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Live from the 2019 Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage


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February 24, 2019

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil




I had a number of items that I wanted to see on my first visit to Rio and the Do Brazil Right tour that a number of people on the Cruise Critic roll call were doing covered them all.  The tour was just about the same cost as the HAL one but we had few numbers on each bus and a longer tour.

We started out at 9:45 with out guide, Renato.  On the way to Corcovado he gave us some information about the city.  The area of Guanabara Bay was first seen by Portuguese explorers on January 1, 1502, hence the name Janeiro which is Portuguese for January.  Since they thought Guanabara Bay was the mouth of a river (rio in Portuguese), they named the area Rio de Janeiro.

Corcovado is one of the many mountains in the city but is most famous because it has the statue of Christ the Redeemer at the top.  To get to the top you can go by a narrow winding road, walk (!), or take the Corcovado Rack Railway (which is what we did).  It took about 20 minutes to get to the top.  There were still a number of steps to get up to the statue or you could take a lift and two escalators.  I went up the lift and escalators but walked down to the lift (I have issues with down elevators).  The statue is made from soapstone and reinforced concrete and is 98 feet tall on a pedestal that is 26 feet tall.

It was 1 pm by the time we got back on the bus and we headed for Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse (where they carve your meet at the table).  It is a chain and has restaurants in the US.  The food was delicious.

This is the week before Carnival which is the largest pre-Lent celebration in the world with about 2 million people per day celebrating.  Trivia fact – 1.8 million gallons of beer were consumed during the 2018 Carnival.  There were some people on board who were disappointed because we were not here for Carnival but I was glad we weren’t because it would have been hard or impossible to get to some places in the city. 

After lunch we headed to Ipanema Beach.  Many will have heard the popular song, “The Girl From Ipanema” which was based on a real woman at this beach in the 1960s.  At Ipanema we saw thousands of people who were starting their Carnival festivities early.  It was a beautiful (but very hot – 34C, 93F) Sunday and the beach was packed.  Many were wearing costumes already and music was being played.  The road in front of the beach was closed for revelers.  I walked on the beach (sand was hot) and listened to the band before heading back to the meeting place.  The bus was late getting back to us because of the traffic.

Our next stop was at the other very famous beach – Copacabana.  If you watched the beach volleyball during the 2016 Olympics, you have seen Copacabana Beach.  Although there were lots of people here, there was not the party atmosphere that we saw at Ipanema.  I walked on the beach and had a nice cold beer in the shade.

The last stop of the day was a trip up Sugarloaf Mountain.  It received its name in the 16th century when sugar cane was a major trade in Brazil.  Sugar was placed in conical molds that were very similar in shape to the mountain.  The easiest way to get to the top is by two cable cars.  The first one takes you to Morro da Urca and from there you take another to the summit of Sugarloaf.  The cable car system was opened in 1912 and there have not been any fatalities in its history.

We were timed to be there at sundown so we could see the sun setting by Christ the Redeemer.  The view was spectacular and I did not mind the heights only getting in and out of the still swinging cable car.  Sherita was kind enough to help me.

We returned to the ship just before 8 pm and found that there was a Name That Tune at 9:00.  We were too late to see all of the Samba show onboard so I decided to relax for a bit and then go to trivia since I had missed the other two.  We had 23 points but did not win (I forgot to write down what the winning team had).

I returned to my cabin and ordered room service.  I was very disappointed that my favorite chocolate cake had been replaced with another that was not tasty.


Smooth sailing until next time!



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February 25, 2019

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


After the long tiring day yesterday, I was glad I had not booked an excursion today.  I started my much quieter day by knitting with Pat and Ann in the Crow’s Nest for about two hours. 


Pat and I went to look at the stalls outside the terminal and the few inside it.  I bought a couple of souvenirs and we were back on board in less than an hour but were already very hot and sweaty.


Sherita, Pat, and I had lunch in the Lido.  Pat and I sat and knit afterwards and Sherita went back to buy a few things.


Trivia was at 3:30. We had 13.5 out of 20 but the winners had 16.

1) Which 92 year old artist hit #1 on the UK charts in 2009?

2) Bovine means cowlike.  What does murine mean?

3) Actress Edda Van Heemstra was better known by what name?

4) What musical instrument has pairs of metal disks called “zils”?

5) What does “AM” stand for in radio terms?


We had a sail-away party to celebrate Prinsendam’s 300th voyage.  Free drinks and snacks were provided and the Ocean Bar band played.  Ann and Pat, Pat and Tom, and Sherita and I sat and drank together.  I had a rum punch (that was sour) and two margaritas (that were on the sweet side).  They were very strong (at least for me since I am a cheap drunk) and I was a bit loopy until after dinner.


I went out on my deck to watch the sail-away before getting ready for dinner.


Before trivia a thunderstorm began and there was lots of thunder and lightning (it was still going on at 10 pm).  We had 15 out of 19 for evening trivia.  The winners had 17.

1) Who was the first person to be Time Magazine’s Man of the Year?

2) In what year was Queen Elizabeth II born?

