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Circumnavigate The Globe in 123 days with Bill & Mary Ann - 2011 World Cruise

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I loved Lima when I was there and took the very same tour. It remains my all time favorite tour. Thanks for bringing the memories back for me. I'm really enjoying your thread and look for it everyday.

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Bill and Mary Ann

This is so much better than any television show

or internet trip review. You help in more than just

dreaming of traveling to actually going on dream trip.

Thank You for helping me and others.

Great journey for you both.

Scott

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Hi Bill and Mary Ann,

 

Enjoy you sea days as you head off into the middle of the Pacific Ocean to Easter Island

 

16amsterdam.jpg

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Loving reading this as I have never cruised with HAL. I am curious? The welcome champagne and the visit by officers to your table for dinner, is this the norm for all cruises on HAL or is it just because it is a world cruise? Keep it coming please Yvonne:)

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Bill and Mary Ann, once again I'm very envious of the two of you on this world cruise. Maybe one of these days I'll get a chance to see all the places you write about. Until then this is amost as good as being there. Thanks.

 

Hi Bill and Mary Ann,

 

Enjoy you sea days as you head off into the middle of the Pacific Ocean to Easter Island

 

16amsterdam.jpg

 

David,

Once again you're posting those great pictures to show where the are, Thank You. They sure make it easier to follow them on their cruise.

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Report # 13 January 15, 2011 Saturday Lima, Peru Day 2

 

Once again, we took the transport to Miraflores, but this time, we hopped into the Stern's shuttle wth Barb, Pat, and Judi. The bus driver was waiting until the coach was full before it left, and that could be 45 minutes. And besides, the smaller vans were allowed to take residential streets to get there quicker.

 

We did pass through Stern's small shop at the Marriot Hotel, were served a small pisco sour, and then given the complimentary Stern's charm for a bracelet. Scanning their displays, we exited the side door. That was it....easy.

 

Wanting to see more of the Indian Market, we retraced our steps from yesterday, just going a little further. The items being sold were very much the same as what we saw yesterday, with the exception of the olive bowls, which were in more abundance here. We found one that was in the shape of an apple, with a smaller attached bowl for dressing. With a little bargaining, we got a good deal. It was strange that the market was not crowded as we remembered it from the 2007 world cruise. But if HAL does not provide a shuttle to here, most passengers will not pay for a taxi or hike like we did.

 

Walking back to the Marriot, we crossed the highway to see the hillside mall, the Larco Mar Shopping Center. This upscale terraced outdoor mall was just in the early stages of construction when we visited in 2003. Now the hillsides are full of boutiques, bars, and restaurants. Chilis was here, so we enjoyed a lunch of salads and sodas. After an hour's rest, we went back to the Stern's shuttle for a swift ride back to the pier. Because it was Saturday, the dump trucks that were busily working on the seaside park yesterday were not here today. Traffic was much lighter, thank goodness.

 

At 7pm, there was a folkloric show in the Queens Lounge. But since we have seen it more than once, we opted to go to the Crows Nest, where happy hour had been advertised. This was a first for us on a world cruise..........2 for 1 drinks from 7 - 8pm. We just had to be there to believe it. Sure enough, the room filled quickly at 7pm with folks here checking it out just like us. Yes, maybe our suggestions are finally being read from previous grand voyages!

 

Bill was told a very interesting story from a nice couple that joined us at the bar. Apparently, this couple took the bus to Miraflores, but decided to walk to historical downtown Lima. Wow, looking at a map, they thought it wasn't that far away. Duh, we're talking miles here. Anyway, after a 2 1/2 stroll, they reached the area, explored it, and looked for a taxi to take them back to the pier. We had been told by the staff that a cab should cost $10. from that part of town. The first cab driver wanted $30.....they turned him down. The next one, $20. No, they tried again and found a driver for $10. Wellllll, this guy drove them to a deserted area, stopped the cab, and demanded an extra $10. to take them back to the ship. Oh boy, what are you going to do? Feeling threatened, the fellow said OK, we will pay. Now here comes the good part. Once back at the pier gate, where many armed police hang out, the man gave the taxi guy a ripped $20 bill. They don't like ripped money, saying he would not be able to use it. With that, the passenger counted out 10 one dollar bills, handed the wad to the greedy driver, and exited behind the gates. They could hear the taxi driver screaming all the way back to the gangplank. Good for them. Live and learn!

