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You are quite welcome. As I get updates, I will relay them here. I hope he has gotten some rest in the past few days. He deserves it.

 

JUst checked in hoping there would be an update!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think a lot of us are

standing by on pins and needles to read a report from this amazing man and his magical adventure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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JUst checked in hoping there would be an update!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think a lot of us are

standing by on pins and needles to read a report from this amazing man and his magical adventure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All I got was a page of jokes today so apparently he is still on the ship and in good spirits. Will not forget to post if anything "substantial" is sent to me. :) I leave on Sunday for 7 days so maybe when I come back there will be something new to add.

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:)Poesia Log # 2 October 11/12, 2010 at sea from Sydney, NS to Bar Harbor, Maine

 

There are more than 300 people on board from France and the ship is fully booked for this particular leg from NY to Quebec and several US and Canadian ports in between. The average age I see seems to be around 50. I am somewhat of a celebrity on board as far as the senior employees are concerned and am surprised that so many of them greet me as if they know me. Stefano, the concierge, took me into his office and we had a long talk about everything from the possibility of changing cabin to his life (in New York's large Italian community) to parts of mine; I talk Italian, or try to, to all the senior employees who are Italian and talk to me in their mother tongue , which taxes my rusty ability to speak the language in which I once was fluid, because as a very young man, I lived and worked in Italy for a few years. All service personel is Indonesian.

 

The ship is simply gorgeous and really difficult to describe. This morning i had breakfast in the cafeteria which is on Deck # 13, high above he water and has floor to ceiling windows which give a wonderful feeling of almst flying over the vast expanse of water over which we sail at the moment. This is a breakfast buffet with a tremendous choice but I am n ot a "breakfast type"and only have juice, coffee and a roll. Now I am sitting in the card room to write this and hope that tomorrow in , Bar Harbor, ME I'll be able to send it.

 

I have been to the fabulous theater twice to see excellent productions, the first a group of dancers, jugglers and acrobats, last night an excellent medley from Broadway shows (like Cats, West Side Story, Phantom of the opera etc), presented by voices and dancers of superb quality. The theatre itself is enormous and just beautiful and could be anywhere in a city like New York. It has a very large stage, fantastic light and special effects as well as acoustics, has two balconies (on two decks) and seats maybe 1000 people. There are two shows every evening, so far different every day, but I imagine there will be repeats as time goes on. In the Rendez Vous area (where also Reception and Accounting counters are) a trio, piano, violin and cello plays beautiful semi-classical music and this whole area can also be viewed from several decks above - it's open. How much I wanted to take a video when I was standing at the railing two decks above looking down on the atrium, the completely open grand piano, the violinist and cellist, all the people around down there, and at the railings one deck below me - so impressive, but alas! my camera is broken - it has a cracked screen and I am desolate about that. On deck 7 is the Pigalle Lounge, where I sat down and played the piano a bit the night before and got to know some nice Americans who liked and knew the songs I played. But yesterday I got to know Angelica, who plays there, she is from Naples, and a conservatory trained high class musician whom I very much enjoyed to listen to and also to meet. But I also learned that my playing there at that time was a on-no, not only because I did it in a 15-minute recess of her stint, but also because this particular piano is reserved only for her.

 

In the Palladio restaurant, where I eat in the evenings, I have been assigned a table for two, but so far am always alone, which I really don't like. However, I've gotten to know the Maitre d' and his sidekick Ugo and something will be done, with either finding me "une bella signorina" or putting me at a table with English speaking people. I have had some interesting and for me new Italian dishes and so far find the food excellent. However, I try to resist most culinary temptations so as to survive without becoming a blimp! By the way, since I am a "Black Card" member of the mSC Club, one of the perks is a fresh fruit bowl in my cabin, which is wonderful.

 

It is not easy to connect with any of the 3000 fellow travelers, and even if it does happen, it's of an only transient nature since most are only on a 7 or maybe 14 day cruise. So, being alone is not very nice.

 

It'll take time to adjust to this new life.

