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  1. March 11, 2020 Townsville Australia I had been to Townsville when I first visited Australia in 1997 so I did not take a tour. My plan was to leave the ship by 9:30 but when I woke up is was raining so I was in no hurry to get off the ship. By 10 the rain had let up to a drizzle although rain was forecast for most of the day. There were a number of craft stalls set up in and in front of the terminal. I made a quick walk around and then got onto the shuttle bus. Downtown Townsville has some beautiful old buildings but it was sad to see so many empty storefronts. Over 25% had “For Sale” or “For Lease” signs on them. There were very few people walking around other than people from the ship. The rain had let up so I did not have to put on my raincoat which I dragged along once more. I walked as far as the Aquarium (which I visited in 1997) and then walked back past the shuttle stop. I knew there was a McDonald’s nearby and I found it and spent an hour enjoying the pancakes and free WiFi. I walked back towards the shuttle stop and stopped in to the Woolworths (grocery store) and picked up a few things. After taking the shuttle back to the terminal, I walked around and looked at the crafts, buying a couple of small items. I was back onboard in time to get lunch in the Lido before it closed at 2 pm. Judy (Lee) found me and had a sock emergency so we agreed to meet at 3 in the Crow’s Nest. When I finished lunch, I stopped by Guest Services to check on something for Sherita (who has been on an overland trip to Uluru) and then went to the Crow’s Nest. I taught Judy (Lee) how to make socks two at a time and she had a question about it. We worked on our knitting until 4 when I needed to go to the Piano Bar for afternoon trivia. Only Debby, Diana, and I were present from our team but we won with a score of 13 out of 18! 1.In knitting, what does the abbreviation “PSSO” mean? (Yes, there really was a knitting question!) 2.Which punctuation mark has the same name as a type of butterfly? 3.What is the Japanese word that means “God wind” or “Divine wind”? 4.Are butterflies more colorful in warmer or colder climates? 5.What is lowest number on the Beaufort Scale? I had a little time to start on Project Linus blanket #8 before getting ready for dinner and evening trivia. None of my team was present so I played with the “We Don’t Need Google” team. We won with 15 out of 19! 1.What is the common name for a Coccinellidae? 2.The Canary Islands are named after which animals? 3.What do boxers strike when using the illegal rabbit punch? 4.In a bowling alley, what is a turkey? 5.How many deserts are in Australia – 0, 5, or 10? I yawned all through dinner so I did not go to the show which was a second performance by Brett Cave. Afternoon trivia 1.pass slipped stitch over 2.comma 3.kamikaze 4.warmer 5.0 Evening trivia 1.ladybug 2.dogs 3.back of the neck 4.three strikes in a row 5.10 Cairns tomorrow. Smooth sailing until next time!
  2. Veendam will be at pier 26 (port to) from 0530-1700. She will be leaving on a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise. Key West, Florida (12 Mar 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (14 Mar 0800-1700); Ocho Rios, Jamaica (15 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (17 Mar 0800-1600); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (18 Mar a0700) The only other cruise ship in port is Caribbean Princess who will be at pier 2 from 0545 to the unusual hour of 2222 (I guess they are unsure of departure time). The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/. Also, Zuiderdam will be in Aruba from 1300-2300. https://www.portarubawebcam.com/ For the Addicts: Veendam will be in Key West on Thursday, 12 March. https://www.keywestharborwebcam.com/ Next up: Nieuw Amsterdam on Saturday, 14 March.
