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2005 - NCL SPIRIT - MIAMI TO LOS ANGELES

A TRANSIT of the PANAMA CANAL


View 2005 NCL - MIAMI TO LOS ANGELES on hasbeen's travel map.

FOR MY FIRST EVER CRUISE

I have chosen a fairly ambitious one, EIGHTEEN DAYS from Miami to Los Angeles - California.

A lady at work who has cruised, immediately lets me know that I probably will not like it.
Too long she says.
Start with a short one.
Three days, a week at most.
You are gonna get seasick etc etc & on & on.

Forget It. Seasick or no .. I am going on this cruise.

The itinerary looks good. Miami - Barbados - Grenada - Aruba - Transit the Panama Canal - Costa Rica - Mexico & debark in Los Angeles, California.

After exiting the canal we will be within about seven degrees of the Equator. Too bad we do not cross - later.

A nice sprinkling of sea days and shore time.

I have no recollection of why this particular cruise, or indeed this cruise line, or ship. No great expectations on my part. Without many preconceived ideas about life aboard ship.

I have never visited any of these places before & the Panama Canal must have played a part in it, but it was probably the price. Don't recall that either but it could not have been outrageous for this here skinflint.

Should be fun, hope so.

Anyway - on with the cruise

First the spectacular flight into Miami - What a wonderful sight that is

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This is my first experience of travelling with a cruise line & I am impressed. There were a couple of NCL reps at the airport, directing traffic & they quickly had me on the bus.

While we were waiting for the bus to fill up, the driver was telling us - "there's no point us heading straight for the ship as we are early & there will be line-ups out the door. Why don't we go to the shopping center & wait around there for a bit. He will pick us up later & take us to the ship."

This guy must think I'm a rube, just got off the plane from Canada.

Has to be a set up for a 'Shopping Experience' - right?

Wrong - As it happens, we go to a really nice place, right by the water. There are shops & restaurants here, but no hard sell,

I spend a very pleasant hour & a half here, get back on the bus & drive over the bridge to the massive Miami Cruise Ship terminal & my first sighting of the NORWEGIAN SPIRIT.

GETTING ON BOARD

I know - I should have had my camera ready for that first sighting.
This thing looks BIG.
By current standards it is actually quite small as it only caters for 2,018 double occupancy. I am on my own so make that 2,017.

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I did a tour of the ship & this is a really daft thing to say, but when I was on deck, I was struck by how 'solid' it felt underfoot.

The interior of the ship looks very nice .... if a little bright.

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I have been on a lot of cruise ships now & this remains one of my favourite rooms on any of them. They all have a sweeping view of the ocean over the bow but this one seems to be a cut above somehow.

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The main dining room, aft.

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I get introduced to the two most important people on the ship who are going to keep my cabin spotless for the next little while.

Very cheerful.

Always with smiling hellos & goodbyes.

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First up is BARBADOS

A long way from Miami, a couple of sea days to get my sea legs - I like it already.

I have a ships tour, booked before leaving home. It's a bus ride across the island and back.

To the highest point...

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And Harrison's caves. This is a great place to visit if you like caves.

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Next is GRENADA

Recently hit by a hurricane with damage quite visible

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& the people anxious to make ends meet by getting a dollar or two from the tourist.

This shot cost five dollars, each.

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I handed my camera to a young guy standing nearby and asked if he would take our photo. Another 5 bucks for him. On looking back, giving my camera to a stranger like that was pretty brainless. It would have served me right if he had walked off with it.

He didn't.

Another guy got very aggressive with me when I did not give him anything, even though he did not do anything for it. Said I was not very humble. Later he stood on the step of our bus & serenaded us with a nasty little song about tourists visiting his island. He's not going to get too rich behaving like that.

The girls had the right idea. Dress up for the day. Smile, be pleasant & gentle. Hope they made lots of cash.

Another stop was for a tour of a Nutmeg processing plant. This was an eye opening experience. I felt uncomfortable about taking photos although the guide said it was ok. Inside it was dark & dusty. Ladies sitting up high, sorting & doing whatever is needed. Looks like very hard work in very uncomfortable conditions for not much in the way of wages.
I bought a bag of Nutmeg for gifts when I got home. Nobody knew what to do with it.

A view of the main town

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ARUBA is next

and it's time for a glass bottomed boat trip. But first a ride across the island to the famous natural arch. Aruba is mostly flat so it made sense to stop on the way at this small mound on the plain, & climb to the top for a 360 degree view.
Except I could not stand up when I got to the top. Never experienced anything like it before or since. Extreme vertigo I expect. I could not look at the horizon. Got to the bottom & was perfectly fine again.

Bizarre.

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The famous Arch . . I might be dreaming to say I heard it has fallen down

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Some goats

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Now it's time for the boat trip & while I was not to fussed with the idea of being below the water line, I was so captivated looking at all the fish I forgot to worry.

