A 81-day adventure by Sonia
  • Itinerary

    December 22, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 64 °F

    Our Itinerary for the upcoming cruise.

    Saturday, January 4_____Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Departs 5 PM
    Sunday, January 5 ______At Sea
    Monday, January 6 ______At Sea
    Tuesday, January 7______At Sea
    Wednesday, January 8___Roseau, Dominica
    Thursday, January 9 _____Castries, Saint Lucia
    Friday, January 10_______At Sea
    Saturday, January 11______Devils Island, French Guiana
    Sunday, January 12_______Crossing the Equator
    Monday, January 13______Icoaraci (Belem), Brazil
    Tuesday, January 14______At Sea
    Wednesday, January 15____At Sea
    Thursday, January 16______Recife, Brazil
    Friday, January 17________At Sea
    Saturday, January 18______At Sea
    Sunday, January 19_______Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Monday, January 20______Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Tuesday, January 21______At Sea
    Wednesday, January 22____At Sea
    Thursday, January 23______Punta del Este, Uruguay
    Punta del Este, Uruguay____Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Saturday, January 25______Montevideo, Uruguay
    Sunday, January 26_______At Ses
    Monday, January 27_______At Sea
    Tuesday, January 28_______Stanley/Falkland Is/Islas Malvinas
    Wednesday, January 29____At Sea
    Thursday, January 30______Antarctic Experience
    Friday, January 31_________Antarctic Experience
    Saturday, February 1_______Antarctic Experience
    Sunday, February 2________Antarctic Experience
    Monday, February 3________At Sea
    Tuesday, February 4________Drake Passage and Cape Horn
    Wednesday, February 5______Wednesday, February 5
    Thursday, February 6________Punta Arenas, Chile
    Friday, February 7__________Scenic cruising Amalia or Brujo Glacier
    Scenic cruising Sarmiento Channel
    Saturday, February 8________Cruising Chilean Fjords
    Sunday, February 9_________Puerto Montt, Chile
    Monday, February 10________At Sea
    Tuesday, February 11________San Antonio (Santiago), Chile
    Wednesday, February 12 to Saturday, February 15__At Sea
    Sunday, February 16_________Easter Island, Chile
    Monday, February 17_________At Sea
    Tuesday, February 18_________At Sea
    Wednesday, February 19______Scenic Cruising Pitcairn Island
    Thursday, February 20________At Sea
    Friday, February 21___________At Sea
    Saturday, February 22_________Papeete, French Polynesia
    Sunday, February 23__________At Sea
    Monday, February 24_________Rarotonga, Cook Islands
    Tuesday, February 25_________At Sea
    Wednesday, February 26_______Cross International Dateline
    Friday, February 28___________Nuku alofa, Tonga
    Saturday, February 29_________At Sea
    Sunday, March 1_____________At Sea
    Sunday, March 2_____________Auckland, New Zealand
    Tuesday, March 3____________Auckland, New Zealand
    Wednesday, March 4__________Waitangi (Bay of Islands), New Zealand
    Thursday, March 5____________At Sea
    Friday, March 6______________At Sea
    Saturday, March 7____________Sydney, Australia
    Sunday, March 8____________Sydney, Australia
    Monday, March 9____________At Sea
    Tuesday, March 10___________At Sea
    Wednesday, March 11_________Townsville, Australia
    Friday, March 13_____________At Sea (Great Barrier Reef)
    Saturday, March 14___________Scenic Cruising Torres Strait
    Sunday, March 15____________At Sea
    Monday, March 16____________Darwin, Australia
    Tuesday, March 17____________At Sea
    Wednesday, March 18__________At Sea
    Thursday, March 19____________Komodo Island, Indonesia
    Friday, March 20______________Benoa (Denpasar), Bali, Indonesia
    Saturday, March 21____________At Sea
    Sunday, March 22_____________Surabaya, Indonesia
    Monday, March 23____________Semarang, Java, Indonesia
    Tuesday, March 24____________At Sea
    Wednesday, March 25__________Singapore
    Thursday, March 26____________Singapore
    Friday, March 27 to Sunday, March 29___At Sea
    Monday, March 30_____________Colombo, Sri Lanka
    Wednesday, April 1_____________Male, Maldives
    Thursday, April 2_______________At Sea
    Friday, April 3_________________At Sea
    Saturday, April 4_______________Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles
    Sunday, April 5________________Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles
    Monday, April 6_______________At Sea
    Tuesday, April 7_______________At Sea
    Thursday, April 9______________Mombasa, Kenya
    Friday, April 10________________Zanzibar, Tanzania
    Saturday, April 11_______________At Sea
    Sunday, April 12_______________Mamoudzou, Mayotte
    Monday, April 13______________Andoany (Hell-Ville), Nosy-Be, Madagascar
    Tuesday, April 14______________At Sea
    Wednesday, April 15____________At Sea
    Thursday, April 16______________Maputo, Mozambique
    We will be in Kruger National Park from April 16 to April 21
    Tuesday, April 21_______________Cape Town, South Africa
    Wednesday, April 22____________Cape Town, South Africa
    Thursday, April 23______________At Sea
    Friday, April 24________________Luderitz, Namibia
    Saturday, April 25______________Walvis Bay, Namibia
    Sunday, April 26_______________At Sea
    Monday, April 27_______________At Sea
    Tuesday, April 28_______________Jamestown, Saint Helena
    Wednesday, April 29____________At Sea
    Thursday, April 30______________Georgetown, Ascension Island
    Friday, May 1 to Wednesday, May 6___At Sea
    Thursday, May 7________________Bridgetown, Barbados
    Friday, May 8__________________Point-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe
    Saturday, May 9________________San Juan, Puerto Rico
    Sunday, May 10________________At Sea
    Monday, May 11________________At Sea
    Tuesday, May 12________________Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US
    Read more

