October 23, 2019

Oct 22 - A Sea Day

The rainy weather of yesterday has given way to mostly blue skies and bright sun. The humidity is high, but the temperature is a comfortable 80 degrees. The walking track is quite busy with walkers, an endless stream of bodies working off a week of over eating. 

Speaking of eating, I was exceptionally good in the dining room last night, a small bowl of pea soup and a plate of fruit. Of course there were also some lime slices with my gin. No risk of scurvy for me like plauged sailors of long ago. The head waiter continues to do most of the work for our table. The consensus of most passengers is that the dining rooms are pretty non functional, the main dining room being worse than my time. Many guests acknowledhe that they have given up are are going to the Windjammer. Sounds familiar.

Those thoughts remind me that I failed in my challenge to define a lower level of expectation for ship food and service.

All that said about the dining room, the beverage service in the Diamond lounge is excellent!

Over the past week several officers  and management staff have made a visit to the lounge to visit with guests. Where in the past the crew was forbidden from accepting gifts from guests like a fruit basket or plate of chocolate covered strawberries, the practice is now permitted, at least on this ship. If I were a crew member I would be cautious.

This morning is the top tier party for all the crown and anchor members of platinum and above. 27 Pinnacle, 213 Diamond Plus, and 356 Diamond. The 3 top cruisers 1220, 1256, and 1272 points respectively. On my next cruise I join the ranks of Pinnacle. A few more benefits, access to The Coastal Kitchen on those ships that have it, and entry to the Concierge lounge again. A benefit that was taken away from Diamond Plus passengers earlier this year.

There have been a few very brief showers today. The seas remain at about 6 to 7 feet, enough to impart a gentle pitch and roll.

Sitting in the Crown Lounge we are headed directly into a very black cloud. Definitely will be more than a brief shower.

Just before we enter the rain cloud, several whales are spotted 50 yards off the starbord side. Not a usual sighting this time of year. Of course I don't get a picture.

As we enter the storm, visibility is reduced to a few hundred feet.

This afternoon there is an excellent presentation about pick pockets and some things you can do to protect yourself. Well qualified on the subject, the speaker advises and teaches law enforcement worldwide. Just a tidbit, pickpockets expect to make over $10,000.00 per day.

Veal shank for dinner was very good. I catch the last production show with the singers and dancers.

By bedtime the ships roll has disappeared as the seas become almost flat.

Tomorrow we arrive in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala 

Oct 21 - Punterenas, Costa Rica

The local authorities have contacted the ship and moved our arrival time up by an hour to better coincide with the tide.

As we arrive two tugs are standing by to help us into the pier if needed. Apparently the tidal currents are very strong near the pier, and it was the strong currents that prompted the change in arrival.

We are secured to the pier without incident.  Many buses back down the long pier to be loaded with excursion passengers. Yes they backed about a third of a mile as the pier is only about 25 feet wide, no room to turn around. Semi trucks with provisions for the ship have the same issue, drive on, back off.

The skies are overcast and it drizzles rain on and off during most of the day. The sun peeks thru, almost dries the decks, and then it sprinkles again. Repeat, repeat, and keep repeating. By dinner time, as most passengers have returned to the ship, the rain ceases.

One passenger returned with minor unjuries. While zip lining he became stuck between towers. The bearings froze and would not turn. The solution, send another rider to crash into him and push him along. Now there were two stuck riders dangling above the  jungle canopy. Somehow they changed carriers mid air.

Some of the shore excursions offered here are the same as offered from the Caribbean side of the country. Makes sense once you think about it. All said, I stay on the ship.

Cell service here is the best since Miami, a strong signal and as fast a connection as I need.  The staff says the internet on the ship is working, many passengers report otherwise.  I haven't tried it yet.

A good day to possibly watch a movie, and listen to a book. Yes listen, as listening is easier than reading hardcopies or ebooks.

During the night there remains a slight pitch and roll to the ship. As always a good night sleep awaits.