Search This Blog

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Varied Activities on Board

Aloha Everyone,

To keep passengers entertained & amused, there are constant activities. The two of us shared our dining table with several people who carry their daily Princess Event Listings sheet and keep their schedules full.

For example, today there is:
SeaCRAFTS Cross Stitch Pendant
Ping Pong Tournament
Fitness Dance Class
Sudoku Puzzle Activities
Genealogy Family History Get-Together
Art Collectors Appreciation Party
Line Dance Class
Princess Pop Choir Rehearsal

Here are but few I was able observe to take photos:

Ring tossing
Cross Word Puzzles
Egg Drop Contest
Carpet golf
Sidewalk sales of assortment of items including clothing, hats, sunglasses, bags, silver and gold chains by inches, paintings, stuffed animal mascot of Princess Bear?
Anything that might interest passengers.

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Aloha everyone,

Costa Rica, English translation is rich coast. Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1502 on his fourth and final voyage to the New World. Despite the alluring name, no gold or other precious minerals were discovered in Costa Rica. 

After decades of turmoil after gaining independence from Spain in 1821, civil war & political conflicts followed. Today Costa Rica is viewed as one of the safest countries in Latin America. Country’s economy is led by tourism, coffee, sugar, tabaco and cocoa.

The last time J.J. and I visited Puntarenas, we joined a small private tour with a guide and spent a day visiting its highlights. My most vivid memories include volcanos in a lake including Arenal and watched a sloe climb up a tree.  Yes, it would’ve been fun to wait for him to climb down but our tour guide said it might take another day.  Scarlet macaws of different colors were flying in the cloud forest, ferns and vines, orchids and other floras. 

However, our desire to see them again was not as strong as staying in the comfort of Emerald Princess. Heat and humidity dissuaded us from spending a day outdoors in a tropical island in August. 

After a leisurely breakfast, J.J. and I walked on the indoor area of the Promenade Deck occasionally checking on the television about the landfall of Hurricane Idalia in Florida.

Here are my breakfast and lunch plates, and Pavlova and cream puff desserts.

Princess Theater was only 70% full. Kevin Jordan’s comedy had several very funny skits all related to his childhood, his children and grandchildren. Personally, I prefer comedy with general audiences in mind. A woman seated in front of us started to laugh aloud and kept on laughing. We suspect that a large cocktail glass she had in hand may have contributed her continuous and extraordinary “happiness”.

I am happy to write down today just walking on board I was able to accomplish 14,387 steps or 5.2 miles.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Sea Day, Panama Canal Enrichment Presentation

Aloha Everyone,

I began my morning attending Zumba class, followed by Panama Canal Preview & Port Amador Enrichment Presentation by Chris Roberts. Chris clarified his background by stating, “I’m not a historian, I’m not a teacher of history and not a college professor. I write travel columns for a local newspaper.” He was a very good presenter making several clarifications on information that is available online.

Interesting and relevant information was about the tolls. Average toll was $54,000 using Historic Locks, meaning Original Locks.

Highest toll paid in 2012 was $375,000.

Emerald Princess will be paying $490,000 for passing New Locks. This amount is charged to the passengers, averaging about $165 each.

I spotted Chris Roberts at the Destination Desk. He told me that his contract is strictly for the Panama Canal crossing.  He will be on the bridge explaining the canal’s engineering marvels, history, narrating stories and workers living conditions, illnesses including deadly malaria that killed so many Spanish, French, indigenous people and Americans.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, August 28, 2023

Fruits and Desserts on Cruise

Aloha Everyone,

Here are some of the wonderful fruits and desserts we have had on our cruise so far.

Aloha -- Cathi

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Huatulco, Mexico

Aloha Everyone,

Our laundry day. There are laundromats on 6 of the cabin floors. We chose the one on the 10th floor which has 4 washers and 4 dryers. After a bit of delay due to machine malfunctioning, we finished our 2 loads.

Huatulco has several white Sandy beaches but the best one, The Malecon is easily reached by walking on the boardwalk from the ship. Problem is that the boardwalk has been repainted in bright white, reflecting the midday sun and increasing the heat. After not even 5 minutes, J.J. suggested that we return to our Emerald Princess and have lunch.

The two of us attended the Princess Production, DISCO BLAME IT ON THE BOOGIE. Lead female and male singers were good. Their strenuous simultaneous dancing and singing routines could only be possible if canned music was utilized.

Today, my first pair of sunglasses broke. Hopefully, my second pairs will survive until we return to Los Angeles

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Zumba Class on Cruiseship

Aloha Everyone,

After a light breakfast, I attended the Zumba class. The teacher from Argentina is a young athlete and full of positive energy. Fellow cruisers did whatever movements they felt comfortable doing. Zumba always reminds me of Jim and Susan at Port O’Connor. Having learned some fundamentals from them, it was easier for me.

Our lunch table mates included Rochelle and her husband, Barry. Rochelle was born in Morocco, speaks five languages including Hebrew, French, Spanish, Italian and English. Rochelle and Barry both worked in the tourism related industry. They have done numerous cruises and we learned about their harrowing experiences of medical emergencies abroad and how they tried to mitigate costly treatments by getting yearly travel insurance.

After dinner, the two of us attended a pianist performance. It was good but I felt it lacked singing. J.J. thought that the music was too loud.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, August 25, 2023

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Aloha Everyone,

Another port, another revisit. J.J. and I went down just to stretch our legs by walking to the air-conditioned Duty-Free Shop building.

We then went to the Piazza for coffee. Met a couple from the United Kingdom. They own a beachfront restaurant where they serve English breakfast, afternoon tea, and operate a pub that serves drinks late into the evening.

They live in an area near the Lake District. Our conversation jumped from history of the English, Scots and the relationship with Ireland and Wales. Our objective of listening to the duo guitarists was drowned by the totally absorbing and interesting conversation. We even talked about the late Queen Elizabeth, the Royals and the future of the British Monarchy. Over a cup of cappuccino, the four of us expressed our opinions on Brexit and British politics.

I stopped by the library and checked out 3 books.

Aloha -- Cathi