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Bar Harbor, Maine October 13, 2010

 

Everyone has to go through US Immigration. It begins at 7.30 in the huge theatre aa long timend, while well organized, takes a long time, in my case over an hour, but then I had been given a low ticket number, also for the tender - until all 3000 people of many nationalities were processed, more than 2 hours passed. Actually, all was pretty well organized: on the stage where 10 tables, each staffed by 2 customs officers. Then there was more

waiting time until finally my number for one of the tenders (a motor boat for 124 people) was called and after negotiating steep stairs I finally boarded as one of the last passengers. It was a gorgeous day and the 10 minute trip to shore very nice; looking back at the magnificent Poesia at anchor in the morning sunshine, I cursed my bad luck with the camera but also thanked my lucky stars to be alive and able to enjoy it. Mor stairs and steep ramps and I realise that I must make changes to my locomotion - I really have a tough time. In the harbor many boats, a large whale watcher and tour boats; at the pier many tour buses wait to take on passengers which booked on board.

The town has a permanent population of about 4000, which swells considerably in Summer. I walk Main street uphill and find a little park on top with benches, sit and try for internet access but cannot see anything on my screen because ythere is too much light. I ask and am directed to the "Opera Cafe" which has internet; up one more block, turn right, another block - I am exhausted. They charge US$ 5 per hour in half hour increments and I get to send my emails which I previously had prepared and then get in eBay to look for a replacement for my camera - I want the same. I think I found one eventually, used but in good shape, but don't have the itinerary handy to know where it should be sent if I buy it, and anyway, my self imposed maximum of one hour is up, so I'll leave it for tomorrow when we are in Boston. Who knows, I may even find one right there. Back on the tender which is empty since it just dumped a load of humanity, for a lark I try for internet while sitting there waiting and discover free access courtesy of the town of Bar Harbor, which ena bles me to send a reply to my dear friend and former landlady Sally whose message to me I just received. And at this point I lost everything I had written - this is the second version. Now I save, SAVE, SAVE!! I am sitting in one of the comfortable cocktail lounges writing this; you don't HAVE to buy a drink and I'll be damned to do just that at US$ 6.90+15% per shot - it's OK for those on a holiday. For me, the smuggled booze in "Rum Runner" containers and 3 bottles of Ginger Ale, all gotten aboard without trouble. In my room I get an icebucket every day; drinking alone like that, like eating alone, isn't really my thing, so I take my full glass down to the magnificent Atrium and listen to the music.

 

I see it's five p.m. Time to go. It's Happy Hour - well, it's time for a drink.

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Boston, Mass., October 14, 2011

After disembarking, I first stayed in the Terminal Building and eventually connected to a WiFi signal which allowed me to send my emails but was sporadic and weak. So I decided to go into the city and look for a camera to replace my broken one. On board they offered a shuttle bus to the center of the city for $ 15; however, I by asking, found a city bus service right there which took me to the center for $ 2. Then it meant walking quite a lot to find likely stores and was surprised that the large Macy's Store did not carry cameras. Eventually i found a Radio Shack which had quite a selection from $ 70 up, but all are plastic packaged and not really accessible for inspection ao I gave up. Besides, I really would prefer to again get a Pentax, which they didn't have. I wound up right in the center in a park where I sat in the sun on a welcome bench, and at 12 noon listened to the carillon of the church playing several hymns. I was pretty weary at this time from all the walking and decided to wend mhy way back to the ship. Right there there was a subway station, which (after a lengthy research down below, where several lines converged) took me back to "South Station" for $2 where I knew (after again considerable asking around), that I would be able to get the bus back to the Cruise Terminal. Got "home" after 2 pm and decided to just eat a pear and an orange I had left from the fruit bowl in my cabin (a perk for being a MSC Black Card Club Member) instead of going for lunch. Found new instructions covering not only US Immigration check (again?) when disembarking in New York, but the immigration formalities for going back up to Canada ... I am not looking forward to having to go through all that twice more (after that, we stay South of Fort Lauderdale, FL). I also found an invitation to the Captain's Cocktail party at 7.30 pm, given to "Repeaters, VIP & Tour Leaders". Big deal. I am in the first group. Tonight is my second "Gala night" for Dinner which means you have to dress up (as opposed to "Casual" and "Informal" dinners on other days: from pants and shirts to jackets and ties to tuxedo - I didn't see one of those at the first gala dinner and felt somewhat out of place in my cocktail suit, especially sitting there alone at the table for two like a peaco ck trying to attract a female! (you can see me in it on the pic I attach, taken on the "Amsterdam" during the Panama Canal cruise over last Xmas/New Years, with Cathy, my befriended cabin sharer and landlady in Desert Hot Springs, CA with whom, since considerably taller than I, dancing was less "Cheek to Cheek" than "Cheek to Boob"-- an added perk .. but I digress..) However, I'll wear it again tonight, no doubt the captain wll be impressed -:).

