It’s the end of the world (cruise that is)

July 6, 2017

We had a lot of fun in the last 2 days of the cruise! After we left Charleston, we had a sailaway party on the deck and a July 4 barbecue.  Good music, good friends and a surprise ritual that Ray initiated last cruise (and I didn’t know about) that at the end of the world cruise the “worldies” as he calls them, jump into the pool with their clothes on. Ray went first, and of course I had to do it.  Not Norm, though, he took the pictures. I am in the back in the red shirt! This didn’t happen on the last trip, I guess because we didn’t have Ray as our cruise director.  Or maybe because we returned in January that time!

We had the usual July 4th food, corn on the cob, burgers, hot dogs, ribs, chicken, potato salad, etc.  Delicious.  And the pastry chefs made a flag cake too!

Later that night we had a party after the show.  More fun, but some tears too as we all realized this special trip was coming to an end.

Our last sea day, July 5, we had a mimosa party and there were hugs and tears as Ray read some memories some of us submitted and we got to see the video that fellow passenger Rob Fromm created for us.  Will share that with everyone when we get home. Here are some photos of our celebrations.

And, the last casino night!

As the sun set on our 180th night, we remembered how lucky we are to have experienced our second trip around the world.  The learning, friendships, culture, fun, food and so much more has enriched us beyond measure.  We can hardly wait to do it again.

Thank you, Insignia.  We will never forget our adventures.

Posted in Food, July, North America, Trip 2 | 10 Comments

Charleston, SC, USA

July 3 & 4, 2017

Last night we had a dinner with most of the group that contributed to the quilt project.  We had a fun time. Lima was at our table, she had bid to be cruise director for the day! You can see her showing off her name badge. I won’t mention what magician Steve was doing under that napkin!

After the show (great group called December 63) there waa a party for the around the world guests and the crew in Horizons.  We even got to meet the laundry staff who we never see and so appreciate.

I bought drinks for the group of waiters who were there and our stateroom attendants Surfi and Harry. The crew  other than the officers and production team doesn’t usually get to dance and party with us.  I stayed till they closed. Fun.

We arrived on Charleston at 6 pm on July 3. Our plans for the evening were with Alan, Beverly, Rhoda and Norman.  We had fabulous peach Bellinis at Blossom and dinner at Magnolias.  Fabulous but more food than and human could eat.  Are all Southern meals this way?? Is macaroni and cheese a vegetable?

Here’s what it all looked like:

The fried green tomatoes were wonderful and we had homemade potato chips with blue cheese and scallions that were so good they disappeared before I could get a picture!

We saw fireworks from our balcony.

July 4

Only 2 more days.  This orchid  plant in our room was beautiful for the entire 6 months…

We went out walking among the beautiful homes and gardens and to the market today.  Hot but lovely. We haven’t been here for several years and we love it here.

We went to a small park where we encountered a night heron rookery. There were several nests with young birds and the adults nearby. Hard to see the nest in the picture though.

A couple of other sights including a mural on the side of a building.  Don’t know what a bear is doing here!

Later we will have ” the end of the world”  (hope they mean world cruise!!!) sailaway party on the open deck followed by a July 4 barbecue on deck.  Will post pictures of that tomorrow. And we will have the last production show with the farewell from the staff.  There is a farewell at the end of each segment but this is REALLY our farewell.  I am sure there will be tears.  Tomorrow we will be at sea and have our last mimosa party with our fellow ATW guests and the staff. We will always remember our time and have made some lifelong friends.

Almost packed…

Posted in Food, July, North America, Trip 2 | 2 Comments

St. George’s, Bermuda

June 30 and July 1, 2017

First of all, last night’s event and sunset.

The QUILT raffle was held last night, and over $6000 was raised for the crew welfare fund! I didn’t win the quilt.. But am happy to be part of it.  There will be a book about the project and I will purchase that.  There was also a live auction of several other quilts, ships flag, navigation charts, the ability to be cruise director for a day, etc.

Arrival in Bermuda was beautiful.  I forgot how crystal clear and blue the water is. There are some huge yachts here, apparently some of the America’s Cup  visitors are still here.