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Passed this guy on the way back to the ship

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This was my first time in Aruba & I have been back since but still do not have any photos of those pretty pastel coloured houses

Going to transit the PANAMA CANAL in a bit. It's an interesting thing to do & the canal is such a huge accomplishment but I prefer the locks here in Ottawa. Much more compact.

I had a minor mis-hap here.
After taking a couple of pictures I wanted to get a shot from a higher vantage point. There was a pretty girl up on a stanchion taking pics so I handed her my camera. When it came back to me the cover would not work properly so I am now without a camera - INSIDE THE PANAMA CANAL - oh woe is me!
I want a new camera & forget why but all the shops on board are closed - disappointment!
Heading outdoors, there are stalls set up on deck selling - cameras! Whoopee!
After lots more shots I head to the theater to enjoy the show & next day realise I have left my new camera there. Major disappointment!
But - amazingly, some kind soul has dropped it off an reception.

Whoopee!

This of the Canal....

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That's the one the girl took for me before my camera broke. The bridge holding North & South America together is in the background.

That's all for you. I am here again in a few years time & got some much better shots. Digital, all these are prior to digital, whatever that was.

Puntarenas Costa Rica is next on the agenda ..Going for a boat ride on the Tarcoles River

May see something exotic here with a bit of luck but with my little throw away camera I will not be able to zoom in on them. We'll see,,

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Huatalco is a place in Mexico south of Acapulco

that the map on this site has difficulty finding. It's a very nice place for a visit. Just getting going as a tourist destination when I was here.

Off on another little boat trip. Can you see a pattern developing here? Off one boat & onto another.

Going dow the coast. No idea what there is to see.

That's odd. Only one photo downloaded. I will go back & see where they are later.

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Meanwhile, I have now moved on to Acapulco

Most people will have heard of the guys cliff diving here nut I did not see any. A couple of girls on board were kind enough to send me a picture of them but I cannot find them.

I did get to go to the castle

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which is right opposite the ship.

Walk up to the cliff diving - where no one was diving.

Haggle with a Taxi driver for a ride round the bay to Senor Frogs bar for a beer & back to the ship. He then dropped my off at the ship & I learned the negotiation was for the price to the bar, not back to the ship. Well - he was out of luck cos I had no more cash. There was a bit of an argument but he gave up when I tripped over getting out the Taxi & people came over to help me. He got enough money from me anyway, I think.
The cab was one of hundreds that are all very old VW beetles.

Cabo San Lucas, Baja California & a welcome to the HOTEL CALIFORNIA, if there's any room

We have to take a tender ashore. Not my favourite part of cruising. They squeeze a lot of folks in there but it's a lifeboat so we should be ok. Right?

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We stopped at this place which you might take to be a garden but which is actually a restaurant. Nice.

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At the end of the cruise in Los Angeles. The famous California Highway patrol

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Goodbye to some of the staff.

The first girl is Nenette from the Philipines. I have since been with her crossing the Atlantic & to Bermuda & more recently from Quebec to Tampa. What are the odds of that? Different ships & different itineraries. There are 2 other girls who I have come across on different ships. I half expect it on the same ship, but surprising on different ones.

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I liked this ship & the length of cruise. Enough sea days to relax between jaunts ashore. Good people. The food is very well done & I like how Norwegian have this no set seating for meals. I often got to sit with different people which suited me fine.
All in all, I really enjoyed it.

And that's it for my first cruise.

A great experience but would I want to do anymore?

Why not.

Posted by hasbeen 18:02 Archived in USA Tagged transit_panama_canal Comments (0)

2006 - NCL WIND - VANCOUVER TO HAWAII

OAHU, MAUI & HAWAII BIG ISLAND

IT'S SAID THERE IS A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING & FOR MY SECOND CRUISE, THIS IS MY FIRST TIME IN HAWAI.

VANCOUVER

I WAS HERE MANY YEARS AGO WHEN I WAS HITCH-HIKING ACROSS CANADA.

THIS TIME I AM FLYING IN...

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I HAVE A VERY VAGUE RECOLLECTION OF SLEEPING ON A BEACH IN VANCOUVER..

MAYBE IT WAS NEAR HERE...

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THIS TIME I AM CRUISING OUT OF THE CITY, PASSING THE LIONS GATE BRIDGE. FOUR OR FIVE DAYS ON THE PACIFIC BEFORE LANDFALL AT HILO ON THE BIG ISLAND OF HAWAII.

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GETTING A FEEL FOR THE NORWEGIAN WIND...

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VERY NICE - I THINK I WILL STAY ON..

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THIS LOOKS LIKE A GREAT BREAKFAST SPOT...

