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Live from the 2019 Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage

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3 hours ago, scluvsrain said:

OMG. Lima is absolutely exhausting. The traffic is ridiculous. 

 

I did a wildlife boat excursion yesterday afternoon and it took half an hour just to get out of the port and to the marina next door. But the excursion was fun. I swam with the sea lions! And then we rushed back for early dinner seating and had a 7:15 excursion into Lima to see the night fountain show which was great. But we didn’t get back until 11:30 PM because traffic, even that late was jammed, and now I’m up early for an 8:00 AM call for an all day excursion to Pachamaca. 

 

 

Sounds like you had a great day.

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6 hours ago, rafinmd said:

Oh my god, I am posting here when I should be working on my own blog

 

LOL - you’re just having fun, I think Roy 😄 

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5 hours ago, scluvsrain said:

OMG. Lima is absolutely exhausting. The traffic is ridiculous. 

 

I did a wildlife boat excursion yesterday afternoon and it took half an hour just to get out of the port and to the marina next door. But the excursion was fun. I swam with the sea lions! And then we rushed back for early dinner seating and had a 7:15 excursion into Lima to see the night fountain show which was great. But we didn’t get back until 11:30 PM because traffic, even that late was jammed, and now I’m up early for an 8:00 AM call for an all day excursion to Pachamaca. 

 

Yes, traffic can be horrific here and in a couple of the other ports in South America, but it sounds like you had a good day 🙂

Enjoy Pachamaca 😄 

 

You’re a busy lady!

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We got our "gift box" from HA today for our portion of the "Grand"!:classic_smile:  Now I have a favour to ask of you, Kathi, or Sherita or Roy.  There is a list of wine packages to purchase ahead of time - my choice would be #5 - Wine Compass package #1 - 12 bottles of Cellar No, 1, and it's priced at $386 ahead of time.  However, Crew News' price list from December has an 8- and a 4-bottle package together equalling $238, really a better deal!  (And then we would get half off either way).  Could someone please check and see if my pricing is correct on board?  Thanks in advance!  

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4 hours ago, Vict0riann said:

We got our "gift box" from HA today for our portion of the "Grand"!:classic_smile:  Now I have a favour to ask of you, Kathi, or Sherita or Roy.  There is a list of wine packages to purchase ahead of time - my choice would be #5 - Wine Compass package #1 - 12 bottles of Cellar No, 1, and it's priced at $386 ahead of time.  However, Crew News' price list from December has an 8- and a 4-bottle package together equalling $238, really a better deal!  (And then we would get half off either way).  Could someone please check and see if my pricing is correct on board?  Thanks in advance!  

The wine package on board has cellar #1 8 bottles $219, 6 bottles $169 and 4 bottles $119. 

 

Cellar #2 is $289, $229 and $149 respectively. 

 

Cellar #3 is $329, $269 and $189. 

 

No 12 bottle price offered. 

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25 minutes ago, scluvsrain said:

The wine package on board has cellar #1 8 bottles $219, 6 bottles $169 and 4 bottles $119. 

 

Cellar #2 is $289, $229 and $149 respectively. 

 

Cellar #3 is $329, $269 and $189. 

 

No 12 bottle price offered. 

 

Thanks, Sherita - I wonder why it is so much more expensive to buy the larger package ahead of time!   We will wait and do it on board.  

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17 hours ago, Crewbie said:

 

Thank you - the port gate is sometimes used by independent tour vendors as a pick-up point since they cannot enter into the port area; having a dedicated shuttle would be a boon for that purpose. It otherwise indeed did not seem like an area for cruisers in our visit last December. 

 

Congratulations on the morning trivia! Will the purchased wool be used up on your journey?

 

 

This must be the same place we met our tour operator for our independent MP trip.  It was bustling with activity when we arrived in Callao but since all of us had different flights coming back it was just my husband and me entering this sketchy deserted area.  Two guys walked up to us (I thought they were going to rob us) but one busted out a phone to call the shuttle driver to come and get us.  So we made it back safely but certainly not enticing us to do anything independent from there ever again.

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Ellbelle - Yes; I was very thankful for our tour guide who had the intuition to bring us back to our shuttle point, instead. Since we had no direct shuttle between the ship and the port gate, other cruisers from our ship (Star Princess) actually had to take a taxi back to the shuttle point since every bus shuttle coming back was full regardless!

 

It sounds like HAL has a much better grasp on this point - glad to hear that folks are getting out and about, but also hope y'all enjoy and recover with the sea day!

