October 15, 2017

Day 14 – Sydney, Nova Scotia

I can only assume we arrived on time at 7:00 AM, or maybe even early. I have no clue as I was still sound asleep. The high temperatures are forecast to be about 55 today, with a brisk wind.

Probably one of the reasons I slept late is that about 1:30 AM I awoke and wanted something to drink other than what I had in the room. The Park Cafe in the Solarium remains open until 2:00, so I dress and go to get a glass of ice tea or something. The ship looked like a ghost ship! Other than 2 staff members in the Solarium, the ship was totally void of visible human life. No music, no elevator bells, nothing. Well I suppose to be expected as this is an older group of passengers than what you would find on a three day weekend cruise to Nassau where ship boarding time is Midnight.

We docked here in Sydney last week, but this time the dock is occupied by the Zuiderdam and we anchor about a mile away in the bay. Four lifeboats will be used as tenders.

I initially was going to get off, but I am exhibiting the beginnings of a head cold so I will be content to stay on the ship. Not that it is warm on the ship, many of the public areas are rather cold. A fuel conservation measure I'm sure, aggravated by wide open doors to the loading platform for the tenders. Most guests are wearing winter jackets all the time, even to the dining room.

I meant to tell you about this earlier, but the day after we left Quebec there was an extra bingo session. Cards were $35 each or 2 for $60. The first two games resulted in small monetary prizes of less than $100, but the third game was an upgrade to a suite, obviously one that wasn't sold, or more likely one where the passengers just didn't show up. Based on the large attendance, my guess is that Royal netted an extra ten grand!

This morning I received an email from Royal Caribbean concerning the status of San Juan, St Thomas and St Marten sailings. Obviously the information that the captain gave us last week was in error or as one fellow passenger said "optimistic". The cruise line is hopeful that operations will resume by the end of the year, not last weekend as previously stated. Another evaluation in conjunction with government and port authorities is to be made in several weeks.

Indirectly related, some Caribbean cruises were being sold this morning for as little as $35 per day. I doubt the inventory lasted very long. Unfortunately I won't be able to take any of them because of other obligations. You win some and you loose some.

Everyone has an interesting life story, it is just that some are boring like mine and then there are others. Yesterday in the Diamond lounge I met an interesting young lady that joined the ship in Quebec. I have to say young as she is more than young enough to be my daughter.

She is from Colorado, has owned a dog sitting business since early high school, recently retired, sold her home and purchased a used RV to call home and placed it on a lot she owns. She downsized the dog sitting business and gave it to her parents. She is now traveling the world. If not on a safari in Africa, or climbing a mountain, she is on a cruise ship or an airplane headed for another far off destination. Who would think dog sitting could be such a successful career.

Tonight is the top tier party. I am sure we have more Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle members than last week, I will find out tonight. Speaking of groups, there are several very large travel groups on the ship. The first night one of them booked all of Chops.

The reported count: 259 Diamond, 202 Diamond Plus and 39 Pinnacle, almost 1/3 of the ship. Interestingly the hotel director corrected the information reported by the Captain last week, but of course did not refer to the error. Totally unrelated, the Captain reported that he is going on vacation when we reach Bayonne. For all docking and departing maneuvers he utilizes someone on his staff.

The Zuiderdam was using the only docking space today, but we arrived first. The captain waited, let the Zuiderdam pass and then anchored much closer to port. Yes we had to leave before they could.

I haven't totally figured out the towel animals yet. Some nights there is one, others not. Totally unimportant except for my adult girls, they can't sleep without their bedtime animals. I'll probably hear about sharing that detail. On second thought not, their friends probably already know this about them.

The dining room called my room this evening, having noticed my absence. I explained that there was no problem it is just that I am choosing to go to the Windjammer this cruise. So far it has been good. I am not sure if the improvements are fleet wide, or just this ship or this itinerary. Something I will never know for sure for sure until I cruise more.

Tomorrow we will be in Halifax, and sharing the dock space with the Zuiderdam. It is expected to be cold again, but as the Captain put it "no storms yet". I think he suspects something he is not sharing.

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