Page 2 of SharonAN Travel Blog Posts

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic October 29th 2015

Today was not the first day that we enjoyed an extra hour thanks to the time zones that we are zipping across. And it’s not as in the Mediterranean where you both gain and lose the time as you go and then come back again. Here we are going west. The Captain had informed us that now that we’ve left the sanctuary of the Mediterranean that we would be exposed to the more robust seas of the Atlantic. We could expect the waves and swells to be increasing over the next 48 hours where we should anticipate seas reaching 20 feet… not quite the 45 foot seas that Sharon experienced off of the Falklands. Sharon went to mass and I worked some on the blog. When she returned we decided to start this sea day with ... read more

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Cádiz October 28th 2015

The Captain announced the night before that we would be passing Gibraltar around midnight. We would begin the passage around 11:30 PM; so, that’s what I set our alarm for so that we could see “The Rock”. Sharon didn’t hear my phone alarm; but, I did and went to see a shoreline full of pin lights adorning the shoreline. Through the darkness we could also see the outline of Gibraltar. Sharon mused from her sleep, “What’s up?” I told her that we were passing Gibraltar and she sprang to life, grabbed the camera and we both viewed Gibraltar from our starboard balcony blessed berth in our pajamas. It’s kind of nice that it worked out that way. Sharon took some pictures; but, feared that there wasn’t enough light to see anything but darkness in the picture. ... read more
Tower of Cathedral
Walls in Palace
Walls in Palace

Europe » Spain » Andalusia October 27th 2015

We started today in the Lido, I had some muesli and Sharon had waffles. We went into the Showroom and the tour dispatcher was trying to get people to sit down. Many were milling in the exit where we’ve been departing for tours on the portside. There was some murmuring when he announced that we would be departing on the starboard side today because they are replacing a window on the port side. We left the ship and were confronted by a rainy day. Our daily planner suggested partly cloudy. Well, there is no “partly” about it today! We got on a bus and were greeted by a woman speaking heavily accented English. She apologized about her accent, saying that she learned English from someone with a heavy French accent, so we got stuck with the ... read more
Small Church Bell Tower

Europe » Spain October 26th 2015

We had breakfast in the Lido. I went with the French toast and Sharon had waffles. We had no problem finding an inside table. We went down the front staircase, from our floor to the one below, and then down the strange “extra staircase” that winds down to the Main Deck from the Promenade Deck. We haven’t seen this on any other ship. There are a few other things that we haven’t seen on any other ships; and, certainly not on the Nieuw Amsterdam. Those are the several buckets arranged around the ship to catch water dripping from above. There is one up in the Exploration’s Lounge as you enter. We passed by one on the Main Deck. A couple days earlier we were walking holding hands and it seemed as if a glob of water ... read more
Palms of Elche
Palm with 9 trunks in Elche
Palms in Elche

Europe October 25th 2015

What a glorious Sunday. We weren’t rushed this morning with our expected arrival in port around 10 AM and also the gaining of an hour overnight. We’d gone to the Vigil Mass the day before so there will be no church today: unfortunately, we hear that that also means that many things will be closed to us in Palma de Mallorca (Spain) including the cathedral which will be opened only to those attending mass. We went to the Lido for breakfast and I had an American breakfast with eggs over medium with sausage, adding a bit of a continental touch with a couple of croissants. I still haven’t seen those warm chocolate dipped pastries from the first morning again. Sharon had waffles with blueberries. We stopped by the Exploration Lounge and picked up suduko and returned ... read more
View from top of Castle
Tower of Castle

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona October 24th 2015

We went up to the Lido and I had a big bowl of Swiss muesli and a pecan pastry and a croissant. I looked for those hot chocolate dipped pastries I enjoyed that first morning; but, they’d evidently been replaced this morning by the pecan pastry. Sharon was having potatoes and white toast; although, she only picked through the mixed potatoes of regular, sweet and blue potatoes roasted in pieces. I began sampling some of Sharon’s discards, and the blue ones were quite good (by taste, you couldn’t tell them from the regular potatoes, a point I made but was somehow lost on Sharon). Then she pulled the “John, If you loved me you’d go get me a chocolate croissant.” I made the mistake of telling her that I’d seen them when looking for the chocolate ... read more
Statue in the parking lot
The Cathedral and Monastery
The Black Madonna

Oceans and Seas » Mediterranean October 23rd 2015

Sharon went to mass while I got caught up on the blog. We went to the Vista Dining Room where we were seated across from each other at a table for six with two other couples. I had French Toast, link sausage, potato cakes and Swiss muesli. The steward did a double-take on “potato cakes” and then corrected me as “…oh, hash browns.” Well okay; but, they really are tiny round hockey puck-like potato cakes. They just don’t call them that on Holland America. Sharon had scrambled eggs and potatoes. We went up to the Crow’s Nest to do our Sudoku challenge, and I brought the sheets from yesterday that we hadn’t had a chance to do yet. We found the Crow’s Nest nearly deserted and sat down at a table. I’d beaten Sharon on both ... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany October 23rd 2015

It is like being back home again, waking up on a DAM ship; only, on this DAM ship there are a few things that didn’t give me that “like home” feeling that I did have on the Nieuw Amsterdam. It’s funny how not having the day of the week greet us in the elevators really shouldn’t be such a “big thing”; but, it’s just funny how it is. And taking my shower this morning reminded me of another, they’ve changed the bath gel from the refreshingly pleasing and distinctive amber liquid on all of the other DAM ships that I’ve ever been on, to this blue gunk that has a faint odor of something fruity (and I’m sure that it cleans just as well as the one that I’m used to) and it’s only real fault ... read more
Mountains - The white spots are Caraba Marble
Wall around Lucca with the white tents set up for this weekends Comic Book Festival

Europe » Italy October 21st 2015

We woke and were happy to contemplate that tomorrow we would arise back onboard a ship and hopefully have a relaxing final leg of our trip. We finished packing and made our way to the hotel reception and from there to breakfast. We checked in with the hostess who confirmed that we had pre-paid for our morning meal. It wasn’t the sumptuous spread that would be available to us tomorrow; but, after our late dinner and ice cream the day before we weren’t exactly starving. John was our driver again today. We were streaking through town on our way across the Tiber, and I noticed how he would alternately choose to drive on the center lanes (one in each direction for the cable cars, although some cars were using these lanes as well) or on lanes ... read more
Lake Angillara
Village above Lake Angillara

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome October 20th 2015

I needed to grab a cold water from the mini-frig in our room during the middle of the night (after consuming half a liter of wine the night before this “happy boy” was pretty thirsty). And I can hear Sharon saying now, “And whose fault would that be?” But now that I’m up, I worked on the previous day’s blog. It would be a shame to fall behind before getting on the Zuiderdam. By paying for the breakfast in advance when we checked in we saved 2 Euros for each meal over being charged at the door, and it didn’t make any sense trying to find something anywhere else. There was an ample spread including scrambled eggs, waffles, pancakes, many cold cereals and a full array of food for the typical Continental breakfast, including croissants (and ... read more
Statue of Moses
Knights of Malta Keyload
St Paul outside the wall

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