A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

Imbroglio in Norfolk

Our first Holland American cruise together


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Back to Back 2006 Holland American Cruises & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Prequel

I had been on two Holland-American cruise prior to this - TransAtlantic with my parents when I was 12. Mother on the left - me in the blue and my sister standing next to me.  The other two were just friends

Mother on the left - me in the blue and my sister standing next to me. The other two were just friends

I had liked the previous cruises Bob and I had taken on the Norwegian Crown
NCL Crown in Hamilton, Bermuda

NCL Crown in Hamilton, Bermuda


but I was a little concerned about this cruise because the ship was larger, and it had fixed dining. On the Crown, they had Freestyle, which meant we could go to the dining room any time it was open to eat and we ate with different people each night. Fixed dining means that you eat at the same time with the same people every night. What if we didn't like them?

End Prequel

I didn't get down to serious packing until Saturday.

Monday, 4 December 2006

I went up to Baltimore for a dentist appointment

Driving to Baltimore

Driving to Baltimore


which I thought was at noon, but was at 12:30. I got there at 1130 - an hour early. This was to be my last with the dentist in Baltimore, but I've got 3 cavities at least one of which has to be filled. So I made an appointment for January after I get back. Then I went to my (recently deceased) mom's house and did some stuff there, and then went and ate dinner with D and and her family.

Tuesday 5 December 2006

I saw my grandson off on the school bus and then went back to Mother's house. I called Carol Warner about picking up the iris stuff and she had forgotten, but she came over about 9:55 - got there about 5 minutes before Linda (the clean-out lady).
Clean out lady

Clean out lady


I left for home about 2:30, and in spite of having almost no traffic, I did not get home until after 5:15 when it was getting dark.

I collapsed into the house and ate dinner, after which Bob kindly drove me to the doctor to get the stitches removed from the two melanomas which I had removed 3 weeks prior. The one on my back there was no problem, but he still wasn't happy with the one on the front of my shin.

Eventually he decided that the way I had my leg was putting pressure on the stitches, and they could really be taken out. But the lady couldn't find the knot end on one of them, so she had to get the doctor back. She left me to go and get him, and the tray with the forceps was there, so I gave in to temptation and was using them to pick around to see if I could find it myself. They came in and caught me, and apparently I looked really guilty.

Anyway they all eventually got removed. However the muscles in my calf keep pulling at the bandage and I have a hard time keeping it on. I've even tried duct tape to no avail. I finally used an ace bandage to wrap it.

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

My cleaning lady came, and I had her vacuum the upstairs, and then we 'space-bagged' some things to go in the closets. I went up and got fuel to fill my car (which is a diesel), and stopped at the resale shop to give them a belt to a dress that I'd given them to sell, and also picked up the books from the book shop that they didn't want. I meant to go to the bank and deposit Bob's rebate on his cell phone (he finally decided that he needed one), but drove past it without thinking. I returned books to the library, and got some more.

I did start making lists on Thursday.

Friday 8 December 2006

I thought I had a hair appointment at 3, but when I got there I found that Polly (the owner of the shop) had gone to Florida, and she was supposed to have contacted everyone, but somehow I got missed. They found someone to cut my hair, but I may have to have it redone in Miami - she didn't take much off. I couldn't have my legs waxed because of the bandage, but that's not that much of a problem as I don't have much hair there anymore.

Saturday 9 December 2006

I really started packing. Bob was all packed already.

Sunday 10 December 2006

We went to pick up the car at Avis, and they had no record of us (this seems to have been a theme for this week). But I had a printed email confirmation, so we verified that it was the correct day, and the lady at the counter said she couldn't see the confirmation number, and I couldn't either. Bob said "There it is", and sure enough there it was in red letters about 1/3 of an inch tall right in the middle of the page.

She went into the other computer and found it, and gave us a white Malibu for $49.00/day (it ended up being $55 after taxes etc). We finished packing and Bob put all but the last suitcase for either of us into the car. I had put the Tidewater map into my big suitcase, but Bob was impatient so I didn't get it out (mistake). He took down the flag, and disconnected the car batteries and put a tarp over my car (the skylight in the roof has started leaking again). My sister called and while talking to her, I was thankfully reminded to take my National Parks passport.

We changed the sheets on the bed and Bob did the last wash and put antifreeze in the back bathroom upstairs, and serviced the washer and the furnace. After dinner he did the last dishes, and he put the garbage into the back of the truck. He also took tomatoes, lettuce and celery over to the Farrell's, and saw their new house.

For some reason earthlink/mindspring subscribers have stopped being able to get the newsgroups (although I can get email), and I spend some time calling and looking on the internet. All I could find was that the 'engineers were working on it'. It was not resolved by the time we left.

I got a message from B. telling me that the Hampton Inn where we had reservations in Miami was in a bad area, so I changed that reservation to the Quality Inn.

Monday 11 December 2006

Our last Washington Post was to have been on Sunday, but we got one on Monday anyway. After we had breakfast, Bob turned off the water. Before he did that, I put a hanging pot in the bathtub in a container with water over the bottom rim. I put stuff in the last bag, and we got in the car and left at about 8:25 a.m.
Getting behind a trash truck

Getting behind a trash truck


When we turned onto 234, we got behind a truck taking trash to VA, so it was slow. When we got to the Governor Nice (US 301) bridge (about 9:00), Bob had to actually pay for it ($3) in cash, as we didn't have an EZPass on the rental car.

