Sunday, March 28, 2010


The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense. --- Tom Clancy



Nothing prepared me for India. The books I have been reading, the people talking or the lectures. Mumbai ’s expansion has been rapid, from fewer than one million in the 50ies to more than 18 million now, and the city suffers from growing pains. Sight, is such an important component to my education of India. Yes, there are millions of horns blowing and the blowing of the call for worship, but the sight of the masses of people walking , constant moving cars, bicycles, motorcycles, cabs, all on the wrong side of the street. The poverty is overwhelming. Shanty towns everywhere. Children begging, old ladies calling you sister, touching you and trying to sell you something and the men following you to sell you post cards. Bill hated this part of Mumbai. The worst was when they would bang on the car windows and beg for money, making a motion of eating with sad eyes. The guides tell you not to give then anything, and we didn’t, but it was very hard. Give one and the city will be standing next to you with hands out and those sad, sad, eyes.

People were very polite and helpful however very crooked. Everything you bargin for and then when you think you have reached an agreeable price, everything changes. Of course to their
advantage. Cab drivers are notorious for changing fees, even on the way. Glad we are doing mostly ship tours. Before we left home we had to buy a three month Visa for our visit to India.. In our on board mail box came a letter that we have to fill out yellow and green cards. All guests going ashore in Mumbai must carry their yellow dock entry permit, as well as a photocopy of our passport photo. At the end of our stay we have to turn them in. I really think the red tape authorities like to come on board and stay the two days. Air conditioning and showers in exchange for passengers going ashore. That was our introduction to Mumbai. All worked very smoothly and everyone came and went without incident.

The smog hung over Mumbai as we sailed into port. The sun tried to shine but the smog was so dense that it never really burned off . Of course the heat and humidity added to the smog and the blast of hot air when you opened the verandah door took your breath away. Mumbai Harbor is the premier harbor on the west coast of India It has over 50 berths with modern equipment for handling general cargo vessels, container ships and tankers. This has been the busiest port we have been in. others have been busy, but this morning as I drank coffee and watched, lots of ships were coming and going Everything has a red rusty cast to it so I assume a lot of iron ore and iron in the ground. They have a small boat, looks like a fishing boat, painted very bright colors and in the middle they have construced what looks like a little house. I assume they must live there, very colorful.. We leave the clean air of the ship and face the 95 degree heat and pollution of the city.

Our first tour was the Highlights of Mumbai. We went to the Prince of Wales Museum. The grounds were beautiful, green and lush and a few flowers blooming. I enjoyed seeing the stone diety carvings and stone stautes that the professor lectured on. Even recognized a few on my own. Having the recording in a good English helps enjoy what you are seeing.

We drove past the Gateway of India, Taj Mahl hotel and Victoria Terminius.It was morning rush hour and we watched the fantastic swarm of office workers coming out of the train station going to work. The trains have cars for men and cars for women. Now there is also a complete train for women only. Women don’t want to ride in the crowded cars with men because of groping. The sidewalk was full of people from one side to the other. Women and men do not walk together. Men in dark pants and long sleeved shirts and women in blouses with pants or saris tied in there traditional way. Remember the women do not cover t heir middle. On some that is quite a sight.
How the cars, buses and motorcycles ever made it to where they were going on time and in one piece is amazing.

Next, Ghandi House. Ghandi lived here during his life in Mumbai. The Mani Bhaven is a place where Gandhi lived and conversed with his colleagues, moulded the nation in the image of his cherished ideals of truth and non-violence and inspired his followers who went forth with a sense of service and sacrifice.

In a room is a exhibition in mini figures depicting the life of Ghandi. Most touched by the one where he is holding his dying wife in his lap. They were promised to each other in childhood and lived out there lives together for 67 years through both good and terrible times.. I hope my pictures come out.

Dhobi ghant, was next where washermen wash huge amounts of laundry picked up from all over Mumbai, to be soaped, soaked, boiled and beaten.. The whopping sound you hear as they beat the laundry adds to the sights you are witnessing. They pick up your laundry, wash and iron it and return it in two days. All this is done outside. Each man has his own tub and he washes the clothes by beating it against the cement side of his wash tub. This business is handed down father to son. They have to pay for the water and space. The women are ironing under the tarps they have erected. I think some of them must also live there. Somehow they mark the clothes and return them to the correct owner. White sheets were hanging in one corner of the area. Filth all around and these white sheets flapping In the wind.

Quite a sight. Very hot, lots of beggers and an even a cow or two. Unreal… They service people who still do not have water or washing machines in their homes. Now that is a thought when you are on a World Cruise, how would I like having my laundry washed like that. Grateful for your own way of life.

By this time it is noon and the dabawallahs, Bombay Tiffin Box Suppliers Association, are delivering lunches to office workers. This service has been going on for many,many years .A Tiffin box is a multi layered round tin box. I would say around 6 or 8 inches in circumference. You leave your packed lunch in your own personal Tiffin Box at home, the dabawallahs come on their bicycles, pick up your lunch and delivers your lunch to your office. Quite a sight to see the different types of delivery bikes. Also how each and everyone has its own personal mark. People have tried to study how it works so efficiently but so far they have not been able to commericalize it. Still left to the personal touch.

Back to the ship to rest and be ready for our night tour.

Tonight we did Mumbai by night. If I thought there was a lot of traffic during the day, evening was twice as much. Seems the traffic just keeps building all day, I don’t know when it quiets down so it is easy to drive. I would never, never attempt to drive here. We drove along Marine Drive with its glittering lights, known as the Queens Necklace. Sort of a hokey tour but I always like to see a city at night and this made it possible. People, people, people everywhere. Going, coming, shopping, eating, talking on there phones, or staring at us like I was staring at them. Worst was the people sleeping on the streets. Men alone but women with there children in a circle. They hung there laundry on walls and fences. Washed themselves and there clothes in dirty running water. No wonder disease is rampant here. They have stopped serving buffet in the Lido untill we leave Mumbai to try and keep all the stomach bugs away.

Fell into our Cabin. Clean and Cool. Doesn’t feel small tonight when you compare your life with theirs


Elephanta Caves , our destination this morning. The morning is very hot and humid, but the bus is airconditioned. So here we go. We took a hour ferry ride from the Gateway over to the Island. We had 3 Indian men trying to sell jewelry all the way over. Their arms full of jewels. Fun to watch them and of course people were buying. From the dock we took a mini train ride to the bottom of the Caves. There are 125 steps up to the Temple, SOOO Bill took a sudan chair to carry him up the stairs. This alone was a unique experience. Just like in the old days, a chair nailed to rails carried by four men. The cost was 12.00 American. In true Indian style they did not take him to the top which we had agreed to. I walked the 125 steps and looked at all the stall shops along the way. At the top our guide told us the Temples were carved out of rock and date back to between 450BC and 75AD. .In the middle3 Mahesamurti, a triple headed statue that shows all three forms of Shiva, as creator,preserver and destroyer. All around the walls were a series of intricately cut scenes from Shiva’s life. They were very large and impressive. Amazing that they could chisel the stone and more amazing that they were preserved in such good condition. Very, very hot in the caves.

Lots of monkeys jumping around. They love stealing your coke cans. We watched one monkey pick up a can of coke and drink it out of the can. People just leave them on a ledge and the monkeys chase each other for the coke. Try hiding in the trees while they drink.. Cows, goats and chickens are free to wander around.

