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live Island Princess 59 day Circle South America Ja 9 -Mr 7

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Day 36 Thursday Puerto Madryn, Argentina 7 – 5pm

Today’s forecast was for a high of 23C(73F).  That worked out to be accurate.  The pure sunshine made for a very nice day.


This is our first time to this port.  It’s a very long pier, about .4 miles, and a shuttle was run from the ships to the end of the pier.  The shuttles can take folded wheelchairs, but users need to be able to get in the shuttle.  There were taxis nearby as well as operators offering tours.  There is a long beachfront promenade going both directions from the pier.  The promenade included a number of statues and memorials, vendors, beach rentals and restaurants.  This area offered beautiful oceanfront scenery and is good for wheelchairs. 


This is a port growing in popularity – it passed the 100,000 passenger mark in 2018.


There are some excellent areas for birding and seal colonies. There were a number of tour options to see these areas.


Today I was able to join a roll call arranged tour - cost $109.00 per person.  Description:  Full day of Chubut River Valley and Welsh Settlements tour will include:  City tour of Puerto Madryn with a stop for a view of Punta Cuevas & the Tehuelche monument.  Our drive will head to the Chubut River Valley. We will visit 2 Welsh settlements of the 1800s – Gaiman and Trelew with a visit to the point where the 150 Welsh settlers landed on The Mimosa.  We'll have a stop the Moriah Chapel built in 1880 and the Welsh settlers cemetery.


The day started well by seeing a seal swimming right in front of the bow of the Celebrity ship docked next to us.


Our drive quickly took us out of the city to a semi-desert area.  It was verily flat with some rolling hills.  There are no trees, just brush.  On our way to the first scheduled stop, we passed a massive sculpture of a dinosaur.  The bones of the dinosaur the sculpture was passed on were found near here and up to now they represent the largest known animal.  We also passed a large wind farm.


We continued on to the town of Trelew to the Moriah Chapel built in 1880.  The small chapel had a cemetery that included 24 of the original Welsh settlers (I think they said 156 arrived) that arrived in Puerto Madryn.  In the tree in the cemetery were many green Burrow Parrett and Lapwings - all being very noisy.


From there we went to another town and saw a stone-built home with all the period furnishing and then to an archeological museum that was in an old home.  It had lots of photos and some artifacts but none of the notes were in English so hard to get any appreciation of what was there.   Then a quick snack break and back to Puerto Madryn. There we drove along the beach area – vey nice homes across the road from the beach.  The beach has a problem with seaweed washing up.  At the end of the beach there is a hill with a large statue commemorating the first settlers arrival.  We stopped there for nice views of the waterfront and city.


We had dinner tonight with a couple that boarded in San Antonia.  They had arrived in Santiago 10 days prior.  During their time in Chile they did a 2-night trip to Easter Island which cost them around $2,000 total.  Considering it took 9 days out of our voyage, their cost seems quite comparable or even cheaper and they did not have tender issues to be worried about.


Today some passengers left the ship for an overland trip to the mighty Iguazu Falls on the border between Argentina and Brazil.  We went there after a cruise back in 2009.  Of all the places I have ever been to, Iguazu falls is the most amazing.  We live just over an hour from Niagara Falls.  Iguazu blows Niagara away in just about any way.  If you are ever on a cruise that starts or ends in either Buenos Aires or Rio, add a 2 to 4 day trip to the falls. 


It's Valentine Day somewhere already, so here are some thoughts made famous by the great Nat King Cole:

Unforgettable, that's what you are

Unforgettable though near or far

Like a song of love that clings to me

How the thought of you does things to me

Never before has someone been more

Unforgettable in every way

And forever more, that's how you'll stay

That's why, darling, it's incredible

That someone so unforgettable

Thinks that I am unforgettable too.

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Happy Valentine's Day! Are they celebrating it much on board? Probably a lot of offers from the shops to encourage people to spend money.


I had my bout of being quarantined in December for flu-like symptoms. Glad you're better now.

