January 17th was our last day on the Amazon River. Mid morning at Macapa, a Brazilian pilot boat pulled up close to the ship and two Brazilian pilots with all their gear transitioned from our ship to the boat. As they pulled away they took photos of the ship and waved goodbye. Our captain sounded two long blasts of the ship’s whistle to bid them farewell. We were able to watch it all from our cabin balcony.
The next day, two certificates were delivered to our stateroom commemorating our successful completion of the Amazon River.
In the evening we had a final evening show by the Oi Brazil performers. As usual, their performance was topnotch, leaving the audience on their feet applauding and cheering.
At the finale, our cruise director Kimberly surprised us by appearing on stage dressed in one of the native costumes. She is definitely one of the best cruise directors we have ever had. She is always enthusiastic, helpful and full of energy and surprises.
In the evening we also crossed back over the equator.
We now have three sea days as we make our way in the Atlantic Ocean to our next port of call, Grenada. The sea days can be as active or lazy as you make them. There are many activities to choose from each day. There are pools and hot tubs of course. Activities include guest lecturers, upcoming port talks, arts and crafts, flower arranging, poker, bridge, bingo, a fully equipped gym, pickleball, Tai Chi, aerobics, watercolor painting, cooking demonstrations, pilates, dance classes, health seminars, trivia games, shuffleboard, creative writing, book clubs, games and cards, chess, afternoon tea, a movie with popcorn each afternoon on the large screen in the main stage theater, etc.
A group gets together and knits and crochets blankets for children. It is called the “Linus Project” and last year hundreds of blankets were completed. In the evenings there is some kind of show and different music venue. Everything from an orchestra playing classical music, a rock band in the Rolling Stones Lounge to a piano bar playing hits through the decades.
Food is also always available whether in the formal dining room, the informal buffet or in the pool area where they serve hamburgers, hot dogs and fries. The buffet has a special area which changes each day. Mexican, Asian, Thai, Brazilian, etc. One day it was “New York Deli” with American flags on display. Bill was thrilled to get a reuben sandwich, one of his favorites. In our cabin we have movies on demand with many movies of different genres. The movie titles are changed occasionally with different movies added or deleted from the list. We also get several TV channels such as Fox News, BBC, MSNBC, Food Network etc along with a special events channel. This weekend it is showing all the football playoff games.
It is almost impossible to be bored or hungry on a sea day!
On January 18th a James Bond movie was shown in the theater. That evening was formal dress night in the dining rooms and the theme was Casino Royale. The dining rooms were decorated like casinos and they had all kinds of games, free drinks and prizes.
On January 19th they had a King Neptune Ceremony by the pool. King Neptune and his queen arrived to pardon all those who had sailed the equator for the first time.
Kimberly, the Cruise Director, presided over the court while the captain and his officers were the judges.
The ship crew who had crossed the equator for the first time were Pollywogs. They had to kiss the fish and then get slimed. The judges determined whether they jumped in the pool or had to bake in the sun.
In the end King Neptune accepted their seaworthiness and pardoned them. They officially became Shellbacks. A corny ceremony but all in good fun with lots of laughs. All the passengers received a certificate certifying our passage over the equator.
One evening we had a performance by The Flyrights from London, England. Their high energy performances included Motown and soul. They were fantastic and had everyone on their feet twisting and dancing. We were all disappointed to hear they were only performing for one night. Most ship performers were booked for two nights of shows. Evidently the Cruise Director was bombarded with requests for them to have a second show. We were surprised to see a second performance had been arranged, bumping the second show by a mentalist who did not impress the crowd. As Kimberly, the Cruise Director, said when she introduced the Flyrights at their second show, “what Grand World guests want, they get“. It was another great performance that had everyone dancing, clapping and singing. We hope we see them sometime in the future on another cruise!
Next up: Saint George’s, Grenada