 

We were warned in the daily newsletter about con artists and pick pockets in many large cities in the world. Purses and backpacks are easy items to lift. Here was a good suggestion for the fellows. If you must carry a wallet in your pants pocket, wrap a rubber band around it, making it difficult to get it out of the pocket. Another tip is to use zippered pockets. And here is another humorous story as told by our tablemate, Wayne. He discovered a never used zippered pocket in his new cargo pants. Ahah, a perfect spot for a credit card and room key. His problem arose when he went to pay for lunch and could not upzip the pocket! It was stuck permanently. With quick thinking, he borrowed scissors from someone, and while in the mens bathroom, cut the inside pouch of the pocket to get his cards. Who would think to try these things out ahead of time?? Not us. He said he will always be reminded of the incident every time he tries to use the destroyed pocket.

 

Dinner was enjoyable, listening to everyone's escapades of the last two days. The ship was scheduled to leave at 10pm, but it became obvious that was not going to happen. There were two overland tours that came back today... one from Machu Picchu and the other from the Galapagos Islands. Perhaps their flights were delayed. Two tug boats hovered on the port side, waiting for the send off. It was more like 11pm that we noticed the lights of the city fading away as we headed southwest for the next port of Easter Island.

 

We now have four days at sea to relax.

 

The reason for the delay, according to Captain Olaf, was due to Peruvian paperwork.

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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Just a quick question @ dinner at the mansion. How "formal" did everyone dress. Will jacket and tie be formal eneough?

Thank you for all your most interesting posts. I truly enjoy them.

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Bill & Mary Annn I'm so glad I was tipped off about your voyage. I have followed you for the last 2 years & have learned so much. Looks like I have quite a few posts to catch up with.:eek::D

Have a wonderful time.

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Just a quick question @ dinner at the mansion. How "formal" did everyone dress. Will jacket and tie be formal eneough?

Thank you for all your most interesting posts. I truly enjoy them.

I know I'm not the OP but I did this tour and what you describe will be perfectly fine. I don't remember there being a dress code for that tour but people seemed to be wearing "nicer" clothes.

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Loving reading this as I have never cruised with HAL. I am curious? The welcome champagne and the visit by officers to your table for dinner, is this the norm for all cruises on HAL or is it just because it is a world cruise? Keep it coming please Yvonne:)

I hope the OP doesn't mind me answering questions....but this isn't the norm on regular cruises. The do have a champagne toast on the first formal night.

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I hope the OP doesn't mind me answering questions....but this isn't the norm on regular cruises. The do have a champagne toast on the first formal night.

 

Thank you for your reply:)

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Report # 14 January 16, 2011 Sunday Day at Sea # 1

 

The weather has remained comfortable and unusually cool as the Amsterdam headed southwest towards Easter Island, 2300 miles off of the coast of Chile. Walking the promenade deck was a bit challenging due to the wave action, which increased overnight. Since our room is located low and more center, we don't feel the extreme motion of the ship as much as the upper decks. It's no wonder that so many of the 4 plus star Mariners book in this location.....far less chance of accidents and seasickness.

 

Two guest chefs, Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein, have joined us. Having written 21 cook books in 12 years, they will be giving demos in the culinary center, and probably private classes in the next few weeks. It has become a favorite activity of both the men and lady passengers, more than likely born by the influence of the food network's success in recent years.

 

The new speaker is Melvyn Foster, an English biologist, who will give lectures on oceans, explorers, and pirates on the high seas. He stopped by our table last night to say hello to Ellen, and we realized that we have seen and heard him on previous trips. He is not hard to miss.....he sports a large handlebar mustache, and is quite friendly. We look forward to his talks.

 

Bridge lectures have begun in earnest with Karen and David, the substitutes for Joan and Bill. No one can really ever substitute for them....they have BIG shoes to fill and they are missed by many on this cruise.

 

The dance class, given by Judy and Mike, has been utilizing the Crows Nest dance floor at 7pm to practice their new steps. We shall witness how well they have learned tonight at cocktail time. Their presence has livened up this lounge by several notches, and we like it.

 

The HAL Chorale group began today with Bruce as their leader. Meeting on seadays at 4pm, this rather large collection of talented and semi-talented passengers has surprised us with their repertoire at the end of the cruise. It's all in good fun, we are told, and a good chance for people to let it all loose "outside of the shower".

 

After we returned from the aft pool, there was an invite for the Captain's Dinner on the next formal evening. Friends Leslie and Handler have already attended and reported that it was a nice evening in the Pinnacle Grill restaurant. How they choose the guests, we do not know, but Barbie is also invited. Hope we are at the same table, because we make our own fun. There is nothing worse than sitting for two very long hours with stuffy people. We just cannot behave that long! Cocktails will be served in the Piano Bar, so that usually warms the people up a bit.