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Thank you Wayne, for your informative cruise notes. Interesting to hear all about the various challenges with weather at this time of year. Looking forward to seeing more photos, when convenient for you to share them. No pressure!😉

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Day 37 Friday, Feb 14, at sea

Valentine’s greeting to all the love birds everywhere.  Of course, for us every day is Valentine’s Day but being at sea does help make the day better.


On last years Oceania world cruise, a couple met while on board and by the end of the voyage they were married despite him having a mild heart attack that meant leaving the ship for about two weeks.  I haven’t heard of Cupid doing any work like that so far on the Island Princess.


The ship is decorated with hearts and Valentine decorations in most of the bars but not a lot more than that.  There was no Valentines special drink in the bars.


There was a love song trivia today and the CD and Captain did a vow renewal in the atrium.


Today started off cloudy, got sunny and then back to cloudy.  The forecasted high was 15C (59F) but tomorrow is forecast to jump up to 25C (77F).


Tomorrow will be mostly a sea day but the evening will see us in port.  Tonight was our 2nd and last formal night for this segment.  A party was held for those leaving in Buenos Aires.  There was no Captain Circle party for platinum and elite for this segment – they had a smaller one for those that joined in San Antonia.


For Valentines I had trouble picking a single thought for the day so here are several -

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Sailing with you
There's nothing better to do –


"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away." - George Carlin

Love is loving what your lover loves. - Anonymous

We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love. - Tom Robbins

Love is not finding someone to live with but finding someone you can't live without. - Rafael Ortiz

And one last special poem

“I am a sailor, you're my first mate
We signed on together, we coupled our fate
Hauled up our anchor, determined not to fail
For the heart's treasure, together we set sail
With no maps to guide us, we steered our own course
Rode out the storms when the winds were gale force
Sat out the doldrums in patience and hope
Working together, we learned how to cope.
Life is an ocean and love is a boat
In troubled waters it keeps us afloat
When we started the voyage there was just me and you
Now gathered round us we have our own crew
Together we're in this relationship
We built it with care to last the whole trip
Our true destinations not marked on any chart
We're navigating the shores of the heart” - John McDermott

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On 2/11/2020 at 9:51 PM, Waynetor said:

Day 34 Tuesday Port Stanley, Falkland Is    8am - 6pm

As noted yesterday, the Captain made an announcement this morning around the time we anchored. 


He was expecting poor weather this afternoon which would make tendering difficult.  Therefore, all ship excursions would be cancelled.  Passengers could go ashore but it was recommended that they stay no more than 2 hours.  The new ‘last tender’ time would be 3;30pm.  He mentioned that if the weather turned bad enough that the ship may have to go to sea before everyone could get back on if people are pass that time.  


Our group had just got its tender tickets and with no ship tours we were on the first tender.  Volunteer Point is north-northeast of Stanley at the end of a narrow peninsula.  Our trip to Volunteer Point would be over 6 hours so to be on the safe side the organizer and the company decided to switch destinations.  We would go to 2 other penguin sites and then, do a city tour which would get us back easily in time.


Today we were joined in Stanley by another cruise ship - Celebrity Eclipse with around 2,800 passengers so very hard to get on the popular tours.  Both ships were scheduled to arrive at the same time.  The Eclipse beat us into the area and had a much better spot that would reduce their tendering time.  Everybody on the island that possibly can, gets involved in tourism on a day like this.


The tenders docked right downtown, so it’s a hop, skip and a jump to all the highlights of Stanley (not that there are that many).  The ride took about 20 minutes.  My tour today was again a group through the roll call.  The group had been pre-divided into groups of 4 and the drivers were waiting for each group.


It was to be a long day and the weather at different places can be quite different than in Stanley so I wore waterproof pants just in case. 


The majority of tours that go of the Stanley area are in 4 passenger 4x4 jeeps.  Celebrity was still running their ship excursions and they were using vans that held around 16 passengers.