  3. March 10, 2020 At Sea We had two Kathys, four Judys, one Nancy, one Sherry, and one Bonnie for Sit and Stitch. I worked on my two new projects and Judy (Margaret) gave me suggestions for the shawl I am making (she gave me the pattern). Hamish said he was using a different book of trivia questions because everyone complained that yesterday’s was so hard. Today’s was no easier. We had 6 out of 15 and five teams tied with 9. 1.What late 70s his included the line, “Ooh, you make my motor run, my motor run.”? 2.In what year was Betty Crocker introduced – 1921, 1930, or 1927? 3.Which is the world’s oldest science – astronomy, chemistry, or physics? 4.Gamophobia is the fear of what? 5.Which plant has the largest seed? Before lunch I finished my seventh Linus blanket with the lovely yarn donated in Auckland. In Arts & Crafts we started an Australian charm bracelet. I will post the picture when we finish it. Afternoon trivia was much better with 16 out of 21. The winning team had 17.5. 1.Which country has the most donut shops per capita – Canada, Portugal, or the US? 2.Which animal never sleeps – dolphin, bullfrog, or horse? 3.Who is awarded the Art Ross award in the NHL? 4.What is the largest sapphire in the world? 5.Name the six states of Australia (1 point each). With all the Corona Virus talk the ship has instituted some more safety measures. During Hamish’s announcements each day, he explains the correct way to wash your hands and someone is posted by each Purell machine in the dining room and Lido reminding you to use it. Serve yourself salads, fruit, and hot desserts are now put into small bowls in the Lido and you have to ask for the cookies. We also received a notice about people coming aboard. There was another 6:30 trivia so after the 4:30 one I got ready for dinner. I did not have a team so I played by myself and got 11 out of 18. The winning team had 17. 1.What is the term for a hybrid of a tiger and a lion? 2.Shylock is a character in which Shakespeare play? 3.Where were the 2006 Winter Olympics? 4.Which TV talk show host is famous for wearing colorful suspenders? 5.What two features are longer on a hare than on a rabbit? All of us were back for dinner which was billed as “Aboriginal Night Fire Dinner – Indigenous Australian dinner theme with the mesmerizing sounds of the didgeridoo.” The decorations were not what I would of called “aboriginal” with the servers in sequined vests and ties and bows tied around the black chair covers. There were three dishes on the menu (one starter, one main, and one dessert) that were supposedly native style. I skipped the show. Townsville tomorrow. Morning trivia 1.My Sherona 2.1921 3.astronomy 4.marriage or commitment 5.coconut Afternoon trivia 1.Canada 2.bullfrog 3.high scorer 4.Star of Adam 5.Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia Evening trivia 1.liger 2.The Merchant of Venice 3.Torino, Italy 4.Larry King 5.ears and legs Smooth sailing until next time!
  4. March 9, 2020 At Sea Today was the beginning of the second half of the cruise. I can’t believe we have already had half the cruise – the time went by so quickly. We had three Judys, three Kathys (all spelled differently), and Bonnie at Sit and Stitch. I went down at 10:30 to get yarn for my next Linus blanket (my current one is almost done) Morning trivia was really hard. The winning teams (3 tied) had 8 out of 15, we had 6. 1)Who sang the 1956 song “Ape Call”? 2.What was the first sport related movie to win a Best Picture Oscar? 3.To a golfer, what is a “frosty”? 4.Which city has an airport named after Galileo? 5.Which car brand’s name translates from the Latin “to roll”? I worked on my Linus blanket (should finish it tomorrow) before lunch. I finished one project yesterday and my socks today, so before Arts & Crafts I started a shawl with some of my new yarn from Sydney. We made a card in Arts & Crafts but I couldn’t decide how I wanted to put it together so I did not finish mine. We did a little better in afternoon trivia with 10 out of 18. The winners had 15. 1.What is a “skulk”? 2.Where is the heart of a shrimp located? 3.In the early 18th century, Baroque evolved into what style? 4.What tree can be English, American, or Eurasian? 5.Pogonophobia is a fear of what human male feature? There was a 6:30 trivia and I played with the “We Don’t Need Google” team. We had 16 out of 20 and the winners had 19. 1.What color is the “all clear” flag in auto racing? 2.What mountain range is sacred to Hindus? 3.What does a bartender call 2/3 of a jigger? 4.Which is the last of a cat’s senses to develop? 5.What do Belgians and the Dutch prefer to put on the French fries rather than catsup? When I got to dinner tonight, I was the only one at the table so I asked if I could join Judy (Margaret), Pete, and Susan at their table. It was an enjoyable evening. I did not go to the show. Morning trivia 1.Nervous Norvus 2.Rocky 3.score of 8 4.Pisa 5.Volvo Afternoon Trivia 1.a group of foxes 2.head 3.Rococo 4.elm 5.beards Evening trivia 1.green 2.Himalayas 3.shot 4.sight 5.mayonnaise Smooth sailing until next time!