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THEY ARE GOING TO BE GIVING HULA LESSONS ON BOARD ... MAYBE I WILL, & MAYBE I WON'T..

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MY FIRST SIGHT OF HAWAII.

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ON TOP OF THE HILL - MOUNT KECK OBSERVATORY MAYBE

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I THINK IT WAS HERE OR MAYBE THE NEXT STOP WHERE I SAW MY FIRST REAL LIVE HULA DANCERS.

THEY WERE DANCING ON THE FLOOR JUST INSIDE THE AIRCRAFT HANGER THAT IS THE SHIPS TERMINAL. I DON'T SEEM TO HAVE ANY PHOTOS SO THEY MUST HAVE BEEN TOO GOOD TO TAKE MY EYES OFF.

MY FIRST TOUR IS A HELICOPTER RIDE OVER WATERFALLS & A VOLCANO.

EXTINCT VOLCANO, I EXPECT..

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... OR MAYBE NOT...

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THEN A RIDE UP THE COAST FOR A WALK DOWN TO THE OCEAN THROUGH A BOTANICAL GARDEN

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LEAVING HAWAII, WE MOVE ON TO MAUI.

FOR MANY PEOPLE, THIS IS THEIR FAVOURITE ISLAND IN THE GROUP BECAUSE IT IS SO SCENIC.

A PITY OUR BOAT TIES UP NEXT TO A SCAP METAL BARGE - RUINS THE EFFECT SOMEWHAT.

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THIS IS THE ROAD TO HANNA TOUR.

MAKES YOU ILL WITH ALL THE TURNS IT DOES.

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A WALK ALONG A BLACK SAND BEACH ... WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT BE AT HANNA..

AND THEN ANOTHER TOUR ( I WENT A LITTLE CRAZY WITH TWO TOURS A DAY AS I NEVER EXPECT TO GET HERE AGAIN )

THIS TIME TO A NATIVE FARM...

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AND NOW FOR A SUNSET BOOZE CRUISE....

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AND BACK TO THE SHIP

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THAT IS ANNA - SHE IS ONE OF AT LEAST THREE GIRLS I HAVE MET ON MULTIPLE SHIPS.
ANNA WAS ON A TRANSATLANTIC CRUISE & A US EAST COAST CRUISE.
HER HUSBAND TRAVELS ON THE SAME SHIP AS HER BUT THEIR BABY STAYS IN THE PHILIPPINES.

A LOT OF THESE GIRLS DO THAT.

NOW I AM OFF THE SHIP & A COUPLE OF DAYS ON OAHU.

WAIKIKI BEACH ....

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DIAMOND HEAD ...

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I TAKE A BUS TO THE NORTH OF THE ISLAND & SPOT AN AD IN A SHOP FOR GLIDER FLIGHTS.

I PHONE THE NUMBER & THE GIRL SAYS THAT IT IS DIFFICULT TO GET TO, BUT AS I HAVE NOT GOT A CAR., SHE WILL COME & PICK ME UP.

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SOUNDS GOOD TO ME .. & THAT'S ME DRIVING THE PLANE .. REALLY - THE PILOT ASKED ME IF I WOULD LIKE HIM TOTAKE MY PICTURE.

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I SAID "I DON'T THINK SO, WHO WILL FLY THE PLANE? "
"YOU WILL".

SO I DID.

WE DID A LOOP-DE-LOOP.
I LET HIM FLY THE PLANE FOR THAT.

WALKED THROUGH THE AUDUBON GARDENS TO THIS WATERFALL.

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AND ON TO A BEACH TO WATCH THE SURFERS.

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I TOOK THAT SHOT UP TO MY KNEES IN THE OCEAN , NOT HAVING SEEN THIS SIGN ON THE WAY IN.

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NOTE TO SELF :- ALWAYS, ALWAYS - CHECK THE SIGNS BEFORE ENTERING THE OCEAN.....

AND BACK TO WAIKIKI.

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Posted by hasbeen 12:42 Archived in USA Tagged pacific_ocean Comments (0)

2009 - NCL GEM - TRANSATLANTIC - NEW YORK

Whiling away some time in New York City ..


View 2009 NCL - TRANSATLANTIC on hasbeen's travel map.

A CRUISE ACROSS THE ATLANTIC OCEAN

NEW YORK! NEW YORK ......

I HAVE NEVER BEEN HERE BEFORE, AND THAT SURPRISES ME. ITS ONLY DOWN THE ROAD FROM OTTAWA. ALMOST NEIGHBOURS..

ONE READS SOME, HEARS A LOT, SEES A LOT MORE.

MOST OF US HAVE AN IMAGE FROM A FILM OR BOOK RUNNING AROUND IN THE BACK OF OUR BRAINS ABOUT NEW YORK.

IS ANY OF IT TRUE?