We turned down 17 before 9:30 and were through Tappahannock before 1000. I had wanted to drive through Gloucester Courthouse, but before we got there, we saw a sign which said that the Coleman Bridge was going to open at 11:00. The last time we were on 17, the Coleman Bridge (which Bob correctly ID as being in Yorktown - I had forgotten the name of it) got stuck, and we had to go around through West Point.. So I didn't think we'd have time to take any side trips. What with traffic lights and all,
Gloucester Courthouse turnoff

Gloucester Courthouse turnoff


we didn't get to Gloucester Courthouse before 1035.
Yellow crew cab truck blocking the bridge

Yellow crew cab truck blocking the bridge


We got to the Coleman Bridge at 1054, and just as we were on the approach a school bus yellow crew cab truck blocked the bridge by parking across it. We were about the fourth car in line. They opened early. There was a destroyer waiting on the other side.
Destroyer waiting

Destroyer waiting


This is a swing bridge which has a toll only going north just like the Nice bridge has one only going south. I got out and took some pictures.
View from the bridge

View from the bridge


Destroyer after it went through the bridge

Destroyer after it went through the bridge


The bridge managed to get itself shut by about 1115.
Bridge closing

Bridge closing

Crossing the Coleman Bridge

Crossing the Coleman Bridge


We came into Norfolk, and and stopped and got gas, and the car got 34 mpg for the total trip of about 170 miles. Here was where the map would have helped. I had printed a Street Atlas map out, but it didn't show all the streets.

Bob absolutely refused to go to the terminal and drop our luggage off, and insisted that we would get a cab from the Avis office. So the next thing was to find that. I knew the office was on 11th street, but 11th didn't go all the way through to the street we were on (US 460 - Monticello Ave), so we had to circle around. The cruise ship parking was across the street from the Avis place.

Bob started to take the luggage out of the car, but I went in to the office and asked the guy at the counter how we could get to the docks, and he said he would drive us. So Bob put all the luggage back in, and then gave me the tickets. He tipped the Avis guy $5.00, and also gave the lady with the luggage cart $5, after I stopped him from walking off. She seemed to be expecting something.

He kept one bag with his medications, and I just kept my pocketbook (which had my medications in it) and sent everything else except the computer bag in to the bag lady. We got in line, which was almost out to the curb. I sat in benches along the way.
Looking at the Maasdam from inside the visitor's centers

Looking at the Maasdam from inside the visitor's centers


There was a plastic quonset hut type place where we were to be processed - there was a lot of construction on the pier
Nauticus pier from the ship

Nauticus pier from the ship


which was next to the Nauticus dock. We got to the door of the processing building about 1300.
Photographers

Photographers


Inside was a zoo. I stood for a little while, but my back began to be very painful, so I found a chair to sit in over by the photographers where people were going in, and let Bob inch through the line. That took about 20 minutes.

When we went to check in, we found that we had been upgraded. Normally this would not have been a problem, but since we had booked back-to-back cruises, on the assurance that we would not have to change cabins, this WAS a problem.
People checking in

People checking in


We got to the check-in desk about 1320. I made a big stink about being upgraded, but the problem was that I made the reservations with two different agencies. Because I wasn't happy with the first agency, so when I looked for low fares for the second cruise, I didn't consider them. And they didn't have the lowest rates anyway.

I said I absolutely did not want the upgrade - I had booked inside low and in the center of the ship on purpose (and also it was the cheapest cabin). They said they couldn't UN-upgrade me because the persons in the room we were supposed to have had already checked in.

So --- eventually after some phoning, they decided to upgrade us for the second cruise too. Not in the same cabin, but on the same deck. They told me to go to the 'Office' on board the ship and ask them to switch rooms for us for the second cruise.
Boarding the Maasdam

Boarding the Maasdam


Although it seemed like it took forever, we were actually walking on the ship in about 10 minutes (by 1330). Someone took Bob's carry-on and carried it up to our room and Bob tipped him too although I don't think it would be necessary.

We were concerned about our bags getting taken to the right stateroom (particularly because we found that there are three other people named Beasley aboard - she first asked if I was Margaret Beasley), but the check-in person told us that the bags would not be taken on board until we had checked in. That was the reason that we could have left the bags off first - they don't take our bags on until we've checked in. (Bob had one large hanging bag and 2 small bags in addition to his carry-on, and there was a joint duffle with snorkeling equipment etc in it - I had one very large bag, one computer bag, and one small pocketbook type bag and my pocketbook that I carried.)

We are on deck 6 on the port side of the ship about halfway between the bow and stern elevators so we are actually still in the center - just on the outside center. We have a big window and under it is the headboard of two single beds together - so it is king sized, which I don't care for because if I can stick my foot out (which I have to do) I'm too far away from Bob.
Bed against the window and table with fruit at the bottom of the photo

Bed against the window and table with fruit at the bottom of the photo

Table with fruit basket

Table with fruit basket


The bedspread has a kind of peacock feather design and maroon decorative pillows.
Folded bedspread on the couch

Folded bedspread on the couch


There is a cabin width ceiling light over the head of the bed. The phone is on Bob's side and has a faulty message light.
Bob's bedside table

Bob's bedside table


It is blinking, but we don't have any messages.