On the way down I bought a few neclaces. Have to look the part when the ship has Indian night dinner. The hour ride back on the Ferry had 3 different men selling necklaces. Looked exactly the same as the first salesmen and what I bought on the steps of the Caves. We left the group at the Gateway and did a little shopping around the Taj Hotel. Took a cab back to the ship in time for Sabbath Services

I feel so far from home after hearing the news about baby Campbell Rick. We know that Ann Ruth and Jim will give Rick and Carri all the love and support they need. We are a strong family circle. Our arms reach around each other though we may be far away and our hearts are forever intertwined.


We arrived to the port of Mormugao to the sounds of horns blowing, roosters crowing and the call to worship from the Mosque that sat on the hill.

Lois Jack, Bill and I hired a cab for the day and took off for Old Goa. We thought we made a deal with the Cabbie for air conditioning and a cost of 80 dollars for the day. We were no more than 100 yards away from the ship when he said we would have to change cabs. Seems one pays for a pass to enter the dock area and all the others wait out side the gate. there is a dispatcher so everyone takes turns. Everything is a business and everything is corrupt.

Enjoyed going out away from the port. The cities are really overgrown villages. Stopped at a old catholic church with a Portuguese Jesus hanging on the golden wall. I have never seen a statue of Jesus look like that. I will have to look it up when I come home.. Some new housing, not to much manufacturing. Fruit and sugar cane sold along the road. Everything is old and a few shanty towns. The driver kept saying that outsiders live in those areas not Goans. Can’t buy all that, but if he says so, so be it. They blow there horns just like in Mumbai. Driver said it helps the accident rate. Drivers know what to expect and trucks have signs that tell them how and when to blow horns. The roads are narrow and very winding. Hardly room for one car and of course there were many more coming and going. A pleasant way to end our days in India. Stopped at a grocery store to buy coke. That was some store. The size of a closet, but clean and they were painting the walls white. Trying to be modern and clean. Paid 3.00 for 5 diet cokes. His big sale for the day.

Turned in our pink cards and we are ready for Sail Away.


Another journey begins along the Malabar Coast. We are heading to Malaysia.

Our new guest Speaker is Aileen Bridgewater. She hosted Hong Kongs longest running English daily radio show. She was very good plus very interesting in all the people she has interviewed. This is a new leg of our journey so we also have a new chef on board. Paulette Mitchell. This afternoon is the open class and in a few days she will be holding classes.

In the late afternoon we went to the Movie to see Old Dogs with Robin Williams and John Travolta. Dinner and then the evening entertainment was Opera Interludes.. Another full day at sea.


Our second speaker is Adrian Cooper.He is speaking on the cultural and political histories of India and South East Asia.

New book today. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. A story set in China.

Tonight’s entertainment is Larry Hagman. Our entertainment has been quite diverse.

This has been a hard week for me, so I am going to try and rest today and tomorrow. India was a lot to digest and I guess I am still thinking about it. I don’t know if the people really know the definition of truth or reality. Would I want to return? Maybe.

My Amaryllis bulbs are blooming. I think this is my first success ever. I have four blooms on one stem…YEA… the other stem is almost ready. One at a time makes them last longer. Always have flowers in our cabin.


Cooking class today with Paulette Mitchell. She is know for her quick to prepare healthful recipes. We learned to cook Indian food that was not to spicy and sort of easy. A variety of foods are usually served at a meal finished off with a very light dessert. I liked some of the food and others were a little to saucey for me. I really liked the smoothie.

Set our watches ahead again one hour. Today I really can’t figure out what time or day it is. Maybe tomorrow I will catch up on the hours we are losing in the afternoon.

Tonight was Indian dress night in the dining room. Before dinner there was a Fashion Parade on stage in the Queen’s Lounge. I can’t believe how many people participated. Everyone showing off the new outfits they purchased somewhere in India. Cruise
Director Bruce had quite a Maharajahs outfit on. I hope my picture came out. I bought a beautiful jacket that I wore. Lots of fun. Never a lack of something to do. I will miss all the social activity that goes on all day and night. If you are looking for company, someone is always around. Tonight Bill went with Jack to the show and I went home. I am behind on my reading, writing and needlework. So busy all day. Just think I haven’t cooked, cleaned or driven anywhere for 70 days and still am running out of play time.

Another week has come to an end. This one full of new countries with all their different ways of life. People look different and have a different value system.

Even tho they look and dress different, they still have to eat and have a roof over there heads. The poverty will be hard to overcome. Such a big difference between the haves and have nots.


You who always knew my heart now fly above the clouds in the warmth of the sun. I hope one day we will soar together.
Lisa see

In the beginning of Bills and my courtship I fell down and broke my arm, in the end Bill drifted away from me in those same arms.

My words are not capable of telling the story of how happy we were on our 70 day magic carpet ride. We sat and talked about our children and grandchildren. How lucky we are to have such a wonderful family. Each and everyone doing what they enjoy most and being of service to their communities. We couldn’t ask for anything more. Bill loved us all unconditionally. No greater love than that.

We talked about our old friends who thought we were crazy for embarking on such a long journey, we thought they were crazy for staying home and not seeing the world. Talked about all the tomorrows that now will
never come. The new friends we met on ship were all multiple, cruisers and readers. They exchanged books and army stories. They taught us how to see and experience each and every port we docked in. It is hard to imagine if you have never been on a extended cruise how quickly friendships are made. Our tablemates were complete strangers on day one and good friends on day 70. Traveling off shore together and talking about doing it together again.

Awh, then came that terrible night when Bill woke up in terrible pain. I knew I was in trouble because he was willing to go down to the hospital. They did all they could to make him comfortable and it worked until very early Thursday morning. He had a very uncomfortable night. We docked on Thursday morning and nurse annie and dr. walley decided that the best thing was the hospital where they were better equipped to make him comfortable. It was not to be. No matter what they tried they could not stop the discomfort.

In the mean time the staff on the ship helped me pack up our cabin and I went back to the hospital. What a outstanding team they sent, efficient and loving at the same time. The care that everyone at Holland america gave us was incredible. I have not had to be alone for one second making the red tape work. The port man, Komar and his nephew jenard kept by my side every minute. The funeral director moved me through every step of preparing and releasing Bill to me and ultimately home to Akron. Their strength and knowledge sustained me through the first day. Komar and Jenard drove, Mr Bob Wong the funeral director was kind and firm. He stood his ground until every form was filled out and every paper signed and in order. We waited through prayer hour, hospital not having the proper forms and finally release from the police station. That night they took me to Alans apartment and I was grateful to be in the care of my family.

If ones life can take a fairy tale turn in the mist of all this sadness mine did. Out of all this caoss came our nephew Alan. He was my spoksman, implimentor and guide. Most important was the love he showered on me, gentle, kind and firm. From walking through Kula Lumpur to placing me on the airplane he planed and lead me with kind words and deeds.

Kula Lumpur is beautiful and modern. The twin towers breathtaking. We sat and reflected at Alans favorite spot in the garden and a beautiful black and white bird came and talked to me. He was very large and sang and sang and sang.

My plane ride home was perfect. Alan arranged to have escorts take me from ticketing in KL to customs in LA. Someone was there to guide me all the way. Staci met me in LA and flew the last leg with me. I knew when she huged me I was going to make it home.

The complement of people that have touched my life in the last week and brought Bill and I home to akron were god sent. My family ,our friends in akron , the emails from all over the world are very comforting
Bill and I often spoke about death and dying. We prayed for it to be quick and the surviving spose to stand tall and to keep the family we worked so hard for to be a strong team. Everyone knows we always wanted a bench at the cemetery so you could come think about all the wonderful times we shared and to call us and tell us the news. Please don’t forget him and always stop and tell him the gossip in the city.

