Final Formal Night - April 25th

Our Dinner Tablemates Since January - WONDERFUL People!

Main Dining Room

Our Excellent Head Waiter Since January - Dewey

Fantastic Wine Steward - Rod

I will post photos & descriptors of our “typical sea day” on this page by May 5 – our internet ship plan has only a few minutes remaining - an insufficient amount of time to upload photos. As I write this on Wednesday morning, April 25th, Ft. Lauderdale is only 1,400 miles to the west. We’ve gradually made up 14 ‘lost hours’ over the past 3 weeks – now only 2 hours ahead of EST. The weather this week across the Atlantic has been mostly cloudy with occasional rain. We’re expecting thunderstorms by this afternoon, with moderate seas. The ocean has been very kind to us since leaving Portugal last Friday night, and hope it remains relatively calm. We’re due back in Florida Saturday morning at 7am. Meanwhile, we’ve put together a listing of our “best & most memorable/ forgettable” experiences for you, along with some other interesting statistics. Everyone has different tastes & preferences, & ours are based solely on what we’ve come to know & experience up to this point in our lives. For example, some of our friends on the ship thoroughly enjoyed India while we had a difficult time just going ashore looking at impoverished children – it was heartbreaking – but different strokes for different folks. One thing I know I’ve learned with certainty, and that is that people are people, regardless of ethnicity, country or religious beliefs. We all have hopes, wants, dreams & desires. We all feel pain & sadness; we all recognize happiness although for some, the definition of happiness may be just knowing that there will be food on the table at night. People are definitely products of their environments and what they’ve come to know & experience. When I take the last 4 months and roll everything together, I know that Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz was absolutely correct when she said…”there’s no place like home”. I also know that if I could go back 30 – 40 years, I would have chosen a different career path and worked overseas for the betterment & enrichment of countries & societies less fortunate than those of us in North America. We expect to go through life just one time – if there were something I could do to bring more smiles, happiness & less poverty to the many human beings I’ve come in contact with recently, I would do so without any hesitation whatsoever. We’re so very fortunate – each & every one of us. Thank the Lord each & every day for what you have - & look for ways to help each other and those who are perhaps less fortunate. We can all make a difference in our own ways.

Average Age of Passengers

73

Oldest Passenger

97

#Consecutive World Cruises

18 (Eddie from Brooklyn, NY)

Youngest Passenger

10 – (1 child with a tutor) – Maggie, from Wisconsin

# Deaths Since January 6th

2 (one run over by tour bus)

# Births

0 -     (just a deductive guess) J

Most Beautiful Sail-In

Rio

Most Dramatic Sail-In

  1. Rio – Christ the Redeemer & Sugarloaf Mtn.
  2. Sydney – Opera House & Bridge
  3. Hong Kong - Skyline
  4. Singapore – Skyline

Most “fun” Port

  1. Barbados – Snorkeling
  2. Ushuaia, Argentina – Wildlife Safari

Nicest People

  1. Sydney
  2. Cairns, Australia

Scariest

  1. Komodo Dragons – Many Close Encounters
  2. Pacific Waters Off Chile – 30’ seas

Most Awe-Inspiring

  1. Antarctica – Incredible Ice Formations
  2. Luxor, Egypt – Tombs & Ruins
  3. Falkland Islands - Penguins
  4. Easter Island – Moai Statues

Most Interesting & Educational

  1. Athens – Ancient Ruins
  2. Barcelona – Vibrant City With Rich History

Most Unique

  1. Sharm-El Sheikh – The Camels
  2. Phuket, Thailand – The Elephants

Dirtiest & Poorest

  1. Goa, India
  2. Mangalore, India
  3. Bombay, India
  4. Belem, Brazil – Amazon

Most Disappointing

Tahiti – Economy Deteriorating Since 1st Visit (1994)

Most Rude People

Hong Kong

Most Annoying People

Luxor – Street Vendors Are Physical & Relentless

Best Local Wine

Punta Arenas, Chile – Inexpensive & VERY Good!

Most Scenic

  1. Sorrento
  2. Funchal
  3. Singapore
  4. Suez Canal

Coldest Temps

Antarctica (it snowed)

Hottest Temps

Egypt (100+)

Best Meal

McDonald’s in Hong Kong!

My Starting Weight

180

My Ending Weight

To Be Entered Once I Reach Home

# New Acquaintances

200+ (tours, cocktail parties)

Permanent Friends (stay in touch)

25

Lea & Eddie – New York

Sandy & Arnie - Idaho

Kay & Paul - Utah

Barbara & John - California

Judy & Paul - Vancouver

Marylyn & Ivan - Sydney

Elizabeth - Calgary

Carol - Edmonton

Roderick - Florida

Marylyn & Harry – Texas

Mary & Dr. Bill - Florida

Irene & Louie – Wisconsin

Brenda & Bob – Florida

Wendy & Leigh - Edmonton

 

Friends Going on 2013 World Cruise

Lea & Eddie

Kay & Paul

Brenda & Bob

Barbara & John (partial)

Judy & Paul (partial)

Wendy & Leigh (partial)

Marylyn & Ivan (partial)

Key Learning’s (for me) For Next Year

  1. Get Flu shot before leaving
  2. Get Pneumonia shot before leaving
  3. Bring 4 bottles of deodorant instead of three – one less tube of toothpaste (only 3)
  4. Bring power strip
  5. Bring CD’s of favorite TV shows
  6. Bring lightweight shirts & long pants for touring
  7. Bring less underwear, fewer socks & shirts
  8. Bring prescription painkillers from MD
  9. Bring more decongestants
  10. Bring thermos (2) for alcoholic drinks
  11. Ship-sponsored tours are expensive with about a 60% markup. The value is – tour guides are insured, experienced, and if they’re late, the ship will never leave you. When visiting a large city for the first time, a ship-sponsored tour is probably the best route to take so you can get a good feel for the city in terms of what you like and don’t like. Second visit in a large city – TAKE A CAB! First visit in a small port, explore on your own – either by walking or hiring a cab – read the shore excursion write-up ahead of time and decide where you want to go. It will be much less expensive and much more enjoyable – tour guides have a tendency to talk the entire time – we’ve had some talk about their families to ‘fill-in’…and none seem to be experienced using a microphone on a bus – they all think if they shove it halfway down their throats you can hear them better! We invested in earplugs – honestly!! We were always very respectful and discreet –but we both had plugs in our ears & could still hear just fine.
  12. I have a small bladder & have always had to be careful with public transportation of more than 1 hour. Make sure your tour bus has a restroom! In Athens, pouring rain, no restroom on the bus, I had to go to the front of the bus and ask the driver to let us off – I told him we’d catch a cab to the ship. He was kind enough to stop at a gas station 1 block away…but it’s sure embarrassing when a bus with 60 people onboard stops at a restroom for one person!! And wouldn’t you know it…the captain of the ship WOULD have to be on this particular bus!! When I re-entered the bus, I was greeted with friendly applause – I think Cheryl was still hiding under the seat at that point! The message is – watch how much liquid you consume on long tours – restrooms may not be readily available. In fact, in MANY countries & quite surprising, there was a restroom FEE – accepted only in local currency! Just beware.