There are beige with a blue trellis fake curtains (you can't draw them across) at the foot of the bed.

This cabin has MUCH less storage than the NCL Crown did. We've each got a night table with two SMALL drawers in it. Maybe 6 x 14".
My bedside table

My bedside table


There is a small dressing table with a maroon stool on one end and three drawers on one side - about 20" wide and 8" deep. Over the table is the TV and a CD player, and under it is an ice bucket and glasses, and the 'for pay' sodas and bottled water.
TV over the ice bucket - dresser and mirror

TV over the ice bucket - dresser and mirror


We apparently get bathrobes which are hung on each side. I've hung my calendar on the bathrobe hanger, and on it I've marked which are formal and informal nights.

Opposite the dressing table is a white and dark blue check love seat with a little table in front of it and a small maroon side chair. Couch and chair reflected in the mirror of the dressing table

Couch and chair reflected in the mirror of the dressing table


Couch and maroon chair

Couch and maroon chair


There is a pastel colored picture of a windmill over the love seat. The rug is a blue/green tweed with beige flecks. All the wood is limed oak.

On one side of the hall area leading to the door is the bathroom. No storage in there either,
Tub

Tub


although we have a tub with a detachable shower, a toilet and a sink with a narrow shelf above it. Even the sink counter is skimpy.
Toilet

Toilet

Sink

Sink


On the other side are four closets.
Closets and TV

Closets and TV


One of them just has shelves and the safe in it.
Safe in the closet and Bob's shoes

Safe in the closet and Bob's shoes


One of the life preservers is on the top shelf, and the shoe basket (for putting your shoes out to be cleaned) is on the bottom.
n100_2097.JPGMy closet

My closet


One closet has two spaces for hanging short things top and bottom. Another one has a shelf for the other life preserver, and a long hanging space.
Closet and mirror on the door

Closet and mirror on the door


The last one has short hanging, and the a high shelf, and the bottom area has the blankets etc. This one also has a full length mirror. I brought some hangers, but there are plenty here.

We also found a 'gift' of four bottles of wine, two glasses and a corkscrew. We don't drink wine (or any alcohol) so I don't know what we are going to do with that. We later got a gift of an 8 x 10 photo and a canvas bag from the travel agent.

We went up to the Lido deck (deck 11) for lunch about 1400. You can't get your food yourself, and the people behind the counters don't seem to be that interested in serving you. When we finally got some food, we ate at a table next to the window overlooking Norfolk harbor.

Afterwards (1430) I spent about half an hour walking around the deck and taking pictures of the Norfolk harbor. Waterside (the marina where we often stayed with our boat) seemed deserted.
Norfolk police boat

Norfolk police boat

Tug

Tug

Baggage to be loaded

Baggage to be loaded

Tidewater marina

Tidewater marina

Overlooking the Pool and Norfolk

Overlooking the Pool and Norfolk


I stopped by the Explorer's cafe (which is a combination internet area, game area and coffee bar) and got a sheet with directions for doing the internet and also stopped by the office, and explained the room problem to the desk officer. He said he would see what he could do.

By the time we got back to the cabin, my computer bag, my small bag and the duffle bag had come, and there was one bag for Bob. Bob went to take the ship tour, but he was back before we had the lifeboat drill at 4:15.

That was a disaster. We put our PFDs on in the cabin. It said to dress warmly but Bob said I couldn't put my coat on over the PFD, and, so I carried it and I didn't need it. I almost couldn't get the PFD tied in the front. We were all packed against the wall and roll was called. My back was really starting to hurt badly, so Bob put me back against the bulkhead so at least I could lean against it. I would have sat down on the deck except I was afraid of being stepped on.

Also the announcements were SO loud that it hurt my ears. I spent the whole time anyone was talking (and during the whistles than announced the drill) with my fingers in my ears.

Shortly after that my large bag and Bob's hanging bag came. The cabin steward came by and introduced himself and asked if we had all our luggage, and I said no that there should be at least one more item. It was Bob's bag with all his clothes in it (like underwear). I checked the excursion tickets and they were correct. We made out our Bahamas immigration forms and I put my money and wallet in the safe.

I wanted to take a picture of Cape Henry lighthouse, but I realized that if we didn't leave until 5, that it would be dark. I thought we could go in to dinner at 5:30, so about 5:20 we left to go up to deck 8 as we had the upper early dinner which was to start at 5:45. We were at table 32 which turned out to be a table for 6. I looked on the diagram and saw it was right at the stern by the window. Well at least I would be able to see the lighthouse if we went past it during dinner.

They didn't let us into the dining room early as the plan of the day said they would. The dining room was mostly deserted. I don't know why as the cruise was fully booked, but apparently when people get gifts of dinner at the Pinnacle cafe (the extra price restaurant) it is booked on embarkation day. Or maybe they went to the Lido deck to eat there.
Dinner table

Dinner table


They played the chimes to announce dinner, and I thought they would take us to the table, but they did not - we had to find our way by ourselves. Two people were already there at the end seats away from the water. They were Al and Linda from Williamsburg. I took the seat next to the window and Bob sat next to me. Finally the third couple arrived - Larry (next to the window across from me) and Rona. Rona spoke so softly that I often couldn't hear her. They were from Baltimore.