This week has come to a end. I don’t like the subject matter or the port Bill has journied to. In our 57 years of marriage I never doubted his love, his courage or his wisdom. We walked the path together. Now I must walk it alone, he will always be the bird on my shoulder.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Week Nine



We continue on a north-easterly course towards the Maldives. We are changing our port because of the pirates. Supposed to stop in the Seychelles but the pirates are around so they decided to be safe and stop in Male. We are still south of the equator and the weather is hot and humid. Feels good to me

Played Mah Jongg for the first time today. I don’t know if I will continue, to many other activities going on. Players are ok, that is part of the problem.

Book group met and most have finished the book about India. It was a fast read and fun to hear everyone’s interpretaion of the characters.

Started knitting another scarf with yarn I bought in Reunion. Not very different or special, good to sit and knit while you look out the window or sit by the pool. Try and keep my fingers out of the food that is always being passed around.

Tonight is formal night in the dinning room and dollar night in the Casino. Getting good at dressing up for dinner. Bill wore his suit just to change the look. Lot of men have white dinner jackets and some wear fancy shirts from India. The theme was tropical and the waiters wore parrot hats. They are good sports to do that. Good time was had by all


This morning is my last cooking class with George Geary. In Mumbai the new guest chef will

join us. Today we made a good chicken salad and pasta salad. George has a good sense of humor and I saw him everywhere on the ship and he always had time to stop and talk. Good PR on his part. Of course he wants a good evaluation at the end. I am sure he will.

At one, bill went to Opera Appreciation and I went to a lesson on my computer.

In a sunny corner of the ship a group of women are doing all kinds of needle work. Lucky for me it was OK for me to join them. Wish it wouldn’t have taken me so long to find then. One of the women had a quilting shop and taught all kinds of needle work. Suggested on one of our trips down to Florida, to stop in Paducah and see the Quilters Museum. One of her quilts was chosen by the museum. She is very kind in helping me do my embroidery. Sad to say she is leaving in Mumbai but others promised to help. Maybe I will learn how to work on my project. Amazing all the activieties going on in each and every cornor of the ship. One man is crocheting a afgan and everyone stops to look at it. I keep telling you, there is no lack of activity on sea days. One has to find time to rest so you are ready for the next port..

Then off to Sabbath Services. Rabbi has Rev. Jack Giguere as the speaker. He is the resident bible scholar. Conducts bible study every morning. Lots of people go. Something interesting going on all day long, one just has to be willing to participate. I haven’t even touched on the sports deck.

Tonight we had a most beautiful sunset. We sat on the Verandah and watched the sun go down. Just like in the advertisments, cuddled up close and giggling. How lucky we are to be able to be here and enjoying. Hank called it right, a floating Palace.

Dinner and the Show and day is done. Ah but it wasn’t. at the end of the show tonight the fire alarm rang. At first everyone thought it was part of the act, but you could see it was not. Everyone kept calm and the program director came out and said everything was under control, something in the kitchen tripped the alarm. By the time we walked out of the theatre men were standing everywhere in their fire gear and hard hats. In a few minutes the all clear signal sounded. We came up to our cabin, I went outside to calm down, see the stars and a bird is sitting on the pole holding on to the arm of one of the life rafts. I just said at dinner we haven’t seen a bird or a plane in days and tonight one by my window. HUMMM. We are sailing with lights and our door is locked to the verandah, safety in case of pirates. Something else to keep me awake tonight. Sweet dreams everyone.


Sea mornings have become sort of a ritual. Bill goes to breakfast with Jack, and I have coffee and yogurt in our cabin. Around 9;30 I go down to the Explorers Lounge and say good morning to the “group”. Rabbi and Adele, Pat, Marvin and Margret always sit in the same corner and everyone congregates around them in the morning. Most everyone arrives with smiling faces and they help me plan our days in port. Our mentors since most of them have been around the world many, many times.

The morning lecutre was on India and Mumbai. Sounds very mysterious and exciting. We then met Nadine and Joel for lunch. They are friends of anna lee langman’s and remember I am lucky to remember first names. Leaving to go home in Mumbai. Will be sorry to see them go, she is nice company. When you make a lunch date you meet in the main dining room. Makes you feel like you are doing something different. We are, since most of the time we don’t eat lunch.

In the afternoon we had stone massages. Really a treat. She finds every ache and pain I have and some I didn’t know I had. Earlier in the day we tried to sit out by the pool, to humid for Bill and can you believe to hot for me. So after the massage we sat out on the verandah in the late afternoon and read our books.

Pushed our clocks ahead another hour. We are almost a day ahead of you. On the days we have TV you are watching on Friday and we are watching on Saturday. The Oscars will be televised on Monday morning 6AM.. Some new experience each and everyday.

After dinner we walked the promenade deck and went up to the lido deck looking at the stars and for the moon. Lots of stars but couldn’t find the moon. It was supposed to be the bottom half tonight. Oh well, not everything can be perfect.


Early morning we crossed the Equator. I went out on the Veranda to look, but there was no yellow line drawn in the water to show me the way. We are heading northeast and entering the Northern Hemisphere in the Indian Ocean. I am writing this on Sunday morning, it is Saturday night in Ohio. The temperature is 81 outside and the ocean temperature is 84. The water is a gorgeous turquoise blue. I had coffee outside and watched the flying fish. Just a few weeks ago we were freezing in the Antartica and now we are sweltering in the Indian Ocean. I have a hankering to touch the water and to feel how warm it really is. Maybe when we come into port tomorrow.

This morning is the King Neptune Ceremony. The great sea god reminds all humans onboard to protect themselves from the heat. The sun was out , beating down on us at 10 this morning. No matter, it was fun being part of the induction. First you have to kiss the fish ( felt and looked fresh frozen) and then They smear your body with cream and throw you into the pool. This year they used crew and captain olof and his officers were the judge and jury. Joy was the queen. Very fun ceremony. Surprised how many people show up to ship board activities like that. You would think that they have all seen it before since most have cruised so many times , but they come and participate anyway.

Played a new game of dominoes this afternoon. Called fives. Only can score when the ends are a derivatives of fives. Lois and Jack are really good at it, of course they should be they play all the time.

I know you can’t believe it but I am having fun playing blackjack. Tonight was dollar night again and the all the ladies at our table played. Just try and think of it as a maj hand. Only trouble is the hands go very fast. Bill goes to the show and when he is done he picks me up and we go home.

Land tomorrow


Woke up very early this morning so I could watch the oscars. Somehow they were able to have transmission out here in the middle of no where. Very strange feeling to know everyone at home is watching on Sunday night and I am watching on Monday. Which one of us is early and which one behind. Good debate for the dinner table

Male, (pronounced Malee) the capital and most populous city in the Republic of Maldives. The Maldives are a chain of 26 atolls all at sea level and 1,200 islands. The islands are the resorts and have great scuba diving. Also the dress code is not enforced, you can wear a bathing suit and regular clothes. Convenient since on Male they tell you to be covered and women were wearing long dresses and heads were covered. The government is looking to relocate because of the ocean being at sea level. One bad storm and they are wiped out. They are decendents of India and Sri Lanka. Dhivehi, an Indo-European language, is the national tongue, also Arabic, Hindi, and English. Most people are Muslim. We walked to the very large golden dome mosque. A man was standing outside and you could not walk up the steps with your shoes on. It was to hot to take off your shoes and walk up, so most did not go. Very white stone, and pristine clean building. To hot to wait for prayers to start.

