A Travellerspoint blog

Getting into the swing of life on board

Sunny days

sunny 29 °C

We eased into the day with a walk and a light breakfast. We found the time changed every other day on this cruise due passing through time zones and countries that were on different times. Up on deck to catch some rays we enjoyed the bocce on the lawn and caught the glass blowing show. Very cool, well actually pretty hot. They do an amazing job and the creations are auctioned off at the end of the cruise to provide scholarships. What a great idea.
Time to check out the pools. A dip in the 'adult' solarium, the hot tub, out to the big pool and dancing on the deck. The dance surface has holes with jets of water that shot up in varying patterns and tempos. Woe to the performer who drifts off the stage forgetting the random jumps in water height. LOL
We met Rick and Alan at the trivia. Okay we won that one, but I'll give credit to the guys it was music from movies. Not necessariiy the theme music but could be from a random spot. The funniest moment was when Jackie played the clip from Pulp Fiction a moment too long and the dialog was... you Mother F.....er She was mortified. (or at least I thought she was, maybe she was just playing us.)
We took in the Mayan lecture - it was okay...
We dressed for our formal night and met with Don and Stacy for Champagne. They were choked!! Celebrity allows you to bring a limited amount of alcohol on board. This cruise there were signs posted at the port saying no alcohol. Well a little late for us as we packed the stuff before we left Tacoma. It turns out Don and Stacy's suitcase was one of those that are randomly screened and the wine they had packed had been removed. Our suitcase too was screened only they left our wine, which was sitting right on top, alone.... again.. go figure. The line claimed the rules were special because of The college's spring break.
Food.. always something to think about on a cruise. I had the sea bass which was a little fishy. The chef said that was because it was fatty... shouldn't that really be because it was a little old? Ohhh... then a birthday cake for me!!!!!!!!!!!!
And the day isn't over. Then Captain's Toast, Karoke, Jukebox and dance. Jukebox is my favourite. We chatted with them and they know Mark, a former student of Roger's who was in Real Time, they also know of Robin's group Lionsgate Chorus. The Karaoke was okay some good, some not so good. Roger sang Danny boy in honour of Denny. Awwww.
See the clocks change again tonight, now we are only one hour ahead of Vancouver.

Posted by Mari Anne 15:10 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Day at sea and Grand Cayman

Okay so this was pretty amazing too.

sunny 29 °C

The day at sea was pretty much like the last one. Just plain fun.

I arranged this trip from home and settled on Geddes Hislop, a curator from the turtle refuge. I rounded up Bruce and Caryll, from Vancouver Washington, from the ship to join us and we had Geddes for the day. He picked us up from the port and took us up Island away from the tourist spots. If we ever go again he showed us where the locals go to enjoy the sea and sand and gave us some history of the Island. Off the beaten track we parked and he took us up the Mastic Trail. Over the four hours we met one other couple and an employee working on the trail. The trail is hot and rugged with only a 60 foot elevation gain, but with such little gain there were big differences in the flora. We saw so much, The mastic trees, pepper cinnamon, tamarid, mangroves and more. When he takes birders out there are certain birds he looks for but does not always find, we ... while not looking for birds saw the immature and mature bullfinches, parrots and doves. At the end of our trip Geddes had lunch for us made by his mother-in-law. It stated with Beverage, a home made fruit drink, called Beverage, and homemade sandwiches on a rather heavy, but tasty bread. It was a very good day for our last day on the cruise.

Posted by Mari Anne 15:45 Archived in Cayman Islands Comments (0)

Cartgena, Columbia

Not what we were expecting.


The day had to come when what was promised was nothing like what happened. Okay.. coming into port was amazing. Such a big city!!!
I don't want to spend a lot of time panning the excursion as it is not a highlight. The boat ride out to Rosario was great, but the hotel we landed at was dead, the beach was a sea wall, the snorkeling was not included in the price, they wanted $20 more to go to the snorkeling site then only stayed 1/2 hour. so....don't do the Rosario Island tour off the Celebrity.
We visited with Don and Stacy in the casino and met Gidi who makes the best mohitos!!!! then danced until 12 pm on the deck. What fun! I brought glow bracelets which I gave out to random people....and we had a great night!