Our first stop was at Bertha’s Beach which was around a hour drive from Stanley over a mix of road conditions (much of the road is being upgraded and paved 3- 4 year project).  On the way there our guide noted that the landmine removal project should be completed around the end of 2021 – it had just started when we were here in Dec 2009.  We passed a couple very large sheep farms and many, many Upland Geese.  We also saw a British military base.  The airport there also serves for the few commercial flights to mainland South America.  We passed a docked cargo ship that the guide says provides supplies from GB every 6 weeks.  It would have been nice if we could have docked where it was but too far from town.


I asked the guide about having multiple ships in port and he said it is becoming more common and they had 4 ship 1 day recently.


At Bertha’s Beach There were hundreds of Gento Penguins (along with many more geese).  The young penguins were in the molting process.  Some were taking there first attempts at entering the sea.  It was weird seeing many sprawled out on the ground sleeping.  They showed no shyness of humans.  There were wardens there to make sure people did not interfere with their natural activities.  


After spending a good amount of time there we were off to Gypsy Cove which is not too far from Stanley.  There you walk along a cliff top and see Magellanic Penguins down on the beach.  There were also some on the hill were the penguins have their burrows dug into the sandy soil.  There were a lot of people there as it is included in many tours and is easily accessible from town.  It also offers great views of the cruise ships. 


After our time there we did a tour of Stanley and were dropped off at 1:40pm near the end of the shopping area which matched where the line for tender boats stretched to.


This is where things got real embarrassing for Princess.  Princess was running 2 tenders at the time (rumor has it that other boats had mechanical problems.  Celebrity was running 6 boats.  When I got close enough, I timed the tenders and for Princess they were 28 minutes apart.  Celebrity usually had 2 tenders at the dock and a 3rd waiting to replace a departing tender – their passengers who were greeted with hot chocolate had no wait.  While the Celebrity shorter rides were part of the reason, anyone thinking about cruise lines options would have wondered what the blankety blank was Princess up to.  I ended up waiting 2 hours, 20 minutes for a ride and there were about 3 boat loads behind me in line.


On the way back I had the first seat on the top deck (very cold spot).  As the boat approached the Island P, I could see a very large number of gulls in the water about a 100 meters/yards from the tender dock.  The tender boat was heading right at the group so I got my camera ready expecting them to take flight en-mass.  When we got right up to them it was clear that they were joined by an equally large number of penguins also feeding on fish.  At dinner I talked to a lady that said she stayed on the ship all day and had watched the display for much of the day.


The previous time here we were on a ship with around 3,000 passengers which exceeded the islands whole population.  That time we were on a cruise that started in Sydney.  I remember being told in New Zealand farmers average 7 sheep per acre and here we were told the average is 1 sheep per 7 acres - vastly different farming conditions.


End result is a mix blessing day.  For those of us that managed to get off early and still do a tour to see penguins it was a real positive, but not seeing the 1,300+ King Penguins at Volunteer Point was a real disappointment, especially since the tour we did was shorter with no reduced price.  At $219US this was not a cheap excursion but very worthwhile - the whole time there was amazing.  Princess was charging $409.95 for the same excursion using similar vehicles.  Our driver was very knowledgeable about the area including the history but he did not offer much info directly, we had to ask question to get anything out of him.


Another big day for taking photos.


The expected bad weather did not happen before we left and we hit fog as we left.  At 5pm the Captain apologized for the days issues and noted he is expecting 5m (16ft) swells tomorrow.


Today’s quote of the day - “Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.” — Lawrence Block


I was in the same jeep as Wayne...agree that there were some frustrations, but we were some of the few who got to actually mingle with hundreds of penguins totally up close! I feel so blessed!! I think our local guy was really just a driver and not a guide...we all had to ask him questions or he was silent. Very nice guy, though.











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On 1/8/2020 at 7:16 PM, Waynetor said:

Welcome to my “Live From” travelogue of the fabulous Island Princess 59-day circle South America cruise. 


The last 2 winters my wife and I have spent a good part of the winter bouncing around the Caribbean doing multiple cruises on multiple Princess ships.  We were planning to do the same again this winter when I came across this voyage.  My wife needs an accessible cabin and every time last spring when I checked they were all booked.  Finally, I talked to a cruise travel agent I had used before and in a couple hours we had a cabin.