Men were standing out in front of Souvenir shops hawking you to come in. Motorcycles, bicycles, trucks, cars, very narrow streets and try crossing those streets. The traffic never stops. Only bought a Tshirt. Coral is very expensive and I am not sure what is real and what is plastic. Another cruise ship with mostly Europeans also was in port. They were buying everything in sight. Even the woven place mats were expensive, so it goes.

We followed the street around the harbor to the Fish Market and the Produce Market. There were about a hundred fishing boats along the way that also were where they lived. Clothes hanging out to dry and fish on ice. Your eyes and nose had a big fight. You wanted to see everything but oh the smell. Continued on to the Fish market with men selling fresh, Caught fish of all colors and sizes. No refrigeration and very little ice. On the other side of the building men were gutting and preparing the fish for the people who had purchased their choice. I really don’t know who is going to buy all the catch or how they keep it from spoiling. Very, Very hot. Around the cornor is the produce market. Bannanas, watermellon, mango, papya and funny looking other fruits and vegtables I never saw. I would have bought something to bring back to the ship, but it really didn’t look all that fresh. Found a clean grocery store and bought diet coke out of a refrigerator. The side of the coke has Arabic writing. By this time Bill was ready to go back to the ship. The group that we started out with had left us long ago. If they can’t take the heat now, what is going to happen in Mumbai.

Another certificate. This one “ A Voyage Spanning the Hemisphere” We sailed away and then dinner.


We’re now sailing in the Arabian Sea which is part of the Indian Ocean. The weather is very hot and humid. The water is still 80 and very Blue. Another day of very calm seas.
India is now the focus of our Lecturer Dr. Shreeyash Palshikar. He currently teaches at Yale University where he also researches, writes and speaks about South Asian History, politics and cultures. Spoke on the meaning of all the different kinds of deities .Picked a few of the most familiar figures. He was very interesting and easy to understand. Now when I go into Mumbai I will be a little more familiar with what I am looking at.

Bill went to Opera listening and I went to embroidery. I know I am wrting in detail however my goal is to remember all our activities and how we spend our days at sea. We keep on being amazed at how fast the days go and so many activities at the same time . You find yourself having to choose one or the other.

Tonight is the King and Queens Ball. Lotti and Peter invited our table for coctails in their cabin. They have a deluxe verandah on the seventh floor. Now that is the way to cruise.
Space is twice the size of ours including the verandah. Plenty of closet and drawer space. A private lounge for their floor that has lounge chairs, large TV, newspapers and magizines. Best of all they can have breakfast there in the morning and snacks out all day. We sort of have the same, just have to call room service. Concierge on duty all day. He helps them plan their days in port. Not to shabby. Peters bar was stocked with wine and liquors. They bought Jack Daniels especially for Berry. Wine from every place we have been. Everyone at our table are big drinkers and they enjoyed a free drink. Very lovely and so happy to finally see what deluxe means.

Dollar blackjack was not so good to me tonight. The ladies played for awhile but the dealer was hot and so we all decided to call it a night.

Another week has come to a end. I am still amazed at how fast the weeks go and how busy we are on sea days. Keep meeting new people and starting new activites. My goal this week is to start walking again since the sea is calm and the weather warm. Also we have tried to cut back on eating. Dinner is really the problem. Went up once to see the midnight buffet, thank goodness it was not interesting and I have stayed away from afternoon ice cream. Weight Watchers for sure when we come home..

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Week Eight


“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
Henry Miller


Port Elizabeth is in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The city is located on Algoa Bay, and is one of the major seaports in South Africa. We docked in a very commercial port with the city rising above on the hills. I could see the large sand dunes in the background.

We boarded buses for our game run in Kwantu Game reserve. As we drove out of town we passed Kucha Harbor. At this point the highway was four lanes. Soon to end however. We learned PE has 5 of the 6 eco systems, 11 official languages including English. The dune fields are the second longest in the world.

Port Elizabeth claims the big Seven. Lion, leopard, Buffalo, Elephant, Shark, White Wales and Rhinoceros They also like to add seals and penguins.

As we drove, we saw lots of Marino sheep. The terrain was rolling hills and very green. They have not had a lot of rain, so of course today it was cloudy and drizzling. Warm, so it really doesn’t matter and maybe better than to hot. Even the animals won’t come out in the hot sun. We met up with the cutest monkeys’ hanging in the trees right next to my window in the bus. A warm welcome to the reserve we were coming to visit.

Kwantu is very beautiful. I keep using the same words to describe everything, but really beautiful and awesome sort of fit everything we have been seeing. When we arrived they served us spring rolls, and three other appetizers, along with there famous drink. They do not give out the recipe, but tasted like ice tea with lemon and mint and one other something. Good, but not good enough for a second one.
We boarded our jeeps and headed out to find the animals. Bill sat next to the driver, was very comfortable and enjoyed his position very much. The road was not as bumpy as Aquila, and the vegetation much different. Large hills, and low bush trees. Again no flowers. Few birds, except one, a most beautiful blue ,almost electric, sparrow.

Nothing but hills, dales, and blue sky for miles and miles. We saw lots of white tail gnu tail looks like a horse tail. zebra with beige stripes on their tush, cheetah, white lions, elephants, lots and lots of giraffes. They are really graceful when they run. How they keep there necks so straight when they are running is amazing. Our guide said the male holds his head straight and the female bends hers a little. Bill says that is the proper way for a women, to bend her head. Young, old they were running free and it was fun to watch them in the wide open. A three hours game ride, with a little drizzle here and there. Part of the excitement was the jeeps kept breaking down. No one was in danger but it makes for interesting behavior on the part of the participants. Some take it very well and then there are the others. Anyway we were fine, just a slipped transmission, a good driver and we were on our way again.

Lunch was served in a beautiful out door hotel dinning room. Tablecloths, flower centerpieces, chair covers, charger plates. Sparkling grape and apple juice and bottled water. Don’t know why but not alcohol is served. A very lavish buffet started with squash soup, then lunch was many salads, beef and lamb. Being sliced off the grille. Small wood fires burned just outside out table. Smelled wonderful and very outdoorsy. Dessert was pedifores and were pretty but can pass those by.

Back to the buses and to the ship. We took a long hot shower. The deet we use dries our skin and sand fills our eyes and ears.

We have really enjoyed our last two game runs. Sort of made our own Safari with the comfort of the ship Different from each other even tho the animals are the same. Different topography, vegetation and guides. Presentation different also. The first Acquia, we saw the animals up close and could really study them. At Kwantu there were more of one animal but they were running in the open. Hard to choose one or the other. Both were great. Now I know why the spring box is the national animal, they are everywhere and run very very fast.


Sea days are very busy days. Went to Flower arranging class. The florist that is aboard to design all the flower arangements was the leturer. He showed us some interesting ways to use leaves. Only trouble is, where do you find them in the states and how costly are they.
Very interesting.. If I can remember I will try them at home.

Then to the ship book group. Today they are handing out new books. We are going to read The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall. A detective story that takes place in India. Since that is our next country to visit a very good book to read.

The show tonight was a repeat of the Unexpected Boys. Tonight was Broadway and a few Jersey Boy songs thrown in. They have been the best entertainment yet. Very enjoyable. BUT, I wasn’t fast enough and one of the new cruisers took by seat. Will have to go earlier, until most of them leave at the end of this segment.


Durban has a long tradition as a port city. In the dock next to us was a cargo ship that carried cars. Looked to me like a giant building floating in the water. Cars come from all over, including those manufactured in PE to be sent all over the world. Also cars that do not meet imission controls. In PE they manufactur cars with steering wheels on the right side. Sure finny to see the driver on the wrong side and to watch the traffic when you are crosing the street.

