, I'll know to check that.   So glad your problem is solved.

 

Crossing my fingers that your cough goes away too and all your sinus issues are better.

 

 

 

I've had that old sign-in gaffe several times, but my internet problems on this latest P'dam cruise - didn't allow ME to fix it. They did at Front Desk and that's when I discovered I couldn't access internet at all in my stateroom [that never did get fixed] but could almost everywhere else on the ship - they gave me half my money for my plan - just because of the inconvenience and loss of privacy.

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And what’s a live thread without a little food porn?!

 

Last night in the Pinnacle, there was a Special dinner called “Colombia’s Secrets” prepared by guest chef Carlos Estevez from Colombia. It was a delicious 5 course meal. Sadly, only 13 of us signed up for it. Cost - $35. The Pinnacle was 2/3 empty. So here’s a little “taste”. 

 

Top to bottom:

 

Pork Belly in guava, molasses and West Indian spices sauce. 

 

Sea Bass in a coconut-cashew crust with a mango relish and sweet potato purée. 

 

Bread pudding with banana, pineapple, macadamia and brown sugar, in an Antillean creamy dark rum. 

 

Beef Tournedo creole style with a creamy island black beans risotto. 

3CE96884-DF79-4DCE-B20E-C7278AA5AD99.jpeg

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D64E3949-FFC9-4297-AB43-7FF483EB16AD.jpeg

937001DF-0043-4A84-AF32-A8FE12AC5830.jpeg

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Good morning Kathi!

Just now able to get back into both your blog and Roy’s. Back from a long Christmas get away.

so loved your last blog on The Amsterdam and glad you were able to get a cabin like your last one.

What a joy to be able to ride this great cruise with you and CCers who are contributing to it. Getting educated with Trivia😳 Food porn yum. 

Kathi I know first hand with your sinus problems, glad you had your antibiotics with you!

I bring Z packs with me always just for a situation like yours. 

Back to my coffee this AM looking forward to more.

Denise😊

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, scluvsrain said:

And what’s a live thread without a little food porn?!

 

Last night in the Pinnacle, there was a Special dinner called “Colombia’s Secrets” prepared by guest chef Carlos Estevez from Colombia. It was a delicious 5 course meal. Sadly, only 13 of us signed up for it. Cost - $35. The Pinnacle was 2/3 empty. So here’s a little “taste”. 

 

Top to bottom:

 

Pork Belly in guava, molasses and West Indian spices sauce. 

 

Sea Bass in a coconut-cashew crust with a mango relish and sweet potato purée. 

 

Bread pudding with banana, pineapple, macadamia and brown sugar, in an Antillean creamy dark rum. 

 

Beef Tournedo creole style with a creamy island black beans risotto. 

3CE96884-DF79-4DCE-B20E-C7278AA5AD99.jpeg

7EFF5586-0B9E-4230-A795-E397F0E0A555.jpeg

D64E3949-FFC9-4297-AB43-7FF483EB16AD.jpeg

937001DF-0043-4A84-AF32-A8FE12AC5830.jpeg

Sherita,

wonderful pictures👍

I also am enjoying your blog and the fantastic colorful pictures of San Blas Islands.

Thankyou for taking the time to write and this journey.

Denise😊

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