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Grumpy1

Prinsendam 2005 World Tour... it has begun

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Slinkie and Grumpy,

 

My computer died on Tuesday so have had to come to the local library to read your wonderful reports. I had missed two days but have now caught up. I do envy you your wonderful emeralds Slinkie, they are my favourite stone.

 

I look forward so much to your wonderful travelogue. You sound as though you are having the best time ever. Keep up the good work and hopefully I will have a computer at home within a few days. I feel as though I have lost my right arm. Whatever did we do without computers.

 

Jennie

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This is just wonderful! Thank you for taking us all on the World Cruise with you!!!!! It is one of my dreams to take the World Cruise ... and, who knows, perhaps it will happen in about 30 or so years! But, long before 2035, I can join y'all on your adventure! Have GREAT cruise, and I'll look forward to reading your reports!

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Hi There,

 

Given today's news in regard to P & O's cancellation of the 'Aurora' World Voyage, I am definitely happy that you're on board with HAL and having a magnificent voyage already!

 

Bon Voyage ~

 

Steve

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Just out of curiosity I checked this cruise to look at the itinerary and cost. I found it interesting that it cost $7000.00 more to board in HI than it does in LA, and you are on the ship for 9 less days. Doesn't make much sense to me. Thoroughly enjoying reading his updates. Thank you Grumpy.

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Prinsendam 2005, Jan 21

 

%&^%$%$*(*&!!!!... Maybe Grumpy spoke too soon when he signed his last post "NotSoGrumpy"... Dayum computer anyway... it decided to lock up... display did all sorts of wierd things and blanked out... no response to any commands... shut it down, reboot, blank screen, no hard drive activity... tried a paper clip hard reset, started to come up and then went wierd and froze up again. Walked out on the balcony and cogitated a bit... came back in the cabin and saw water running from under the bathroom door and across the carpet. After a quick phone call to the desk, Our intrepid travellers had enough company to hold a pretty good sized party... plumbers, housekeeping people various others... two big vacuums... something came through the pipe and stuck in the flush valve so the water kept coming in to the toilet after it had flushed. After they cleaned up the mess, they shampooed the whole room and now there's another piece of furniture... a dehumidifier... sharing the cabin.

 

Slinkie headed up to get her hair done for formal night tonight, so Grumpy decided to have another go at the laptop. After a couple of failed attempts, he finally found out, quite by accident, that he held the computer a certain way, and did the paperclip reset he could get it to boot. Very carefully putting it back on the desk with a wedge under the right front corner, it works just fine. Grumpy knows that fix isn't likely to last forever, so he quickly copied the photo file for the cruise and his marvelous manuscript off to a memory card and transferred them to Slinkie's laptop. Guess he'd better back up everything to the portable hard drive before he tries anything else...

 

Yesterday was a visit to Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Slinkie and Grumpy didn't have to be ready for a tour until 10:30a, so they walked into town and all the way across town to the shopping district... took about 10 minutes... and picked up some essentials... acouple of bottles of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon for Slinkie, (4) 20oz cokes to go with Grumpy's Bacardi Gold... now how do you suppose that got in his cabin?... an alarm clock with a lighted face, a power strip... spent a total of 9000 Colones ($18.20). They passed alot of Joyeras, but it seems that most of the stuff was 10K gold and didn't look too appealing... besides Grumpy doesn't want Slinkie to get the impression she's going to get some baubles in every port... they've still got more tha 40 left to go...

 

The tour de jour was a bus ride South to a river that empties into the ocean. After a quick lunch and some Salsa music, they were on the boat and cruising up and down the river. They saw a few dozen crocodiles, some Iguanas, other varieties of lizards and dozens of bird varieties including Red Macaws, Boatbilled Blue Herons, Great Blue Herons, all sorts of Egrets and lots of others. All in all, it was pretty educational.

 

Entertainment has been pretty good. Tonight will be the first production by the stage show cast. Every night so far has been a different act, soloists, magician, comedian, violin virtuoso... no wonder ther are only 732 passengers and 5 70 staff and crew... there's a lot of entertainers taking up space.

 

GrannyPL, Sheri did get married... 4 days before the cruise... so she and her new husband are cruising.... ON SEPARATE SHIPS!... Dayum, that just aint, right, somehow!

 

Wowzo, RuthC summed up quite well why everything is staying in one thread. It would really eat up minutes to jump around from thread to thread and pick up posts that straggle in on one after another has been started, so please bear with us... or as we see in a lot of posts, bare with us... but we wont go there...

 

Marianne, Slinkie is looking forward to meeting you and comparing emeralds and ideas.. see you in Capetown.