The shades were down over the windows, and I got them to pull them up. The waiters hold your chair for you, and then unwrap the napkin with a flourish for the ladies.

For appetizers, I had some kind of
Crab salad

Crab salad


but it wasn't at all what I expected. It was cold, and I didn't care for it.. Bob had a
Fruit compote

Fruit compote


which looked good. Al had the mussels with ginger, garlic and lemon grass and I like the look of that. Several of us including Rona, Bob and I had the
Chilled blueberry soup

Chilled blueberry soup


for the next course - very good. As a main course, Bob and Al and Larry all had the
Grilled mahi mahi with roasted corn salsa and black bean rice

Grilled mahi mahi with roasted corn salsa and black bean rice


and I had
Prime rib with string beans, carrots and baked potato

Prime rib with string beans, carrots and baked potato


Linda had the roast rack of pork, and Rona had the eggplant, which she didn't like as the skin was on the eggplant. My prime rib was cooked exactly as I asked and was quite good and ample in quantity.

During dinner, we noticed that we were still at the dock. The captain announced that the engineer had seen an electrical fault in the port engine and they were going to stay at the dock until it was fixed.

They brought around the dessert menu, and also a sample dessert tray to show us. Bob and Linda and Larry all had the

Apple strudel

Apple strudel


I was tempted by the coconut blanc manger but wasn't sure what I would get, so I had
Lemon sorbet

Lemon sorbet


Rona ordered the black forest cake, but they bought her the regular chocolate cake instead, and she insisted that we all try a little of it - it was good. They also brought her a black forest cake, and she wanted everyone to try that too.

At the end of dinner we noticed the shop was moving. The Captain said he would go up the river to the turning basin and then turn around, and that was what he did - very very slowly.
Looking down to the lower level of the dining room

Looking down to the lower level of the dining room


After dinner, Bob went to the show (he wasn't impressed) and I went to the internet cafe to sign on. I was on the internet 19 minutes, which was part of the extra free 20 minutes for signing on during the first day. I took the $100 package of 250 minutes.
Norfolk at night

Norfolk at night


After I finished I went out on deck and took a picture as we went past the Hampton Bridge Tunnel - the Fort Wool end. It was too chilly and I was too tired to wait until we got to the lighthouse, so I'm hoping I can see it when we come back in. Then I came back to the cabin and edited my photos. Bob was already in bed - he's brought an eye mask so that he can cut out the light and sleep while I'm still up.

12 December 2006 At Sea

Today's elevators said "Tuesday" on the floor.. Yesterday they said "Monday". I guess you could match them to your underwear.
.Rug in the elevator

Rug in the elevator


Today didn't start out too auspiciously. Bob showered. That went OK

About 8:30 we started out for breakfast. I decided to go to the dining room rather than go through the buffet line, and they put us at a table for 10, and eventually 6 others joined us. We gave our order, and then waited. And waited. And waited. We got our juice. We got coffee or tea. But it took us over an hour to get our food. We missed the 0915 presentation. I could see Bob's cereal over on the counter, but the rest of us had ordered various items - one person had kippers, two had eggs Benedict. I had just ordered fried eggs, bacon and toast.
Fried eggs

Fried eggs


We got our food about 9:55. They gave me the eggs and toast, but forgot the bacon. Their excuse was that 300 people all came into the restaurant at once and they weren't prepared. But it is not as if they didn't know we were on board. The cruise is fully booked.

Bob ate and left to go on the kitchen tour at 10:15 (which met right outside the restaurant). Afterwards he went to a demonstration by the chef of the Pinnacle grill, where they demonstrated salmon with lemon glaze and rosemary crumbs and three-grain pilaf with olives. They gave him the recipes. Meantime, I went up to the internet cafe to get email. I was having trouble sending email although I could get it OK.

It was now just before noon, and so we went into the dining room for lunch. The boat was rocking a bit, and I didn't want to stand in a buffet line with a tray. I didn't bother to go back to the room with the computer.

This time we were at a table quite near where our dinner table was with two other couples. Bob had
Cheddar and crab chowder

Cheddar and crab chowder


Chilled pear soup

Chilled pear soup


I had
Thai Curried chicken salad

Thai Curried chicken salad


(which came in a compote type thing with a lot of lettuce on the bottom), and a
Quiche Lorraine

Quiche Lorraine


which was quite thick. Then I had a
Caribbean Pineapple Sundae

Caribbean Pineapple Sundae


(with coconut ice cream) for dessert.

The captain announced that we had gotten underway late and still with only one engine. He said the engineers worked all night and they finally fixed the electrical fault (I guess in the generator) at about 0100. So we were going as fast as the Maasdam would go (20+ knots), but we would not get to Half Moon Cay (which is down south of Eleuthera) until 2:30 tomorrow. Therefore all shore excursions were canceled, and money would be refunded.

We should go ashore to the cay and book additional excursions at the kiosk there on the cay. I'm not sure if I want to do that or not.