  5. March 8, 2020 Sydney, Australia My original plan for today was to take the shuttle to Darling Harbour and then take the ferry to Circular Quay to visit The Rocks and then return on the ferry. When I decided I needed to get more of the yarn that I purchased yesterday, all of that changed. My new plan was to walk to the yarn store and then walk down George Street to Circular Quay and take the ferry back when I finished looking around. I left the ship about 9:30 and arrived at the yarn store just after they opened at 10 am. I then started walking to Circular Quay. Along the way it started to drizzle so I finally got to use my raincoat which I had been lugging around. It did not take much time at all to get to Circular Quay where I decided to have something to eat. For the second time in two days I went into McDonald’s. I had the pancakes which were very good. I also asked the young man at the counter about being able to use the wi-fi since my zip code would not work as a postcode. He said to use “2100” and it worked, so I was able to get through some e-mails while I ate. Then I was off to The Rocks Market (which is held every Saturday and Sunday) to look at all stalls. I always enjoy seeing all the interesting things for sell even when I don’t buy anything (like today). When I was done, I went to the Alpaca Barn where I bought some yarn two years ago. I found a nice alpaca/silk blend that I could not leave behind. By that time the sun was out and it was a beautiful day and I wasn’t tired of walking so I dropped my plan to take the ferry and decided to walk back that way I had come. On the way I found an ice cream store that had hokey pokey ice cream so I enjoyed a cone as I walked. I walked around in the Westfield Centre before going back to Circular Quay. Once back on board I went to the Lido to get something to eat. There wasn’t much to choose from since it was after 2 pm so I decided to try some of the pizza which was not too good. It was not hot and I had to pick off the pepperoni (they never have plain pizza at lunch time). I spent some time working on my projects (finished one) until it was sail-away time. I went up to “my deck”. It was very windy and a bit cool but it had turned into a sunny afternoon and the sail-away was beautiful. There were people doing the bridge climb that waved at us as we passed under the bridge. I worked on my pictures until dinner. I decided I would not go to the show since I was tired – I had walked more than seven miles again. We gain an hour tonight. Two sea days ahead. Smooth sailing until next time!
  6. Thanks for this. Our news is so limited I had not heard about it. The statues are so amazing it is a shame to lose one.
  7. Aren't they wonderfully soft. I love knitting with alpaca.
  8. March 7, 2020 Sydney, Australia I woke up at 7 am but was too late to see the sail-in to Sydney. It was very cloudy and had been raining (my window leaks slightly) so I probably didn’t miss a great view. Since we were told immigration was going to be called starting at 8 am, I decided not to go back to sleep. As it turned out, they were rather slow calling numbers (I was in group 10). Likely, the people in HAL shore excursions were being processed before the numbers began to be called. I used the time to work on my Linus blanket and check the weather forecast – there was a 30% or greater chance of rain all day so I decided to take my raincoat (of course, that guaranteed it was a beautiful day and the sun even came out). About 9:15 I went to deck 3 to stand out on the deck. After being there a few minutes, I realized that I would not hear my number called because announcements are not allowed to be made on open decks while in Sydney. I went inside and asked one of the people sitting in the atrium if any numbers had been called and sure enough, I had missed mine. I left the ship and went through immigration which went very quickly although there were quite a few people in line. We had a form and our passport, which were checked and then given back to us. As we left the terminal, the guest services people collected them. We are at White Bay Terminal because the large ships that cannot fit under the Harbour Bridge get to dock at Circular Quay (as we did on the Queen Elizabeth in 2014) but the smaller ships have to come out to White Bay. As the crow flies it is close to downtown - we can see the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Tower from the ship. The roads however are like a maze and it takes 20 minutes or more (with traffic) to get to Darling Harbour. My first goal of the day was to find an ATM. The one I used two years ago was no longer there but I eventually found another. With cash in hand, I started off for Paddy’s Market in Chinatown. Although this was my fourth visit to Sydney, I had never been to the market. It was a very short walk from Darling Harbour even though I did not follow the route I had found last night on line. Paddy’s Market lived up to what I had read about it. In the stalls are just about everything you can think of – souvenirs, clothes, jewelry, wigs, food, toys, electronic accessories, shoes, and more! On the first floor (what we would call the second in the US) there were