 

Thanks everyone for the suggestions for things to see and do in NZ. We'll be working on that in a week or so.

 

Someone asked about planning and packing... planning before booking was less than 24 hours. Saw the brochure, checked out the various internet agencies for pricing, and booked it! Naw, Ol' Grumpy isn't impulsive.... Packing, well that involves going through the closet and picking out about 75% of whats there.. going shopping for more stuff... finding more luggage to hold it all... not difficult at all...

 

Well, time to get ready so Grumpy can show off the gorgeous Slinkie on the 2nd formal night... he's got his best pair of jeans ready to go....

 

Grumpy and Slinkie

 

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G & S-

Sorry to hear that the cybergods are plaguing you!:eek: Hope the new item of furniture will leave soon and that the plumbing will behave itself!:rolleyes: Where will you be next?? Margaritas for all I believe.:D

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I know Sheri was gettting married but I didn't know she and hubby were on different ships. What a bummer. Penny

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I sent a power strip and lighted alarm clock with our shipped luggage. Can you all think of anything else like this that I might have forgotten that we will need? Did they give you plenty of hangers? We have many, many clothes.

 

Looking forward to seeing you on the 31st.

 

Leslie & Handler

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Grumpy,

 

I am thrilled that Sheri got married though it is a shame she and her husband are separated. She is a lovely girl, very friendly and she is a great asset to HAL.

 

I can feel for you with your computer as mine packed up this week but thankfully it is fixed and working well again. My new ambition in life is to go on a World Cruise (thanks to you both for the idea) which I mentioned to my poor DH today who rolled his eyes as usual wondering what the next travel idea that was coming from my head. Perhaps within the next ten years we will manage to do one but certainly not on a P&0 ship. Those poor passengers having their cruise cancelled!

 

Jennie

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Hi Grumpy and Slinkie! I am really enjoying reading about your trip! Last weekend it was -40 F in northern Minnesota (I kid you not) and this weekend we are in the midst of a winter storm with 8" of snow to come. Needless to say, this lovely weather has made me all the more interested in following your cruise and wishing I was there! Have a great trip!

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I sent a power strip and lighted alarm clock with our shipped luggage. Can you all think of anything else like this that I might have forgotten that we will need? Did they give you plenty of hangers? We have many, many clothes.

 

Looking forward to seeing you on the 31st.

 

Leslie & Handler

 

Hi, Since the cabins have a 110 and 220 outlet, I take a European type plug adaptor with me to use the 220 outlet. Almost all modern battery chargers will automatically sense and switch between 110 and 220. I can plug my digital camera, computer or Video camera battery charger into the 220 no problem. My electric razor also does this. It's easy to check. Just look on the charger or device for the notation 110/220v (some say 110-120/220-240) or refer to the device's manual under current to see if yours will do this.

 

 

One other thing to consider, if the alarm clock is a plug in type and not battery you may occasionally have to reset the time as the ship's current often runs on the same voltage but different cycles than US current. Don't want to be too technical but this will cause your clock to run fast or slow, sometimes by quite a bit. The cycles of the current affect how fast the AC motor armature will spin thus making the clock run fast or slow. I have never been on the Prinzendam, but I have observed this phenomenon on other ships in the HAL inventory.

 

See you in LA,

Rod

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Grumpy1, Question below,

 

One other thing to consider, if the alarm clock is a plug in type and not battery you may occasionally have to reset the time as the ship's current often runs on the same voltage but different cycles than US current.

 

Do the cabins on Prinsendam have alarm clocks?

 

Thanks for the wonderful reports.

 

Ruffin

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Grunpy and Slinkie you have been lighting up my life, and that from a jaded New Yorker.

 

As I looked up from my keyboard I saw the snow begin to fall. We are going to be blessed with one or two feet. Do you want me to save some for you when you return in May?

 

Please check cabin ss052 for us and tell the current tenants to keep it clean for us when the Princendam calls on New York in May. If they leave any half empty/full wine or whiskey bottles in the cabin they will be appreciated.

 

We await your next post and I am guessing that this thread will set a record for length.

 

Continue to have favorable winds and calm seas.

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Oh poor Grumpy!!! There's something to be said for an old portable Underwood. Lots of folks won't get that;) .

 

Slinkie, good to hear from you! This diary is so much fun. So glad you're keeping one thread. Hope both your computers keep you going throughout your amazing journey.

 

Mostly, how I envy you NZ. My parents visited there twice and loved it so that had my Dad not gotten cancer they were going to move there. Someday, hopefully, we'll get there too.