To start I’ll give a little of our personal history in order to give some perspective of where we are coming from an experience point.  We are a couple of Canadians, lifelong in Toronto, 66 and 64 years old.  Our first cruise was a 5-day Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean in 2000.  We now have 1 Carnival, 4 RCI, 1 180-day world cruise on Oceania as well as 46 Princess cruises with Princess totaling 496 days. 


My wife (Freda) will be using a wheelchair around the ship and in ports.  We recognize how very fortunate we are to be able to still have cruising as part of our lives.  For her, much of this voyage this will simply be a wonderful escape from winter weather as she will be staying on the ship in most ports.


My hope is that through this travelogue readers will get an idea of what experiencing a grand voyage is like and that you will feel that you are actually experiencing part of this special journey with us.  Hopefully for those planning a similar future adventure it will also help them.  Maybe with this report I can convey some of our impressions and take you with me to South America.  Maybe it entices you to go and experience the excitement of this journey yourself.  It's all part of the payback for all the help I've received here on Cruise Critic. 


Some of my post will be on the long side but for me it serves as a permanent record which I need considering I have a photographic memory but with the lens cap glued on. 


We get some free internet as Princess elite members, but on a long voyage (3 segments) the minutes go fast so I will start with a few post in order to get some details out of the way.

I can only dream to be on this many days of cruising....on a teacher's salary, it remains a dream but I'm thankful for technology that enables me to share in your journey. My daughter's friend's parents are on your ship (from Montreal). I'm guessing you get to make some really great friends onboard such a long cruise. Safe travels!

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32 minutes ago, Dreamer68 said:

I can only dream to be on this many days of cruising....on a teacher's salary, it remains a dream but I'm thankful for technology that enables me to share in your journey. My daughter's friend's parents are on your ship (from Montreal). I'm guessing you get to make some really great friends onboard such a long cruise. Safe travels!

Dream big! One day you will retire and receive a teacher pension? In the meantime, enjoy the ride with your students.

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Feb 15 Buenos Aires, Argentina intro

Buenos Aires (Spanish pronunciation bwenos aires) is the capital and most populous city of Argentina.  The city is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Rio de la Plata (the world's widest river).


It is often referred to as simply BA.  It is the most visited city in South America, and the second-most visited city of Latin America (behind Mexico City).  BA is known for its preserved Spanish/European-style architecture and rich cultural life.  It has been referred to as the ‘Paris of the South’.


BA is a multicultural city, being home to multiple ethnic and religious groups.  In addition to Spanish, several languages are spoken in the city, contributing to its culture.  This is because in the last 150+ years the city, and the country in general, has been a major recipient of millions of immigrants from all over the world, making it a melting pot where several ethnic groups live together.  BA is considered as one of the most diverse cities of the Americas.


The BA port is one of the busiest in South America; navigable rivers by way of the Rio de la Plata connect the port to north-east Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.  As a result, it serves as the distribution hub for a vast area of the south-eastern region of South America.


In tourist area English is readily understood.


The average high temperature in February is 28C (82F) with an average of 140mm (5.5in) of rain.

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Day 38 Saturday, Buenos Aires, Argentina arr 5pm

BA is 1 of the 3 South American ports on this voyage we have previously been to twice – the others are Montevideo and Rio.


When the itinerary for this cruise was originally released, the ship was to arrive at 8am but last March that was pushed back to 3pm for the meaningless “operational reasons”.  Then around the end of October another change was made pushing back the arrival to 5pm. Since the time to sail from Puerto Madryn has not changed, the reason is likely a berthing issue.  So today ended up pretty much being a sea day.  We ended up arriving a bit early and got clearance to go ashore a bit before 5.  For those disembarking tomorrow who had originally planned activities for today and fly home tomorrow this is quite disappointing.  This basically is a lost port day for everyone but especially for those passengers leaving tomorrow morning.