    Two to Travel

    Yay ... will be following along. Erin

    12/22/19Reply
    Sonia Gelman

    Still trying to figure out how to use it

    12/22/19Reply
    Two to Travel

    Me too ... but so far so good. Ask if you have questions. We’re in Pueblo for dinner and a stroll on the Riverwalk. Erin

    12/22/19Reply
    5 more comments
     
  • Eight days before...

    December 27, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 30 °F

    Just got our cabin number. We booked guarantee Lanai cabin. It is the cabin with a french glass door that opens to the deck. No private balcony, but good for Boris. He can get out of the room from both sides. Also this cabin has shower stoll and not a bathtub which is better for him. Safety first!
    Our luggage was delivered to Fort Lauderdale. HAL includes 2 suitcases under 75lb each per person in the price of the cruise.
    So far, so good.
    All visas are done, except Sri Lanka, which has to be applied for less then 90 days before visit.
    Have to pack small things like make up, chargers and all electronics.
    Read more

    Two to Travel

    I’ll be interested in your thoughts on the lanai cabins. My only concern would be noise from people walking or standing around on the promenade deck. That said, it sounds like a good option for Boris.

    12/27/19Reply
    Sonia Gelman

    HAL offered us an upgrade for very little money, but that cabin had full size bath and a balcony. We decided to stay with lanai (just a shower) for Boris’s sake. Hope we did not make mistake.

    12/27/19Reply
    Two to Travel

    I’m sure you’ll be fine.

    12/27/19Reply
     
  • Visas

    December 30, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 36 °F

    For the 2020 ATW cruise we need lots of visa.
    1. New Zealand - done
    2. Australia -done
    3. Sri Lanka - done
    4. Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique - we decided to let cruise company to do it when we get on the ship.

    All vaccinations are done. All packed. We are ready!
    Read more

    Two to Travel

    And so are we ... to follow along on your adventure, that is.

    12/30/19Reply
     
  • One more day.

    January 2, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 36 °F

    It fills like our days are divided in two categories – traveling or preparing to travel. The former is relaxing, but the latter can be stressful.
    And now we are ready for the stress of preparation to end when we board the MS
    Amsterdam on Saturday.
    It was a busy day today. It started with my dentist appointment to remove stitches after extraction of the tooth, haircut and then manicure and pedicure. After that cleaning our apartment, empty fridge and washing it.
    And now it is all done and we are ready to fly to FLL tomorrow.
    Read more

    Two to Travel

    I can't believe it's here already. Safe travels tomorrow.

