Recife, Brazil

We are now 3,700 nautical miles southeast of Ft. Lauderdale, on the eastern- most side of South America. The past two days at sea have been very pleasant with temps in the 80’s and an occasional rain shower. Funny, but the longer you sail, the more you lose track of time. All of the elevators on the ship have carpet mats with the day of the week inscripted – we weren’t sure what day it was yesterday and I told Cheryl I’d check the elevator! On-board activities have been a mix of various travel lectures and of course, Wii challenge games. The guests we’ve met so far are very nice – quite a diverse group from all parts of the world. Unlike other cruises we’ve been on, most everyone we’ve met has been on a world tour several times – some from Canada take this trip every year – when it gets cold up north they jump on the ship in Florida and by the time May arrives, it’s Spring back home! We are among the youngest couples - there may be a dozen folks in our age group, with the balance of passengers in their 60’s, 70’s, & 80’s. Most are in good health & physically fit – all are (or were) very successful with their careers. We’ve met rocket scientists, real estate developers, warehouse builders and as mentioned before, many educators – most of them PHD’s and/or active professors. What we admire is that all are low-key – folks are not pompous, nor do they put on airs – these are very down to earth, very nice folks. We’ve tried to meet & memorize the names of at least 2 people a day – not easy to do, but when you spend nearly 4 months with a relatively small group it’s good to get to know your fellow travelers. Today, we visited Recife, Brazil…also known as the Brazilian Venice as it’s surrounded by many rivers and dotted with islands & mangroves. We boarded a catamaran around 8:30 and toured the downtown area via water inlets. The sun here is quite intense due to the proximity of the equator – the catamaran had no roof because it travels under several low profile bridges so we got very warm – Cheryl brought an umbrella which helped quite a bit. After a 2-hour boat trip, we boarded a bus and toured more of the downtown area and stopped for 30 minutes at an ancient prison – the cells were all converted to souvenir shops – very unique! The population here is just over 3 million – we found the residents much friendlier here than our previous stop in Belem, though the English language is rarely spoken. After returning to the ship, we stopped for some quick pizza by the pool, then went swimming for 2 hours. We’re in the process of showering now and getting ready for dinner at 5:30. The ship sets sail for Rio at 6pm – about 1,000 miles south – two sea days! After dinner, we’ll go to our nightly stage show in the main theater at 8pm – the entertainer this evening is an international award-winning vocalist by the name of Paul Fredericks – have never heard of him frankly, but the shows are typically excellent! Bon Voyage!