October 14, 2022

Day 5 St Marten

I don't plan well for breakfast.  Chops doesn't open until 8 AM. If we have breakfast there, we will not have time to meet for our 8:45 tour.

We head to the Windjammer, the food source of last resort. Cold cereal and then back to the cabin.

Running in to the others, it is learned that Nick cancelled at the last minute. I decide to give my tour ticket to Amie. We just enjoy the ship in the morning, I take the time to catch up on my blog.

After lunch the others walk ashore for some shopping. About 25 pounds of Gouda cheese to be more specific. OK some tourist buy rum, others diamonds, my children cheese.

We have an early dinner today, 5:00 at the Coastal Kitchen. The children were behaved well enough. Not perfect, but good for being 2 and 4.

The food as always was good, the service attentive.  Being a restaurant primarily for suites passengers, they get a few young children, but not many.

The main theater  show this evening is a ventriloquist. Entertaining and a good show.

No phone calls today. Can I tell if the Z pak is working? Probably not.

We continue to head towards Port Canaveral at just over 20 knots. The seas remain calm. Time for a good night rest.

Day 4 St Thomas

We arrive in St Thomas a few minutes early and are quickly cleared by customs.  We have almost an hour until our meeting time for our tour.

I seldom take shore excursions anymore. This time I booked thru the travel agent instead of the cruise line. The cost was 40% less. I will soon know.  The driver/guide easily finds us and checks our paper tickets, yes paper is required. There are 8 passengers on a 12 passenger van. I expect everyone was fairly comfortable.

Ali is native born to St. Thomas. His mother from Columbia, and his father from the West Bank in Palistine. Well spoken, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and a good driver even though he drives on the left, the rule in St Thomas.  The tour is essentially the same as the equivalent offered by the cruise line. It was a good choice. The weather good, but hazy, caused by saharan dust.

Checking my email while waiting for the tour I find that I have a prescription ready to pick up at Walgreens. That is not going to happen until Sunday. An antibiotic written by the ENT Doctor. The pathology report must have identified a sinus  bug that needs to be taken care of.

Nothing I can do until I am back on the ship.

The tour is good, half the passengers leave the tour downtown to do some shopping. I head back to the ship.

A little research and the prescribed antibiotic is cipro, a first line broad sprectrum antibiotic.  Cipro did nothing for my sinus infection weeks ago, will it now?  How much worse will it be if I wait until Sunday when I am home?

One alternative is the ship's doctor, but he will be starting at ground zero. The results may not be what I need or expect.

I have a Z pak with me. Part of my boy scout training of 65 years ago. Be Prepared. A Z pak is generally more effective than cipro, but is overkill for some bacteria.

My best option is to just take the Z Pak, but my ENT is new to me. She does not know me very well, and this approach may get me off on the wrong foot. Not a smart idea when she is going to do surgery a few millimeters from my brain.

It will be best if I can call the ENT and lead her to make the decision for me to take the Z Pak.  Several calls later and I learn exactly what bug I have. A common bacteria that is not air borne or contagious. The nurse will talk to the doctor about my options and call me back.

Thirty minutes later she does. She still hasn't been able to talk to the doctor but tells me to go ahead with the Z Pak plan. Call if I don't feel better in 3 or 4 days.  Actually I will call Monday regardless. Day 1 of the 5 day Z Pak regime is consumed.

Doing some Dr Google research, this bug should have been eliminated by each of the previous rounds of antibiotics I have had over the past few months. I am doubtful it was. Hind sight is so great. Maybe this time I will be the winner. At least we know exactly what bacteria we are dealing with.

I have never made or received so many phone calls while at sea. I feel it prudent to see what the costs are with T Mobile. I am pleased to learn that all WiFi calls to or from a US number are included in our plan. There is no additional charge. An unexpected bonus.

Dinner and service in the main dining room is excellent again. Eliza has discovered the kids program and is taken there while the rest enjoy desert.

The show tonight is the Aqua show. We sit in the center about 3 rows back from the splash zone. Another status perk. The little kids are in total awe of the high divers and the acrobatics. The outdoor theater is nearly full.

Tomorrow we are scheduled to arrive in St Marten about 8:00 AM. I have a tour booked thru Royal that leaves at 8:45. the others are meeting with a friend, Nick, for a personal tour day. The seas remain calm, and skies fair.

Day 3 at Sea

The seas remain calm. Through the day there are a few passing showers. When the sun and clouds are in just the right position there are bright rainbows that at times seem close enough to reach out and touch.

I return the call to the ENT office. Scheduling needs a release from my cardiologist before they can schedue the sinus surgery. Standard process for nearly any medical procedure beyond filling a tooth cavity.

A call to my cardilogist office. No problem, but they have not received a request from the ENT. I get the needed fax number, and call the ENT scheduling office again. This sounds simple, but getting to the correct person in a large health organization can be a challenge. She insists she has faxed the form, and will let me know if they don't have it back in a day or so.

One of the perks of being a Pinnacle member is that we can have breakfast in Chops Grille. Always prepared to order, excellent service, and not very busy. A restaurant for at least 100, there are only 57 pinnacle guests on the ship, and not all of us eat breakfast at Chops, and if we do, not all at the same time. Usually there are only 6 or 8 guests there for breakfast.

An interesting tidbit that I learned at the Top Tier party this morning is that during the covid shutdown, Royal had cutback to about 2000 employees worldwide. To get back in full operation they had to ramp up to over 42000 employees. Definitely a major undertaking.

The top cruiser on this cruise has almost 6000 points. Definitely many years on a Royal cruise. Generally 1 day on a ship translates to 1 point,  with extra points for suites and some special promotions. You may think I cruise often, but that is over 7 times as much as I have cruised.

Grease is the main show in the theater this afternoon. I have seen it several times before, but each production has its own character based on the performers. The theater is nearly full.

Back to the main dining room for dinner. Again excellent service and good food.  After dinner we all go to one of the ice shows. The little kids are in complete awe of the skaters.

Seas remain calm and sailing smooth as we head to a noon arrival time in St Thomas.

Today was my birthday, in addition to the usual towel animal, I have a large towel cake on the bed compliments the room steward.