We had breakfast this morning in the dinning room for the first time this cruise.  It was nice to get grapefruit and to have pancakes that tasted like they were made the same day.  At that we went up to deck 14 and could barely make out the shoreline (flat area) on one side of the ship.


At 10:30am passengers were asked to gather on deck 14 to make a photo and video to be sent to the passengers stuck on the Diamond Princess. A large number of passengers participated.  Their situation certainly makes our San Antonio episode seem minor.


Being very wide, the Rio de la Plata did not offer much special viewing until we got very close to BA.  The water in the river is a dirty brown caused by runoff into the inland river areas.


The weather today was perfect – sunny, calm, very light breeze – for a change the outdoor pool area was busy but both pools are closed – I think it has to do with the very dirty water in the river.


I believe that quite a few passengers did dinner/tango show tours tonight.  Very, very quiet in the dinning room tonight.


Tonight’s entertainment was a local music/singing/dance group.  The 1-hour show was mostly tango related.  The tango is a sultry dance form that originated here in lower class areas of BA.   They did an excellent job and got a standing ovation.


Our first SA cruise ended here and we stayed a few days including an Iguazu Falls trip.  The first night we did the dinner/tango show and enjoyed it very much.


We have nothing planned for our time in BA.  With our previous trips we have done most of the major tourist to-do’s. 


Included in tonight’s Patter is a certificate for rounding Cape Horn.


By the time I get up tomorrow morning I’ll be a year older.


For those leaving the ship tomorrow, today’s thought of the day - Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends. - Richard Bach


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14 hours ago, Waynetor said:

Feb 15 Buenos Aires, Argentina intro

Buenos Aires (Spanish pronunciation bwenos aires) is the capital and most populous city of Argentina.  The city is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Rio de la Plata (the world's widest river).


It is often referred to as simply BA.  It is the most visited city in South America, and the second-most visited city of Latin America (behind Mexico City).  BA is known for its preserved Spanish/European-style architecture and rich cultural life.  It has been referred to as the ‘Paris of the South’.


BA is a multicultural city, being home to multiple ethnic and religious groups.  In addition to Spanish, several languages are spoken in the city, contributing to its culture.  This is because in the last 150+ years the city, and the country in general, has been a major recipient of millions of immigrants from all over the world, making it a melting pot where several ethnic groups live together.  BA is considered as one of the most diverse cities of the Americas.


The BA port is one of the busiest in South America; navigable rivers by way of the Rio de la Plata connect the port to north-east Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.  As a result, it serves as the distribution hub for a vast area of the south-eastern region of South America.


In tourist area English is readily understood.


The average high temperature in February is 28C (82F) with an average of 140mm (5.5in) of rain.


Excellent reporting and many thanks for taking the time when you have so many opportunities to do more interesting things.  I try to do what you're doing when I travel, as well.  Maybe you and I are addicted to seeing our thoughts and experiences in print, sentences written and rewritten, and so on.


Many of your readers, Weyneter, like me, like also what you can report about our future vessel.  All of us like Princess, we have that in common, but it is Island that binds us.  I suggest you add frequent reflections on the problems you face on board and, of course, the delights, too.  Here are a few of my Island questions - -


1.  Status of ping pong tables, paddles, players. 

2.  Status of the library, empty shelves, maybe its utility over all. 

3.  Your level of reliance on the ship's paper.

4.  Any virus on the ship that you know of?

5.  How are you personally dealing with so many days on board one ship?


Thanks again,





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On ‎2‎/‎6‎/‎2020 at 3:27 PM, Waynetor said:

Day 29 Thursday, Feb 6, at sea

Typo in last post – we were about 42 hours late, not 47 leaving San Antonio.   I noticed as post was loading but internet went down as soon as post was registered.


As we hit the cruise half way point.  Plan was to have a nice seaday to sit back, work on my photos and reflect on the good times so far.  Unfortunately spent 6 hours at docs office – Freda is not feeling well but they have her on a bucket load of drugs so hopefully all will be good soon.


