January 28, 2020

Jan 26, 27 Aruba

The seas remain calm for our leisurely cruise from Cartagena to Aruba. With temperatures about 80, the sun decks are packed. Passengers are eagerly working on sunburns and tans, trying to make up for lost exposire during the first few days of overcast skies and light rain.

The top tier party is held in the main theater. Over 75% of the passengers are C&A members. This cruise has 62 Pinnacle members, 322 Diamond Plus, and 458 Diamond passengers. The top cruiser, which is rewarded with a bottle of champagne has amassed 2668 points, that is almost 4 times my accumulation. I need to cruise more.

Very few passengers are using the Diamond or Concierge lounge on deck 13, preferring instead the Safari lounge on deck 6 which probably holds 300 compared to the very limited capacity of the other lounges.

Mario, the Concierge host, had a collection of small nick knacks on his desk that have been given to him by passengers.  Much to our surprise management told him to remove them. It will be interesting to see if they reappear over the next two weeks.

We arrive at 4pm in the afternoon. I would guess that 25% of the passengers find dinner ashore, as the dining rooms have many empty tables.

The Club Med 2 is berthed behind us. A 600 foot long five masted schooner capably of carrying just under 400 passengers. Being much smaller than we are, she will visit smaller ports on her itinerary. She leaves port about 6:00, sailing under diesel power.

Another good meal in the dining room. Even the factory pastry that replaced freshly baked apple pie has been greatly improved from a year ago when the pastry was introduced. The pastry is now about 25% larger, and contains three times as much filling as the original version. 

Most importantly, the tree on the sandbar that looks like it will wash away any minute, is still in place looking the same as when I first spotted it 8 years ago. I have been told by other passengers that it has been here for many years before I first spotted it.

Tied to the dock for the night there is no motion, and none of the usual ship noises, but I still sleep well for over 10 hours.

The morning finds the sun bright, the skies clear, a slight breeze and the temperature 81. Over the next 24 hours the low is anticipated to be 79, and the high 82. Such is island life.

Holland America's Rotterdam is berthed behind us.

Before noon we head ashore for some window shopping and my usual lunch at Iguana Joe's. Excellent BBQ chicken strips and a couple of Pink Iguana beverages.

Dinner tonight is in chops, I think my caloric budget for the day will be busted.

The seas remain calm as we move to Curacao under the cover of dark. Being a short hop, the ship barely moves thru the night.