I DOUBT VERY MUCH I WILL ANSWER THAT IN 3 DAYS.

AS USUAL, IT STARTS WITH A PLANE RIDE FROM OTTAWA...

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WITH AN EXCELLENT DAY FOR COMING IN OVER THE CITY..

IDENTIFIABLE LANDMARKS.

MANHATTAN ISLAND, CENTRAL PARK WITH IT'S LAKE, A FEW BRIDGES, GROUND ZERO MAYBE, SKYSCRAPERS GALORE....

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IS THAT GROUND ZERO MAYBE, MAYBE NOT BUT IT IS A HOLE IN THE GROUND ....

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I GET TO GRAND CENTRAL STATION & WAIT FOR A TAXI GUY TO ALLOCATE A TAXI. WHEN HE HEARS WHERE I AM GOING, HE TELLS ME I SHOULD WALK & GIVES ME DIRECTIONS.

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IS THIS NEW YORK? THE MAN WAS VERY POLITE & VERY HELPFUL & DID NOT WANT ANY MONEY, BUT I KNOW IT IS BECAWSE HE SPOKE WITH THAT BROAD NEW YORK ACCENT YOU HEAR IN THE MOVIES.

YES - THEY REALLY DO TALK LIKE THAT.

IS THIS MY HOTEL?

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OR IS THIS IT?

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NEITHER OF THEM, AND ITS NOT THIS EITHER.. A BROWNSTONE?

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OFF I GO FOR A WALK I THE GENERAL DIRECTION OF CENTRAL PARK & SOME MUSEUMS. I AM NOT A MUSEUM PERSON BUT THERE ARE SOME REALLY FAMOUS ONES HERE. I DID GET THE NEW TORK CITY PASS SO I WILL HAVE TO FIND TIMES SQUARE FIRST AND REDEEM MY VOUCHER.

HERE IT IS

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SOME INTERESTING PLACES ON OUR STROLL.

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ROCKEFELLER CENTER.

MY PASS GETS ME IN HERE SO I AM GOING TO THE TOP. YOU GET A TIMED TICKET WHICH IS A GREAT IDEA. I CAN HEAD OFF TO EAT & COME BACK WHERE THERE IS HARDLY ANY LINE-UP.

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CENTRAL PARK

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THE CAT AMONGST THE SQUIRRELS.......

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I HAVE SEEN SEVERAL OF THESE NOW. OBELISKS PERHAPS. I SHOULD FIND MY OTHER PICTURES & START A LIST.

CLEOPATRA'S NEEDLE ON THE EMBANKMENT IN LONDON,
ST. PETERS AT THE VATICAN,
PLACE DE LA CONCORDE IN PARIS I THINK IS ONE,
LUXOR.

I MUST READ UP ABOUT THEM SOMEDAY.

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THE FIRST MUSEUM - THE GUGGENHEIM

NICE BUILDING. NOT SO SURE ABOUT THE CONTENTS. MAYBE THIS WAS FREE OR I GOT IN WITH MY PASS. HATE TO THINK I PAID CASH FOR IT..

ACTUALLY - IT'S NOT SO BAD

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Amedeo Modigliani - NOT IN THE GUGENHEIM WHERE NO PHOTOS ARE ALLOWED. AMAZING ARTIST. LOVE HIS WORK.

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NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

THIS IS FAMOUS BUT I FORGET WHAT IT IS. IT WILL COME TO ME. STAR OF SOMETHING MAYBE?

STAR OF INDIA...

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I HAD COME TO THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING EARLIER BUT THE LINE UP WAS AROUND THE BLOCK SO I RESOLVED TO GET HERE EARLY AND BE FIRST IN LINE. ALMOST MADE IT TOO.

UNLIKE THE ROCKEFELLER, HERE YOU HAVE TO LINE UP. NO TIMED TICKETS. AGAIN THE COST WAS BORNE BY MY PASS WHICH I HOPE PAID FOR ITSELF.

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I WAS QUITE THRILLED TO SEE MY SHIP COME SAILING IN FROM THE TOP OF THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING WITH THE STATUE OF LIBERTY IN THE BACKGROUND

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THAT WAS A GREAT WAY TO WHILE AWAY SOME TIME WAITING FOR MY CRUISE. LOTS MORE TO SEE ON ANOTHER TRIP. I HAD NEVER CONSIDERED NEW YORK AS A PLACE TO CATCH A CRUISE BUT I SHOULD LOOK AGAIN AS IT IS CONVENIENT FROM OTTAWA

IT GOT A LITTLE CHOPPY LATER. GOOD JOB I HAVE MY SEA LEGS ON

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NEXT STOP IS THE AZORES, ABOUT SIX DAYS AWAY...

