January 23, 2020

Jan 21, 22 Scheduled Sea Days

During the night there is some motion to the ship as the winds from a cold front moving south across Florida churns up the seas.  The air temperature remains about 70, and the skies are mostly cloudy and overcast. The day is consumed listening to the shore excursion presentation, some walking on the deck, a brief lunch, and listening to Anna on the piano. Soon it is time to dress for dinner. Reservations were for dinner at 5, but I changed that to 6:00 as 5:00 was too early, even for me. At the same time I booked two specialty restaurants for later in the week using a BoGo special intended for use only on the first two days. Another advantage of being a top valued customer, exceptions are easily made.

Tonight is the first formal night and also the captain's reception. Surprise number two from the dining room. The slices of tenderloin were very good. Two excellent meals in a row!

After dinner a stop in the Schooner bar for musical entertainment by Perry Grant.

Throughout the day the seas slowly subsided from what were approximately 10 foot seas to 5 foot. The ships motion is slight. Skies remained overcast all day, few people were in the pools. Even if it were bright sun, probably few of this very mature crowd would be sun worshipers. There are few children under 18 maybe a dozen at the most.

During the night the motion of the ship unexpectedly increases. Creaks and moans are frequent and some sounds are unexplained but sound like a cart crashing into one wall and then another as it rolls around a deck above.

At daybreak the captain makes an announcement throughout the ship. We changed course during the night, and are now headed to Falmouth, Jamaica to disembark a passenger requiring medical care. Our stop in Costa Rica has been cancelled, but we will spend about 4 hours in Falmouth.  Such is the unpredictable life on a cruise ship. Fortunately the diversion is not being made for me. 

The skies are overcast winds brisk, and there is a slight drizzle as the harbor pilot from Falmouth boards the ship.

Two attempts to back the ship down the narrow channel are aborted. The wind and currents are just too strong. Our ship narrowly avoids being grounded, being forced by the wind and current to within a few feet of a buoy marking the edge of the channel. I think it is the first time I have witnessed a Captain order full throttle ahead while moving in a reverse direction. Shortly the harbor pilot leaves the ship and we head for Colon.

No word on the passenger. It appears the wind and seas are too severe to attempt a transfer to another vessel or for a helicopter to attempt an evacuation.

I head to the Solarium for lunch at Park Cafe. A bad choice, the entire Solarium is covered with half an inch of water that has sloshed from the pool and hot tubs.  Maybe contributed to by our fast acceleration. With a well seasoned manifest of passengers, everyone is taking the changes, the weather, and the seas in stride. Surprisingly, few are complaining. I say few as at least one passenger was demanding a total refund because of not going to Costa Rica. Obviously the request was totally denied.

The captain makes another announcement about updated plans. Being barely audible I have no clue, but will find out from others.

Anna is a different style of piano player. She never sings, and seldom says anything during her performance. Of German ancestry I believe, in person she is a delightful lady. I first met her on the Monarch Of The Seas, probably in 2012 or 2013. Her appearance has not changed a bit. Probably she still plays the same  music. Regardless, enjoyable. I catch a set and a half before cocktail hour.

Dinner tonight is in the Windjammer and then an hour of Perry. Disappointing as his set was an identical repeat of the show the previous night.

I learn that we are headed to Colon at top cruising speed of 23 knots, expecting arrival tomorrow afternoon to make another attemp to get  the passenger needing medical assistance ashore.

The skies remain overcast and the seas gradually improve the further south we get.