St. George’s is a UNESCO world heritage site   and the oldest surviving English New World town.  It is just 21 square miles (20 miles by 2 miles) and has a population of just 60,000. It is very British and it is usual to see men in jackets and ties with Bermuda shorts and knee socks.

We took a long walk through town and went to Tobacco Bay and Fort St. Catherine. The fort is known as “the jewel of the East”. It was constructed beginning in 1614! The views were terrific too.

Tobacco Bay:

We also visited the unfinished church and St. Peter’s church.

Some town sights.  The buildings are beautifully painted with white roofs.  Norm got his dog fix !

We went to Hamilton with Alan and Beverly for dinner at Ascot.  Cabs are not so easy to get but we made it. Absolutely wonderful dinner in a beautiful place.

Fish chowder was amazing.

Saturday we had a mission- sea glass.  Took a long walk and encountered several bad direction givers on our way to Buildings Bay.  Finally one nice guy gave us a ride.  Tiny secluded beach but what a treasure trove of glass! And sea creatures on the rocks.  Had a nice swim before walking back.

After a shower we went back out for lunch to The Wharf and ate overlooking the water.

At sea tomorrow before our last port of call, Charleston!

Posted in Food, July, June, North America, Trip 2 | 5 Comments

New York, NY, USA

June 27 and 28, 2017

When we left Boston, we. sailed through the Cape Cod canal.  Very fun to see all of the people watching and waving from the shore.  Apparently not a lot of cruise ships sail through here. In fact one (not Oceania) scraped the bottom of the railroad bridge during a passage.  According to the captain we had about 3 feet clearance after they lowered the mast.

It was fun to be back in NY.  What did we do?. Lots of walking- more than 7 miles each day.  We loved the sail in.

We visited St Patrick’s Cathedral, (lit a candle for Mom), Rockefeller center and had a special treat to be able to spend some time with my cousin Abbe who was here for a conference.

Some sights in NY:

We had a great dinner at Trattoria Dell arte and then went to see the show Hamilton.  Fabulous.

We returned to the ship late and then headed out early to meet friends Tom and Alice for brunch at Barney Greengrass. But first a stop at Zabars.

After brunch we headed for a walk through Central Park, then a surprise.  Carriage ride led by Jimmy the horse.  He loved his carrots! 

The weather was perfect both days and we had a great time.

We left at 4 and had a fun sail away.

Later we had Part 2 of the Montréal/ NY bagel competition.  Here are the results:

A good  time was had by all!

Next stop: Bermuda!

Posted in Food, June, North America, Trip 2 | 3 Comments

Sailing out of Boston

June 26, 2017

Lobsters on the deck.  Need I say more??? 

Well, there’s always the beautiful sea and sky.  

Posted in At Sea, Food, June, North America | 3 Comments

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Jume 26, 2017

What a wonderful day in Boston! Adam, Mark and Ramsay came on the ship and we got to show then our home for the past 6 months.  It was a beautiful day and we had lunch on the terrace, showed them around the ship and generally enjoyed catching up.  

Maybe we should have Adam organize all of our mail from now on.. What a job he did! And we got caught up on things that would have had to wait til we got home – great.  Looking forward to summer shore time with them.

Sailing in and out was beautiful. And tonight we will go through the Cape Cod canal.  Fresh lobster tonight in the terrace cafe too. Guess where we will be eating dinner?

Headed to NY for 2 days next.  Looking forward to seeing Hamilton tomorrow night on Broadway.  We also get to see cousin Abbe tomorrow, friends Alice and Tom (brunch  on Wednesday) and of course chapter 2 in the great bagel competition!

Posted in June, North America, Trip 2, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Bar Harbor, Maine, USA

June 25, 2017

Well here we are back in the USA, and as the immigration official said this morning, ” welcome home”!

Last night we had the last ATW dinner and it was amazing! Here’s the memu and all the pictures.

We will miss all this delicious food for sure..

We love Bar Harbor, and set out to first buy our senior National Park passes.  Then we took the shuttle on the park loop road.

Beautiful day in an awe inspiring place.

Acadia national park is the second most visited park in the US with over 4 million visitors a year.  We have been here before but there is so much to see and do you never get tired of the splendor of the mountains, coastlines, forests and refreshing air. The Park Loop Road is a 27 mile road  that winds through the eastern half of Mount Desert Island .