Posted by hasbeen 19:48 Archived in USA Tagged transatlantic Comments (0)

2009 - NCL GEM - TRANSATLANTIC - LEAVING NEW YORK

LIFE AT SEA ON THE NCL GEM - A STRANGE SHIP

LEAVING NEW YORK BEHIND I MADE A MISTAKE.

MAKE THAT TWO MISTAKES.

NUMBER ONE - I SAW THEY HAD A 'SAIL AWAY SPECIAL' IN THE HAIRDRESSERS. A 'SPECIAL' SHAVE.

THIS TOOK ABOUT AN HOUR OR MORE & COST SO MUCH I AM TOO EMBARRASSED TO SAY HOW MUCH.

NUMBER TWO - SAME PLACE , BEING IN THE BARBER CHAIR I MISSED THE SAIL AWAY FROM NEW YORK. MISSED THE STATUE OF LIBERTY & THE BRIDGES

I WAS DUE TO DOCK IN NY IN 2012 BUT HURRICANE SANDY SAID NO TO THAT.

CROSSING THE ATLANTIC

SO - WHAT IS IT LIKE BEING AT SEA FOR FIVE OR SIX DAYS WITHOUT SEEING LAND.

YOU EITHER LOVE IT OR NOT.

I LOVE IT.

TO FIND OUT YOU DO NOT IS NOT GOING TO BE A GOOD EXPERIENCE. BECAUSE BY THEN YOU ARE NOT ABOUT TO SWIM FOR SHORE.

LIFE AT SEA

I OFTEN HEAR PEOPLE SAY THAT THERE IS NOTHING TO DO ON A CRUISE SHIP SO HOW DO YOU COPE WITH SIX DAYS.

EASY.

LETS TAKE A TOUR OF THE SHIP - THE NORWEGIAN GEM.

WE WILL START IN MY CABIN. A LITTLE SMALL BUT I WILL ONLY BE SLEEPING IN HERE.

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SHOWER, SHAVE & SPLIT.

I MIGHT GET DRESSED BUT THAT'S IT.

THIS ONE HAS A PORT HOLE.
MY TAKE ON THIS IS, TAKE THE CHEAPEST CABIN YOU CAN GET. I HAVE HAD A BALCONY, ONCE, BUT ONLY BECAUSE THEY GAVE ME A FREE UPGRADE.
I SPENT ABOUT HALF AN HOUR OUT THERE, TOTAL.

JUST NOT WORTH THE OUTLAY FOR ME.

I COULD HAVE BREAKFAST DELIVERED AT NO EXTRA COST BUT NEVER DO.

NOTE THERE IS SOMETHING HANGING FROM THE CEILING. THE CABIN STEWARDS DO THAT, FOLD UP TOWELS. AS IF THEY DON'T HAVE ENOUGH WORK TO DO.

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AFTER HAVING A QUICK TRIP UP ON DECK TO CHECK THE WEATHER AND TO SEE WE ARE STILL AFLOAT & HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

IT'S TIME FOR BREAKFAST.

IT COULD BE IN DOORS OR OUT DOORS, CHOOSE FROM THE BUFETT .. AN OMELETTE MADE TO ORDER MIGHT BE NICE TODAY.

OR IN THE MAIN RESTAURANT WHERE IT IS WHITE LINEN TABLE CLOTHS & WAITER SERVICE.

I AM ALWAYS SURPRISED HOW MANY PEOPLE OPT FOR THE BUFETT & HOW FEW GO FOR THE SERVED FOOD.

EITHER WAY IT IS GOING TO TAKE A WHILE, NO NEED TO RUSH UNLESS THERE IS AN EARLY EXCURSION BOOKED. SINCE WE ARE AT SEA FOR SIX DAYS, THERE IS DEFINITELY NO HURRY.

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BREAKFAST IS MAYBE FOLLOWED BY A BROWSE OF THE LIBRARY & A BIT OF A REALX TO LET THE FOOD GO DOWN.

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SKIP THE GYM - TOO MUCH LIKE HARD WORK

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A BIT EARLY FOR THE BAR? PROBABLY..

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HEAD DOWN TO THE JAVA CAFE FOR A COFFEE.

MOST SHIPS I HAVE BEEN ON CHARGE EXTRA FOR THE COFFEE UNLESS IT IS FROM THE DINING AREAS.

I AM NOT A COFEE DRINKER SO IT'S ALL ONE TO ME..

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STILL - IT MIGHT BE PLEASANT TO SIT AROUND DOWN HERE FOR A WHILE AND WATCH THE TV, OR PEOPLE WATCHING TV.

WATCHING PEOPLE IS A MAJOR PASS TIME ON A BOAT.

SEEMS THE BAR IS OPEN, BUT NO, IT'S BEEN A BIT OF A WALK GETTING HERE SO TIME FOR A SNOOZE ON THE PROMENADE DECK.