some regular stores as well as a large Chinese food court (and at least 10 ATMs). I got a delicious pastry and fresh lime juice drink and enjoyed the free wi-fi. I walked around the ground floor stalls once more and purchased a few souvenirs. I was headed for the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) when I saw a McDonald’s. It was getting close to 1 pm by then so I thought I would have lunch and enjoy some more wi-fi. Unfortunately, the “Maccas” account I set up in Auckland does not work in Australia and I did not have a valid postcode (my home zip code would not work). At least the fries were good. The QVB is beautiful and worth a walk through but I was not in the market for Bally, Prada, Kate Spade, or any of the other high-end brands sold there, so all I did was walk through. Next stop was at Lincraft (like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby) but the store on York Street was closing and there wasn’t much of anything but fabric and sewing notions, so I did not stay long. My final destination was Morris and Sons which has (don’t be too surprised) yarn! I had planned on going there in 2014 and again in 2018 but did not make it either time so I was determined to go this year. They had some beautiful yarn and finally I settled on some multi-colour yarn for a pattern Judy (Margaret) gave me. (When I got back to the ship I decided I need more than what I bought so I will go back tomorrow). While I was in the store I got to talking to a lady and found out she and her husband had been on the Crystal Serenity but opted to leave the World Cruise and fly back to the US. They were not happy with the itinerary changes (due to closed ports and staying away from Asia) and she made it sound like her husband wasn’t too fond of sea days and that influenced their decision. They have a 17-hour flight to San Francisco tomorrow, where they will spend a few days and then fly back to the east coast. (I have heard rumors that some people on our ship were contemplating leaving but I have not heard about anyone definitely doing it.) I headed back to Darling Harbour and took the shuttle back to the ship. I was back on board a few minutes before 4 pm – I had walked seven miles (that is a lot for me!) and was tired and thirsty so I drank a coke and worked on one of my projects until almost five when I went to sit on the back deck. I was too tired to swim. There was a trivia at 7 pm and you will be surprised to hear I didn’t go. I was enjoying sitting with my feet up too much. Sherita joined us for dinner tonight. She had almost had to miss her overland tour to Uluru because of a paperwork snafu but just before dinner she got it straightened out. There was no regular show and I really wanted to go to the movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” but I knew I would fall asleep before it was over at 11:15. Another day wandering around Sydney tomorrow. Smooth sailing until next time!
  9. Another early post. And speaking of early, the ships are scheduled to leave earlier than usual. Something to do with DST maybe???? Nieuw Statendam will be at pier 26 (port to) from 0430-1600. She will be leaving on a 7-day Tropical Caribbean cruise. Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (09 Mar 0800-1700); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (11 Mar 0800-1700); Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (12 Mar 0800-1700); Key West, Florida (14 Mar 0800-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (15 Mar a0700) Zuiderdam will be at pier 21 (starboard to) from 0515-1600. She will be doing a 10-day Panama Canal Sunfarer cruise. Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (09 Mar 0800-1500); Oranjestad, Aruba (11 Mar 1300-2300); Willemstad, Curacao (12 Mar 0800-1600); Panama Canal (Cruising Canal) (14 Mar 0500-0500); Colon, Panama (14 Mar 1500-2100); Puerto Limon, Costa Rica (15 Mar 0730-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (18 Mar a0700) Also in port are Regal Princess at pier 2 from 0400-1500, Celebrity Edge at pier 25 form 0500-1430, Carnival Magic at pier 4 from 0300-1500, and Adventure OTS at pier 18 from 0415-1630. The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ and https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/. Next up: Veendam on Wednesday, 11 March.
  10. G'day from down under! I am posting this early because I expect to be out all day walking around Sydney. Nieuw Amsterdam will be at pier 26 (starboard to) from 0530-1700. She is doing a 7-day JoCo Cruise. Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (08 Mar); Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (10 Mar); Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (12 Mar); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (14 Mar) Also in port are Sky Princess at pier 2 from 0500-1600, Island Princess at pier 21 from 0400-1600, Celebrity Equinox at pier 25 from 0600-1530, Carnival Sunrise at pier 4 from 0545-1600, and Independence OTS at pier 18 from 0615-1630. The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/. Also, Koningsdam will be in St. Maarten from 0800-1700. https://www.portstmaartenwebcam.com/. Next up: Nieuw Statendam and Zuiderdam on Sunday, 8 March.