At 7pm things got worse as we got a phone call that her sister passed away last Sunday- been in poor health but still unexpected.  We only left our ship contact with 1 person so took time for others to figure out where we are.


The outdoor pool is still open but it has seen very sparse use recently and I doubt it will see much use over the next few weeks.  Today was the coolest weather so far but some people still felt it was still nice enough to sit outside. 


Today’s thought of the day - “The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson

My condolences to Freda on the passing of her sister.  It is never easy.  My thoughts are with you.

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44 minutes ago, Song in my heart said:

My condolences to Freda on the passing of her sister.  It is never easy.  My thoughts are with you.


Sorry to read this.  You are so far away and unable to hurry home.  Texting is about all you can do.  I wish you a happy ending to this and that your grand voyage can be enjoyed as before.  Jack

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Day 39 Sunday Buenos Aires, Argentina dep 6pm

Happy Birthday to me - do you see any difference in the new photo compared to earlier?

I’m not big on doing anything special for my birthday – all I want each year is to live long enough to have another birthday the next year.


The second segment has ended today so lots of people coming and going.  Most people leaving today have overnight flights unless they are staying in this area.  Princess did offer tours that end at the airport.  The advantage of these tours is their luggage is safe for the day.


Matt the CD said 427 passengers left and 476 were scheduled to join.  We now have 2,107 passengers including 41 Chinese, 67 Australian, 137 from the UK, 367 Canadian and 1,357 from the US.  Hopefully new supplies will include bananas – haven’t had any for about 10 days.  


The Quinquela Martin passenger terminal here opened in 2011 and was expanded in 2017.  The new terminal is South America's biggest and most modern passenger facility with capacity to serve 13,000 passengers a day.  It is located not too far from the city’s area of modern skyscrapers.  Many services are available in the terminal including English tourist guide help.  The terminal is very wheelchair accessible and wheelchair accessible restrooms are available.  The building has lots of little stores, currency conversion desks, and travel information.  Taxis were available by the terminal and they generally accept US$ but local change.  A shuttle was needed to get from the ship winding through stacks of containers to the terminal – the shuttles are wheelchair accessible as were buses in the city.  


BA is home to beautiful French style buildings and boulevards - that's why it's called the ‘South American Paris’.  Many of the most iconic colonial buildings are government related including Casa Rosada, workplace of the President of Argentina, City Hall, Palace of Justice, and The Palace of the National Congress of Argentina.  There are also a number of beautiful colonial cathedrals.  The La Recoleta Cemetery is a very big tourist draw with its 6,400+ unique above ground structures.  It includes the final resting of many rich and famous including Eva Peron.  La Boca is a popular ‘made for tourism’ area famed for its very colourful houses and pedestrian street, the Caminito, where tango performance can be seen and tango-related memorabilia is sold along with other artistic goods.


Today I did a walk for about 4 hours along the waterfront to the colonial part of the city.  There is a large area of new office towers on the far side of the colonial area and another group closer to the port.  It was a wonderful walk despite the sunshine and heat.  Along the waterfront there was a marina, lots of restaurants, and a couple large, old sailboats – one was a museum.  In the colonial area one street was closed for about 12 blocks for a street fair with a wide range of vendors.  Many of the vendors were offering custom made artistic items.  There was a group performing tango dances for donations.  I’m not sure which days it is normally open.  I got to tour a couple very elaborate cathedrals.  The tour included most of the sites a city tour would have included plus I got lots of exercise. 


I had looked into doing a ‘free walking tour’.  There is a Spanish and English tours offered here.  I saw the Spanish group – about 20 people in the tour.  It was probably good we did not do it as the streets where often cobble stone which Freda finds very tough to handle.  The port and waterfront areas were more accessible for wheelchairs.  


The Holland America ship in port yesterday and today is doing a 77-day SA cruise similar to ours but also includes time touring the Antarctic.