We saw the big new staduim they are going to use for FIFA World cup. Everyone is really geared up for the games. All of Africa fixing roads, building soccor venues and renting cruise ships as hotels. Expecting a lot of people.

Our tour today was to the Valley of a Thousand Hills. Mark Twain so named it. On our drive to the Village we drove through neighborhoods with people sleeping on the ground. An orphanage where children can just come if they are hungry of do not have parents. Really looked poor and sad but I guess if you have no where to sleep it looks pretty good. I don’t know if there are a thousand but the rolling hills were beautiful. First time there has been a lot of flower bushes and flowers. When you are on top of the hills and look down, it look like someone dropped boquets of flowers all over the hill sides. Of course they were flowering trees. Beautiful reds and yellows.

Arrived at the Zulu village. They have built a little theatre where they do their dances. A class of school children were also attending the performance.. They were dressed in school uniforms, spick and span. Quite a mixture of children, blond, malatto, black and white. They go to government schools however they have to pay tuition. They were enthralled with the Zulu’s, especially the boys, looking at the one topless women dancer. Served us tea and we off to the busses. The topography was far more outstanding than the Zulu’s. The vistas were high and rolling. We drove through a few suburbs, lovely, not pretenses in anyway, but gates and barb wire all around them. Lots of unemployment and they tell you to be very careful any place you go. Sad to think that pick pockets give a city such a bad name.

Washed our hands and faces and we took the shuttle bus to down town. Really a very big industrial city. Walked around for awhile, then back to the ship for Sabbath and sail away.


We really need sea days to rest between our Ports. This afternoon Rabbi Mintz had Purim services. He does it a little different. He reads a silly story about Esther, Haman, Mordici and King Achisvaras and of course when each name is mentioned you make different noises or sounds. The best part of the program was the debate about the Latke or the Humantash. Which one has most medicinal purposes or most important. Interesting thought. Couldn’t believe how many people attended. Mixed croud along with the minister and father. Served Latkes and humantashen . Fun for one and all.

Exploration speaker is Eric Dunn. He is speaking on astronomy. I like his beliefs---the ever changing wonders of the sky are among the chief pleasures of traveling. I have been out looking at the moon and stars every night. Some of the constellations are really clear and I always love the full moon. I took a picture but with my little camera not quite as clear as the telescopes shots. I like it anyway.

Evening show was ok, and day is over.


Cooking class with George Geary. Made a wonderful mushroom soup. If I haven’t been eating enough on the ship, these classes are adding to the bulge. Gourmet lunches after we cook and the thought of making all the wonderful dishes I have learned to cook. George taught us how to cook mushrooms today. I have been doing it all wrong. You start with the mushrooms first and then add the onions. Can’t wait to try it when we come home. This has become my favorite activity on the ship. Seems the same people are attending and it adds to the comraderie.

Took my book out by the pool this afternoon. Good choice of seats. Gossip around the pool, A passanger bought a party for the crew, another paid extra fare for a inside room to keep their clothes in and the lady with the hats left in Durban with all her hat boxes in tow, All this in one hour at the pool. FUN FUN FUN.

To night is the Prirates formal dinner and dollar blackjack. What could be better…


We are half way on our world cruise. Our time is now 9 hours ahead of Ohio and Florida. I went to the shore lecture and to cooking class. Bill went to Opera and everyone is happy. That is the beauty of cruising. Each of us can really do as we please especially on sea days. The Library is our meeting place and we plan from there.

I am part of two book groups and that keeps me busy reading along with kibitzing and knitting.

Time has really gone fast. Our ports of call have been very different yet each and every one very interesting. Some I liked the architechure and others the topography. Most of the people were kind but I was saddened by how poor every one was. Houses were small , rectangles with no eye appeal and if they were new and expensive looking they were. Still not the size of most of ours. I have not seen any real mansions in the American sense of the word, I am sure there are some out there but I have not come across any yet. We take everything for granted,from the smallest convience to the freedom we have. If you listen no one likes their government but there is no hope the next one is going to be any better Still there are plenty of cars and cell phones and satellites. I try and go into the grocery stores to see how they look and prices of food. It really varies in price and quality. Most display the fruits and vegtables like we do and have meat and bakery departments. I have been having fun taking pictures of Coke advertisements in every city I see them We try and keep Coke in our refrigerator cause it costs 2.50 a can on the ship. You can have all the water and Ice tea you want free but Coke they charge. Agravates me so I won’t buy it from them unless I am desperate


Few people outside of France know of Reunion and even fewer know of its natural wonders . For us it fell quite short of all its hipe. Guess they were hiding the beauty. Not a lot of flowers or birds. Mountains in the background with blue sky and white clouds. Took a shuttle into town, walked around the block and back on the shuttle. I guess if we would have taken a cab or long tour and we could have seen the country side but they scare you about the cab drivers and how expensive everything is, so we stayed close to the ship. Very hot and humid. The downtown was dirty and dollar store merchandise. Getting very discriminating about our purchases.

Dinner and dollar blackjack. Bill went to the show and enjoyed it very much. Classical Guitar.

We sailed away and tomorrow another island.

Port Louis,,Mauritus

Port Louise is the Capital and largest city. The city goes up the side of the mountains that ring the island. This morning all guests were required to go through a mandatory immigration inspection. You had to pick up your passport, show it to a immigration officier, he looked at you and your passport picture and knooded and moved you forward where you returned your passport to a officer of the ship. We were then permitted to leave the ship. Of course this all went on at 7 in the morning.

We boarded our bus and went out to the Botanical Gardens. They had trees from all over the world, 65 varieties of palm trees, lots of blooming trees and bushes. Rows and rows of Royal Palms. When a dignitary visit’s the island they plant a tree of their choice. They then mark it with a stone and all the personal information about the person. Makes for interesting walking
in the garden. Very nice touch. Their star attraction was the Lilly Pond. Unfortunatley not many in bloom. The pads were quite large and interesting. Also had the varity I grew last summer. Don’t want to brag mine were more beautiful.

The bus stopped at a shopping mall of course. We did not go to the open market. Very hot and hard for Bill to get around. This way we had a bus and a place to sit and watch all the people.

When it was time for the ship to leave, again the immigration wanted to count and see the people. Of course this was unexpected and caused a great deal of confusion. You know some people complain no matter what. Have to just go with it. Eventually it all was accomplished and we were off.

Dinner and the Show and another week has gone by. This one went really fast. Half way. We are in the Indian Ocean on our way to India. One more small island. Islands so far have been very different yet alike. Mountains, shopping and poor people. Most I could have skipped, but you have to see and experience everything. I always like to make my own opinions.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 25, 2010

week seven picture

Posted by Picasa



Roy Goodman

Our last day at Sea. Went to cooking class with Ray Bear. We made a delicious fried chicken breast, tuna appitizer and bannana splits. He taught us a lot of interesting ways to decorate a plate and I am looking forward to making the bannana splits. We were served in the Pinnacle dining room with wine and all the special services.

Bill went to listen to the Professor on Africa and we meet for lunch. After lunch I worked on sending my Blog and Bill took a nap. In the afternoon, I had my nails done and Bill went to Minyon. Just like any day at home. I forget that we are living on a ship, that it is constantly moving and we live in one room. Went to dinner, the show and to bed. I know it doesn’t sound very exciting, but I can’t explain how pleasant it is and you get into a routine, so you just go about your life, only you are constantly moving to the next port. I like the idea of being on the go, that way I am not wasting time. I do have to say that Holland really thought this out and had plenty of activites to keep you busy if you wanted. Of course I wanted…
Special lunches,coctail parties and speakers helped fill the days and nights.

