January - March 2013
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  • Day70

    Ponte del Garda, Azores

    March 19, 2013 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Last night the act in the theatre was a ventriloquist by the name of Gareth Oliver, he was the funniest vent I've seen in a long while.
    The show was made even better by him getting my mate John up on stage, fitting him with a mask and making him a ventriloquists dummy.
    Anyone who knows John knows that he DOESN'T do audience participation, well with the help of a litre of €1.09 red wine he'd bought ashore in Ponte del Garda, he became the star of the show.
    Gareth had him telling everyone that he was wearing his wife's thong and was an expert ballet dancer to name but two things.
    John is definitely not a ballet dancer, but the jury is still out on the thong wearing.....lmao.
    Well, I was proved wrong and we actually got in to the Azores, well done captain...
    Ponte del Garda was a nice town and we enjoyed a couple of hours there, and the rain held off, woo hoo!
    We continued our cultural tour and found our usual cheap local bar and had a couple of beers.
    At €1 each it was one of the cheapest on the tour.
    On a more serious note we found out that the island had some really bad weather the night before we arrived, the TV news showed pictures of some really bad flooding and I believe three people lost their lives in the storms.
    It puts some of the complaints about the ship rocking in to perspective....
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  • Day69

    The cruel sea

    March 18, 2013, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    It's been three days since we left Charleston SC and the storm hasn't let up despite the captain telling us each day that, tomorrow it will be better.
    I don't know how these solo sailors manage in this kind of weather, I'd be scared out of my mind.
    When we got that extra night in Charleston I immediately thought, they've given us this because of the long range weather forecast and they knew we wouldn't get in to the Azores.
    As it stands it's looking like I could be right, as usual I'll keep you informed, free wifi permitting....lmao.
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  • Day68

    Force 10 gales & footballers

    March 17, 2013, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    The title says it all, we've been tossed and thrown all over the place today, and it's due to continue tomorrow.
    Touch wood I've not been sick so it's not to bad, but there's time yet, lol.
    Going to see an ex Glasgow Rangers player speak tonight, his name is Gordon Smith.
    I have heard of him but don't know to much about him.
    If he's half as good as Duncan McKenzie he'll be great....I'll keep you informed later.....
    It's now later and I've been to see Gordon Smith, he was very good and had some interesting and very funny stories.
    I think that the thing that makes footballers stories so good is that they are talking about an occupation that most blokes would love to have been able to take up.
    He has through the Scottish FA, been involved with FIFA and had a good insight in to the running of international football.
    After the talk I picked Sheila up from the cabin, went for something to eat, then off to bed as the theatre entertainment was canceled due to the weather.
    I thought this a bit strange as the act was a ventriloquist, and not a singer and dancer.
    I didn't think a vent would be bothered by a bit of swaying, bit there you go, what do I know......lol
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  • Day60

    Surrey with a fringe on top

    March 9, 2013 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    Well I'm not sure if it was a surrey, but it was a horse drawn carriage and it did have a fringe on top, and it was a brilliant way to explore downtown Charleston.
    We spent a very short hour on the carriage and the driver gave us a humorous potted history of Charleston, explaining things like the wealth in the town and not the haves and have nots, but the haves and have a whole lot more each side of Broad street.
    Then it was on to the hour and a half harbour tour, which again was great.
    We learned about the first shots of the civil war being fired from fort Johnson on the Confederate side to fort Sumpter on the union side.
    While this went on the people of Charleston who lived by the water watched and partied as it was so far away from them across the bay.
    We also saw things like the retired aircraft carrier Yorktown which is now docked at Patriots Point, and is a floating museum.
    The tour, carriage and boat was booked by Chisit, online before we came away, the whole thing cost $39 per person, which was brilliant as the carriage ride alone booked on the ship was £34
    So once again well done John.
    We then had a walk around the slave museum, which was quite touching and humbling in many ways.
    Then a stroll to find something to eat, we first tried to find a place called AW Shucks which had been recommended, but we couldn't find it, so we ended up in a restaurant called Sticky Fingers where we had pulled pork and fries washed down with a large draught beer.
    It was brilliant and John and I agreed we'd never had our pork pulled so well in a long time...lmao
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  • Day58

    Charelston, South Carolina

    March 7, 2013 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 10 °C

    We docked in beautiful Charleston last night, which was twelve hours earlier than the itinerary stated.
    That gave us an overnight in port and a chance to explore some of the town and find out where we pick up our carriage ride on the morning.
    We did this but didn't stay out to long as most places were shut and also it was bloody cold.
    We got back to the ship about 9 pm and had a drink before going to see the show that John had recommended.
    It was a singer called Rebecca Storm, who I'd never heard of but John said she was very good, and I must say she was.
    She did a lot of musical theatre stuff, Evita, Blood Brothers, etc and she'd actually starred in them.
    She was excellent and acted out the songs rather than just sing them.
    Strike two for Chisit, we just need the carriage ride to be good and that will be his hat trick of good recommendations, space centre, theatre and carriage ride...lol
    I'll keep you informed.
    Looking forward to the day, as Charleston looks to be a beautiful and interesting place, but I well be putting two pairs of socks on and getting well wrapped up.
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  • Day58

    Port Canaveral, well done Chisit.

