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Things are heating up

Things are heating up

February 26,2024

Cairns AU.

Well, I finally have complaints about our Seabourn Cruise.  As you know, they have been out of IPA for most of the trip.  Now, they have run out of Buffalo Trace, and today, it was too hot to sit on the pool deck.  They just got to get better.  I can hear you all playing your finger violins for me.  What, you don’t think those are criminal complaints?  Come on!

Okay, I see your weather, and you are probably right, but, never mind, my complaints are pretty petty. 

Trying to keep a cool head.

What’s wrong with this sign?

We are in Cairns overnight then it’s off to Cooktown.  95 is just too hot, Maybe Cooktown won’t be so hot.  COOK town, you say?

Sailing, Sailing

Sailing, Sailing

February 25, 2024

Townsville, Au

Who would name their town Townsville?  Odd, don’t you think?

Well, tonight we did something we have never done before on a cruise ship.  Cruise ships have food available to you pretty much 24/7, and it’s free (included in the fair that is).  But then they entice you with offers to go to the specialty restaurants, for a small additional fee.  Well, free food is good enough for us, up until tonight. 

Tonight, we had a celebrity chef, Vincent Lim.  He prepared a five-course meal pared with exotic wines, check out the menu. The appetizer was paired with Dom Perignon champagne (never had that before).  It just got better from there.  Everything was perfect.  We did not choose the snapper, by the way.

It’s been a bit hot, so the action at the pool has been slow.  Tonight, we are sailing to Carins for a two day stay.  As always, there are always lots of ways to spend your money on excursions but check this one out.  For $15,000 per couple, they will take you off the ship and fly you to the outback for 5 nights and bring you back to the ship in Darwin.  I just don’t get it. 

So, sorry no chuckles tonight, I will snoop out something tomorrow, stay tuned. 

Romance on the high seas

Romance on the high seas

February 22, 2024

Tonight, we decided to eat in the restaurant. The menu was great. But, at the last minute I asked Kim if she would rather have dinner brought to our room and eat on the veranda. Good idea, she said.  So, I ordered dinner, and it showed up about thirty minutes later. I asked the server to set us up on the veranda and he was very impressed by our view. I guess they don’t often get to stand on a suite veranda.

Kim ordered a Caesar Salad and a salmon filet. I ordered a shrimp appetizer and a lobster entrée.  

As we sat down, the sun was setting, and the sky was full of color.

I can think of nothing better than a romantic dinner for two on a private veranda aboard a cruise ship in Australia.

After dinner, we shared a cheesecake dessert as the moon showed upon the water. I searched YouTube to find Louis Armstrong singing What a wonderful world and let it play for us. Does life get any better than that?

Uncharted waters

Uncharted waters

February 22, 2024

Hello from Queensland, AU. 

This is our 43rd day aboard the Sojourn, and so far, we are having the time of our lives.  Except for the two stops in Samoa and the stop in Tonga, we have been to every port prior to this trip.   Well, now comes the uncharted waters.  We have been looking forward to this part of our trip.  All ports will now be new to us until we arrive at Okinawa Japan on March 26th.  That’s almost five weeks of new adventures for us. 

Well, it’s Pool Chronicles time again:

Full disclosure here, this actually happened at the sushi bar last night, but it’s too good to pass up.  This lady sat down next to me and asked me if I  got anything in the room when I got on yesterday, did I get a list of the available restaurants?  I explained that we got on in LA.  Oh, well how did you learn about where and when to eat?  Well, is this your first cruise, I asked, well yes, it is.  Well, first I recommend you download the Seabourn app.  I proceeded to show her that all the bars and restaurants were listed there, and today’s menus are also available. Also, each evening you will get a daily paper listing all the activities and food menus for the next day.  After several more questions including how do I order sushi here, I showed her a menu and I again referred her to the Seabourn app.  She told me that wouldn’t work because I don’t like to carry her phone with me all the time, and besides that I can’t get my internet to work.  So, I explained to her that she needed to go to Seabourn Square on deck 7 and they would be able to help her with that.  Then she said she had been aboard for a whole day and had not met anyone yet.  I told her that there are usually single cruisers “meet and greets” on occasion.  She said, yes, they told me there was a singles cocktail hour last night, but she didn’t go because I don’t  drink.  How do I get to eat in the specialty restaurant?  Simple, just make a reservation at Seabourn Square on deck 7.  But I’m alone, I can’t imagine going to a fancy restaurant by myself.  I explained that there are probably as many solo travelers on board as couples or get out there and meet some other travelers and ask if they would like to join you for dinner.  How much crazier can this get, I thought?  Then, the bomb dropped.  She said I have to go because I have been invited to dinner by an officer, but I don’t know where to go or what officer I am dining with.  I explained that the ship has these events quite often and she would be at a table with several other guests and an officer in the Dining room on deck 4.  Just check in at reception and they will take you to the right table.  Oh, thank you, you have been so helpful and left.    

Kim showed up a few minutes later and I told her this story, to which she said, careful, or you may become her new BFF.

On a sad note:

Even paradise isn’t safe from the reality of life, it’s a sad day for us.  Friends, we realize that we are extremely lucky to be where we are, few people ever experience something like this. We are grateful and count our blessings every day. But even this magical moment is not immune to the pain of the world.