Tomorrow Land for the first time in 8 days. Everyone is ready including the staff on board. They split there time off to 3 hours shifts. Wine and grocery stores everyones first stop. Looking forward to our first stop in Africa.


We have sailed 8 days in Great Circle Navigation, and this last day in the South Atlantic we will begin to be influenced by the Benguela Current that runs north along the west coast of Africa. The currant originates partially from the South Atlantic Ocean currant coming from South America, but mainly the well known Aghulas Currant which runs south and west along the eastern and southern coasts of Africa. Namibia became an independent state in 1994, Carved out of South-West Africa Wavis Bay is the major port of Namibia and the center of a large fishing industry and a local operation extracts salt from seawater. We docked at a comercial port with lots of containers and ships sitting at anchor. I thought this was just going to be another port, one to stretch your legs on. Really now , I never paid much attention to African currant events. When I read about it on line before we left I was expecting much.

Our tour was with the Cruise Critic group I met on line We were four to a van and we started out. As soon as we were away from port the whole scenery changed and we were mesmerized by what we say and did. First, drove by a bay with a few pelicans and flamingos. Then on to the two lane road to that took us to Swakopmund. On the way with the ocean on my side, I watched the beautiful beaches and out of now where a beautiful development was being built as a resort for vacationers. Different kind of architure, some had rounded roofs, some looked like A frames, all were either cement or cement block, in the middle of now where except they looked at the glorious ocean or the desert. Anywhere in the world there is water, housing comes and this is no exception. Can’t figure out where the people with enough money will come from, I guess from Cape Town and other places.

Swakopmund is a costal resort founded by the Germans. The architure is an interesting mix of german and African. We had coffee in the famous Café Anton. The coffee was great and the pastries from the strudel to the apple cakes were finger licking good. You would think that we had not seen food in days the way everyone scarfed up the food. In the front of the Hotel was a open market with lots of natives selling local crafts. Bill bought a great cane.

We headed out to the mountains. Wow!!!! The Mountains are black rocks with almost nothing growning on them. For as far as you can see, the landscape is rock or ocean. Looks like a landscape from out in space. If you saw it in a movie you would say it was created for the screen. The weather was perfect, cool and sunny in the morning. Just enough of a breeze to be comfortable. We drove for about an hour and it continued on and on. The stark look is amazing. From the rocks and mountains we came to the desert.Sand Dunes line the coast, and the drive through the desert and dunes looks like a sandy dream. We came to Dune 7. It is very high and I thought OK I can climb this. I started out and realized how hot the sand is and how hard it is to walk in sand. I made it half way up and decided I still would have to come down , so I turned around. By this time it was afternoon and we had lunch at the base, with the hot afternoon sun beating down on us. Hot,Hot, Hot and ahsome at the same time. It was a thrill for me to see what a desert looks like and then to try and walk. Real life living in a landscape like we have been driving through, might be beautiful to be in for a few hours, but live here and work. Raise a family, the living is to hard. I will say both cities are spotless even through they have high unemployment. Everywhere we have gone, unemployment has been high and a problem.

We started back to the ship with a stop at the lagoon south of town. The tide had gone out and the Flamingos and Pelicans were there by the hundreds feeding on crill. Walked out and watched then. The pelicans were white like in Florida. Even the wood storks came to say hello. Flocks of Flamingo’s flying right over our heads. A ballet of flight in the middle of the desert-ocean.

Next stop the salt mines. The top of the ground was white with salt and the water around it a pink red. So many new experiences today. At each turn in the road and at each stop a new and unexpected sight. From a port that I thought would just be a stop to a very exciting adventure. Another star on my highlight board.

Treats of the day were not over let. The show for the evening was The African Black Axes Choir. They perform different styles of acapella choir music from different black cultures. Outstanding.

Second act was Kellerman, Africa’s formost Flautist. Another grand surprise for the day. Played original music with a base and guitar. Very African sounding. The base player filled a wooden bowl with water and played the water like a drum. Very moving to listen and watch him do that. Another new expierce to add to the day. This was icing on the day that was as near perfect in expectations when traving. You know not what to expect and it comes in as spectacular.


Our last stop in Namibia A country I knew nothing about a few days ago. We dropped anchor just outside the bay. We are on the east side of the ship today and I enjoyed the sun rise. A little foggy and misty and then bright sun shine. The harbor was framed by the stark mountains and behind them the sand dunes. Mostly German and a mixture of everything else European in architectue. The dock where we disembarked had a playground for children. They were all very friendly and were eager to have their pictures taken with you. The young girls had the long skinny legs. They were built very lean. Quite attractive with big smiles. Most of the boys kept to themselves. Walked into the town passed men just standing on street cornors talking. Looked in a grocery store, it was very clean and the shelves had plenty of food. The only busy business I saw was the ATM machines. No one looked like they had any place to go. Security people everywhere and Security businesses in lots of store fronts. If our ship hadn’t come in that morning what would they do for income? Stopped at a coffee shop and had ice coffee. That was a treat, coffee with a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream and a cherry. Not to shabby for lunch. Walked around a few shops and bought a few things of course. The diamond mining is gone and it is very obvious nothing has replaced it.

Such a contrast from yesterday. Poor, dirty and sad. Back to the ship to get ready to sail away and Formal Night with the President of HAL Mr. Stein Kruse.
The evening started with a coctail party, with complimtenary wine and hor derves in the Queens Lounge. On to dinner and more complimentery wine. Everyone was feeling great after that. People really dress up for these special events. This one was called Mariner Appreciation Day--A Special Day to Honor You.

Show was again outstanding. Two nights in a row. Think maybe the president on board had anything to do with it. Of course this is a World Cruise and they plan special events and they pass him off as a special event. The Unexpected Boys performed Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons music. Everyone was into it. All that wine and music to clap and sing to. So ended another award winning day. They say we are in for another one tomorrow. At sea Safari. Going to rest most of the day so we are bright eyed and bushy tailed for Julia and Mike. I have been thinking and planning our meeting for so long and here it is.

Sea Day

Woke up to bright sunshine, and coffee at the door. I like having the sunrise to wake up to cause we are dinning at sunset. Best of both worlds.

The Lido has been changed into a Safari Tent Camp. Tonight,the sights,sounds, and tastes of Africa will come alive on board…Braai full buffet , dinner, complimentary drinks, African entertainment and food, food, and more food. People were really into it. Dressing as best they could in Safari garb. They were cooking lamb, pig and beef on open barbeque pits. The lamb chops were outstanding, lots of lental salads, tomatoe salads, and anyother kind of salad you can think of. I did not eat the Braai Buffet, since it was all game food and I am not that adventuresome anymore with food. So many other interesting things to eat. The drinks were mostly native wine, mix drinks and after dinner drinks. I think half the people were not feeling any pain by dessert.

The decorations where over the top. Tents to eat in, with all kinds of masks, animal skins,spears and canes. Very much fun. I sat with Brad and Gloria, Grace and Sandy and the head of the Mariner Rewards for HAL The evening was really a happening. Very fun and you really forgot you were sailing. Bill didn’t like the food or noise so he went downstaris with Lois and Jack. And had dinner with them.

The evening was topped off with a show. The Soweto String Quartet is a explosion of four Africans playing eighteenth century string violins. The music was rich in African music as well as contemporary and traditional folk songs. Some of the music sounded like Themes from Lion King and the folk songs with sang at Tri City when we went across the lake to the Black Camp.