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January 16, 2019

Callao (port for Lima), Peru

 

My travel agency offered a free excursion called, “Lima Then and Now” which was exactly like the $79.95 HAL tour.  Turned out it was a very interesting excursion.  Vanessa was our guide and had a good command of the English language.  We learned a great deal about Lima and the country including…

1) Of the 30,000,000 Peruvians, about 1/3 live in the Lima area

2) The center of Lima is an UNESCO World Heritage Site

3) Lima gets less than an inch of rain a year (it is the second largest city in the world built in a desert)

4) Voting is mandatory in Peru

5) The main meal in Peru is lunch

 

Our first stop was to see Plaza de Aramas (translates to Weapons Square) which is considered the birthplace of Lima.  It was here that conquistador, Francisco Pizzaro founded the city on January 18, 1535.  It is a beautiful square with many historic buildings surrounding it.

We walked about a half block to the Casa Solariega de Aliaga one of, if not the oldest inhabited building in Lima.  It was started in 1535 by Jeronimo de Aliaga.  Seventeen generations later some of his descendants still live there. 

 

We then had a few minutes to look in the Church of Santo Domingo before our bus picked us up to take us to Casa Luna.  This is the home of Xavier and Yvonne Luna who collect various pieces of art but especially Nativity Scenes.  He is a former director of the National Museum of Peru.   They have a large collection and were very welcoming.  We had a “Pisco Punch” at the end.  There was a warning earlier this week to be careful of Pisco Sours because they are made with raw egg whites.  We were assured that the punch had no eggs in it.  It was very tasty.

 

We returned to the ship around 2 pm and I spent about 30 minutes looking at the vendors on the pier and ended up with some jewelry I had seen yesterday.

 

Back on board I had lunch in the Lido before afternoon trivia.

 

As usual, afternoon trivia was at 4 pm.  Only Sharon, Pat, and I played.  We had 16 out of 21 correct while the winners had 19.

1) What is the highest prize at the Cannes Film Festival?

2) True or False?  The Olympic gold medal is made mostly of gold.

3) In 1987, who was the first female inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Hint:  She was in the news recently.

4) With considered names of “Apache”, “Eagle”, and “Hawaiian”, what name was decided upon for the car that came out in 1955 in response to the Corvette?

5) What is the only country in Central America where the official language is English?

 

Three of our team were present for evening trivia.  Paul, who joins us from time to time, also played and we asked the Bridge instructor and his wife to join us to make six.  We had 11 out of 19 but the winning team had 13.

1) What color of light is on the starboard side of a boat or ship?

2) What is the largest island in the Mediterranean?

3) What is the most widely played card game?

4) What world championship is called The Bermuda Bowl?

5) What was the first flavor of Life Savers?

 

All eight present for dinner.  I had a salad, scallops (that were only so-so – they would have been better broiled a little longer), and a chocolate sundae.

 

There was no show tonight so I went to the Crow’s Nest to hear Stevie in the Piano Bar.  Not many people up there – it was 10 pm – but he is quite good.

 

Afternoon trivia

1) Golden Palm

2) False

3) Aretha Franklin

4) Thunderbird

5) Belize

 

Evening trivia

1) Green

2) Sicily

3) Solitaire

4) Bridge (good we had the Bridge instructor!)

5) Peppermint

 

Smooth sailing until next time!

 

 

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13 hours ago, Vict0riann said:

 

Thanks, Sherita - I wonder why it is so much more expensive to buy the larger package ahead of time!   We will wait and do it on board.  

My buy ahead package for 12 bottles for cellar #3 was $496 and it showed as a discount over the “onboard” price of $20. I wonder if it has to do with full voyage versus half. 

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4 hours ago, scluvsrain said:

My buy ahead package for 12 bottles for cellar #3 was $496 and it showed as a discount over the “onboard” price of $20. I wonder if it has to do with full voyage versus half. 

 

Yes, on my list, too, the Cellar No. 3 package for 12 is better than 8 + 4.  I wonder why #1 is so skewed.  It is a better deal to buy 12 of #3 than 12 of #1!  And there is no inclusion of Cellar #2 at all...  Maybe there's a misprint in there somewhere.

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55 minutes ago, Vict0riann said:

 

Yes, on my list, too, the Cellar No. 3 package for 12 is better than 8 + 4.  I wonder why #1 is so skewed.  It is a better deal to buy 12 of #3 than 12 of #1!  And there is no inclusion of Cellar #2 at all...  Maybe there's a misprint in there somewhere.

 

Just wanted to add - I just went on line to check Beverages for the cruise to see if there were any differences from the printed booklet.  There are not.  All the wine packages are more expensive to buy ahead of time than on board, except for the one you purchased, Sherita!