    1/2/20Reply
    Sonia Gelman

    Thank you.

    1/2/20Reply
    AM Hllwy

    Bon voyage

    1/2/20Reply
    2 more comments
     
  • Day1

    Fort Lauterdale at last

    January 3, 2020 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 75 °F

    Originally I booked a direct flight from DIA to FLL on Southwest, but being lucky, SW changed our flight with connection in Houston. Both flights were to the max capacity. We arrived in FLL only 20 minutes late, but then it took another 40 minutes to get our suitcase and another 25 minutes for the shuttle from the hotel to pick us up.
    With all these we arrived at the hotel after 9:00 pm and very hungry. We decided to walk few block to a restaurant and had a great seafood dinner.
    For now.... good night.
    Read more

    Two to Travel

    You got to FLL ... that’s what counts.

    1/3/20Reply
    Sonia Gelman

    I agree. Just got tired and had to complain.

    1/4/20Reply
    Two to Travel

    You’re allowed to do that. Getting anywhere by plane can be a pain in the you know what!

    1/4/20Reply
     
  • Day2

    Embarcation

    January 4, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 81 °F

    At noon we took a shuttle from the hotel to the port. Then spent 2.5 hours checking in. The whole process was so poorly organized plus since we do not sail on HAL that often, our status is only 3 stats mariner. Most passengers are 5 stars, so they all went ahead of us.
    Finally on the ship, went for a lunch and started to unpack our suitcases.
    At 5 pm there was a party on the upper deck with music and booze. That was a lot of fun.
    After that we unpacked a little more, had a light dinner on Lido deck and went to sleep.
    Tomorrow is a sea day with lots of activities.
    I took more pictures with Boris's phone, can't load then here yet.
    Read more

    Luba Beylkin

    Nice room

    1/5/20Reply
    Two to Travel

    We’re even lower than you on HAL ... better add more stars before we attempt a World cruise with them.

    1/5/20Reply
    Two to Travel

    How’s the lanai cabin?

    1/5/20Reply
    3 more comments
     
  • Day4

    Day 2. Sea Day

    January 6, 2020, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ☀️ 79 °F

    It was usually day at sea. Food, lectures, walking on the deck, walking around the ship to get familiar with it. It is a beautiful ship, not too big.
    Most people we talked to are taking full 128 days cruise.
    Tomorrow is another sea day, so I will be posting next footprint on the port day which is January 8.
    Read more

    Two to Travel

    Sounds like a typical sea day. Hope the oceans and seas are good to you on this voyage.

    1/5/20Reply
    Sonia Gelman

    So far so good. We miss you.

    1/6/20Reply
    Two to Travel

    Miss you too ... would have been nice to be doing this cruise with you.

    1/6/20Reply
     
  • Day5

    Day 3. At Sea

    January 7, 2020, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ⛅ 79 °F

    Second day at sea.
    It was a very nice day at sea. We woke up really late at 8:15. By the time we finished breakfast, it was too late for Boris to go to art class. So instead of that we went for a long walk around the ship. Then at 10:30 we went to bridge class. It was packed with people. We were not very impressed with the instructor, but will give him another chance tomorrow.
    Then it was time for a lunch. Both of us had a salad and then Boris went for the afternoon art class and I was listening to a book until I felt asleep on the deck.
    In the evening we attended captains party and then very nice dinner and a show. And now, after hard day of work, we will go to sleep.( ꈍᴗꈍ)
    Read more

    Two to Travel

    Such hard workers 😜🤣

    1/6/20Reply
     
  • Day6

    Dominica

    January 8, 2020 in Dominica ⋅ ☀️ 82 °F

    Dominica is a mountainous Caribbean island nation with natural hot springs and tropical rainforests. Morne Trois Pitons National Park is home to the volcanically heated, steam-covered Boiling Lake. This lake is the second largest hot lake in the world. The park also encompasses sulphur vents, the 65m-tall Trafalgar Falls and narrow Titou Gorge.