One thing that stood out from our last time here on a Princess ship was after the ship had been to the Falkland Is.  This was our next port and Rio would be our next and last port.  We had a British captain who had served in the British military.  When it came time to leave the port, the port authorities let a few cargo ships leave ahead of us delaying us over 2 hours.  Although the Rio de la Plata is very wide, the channel for ships is not very wide.  A little after getting into the channel the pilot had us anchor so several inbound ships could pass thus adding a couple more hours to our delay.  As a final gesture to the captain, around 7am as the pilot was about to leave, he did a very sharp turn of the ship rocking it very noticeable sending a lot of trays of food in the buffet to the floor and glasses on tables in the dinning room to the floor.  We ended up arriving in Rio several hours late. 


In addition to the port/pilot issues, on the day before the Falklands at the port lecture a guest from Argentina asked if it was alright if he could place the piece of sod he brought from Argentina in the Malvinas (Falklands).


Since we had lots of time yesterday to enjoy any scenery coming into port, we did not pay attention to our departure even though there was over an hour and half of daylight left and it was dinner time.


Only those boarding today had to do the muster drill but it started around 5:30pm and was broadcast in the dining room.


The forecast for tomorrow is for cloudy conditions and a good chance of heavy rain.


I stopped by one of the local bars today and there was a couple at a table next to me.  They were both a bit on the tipsy side and discussing a bit of their sex life.  At one point he said... I don't know why you wear a bra; you've got nothing to put in it.  She was quick to reply...You wear briefs, don't you?  He seemed to understand that he went overboard and tried to make-up.  He said... Let's go out and have some fun tonight. She said...Okay, but if you get home before I do, leave the hallway light on.


Today’s thought of the day - Whatever the journey is, it’s not only the destination that matters, but the person with whom you travel.

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3 hours ago, Waynetor said:

A year older than last photo

IMG_0509 (2).JPG


3 hours ago, Waynetor said:

A year older than last photo

IMG_0509 (2).JPG

Happy birthday, Wayne. The chocolate Princess cake, shared with Freda, is a great way to celebrate 😊. I have celebrated with that cake on Ruby, Star, and Golden. Always yummy! 

Edited by CruzeQueen2
Duplicated Wayne's photo. Not intentionally. Sorry! Double the fun!
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To answer some questions

- the Island Princess has 2 indoor ping pong tables.  They get a good workout on sea days.  Equipment is available starting at 8am.  There is also outdoor Pickle ball court, basketball court and shuffleboard.  You can play any time but in the Patter there are time to meet if wanting to meet others.

-  The library is large but very poorly stocked – more empty shelves than full.  The library includes some boxed games and game tables.  There are various daily puzzles available there.

- On sea days the officer of the watch gives a noon position and others detail update.  On most port days the Captain will have comments around departure time.  Unlike some of the Caribbean cruise we did last year, the CD does not do many announcements – usually 1 per day so it is important to follow the Patter if you want to participate in anything that is out of the ordinary such as special lunches.  Effy Jewelry offers enough special events every sea day that includes champagne or cocktails that one could get away without needing a drink package.  There are art auctions but I have only heard a single announcement about them.

- there has been a fair amount of sickness on board.  Numbers for Noro are not high enough to implement major measures but they are being stricter on washing before entering the buffet.  Colds and flu have hit many passengers but that is not uncommon.  We have a group of Chinese passengers on board since day 1.  No issue with them re the issues in China.

- we have no issue with the length of this voyage as we have done similar or longer a few times.  I have not heard of anyone wishing this voyage could go faster.  I met 1 passenger doing his first voyage and is so happy, he booked next years world cruise.  Despite the problems in the last segment, the mood on the ship seems very good.  We have a 5-day sea day stretch coming up with just a bit of scenic cruising.  This may bother some passengers as there is no great highlight at the end, but we all knew the itinerary to start.  The CD is doing an excellent job.

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Feb 17 Montevideo, Uruguay intro

Montevideo is the capital and largest city of Uruguay.  As of the city proper had a population of about 1.381 million (about one-third of the country's total population).  The southernmost capital city in the Americas, Montevideo is situated on the southern coast of the country, on the northeastern bank of the Rio de la Plata.  


