A Travellerspoint blog

Sea Day with a Great Start

Saturday, 7 March 2015

For the first time in a while we were treated to an interesting sunrise. It has been so long I went a little overboard and took over 50 shots, rather makes up for yesterday's non-event. Breakfast out of the way and spent some time with Donald transferring some E-books to his Kindle. He was concerned that should have been paid for. I told him they may have been boot-legged. The cover story is that he left the Kindle in the Theatre and when he returned the books had just 'appeared'.

Spoke briefly to Angela, our Future Cruises Consultant, about the location of the cabin for our cruise in September. She assured me that it was close to the best located for the price. Given the challenge of arranging the back-to-back cruise we agreed to leave things as they were. After experiencing the lofty heights of deck 11 we wondered how we'd go being located on Deck 5.

Attended the Destination lecture in the Theatre for the port of Calleo/Lima, Peru. We'll be in port for 13 hours so there looks to be plenty to do. The next lecture covered the life, career, marriages and the circumstances of the death of Marilyn Monroe. Decided we were unlikely to benefit from a lecture on time management and found that a synopsis of the afternoon movie 'Leggies' indicated we'd be unlikely to last the distance.

Piece of pizza and some fruit for lunch, a review of today's images and time to read the Kindle and doze off for a while. Will complete this after diner and tonight's show. Off to diner and afterwards the show in the Theatre. Tonight's entertainment was provided by the very talented vocalist Christopher Riggins a big man with a big voice. His repertoire included some Italian opera, songs from West Side Story and my favourite "Starry, Starry Night" with a backdrop of Van Gogh's paintings. A great 40minutes.

Just 2weeksto the end of the cruise and only 20 days until we're back home. It is winding down fast.

Clocks go back another hour overnight. Port day in San Martin (Pisco), Peru tomorrow.

If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to the image for Today

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 17:10 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Sea Day on a Dull Day

Friday, 6 March 2015

The solid overcast this morning made for a total lack of a visible sunrise. The sky brightened but the light was diffused giving an all over grey effect. We met for breakfast and then selected seats in the Theatre for three consecutive lectures to be followed by the afternoon movie.

The destination lecture presented information and images of our next port - San Martin (Pisco), Peru. The area of the dock looks to be much less developed than that of most previous ports. The general feel is of an impoverished country, lacking in modern facilities. We have a ship's tour booked which should take us inland to some more interesting scenery.

The next lecture by Robert Shirn was titled "Robert Kennedy" and focused on the assassination and subsequent trial of the killer. The speaker has a long association with the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office and presented an interesting collection of images and information. He presented each of the key players in considerable detail and lots of background information.

The third lecture was titled "Are you getting all the sleep you need?" The speaker is Jeffrey Davidson an author, student and speaker on the subject of sleep. He has a different speaking style and did not rely on PowerPoint presentations. He threw questions at the audience and even received some responses. He did a pretty good job of keeping us awake while passing on tips on how to achieve the required amount of sleep.

Hard on the heels of the sleep lecture came the afternoon movie. We were dubious about staying there and lasted about 15 minutes. The movie, "Birdman" had won some acclaim but we were not impressed with the 'dark' and difficult to understand dialogue. So back to the cabin by about 1445. Write up these notes and take a nap.

Woke up in time to get ready for the 'formal' night. The dining room looked very elegant with all the staff in their formal attire. Lovely meal and the dessert was incredible. Plenty of time to select our seats for tonight's production show. The performances were excellent and the feature vocalists deserving of their solo performances. Gowns, costumes and the sets were all better than any I recall.

Another sea day tomorrow as we continue to the NorthWest along the West coast of South America.

If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to the image for Today

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 17:08 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Coquimbo/La Serena, Chile

Thursday, 5 March 2015


View 2015-02 South America on greynomadm's travel map.

The ship arrived at our destination right on schedule after an overnight dash up the coast. The sky was overcast and a combination of mist, smog and dust made for a somewhat dismal scene. A pair of folk dancers and loud music on the wharf didn't do much to lift the atmosphere. Our shore excursion was arranged with little delay and we set off on a four hour City Tour.

Our first destination was the area of La Serena where the crowning jewel is a lighthouse which marks the end of a very long beach and summer playground. During the drive to our next stop I noticed the tsunami warning signs along the road. With the expanse of open water and the low lying area behind the beach this warning would not be taken lightly. We arrived at the Archaeological Museum and discovered that every shore excursion was visiting the same place at almost the same time.

With the coach securely parked in a rare space our guide wisely offered to take us to the next stop the La Recova Market on foot. With just two blocks to walk it wasn't a problem and the coach driver would have found it difficult to find another parking space. The markets were stocked with every imaginable tourist souvenirs from trinkets carved from stone to beautiful alpaca wool knitted sweaters. Prices appeared to be very cheap for the quality of the product for sale. Fortunately our luggage limits for the flight back home precluded any purchases.