 

Getting our reports out this afternoon was not easy. In fact, it would not work at all, except for small messages. Perhaps it has something to do with being so far at sea in the middle of nowhere. Our best bet was to wait until later, after 6pm, when most people are at dinner or getting ready for dinner. Email minutes evaporate quickly if one is not careful.

 

We were missing five at our table this evening. Two were in the Canaletto, one in the Pinnacle Grill, and one was a little hung-over from too much frivolity in Lima! Hey, that's what a vacation is for right? Needless to say, we were served rather quickly, which was nice. Ellen, who had a meeting with Tom during dinner, joined us at dessert time. She is one busy lady, having had hosted a luncheon in the Pinnacle Grill for mostly new customers. Ellen's work is never done, keeping her a very busy lady.

 

We walked outside for a while after dinner, but the spray from the waves was threatening to soak us, so we retired for the evening.

 

Three more sea days left.

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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Dear Bill and Mary Ann, thank you so much for your blog. This is wonderful! My husband and I take about 3 cruises a year. Unfortunately this spring we will not be cruising as usual in February due to a 2 week Alaska cruise/tour in June/July. I am living vicariously through you during my vacation hiatus. Have fun and enjoy! Hope you have calm seas and sunny days!;)

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Hi mary Ann and Bill

Thanks for your adventures I am enjoying it so much./

 

I have also been reading your blog of the 2008/9 world cruise and note that you did not do a tour in Trinidad

 

If you are stopping there on this cruise I have an excellent private tour operator who we used on our visit there last year

 

The tour was of the whole tourist walk area and also to the Angostouror (sic) distillery that does loads of different whiskies as well.

 

They give you lunch in the distillery and lots of large samples.

 

It was exceeding cheap also. If you are interested e-mail and I will give you his name I organised a tour for 22 of us and it was marvellous. (It can all be organised by e-mail and he did not require any deposit but asked for payment after the tour finished.)

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Report # 15 January 17, 2011 Monday Day at Sea # 2

 

Well, here we are, sailing west-south-westerly on a course to Easter Island. It has become apparent that the satellite reception for the TV and the internet connection has experienced some periods of interruption. The signals coming into the dish become blocked by the ship's stacks, as well as picking up conflicting signals from two continents. Until we are further away from the equator, where most of the satellites are located, our reception will be spotty. By the way, did we mention that we are getting the Fox news station on the TV now? We had heard from friends that sailed on the Voyage of the Vikings that they had Fox News last summer. So it was a nice surprise to see that we had choices for a change instead of just having CNN.

 

The shore excursion office staff continue to entice guests to book tours for the upcoming ports. All of the excursions on Easter Island have doubled in price and reduced in duration since we visited last time in 2007. Guess we got lucky to have seen the entire island and have a wonderful lunch for the price of a 3 1/2 hour tour. Since most ships do not stop here, most passengers will only have this chance to see this fascinating volcanic island, so a tour is a good idea. We kind of wonder if the prices go up when a cruise ship is in town?

 

Our afternoon was spent relaxing outside by the pool. then having a late lunch in the Lido. The salad and sandwich bars are open until 5pm, and they are not too busy when we go there. The fresh baked breads and large assortment of meats, cheese, and toppings make the sandwich bar a hard place to pass by.

 

The weather has remained sunny but cool, which is really strange. We are not complaining though, because it could be raining. The seas are a bit active, more so than we thought, because the white bags have appeared by all of the elevators.

 

What concerns us, however, is the notice we received in the newletter stating that a large number of crew and passengers have been hit with the dreaded gastrointestinal illness that has plagued many of our recent cruises. Our Aussie tablemate, Pat, has dubbed it the "heebie-geebies"!! So beginning tomorrow, we will go back to the strict serving mode in the Lido restaurant and the outdoor grill. Sure hope we don't go into the red stage like we did on the Prinsendam last year. Gosh, that lasted for half of our trip.

 

We used the cocktail hour to have our pc tweaked by the internet gal. Some settings needed to be changed in order to get our emails with pictures sent. She seemed very proud of the fact that she could remedy our dilemma. As for the new I Pod or I Pad users, fixing is not as simple. They seem to be having much more trouble tweaking them.