  11. March 6, 2020 At Sea Rich (Judy [Lee]’s husband) and I wound yarn during Sit and Stitch and then I continued working on one of my four projects. We decided to do a yarn crawl in Perth like the one Judy and Pete did in 2018. We will visit four or five yarn stores. In morning trivia we had 10 out of 15 and the winners had 13. 1.Born in Guelph, Lt. Col. John McCrae serving in the Canadian army in WWI, penned what poem? 2.In 2003, who became only the third Englishman ever to sign with Spain’s Real Madrid? 3.What is a “kissing gourami”? 4.Amsterdam’s official nickname is shared by several other cities. What is it? 5.If you have Singultus, what do you suffer from? After trivia I started project #5 which is a jacket made from some of the yarn I purchased in Auckland. I also worked some on my current Linus blanket before lunch. We made a kiwi greeting card in arts and crafts. There has been lots of talk today about how the Captain’s Dinner was disappointing in one way or another – the food, the choices (or lack thereof), the time problems (some people who started at 5:15 did not get dessert until 7:30), etc. I heard very few positive comments. In afternoon trivia we had 11 out of 17 with the winners having 16. 1.Alphabetically, what animal always comes first? 2. Zanzibar is known for what spice? 3.Where did the rumba originate? 4.”Ghee” is what type of food? 5.What is the North American equivalent of a reindeer? I left trivia as soon as we finished to go to the second cocktail party by my travel agency. I sat and talked with my dinner partners, Kathy and Mike. Diana, from our trivia team, always invites friends onboard to a birthday dinner in the Canaletto. Sherita and I sat together. We had a quiz to get to know Diana better which was a lot of fun. The meal was really good. Sherita and I shared the shrimp and lobster ravioli and lasagna. We finished at about 8:30 so I went back to my cabin to work on the blog before going to the 9:30 show. It was a performance by Brett Cave. It was billed as a blend of “Elton John and Billy Joel’s high energy”. Morning trivia 1.In Flanders Fields 2.David Beckham 3.fish 4.Venice of the North 5.hiccups Afternoon trivia 1.aardvark 2.cloves 3.Cuba 4.clarified butter 5.caribou First of two days in Sydney tomorrow. Smooth sailing until next time!
  12. March 5, 2020 At Sea We had our third Cruise Critic Meet and Greet this morning in the Crow’s Nest. Although I had confirmed the date, there was no coffee, tea, or cookies. We had a good turn out and met a handful of members who joined us is Auckland. The latest scuttlebutt dealt with another change in itinerary. A few people had heard we were not going to India or Sri Lanka from “reliable” sources. Speculation on where we might go instead was a popular topic. I had a few minutes at Sit and Stitch and we had another Judy (we are calling her Judy N.) join us. She embarked in Auckland. Judy (Lee), Judy (Margaret), and I took finished blankets down for Project Linus. I also was able to share the wonderful story of the yarn donation. Once again we were ‘bridesmaids’ in trivia with 9 out of 15. The winners had 10. 1.Which actress wrote the autobiography, “Call Me Anna”? 2.What dental specialist performs root canals? 3.In Roman mythology, who killed Remus? 4.What peace activist was the MC at Woodstock? 5.In a controversial move, which was the first European country to ban smoking in bars? 6.Clinophobia is the fear of what? When the captain made his daily update the “reliable” sources proved to be correct. Sri Lanka has closed its ports to all cruise ships and India refused to give a blanket visa for the ship. Instead we will be visiting more of western Australia. (Most everyone onboard was pleased as was I.) We have added four ports in Australia including an overnight in Freemantle. I worked on my next Linus blanket and then went to lunch in the Lido. We had met some rough seas and a whole stack of plates at the bread station went flying and broke. We could also hear some things falling over in the kitchen. We made paua shell earrings in Arts & Crafts. In afternoon trivia we had 14 out of 18. The winners had 16. 1.What is the stage name of Gordon Sumner? 2.What drink is Brazil’s biggest export? 3.What does “karaoke” mean? 4.In 1920, which Belgian city hosted the Olympics? 5.What bird is sacred in Peru? After trivia, Marilyn and Rodney (who are from Perth) gave us some ideas of things to do while we are there. When I returned to my cabin I was able to get online and stay online for over an hour! I was able to upload the pictures for March 3 and 4 that I have not been able to do. Tonight was a Gala Night and the Captain’s Dinner. Instead of having weekly Captain’s Dinners with a few people, it was decided to have one night in the MDR for everyone. The menu was not met with a lot of enthusiasm. Everyone I spoke with didn’t like something about it. Captain Mercer welcomed us in a short speech. We had a gift of a painted ceramic box. I did not go to the show which was a presentation of the singers and dancers which I had seen before. Another sea day tomorrow. We gain another hour tonight to be on Sydney time. Morning trivia 1.Patty Duke 2.endodontist 3.Romulus 4.Wavy Gravy 5.Ireland 6.going to bed Afternoon trivia 1.Sting 2.coffee 3.without an orchestra 4.Antwerp 5.condor Smooth sailing until next time!