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Greetings from Downunder Slinkie & Grumpy,

Reading the account of your World Tour with interest. Thankyou.

Can you say hello to our musician friend Larry (bald, 60+) who plays the flute and saxaphone in the Prinsendam Orchestra? Tell him we received his letter and are disappointed you are not coming to Brisbane, but enjoy Sydney on Feb 20th.

 

Sandra & Peter

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grumpy and Slinkie,

I am really enjoying your world cruise! Of course I could enjoy it even more if we were there too! Anyway, this is great fun until I can figure out how we could do it!

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Hi Slinkie & Grumpy,

just home from two nights in Sydney's Stamford Hotel at Circular Quay overlooking Sydney Harbour Bridge and the port where you will be docking. Even though our own home is only 15 minutes away we like to stay in town every few months. My DW comment was we should have stayed when the Prinsendam sails in on the 20th February.

So one way or the other we will there to see her come in and then set sail.

You will love our city and our Harbour is second to none and if you need some information on what you should do please e-mail me and hopefully I can give you some guidance.

Your log of your voyage is simply wonderful and hopefully you may be able to post some pictures soon.

Keep on sailing,

Cristiano. :)

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RuffinReady -- I don't recall any alarm clocks on the Prinsendam. We were in a verandah room, no clocks at all in the room. I just take an alarm clock that uses an AA battery. An electric alarm clock tends to run slow when plugged into the current used on the ship.

Marianne

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No alarm clock in the Prinsendam suites either. But they have an automated wake-up call service which worked well for us. You can set the time for one call only or specify it as daily. So you just have to set it once and it will call you every day at the same time. But of course you can change the time again or turn it off any time....

 

Marc

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RuffinReady -- I don't recall any alarm clocks on the Prinsendam. We were in a verandah room, no clocks at all in the room. I just take an alarm clock that uses an AA battery. An electric alarm clock tends to run slow when plugged into the current used on the ship.

Marianne

I do the same thing. I just returned from a Princess cruise last week, and I bought myself a cheap travel alarm that uses two AAA batteries. Worked fine for me and I didn't even bother with the automated wake-up service. I just used the travel alarm which goes off with a progressively more "urgent" tone until you shut it off. It never failed to wake me from the deepest sleep.

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

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Hi Slinkie and Grumpy,

 

We just finished packing for the luggage service today We packed everything including the kitchen sink!

Enjoy reading your posts! You have had quite a number of experiences already! Don't the bathrooms have drains in the floor?

Looking forward to meeting you guys!

 

Getting excited,

Bill and Mary Ann

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Prinsendam 2005, Jan 24

 

Well, Hello, gang... Grumpy and Slinkie are back again for an update... internet access has been spotty for the last few days... the computer is connected to the wireless hub with good strength, but then the login page won't open. This afternoon it's working better and Grumpy was able to get in long enough to read the messages that had accumulated, but then lost the connection when he tried to open another page and do his cut and paste. This update will rely on Grumpy's not too reliable memory for some of the comments and questions. One interesting thing is that everytime the Prinsendam is in port, another unencrypted wireless network shows up. Called Tsunami, it's apparently used to link the laptops with the card readers at the top of the gangway with the mainframe in the purser's office. It's surprising that the hub and cards would not be encrypted.

 

Anyway, your virtual tour guides are making their way up the western Mexican coast. After leaving Costa Rica, the next stop was the small town of Santa Cruz, Huatulco. Arrival was scheduled for 1p but the Prinsendam was at the dock just about noon. There were no other ships in port. Slinkie and Grumpy opted for a two hour catamaran cruise of five of the bays in the area. The area is pretty new to tourism and really wants to become a player in the game. There is quite a bit of construction going on, but they are trying to do things in a very controlled and eco- friendly manner. All sewage is treated and the reclaimed water is used for irrigation of the landscaping, which is a first for Mexico. There is some shopping right near the pier, so Slinkie found the day to be worthwhile. The prices seemed to be pretty high on some items, very cheap on others. Everything is negotiable, though. Slinkie ended up with a pair of gold dangling interlocked hoop earrings that Grumpy still thinks he paid a little too much for... but they're nice... and Slinkie's happy... so...

 

Slinkie and Grumpy skipped the dining room that evening, so they missed Dutch night. The fare in the Lido was pretty much the same, Dover Sole, and several other choices, but Grumpy was not feeling well and stayed with simple fare.

