2020 Travels travel blog

Map of Suez Canal, Gulf of Aden & Arabian Sea

Crossing the Canal

Have money? Spend it

Mardi Gras Luncheon

Mardi Gras Luncheon

Mardi Gras Luncheon King Cake Cutting

Mardi Gras Luncheon King Cake Eating

Cake Decorating "Contest"

Cake Decorating "Contest"

Cake Decorating "Contest"

Cake Decorating "Contest" -- Winner JULIEANN

After leaving Jordan, we had five days at sea. We didn’t do much except Julieann and her dance classes of the world and even taking a Spanish language class and me working on our Journal and, of course, a lot of eating, sleeping and “talk story” with other passengers. On “Fat Tuesday”, one of the crowd we’ve been taking excursions with who hail from New Orleans arranged a Mardi Gras lunch for about 40 of us including masks and beads. The chef even cooked up four “King Cakes” (minus the baby) that were really tasty.

TV reception is really weak. They have four movie channels, but pretty much only one works at a time. We also receive CNN and FOX, but usually not at the same time. There’s always BBC that seems to come in just fine. What do you want to know about the UK floods?

WiFi is another story. We are charged by minute and it usually takes up to 20 minutes just to log on unless you’re trying to do it around 3AM. I was able to post our Jerusalem photos over a four day period, but that turned out to be VERY expensive using the ship’s WiFi. I’ll now wait until we hit a port that has decent WiFi to post additional photos and info.

Today we received a flyer informing us that we are entering a “High Risk Area” (HRA) for piracy. As the Red Sea closes up before we leave it, this gap seems a good place for a pirate ambush. We have been directed to turn off all outside lights and draw the curtains from 6PM to 6AM. The outside gangways have also been placed off limits during the night, but they tell us not to worry.

We have coupons to use the “fancy” (specialty) restaurants which I wouldn’t normally pay extra money to use, but free is free. May as well try a couple during our Sea Days.

(Food Note: The "General Dining" area is the buffet and we have no complaints on the majority of the food served there. A traveling friend recommended the Pork Chop at the (extra pay) Steakhouse. Had a free coupon so I tried it. I'm sorry, the chop was "ok", but (IMHO) any pork dish deserves, no DEMANDS a side dish of Applesauce!! My Mom ALWAYS served applesauce purportedly to cut the port grease. IDK the real reason, but I like applesauce with my pork. The "cheap" dining (AKA Buffet) serves applesauce with their pork, so what's the problem with the expensive restaurant. No, I am NOT complaining --- just reporting).

We have our usual schedule of waking around 7AM, casual breakfast until around 9AM, me in the hot tub or working on the computer/Travel Journal and Julieann taking whatever classes peaks her interest, (we usually skip lunch), nap between 3 and 5PM, dinner at 5:30PM, and a show of some sort at 7:30PM. We have seen some totally EXCELLENT shows with singers/dancers and a couple of duds (comedy/one instrument music), but overall, pretty good entertainment. We then watch whatever TV we can until bed time, around 10PM. I know, rough schedule, but we are trying.

Julieann just came in from her Chocolate making class. Gotta hear ALL about that, I guess. Well, heck – I expected her to walk in carrying some “home made” chocolates for me to munch on. All I got were some chocolate covered strawberries. Oh well…..

Today she went to some cardio dance class (just the name tires me out). After which we met in a lounge that has an outstanding view of where we’ve been. It’s usually nice and quiet, but today they are having a Black Forest Cake decorating contest. Julieann is going to observe while I enjoy the ocean view, at least that was the original plan. As I “tried” to enjoy the view with my back to the cake activities I hear them describe the contestants as the Activities Director, the Pastry Chef and “someone” from the audience. With over 100 folks in the audience you would think they could find someone else to be the third contestant, but NOOOO. Next I hear the commentator asking their audience selection, “And what’s your name and where are you from?” The answer, “My name is Julieann and I am from Hawaii.” (Applause, applause). So now I have to turn around and see what is going on. I end up taking photos of my wife “winning” the contest that was just a little “fixed”. She actually did a very good job on her cake decorating against the Activities Director who ended up pouring almost a QUART of alcohol into the cake and the Chef making the “perfect” cake and disqualified himself. Julieann’s cake was, of course, alcohol free (tasted OK, but the Director’s cake had us attending Alcoholics Anonymous, my “go to” place. It was fun and something different. Now off to walk around the ship a little and then back to the room for our TV/nap time.

Next stop is Muscat, Oman. We're taking a small tour so I’ll try to post all I have up to this post to our Travel Journal and Facebook. Fingers crossed….

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