  13. I haven't heard how many got on in Auckland. We had a handful of new arrivals at our Meet and Greet this morning. I heard the rumor that we would not be visited by Ashford which is kind of surprising since he has family on board but I guess everyone in Seattle must be running around like crazy!
  14. I have finally been able to get my pictures for March 3 and 4 up on my blog. In fact, the internet has been great (for ship internet) for the past hour. I have not lost the connection once!
  15. The captain announced that Sri Lanka has closed their ports to all cruise ships and there were visa issues for India so we will not go to either. The schedule now stands as: Darwin March 16 Broome March 19 Exmouth March 21 Geraldton March 23 Freemantle March 24/25 Reunion Island April 2
  16. March 4, 2020 Bay of Islands, New Zealand When I was here in 2014, some of my friends took the ferry over to Russell from the town of Paihia and really liked the little town so that was my plan for today. When I woke up, however, I thought my plans would change because it was rainy and the sky was an ugly gray. Luckily, the day grew much brighter as I was waiting for my tender number to be called. When I arrived ashore I took the complimentary shuttle bus from the tender dock near the Waitangi Treaty Grounds into Paihia. I walked around starting with the craft stalls, crafts in the War Memorial Building, a trip to the dollar star (not everything was a dollar like at home), getting a hokey-pokey ice cream cone (finally!), and then taking the ferry over to Russell. It’s hard to believe that the beautiful little town of Russell was once known as the “Hell Hole of the Pacific”! In the early 1800s it was a provisioning port for whalers and got quite a bad reputation. Today it is a picturesque, historic town and a popular vacation spot. When I was on the ferry returning to Paihia, it started to rain. I had been carrying my raincoat around all day but by the time we docked it was only a light drizzle that stopped almost immediately. I walked around a little longer and then took the shuttle back to the tender. I had not been able to get on-line at all last night so I was trying to post my blog when I got back on board. I still was having no luck so I went to the Lido and got a sandwich and took it back to my cabin to keep trying. I eventually was able to get the blog posted and the entry on Cruise Critic but still was unable to load pictures. I stopped for 4:30 trivia which was in the Piano Bar today due to sail-away party being held in the Crow’s Nest. We had 15 out of 17 and was just beaten out by our neighbors (We Don’t Need Google), who had 16. 1.Which of the Great Lakes does not touch Canadian shores? 2.What does an autophobe avoid referring to? 3.Which Asian country has the least amount of urban green space per person? 4.What is a flat image that can be displayed in three dimensions? 5.What is the largest Japanese island? 6.What number does “giga” stand for? After trivia I went to deck nine by the Sea View Pool to see the last of the islands. You may have noticed I have not been swimming in the last few days. The reason is its been a little too cool. On the bright side, my new shampoo has done a great job of removing the blue in my hair! I then went back to trying to load pictures. To give you an idea of the situation, I kept track between 6:00 and 6:32: Able to connect and was on five minutes before losing connection Could not connect on two tries Connected and was on for four minutes before losing connection Could not connect on 16 tries Connected but lost it before being able to do anything Could not connect on 2 tries Connected but lost it before being able to do anything Could not connect on one try Connected but lost it before being able to do anything Could not connect on one try Connected and was on for seven whole minutes before losing the connection. Very, very frustrating. I do knit or crochet while I am waiting so the time is not a total loss. I did not go to the show after dinner because I wanted to spend more quality time with the %#^*$@ internet. We gain an hour tonight. Sea day tomorrow. Trivia 1.Lake Michigan 2.self 3.Japan 4.hologram 5.Honshu 6.one billion Smooth sailing until next time!
  17. OK, I finally was able to get to the PE website and stay on line for a few minutes. Koningsdam will be at pier 26 (port to) from 0545-1700. Veendam will be at pier 21 (starboard to) from 0530-1700.