3) What is an otter’s home called?

4) Which guitarist is known as “Slow Hands”?

5) Which of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World is still standing?


All six present for dinner.  I had watermelon, sweet and sour chicken and a sundae.

I did not go to the show.


Afternoon trivia

1) Dame Vera Lynn

2) Mouselike

3) Audrey Hepburn

4) Tambourine

5) Amplitude modulation


Evening trivia

1) Charles Lindbergh

2) 1926

3) Holt

4) Eric Clapton

5) Great Pyramids of Giza


Smooth sailing until next time!

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Wonderful reports.


Many years ago for one of our South American cruises we flew down to Rio 4 days before our cruise on the OLD Nieuw Amsterdam so that we could tour around and see everything.


Glad you were able to see Rio before the storms came.


Neither of us care for run punches or margaritas.  Hope they had some other choices of free drinks.


Congratulations on the Prinsendam and 300 voyages.

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February 26, 2019

At Sea


I overslept and woke up at 9:33.  I hurried to get ready for Knitters and Stitchers because Lorna was coming to give me a refresher course on the stitch she learned in Punta Arenas.  I could not stay long because I was invited to today’s Mariner’s Society Reception and Brunch at 10:30.  Patty was also invited (this is at least the third reception) and neither of us wanted to go to the Brunch.  We watched our friend Roy get his 300 day medal and then we went back up to knit some more.


Just before noon, Patty, Sherita, and I went to lunch in the Lido and then to trivia at 1 pm.  We won with 16 out of 21.

1) Which Baroque composer died after a doctor treated his eye problem by draining his eye of half a teacup of blood?

2) What piece of clothing did Einstein rarely wear?

3) Which two planets rotate clockwise?

4) For what kitchen appliance did Einstein receive patents to make it better and safer?

5) Which musical star was the subject of a documentary called “Tantrums and Tiaras”?


After trivia, Pat and I went to arts and crafts where we made a scissors holder.


Pat, Patty, Sherita, and I ate in the Pinnacle tonight.  I ordered different items from last time having Lobster Bisque, King Crab Legs, and a souffle for dessert.  Everything was delicious and we plan to go again.


Evening trivia was very easy except for two questions that we missed.  We ended up with 15 out of 17 with about six teams tied with 17 correct.

1) What is the dimple in the bottom of a wine bottle called?

2) Most of the world’s active volcanoes are at the convergence of what?

3) What gas makes sodas bubbly?

4) What canned energy drink originally came from Thailand?

5) How many degrees in a circle?


I did not go to the show but instead went out on my deck to look at the millions of stars.  It was very windy but warm.


Afternoon trivia

1) Sebastian Bach

2) Socks

3) Venus and Uranus

4) Refrigerator

5) Elton John


Evening trivia

1) Punt

2) Tectonic plates

3) Carbon dioxide

4) Red Bull

5) 360


Smooth sailing until next time!

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5 hours ago, boards said:

I have always wanted to order the King crab legs, but thought it would be messy.  was they very, did you have to cracked them open?

They came split but I did have to dig out the meat (had a special fork).  I was brought a finger bowl when I was finished.

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February 27, 2019

Ilheus, Brazil


Once again there were no excursions (there were only two) that I wanted to do.  Pat, Patty, Sherita, and I decided to ride the shuttle to Cathedral Square.  On the bus we met up with Ann and Pat so the six of this set off for the artisans’ market.


I had used some internet time to find the way to the market because, although marked on the HAL map, none of the streets were named around the market so it would be hard to find without lots of wandering and it was way too hot (around 90F) for searching.  I later heard a number of people looked but could not find it.


After a quick stop at the Cathedral we walked to the artisans’ market with a few stops on the way and the way back.  When we returned to the square by the cathedral, we stopped for a cold beer at a restaurant.


We arrived back at the ship around 2 pm and went to the Lido for lunch.  Pat, Sherita, and I knitted until time for afternoon trivia.  We had 17 out of 18 but four teams tied with 18.

1) What is the biggest living structure in the world?

2) The cuttlefish skin is covered with chromatophores which allow it to do what?

3) What novel, first published in 1937, begins, “In a hole in the ground there lives…”?

4) On which continent is the Cape of Good Hope?

5) Which color is traditionally not on a Rubik’s cube – white, orange, or purple?


Only Pat, Chris, and I played evening trivia because Ann and Pat had gone to Canaletto and Patty and Sherita went to the Pinnacle.  We only had 10 out of 19 and the winners had 19.  There were some ridiculous questions like the date the Sydney Opera House was designated a World Heritage Site and the date the first women became President of Brazil.

1) Who appeared topless on the self-penned book, “Pirate”?

2) In which country is the Earth’s Magnetic North Pole?

3) In what state was Muhammed Ali born?

4) In what year was Chicago destroyed by fire?

5) By what name is the Chinese gooseberry known in New Zealand?


All six of us present for dinner.  I had fruit, Caesar salad, pasta, and crème caramel.  I skipped the show again.