    There are 365 rivers on this island. Agriculture was their prime source of income, but now it becomes more and more tourism. The island is not very developed yet. There are no highrise hotels and restaurants.

    Our tour started at 9:30. We got out of the ship at 9:00AM, met our guide Alvin and another couple.
    Our first stop was Champagne beach. This beach was named "Champagne Beach" because of small gas bubbles continuously rise from the volcanic sea floor. The beach itself is not very attractive, but the underwater suppose to be amazing. Unfortunately, the waves were very strong, so the water was milky. We decided that it is not wise for Boris to snorkel in this condition, but I went.

    There was a long swim until we reached bubbles and it was very interesting. Looked like big pieces of crystal are rising from the ocean floor. And the water in that area was much warmer. We saw some fish, barracuda and corals.
    Our second stop was Titou Gorge.

    Titou Gorge means “Little Throat” and this special attraction was formed by volcanic lava which cooled and split open, leaving this natural cave. The water is much cooler then in the sea.
    First plunge was very refreshing, then you get use to it. Then we had to swim may be 100 years to reach the end of the gorge. The at the end of the gorge there is an opening with a small pool and the waterfall. It was totally worth the hard work. Boris gave me an underwater camera, but the battery was very low and I could not take pictures.

    Our third stop was Trafalgar waterfall. There is some hike to get to it, but Boris did it. The place is so lush and the weather was so good. The best part was that there were no tourists.

    Our last stop of the day was high point in the island where we could see a panaramic view of the shore and our ship.

    It was a very good tour.

    The internet is working very poorly, so no pictures.
    Read more

    Two to Travel

    A shame that Boris was unable to snorkel at the champagne bubbles. When we did that excursion many years ago, it was off a small boat so there was no long swim involved.

    1/8/20Reply
     
  • Day7

    Castries, St. Lucia

    January 9, 2020 in Saint Lucia ⋅ ⛅ 82 °F

    We will not be as lucky today as we were in Dominica. There are three big ships in the port, but our wonderful captain arrived way ahead of the other ship. We were scheduled to arrive at 8:00 AM, but when we woke up at 6:30 we were in the port already.

    I forgot to mention that on January 7 big news was the mild vibration that many people felt on the ship around 7:15 a.m. It was Tuesday’s 6.4-magnitude
    earthquake on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico. And we were just 90 miles
    from its epicenter. Our captain said it was only the second time in 50 years that he witness it in the sea.

    Saint Lucia is an Eastern Caribbean island nation with a pair of dramatically tapered mountains, the Pitons, on its west coast. Its coast is home to volcanic beaches, reef-diving sites, luxury resorts and fishing villages. This island gain an independence in 1979. It is much more developed than Dominica.

    We met with another couple at 9:15 AM and proceeded to the shore to meet out guide.

    Our first stop was rum tasting place. We started with local 🍌 and continue with tasting all kind of local sauces and local rum. That was quite interesting.
    We also stop at some observation points to take pictures.

    Then after long drive on the winding roads we stop at the beautiful botanical garden with waterfall with sulphur water. The waterfall is changing color depending on how much iron is in the water.

    After that we stopped on the black beach for some snorkeling. To our luck it was raining just before we came so again the water was not very clear. Boris and I went snorkeling, but the other couple decided to use this time to have a coffee.
    We did not want them to wait for us too long, so we cut our snorkeling short. The water was nice, but the snorkeling was not very good.
    We had close to two hours drive back to the ship and with three ships in the port we were concerned about the traffic. We made back to ship with planty of time to spare.

    The island is very beautiful, but overrun by tourism.
    Read more

    Two to Travel

    A shame about the snorkeling. Hopefully future ports will afford clear waters.

    1/9/20Reply

    Your posts make us very nostalgic to be back aboard a cruise ship--going anywhere!

    1/11/20Reply

    The above post is from Bill and Star.

    1/11/20Reply