Immediately after lunch we went up to play team trivia. We joined two couples - the men were brothers from Toronto. Joyce and John; Carol and Bob. It's too bad we aren't Ted and Alice. They asked us for a team name, and I suggested the Canadians, and they said "No". So my next suggestion was "Brothers and Others", which they took. One of the couples we lunched with was also there on another team, as were Al and Linda from dinner.

There were 15 questions plus a bonus question.

Answers to the questions that we knew included 1) Bill Gates 2) Lox, 3) Forest Gump 4) Top Gun (where does Tom Cruise say "I have a need for speed") 5) How many pills a day do you take when a doc writes QID on your prescription (4 - the Q is the Latin for four), and we got the bonus right which was "What is the 'royal disease'?" (hemophilia)

One that we/I guessed at was the name of the breed of dog which originally was bred to flush woodcock (cocker spaniel - I said that I couldn't think of a dog with 'wood' in the name so it had to be 'cock').

We got wrong "Hang 5" because none of us had heard of it and we changed our answer to Hang 10. We got wrong the burial state of Bruce Lee and Jim Hendrixx (Washington state). And the Canadians got wrong the referee's gesture indicating 'holding'.

One group got them all right (16 points). Three groups including the one with Linda and Al had one wrong (15 points).
Wake

Wake


After the trivia (which took a little more than half an hour, and was in the Crow's Nest on the top deck), we came down to the room, and I wrote up the trip to date, and Bob started to read the NY Times digest (which is apparently free), Reader's Digest and watch TV and then fell asleep. We missed going to tea.

I went to the central atrium on our floor to see if there was a hot spot there. There were two wireless networks, but I couldn't log on to either of them. So I went up to the 7th deck, and managed to log on, but not send email.
People dressed for formal night

People dressed for formal night


This was a formal night, and all of a sudden there were multiple couples in formal gear - it was only about 4:30. I think they were going to the Captain's reception. About 5, I remembered that it was formal night for us too, and went back to the room. Bob was already dressed. We went up to dinner about 5:30.

Bob and I both had
Shrimp cocktail

Shrimp cocktail


(4 jumbo shrimp). Larry had the fish cake (which looked nasty to me). For the salad/soup course Bob and Rona (who seems to be an old picky eater) had the
Mango gazpacho

Mango gazpacho


She complained because it wasn't red and didn't have any tomato in it. I had the Arugula and frisee salad

Arugula and frisee salad


(Al had asked me what arugula was, so I asked the waiter to point it out to me because I didn't know either, and I showed him what it was).

For the main course, three or four of the others had the salmon filet, and Bob and I had the King crab legs

King crab legs


They were cold (over cold water), and didn't have any butter with them, so I was kind of disappointed. For dessert, Al had the Crepes Suzette (which were just ordinary pancakes, Bob had the
Hot Fudge Sundae

Hot Fudge Sundae


(which just had chocolate sauce and not fudge), Rona had mango sorbet (which she just picked at), Linda had the double strawberry cheesecake (two strawberries on it), and I had the
Cappuccino Bombe

Cappuccino Bombe


This was coffee ice cream coated in bittersweet chocolate and was very good - kind of like a coffee Good Humor.

We were done by 1915, and went back to our room because the early show didn't start until 2030.

The show was called "Gold", and it was a show tune retrospective. These are comparisons to the shows we saw on the NCL Crown. Maasdam's stage is bigger, but there was no live orchestra.
View of the stage

View of the stage


The theatre itself did not have any kind of stair step seating, so the people in the back could not see the stage if there were people seated in front of them. This is a great big black mark on Maasdam as far as I am concerned.

The lighting was crappy. People on our side of the stage that were out in front of the proscenium on the apron were often in shadow. I see no reason for this.
Girl on the right in shadow

Girl on the right in shadow


Sometimes the spotlights created the illusion that the dancers had no feet, as their lower legs were cut off. I didn't notice the lighting on the Crown - in retrospect that was probably because it was good enough not to draw attention.
Singers with their feet out of the spotlight

Singers with their feet out of the spotlight


The 'special effects' weren't that special. Occasionally a little mist or smoke, and one dance which was done with black light. The stage set was amateurish - musical notes distributed in various places. The costumes often were IMO ill-fitting and unflattering. I thought the dance troupe on the Crown had sexy and attractive costumes.

The show itself was a retrospective of show tunes. There were four people with mikes on their heads - two girls and two men. One couple (the brunette and the larger guy) were primarily singers. The other couple (the blonde girl and the smaller man) both sang and danced. Then there were one or two other men and four other girls who were primarily dancers.

I didn't think the dancing or the choreography was worth much. There was a nice ballet type duet (dancing - no singing) to Moon River, and I thought the ensemble to 76 Trombones was good. The rest of it just wasn't very special. I really like the dance shows on the Crown better.

