It is hard to believe that we are into the 17th day of our voyage. We have officially completed one-fourth of our trip. This is the longest any of our group has ever cruised before. In relative terms we are really novices compared to the majority of fellow passengers. Since we have another sea day, I will take this opportunity to talk about…. whatever comes to mind J
On the thought of other passengers; due to the nature of the Grand Voyages the demographics of the ship are defined by the length and the cost of the cruise. As a result the majority of passengers is either retired and has the time and resources to take a two month voyage or have business which have been very successful and allow them to take a sabbatical to enjoy a cruise of this length. Although the six of us are by no means the youngest passengers on board, I think it safe to say we are in the youngest 10 percentile. Although this cruise does have an “older” clientele than you would see on a Carnival or Royal Caribbean ship, a certain charm comes with age. These are seasoned travelers who expect a certain level of service. This is not to say the majority of passengers are “difficult”; on the contrary most are very courteous and considerate to the staff. It is just that the Prinsendam crew and staff know there is a higher level of expectation of them than perhaps what would be expected on a seven day cruise. The Prinsendam staff definitely lives up to its reputation and expectations. Our dinner waiters quickly learned our names and our preferences. They know who likes coffee after the meal and whether they prefer regular or decaf. In my case they know I like a double espresso. There hasn’t been anything I have asked for that hasn’t been provided. On the first day, I asked our room steward that fruit and that ice be provided in the early afternoon. We always have oranges and bananas in the room. If we eat one in the morning, when we return in the afternoon it has been replaced. We always have ice. Our stewards are almost like ghosts. We seldom see them but it is obvious that they have been in the room several times a day. You can hardly use a bath cloth, leave the room for an hour and return without it being replaced with a fresh one. As Carl likes to say, we are living the “Life of Riley”. For any of you younger readers, Google it!
After breakfast this morning, Kay and I set out to get some walking exercise. It was very pleasant; the temperature was in the upper 70’s and overcast. After about a mile of walking, we could see we were sailing into a rain storm. We hoped to at least get another half-mile done before we reached the rain, but it wasn’t to be. We had to make a mad dash to the nearest door from the promenade deck.
I received a call from a nice Hollander, Ard, who I met a few days ago while on the National Forest tour in Santarem. Ard noticed that I had a Nikon D300s camera, the same as his. He had purchased his only a couple of weeks before the cruise and was having difficulty mastering some functions. I offered to assist him and he was calling to take me up on the offer. We met for about an hour and hopeful solved some of his issues. I also promised to get the name of the book I had used to become familiar with the camera.
After our meeting it was time for lunch, which was with the Cruise Critic group. Kay and I sat with Lee and Marcel, from Rhode Island and Karen and Brad, from Florida. We had a very delightful 90 minute, four course lunch. Yes, I know it is sinful to eat that much and take that much time for a lunch, but it’s raining and there are only about a dozen other thinks we could be doing….
The Rain Has Stopped
As I am writing now, it is about 2:00PM and we are planning the remainder of our day. We know that at 3:30 we are going to attend a presentation by Frank Buckingham, our travel guide on two upcoming ports. After that it will only be an hour until time for dinner. Maybe it will stop raining and we can get in another mile walk to dissipate some of the calories we have acquired today. Or maybe we will spend an hour or so just reading.
Sandra is not really saying a prayer and Janet is not really that disgusted. They just didn’t know I was taking their photo….
We just finished dinner and our entire group was in attendance; the first time in the past three days. Hopefully everyone is well again. Kay and I are planning to go to the movie; You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger. After the movie our plans are to enjoy the entertainment for the evening, a guitar virtuoso by the internationally acclaimed George Skellariou.
We make port in Belem, Brazil tomorrow morning. We do not have a shore excursion scheduled, but several of us plan to take the shuttle provided into town to at least visit the Vero Peso Market; One of the largest markets in Brazil.
There has been quite a bit of a problem with the internet service. The reason given, believe it or not, is the snow in New Jersey. It appears that the earth station which provides the internet service for our ship is located in Holmdel, New Jersey and the snow on the main antenna is interfering with communications. At least that is the story. With luck I will be able to upload this post tonight…