Our next and final stop was the observation point at La Serena University. I'm amazed that the coach driver managed to find his way into the carpark without swapping pain with the other vehicles. The vantage point was perfect for an overview of the entire area but the persistent haze dimmed the scene.

Back to the ship and some lunch and we found that the atmosphere had cleared considerably, I managed to capture some fairly clear images of the Third Millennium Cross and the adjacent hills. We remained on deck for a while to read and after I'd nodded off a few times decided to head back to the cabin where we both dozed until it was time for diner. The lamb shank was huge and the 'sugar free' dessert was certainly interesting.
After diner we enjoyed the singing of vocalist Andrew Geater who sang in a very clear voice and covered a number of artists and musicals. His final song was one by Elvis that neither Jenny or I had heard of, it was beautiful.

The clock goes back an hour tonight and we have three sea days ahead as we sail North Westerly to San Martin (Pisco), Peru

If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to the image for Today

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 17:24 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Beautiful Valparaiso

Wednesday, 4 March 2015


View 2015-02 South America on greynomadm's travel map.

Arrived in Valparaiso under a clear sky, a calm sea, light breeze and warm temperature rising to 23 °C. Our arrival was marred by the presence of five gigantic container cranes blocking our berth. What should have been a simple task turned into a two hour delay because one of the cranes broke down and had to be pushed along by one of the others, an excruciatingly slow process. As you could imagine this threw the entire schedule out the window.

Eventually we were directed to the shuttle which took us almost three Km through the working port to the 'Terminal' where our tour coaches were waiting. We left almost exactly two hours behind schedule but that didn't detract from the tour. We spent four hours weaving in and out of the many hill-side neighbourhoods. There was every style of architecture from palaces and five star hotels to shanty towns clinging to the hillsides.
The city is scattered over about 40 hills with steep gullies separating them. The city grew as money was available and a need existed. It surrounds all sides of a horseshoe shaped bay and climbs from the water's edge to the hill-tops with almost every structure having a view over the bay.

The sun was fierce but provided a pleasant change from the previous cold weather. The guide warned repeatedly to avoid sunburn in the high UV readings due to the location by applying lots of sunscreen.

We returned to the ship, had a snack lunch and then attended the third Muster Station Drill for the cruise. Many of us who boarded in Ft Lauderdale displayed a high level of disinterest. For the 600+ passengers who boarded in Valparaiso it was more interesting and many appeared to enjoy the experience of trying on the life jackets. Made our way to the dining room for a lovely meal in a subdued atmosphere with well over 50% of the seats unoccupied.

Went out on deck to experience the departure which ultimately was delayed for an hour beyond the revised 1930 scheduled time. The ship will need to make up three hours to arrive in Coquimbo on schedule. Indications on the navigation screen are that we are sailing at 20.5 knots, very close to maximum cruising speed.

We sail into Coquimbo/La Serena, Chile tomorrow.

If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to the image for Today

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 17:15 Archived in Chile Comments (1)

Approaching Valparaiso

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Today is the third sea day as we sail up the coast of Chile. The sun rose in an almost clear sky and presented little colour. After breakfast the first event for us was the Culinary Demonstration by Chef Alfredo Marzi. An interesting and entertaining show as he demonstrated the creation of three dishes. After the show we were conducted through the massive stainless steel galley on Deck 5.

Next stop was the Wheelhouse Bar where there was an English Pub Lunch where they offered a variety of dishes which included 'Fish and Chips', 'Bangers and Mash' and 'Steak and Kidney Pie'. There was only a small crowd and the service was very efficient.

We decided to watch the Destination Presentation on the TV in our cabin. The port after Valparaiso is Coquimbo and La Serena and it sounds like an interesting region. Yesterday I indicated that we'd make an independent trip ashore on the second day in Valparaiso, that won't be happening as we only have the one day in Port. I got confused.

We spent a very pleasant two hours in the Theatre watching the movie "The Grand Seduction". A very funny show with a quirky plot and some fabulous characters. Diner was the traditional 'Last Day' theme due to the fractured nature of the cruise. We didn't stay for the traditional Bombe Alaska parade of the waiters, we'll leave that until it is really our last day.

The first part of tonight's show was a short segment by the ventriloquist who was just as funny as the first time. The singer who featured for the second segment didn't enthuse me so I walked out.

I'll try to perform the upload tonight instead of 0230 as I've done for the past few days. Jenny has perked up after her visit to the Medical Centre, there are a lot of unwell people on board.

We sail into Valparaiso, Chile tomorrow.

If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to the image for Today

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 17:10 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

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