 

The next stop up the coast was Acapulco. The Celebrity Mercury was in port ahead of the Prinsendam. Both ships tied up at the dock. The Oceana Regatta came in right behind and anchored out. Slinkie and Grumpy are both fighting off nasty headcolds... they think courtesy of a table mate that was hacking away the first night at dinner, or another couple at the table that was there the first night and missed the next four because they were ill. Not knowing how well they would hold up to any strenuous tours, they opted for a walk around the port area. As usual, the cab drivers and guides were pretty agressive, but not like Cartagena. Prices in the back street shops were pretty reasonable. Jewelry was mostly 10k gold or Silver. Slinky didn't add to her collection. There was a Mexican barbecue on the Lido, and the ship was in port until midnight, so the dining room was very empty. Two tables for 8 each had a total of five for second seating at dinner. The infamous meatloaf was one of the features, but Slinky and Grumpy both decided to go with the crablegs instead.... Very good!! Oh, by the way, the ship was positioned just right in port so that the XM antenna on the balcony railing was receiving a good signal. So nice to hear Fox News instead of CNNI! The Prinsendam has been carrying all of the NFL playoff games, so we did get to see the Eagles soar and the Pats kick the crap out of Pittsburgh...

 

The stop today is Zihuatanejo... the first tender port. The Mercury was in port at anchor just ahead of Prinsendam. There are thousands of little shops within a half mile or so of the dock. Number one item on the shopping list was something similar to NyQuil. One of the many pharmacias had something close, so hopefully, the chest congestion that is setting in can be cleared up pretty quick. Tonight is the first of the theme nights. it is listed as Aztec Night, but the recommendation is informal, Aztec or Mexican dress. Slinkie found a skirt and blouse, she liked, Grumpy got a shirt with embroidered design, nothing fancy, but more appropriate than anything hanging in the closet. Slinkie has been looking for a nice polished Abalone shell and found one she liked in a shell shop close to the pier.

 

There have been a few comments here on the board about the wakeup call service on the telephone system on board. Very nice, except when someone forgets to adjust for a time zone change. The first change was just after leaving Panama, so there was ample opportunity to adjust the system before Costa Rica. There were tours scheduled as early as 7:15a, so a lot of people set wakeup calls for 5:30. 42 cabins got wakeup calls at 4:30a because the system was still running on EST! Can't beat you own alarm clock.

 

Earlier this afternoon, all elevators were out of service.There were quite a few people with a long walk up the stairs from deck 4, which is the tender deck. The only other persistant problem seems to be the two sliding doors from the Lido to the aft deck. Quite often only one is working, sometimes neither one and they prop them open.

 

WCB, I'm glad someone thought to include the kitchen sink... everyone always says they brought everything except... should make a nice conversation piece...

 

Floor drains in a bathroom... now that would seem to be a good idea... no, there are none...

 

CruisinTexans, there are lots of hangers. We brought quite a few, just in case, but we've got lots of extras.

 

PA Dutchman, they have the Euro/US plug adapter for sale in the onboard shop for about $7. I picked one up for the plug by the entertainment center. There are outlets in the bathrooms that accept either style plug and a switch above to select 110/220V. The plug by the desk/makeup vanity is 110v only.

 

lilipop, I'll bet you wish you were in 052 on the Prinsendam now instead of in the NY snow...

 

Sandydownunder, we've noted that your friend Larry is quite talented, switching between flute, clarinet and saxophone. We've been impressed with the versatility of the Prinsendam orchestra.

 

Yes, Heather, the old Underwoods were probably more reliable than these plastic keyboards, but I'm scratchin' my noggin trying to figure out how to interface one to the internet... actually, I never owned an Underwood, but did have a real nice Smith-Corona portable that I got in a pawn shop for $20 in 1960.

 

We're headed on up the coast to Manzanillo now. time to post and run.

 

Slinkie and Grumpy

 

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Keep remembering that old rule of thumb:

When Slinkie's happy, Grumpy's happy. (Or at least stands a fighting chance. ;) )

 

Thanks for keeping in touch.

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Can you give a brief review of the catamaran excursion in Huatalco? We are considering it on our spring Repo cruise.

 

Really enjoying your trip. Hope you can shed that cold quickly and be back to your usual selves shortly.

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Grumpy, that would be the only drawback with an Underwood or a Smith Corona:D . You could write a diary, but we wouldn't see it until June!!!;)

 

So sorry you both got sick right off the bat! What a nuisance! You should have brought Airbourne or Zicam with you to ward it off. Maybe next time. In my younger days I used to swear getting smashed on a really fine Scotch would nip a cold in the bud. The doctor used to tell me to gargle it, but I thought that was a waste of good whiskey.

I continue to love reading your posts. I love the way you write and I honestly do feel that I'm tagging along in some small way.

Feel better soon so you can really enjoy!

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