  18. The internet is impossible and I get on for maybe two minutes after 15 tries so I do not have the piers or times. Koningsdam will be going on and 11-day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer cruise. Philipsburg, St. Maarten (07 Mar 0800-1700); Fort de France, Martinique (08 Mar 0800-1700); Bridgetown, Barbados (09 Mar 0800-1700); Castries, St Lucia (10 Mar 0800-1600); Basseterre, St. Kitts (11 Mar 0800-1700); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (12 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (14 Mar 0800-1500); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (15 Mar a0700) Veendam will be doing a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise. Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (06 Mar 0800-1500); San Juan, Puerto Rico (07 Mar 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (08 Mar 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (10 Mar 0800-1600); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (11 Mar a0700) There are no other cruise ships in port. The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/ and https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/. Next up: Nieuw Amsterdam on Saturday, 7 March.
  19. We went to Countdown. Sherita lugged an 18-pack of Coke cans back!!!
  20. March 3, 2020 Auckland, New Zealand Although this is my third visit to Auckland, I have never walked more than a couple of blocks on Queen Street. I was off the ship by 9:30 to walk up Queen Street to the Civic Centre. I went into a few stores and bought a couple of things before heading back to the yarn store. I had decided on two sweater patters I liked and was determined to find yarn for one of them. A number of people from the ship came in while I was debating including Judy (Lee) who purchased sock yarn (she was the one who taught me to make toe-up socks two years ago). I finally made up my mind on a recycled yarn with possum fur. Yesterday, I told you that I had a surprise in the store. Here is the story. While I was checking out I was mentioning I was on the ship and would return tomorrow. Tracey said that she had to make a delivery to the ship and then to my astonishment said my name and cabin number. After I told her that I was the person to whom she was referring, she told me that someone who reads my blog wanted to donate yarn for Project Linus blankets. This amazing person had read how we were just about out of yarn and contacted the store to get some for us. When I returned today I found out that he had paid for 30 balls of yarn! In a time when there is so much negativity, it is reassuring to know that there are still people who are so caring. This had put a smile on my face as well as everyone I have told. I know the blankets made from this yarn will put a smile on the faces of the children who receive them, too. Before I left the store, Cheryl did a short interview with me which she is putting up on the store’s facebook site. With three large bags of yarn as well as the few things I had purchased (I found the shampoo that is supposed to take the blue out of my hair) I went back to the ship. I would have set out again but they had moved the all-aboard time from 5:30 to 4 pm so instead I went to the Lido for lunch before finishing my sixth Linus blanket (tomorrow I will start on #7 with some of the beautiful new yarn). At 4:00 the monthly muster drill took place. It was over just after 4:30. It was time to make a new pitcher of tea so I took the pitcher to the Lido and let the tea brew for a while and then went out on the back deck to watch our sail-away from Auckland. There was trivia at 6:30 and once again I played with the “We Don’t Need Google” team. We had 15 out of 20 and the winners had 17. 1.What is the capital of New Zealand? 2.Finn, soling, and star are classes in which sport? 3.What metallic element makes steel “stainless”? 4.Which animal cannot look up in the sky in a standing position? 5.Name the four largest (in area) countries in Oceania and for an extra point put them in order. 6.What US poet wrote, “Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker?” After dinner I went to the second show by “The Alley Cats”, the do-wop group. Bay of Islands tomorrow. Trivia 1.Wellington 2.yachting 3.chromium 4.pig 5.Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, New Zealand 6.Ogden Nash Smooth sailing until next time! P.S. This is late because the internet was not working last night.