The city was established in 1724 by a Spanish soldier, Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, as a strategic move amidst the Spanish-Portuguese dispute over the platine region.  Its has been part of Uruguay since the country’s creation in 1828.


The highest point is the peak of Cerro de Montevideo, crowned by a fortress, the Fortaleza del Cerro at a height of 134m (440ft).


During the first FIFA World Cup, in 1930 Montevideo hosted every match.


Although much of the 20th century was hard here, the 21st century has seen excellent economic growth.  The architecture of Montevideo ranges from Neoclassical buildings such as the Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral to the Postmodern style of the World trade Center Montevideo or the 158m (518ft) ANTEL Telecommunication tower, the tallest skyscraper in the country.  Tourism in Montevideo is centered in the Ciudad Vieja area, which includes the city's oldest buildings, several museums, art galleries, and nightclubs.


The average high temperature in February is 27C (80F) with 96mm (3.8in) of rain. 

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Day 40 Monday, Montevideo, Uruguay 8 – 7pm

In the US, today is Presidents Day and/or Washington's Birthday (actual birthday is the 22nd) and in parts of Canada today is Family Day - observed in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan.  For those of you having a winter long weekend, hope it is nice and not too cold.  In British Columbia it was last Monday.


Overnight we had 14 hours to sail only 114.7nm (213.1km/132.4mi).  Part of the time is used manoeuvring in and out of the ports but basically going about half speed.  There are ferries going between the 2 cities twice a day each way and they take 3 hours one way.


We were here in 2008 on the cruise ending in BA and in 2009 going the other way ending in Rio.  For 2008 we did a tour that covered much of the cities highlights and then in 2009 we did our own tour around the port area.


Today was solid cloud which helped keep the heat down but no rain until after we were out to sea,


The view from the ship has not changed much since we were last here – there are only a couple tall, modern office towers.


Montevideo's port is actually in a terrific tourist location, just next to the historic center at the southern tip of the city.  We were docked in an industrial port and we docked next to containers and cranes.  It depends on which dock your ship is at if you need to shuttle out to the port exit – today we had to use shuttles that could not take wheelchairs unless the person could climb the shuttle steps.  Although a MSC ship came in after us it docked where no shuttle was needed.  An Azamra and another small ship also were able to by-pass shuttles.  There is no terminal but inside the gate were taxis and tour operators.  More tour operators were outside the gate.  Passengers can walk right from their ship into the heart of the old town in just a few minutes.  U.S.$ are accepted nearly everywhere, including in taxis.  I was told that Argentinian currency could also be used - good for anyone with leftovers.  English is not common, but it is spoken by many serving tourist.


You can grab a walking map from the people at the Tourist Information Centre as you are walking out of the port exit.  There was a free shuttle to a leather shop in the middle of town (not wheelchair accessible).  Many people get a map in port, take the shuttle and walk back using the map


A popular DIY tour is to take a long walk on La Rambla which is the longest continuous sidewalk in the world.  It runs along the Rio de la Plata and continues along the entire coast of Montevideo for 22km (13.7mi).


A lot of shops close between noon and 2pm.


I passed on doing a tour and instead just did a 1.5 hour walk around the nearby colonial area.  I like to walk through Montevideo's Mercado del Puerto close to the port.  It consist of many stalls preparing wonderful wood BBQ meat feast meals.  It was a bit too early for the lunch crowd when I was there but the BBQs were in full operation in preparation for lunch.   


One more note re my long hike yesterday – I was twice warned by locals to be careful of my camera so there must be a well-known issue with thefts there.  I usually had the camera strap wrapped twice around my wrist and my hand on the camera body.  I also unused an older camera I brought along on this voyage.  I have not heard of any passenger having a problem.


We had our lunch today taking advantage of the grill area that was not very busy.  Did you know the first French fries weren't actually cooked in France?  They were cooked in ‘Greece’.


Today’s thought of the day - Decide how you want to feel, and go wherever it takes to feel that way.  -Andy Hayes


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