 

Dinner went fairly quickly tonight, since five of our tablemates attended the first murder mystery in the Pinnacle Grill. Ellen had invited John, a former dance host we all knew, and Martha, who could not come this evening. Prime rib was on the menu tonight, so we did not want to miss that. So far, the beef dishes have been excellent. We all lingered after dessert just talking, when we noticed that the serving stations were being draped with tablecloths. That meant that the entire dining room was about to be sprayed with disinfectant. Barb just about flew out of the room, since she had a bad reaction to a similar spraying while on last year's world cruise. And we were all right on her heels. If it keeps us healthy, then it is a good thing.

 

While we are on the subject of dining, we inquired about the size of a few round tables on both decks. Since the dining room chairs have been upgraded to a much stronger but wider style, only 10 of them will fit at the larger round tables. Eleven is possible, but it is tight. Twelve is a "no can do". Oh well, it's a small price to pay for comfortable chairs, we think.

 

The show tonight featured Katzenjammer, a team of pianists touted as 4 Hands, 1 Piano. Also, the 2 for 1 Happy Hour was from 9 to 12pm this evening in the Crows Nest, stealing many from the showlounge, we are sure.

 

Until tomorrow, good night!

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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Report # 16 January 18, 2011 Tuesday Day at Sea # 3

 

Today would be a busy one for us, since we have been invited to attend the Captain's Dinner in the Pinnacle Grill restaurant. Little did we know how the evening would unexpectantly unfold. More later.

 

It was plain as day that we have been subjected to the full-blown procedures to stop the bug that has attacked our population on the ship. Now we know why we received the wellness travel kit a few days ago. It did contain hand sanitizer, aspirin, and Imodium. Good timing. At breakfast in the dining room, we had to ask for everything down to the salt, pepper, butter and jellies. That sure brings back memories from last year's trip with Captain Albert, who reminded us daily to wash our hands with lots of soap, while singing the Happy Birthday song. The funny part, was Albert actually singing the song while on the microphone. We came to look forward to his amusing message and song for such a nasty illness, because it held on for many weeks.

 

Explorations speaker Melvyn Foster spoke about Easter Island, its isolation, and mystery. From chatting with other passengers, we realize that many of them have taken this trip just to see Easter Island. It was the draw of this island that probably filled this first segment to Sydney.

 

There are digital workshops every day while at sea. Techspert Jeff instructs us on PC safety, sharing cruise photos via email, and in general computer projects. We have noticed more than a few guests that received a brand new PC perhaps for Christmas, but do not know how to use them. The internet staff have been very patient and helpful with them from what we have seen.

 

While some were enjoying bridge lectures, watercolors, crafts, dance lessons, and outdoor games, we did our usual routine at the aft pool. The sun's rays seem to be getting more intense, which was deceiving due to the coolness of the breeze. The pool water must be chilly. Only four people were brave enough to tough it out. And the ship has been rocking and rolling with the swell, so one has to be most careful getting in and out of the pool.

 

Before we knew it, the cocktail party began at 6:30pm for the Captain's reception. A funny thing happened to the couple standing in line in front of us. Kim, the Pinnacle Grill Manager, was taking names for everyone who had been invited to this affair. Their names were not on the list, even though they produced the invitation. Either they had an expired invite, or they were posing as someone else. Whatever the excuse, Kim had no space for them, and they had to leave. How awkward was that? Could also be that they were not full world cruisers, and tried to mix into our crowd. Didn't work.

 

Our buddy Barb introduced us to a couple she had just met in line. By that time, we were all on our second cocktail, and deep in conversation, when suddenly, the fellow collapsed to the floor. What a shock. He had said to his wife that he needed to sit down, which she ignored. Yes, it was getting warmer by the minute, and the ship was still rolling. Now, the good news was that he fell right at the feet of the ship's doctor, who was attending the dinner party. She quickly determined that he did not suffer a heart attack or a stroke, but taking no chances, Captain Olaf summoned the medical staff, and he was taken to the infirmary right away. Poor man and his wife. You just never know what is waiting for us, do we? Hopefully, he will be fine, and just had a reaction to the alcohol and heat. We'll let you know.

 

We were escorted to the Pinnacle Grill, where about 80 of us were seated with an officer or a member of the staff for the 2 hour dinnner. The food was excellent with medallions of lobster tail, a creamy watercress soup, and a tasty small filet of halibut. The entree was a tender, cooked just right filet mignon with veggies and potato tart. But the best had to be dessert of creme brulee, poached pear, and frozen banana souffle. All was served with red and white wine, as much as you would like.