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OUT OF THE WEATHER, GREAT VIEW. A FAVOURITE PLACE OF MINE & OFTEN DESERTED. IT SEEMS TO TAKE PEOPLE A WHILE TO FIND IT. THERE ARE NORMALLY MORE THAN TWO CHAIRS OUT HERE.

COULD SIT HERE FOR HOURS,
READING, NAPPING.
NAPPING, READING.

CHATTING TO ANYONE WALKING BY, OR JUST NODDING AT THEM AS THEY GO FOR THEIR MORNING STROLL.

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A BIT OF DUTY FREE SHOPPING OR JUST WINDOW SHOP

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MAYBE AN BIT OF A GAMBLE AT THE SLOTS OR TABLES. NOT SOMETHING I DO TOO OFTEN.

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DON'T SAY IT TOO LOUD - Smokers can have a puff in their cigar sanctuary.

AND POP OUTSIDE FOR A GLASS OF CHAMPAGNE

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MUST BE TIME FOR LUNCH.

CHECK WHICH RESTAURANTS ARE FILLING UP. NCL ARE THE ONLY CRUISE LINE I HAVE COME ACROSS THAT DOES DISPLAYS LIKE THIS.

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NCL DO NOT HAVE FIXED SETING FOR MEALS. GO ANYWHERE YOU LIKE, WITH WHOEVER YOU LIKE & JUST ABOUT WHENEVER YOU LIKE.

I NEVER WAIT TOO LONG. IF THERE IS A WAIT LIST I JUST GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.

FOOD IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE BUT THERE ARE ALSO FIVE OR MORE SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS THAT ARE EXTRA. THEY DO NOT USUALLY OPEN FOR BREAKFAST OR LUNCH THOUGH.

AN AFTER LUNCH GAME OF BOWLING PERHAPS

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OR JUST A SIT DOWN IN THE NIGHT CLUB. VERY QUIET DURING THE DAY TIME..

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BIZARRELY, ON THE GEM, THEY HAVE BEDS IN THE NIGHT CLUB. OR AT LEAST, THEY ARE LOUNGERS. ODD ANY WAY BUT A NICE PLACE FOR A NAP IN THE AFTERNOON. THERE'S UNLIKELY TO BE ANY ONE ELSE HERE AT THAT TIME OF DAY.

ON MY FIRST DAY ON BOARD I DID THE TOUR OF THE SHIP & THERE WAS A HEAVILY PREGNANT LADY ASLEEP IN HERE & I THOUGHT SHE HAD BEEN HERE WAY TOO LONG.

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EVERY CRUISE SHIP I HAVE BEEN ON TELLS YOU HOW FANTASTIC THERE SPA AREA IS. THE DIFFERENCE WITH NCL IS THAT IT IS TRUE.

ON THIS CRUISE I TOOK THE CRUISE LONG SPA PACKAGE.

FABULOUS - BEST SPOT ON THE SHIP. SAUNA. STEAM, RELAXING AREA, POOLS . A MILLION DOLLAR VIEW OFF THE FRONT OF THE SHIP.

WONDERFUL - I GOT MY MONEYS WORTH. AT LEAST ONE VISIT PER DAY AND AS THERE ARE SO MANY SEA DAYS, SOMETIMES TWO OR THREE VISITS.

ONE DAY I WAS LYING ON THE HEATED CERAMIC LOUNGER WITH MY EYES CLOSED. I HEAR A NOISE AND LOOK UP.

MY EYES ARE NOT SO GOOD AND IT IS A BIT MISTY BUT I SEE IT IS ONE OF THE CLEANER GIRLS. LOOKING DOWN AT MY APOLOGIZING FOR DISTURBING ME.

WITH THE MIST THERE LOOKS TO BE A HALO AROUND HER FACE,

BEFORE SHE LEAVES SHE TELLS ME HER NAME IS ANGEL.

A DREAM? MAYBE.

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A LITTLE LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT WITH PRE-DINNER DRINKS.

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WATCHING THE LIGHT SHOW BEHIND THE BAR .. LIKE I SAID - IT'S A STRANGE SHIP.

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AND WE HAVE NOT EVEN LOOKED AT THE EVENINGS SHOW OR WHAT MUSIC IS GOING ON OR BEEN TO THE POOL OR SUNBATHED, OR .....

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Posted by hasbeen 19:48 Archived in USA Comments (0)

2010 - CORAL PRINCESS - FORT LAUDERDALE

A CRUISE TO THE PANAMA CANAL


View 2010 PRINCESS - FORT LAUDERDALE TO PANAMA CANAL on hasbeen's travel map.

THE WORLD CRUISE IN 2011 CANNOT COME FAST ENOUGH & RACHELLE & NEIL ARE BOOKED ON THE CORAL PRINCESS ROUND TRIP FROM FORT LAUDERDALE TO THE PANAMA CANAL.