Afternoon trivia

1) Great Barrier Reef

2) Change color

3) The Hobbit

4) Africa

5) Purple


Evening trivia

1) Fabio

2) Canada

3) Kentucky

4) 1879

5) Kiwi fruit


Smooth sailing until next time!

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15 hours ago, boards said:

I have always wanted to order the King crab legs, but thought it would be messy.  was they very, did you have to cracked them open?


We eat a lot in the Pinnacle -- the servers there get to know us.  Before I would order the crab lags, I would ask if they were small or large.  They were honest with me and a couple of times I did not get them as they were tiny.


They are cut in half and you are given a fish fork to dig out the crab.  


A finger bowl of water was provided at the end of the meal.

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1 hour ago, Krazy Kruizers said:


We eat a lot in the Pinnacle -- the servers there get to know us.  Before I would order the crab lags, I would ask if they were small or large.  They were honest with me and a couple of times I did not get them as they were tiny.


They are cut in half and you are given a fish fork to dig out the crab.  


A finger bowl of water was provided at the end of the meal.

Was the meal worth the effort, I mean did you get enough crab legs and meat?

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February 28, 2019

At Sea


I spent a very relaxing day at sea starting with Knitters and Stitchers.  We had a large group today with 14 present.


Lunch in the Lido with Patty and Sherita before 1 pm trivia.  We had 15 out of 19 but two teams tied with 16.

1) What Dreamworks character gets his name from the German word for “terror”?

2) What company offered the first disposable 35 mm camera in 1987?

3) What John Gray book was on the top 10 non-fiction list from 1993-1997?

4) What pop duo took their name from “the art of interpreting music through body movement”?

5) What European country is home to the official Olympics museum?


Pat and I knitted instead of doing arts and crafts (they were making an eggshell picture mat).  After she went to watercolor class I read my book (I haven’t read in about a week).


In evening trivia we had 13 out of 22.  At least two teams tied with 15 (I think – I forgot to write it down).  The bonus question was worth 7 points but I am not sure if anyone got it – you had to write down the 7 continents in alphabetical order in 30 seconds.

1) What European language is the official language of Senegal?

2) What body part do male crickets use to chirp?

3) What Don McLean song deals with the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and “The Big Bopper”?

4) True or False – Coca-Cola was invented by a pharmacist?

5) What is Alaska’s most famous dog sled race?


All six present for dinner.  I had fruit, a salad, land and sea (filet mignon and shrimp), and Rum Baba. 


I did not go to the show.


Afternoon trivia

1) Shrek

2) Fuji

3) Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

4) The Eurythmics

5) Switzerland


Evening trivia

1) French

2) Wings

3) American Pie

4) True

5) Iditarod


Smooth sailing until next time!

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March 1, 2019

Recife, Brazil


Everyone I spoke with agreed that Recife is not their favorite port.  There were some old buildings that could have been beautiful but were not kept up.  Most of the newer buildings were ugly and run down looking.  There was a lot of trash on the streets and in the harbor.


Because Recife is a busy cargo port we had to take a shuttle to the terminal.  It has a relatively new cruise terminal with virtually nothing in it.  You had to go upstairs, walk around and then walk back down to get out. 


Pat and I took the shuttle bus to the Casa da Cultura.  The is an old prison that has been turned into a market with the cells now souvenir shops.  We looked around for about two hours and picked up a few things. 


While we were inside the rain started.  It was only drizzling when we were walking to the shuttle bus but there were some major downpours on the way back to the ship.  We saw a number of venues preparing for the Carnival festivities which will be on through Tuesday.


We were back onboard by 1:45.  Sherita, Pat, Patty, Tom, and I had lunch together by the Lido pool (the rain had stopped by then).  Pat and I did some knitting in the Crow’s Nest before afternoon trivia.  We had 17 out of 21 and tied with one other team for the win.

1) In which present-day country is Timbuktu?

2) If you had an Eames original, what is it most likely to be?

3) In Happy Days, what was the Fonz’s secret fear?

4) The tourist and health resort called Spa is in what country?

5) What bird is associated with Lundy Island?

Bonus: Name the five largest Spanish speaking countries (by population).


We only had 14 out of 21 for evening trivia.  The winners had 17.

1) How is Force 12 on the Beaufort Scale described?

2) What budding track star passed up the 1956 Olympics to launch his singing career?

3) What popular sweet stuff has a name derived from the Aztec words for “bitter water”?

4) In what country was the metric system invented?  For a bonus point, in what year?

5) Which US state consumes the most SPAM?


Only four of us for dinner.  I had a spring roll, a salad, fish and chips (the fish was rather fishy tasting), and a caramel sundae for dessert.


I skipped the show again.


Afternoon trivia

1) Mali

2) Chair

3) Liver

4) Belgium

5) Puffin

Bonus: Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Colombia, and Venezuela


Evening trivia

1) Hurricane strength

2) Johnny Mathis

3) Chocolate

4) France, 1790 (if you were within 10 years you got the point)

5) Hawaii


Smooth sailing until next time!

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