 

We noticed that it did get awfully warm in the small restaurant, and being dressed formally did not help. Bart G., the Culinary Operations Manager, was our host. He has to be one of the youngest officers, and most amiable. One other couple shared the table. They had been on last year's world cruise, and talked most of the evening about it. We really mean.....talked all through dinnertime, without coming up for air. With the reading of our friend's reports last year, we felt that we already knew everything about it, learning nothing new. Perhaps they were nervous, who knows. One can only take so much of me-me-me and I-I-I.

 

As the dinner wound down, Kim handed out a gift to each guest. It was a sterling silver-topped cork bottle stopper. Hmmm, wonder if these will work for cork-forking? Can you imagine the horror on our waiter's face if we did that? Nope, just kidding. As we exited the room, Kim handed us a signed menu, and Henk M. wished us a good evening.

 

We had every intention of going to the show tonight. The Horizons were performing the tunes from Motown, songs we loved many years ago. However, we never made it. It had been a long, long night, and we were ready to turn in for the day.

 

There was yet another set of gifts waiting for us in our room. They were tins containing a large map of the current four Grand Voyages charted, along with a mechanical pencil, and a ruler to use to measure statute and nautical miles, as well as kilometers......another useful gift.

 

One more lazy day at sea before we touch land.

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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Your posts are so interesting and just so good.

 

Very informative and great.

 

thank you so much for sharing.

 

i can certainly understand bypassing a show - continue enjoying your cruise and thank you again. :):)

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Your posts are so entertaining, interesting, informative and, well, fun to read! Thank you for taking the time, spending the $$ for the Internet minutes, and for your detailed blog about your trip. I only hope that one day I will be able to experience what you are! Have a wonderful time at Easter Island. Looking forward to your next posting!

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Wonderful! Is this one by Bill or MaryAnn? Great wtiting, so enjoyable. Like I said last year, You should publish this. Can't wait for the next one.

Irene

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I believe it is actually Mary Ann that is doing the writing. At least I know she had been the one on some in the past reviews because she made reference to Bill.

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I had found another world cruise review some months back only to read it a year after it happened. Glad to have found this one while in progress.

 

Enjoy your style of writing...enjoy Easter Island!

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Report # 17 January 19, 2011 Wednesday Day at Sea Day # 4

 

Sleeping late was on the agenda this morning, well, not really too late. We still like to go to the dining room for breakfast around 9am, after a brisk walk around the promenade deck. It was noticably warmer outside, and so was the humidity. The further south we go, the more humid it will be.

 

While attempting emailing this morning, we noticed that the entire library collection of books was locked down, another casualty of the stomach virus. Another interesting thing we heard was that the group that went to the Galapagos Islands were quarantined a day after they returned to the ship. Not all of the group was entirely happy with the excursion, so to pay the price of a day's isolation was not really taken well. Captain Olaf did mention in his 1 pm talk that we appear to be over the worst of the bug, but we would continue to be in code orange/red for a few more days.

 

Also this morning, we got a Chilean form where we had to declare our state of health. It was mandatory that the forms be turned into the office by noon today. Now we are wondering who may be banned from going ashore tomorrow in Easter Island. On the form, the question was asked if you had any flu symptoms in the last 10 days. Well, that could be a whole lot of passengers as well as crew. Hard to deny that you were sick, especially if you had to visit the doctor for meds.

 

Life at sea continued on, filled with activities. We have enjoyed the free time to have the chance to read books poolside. We never seem to have the chance at home to complete a whole novel in a month. There's always something that needs fixing, watering, pruning, vacuumed, or cooked. Come to think of it, we surely have not missed the housework. We are so spoiled here, but loving it.

 

The Crows Nest was packed tonight. The dance class was out on the dancefloor, but doing their newly-learned steps by themselves. Line dancing has replaced partner dances, until this bug goes away. Despite that, they were having a ball.

 

Our table was almost back to the norm, with only Ellen missing. Sue and Laurie told us about their night at the Murder Mystery Dinner, reporting that the mystery part was way better than the food. They all asked about the Captains Dinner, since we and Barb were the first to go. One of their questions was who was sitting with the Captain? You know what? We never even looked. Two years ago, we were seated with him, so we did not expect a repeat dinner. Most people are a bit more reserved with Captain Olaf, making the dinner way longer than it actually is.

 

The show tonight was Ken and Casey, a man and his duck. Say what? Guess we will hear about it tomorrow and report back to you all. And there was a 2 for 1 cocktail time in the Crows Nest from 9 to 12am once again, with pizza served at 11pm.

 

Looking forward to a day in Easter Island, carrying with us the two bottles of Purell given to us in our room tonight.

 

Bill & Mary Ann

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