THEY ARE OK WITH MY JOINING THEM SO OFF WE GO.

WE ARE GOING TO GO TO ARUBA, COLUMBIA, INTO THE PANAMA CANAL & OUT AGAIN WITHOUT EXITING AT THE PACIFIC END. THEN COSTA RICA, JAMAICA & BACK TO FORT LAUDERDALE.

WEATHER IN OTTAWA IS TERRIBLE. NOTHING NEW THERE...

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HAVE TO CHANGE PLANES IN CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA.

LOOKING VERY FESTIVE..

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FORT LAUDERDALE IS LOOKING GOOD...

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NO SHORTAGE OF CASH IN THIS AREA.....

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THIS IS IN THE MIDDLE OF MY HOTEL....

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THAT IS GOING TO EVENTUALLY READ 'GOD LOVES U'

AFTER LOT OF CONFUSION, I FINALLY MEET UP WITH THE OTHER TWO WHO ARE AT ANOTHER HOTEL & WE HAD OFF FOR THE DAY TO THE EVERGLADES & HOPEFULLY AN ALLIGATOR OR TWO..

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THESE BOATS MAKE A HELL OF A RACKET....BUT THEY DO GIVE OUT EAR PLUGS..

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BACK IN FORT LAUDERDALE WE EAT AT THIS RESTAURANT WHERE EVERY SQUARE INCH OF THE CEILING IS COVERED WITH SOMETHING.

I DON'T THINK NEIL REALISES HOW CLOSE HE IS TO THE SHARK...

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WE HAVE STOOP & SCOOP IN OTTAWA TOO, BUT HAVE YET TO GET AROUND TO GIVING POT TO THE DOGS....VERY PROGRESSIVE IN FLORIDA..

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ONE LAST DIP IN THE HOTEL POOL BEFORE HEADING TO THE SHIP..

Posted by hasbeen 05:32 Archived in USA Comments (0)

2010 - CORAL PRINCESS - LEAVING FORT LAUDERDALE


View 2010 PRINCESS - FORT LAUDERDALE TO PANAMA CANAL on hasbeen's travel map.

GETTING ONTO THE SHIP IN FORT LAUDERDALE WAS EASY. PRINCESS PICKED ME UP AT THE HOTEL & DROPPED ME AT THE SHIP.

RACHELLE & NEIL WERE RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME IN THE FORMALITIES LINE UP

MY FIRST TIME ON THE CORAL PRINCESS, SO A LOOK AROUND & SEE WHAT'S WHAT

MY CABIN -

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I HAD BOOKED A INSIDE CABIN BUT PRINCESS GAVE ME A BALCONY. DON'T KNOW WHY BUT IT WILL BE NICE IN THE PANAMA CANAL. SITTING ON THE BALCONY WATCHING THE SHORE ROLL BY. ONLY ONE SIDE THOUGH.

SOMEWHERE TO HANG OUT THE LAUNDRY, ALTHOUGH I NEVER, EVER DO LAUNDRY ON SHIPS. THOSE PLACES CAN BE DANGEROUS. I HEARD STORIES OF ALL SORTS GOING ON IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM.

FREE LAUNDRY IS ABOUT THE ONLY PERK WORTH LOOKING FORWARD TO. THAT IS STILL A LONG TIME OFF FOR ME,

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NICE LOOKING POOL & TV ON DECK..

MEET THE NEIGHBOURS...

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THE LIBRARY - & CARD ROOM. VERY NICE....

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LIFEBOAT DRILL - THEY DO NOT USUALLY ALLOW PHOTOS BUT NO MENTION WAS MADE THIS TIME, SO -----

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THESE GUYS ARE TAKING OFF ALREADY.

HOLLAND & AMERICA IS ONE .. & ALLURE OF THE SEAS BY ROYAL CARIBBEAN IS THE OTHER.

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AT SEA NOW & I HAVE FOUND THIS SPOT AT THE BACK OF THE SHIP.

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IT'S CALLED THE SANCTUARY & THERE IS A TEN OR TWENTY DOLLAR A DAY CHARGE FOR SITTING HERE.

THIS IS A PRIVATE AREA, OFF LIMITS TO ANYONE WHO HAS NOT PAID THE FEE. IF THERE IS A SEAT NOT BOOKED IT IS POSSIBLE TO TAKE ONE FOR A MORNING OR A DAY BUT THEY DO HAVE CRUISE LONG PACKAGES.

PLACES ARE LIMITED TO ABOUT 16 CHAIRS SO THE DECISION HAS TO BE MADE - RIGHT NOW!

