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Host Grandma Cruising

Transatlantic travels - Pursuit Lisbon to Rio 13 November 19

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Lovely weather today and the breeze on Deck 11 was pleasant rather than fierce. At about 9:30 we slowed right down as we went by the Fernando de Noronha archipelago. These islands are apparently very exclusive - only 400 people are allowed on them at any one time and there’s a 2 year wait to holiday there.

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We were accompanied for most of the day by seabirds which looked like a type of gannet, but with blue beaks. They were catching flying fish.

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Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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Later on this afternoon we went to see Greg Moreland Up Close Magic show in the Living Room. He’s very good - this show (which will be repeated again this evening) was all card tricks. He’s also put on magic classes which have been very popular.

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We ate at Aqualina again last night, another lovely meal. I had the chef’s special seafood pasta as a starter followed by white bean soup with goats cheese and herb oil, my DH had lobster ravioli and fisherman’s soup and we both had beef tenderloin. I was very full so had Passionfruit sorbet for dessert, my DH had the hazelnut & chocolate Soufflé.

We wandered down to the cabaret and managed to catch the last 15 minutes of Bruce Parker’s show.  We heard him sing a couple of Drifters numbers (including ‘Save the Last Dance For Me’) and some Barry White numbers. He not only had a good voice, but was also a great entertainer and had the  audience singing along with him. 

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Bruce is back?  Wow!  I love him and thought he had gone from Azamara for good. I'd heard that they didn't have the budget for him any longer. They have obviously had a rethink. So pleased to hear this news. 

 

Phil 

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Some changes to our itinerary announced today. White Night was supposed to be tomorrow night in Salvador de Bahia, but the weather forecast is for rain tomorrow, so we are having White Night tonight at sea. That will be a first for us!

They had intended to bring on some local musicians (we were hoping for drummers) in Salvador, but instead Bruce Parker will be singing at White Night instead.

The other possible change is that there is a threatened dock strike at Vitoria on 28 November, so we may not be stopping there - the Captain will tell us as soon as he is sure what we are doing  that day - maybe another port or maybe not!

Today the Pursuit had their Expo - I‘ve read about them on other TA cruises, but never been to one. Each department had a stand demonstrating behind the scenes activity and we also got to have a tour of the back stage area that was interesting. One little tip that Kelsey, one of the singers, gave us was that they freshen up their stage clothes by turning them inside out then spraying them with a fine mist of half vodka and half water!
Here are a few photos - first the engine room

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Next safety 

 

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then a chef making marzipan roses

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Shore excursions had 2 sets of virtual reality headsets - I took a gondola tour of Venice! Housekeeping had a bed and showed how they’re made up and dining had lots of differently folded serviettes, and showed us how to make a rose.

During the expo there was a free raffle and a complementary bingo card - I’m not sure these actually added anything to the event!

Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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19 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Make sure you see Bruce on White Night. He's amazing and tell him a big hi from me!

 

Phil

Bruce sang three songs, and that was the last we saw of him.

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1 hour ago, Dylandude said:

Bruce sang three songs, and that was the last we saw of him.

That’s what he was billed to do - open the White Night music.  The rest of the music was the singers and musicians plus Lee.

Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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Despite being at sea it was a lovely calm White Night - very little breeze on Deck 9, although it looked a bit breezier on Deck 10. Nice BBQ as usual (although no lobster - maybe they were planning to take some provisions on in Salvador) - chicken, lamb, prawn & scallop kebabs, frito misto, freshly made seafood stir fries, paella, sushi, cold meats, pate, salt baked halibut etc  - and of course crepes suzette served by Ryzsard and Elisabeth as well as a good range of other desserts and fruit.

Bruce Parker kicked the music off with a few songs before handing over to Lee and the Azamara singers. 

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I noticed that the conga stayed down on a Deck 9, rather than winding its way up the stairs to 10 - I guess that was for safety reasons as we were at sea.

 

At the beginning of the evening the captain announced that he had been informed that the dock strike in Vitoria will be going ahead and no dock services will be available, so instead of docking in Vitoria at 8am on 28th November, we will anchor off Buzios at about noon that day and stay until late, tendering ashore. 

Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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This morning we woke up to heavy rain - forecast to stay for most of the day. All the ships tours had much delayed starts as there were heavy floods on the roads and traffic was at a standstill. Most people who had private tours had their tours cancelled. It was announced that anyone who wanted to cancel a booked ships tour, because of the weather, could do so and be refunded.