 

(later) Big, deal! One got two glasses of Champagne, but I saw several of the about 150 people finaigle a third. There were small dishes with chips and Pretzels. I chose to sit with a couple who turned out to be German and was then joined by another - since I talked their language, we got along famously and I got to sit between Siegrid, a blonde and quite pretty fourti-ish who cdrank fast and chattered even faster; she was there with her much older seeming husband (?); on my other side a nice lady of more advanced age. Anyway, we had a few good laughs and they took Photos of all of us which they'll send to me and you'll get to see them eventually. And then the big moment of the Captain's entrance; he made a small speech, mostly extolling MSC's achievements in the past years - it's the fastest growing cruise line of all, from 3 to 11 beautiful ships in a few years and next year 2 more even larger ships will be added with accomodation for between 4 and 5 thousand passengers. Not for me, even these 3000 are too much for my taste.

 

After this epic event, a very good Dinner (Gala night!) and I had Lobster which went well with my Cocktail Suit, but still was alone on my table. Talked with the Maitre d' about that and he'll put me at a table for 8 on the next trip (from NY North to Quebec). Then I went to check out the various venues and it seemed to me as if I walked from one nightclub to another - that's the atmosphere in the evening. Finally I would up sitting in der Bar where Angelica plays and listened to her - she is quite a remarkable musician. To bed about 11 - I'm bushed.

 

Good night, Buona notte, Bonne nuit, Gute Nacht!

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Sigh.........

I just wish I could be his tablemate for dinner!

 

Yellowbird, thank you for the updates.

Saddens me that he is eating alone as well, but maybe that is what he wants. He is getting a powerchair when he gets to Key West so that he can get around a little bit better without tiring so quickly.

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# 7 Charlottetown, PEI, Wed., October 20, 2010

 

I have been sitting in their large Port building, where of course there are many stands selling things, including

discounted clothing. There is free WiFi, but difficult to get onto and have it stay with you. The Main attraction is a stage on which in the morning a young girl played the violin to a guitar accompaniment by a man and she was

really quite good. But now, in the afternoon and already for over an hour, there are three little girls, maybe 12 years old, tapdancing to anything from Celtic dances to Jazz and even one German Folksong and these kids are really amazing, obviously from a dance school and their interpretations, moves and technique is quite amazing.

It's a beautiful day, but again with an icy and biting wind and I figure that next hyear, when we will be back here before I disembark in October, I'll visit the town, reputed for its art venues; today I have too much to do on line which is so awfully slow, to find the best solution for the delivery of the camera which will get to Newport. I am trying to redirect delivery to the visitor Center, or, if that fails, to the local UPS Store which will charge $8 to receive it. Nothing comes easily. At 5 I'll play in the Pigalle Lounge for quite a few people.

At the Dinner table. Monica and Rudi are again missing - I guess they decided to eat in the cafeteria or maybe one of the specialty restaurants which charge an extra amount (the Sushi Bar Menu starts at $ 25). I look and listen at various lounges, all full of people and wind up again with Angelica who is, next to the classical trio at times playing in the Atrium, by far the better musician than any of the ones in the other bars whom I consider mediocre. In my abin I not onloy find an invitation to another Captain's Cocktail party but also a letter from the cruise director asking me whether I would not please take part in the "Mega Talent show tomorrow. Cheap entertainment for MSC! I'll think about it.

Edited by yellowbird23
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At Sea, Thurs. October 21, 2010

Breakfast in the cafeteria on the 13th deck and it's the most desireable place I can think of because of the huge glass panes all around. Seas are calm, the sun comes through now and then, I have a granola cereal (one of a dozen choices including freshly made Müsli), with a plain yogourt and milk, later, coffee, a brioche with butter and orange marmelade. The breakfast offerings are enormous, anything you coulld think of is there and I reget not to be able to eat a big breakfast like most of the people here do from what I see on their heaped plates.