    March 7, 2013 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 5 °C

    Today was port Canaveral and John (chisit) had pre-booked our transport and entrance to the Kennedy space centre.
    Everything went like clockwork, we left the ship about 8.20 and our private minibus was waiting for us to rocket us off to the space centre, no waiting in the shuttle queues for us! (see what I did there, Rocket, shuttle? lmao)
    It also worked out about half the ships tour price on which you had to pile onto a big coach.
    The fifteen minute journey was made interesting by the driver who gave us a running commentary on all the interesting points locally, even stopping at a storage depot in the middle of nowhere, to show us a unused fuel tank from the shuttle program, it was huge, it is the big orange thing the shuttle is attached to on take off.
    It wasn't part of the space centre display, so that was a nice little extra that you wouldn't have got on the ships tour.
    When he dropped us off at the centre we had pre-booked tickets so no waiting in line, we went straight in.
    Once in we spent a brilliant seven hours exploring the wonders of space travel, from the two 3D IMAX cinema shows, to the space shuttle simulator (which was a bit tame), along with the rocket garden, astronauts memorial and my favourite the amazing 364ft Saturn rocket, we had a brilliant day, and there was still lots more to see, if only we had the time.
    My only disappointment was that we didn't get to see and stand on the real space shuttle which I did last time I was here, about ten years ago.
    But it has been moved to the New display centre for the Atlantis program which doesn't open till June this year, maybe next time...
    Once again Chisit well done and if the stuff you've booked for is in Charleston is half as good, we'll be on a winner.
    I'm gonna stop now or you'll be getting a big (bigger) head....lol.
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  • Day57

    Port Everglades

    March 6, 2013 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Port Everglades today, that means shopping for us, but Jennifer and John haven't been to this port before so they're off exploring Fort Lauderdale.
    Sheila's favourite store here is "Ross dress for less" it's a US version of TK Max, designer clothes at discount prices.
    We got all the grandkids Converse trainers and got little Josh a really cool pair of Nike trainers, plus some stuff for ourselves, of course.
    Sheila spent so flippin much I had to make two trips back to the ship.
    Then it was a coffee and free WiFi in the Marina Deli, which is far cheaper than Starbucks and the WiFi is better, also it has local people in there not bloody tourists....
    Before you say it, I know I'm to good to Sheila taking her to all these really up market eateries....lmao.
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  • Day56

    Key West

    March 5, 2013 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    It's got to be at least ten years since I was in key West and nothing seems to have changed.
    Despite the storms and hurricanes they've had, the buildings all look the same.
    Even the weird and wonderful people look the same.
    Must be something in the water.
    The weather wasn't to bad but not brilliant, the four of us booked on the tourist train for a look around the island it was quite good and at $21 it was $8 cheaper than the Conch train which did the same tour but was called the Conch Train, Conch Republic being the nickname of the island.
    After the tour we went shopping..groan!
    After shopping we continued our cultural drinking tour...woo hoo!
    Duvall St is the main street in key West and is full of bars.
    We first tried Irish Kevins which was really noisy and rocking, with a guy playing guitar and singing.
    Then it was on to the world famous `Sloppy Joe's` and finally a place called `The Smallest Bar`.
    Then suitably inebriated we went back to the ship four food and a well earned sleep......
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  • Day54

    New Orleans

    March 3, 2013 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 7 °C

    We decided to have a little ride on the riverfront streetcar then do the open top bus tour.
    So first we got ourselves a 24hr jazzy pass for the local transport, great value at $3 each.
    We road the full length of the riverfront line which is a really good way to view the river.
    Then as it was a bit cold for doing the open top bus, we decided to see as much of the city as we could by streetcar, at the end of the riverfront line we changed cars for the Canal St, City park line which takes you right up to the north end of the city almost as far as lake Pontchartrain.
    We then road the same car back to St Charles Ave and switched to the St Charles line through the university and business district.
    The whole thing took us about six hours including coffee stops.
    So just about the best $3 we've spent on the whole cruise up to now...lol.
    After a bit of shopping in the Riverwalk mall it was back to the ship for a well earned rest.
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