  21. March 2, 2020 Auckland, New Zealand My plan for the day was to catch up on internet stuff (e-mails, updating apps, etc.) and go yarn shopping. I slept late and did not get off the ship until about 10:30. The McDonald’s I was planning on spending time in was no longer there (don’t know why the website didn’t say so) but there was another one about a block away. Sherita was going to meet me after her tour, so I e-mailed her the location of the new one. She arrived just before 12:30. After Sherita ate lunch we walked to the yarn store – New Zealand Fabrics and Yarn. It is only about a five minute walk up Queens Street from the ship. It is a tiny store but it is jam-packed with yarn, fabric, other crafts and supplies. One of the things that New Zealand is known for is possum fur. For my fellow Americans, do not think of those ugly opossums that we have. The NZ possums are kind of cute but they are not real popular because they eat leaves, flowers, fruit, eggs, birds, and insects. They were brought from Australia in the 1800s. You can read more about them here - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_brushtail_possum_in_New_Zealand . I had visited the store in 2018 and purchased yarn to make a hat and socks that contained possum fur. I had seen a jacket pattern that I really liked but it was early in the cruise and I had talked myself out of it – a decision I have regretted so I bought the yarn and pattern today. I also bought yarn for a capelet that has 40% possum fur, 40% cashmere, and 20% silk. Also, something surprising happened in the store which I will tell you more about tomorrow. Sherita and I walked to the grocery store because she wanted to pick up a few things. I hate going to the grocery store at home but it is always fun to do so in a foreign country. We arrived back on the ship after 3 pm and I was hungry so I ordered a quesadilla and a piece of chocolate cake for a very late lunch. I spent most of the rest of the afternoon researching sweater patterns since I am going back to the yarn store tomorrow. The only trivia of the day was at 6:30. I played with the “We Don’t Need Google” team. We tied another team with 16 out of 20. 1.Which is mentioned more in the Bible – corn, figs, or olives? 2.What does the slang term “all day and night” mean to a prison inmate? 3.On the periodic table what does the number below the symbol of the element mean? 4.How much does an average man’s brain weigh at the age of 30? 5.What is mixed with white wine in a spritzer? After dinner I talked with Judy (Margaret) because I thought she was going yarn shopping today. Turns out she and Pete are going tomorrow. We talked patterns and yarns until they were about ready to throw us out of the dining room. There was no show tonight. Another day in Auckland tomorrow. Trivia 1.corn 2.life sentence 3.atomic weight 4.3 pounds 5.soda water Smooth sailing until next time!
  22. March 1, 2020 At Sea We had a good sized group for Sit and Stitch. Judy (Bob) and I left at 11:15 to go down to the Explorer’s Lounge. She needed to turn in her finished Linus blanket and I needed to get a couple more balls of yarn to finish mine. We had 9 out of 15 for morning trivia. The winners had 11. 1.If you have “hypertrichosis”, you have lots of what? 2.What athletic event has competitors that are spinners or shifters? 3.Who composed “Dream of Gerontius”? 4.Where would you find the Euromast? 5.What is the world’s fastest growing plant? Worked on my Linus blanket before lunch in the Lido. We made a world slide necklace in Arts & Crafts. Bernd joined Debby, Diana, Marilyn, Rodney, and me for afternoon trivia. We had 14 out of 17. Winners had 16. 1.What continent is struck the most by lightning and for a bonus point which country has the most? 2.What element has an atomic number of 50 and a chemical symbol of Sn? 3.A “bob” was a popular name for which British coin? 4.What do whales and peas have in common? 5.Which king was the last Emperor of India? There was another unusual 6:30 trivia in the Crow’s Nest with one of the new assistant CDs, Andrea (from Portugal). There were only two teams and we tied with 16 each (out of 20). The team I was on won the tie-breaker which was “What was the capacity of the lifeboats on Titanic?” 1.What lives in a “holt”? 2.What is the world’s largest herb? 3.What constellation is on the flags of Australia and New Zealand? 4.What fruit is used to flavor Southern Comfort? 5.What is the world’s warmest sea? Dinner was slow tonight. I opted not to go to the show which was a variety show with the juggler and a musician. Auckland tomorrow. Morning trivia 1.hair 2.shot put 3.Elgar 4.Rotterdam 5.bamboo Afternoon trivia 1.South America – bonus Venezuela 2.tin 3.shilling 4.pods 5.George VI Evening trivia 1.otters 2.plantains 3.Southern Cross 4.apricot 5.Red Sea Tie-breaker – 1178 – we guessed 1200 Smooth sailing until next time!
  23. Nieuw Statendam will be at pier 26 (port to) from 0530-1700. She is doing a 7-day Western Caribbean cruise. Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (02 Mar 0800-1600); Ocho Rios, Jamaica (04 Mar 0800-1700); George Town, Grand Cayman (05 Mar 0800-1600); Cozumel, Mexico (06 Mar 1100-2300); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (08 Mar a0800) Also in port are Regal Princess at pier 2 from 0500-1600, Celebrity Edge at pier 25 from 0600-1530, Allure OTS at pier 18 from 0515-1630, and Caribbean Princess who is overnighting and leaving at 1600. The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ and https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/. Also, Nieuw Amsterdam will be in Key West from 0800-1700.https://www.keywestharborwebcam.com/ Koningsdam will be in Aruba from 0700-1700. https://www.portarubawebcam.com/ Next up: Koningsdam and Veendam on Wednesday, 4 March.
  24. Don't worry about those books. Feel free to donate them to Goodwill or your library if they have a book exchange.
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