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There is no difference in the pre-purchase versus on board cost for wine packages. The pre-purchase price for the 8 bottle No 3 is $378, this includes the 15% service charge. The on board list price is $329 excluding the 15% service charge, 329 x 1.15 = 378

 

We will only buy once on board in the future, trying to get mariner discount applied or cancel a pre-ordered package is a nightmare experience. 

Edited by old mike
grammar

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3 minutes ago, old mike said:

There is no difference in the pre-purchase versus on board cost for wine packages. The pre-purchase price for the 8 bottle No 3 is $378, this includes the 15% service charge. The on board list price is $329 excluding the 15% service charge, 329 x 1.15 = 378

 

We will only buy once on board in the future, trying to get mariner discount applied or cancel a pre-ordered package is a nightmare experience. 

 

Now I see!  Of course they don't tell you this in the booklet - or in the online listing for the Grand Voyage!

 

We will buy on board, having had those same difficulties getting the discount, also with specialty dinners.  Has anyone asked if the Sel de Mer pop-up dinners will be discounted?  Last time on Prinsendam, we never got the discount, on other ships it was easy.

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My price of $486 for cellar #3 was a $20 discount from their stated onboard cost. It did include the 15% surcharge. 

 

When I got onboard, my account showed a credit of $215 and change. This represents my 50% discount off the package. 

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January 17, 2019

At Sea

 

After three port days in a row I was ready for a sea day.

 

My morning started with the Knitters and Stitchers.  Heard about yarn purchases in Lima and I shared some of my patterns with others.  Another good-sized group.

 

On the way to lunch I dropped off the evaluation of yesterday’s excursion with my cruise agency’s hosts.

 

Afternoon trivia was at 1 pm.  We were second by a half a point.  We had 15.5 out of 21 and the winners had 16.

1) How many songs from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band were released as singles?

2) What do frogs have in their mouths that toads do not?

3) According to Freud, what is the goal of life?

4) Which French designed introduced the ladies pants suit in 1969?

5) Which country sent athletes to the Olympics until the early 60s but not again until 1992?

6) Why are rats particularly susceptible to poison?

 

Arts and crafts was at 2:30 and we made pendants for a necklace that matched the paper beads we made last week.  It was a little cool (only low 70s) and very windy so I did not get in the pool afterwards.  I did sit beside the pool had my afternoon ice cream,  read for a while, and then worked on my latest pair of socks.

 

Tonight was a Gala Night and the Black and White Officers Ball.  Evening schedule was totally revised so I ate early sitting with my “second table”.  I had a salad, shrimp cocktail, surf and turf, and cheesecake.

 

Evening trivia was at 7:30 instead of the usual 7 pm.  We had 14 out of 17 and the winners 16.

1) How many spaces on a Monopoly board?

2) Which language is spoken by the most people as a first language?

3) What is the least expensive and most popular fruit worldwide?

4) What island nation is visited the most by cruise ships each year?

5) What style of architecture is the Empire State Building?

 

The show was at 8 pm.  It was called “Bailamos” with three Canadian singers that do “Latin crossover”.  They were one of the best acts yet this cruise.  After trivia we were talking with them and they said they would be doing another show on the 20th.

 

Next was a Music Trivia game at 8:45.  We had 9 out of 12 and the winning team had 11.

 

Finally, at 9:30 was the Officers Ball.  It was sparsely attended (9:30 is very late to a number of people onboard).   I left just before 10 because I had to make it an early evening with an 8-hour tour tomorrow that meets at 7:15!!!

 

Afternoon trivia

1) None

2) Teeth

3) Death

4) Yves St. Laurent

5) South Africa (they were banned because of apartheid)

6) They cannot vomit

 

Evening trivia

1) 40

2) Mandarin

3) Banana

4) Bahamas

5) Art Deco

 

Smooth sailing until next time!

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Trivia is something we both enjoy but sadly on our last cruise it was held at 5 -- we had dinner at 5:30 and at 7 when we were finishing dinner.

 

We have also noticed when the Balls seem to be on nights when many people have to get up early the next morning for excursions.

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Great posts and interesting on the wine packages.  Thanks for sharing the info.

 

Black and White balls are always fun.  Sounds like a good time 🙂 

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In our segment, there will be a "Black and Gold Officers' Ball", so I wonder how different that will be!

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Hope all are enjoying your cruise.  We're getting ready to head for Lauderdale Monday to catch the GWV.  I see that you have a land excursion in Antarctica.  We'll have the same excursion on the 2020 GWV,  If anyone is going on that excursion we'd be very interested in your experience and lessons learned.  We'd appreciate anything you'd like to share to kstein AT digital.net or a link if anyone is blogging it.  I know internet minutes are expensive so we'll owe you some minutes if we ever sail together or you can wait until you get home.  After all we still have a year to plan.  Safe travels.

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