November 07, 2019

Nov 6 - At Sea

Today was another beautiful sea day. There was a strong breeze over the deck, the skies mostly sunny and temperatures in the low 80's.

I spend a few hours reading, or more accurately, listening to a book. The lecture subject today is intelligence, not of humans but of many other animal species. An interesting way to spend an hour. One tid bit. Whales recently learned a new method of catching seals. This information is methodically being spread around the world amongst the whale population.

I attend a hour and a half tour of the theater and all of it's backstage systems. A tour narrated by the people that run the lights and the sound etc. The most informative tour of a ship's theater I have attended.

In speaking to the technician responsible for sound I learn why I do not need ear plugs. He keeps the sound level between 80 and 85 db in the theater. Royal's guidelines call for no more than 95. A painful difference. He has a meter in the booth. Yes I thank him!

The only show tonight is a concert by the orchestra. This group of musicians has been together for over three years. When you realize that each musician has his own contract, usually about 6 months in length, the odds of them being able to stay together is slim.

Steve Davis has mentioned several times that other cruise lines are cutting out live musicians, instead using sound tracks. Somehow a soud track of a piano playing in the Schooner bar just doesn't sound right. Of course a  license to play music costs much less than a musician.

Chicken cordon blu in the Windjammer. Better than the same dish in the dining room last trip, and no rolls to tempt me.

There is a little rocking to the ship all day and evening. I can't tell you about during the night as I sleep soundly.

We are scheduled to be cleared for disembarkation by 6:00 AM tomorrow morning in Costa Rica

Nov 5 - Puerto Quetzal, Mexico

We arrive before sunrise to coincide with a favorable tide. The ship is cleared by local authorites at 8:30 and the thousand passengers taking Royal shore excursions begin boarding buses. I elect to remain on the ship, even forgoing the local vendors on the dock.

The solarium pool is packed, no peaceful swim today, in fact not even a lounge chair in the shade by the pool to be found.

I download my renewed books and spend a few hours listening. In the future I will always verify that I am able to open each book. I think this is a lesson I had learned previously in my life.

I have a long conversation with my waiter of last week. He has worked for Royal for 8 years and acknowledges he has seen the same deterioration in food quality that many passengers are aware of. One of his biggest problems is inconsistency from the galley. Over cooked, undercooked, cold food plated, etc. Duhh!

Everything is falling into place with Alyssa's house and move. Always having been good at organizing, the rental truck will be loaded before the closings on Dec 2, she will move in and organize her home over the next few days, and leave for a cruise on Dec 7. Fragile items are being held at my house to be moved by car instead of U-Haul truck. Just to add to her schedule, an engagement party is being planned for them at her sister's on Nov 24.

The port here is quite busy. The coal pier in front of us is empty, but every other pier is occupied. Three or four container ships and one RORO (roll on roll off). Another four container ships await outside the harbor for a turn to load and unload.

The fully loaded car carrier leaves the port just as an empty one arrives. The tug boats are busy running about between the two ships. They are required to help turn them as they enter or leave the harbor.

I was not aware of Guatemala being an auto exporting country. I question if vehicles manufactured in Mexico are being shipped from here.

The weather remains very nice all day. Returning passengers report very good tours and tour guides. Well most of them. At least one bus broke down, bus passengers were returned to the ship before boarding time, returned by another bus without AC, and without a complete tour. Stuff happens.

German theme in the Windjammer tonight. Very good, I have made the right decision. 

It is a night for the production show. Enjoyable, and I do not need my ear plugs.

Seas remain at about 6 feet as we continue South. Being a fairly seasoned group of passengers, I hear few complaints. As I have for over a month, I sleep well.

Tomorrow we will be at sea all day.