We had a leisurely breakfast, then decided that we might as well get our cagoules on and go ashore. We walked for about 5 minutes up to the Mercado Modelo, a souvenir market, then across the road to the Elevador Lacerda to take us up the old town area of Pelhourinho. It costs 15pesos to use the Elevador, but it’s free for the over 65s. There was a great view from the top across the harbour.

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We walked around Pelhourinho for about an hour in the pouring rain. It’s streets and squares are full of lovely baroque colonial architecture.  We went inside the Catedral Basilica de Salvador (5 Reals- about £1). It was beautiful inside - lots of statues and gold leaf.

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There were lots of Christmas decorations around and we came across this square with its nativity scene. 

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We also went into the Igreja da Ordem Terceira de Sao Francisco (Church of the Third Order of St Francis) which was breath-taking.

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Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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Grandma Cruising:

 

Thanks for giving all of us a great sense of your cruise experience.  Your descriptions are nicely detailed.

I'm hoping Pursuit does the Expo on our TA in April.

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When we came out of the church the rain was getting even heavier so we decided to find the shuttle bus, which was parked in Praca Se just near the top of the Elevador, and go back to Pursuit to dry out. Although it had only taken us about 10 to 15 minutes to get to Pelhourinho on foot, the journey back was considerably longer! When we got back we were soaked to the skin - but pleased that we had made the effort to explore. We loved the area, despite the weather. After drying out, we had a late lunch in the Patio and a lazy afternoon.

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We ate in Discoveries with another British couple. DH and I both started with escargots and cream of onion soup. I had the Chef’s special of lamb chops for my main course and DH had the Destination special which was spicy pork tenderloin with rice and beans. We both had lemon meringue  with citrus sorbet for dessert. We saw the last few minutes of Greg Morelands magic show, then ended the evening with drinks and chat in the Den.

During the evening the sea got rougher and it was quite a bumpy night.

Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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20 hours ago, Dylandude said:

Bruce sang three songs, and that was the last we saw of him.

Bruce is a guest entertainer rather than a member of the cast.  He’ll do a show or two during the cruise and maybe two or three numbers for White Night. He won’t be there for the whole evening and will leave the rest of it to the entertainment team, doing their usual numbers, YMCA etc..  Not sure what else you’d expect of him.

 

Phil

Edited by excitedofharpenden

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Mixed weather yesterday - quite a lot of sun in the morning, followed by some cloud and spots of rain. You could feel the captain changing course from time to time to try to avoid the worst of the clouds and mainly he managed it. A pod of dolphins was spotted off the port side of the bow, but we missed it as we were sitting on the starboard side of Deck 11. We managed to stay up there for most of the day, retiring to our cabin mid afternoon. There was the crew talent show and choir performance later on in the afternoon. We didn't go but heard that it was a very good show with some marvellous performances.  
Dinner in Discoveries - starter of gnocchi in marinara sauce, then mushroom soup for both of us, then I had loin of lamb with lentil curry and my DH had grilled chicken breast. We both had Grand Marnier parfait with citrus sorbet for dessert. A very good meal again. 

We had an early night as my DH has caught the cold that I (and Amanda) have been struggling with for the last few days. There seems to be a lot of it about on the ship!

Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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Also got the same cold at same time as the dreaded Az air con throat.   But hey ho still enjoying life on the ocean wave x

 

 

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Lazy morning on Deck 11 - saw a few turtles swimming by and some birds. We arrived in Buzios earlier than expected, so although we had been told there would initially be tender tickets, there was no need for them. We had lunch in Windows (I had a great Thai vegetable curry as well as my usual gelato - blueberry and cream cheese) then headed down to Deck 3 to get on the tender. The tender landed us on a pier in the middle of town. As we got off we saw crew members getting back on loaded up with Havaianas bags - they directed us to the shop and we spent a while there and I bought a pair of espadrilles at a very reasonable price. From there we went back to the pier and booked a town tour on a land bus for 50 Reals a head (about £10). It was great fun, but very bumpy - poor suspension and cobbled (Stone) streets.

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We had a great tour through the town and across the peninsular. 

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This is the house of Roberto Carlos - not the footballer, the Brazilian singer.

 

On the way we went past these three sculptures. The first was of Brigitte Bardot who came to Buzios in the 1970s to avoid the paparazzi. The second is called Tres Pescadores - the three fisherman - fishing and tourism being the main industries in Buzios.

The third statue is of Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira, the 21st president of Brazil who had a house in Buzios.

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Here are a couple of photos of Pursuit anchored in the bay, taken from different view points.

