Antarctic Cruise - 2012


Day 7 - Thursday, January 12th - Sea Day: It's amazing how time flies on sea days when you have "nothing" to do.  There are some excellent lecturers on board, and the Crow's Nest is always a good place to sit and read.  The weather has been sunny until today, but the clouds did eventually break up.  We are surprised to hear that almost 800 passengers are going on the entire World Cruise of 112 days.  Many of them have made several world cruises.  We've met a few, like us, who are ending the cruise in Sydney.

Day 8 - Friday, January 13th - Belèm, Brazil: We've been to Brazil before, but never to Belèm.  It lies just south of the equator, which we crossed last night.  It was a hot and sticky day, and Jay went on the shore excursion by himself.  It involved a half hour tender ride, then an hour bus ride to get into the city.  He visited a huge market that sold many kinds of fresh fish, fruits and nuts, as well as crafts and souvenirs.  A fort originally built by the Portuguese in the 17th century was on the tour, as well as an interesting botanical garden and zoo (the lily pads are enormous!).  They also visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Nazareth, which is an elaborate copy of St. Paul’s Basilica in Rome.

Day 9 - Saturday, January 14th - Sea Day: We saw on CNN World that a Costa cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Italy.  Sounds like the captain was incompetent.  We didn't do much today besides read and play trivia twice.  Tonight was our second formal night and the Black and Silver Ball.  They go all out in decorating the dining room and lounge.  Even some of the dining room staff were wearing long sequined jackets.  We went to the piano bar to listen to Debby Bacon sing and play--she's very good.  We also looked in on the ball, where quite a few people were dancing.   The NFL playoffs are on quite late here because of the time difference, but we turned in about 11:00 and didn't see the second half of the Patriots/Texans game.

Day 10 - Sunday, January 15th - Sea Day:  Time to do some laundry, so we did one load this morning.  The launderette is quite nice, with five sets of stacked washers and dryers.  It's only $2 to wash and dry a load, so much better than paying the ship $2 to wash each pair of socks or undies.  Tonight all six of us at our table went to the specialty Italian restaurant.  We were a little disappointed, partly because it was so warm in the room and secondly because the food wasn't as good as we'd hoped.  At dessert time, they put two plates of green cotton candy on the table--first time we've ever seen that.  They also had tiramisu, gelato, and a lemoncello dessert.  We didn't go away hungry.  Watched the Packers lose to the Giants before we turned in.

Day 11 - Monday, January 16th - Recife, Brazil: We were in this port in late 2007, so we decided to stay on board and relax (we're getting very lazy).  Tonight we went to the show and heard Paul Fredericks, a singer with the British group that had the hit "Winchester Cathedral" many years ago.  He had a wonderful voice, and sang some Roy Orbison songs at the end of the show.

Day 12 - Tuesday, January 17th - Sea Day: One of the nicest weather days so far--the humidity is down so the mid-80s don't feel so hot.  We've been going to most of the lectures of Dr. Denny Whitford, an oceanographer who's currently a professor at the University of Maryland.  Today's lecture was about extreme waves.  He's knowledgeable and personable.  We went to the show tonight, as the singers are getting off in Rio and we hadn't gone to one of their performances yet.  The three men and one woman had very nice voices and of course the dancers were beautiful.

Day 13 - Wednesday, January 18th - Sea Day: Another beautiful day, so we walked outside along the lower promenade deck.  Today at trivia, Richard told us that he and Claire had been on the Holland America ship, the Prinsendam, which sank in the Gulf of Alaska in 1980.  He said that the HAL ship should not have sunk and that the whole affair was not handled well.  They were told there was a fire in the engine room that was under control, and not to worry, then hours later they were told to leave their cabins and go out on the decks.  Everyone was evacuated before the ship sank.  Until he told us the story we thought that the Costa disaster would not happen to a HAL ship.  Now we're not so confident! The show tonight featured Doc Severinsen and his band, The San Miguel Five.  Doc looked wonderful in bright orange leather pants.  a hot pink shirt and a sequined jacket.  The musicians playing with Doc were amazing--the violin and guitar players especially, but the bass player and drummer were excellent as well, and they all looked like they were having a great time.  Their music is described as classical Spanish with a jazz flair, and they played the best show we expect to see on this cruise.

Belém - Ver-o-Peso Market

Belém - Ver-o-Peso Market

Belém - low tide

Forte do Castelo

Belém - Basilica of Our Lady of Nazareth

Belém - Emilio Goeldi Zoo & Botanic Park

Belém - Emilio Goeldi Zoo & Botanic Park


Black and Silver Ball

Lower Promenade

Nice day in the south Atlantic

Doc Severinsen and the San Miguel Five

Doc Severinsen and the San Miguel Five