There's "busy" day ahead: at 10am, Scrabble, 2 pm rehearsal for the Talent show (yes, I decided to put in my 10 cents worth), 6.30 Show in the Theater, 7.3o pm my second captain's cocktail party, 8.15 Gala Dinner and 10pm, the talent show. Now it's after 4, I'll shower and put on the duds and have a drink from my seceret stash.

We are at the moment still over 150 nautical miles from Quebec and it was also announced that there are 44 nationalities on bord.

(later) The rehearsals were somewhat chaotic and the sound level much too high for my (and other's) liking;

of course there were many other passengers present also in the large beautiful lounge, at the very stern of the ship with large picture windows in the back. There are mainy female singers, one of which is quite good, but also Bob, whom I accompany as he sings "the nearness of you" has a good and strong voice.

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#8 Quebec, October 22/23, 2010

 

The show at the theater once again was excellent and I marvel at the orchestration and beautiful costumes as well as fantastic stage effects - apart from the performers, which were a dance group interspaced with very impressive athletic numbers, elegantly and artistically presented. The Gala Dinner was outstanding, but I don't want to make you too jealous by telling you who delicious the lamb chops where ...

 

The Talent show last night was a huge success. They have what they call an "Animation Team" and they

sure do "animate"! The large Pigalle Lounge was filled with hundreds of people. The "Talents" were of course of various caliber, but one lady stood out with "New York New York" which she belted out with much gusto and quite a good voice. I came on second, played "I get a kick out of you" and got roaring applause, was presented with a medal around my neck, a certificate and a lapel pin; then I accompanied Bob who sang "The nearness of you"

with a pretty good and strong voice. I got to close the show and played "After the lovin'" with people whooping and hollering in applause (I guess nobody felt any pain at this time of 11pm), but when I left the Lounge, many came up to me with compliments which of course was a nice feeling.

 

Now, for the last time until next October, we are in Quebec and I am triply blessed: Sitting on the 13th deck which is surrounded by floor to ceiling windows, I overlook la vieux cite under a somewhat cloudy sky but occasional'sunbursts, there's only one other person in the area aft of the ship where I am and for once it is relatively peacefull and quiet - a rarity on this ship with over 3000 people! But thirdly, I discovered WiFi from up here, which allows me to send this to you and get your messages as well! Whoopee!

Tomorrow, we'll head South to Fort Lauterdale, via Sidney, Newport RI, Boston and New York and after that it's South into the warm climates of the Bahamas which I look forward to, because until now it was of course muich too cold to swim in the open pools.

 

'til next time .... my love to all of you! Egon

 

 

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I am really glad to have found this thread. I read Egons original posting of his year long adventure when he first posted it but hadn't seen anything since. He is amazing. I too wish I could be there to talk to him at dinner!

I remember on one of my past cruises, a gentleman passenger played excellent piano during dinner. He was elderly and everyone applauded quite loudly. But he deserved it!:D

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  • 2 weeks later...

#10 Still en route to Fort Lauterdale (Oct 28-Nov 1, 2010)

 

Yesterday I forgot to mention that in Boston the majestic Queen Mary 2 was parked right in front of us!

Also, I had lunch, (that is just a bowl of soup) in the Cafeteria which is always full of people, and found a table with free chairs - there was a young couple sitting there already, which turned out to be from "my town", Berne, Switzerland! What a coincidence! I am sure they are the only Swiss on board.

I received an email from another group ex CruiseCritic.com, who will join the ship in New York and Fort Lauterdale - a meeting of all (some 15 persons but may become more) has been arranged in one of the bars.

And now we are at Newport RI and came here through thick fog and are so fog-bound that all shore excursions have been canceled and it is questionable that there will be any tendering to shore (we are anchored outside). The fog horn has been blaring and if you are outside on one of the high decks, it almost knocks you over. It's now almost 1.30pm and we depart again at 6 pm - whether I will ever get to receive my camera, now at the Post Office here, is a question on my mind ... if I don't get to shore, I'll have to phone the PO and see what can be done.

Nw York, Oct 29, 2010

Just my luck. Tendering was abandoned due to the fog and I was unable to phone the PO with my cell phone. Asked what it would cost to use the ship's facility to call, but at $ 6/minute, gave up. So now I am in a blistering and cold New York, walked to the nearest Cafe where they don't have WiFi and still have to find a pay phone so that I can call and find out what options I have. Probably they would (for postage) send it on to Fort Lauterdale, but whether this will arrive in time for Nov.1, when we are there, is doubtful.