To us the Mariner Appreciation Days where fun and new and exciting. Listening to the return cruisers it was OK. People are dissatisfied with food, gifts, service…to us, how much better could you want. The president of Hal heard every complaint and handled it very well. In a sweet voice he thanked everyone for their concern and critisisim and said he would take everything under advisement. So be it. In our naivety We are happy.


Cape Town is looked upon by Table Mountain, a flat-topped stone mountain that rises 3,000 feet above the town. We docked at the commercial port and had a view of the highrise buildings, and the mountains . Of course a shuttle from the dock takes you to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront shopping and entertainment center.

Leaving the ship we looked at Table Mountain and it had its tablecloth on. The clouds cover the top and they call it the tablecloth. Our plans to go up cancelled. The winds were blowing at gale rate. Whipping across the bridge from the ship to land we were plummeted with sand and then heavy mist blown off the water, soaked.. Very , very hard to walk. I held on to Bill and he held onto the railing. Hats blowing everywhere. Talk about wind swept hair, we had it. Chalk this one up to another different kind of experience.

We didn’t spend too much time gazing at the views cause our most important sight to see was Julia and Michael. We cabbed over to the condo the convention rented for them. We were lost for 15 minites trying to find their front door just around the cornor from the front of the Hotel. FOUND….they looked wonderful. Tired from their two day trip over from Seattle, but game enough to go out with us. Quite an honor for us to have your Grandchildren willing to meet you half way around the World on their vacation. You guessed it, we headed for the V and A. The wind was blowing and Julia had trouble keeping her skirt under control. Stopped and had tea at CAKE HOUR and caught up on all their news and the family news. So touching and accelerating to meet your children like that. Really there are no words to express how I felt ..Maybe Qvelle.. Time flew by and they were fading fast along with Bill. They have a wonderful week planned and I felt they need to rest so they can enjoy every minute. Hugs and kisses and we will see you in Seattle. We hopped the shuttle and returned to the ship. Wind was still fierce and we had to fight to walk. To bed early. Shafari in the morning.

Up at the crack of dawn. Ready to board the bus at 6:30. Hats, camera, water, and deet. Could one need more? Our drive out to Aquila Game Reserve took 2 hours. Thank goodness we were going against rush hour traffic. Backed up for miles. Most of the roads are narrow 2 lanes. Yes, one each way. Hardly big enough for the bus. The drive out of the city was interesting as we passed houses and of course famous shanty towns. Yes the shanties look just like the pictures. Complete squalor. The houses were small square cement or stucco structures with not to much interest going on. Of course seeing it all from the window of the bus isn’t the best way to judge. Of course the Mountains were on my side, each valley more beautiful than the last. Green but no flowers that I could see. When we arrived we were served a very lavish breakfast, including lox and every conceivable meat with eggs as chasers. The lodge is lovely, with bush cottages surrounding it. Lots of cactus around a swimming pool. Cool breezes were keeping us cool. The winds are still around, though not as bad as in the city.

Boarded our 4 x4 with our driver and we were off to find the BIG FIVE. They roam freely on the Karoo Mountains, Fynbos reserve, and eat the extremely rare Renosterveld vegetation. Driving amongst a pride of lions, herd of elephants, crush of rhino, gang of buffalo, giraffes, dazzle of zebra and the beauty of the mountains was exciting and breathtaking. Bobox ran everywhere. They look like a slim deer and reproduce just like them. The herds are very large and they are talking about thinning them out. Also many flocks of Ostrich. They run very fast and are twice the size I expected. The black males had beautiful feathers. Two outstanding visions. The lion was on a ledge, the sun at his back, his red mane was shinning in the backlight just like in Lion King Another kodack moment that is burned in my head. The other moment was the herd of Zebra. The stripping was perfect. to me they looked the healthiest and most perfect. I could have reached out and touched them. Reward for riding in the back of the jeep. At the Rino hole we stopped for a bottle of water and a glass of champagne. What else do you do in the middle of the day on a game reserve in Africa. Back to the lodge and a beautiful lunch was served. No bugs or flies. And thank goodness for the cool breezes since of course no air conditioning.

As wonderful and exciting as the animals were, the strength of the mountains and how the clouds came and went over them was awesome. I think all this wind might have some thing to do with it but not sure. The sky was blue, lots and lots of white clouds and these enormous black jagged mountains. Most of the mountain is made up of slate, sand stone, an granite. Vegetation also was very different than anything we had ever seen.

Each day brings new experiences and this one is a five star. Back on the bus and everyone was sound asleep in five minutes.


Amazing how we need Sea Days. Rested, went to Cooking Class and played dominoes at four with Jack and Lois. Lois has given me confidence to play blackjack and when it is dollar day I play with her. This afternoon we played for an hour and I won seven dollars. Our table mates taught me to drink wine with dinner. By the time we come home I will have aquired many bad habits and Bill will still be goody two shoes.

We have tried to slow down our eating. Light breakfast, no lunch, cheese and crackers around 4 so we can make it to dinner at 8. The stops in B A and in Cape Town has changed the population on board. New faces and mostly European have joined the segments.. So the dynamics has changed. They are trying to find their way around and the people who are still on board from the beginning are sort of a click. No matter the age, we keep our old ways. A new couple took my seat at the program last night. That was a no no in my mind, of course there is no assigned seating, so tonight I will have to go early again to stake my claim to what I think belongs to me, our seats. Lil and Heinz have left so no one to go very early to save our seats for us.

I miss Lil. She taught me a lot about Africa. Also I liked her everyday philosophy. We talked about everything. She and Heinz became good friends. We lunched together when we were still doing lunch. How they are managing living in a senior high rise, how they approach old age, and they travel to keep themselves busy. Both are soft spoken and very sharp. All of us should beable to age like them. We promised we would drive out to see them in Calgary. I hope so.

This ends another week. Today is day 49. Almost half way. Can’t believe we have already met up with Julia and Michael. You think about it, count the days and its history in a flash. They really are wonderfull together. Michael makes all these wonderful sight seeing plans for the two of them. When we talked Namibia, he knew exactly where I was talking about. Michael looked after Bill and was very sweet the way he walked and talked to him. Having them for the afternoon gave Bill and I a calm day. Someone to watch over us for a few hours far away from home. It worked, we were very relaxed and truly enjoyed every second we had together. Our phone call home to Andrea and Sid was fun. Sounded like they were next door . Loud and Clear. We were sitting in sunshine and they were freezing cold. Location, Location, Location.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

week 6

maven on the port talks
Valentines Decorations
Eating and reading the things he does best

Half way across the Atlantic

Pat and myself soaking up the sun
Bill Napping

Dinner at the Pinnacle with Brad and Gloria

Cooking class with Shawn and Ray

Miriam Beard


Day one, was full of activities. Slept in , met with the Cruise Critic group. Can you believe a new couple joined us in BA. He was born and raised on North Hill. Had fun talking old Akron. then I was off to Cooking Class. Lunch with Brad and Gloria. Sat out at the pool with Lotti and Peter. A beautiful weather day. Lots of sun and just enough breeze to keep you comfortable. Even went swimming. Felt good to move and be outside. Later In the Afternoon played dominois with Jack and Lois.
Worked on my pictures and transferred them to the computer. Dinner, a drink with Pat and Berry and we then ended the day with a stop in the Casino.

A very fun day at Camp. Not hard to be spoiled.

Day 2

Lecture this morning on Color. Speaker was Mary Ellen loapp. I could have done better. Lots of people walked out. I wonder what some of the speakers think about when they prepare there talks. They must think we are senile and they talk to us like kindergarten children. They better reevaluate if they want anyone to come back to their next one.