Afterwards, I figured out how to send email, so I went up to the internet cafe and did that.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 12:19 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Sailing by the Bahamas

Mostly at Sea


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Back to Back 2006 Holland American Cruises & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

13 December 2006

Woke up this morning (Friday the 13th is on Wednesday this month) and looked out our window (which is a large two pane window with curved ends) and saw someone standing at the rail looking out to sea and smoking a cigarette and periodically taking pictures of the sunrise.
Smoker taking photos of the sunrise

Smoker taking photos of the sunrise


We got our breakfast delivered this morning. It was what we ordered and when we ordered it.
Breakfast tray

Breakfast tray


I thought the room steward would deliver it, but it was someone different. I'm not sure whether we should have tipped him or not. (We should have.) We were supposed to call for pickup of the tray, and they never came, so when the room steward finally got to us, the tray was still there. (We should have put it out in the hall to be picked up)

We are supposed to get to Half Moon Cay today. I looked at the map, and Half Moon Cay (real name Little San Salvador) is down below Eleuthera. But since we started out from Norfolk late, we won't be there until 1430, and they decided to have the BBQ that would normally have been on the beach up on the Lido deck where the covered pool is.
BBQ chef on the pool deck

BBQ chef on the pool deck


So we went up there, but ate in the Lido dining room instead of doing the BBQ.
Deviled egg and bread and butter

Deviled egg and bread and butter

Noodles and cheese

Noodles and cheese


For dessert we had some of HALs famous bread pudding. It is very good - one of our favorites
Bread pudding

Bread pudding


The boat seemed to have slowed down some. We went out to the Lido deck pool after lunch.
Water sloshing out of the pool

Water sloshing out of the pool


The waves were making the pool water really slosh around in the pool.
Pool water on the deck

Pool water on the deck


I was surprised they let people into the pool. It looked dangerous to me.
Fog and white caps

Fog and white caps


I took some pictures of land to the west of us which I assume was somewhere in the Bahamas - probably Eleuthera.
Orchids in the Ladies Room

Orchids in the Ladies Room


After lunch, we met again for trivia and did absolutely horribly. We had correct answers for only 9 out of 16 questions. We did not know what the SOS on the Brillo pads stood for (Save Our Saucepans), or that the banana was the cheapest and most popular fruit (we said apple) or the name of the Las Vegas casino with the skyline of NYC was NY, NY or the name of a group of bears was a "sleuth" of bears. We didn't know the name of a song of Brian Adams was "Summer of 69" - I'd never even heard of him. The other people convinced me that the planet with an orbit of 84 years was Pluto and not (as Bob said) Uranus. And they thought that the country that many countries in Africa severed relations with in 1974 was South Africa, and it was not - it was Israel.

We did get to the cay on the new schedule, but since we were only going to be there until 1700, I decided not to go ashore, but wait until next time. We went down to our deck (deck 6) and I took some photos of the boats which were taking people ashore. (This is a tender port which means that the ship anchors rather than going in to a dock and people are ferried ashore either in a tender or at some ports in the lifeboats)
Loading the tender

Loading the tender

Tender leaving

Tender leaving

Looking down on the tender

Looking down on the tender

Tender going to shore

Tender going to shore

Tender returning

Tender returning


Then I went up the stairs at the bow to deck 7 and out on the bow,
Flag staff on the bow

Flag staff on the bow


and took some photos from there.
Coastline

Coastline

Chapel on shore

Chapel on shore

People on shore

People on shore

From the deck looking up at the mast

From the deck looking up at the mast


Bob had gone back to the room, and he saw me on the bow camera.
Bow camera (but I'm not there as I took this photo)

Bow camera (but I'm not there as I took this photo)


For dinner, I had
Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller


and Bob had a
Watermelon fruit cocktail

Watermelon fruit cocktail


Then we both had a
Sirloin and twice baked potato

Sirloin and twice baked potato


which was very good. I had
Berry crisp a la mode

Berry crisp a la mode


for dessert, and Bob had
Tiramisu

Tiramisu


Rona again ordered one desert for herself and one for the table for everyone to taste - this time it was
Chocolate Avalanche Cake

Chocolate Avalanche Cake


Afterwards we went to "Battle of the Sexes"
Cruise director at "Battle of the Sexes"

Cruise director at "Battle of the Sexes"


which we thought (incorrectly) would be the newlywed game, but instead was men against women in a kind of team Match Game. It was mildly amusing. The women lost. The main attraction tonight was a comedian named Noodles something, and he was very amusing.
Noodles? on Stage

Noodles? on Stage


The steward has been doing what I assume are towel animals, but until the 13th, I couldn't tell what animal they were. On the 13th, he did an elephant, which I recognized, so I put it on my night stand.
Towel elephant

Towel elephant

Thursday 14 December 2006

This was another sea day. I decided to try the Lido for breakfast this time, so we made our way up there. Bob doesn't think it is laid out too well as you have to wait while everyone gets their waffles or omelets cooked instead of having those things off in other stations.
Bread selection

Bread selection

Dragon sculpture on the buffet

Dragon sculpture on the buffet

A part of the Breakfast buffet

A part of the Breakfast buffet


Bob sat down at a table with a lady already sitting there and she didn't say anything to us, but when her husband came along, we found out that she was blind. We had a very interesting conversation.