We came back to town for lunch and of course had our lobster rolls. I also had their special June drink- strawberry rhubarb margarita.  Yum..

It was the most beautiful weather we have had in quite a while, perfect day.  Here are some shots from around the town of Bar Harbor which is quite charming.

Boston tomorrow.  So looking forward to seeing Adam, Mark and Ramsay.

Posted in Food, June, North America, Trip 2 | 1 Comment

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Jume 24, 2017

Halifax is a thriving city of 400,000 and has one of the world’s largest harbors, 10 miles long. It was established in 1749 and the fortress was used to protect Boston. Now over 1 million ships come here each year, 179 are cruise ships.

We arrived and experienced the Scottish influence right away.  We were greeted by a bagpiper!

Our tour today was Historic Halifax and RMS Titanic, completing our third Titanic experience.

Donna was our guide and she is a specialist in Titanic history and she was a teacher for 31 years before retiring.

We started at the fabulous Maritime museum of the Atlantic, Canada’s oldest and largest maritime museum. There are many ship models, portraits and photographs here including the world’s largest collection of wooden artifacts from the Titanic which sank 700 nautical miles from here. Halifax sent 3 ships to recover victims.  209 bodies were brought back here for burial. 59 were shipped our by train to their families. 

The museum could absorb a whole day but we didn’t have that much time.  It will definitely be in our agenda for next time.

We traveled to the Fairview Lawn Cemetery  where most of the victims are buried. The bodies were numbered for identification purposes.  If there is no name on the stone, that victim was never identified and if the name is on the front instead of the top, the victim was identified later.  I was impressed with the diligence used to try to identify victims.

One of the most poignant stories was about the child who was not identified for many years but we now know was Sidney Leslie Goodwin.

The same numbering system was used when the city was devastated by the Halifax explosion that resulted from the collision of two ships in the harbor that nearly leveled the city in December 1917.  The memorial quilt was made to commemorate the 100th anniversary of that disaster.

After lunch I went for a long walk through the town and enjoyed the galleries, craft shops and other sights. The bicycle thief sculpture is outside of a restaurant with that name.

Enjoyed our day here! Glad the fog cleared and the rain ☔ stayed away.

Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and everywhere we went, cities and towns are gearing up for the celebrations coming up on Canada day, July 1, which we will also celebrate on the ship.

Posted in Excursions, June, North America, Trip 2 | Leave a comment

Sept-Iles, Canada

June 22, 2017

Day 167!

Well, Marie was right, it’s no Fort Lauderdale! The town is located at the mouth of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and it is picturesque but tiny.

We were greeted by young Innu dancers and musicians.  This area has a rich history of trapping, fishing, forestry and mining.

We had a long walk in the cool fresh air.  Others opted to take a zodiac tour of the surrounding islands.  Good thing they got these warm coats!

A few local craft stores, restaurants, etc, but the most interesting was the variety of nets they use for fishing and shrimping.

One of the waterfront restaurants used them in their decor.  Like eating in a very large lobster trap.

Across the water is the largest aluminium plant in North America.

And they have a lot of things made from aluminum.

A very small town with very friendly people. Not much to see and do, but at least it wasn’t winter when they get 20 feet of snow and temps go down to 30 below zero. No cruise would call here then!

Posted in June, North America, Trip 2 | 1 Comment

More about Quebec

June 21, 2017

Québec is the only walled city in North America and a UNESCO world heritage site. 90% of the population speaks French and it does test my high school French.  I practice a bit with duolingo app, and can recognize many words and speak a few.  You need it here. The cafes and winding cobblestone streets can make you think you are in France! We had our croissants and coffee in the morning and lunch at a charming cafe.  Tres bien!

The Chateau Frontenac is the most famous landmark here and it is gorgeous.

I had a manicure here and Marie (who didn’t speak much English) asked where we are going next. I replied Sept-Iles and she started to laugh.  I thought she was laughing because I pronounced it wrong, but then she said, ” it’s no Fort Lauderdale” and we both cracked up.  Apparently there is not much there, so watch for my next post!

Posted in June, North America, Trip 2 | Leave a comment