240 DOLLARS - & WHAT DO I GET.

A LOUNGER - RESERVED JUST FOR ME. IN THE SUN OR SHADE. HAVE TO CHOOSE AS THEY WILL ALL BE GONE IN NO TIME.
WHEN I ARRIVE, IN THE MORNING SAY, A STEWARDESS WILL MAKE UP MY AREA & TAKE MY ORDER FOR BREAKFAST.
THERE WILL BE A SERVICE FEE OF 3 DOLLARS FOR THIS.

MAYBE TAKE BREAKFAST UPSTAIRS WHERE THERE ARE TWO CABANNAS, ALREADY TAKEN, AND SOME TABLE & CHAIRS THAT ARE NOT RESERVABLE BUT GOOD FOR BREAKFAST.

I HAVE ALREADY BOUGHT THE 'SODA' CARD SO ALL MY DRINKS HERE ARE INCLUDED. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT HAVE THE CARD WILL BE CHARGED.

COMPLIMENTARY HEADPHONES WITH MUSIC PLAYER ARE AVAILABLE

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THIS IS THE CABANNA & SOME LOUNGERS IN THE SUN.

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& THE SITTING AREA....

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LOWER LOUNGE AREA...

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& BELOW THAT, THERE IS A LITTLE SPLASH POOL.

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I LIKE IT - AND GO FOR THE CRUISE LONG PACKAGE.. & CHOOSE A SEAT IN THE SHADE ON THE LOWER DECK. STARBOARD.

WILL I REGRET THIS? I HAVE A BALCONY TOO REMEMBER..

ALL THESE DECISIONS - A STRESSFUL LIFE AT SEA..

Posted by hasbeen 05:31 Archived in USA Comments (0)

2011 - H & A WORLD CRUISE - SAN FRANCISCO

TWO SEGMENTS OF THE HOLLAND AMERICA'S, MS AMSTERDAM CRUISE AROUND THE WORLD - NEW ZEALAND TO GREECE


View 2011 H&A - NEW ZEALAND TO RED SEA on hasbeen's travel map.

A STOP OFF IN SAN FRANCISCO TO START

OR MORE EXACTLY, PACIFICA. JUST A BIT SOUTH OF SAN FRANCISCO

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BUT THAT IS GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF A BIT.

IT STARTED WTH A MAJOR SNOW STORM IN OTTAWA.
FRIENDS HAD KINDLY OFFERED A LIFT TO THE AIRPORT BUT I SUSPECT THEY WISHED THEY HAD STAYED IN BED.

THIS IS THE VIEW FROM MY OWN BED AND LIKE I SAY - IT WAS COLD

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THE SCHEDULE WAS FOR ME TO GO FROM OTTAWA TO CHICAGO TO SAN FRANCISCO AND A TAXI TO THE HOTEL IN PACIFICA.

I KNEW FULL WELL THERE WOULD BE LOTS OF DELAYS & POSSIBLE RE-ROUTING, WHICH THERE WERE. THE TAXI RIDE WAS THE SCARIEST BIT.

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GONNA NEED SOME READING MATTER

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CHICAGO...

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SAN FRANCISCO ....

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AMAZINGLY I GOT TO THE HOTEL WITHIN A FEW HOURS OF THE SCHEDULED TIME.

THE HOTEL IS RIGHT ON THE BEACH AND BUILT TO LOOK LIKE A LIGHT-HOUSE. MAY EVEN BE A LIGHT-HOUSE FOR ALL I KNOW.
I COULD HEAR THE OCEAN GRINDING THE PEBBLES ON THE BEACH INCHES AWAY FROM MY HEAD.
OR SO IT SEEMED,

THE VIEW AT BREAKFAST IN THE HOTEL ....

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THIS IS FEBRUARY AND THE WEATHER COULD BE BRISK IN CALIFORNIA, SO I DRESS UP WARM AND HEAD NORTH ....

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AND TURN TO HEAD SOUTH - I BORROW A DOG FOR A PHOTO......

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FROM THIS LADY WHO PAINTS PORTRAITS OF DOGS FOR A LIVING .....

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THIS IS A COMFORT .... OR NOT!

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NO TSUNAMI IN SIGHT SO I AM HEADING UP THE HILL ANYWAY

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ANOTHER DOG TO BORROW ...

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THAT'S HER GOING DOWN THE PATH ....

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LOTS OF FRIENDLY PEOPLE AROUND ROCKAWAY BEACH .. HERE IS HEATHER, STUDYING TO BE A MAP MAKER

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PACIFICA IS A GREAT LITTLE PLACE FOR A STOPOVER BUT YOU REALLY NEED A CAR TO GET ANYWHERE AWAY FROM THE BEACH.

NEW ZEALAND UP NEXT ...

AUCKLAND

Posted by hasbeen 07:33 Archived in USA Tagged san_francisco Comments (0)

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