We woke up to an email from Mary, the director of the orphanage that I helped build and Kim used her nursing skills to monitor the growth of the children. The orphanage has been running successfully for over 20 years now.

Well, the Honduran government has decided to close down all orphanages in the Country and return the children to their families.

Today, they took 37 of our 70 children and there was nothing we could do to stop them. I’m sure you can all imagine what it would be like to lose your child. But how about losing 37 of them at one time? The ministry is devastated. These children have been taken from the security of a loving home and dumped into an unknown future.

Worldwide Heart to Heart has hired attorneys to help them recover the children, but it may be hopeless. I’m sure the remaining children fear for their lives and know that it’s only a matter of time before they too will be taken from their home.  These are devastating times; we know and love these children. They are family. The future of the orphanage is up in the air.  Such a sad day for all. Sorry to turn my fun and funny blog into reality, but sometimes our dreams get bit in the ass by the brutal reality of life.

I’m going to leave it right there for tonight.  Say a prayer for all orphans in Honduras before you go to sleep tonight.

More fun tomorrow, I promise!

Big day on the ship

Big day on the ship

February 20, 2024

I was actually concerned that today would be boring and I wouldn’t have anything to write about.  Well, wrong, I’m on a cruise ship with lots of people who like to talk. 

As I said yesterday, today about 200 new guests came aboard, it was actually 150. Well, that’s what the crew called them, to me I see 150 potential victims of the Pool Chronicles. How exciting is that? 

Well, it was time for my first ever pedicure treatment.  All I can say is it will not be my last.  It too was an over the top experience.  I will do this once a month for the rest of my life.  I hope I can find someone in the Longview area to serve me.  Any recommendations will be gladly accepted. 

I saw a guy wearing a t shirt that said “In my defense I was left unsupervised “. Great shirt.

I would guess with the changeover of guests that our median age dropped by about 15 years, which puts us back on the top side of the curve, where we belong.  Several new cruisers stopped by my table and introduced themselves to me, I thought that a bit strange.  Then, a guy said that the bartenders were telling everyone that I was the mayor of the pool deck.  With all the humility I could muster, I said that wasn’t quite the case, but he could find me here most days from about noon to 4.  A younger couple sat at the table next to me and struck up a conversation.  They were from Calgary Canada, which caused me to tell them about a horrific night we had in Calgary.  We ran into pea soup thick freezing fog.  The roads became slick with ice.  I told Kim to start looking for a hotel to stop at, she told me there were several at the next exit.  After taking the exit, I saw the red glow of a Marriot sign.  I pulled into the driveway and stopped at the sign that said valet.  When they opened our doors, I asked if they had rooms available, and with an affirmative answer, we took our bags and left the car with the valet. The clerk checked us in and asked how many nights we were staying.  I told him until the freezing fog is gone, if it’s gone in the morning, so are we.  He told us because of our status with Marriot, he was able to put us in a deluxe room (I didn’t know we had status).  Your requests for a high floor away from the elevator have been met and the extra pillows have been ordered, damn, he knew us well.  Wow, I fell down that rabbit hole, sorry.  So, back to the couple, we visited about all sorts of stuff and the subject of this blog came up and my side show:

Pool Chronicles:

She had already told me this was her fourth Seabourn cruise, but her boyfriends first.  She told me she had a true story to share with me.  First you need some background.  Seabourn ships have valet laundry service and also a free laundromat, for people who don’t trust the valet service, Kim uses it for delicate items.   It’s all about early risers, of which I’m not one.  This lady woke up very early and decided it would be a great time to do her laundry, sure enough, the room was empty.  She loaded her clothes and as she did, she realized the clothes she was wearing really needed washed also.  So, the time being what it was she stripped off her clothes and washed them too.  Little did she know, there were 3 guys that met at the gym at 4 AM to work out together.  After their workout, they would shower and prepare for the day.  On their way back to their respective rooms, they always stopped by the laundromat to wash out their stinky gym clothes, I know you are getting way ahead of me here.  Sure enough, they opened the laundry room door and there sat Miss naked, reading a magazine.  There are serval words to describe what happened next, but in the end, they just asked if she was done with the washer.  She replied that the dryer should be done soon.  They all went about the business at hand.  She folded her clean laundry getting dressed as she found the clothes she wanted to wear and left, saying nice to meet you.

Well, when it came for us to leave Sidney, the Captain asked me to pilot the ship out of the harbor, I told him that I might have had one too many margaritas.  He told me I was likely more sober than he and with I said, WELL HOLD MY BEER, I GOT THIS. 

Sushi, 2 nights in a row.  Two things, first, apparently my sushi friends got off in Sydney, or hopefully just took a night off.  And the bartender from the sky bar, a cute little red head from Montenegro, was tending bar in the club and said that when she didn’t see me at my poolside table she worried that I got off in Sydney.  That really surprised me since I never go up to the sky bar.  It does, however, look down on the pool and I see her daily up there.  I told her I too had the same feelings when I looked up to see the Sky bar was closed.  Then I told her about my 12:30 pedicure appointment and that was why I was late to the pool.  We both confirmed that we are on until Singapore.  Another plus for small ship sailing, they notice the small stuff. 

Don’t touch that dial, I’ll be back.