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After the tour we had a wander around the town and thought it was lovely - some very nice upmarket shops. My DH even managed to hear some Brazilian drumming - a little group of drummers who were performing along the street.

Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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Dinner at Discoveries last night with two British couples with whom we’ve become very friendly during the cruise. As this was our (but not their) last dinner on the ship, we made the most of it and had a lovely time - lots of laughter, chat and general jollity!

I had antipasto, clam chowder,  duck leg confit with mushroom risotto and chocolate ganache tart with raspberries, my DH had dill crepes with smoked salmon, clam chowder and turkey with all the trimmings.

As well as the normal menu and two specials, there was an special thanksgiving menu which included turkey and pumpkin pie.

After dinner we went into the show to see Kelsey singing Broadway songs. She was excellent - her finale of ‘I will always love you’ was especially good.

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13 hours ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

Lazy morning on Deck 11 - saw a few turtles swimming by and some birds. We arrived in Buzios earlier than expected, so although we had been told there would initially be tender tickets, there was no need for them. We had lunch in Windows (I had a great Thai vegetable curry as well as my usual gelato - blueberry and cream cheese) then headed down to Deck 3 to get on the tender. The tender landed us on a pier in the middle of town. As we got off we saw crew members getting back on loaded up with Havaianas bags - they directed us to the shop and we spent a while there and I bought a pair of espadrilles at a very reasonable price. From there we went back to the pier and booked a town tour on a land bus for 50 Reals a head (about £10). It was great fun, but very bumpy - poor suspension and cobbled (Stone) streets.

DAE6A425-EB3B-4D3B-9D86-29542E210ECF.jpeg
 

We had a great tour through the town and across the peninsular. 

6BE926E0-C5CA-4356-8C74-25BBA523B5B4.jpeg

70A4D94E-5770-4436-897E-B6C4787D49C4.jpeg
This is the house of Roberto Carlos - not the footballer, the Brazilian singer.

 

On the way we went past these three sculptures. The first was of Brigitte Bardot who came to Buzios in the 1970s to avoid the paparazzi. The second is called Tres Pescadores - the three fisherman - fishing and tourism being the main industries in Buzios.

The third statue is of Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira, the 21st president of Brazil who had a house in Buzios.

8E7BE293-30D7-49E9-9663-AA1844224782.jpeg

E0026936-4B57-4E6E-917E-C25BFCFB2015.jpeg

3D2345A2-B2AF-40C4-A4C5-B7A95E7E9255.jpeg
 

Here are a couple of photos of Pursuit anchored in the bay, taken from different view points.

F966F1C7-8352-4F24-A912-CBE43B82CBE2.jpeg

6E0A8A27-4DBF-4376-BC58-3CEC804FC40E.jpeg
 

After the tour we had a wander around the town and thought it was lovely - some very nice upmarket shops. My DH even managed to hear some Brazilian drumming - a little group of drummers who were performing along the street.

It's'a great town in which to vacation. We've stayed there twice for a week at a time, and really enjoyed the Buzios lifestyle there. 

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Buzios - so interesting!  Great photos, and the statues are wonderful.  Thanks for your evocative postings, HGC!

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We arrived in Rio this morning, docking about 9. The ship had to be squeezed into the dockside between MSC Musica and Viking Jupiter.

 

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We are flying home at 10pm tonight, so will be disembarking late this afternoon, instead of tomorrow. We went for a walk into the cruise terminal to look at the arrangements for taxis. There was a taxi stand just near the exit doors and we were able to book a taxi for tonight. We were advised that Friday night traffic is very heavy from 6pm onwards when everyone leaves work, so have booked for 5:30pm.

We had intended to get a taxi with two other couples to go to the Botanical Gardens, but DH didn’t feel well enough, so we finished packing and have had a lazy day around the pool. It’s cloudy but warm, so is very pleasant.

The other couples went and really enjoyed the gardens and their taxi driver was great pointing out places of interest along the way.

Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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We disembarked at 5:15pm, having picked up an ‘OK to disembark’ card from Guest Relations. Thankfully there was a porter at the end of the gangplank who took our luggage, as it was a good long walk to the terminal building. The taxi cost 120 Reals (about £24). Despite heavy traffic, we were at the airport by 6pm. Check-in opened at 6:45 and from there it took us nearly an hour to get to airside. As we have metal knees we both set the machines off in security - but much worse was to come. After security we stood in a queue for a long long time to go through Brazilian passport control - even tho’ we were leaving, rather than entering the country. We’re now sitting in the lounge waiting to be called to the departure gate.

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