Another Captain's cocktail party, followed by a Gala Dinner , with lobster and baked Alaska which was brought in with great pomp and a grandiose and well known operatic march in a flaming parade. In the Pigalle Lounge there is (already since Quebec) a very good Big Band. And speaking of playing, I did again in the Atrium for an hour in the afternoon.

(later) I went out to find Wifi but was unsuccessful. The nearest Starbucks is at Times Square, much too far

to walk for me - I already did a lot this morning along the walkway in front of the pier building; next to the walkway is a bike and jogging route and you encounter both; beyond that an neverending stream of traffic. And it's cold and windy - I stop at a small restaurant for a coffee (again hopeful to have WiFi but no luck). Then I find a payphone, phone the PO in Newport: options are to forward the package to Fort Lauterdale at an additional +/- $ 5, (would have made it over $ 25 for shipping!!) or return it to sender, i.e. UPS, who will return it. I opt for the latter and had been in touch already with the company who sold me the camera; they'll advise me when they have it and reship it, this time by USPS to a PO probably in Key West, where I hope to finally get it November 28. What an unfortunate chain of events! Hope that at least the purchase proves to be OK!!

On my return to the ship I see an ambulance loaded with another poor guy (still moving though!) - this is the second time I witness such an event - no wonder with so many old people on the ship. Hope I do not have to join this brigade anytime soon.

Unable to get a useable WiFi signal anywhere, even outside, on top of the ship, or anywhere on shore where I went this morning. Too bad. You all will have to wait until we are in Fort Lauterdale in 2 days.

Meantime, I'll knuckle down and write the report in German. A bit of a chore.

October 30: At Sea. In the late afternoon I play again in the Atrium. Later, a trio consisting of a mandolin, a guitar and a young lady with cimbals who sways to the music plays Napolitan songs - occasionally a melody which I recognize. They are really very good, especially the mandolin player. At other times, there is a semi-classical trio of excellence: piano, violin and cello and they are really professional and very enjoyable.

 

Another day at sea, October 31, 2010

 

I didn't realize that from New York it would take two days and nights to Fort Lauterdale, but that's what it is. Last evening, while I was sitting in the Lounge listening to Angelica, a man came and asked if I was Egon- he's a friend of Fran and Ann, whom I haven't met but who tried to find me - they are some of my "acquaintances" on CruiseCritic.com who will be joined by a much larger group in Fort Lauterdale and there actually will be a gettogether in one of the bars on Nov. 2. I expect that Fran will contact me today sometime.

 

Meantime, let me describe my cabin to you - one of these days I'l' hopefully be able to send some pics when I finally tracked down my "new" camera! First of all, "cabin" is an apt description, as opposed to "stateroom" on other cruiselines. It's only 152 sq.ft (vs. 192 sq.ft. on Holland America Line), but big enough for 2 persons, at least for short stays. It has twin beds and in my case another bed which can be

pulled down from the wall on one side; there are other interior cabins, that actually have another one of these over the other bed - I certainly could see such a scenario only for parents with two klids. The nighttables have lamps and three drawers each and I have used space underneath one bed to store one of my pieces of luggage. There is a small desk, no doubt intended also as a vanity; it has two drawers and two outlets each for 110 and 220V. To the right underneath, there is a square hassock to be used as a seat; next to it I placed my large piece of luggage, with a smaller one inside; it projects outwards somewhat but also serves as a place to put things on. There are lots of mirrors, which make the place less claustrophobic: above the beds over the width of the room, over the desk and a full length one opposite on one of the bathroom walls. To the left of this is the flat screen TV with several channels devoted to MSC's virtues, 2 CNN's (one in Spanish), several others showing vintage films, sports and entertainment news - really nothing to shout about. There is also an interactive channel which let's you view anything from daily programs to your account. No radio. In the cupboard underneath is the fridge, stocked with booze and sodas -all for sale at phantasy prices - and of course they are out of luck in this respect since I'm not buying - but I am blessed by having my own soda in there and have arranged with my room steward, Noa, to fill the supplied ice bucket in the morning and put it in there - it stays well frozen all day until I use it in the evening and also supplies drinking water, which otherwise I would have to buy - there are 2 bottles of it standing next to the TV.