The TV has caught up with the correct time (it was a day late yesterday), but it said that the winds were 26 knots, and waves were 7 to 20 feet. I tried the 6th deck atrium to do email, but eventually had to go up to the 7th deck.
Coffee bar near the internet cafe

Coffee bar near the internet cafe


The Trivia was before lunch this time, and we were again in last place although we got 10 right this time. We didn't know the Greek word used by psychologists for cleansing (catharsis), we didn't know that jai lai came from Spain, or that there was a 1000 ft deep lake in Guatemala named Atitlan, or that Walt Disney's first Mickey Mouse was in 1928. We did know that a dory was a fish, and I (at any rate) knew that a stomata was in the leaf of a plant. The sea was really calm and things were sunny.
Pool

Pool


We went to lunch down in the main dining room and I had the
Squash Apple Soup

Squash Apple Soup


and Bob had the Bahama banana soup. The two couples with
us were from Mass. and VA near DC. Bob had a hamburger, and I had spaghetti. I had
Praline ice cream

Praline ice cream


and he had a banana sundae. While we were at lunch we went through some very nasty rainy weather and the waves have picked up.

Afterwards we went to a talk on the tropical rainforest, which unfortunately concentrated on the plants so Bob had to poke me to keep me awake.
Theater

Theater

Talk on tropical plants

Talk on tropical plants


For dinner on the 14th, we both had
Antilles Shrimp Cocktail

Antilles Shrimp Cocktail


which was tiny shrimp on a cantaloupe slice, and then Bob had
Green pea soup

Green pea soup


and the peas in it were really green and not yellow-green, and I had a nice
Salad of Bibb lettuce, olives, hard boiled eggs and tuna

Salad of Bibb lettuce, olives, hard boiled eggs and tuna


As an entre,, he had a
Roasted turkey dinner

Roasted turkey dinner


and I had
Cheese manicotti

Cheese manicotti


For dessert, he had a
Raspberry sundae

Raspberry sundae


and I had
Chocolate mousse in a hard chocolate shell basket.

Chocolate mousse in a hard chocolate shell basket.



The entertainment tonight was a pianist who took requests at the end and made them into a medley - which included the 1812 Overture, Scot Joplin, Nola, God Bless America, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and the Flight of the Bumblebee. I came in at the end, as I had been doing computing until then.
Player Piano with lights in the atrium

Player Piano with lights in the atrium

The towel animal tonight was probably a sloth
Sloth towel animal, chocolates, the note to set our clocks ahead and plan of the day for tomorrow

Sloth towel animal, chocolates, the note to set our clocks ahead and plan of the day for tomorrow


We set our clocks ahead an hour and then went to bed. I can't set the minutes on my watch for some reason.

Tomorrow is St. Thomas

Posted by greatgrandmaR 12:58 Archived in Bahamas Comments (0)

Late Again - to St Thomas

Circumnavigation by Taxi


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Back to Back 2006 Holland American Cruises & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Thursday, 15 December 2006

Today, we were supposed to be in St. Thomas at 10, but the captain made an announcement that due to 'swells' we were behind schedule and would not get in until noon. We did not go up to breakfast until 9:30, and found that the dining room closed at 9 (which takes care of the problem of too many people coming in at 9 o'clock I guess). So we had to go up to the Lido deck to eat. There were a lot of people in line, and many of them were backed up waiting for food to be cooked for them, so I just got oatmeal and a couple pieces of bacon.
My oatmeal

My oatmeal


Bob got pancakes, bacon and some fruit.
Bob's pancakes

Bob's pancakes


They closed one side of the breakfast buffet so that they could open it up early for lunch. We started to see islands out the windows
From our window at 10 am

From our window at 10 am


and also on the bow camera.
Looking towards the harbor from the ship

Looking towards the harbor from the ship


I went out on deck and called Dave Kummerle (CSY 37 Glory- he charters his boat), and he said that he could see us. We agreed that he would take his dinghy in to the dinghy dock and walk around to meet us. Since we were late, it would be too much of a problem to try to go for a sail with him.

Since I went out on deck to call, I got to see the pilot come out in the pilot boat.
100_2218.JPGPilot boat approaching and with pilots preparing to jump on

Pilot boat approaching and with pilots preparing to jump on


Pilot boat leaving

Pilot boat leaving


We had a rain shower about then, but of course since the deck is under the lifeboats, I didn't get wet..
The hills of St. Thomas

The hills of St. Thomas

Charlotte Amalie across the harbor

Charlotte Amalie across the harbor

Anchored boats

Anchored boats

Bow camera at the dock

Bow camera at the dock


We had to go through immigration because we had been at a foreign port (Half Moon Cay), and they called us alphabetically. When we went up to the processing area there were many people clogging up the area who were not supposed to be there because of having names later in the alphabet. They called A,B, C, and we walked in, gave them our room number, got checked off, showed our passports at another station, and were handed a card allowing us to get off.