Lunch with Esther and John Dick. These are the neighbors of the Druckers in Ft .Myers. They are very nice and very friendly. From there , Bill went to read, and I went to Craft Class. Painted a T-shirt. Really silly stuff but fun doing it with new friends.

From there we went and played phase 10 with Lois and Jack. The weather today is cloudy and very humid. Dinner and the Show. Another day at camp

I have sort of given up on walking. Worried about falling. Unfortunately 2 people have had to leave the ship with broken hips and sholders. Not looking for trouble so I will have to wait until spring when we come home. Walking around the ship and cities we visit will have to do.

Day 3, packed with activities. Started my day with a cooking class. Ray Bear is the guest chef for the next week. Learned how to debone a oornish hen and make a wonderful apple dessert. Again we were served in the fancy Pinacle dining room. Very nice to sit at the table and eat and critique the food we prepared with the guest chef and the ship chef Shawn. They are both from Halifax, and I love their accents. While I was cooking, Bill went to a lecture on Africa. Dr. Robert Schrire, Director of the Policy Instutite of the University of Cape Town. He enjoyed that very much.
Back to arts and crafts to finish my T-shirt, turn our clocks ahead an hour and hurry off to book group. Started a new book, Cry, the Beloved Country, written in 1948. About Africa so its very pertinent to what we are seeing.

Of course its Friday so to Services we went. Our congregation is getting bigger. Met a friend of Anna Lee’s ,.Nadine and her significant other.. She is her party planner. Small world

Sat out side for awhile. To day the sun is out and not to much wind. FRESH AIR. Dinner and day is done. Whew, camp is very tiring…….

Fantastic Day 3

What a way to spend Sabbath. Travel guide Barbara gave a lecture on our next two ports, Walvis Bay and Luderitz. We are going to be in the Nimibia Desert in a few days.

At 11, we were invited to the 2 star Mariners lunch. Of course half the ship is a two star traveler. We expect to be 3 star before the end of our cruise. Still A long way from 4. one person has more days on Holland American Ships than the Captain. Big applause. Champagne in the morning. Bill was frowning at me of course.

Out to the pool with my book for a few hours The weather is warm and the sea calm. And most of all I need fresh air. I met Bill and we went for our hot stone massage. They heat stones, along with a lot of lotions and cremes and rub out every ache and pain. She had the perfect touch. One hour of pure bliss. .Even Bill enjoyed it. Who every thought this one up we thank them. We will have to go again in a few weeks

We turned our clocks forward this afternoon as we sail into a new time zone. We are now 6 hours ahead of Ohio and Florida. Think we have one more hour to forward before Cape Town. We are in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, very deep and very far from land. Still no TV. Dinner and the Show tonight, that ends another day at Sea Camp.


Still busy going to Port lectures. Today was Cape Town. Barbara, port lecturer, makes the ports very exciting. Can hardly wait. My camera batteries are charged and I only hope I can do the scenery justice. If not I always can add a few of Brads.

In the afternoon I went to book group and Bill took a nap. He needs his beauty sleep for tonight. That is what is so nice about a cruise. We can each do our own thing.

Rabbi Mintz asked us to make a minyon this week for a passanger that lost her sister today. Real Life goes on even if we don’t want it to, and everyone has come together and helped to make it easier. Sitting chiva in the middle of the ocean not knowing anyone yet a jewish community on board. Says a lot about our traditions

Tonight the Valentine‘s Day Ball. We watched from the balcony and critique everyones outfits including the men. You wouldn’t believe some of the get-ups. Tonight they also are offering $1.00 blackjack tables. You know I couldn’t miss that. Played for awhile and came away with most of my money. For a buck you can really enjoy playing. From there we went up to the crow s nest for people watching and a coke. That is where the 50 and 60 year olds gather late at night. On ball nights the crew has to show up and dance with the singles. People watching couldn’t be better than here. Outfits, jewelry and how much everyone drinks. I would like to have the total in cash of the bar bill from the ship when we dock in Seattle. The amount of drinking that goes on is amazing and that is what you see. What about all the booze bought on shore and consumed in the cabins. I bet the amount is staggering. Gave up around midnight. Thus ends 40 days cruising.


Decided to take a day and try and catch up on my reading. So far all we have done is kibbitz with everyone that walks by.

Invited to lunch with Bert and Ernie, the Vertuoso cruise directors on board. To our surprise they also invited the guest lecture Dr. Robert Schrire and his wife. Also another couple now living in Vancouver. Originally they are from Denmark and England. Both worked in the diplomatic core. Makes one feel so infirior to everything everyone has accomplished. A whole ship of rich educated people. He was wonderful company and told us all about Cape Town and his economic out look for South Africa. His wife looks like Phyliss Diller.and has a wolf for pat. Enough said.
Tonight dinner and another day ends. Will have to come back home early tonight so I can read. Lost another hour today, so we are now 7 hours ahead of home. That’s why I am behind. Lost 7 hours.


Lecture this morning on Port Elizabeth and Durban. Meeting with Cruise Critic to plan our 4 x 4 truck ride through the dessert in Namibia.

We are in a new time zone. Crossed the Greenwich Meridian Line. We have sailed 12,939.02 nautical miles from Ft Lauderdale. 800 more to Wavis Bay on Thursday. Sunrise is 7:30 and sunset 8:30. The stars are clear and sparkling each night. we come back to the cabin at night and go outside and watch the starts. Black, black night, black, black sea, the stars just twinkle. This is fairy land.

Listened to the lecture by Howard Walker on South Aftrica: Africa’s Great Power in the morning and then Robert Schrire in the afternoon. One minute they give you hope and the next minute despair. Unemployment is 30% or more. How can they solve such great problems. Schrire has hope and encouraged us to invest in South Africa.

Book group to wrap up the story on Africa. Minyan after that and the afternoon is finished, time for dinner and Mardi Gras. Everyone went up to the Crows Nest and had a blast. The innies tell me it was the best party ever on any cruise ship they have been on..
Had dinner in the Pinnacle Dining room with Brad and Gloria. They are wonderful company and we ate for two hours. To much food and wine. They serve many courses on beautiful china dishes and linen tablecloths. I have been taking cooking lessons with the head chef of the Pinnacle,Shawn. Makes looking at his presentations a much more critical. They do a nice job trying to please everyone.

After dinner went to the Casino and met up with Lois and Lottie. Dollar night at the Blackjack table. I am doing better playing blackjack then the slots. Broke even for a few hours play, not back for a beginner. Bill went to the show and enjoyed his evening and then we both went to bed. Another great day at Sea.

All in all crossing the ocean has not been bad at all. I am sure some people are bored but that is their fault. Plenty to do if you go and do it. People seem very friendly and you can do as much or as little as you like. For me, I have been kept quite busy and if I don’t think about it , I forget I am at sea. The biggest plus is that the sea has been pretty calm. Only miss TV in the middle of the night, so I have been listening to music and reading. Most multi-cruisers really enjoy the sea days. They play bridge all day and also have classes. The readers are in the Library, with books, computers, jigsaw puzzles and of course coffee and all the sweets you can imagine. People talking in groups, not a quite zone but lots of fun to be there. Tomorrow is the last day of Camp Sea. Should be very busy with special invitations to parties. 40 days and 40 nights across the great oceans. What a treat and joy it has been. I hope you all enjoy the pictures of our activities. Please notice how long my hair is getting. I am not going to cut it untill I come home. Can’t lose my power, but I am not as tired as the pictures show. Sitting in the sun I have a suntan started. We are just having a great time.