Opposite the bathroom entry are cupboards - the right one with 6 drawers, above them the compartment with the safe (which is temperamental and needs to be coaxed to open or close when asked). Above that another compartment which I now can use but which originally housed extra pillows. Next are two cupboards for hanging clothes with lots of hangers and space underneath.

The bathroom is the best of the accommodation with excellent LED lighting (as also over the desk), lots of towels (which are replaced even twice a day if used), excellent and abundant soft water all the time and always hot if needed, soap dispensers at the sink and in the shower which also has a shampoo dispenser.

I have been given the use of a white bathrobe and slippers (as a MSC Club member, but at HAL these were given to all).

As I said before, since I have a year's worth of clothing and "stuff", available storage space is pretty much used up and I therefore can hardly encourage anyone to share my cabin, unless she's willing to snuggle up!

By the way, I met Fran (a character) and her friend Ann - they just passed by my cabin on the way to somewhere.

 

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Last night was Hallo'een with some people dressing up and there was a party of sorts going on in the Zebra Lounge which always is a hub of activity and terribly noisy. However, the Big Band of Les Demerle made an appearance in the Theater and that was much more enjoyable, even though they don't quite measure up to the famous name bands. The evening before was the election of "Miss Poesia", with mostly older women willing to make fools of themselves as they had to perform some silly tasks, greatly goaded on by the "animation team" and people reacting dutifully to their shouts of "Applause!". Not my idea of fun.

Today once again a day of organized chaos, and at times bedlam, as hundreds of people leave, hundreds embark, and in between hundreds go ashore and later come back. After trying unsuccessfully to get a WiFi signal on the open upper deck, I go into the terminal building and am rewarded, but have to work the laptop on my lap (hence the name?) which is inefficient and uncomfortable. However, I am able to receive and reply to several emails and send out my reports.

I do a lot of people watching and have come to the conclusion that by and large humanity is nothing to shout about. It appears that the vast majority of people on board are over 60, many considerably older and many grossly overweight. I've seen about 10 men so far with their damn baseball caps on, even in the restaurants, which sure detracts from the elegance of the place and I think to myself that since here is a dress code for restaurant attire, even though not enforced, his should not be tolerated. There is a sprinkling of yuppies with small children (which travel for free), and very few young people.

On Deck 6 is a sort of shopping mall, selling attire, fancy jewellry, watches and souvenirs, also a duty free shop selling smokes and liquor (which however will only be given to the purchasers when they disembark). There's a large photo gallery doing a huge business selling hundreds of photos taken all the time and everywhere, in restaurants, lounges, at the pools, embarking, disembarking, with the captain or ship's officers - no opportunity seems to be missed. Prices start at $ 9.95. Drumming up business is writen big on this ship.

Another bottle of Moet Champagne and a plate of chocolate covered strtawberries are in my room at 4pm. I have it brought down to my table in the restaurant at 8, where of course, all my previous tablemates have left and only one new man, Tony, a State Trooper on a 14 day holiday and a nice guy is there.

We drink most of the Champagne together, the strawberries I distribute to happy people at two tables next to us. Tomorrow I'll once more talk to Stefano about this crazy situation, but since he is only liaison and obviously has no executive powers, I will have to try to get to someone higher up in this organisation.

Looking out the big window of the lounge where I am sitting, the sea looks very wild, but he ship, of course equipped with stabilizers, is remarkably steady as it travels at around 19 knots, now along the island of Cuba, which however we cannot see until later.

Had my first swim in one of the pools at 6pm - all alone, whereas in the afternoon the place was teeming with people. However, it actually started to rain and so I only did 3 laps and am now back in my cubbyhole and listen to the CNN election coverage. I also had a shower and will now dress up again for the Gala Dinner, but for whom?

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Dear friends, I find no record that # 12 was actually sent, so I do it and if you already had it, just delete!

 

# 12 Still going South! (Nov. 3)

 

I want you to know that it's a labor of love, this writing and sending of reports, especially the latter, because internet access is not always easy to come by - case in point this morning (I'm still in Cozumel, Mexico), where I had to walk in searing heat about 1 KM. At this little cafe I gratefully had a cool Corona beer, but it took me all of 20 minutes to send off the report to Group # 1, because some little flaw in one or more of the email addresses prevented the sending. I finally found the cuprits: a dot (.) was missing in one, and the > in another had a space between it and the last letter of the address - talking of being fussy! But it's most frustrating and hard to find these little buggers, especially since I only have one useable eye.