We got off, and walked down to the end of the dock, where I recognized Dave (from his picture, although he's older now than when it was taken). We went to a little sandwich/hamburger place in Havensight called the Delly Deck
Restaurant facade

Restaurant facade

Restaurant entrance

Restaurant entrance


The sign out front said "Restrooms are Only for Customers". We had lunch and talked sailboats.
People eating

People eating


I had a
Philly cheese steak ($11)

Philly cheese steak ($11)


and wanted potato salad, but they gave me fries instead.
Bob's tuna sandwich and fries ($8.50)

Bob's tuna sandwich and fries ($8.50)


Dave had a mahi mahi sub and potato salad ($12.00) and iced tea ($2.00). He insisted on paying for the meal, but he let Bob leave the tip.
Bill for meal

Bill for meal


I figured out what to do about some of those 4 bottles of wine that they refuse to take back or substitute for us with water. We took 3 of them off the ship and gave them to Dave. Hard liquor is cheap there ($10 for a bottle of vodka), but wine is expensive ($25/bottle). So he was happy to have them, and I was glad to be rid of them.
Discount Liquor Mall

Discount Liquor Mall


Then he hailed a cab for us to drive us around the island. Taxi rates , including taxi tours, are set by the VI Taxicab Association. For example, Sightseeing Tour in 2006 for 2 hours; one passenger $50, two or more passengers $25 per person. Tour for 3 hours; one passenger $60, two or more passengers $30 per person. Most of the current taxi rates are on the basis of one place to another per person, but you can negotiate with a driver for an hourly rate. Our friend talked with a taxi driver that was there near the docks and he agreed to the price of $25 each for us. Then he walked back to his dinghy (which was on the complete other side of the harbor).
Welcome to Havensight Mall

Welcome to Havensight Mall

They drive on the left

They drive on the left


The taxi in the Virgin Islands is called a safari. Its a truck which has been outfitted with bench seating in the back. It is open air but covered. Safari buses vary in size, some can hold up to 26 passengers. Usually that means that the tour is a group tour. Our taxi was one of those cab/bus/tourist vehicles which had space for 27 people but just had the two of us in it. Since there were just the two of us in it we had our choice of seats.
Inside of the cab

Inside of the cab


Island tours by taxi usually include the popular sites and scenic look out points like Drake's Seat.
St John in the distance

St John in the distance

Bas relief at the overlook

Bas relief at the overlook


We went all around the top of the island looking things from the overlooks - at each place there were places to buy souvenirs, but I didn't get any.
large_4755176-Island_Tour.jpgBob's photo

Bob's photo


I took 132 photos and Bob took 5. But all of his were good, and I know some of mine are not going to be worth keeping. I missed a beautiful shot of a brown cow with a cattle egret on her back.
Valdemar A. Hill Sr., Drive Scenic Overlook sign

Valdemar A. Hill Sr., Drive Scenic Overlook sign


72cb0710-6734-11ea-b97c-0b6ba51d1b33.JPGAnchored boats

Anchored boats

Looking down

Looking down

Coin operated binoculars

Coin operated binoculars

Souvenir cart

Souvenir cart

Magen's Bay overlook sign

Magen's Bay overlook sign


Magen's Bay overlook

Magen's Bay overlook

large_100_2295.JPGSouvenir shop

Souvenir shop

Banana bloom

Banana bloom

From the taxi

From the taxi


Roadwork -asphalt machine

Roadwork -asphalt machine


We ended up going through Charlotte Amalie,
Man and child walking by park in Charlotte Amalie

Man and child walking by park in Charlotte Amalie

Bandstand in town

Bandstand in town


766459573270964-Closest_boat.._St_Thomas.jpgClosest boat is Dave's Glory of Christensted with dinghy back of it

Closest boat is Dave's Glory of Christensted with dinghy back of it


and then he took us right back to the ship. The tour (which was about 2 hours) was $50, and Bob gave him $60. We had to show both our passports and the ship ID, and they had to match to get back on.
Getting back to the ship

Getting back to the ship


I was very hot and sweaty - it was fairly humid and quite warm, especially in the sun.

I decided that since the ship was late everywhere, I'd switch the tours on Dominica from a four hour morning tour to a 3 hour afternoon tour which would also be more accessible.. So I did that. And I again asked about the cabin on the second cruise. They assured me that they would help us move, but the problem seems to be that the people for the second cruise specifically requested the cabin that we are now in. I pleaded pitifully and nicely and they said they would call corporate again. (But I don't think they really did)

Tonight all the dinners are at once instead of being staggered because the chefs and waiters are giving a show.
Formal night menu

Formal night menu


So at each table was a chefs hat for us to wear
365521063270966-Other_people.._St_Thomas.jpgPeople and Bob in his chef's hat

People and Bob in his chef's hat


(which didn't work very well - mine kept coming unstuck and flattening out, or falling down on my nose), and after most of us were seated, they all marched in,and gave us all napkins with a flourish (one at a time), and then gave everyone the same starter (mushroom mousse with an asparagus spear). Then they all marched around again and beating salad bowls and tossing vegetables around, and gave everyone a very nice salad.
Salad

Salad


After that we ordered a starter and an entree. Bob had the lobster bisque, and I had
Brie in phylo dough with apple cranberry compote.

Brie in phylo dough with apple cranberry compote.


Then for dinner, he had
Apricot glazed salmon

Apricot glazed salmon


and I had the
Tagliatelle with Roasted Chicken and Portobello Mushrooms

Tagliatelle with Roasted Chicken and Portobello Mushrooms


The final show was bringing in the dessert - there was a white chocolate mold in the shape of a chef's hat filled with chocolate.
White chocolate chef hat dessert

White chocolate chef hat dessert


Underside of chef's hat

Underside of chef's hat

Posted by greatgrandmaR 13:03 Archived in US Virgin Islands Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 3 of 21) Page [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 »