Blog Update Dec. 6
Hello from the Voyager of the Seas, somewhere in the Atlantic, between the Canary Islands and the Bahamas. The voyage has been smooth and we have even had very pleasant weather, most of the time. The past few days have been warm, in the mid-70’s, and there have been lots of people hanging around by the pool. As usual, we have been enjoying this trans-Atlantic cruise very much because of all the days at sea. This gives us a chance to work out in the gym, attend seminars and lectures, have social times with all the old friends, and enjoy all the luscious food that seems to be on offer almost constantly.
This cruise started 8 days ago in Barcelona, where we stayed one night after leaving the Celebrity Century after our week long Mediterranean cruise. Happily, our good friends David and Diane Wilson, from Austin, joined us at our hotel so we had some fun exploring the Gothic Quarter, which was the location of our hotel, with them. Last Sunday, we all boarded the ship together and got partially settled in. Then Myra and Louie Lehmann, other friends who had been on the Around the Horn cruise with us, arrived to have a quick visit with us before boarding their ship, the Brilliance of the Seas. We just managed a quick chat with them in the front of the terminal, but it was delightful to see them again, since they live in Sweden.
There aren’t a lot of ports on this cruise, which suits us just fine. Our first port was Cartagena, Spain, which is a delightful little city and is easy to explore on foot. Since we have been there before, we didn’t have any particular places in mind to go, so we walked around and ended up doing some shopping. Because it is the end of the cruise season, and most of the ships stopping there now are heading back to the USA, the stores had some wonderful sales going on. Elaine got a pants and jacket outfit for 4 Euros, a faux suede shirt for 2 Euros, and I got a pure wool sweater for 2 Euros. Amazing. Diane was with us and David stayed on the ship. The next port was Funchal, Maderia, and we had never been there before so we quite enjoyed it. It was another delightful town with amazing detail having been paid to the design of the multicolored sidewalk cobblestones. There are also lots of very old buildings with interesting architectural details, most of which have been beautifully restored. Our friend Jack Booth, who was also on the Mariner with us in Jan/Feb showed us around. Tenerife, in the Canary Islands was the next port and since we had found lots of good deals on jeans the last trip here, Diane joined us again for more shopping and exploring. Yes, we got some cute jeans for 10 Euro and Elaine and Diane also found some interesting and unique tops. It is fun to try to get our usual 5 mile walk in by poking around these towns, and we always see new and interesting things. I have started wondering how we are going to get our bags packed at the end of this cruise with all the new purchases….
Of course, the most delightful part of this cruise is being together again with so many of our friends from the Around the Horn cruise last Jan/Feb. We meet every day in the Concierge lounge where we get free drinks and appetizers before dinner because everyone has so many cruise credits. Our group has acquired some new friends too, and there is still plenty of time left to try to get to know them better. Yesterday, Daryl and Patrick McGrath had a big party for everyone in their suite (which is awesome), and we all schmoozed together for hours there too. Tonight is one of the formal nights, so everyone will be dressed up (good photo ops), and also the menu for dinner is superb because both lobster and prime rib are on offer. Needless to say, we aren’t losing any weight on this trip, despite the fact that we have been faithfully working out in the fitness center, and taking the stairs every time we go anywhere on the ship.
Once again, there are no pictures with this posting because I have limited time on the internet while on the ship. When we get back to Florida, I will post some of the pictures of this entire trip.