Posted by Mari Anne 15:31 Archived in Colombia Comments (0)

Panama and the Embera Indians

Mixed feelings.

semi-overcast 28 °C

As usual we are off the boat early. This one is 'My Friend Mario Tours." Good buses, no evidence of seat belts, but has AC. Rey is our guide and was very interesting, he was well versed in the history of the area. The first stop is the canal and we were lucky enough to watch two ships pass through and we watched Coatimondi checking us out for food. In the raccoon family, but sharper features. To me they looked like manic Raccoons. So the main purpose of the trip was to visit the Embera Indians. This tribe used to make their living off the land, but now are limited to the area they are now settle in. They make their living by inviting tourists into their lands and feeding us, entertaining, us and teaching us about their people. I felt a bit vouyuristic, but really with out tourism they would not be able to survive. The Indians had arrived int he area to work on the canal and settle in the location where we visited them, which is now a national park. They would not normally live so close together. At one time they made their living by hunting and slash and burn agriculture.
The village was 1/2 hour away by speed boat. Wooden hulled canoes to be exact that hold a good twenty people. The people are in their traditional day dress which Rey said they do wear all the time. The only change they would make when we leave is that the women would go topless. Also the kids wear western cloths as they come out by boat to school. Their homes are built on stilt with thatched roofs and open sides. I didn't really go for a close up as I felt I was intruding.
The village has no electricity, but there was evidence of at least one or two taps with running water. The food was good, well the Tilapia was a little muddy, but the water there is really muddy so no surprise. The fish and plantain patties were served on a leaf and the fruit was so sweet and juicy.
The chief spoke about the history of their people and they showed us two traditional dances and had us join them for the third. We had our one and only rain shower on our trip back to our starting point.

Posted by Mari Anne 14:59 Archived in Panama Comments (0)

Costa Rica

Not what we had planned, but okay

sunny 30 °C

So.. our Tubing trip down the river was cancelled due to lack of registration. Darn!!!
We decided to spend the day with Don and Stacie and just explore. This was our first time off the ship and trying to pick the tour guide who would do a good job and treat us well. We picked the third guy who approached us and squeezed into his little taxi. This was the taxi of the port. They were all small red cars which made a warm squeeze for four adults one of whom is over six feet.
Robert is Nicaraguan. He showed us the coast line where his mother walked in the 80s for 19 days down the coast from Nicaragua with his little brother. He now lives up the hillside. Up 68 stairs to be exact. He says his mother does not like to come up to his house. LOL. He has a wife and two little children. He showed us where he likes to come in the morning to read his bible at the seashore.
We stopped at an old museum location which have a few 'relics' from that time. They are reproductions, but look very cool in the greenery and cave in the hillside. The earthquake in 1991 caused so much damage when the ground rose 9 feet and the sandy beach disappeared.
Our next stop was the Tartuega Canal. We invited Robert to join us for our boat ride with Jorge the pilot. Yes we were excited to see howler monkeys, a caiyman, a sloth, various birds, almond trees...and so much more. The Coast Guard station is along side the river with very very fast boats with big engines. We took some pictures for James our son in the Canadian Coast Guard.
Next stop the BEACH. I love the beach and I played in the waves. We ordered what is supposed to be a platter of food four and ended up with food to feed ten. We enjoyed it and packed up the leftovers for Robert to take home to his kids.
Stacy was not feeling well so we headed back to the ship, but not before Don bought some cane rum and filled his water bottle with it to bring on board.
Dinner was good of course and we went to the 'big show" of which I slept through most of it. The funny part is they had the dancers who are on hiding and playing in the audience and using ropes for climbing walls and swinging from the ceiling. I was so intent on watching one hiding behind some seats I failed to notice one rappelling down the wall just behind my head. LOL
We caught Jukebox's show and off to bed.

Posted by Mari Anne 14:55 Archived in Costa Rica Comments (0)

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