Eventually I literally dragged myself back to the ship and as I walked along the narrow pier with the "Poesia" on one side of it and a Royal Caribbean behemoth on the other, it felt like walking in New York between the sky scrapers. Oh how I regretted not having my camera!

At Lunch in the cafeteria on deck 13 I see lots of yachts and small boats flitting around in the astonishingly blue water and in the distance along the shore another pier with two more cruise ships - this makes now 6 in all and if you consider that each one carries 3000 or so passengers, you can imagine what a boon this must be for the town and the many shops catering to the tourists. Many people go on tours -dozens of different ones are offered, others just take taxis into the center of town, some kilometers away from the piers. It's too strenuous for me.

Last night at 10 was a huge "Carnival-Party" in the Zebra Lounge, the hub of activity on this ship, and it was a real circus, with at least 500 people in the large room; all couches and seats taken and hundreds of humanity milling around, most of them clapping and moving to the beat which was accompanying the at times discernable music. By no means just young people, as a matter of fact, most over 50; in the crowd I even saw one in an electric scooter, but also a young woman with a maybe 6month old in her arms, and I also saw several young kids. As is the energy in the place was not already high enough it was spiked when about 40 women appeared, made up with paint, fancy hats and crepe costumes (all previously prepared by the ever active anomation team); they formed a conga line, to which dozens of people added themselves, and they snaked through the crowds whooping and hollering, accompanied by the din of beats and clapping of hundreds of hands- it's hard to describe and for me, as for others, not tolerable for any length of time. But an Experience! Anyway, I fled to the calming atomsphere of the Grappolo-Lounge and Angelica's music.

 

# 13 Puerto Limon, Porto Rico, November 5, 2010

 

It had rained here and it was overcast, an oppressive 90% humidity gave the temperature a real tropical feel. Again the walk from the midship exit along the pier to the Reception Bulding was a long one; inside the building dozens of Stands selling anything from partly very pretty souvenirs to Columbian coffee;

no internet there for me, so on into what looks a pretty dilapidated place - on the daily flier which we receive in the cabin they say that it is because of many earthquakes suffered and little money available for reconstruction and repair.

Anyway it's an impoverished impression I get. Past more shops, with their owners outside trying to lure me inside. There's no internet cafe, but an internet station on the second floor of a building which I have to climb up to because there is no elevator. Bu for $4/hr I am able to send my previously prepared reports, read 7 and answer 4 emails; climb down the steep stairs one by one, only to discover on the street that I had forgotten my jacket upstairs - so once again with feeling and some expletives, up and down once more I go.

Back in the cabin at last, was I ever glad to be able to lie on my bed!

After lunch (I had pea soup and a small cheese patty& milk), I had a date with a guy to play a return game of Scrabble the first of which he had lost and it was

only too obvious what that had done to his ego. However, he lost again quite substantially, because, though 30 younger, he is a "lazy thinker", but actually not uneducated. He left, with his tail between his legs (coming to think of it: where else?) and wants another try soon. I told him that on my Panama Canal cruise last Dec/Jan, I became known as the "Scrabble Shark" and I hope this made him feel better.

Then I saw that the pool was empty, changed, went up and did 5 laps (a 30' pool with beautiful seawater; at the end of the pool a waterfall empties into it - very

pretty indeed and I am looking forward to sending pictures once I get this elusive camera !) There are a number of large and small Jacuzzis (Hot Tubs) which are very popular and people sit in them for hours, drink in hand and visiting. It's not for me and looking at some of these guys, swimming exercise would be more beneficial to them. However

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks so much Pat for keeping us up-to-date. I've been wondering if he is OK too. I wish I were able to book a couple weeks in the Caribbean and enjoy conversations with him at dinner. He is such a fascinating person, I would love to hear him play the piano.

 

Sue

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I love reading this thread. I check it every night to see if there is any new posts about Egon. It's kinda like reading pages from a book every night :) If he wrote a book about his travels, I would buy it! I found an article about him through google search... http://www.osoyoostimes.com/news/2010/09/28/one-man-one-ship-one-year/

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