Cruising with the Girls......

Cruising on Crystal Symphony Jan 20th, 2008 - Feb 11th, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sitting in the Airport in Miami….

Wow ! So this is what the real world feels like !

We’re currently sitting in the Miami terminal awaiting our flight home. It’s a beautiful day when you look out the windows, but (as always) it’s a crappy day in the Miami Airport.

We’ve schlepped our bags, removed the necessary clothing, got touched in inappropriate places, and have generally been treated like terrorists. Ahhhhh ! Gotta love this airport !

We’ve been busy little girls (ok ok…so the diet starts tonight) It’s been a marathon of packing as much into our last two days as humanly possible.

First things first. Yes … our precious little video camera is officially toasted. We performed surgery on it only to find that the circuit board inside had corroded blue shorts all over it. We were sad. THEN on Saturday night, the last lithium battery that I had for our still camera ran out of juice. Sooooo…no pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Lynda has done the impossible. She crossed over to the other side ! Everyone is aghast that she managed to infiltrate the Panamanian family and score us an invitation to their home in Panama. Now this isn’t such a bad thing….they are gazillionaires after all. The girls from AHI have been calling her ‘traitor’ for the last 2 days. (Lynda refers to herself as a “mole”….with benefits)

We pretty much lazed away our last 2 days at sea. Saturday we lounged around the pool and then went to the Captain’s cocktail reception followed by the farewell formal gala dinner. Afterwards Pasquale insisted we join him once again in the wine cellar. This is very difficult for us. There are so many potential souvenirs in that room that it’s unnerving. (I had to duplicate a dress for this event…the dress I was going to wear for the last formal evening was, umm, a little too, err …. snug ? )

We tippled out of there and attempted to make a withdrawal at the casino with no success. Then we headed to Karaoke. OMG…many drunken passengers singing and dancing badly. We stayed there until a conga line began to form. That was our cue to hightail it out of there just after 2:00am. (very reminiscent of a 70’s wedding !)

Back in the room, we changed into our swim suits, wrapped ourselves up in our terry robes & slippers and headed to the pool. This was probably one of the highlights of the trip. There we were with the pool deck all to ourselves. It was all lit up, the water was so much warmer than the air, and the sky was an unbelievable canopy of stars. We floated around, hit the hot tub and called it a night just before 3:00. (damn that camera !)

We spent Sunday in much the same stupor. We skipped the Lido deck and had a light lunch in the dining room with a few glasses of wine. We headed back to the pool and ordered our afternooner bottle of Sancerre. This is when things got a little fuzzy.

The lido band wrapped up their set at 1:30 and the girls we’ve been chumming with in the casino decided that they needed the tunes to keep going. Who are we not to assist a party !? We went to our room and retrieved the iPod and Sound Dock to take back to the pool. We didn’t want to be responsible for any noise repercussions so we gave it to Connie (carbon copy of Fran Drescher’s “Nanny”)

To thank us for the tunes they sent over more wine *hic* and ordered up a bottle of champagne for the boogie-tunes. After an hour of this, we were all pretty tiddled.

Lynda thought that "Penthouse Hopping" would be the next logical step.

We started in our room (8 of us) and ended up in Teresa and John’s PS suite (bigger room than ours) The butlers were scurrying from room to room setting up an obscene amount of munchies. John was ordering bottles of Cristal (holy !) and we finally had to break it up at 6:00 so Connie & Jess could get ready for their early seating dinner.

It was rough sobering up enough to make our 8:00 reservation in Prego ! To while away the time we packed up our suitcases and got everything ready for an easy departure in the morning.

We were scheduled to depart the ship at 9:30 this morning so we managed to squeeze in a leisurely brekkie before we bid everyone adieu.

So here ends the gastronomic overindulgences.

That’s pretty much it for now….our plane leaves in half an hour.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Happy Friday !

Yet another evil entity presented itself on our door clip on Thursday night….

OMG !! After I stopped hyperventilating, Lynda informed me that all we need to do is sell an extra motor home or two (or three ?) and it’ll all be gone. Onward and upwards !

Incidentally, on Thursday morning there was another ‘episode’ as my butt met the Americans as we were docked alongside the Radiance of the Seas. Eeek !

In the Bistro, on the same morning, we ran into the head sommelier, Pasquale who enquired if ‘his selection’ for the casino was appropriate. He personally picked out the bottle based on what we’ve been having with our meals. He said that he’d tasted it after it was sent to our room, and thinks that he can find us a better bottle and vintage (Newsflash: the bottle he originally picked out for us is a 2003 Gevrey Chambertain that’s on the list for 165.00 ! Pasquale is our new best friend !) Viva la Vino !

We had another fabulous ‘vertical friend-girl date’ with the Joes on Thursday. We left the ship at 10:00 and Papa Joe went to ‘negotiate our ride for the day’. Juliana picked us up in a nice van and off we went to our first stop, Marigot. Who knew that Lynda and I would both adore Hermes !! Ya gotta like shopping with the French !

After Marigot we headed up to Grand Case for another fantastic luncheon at Le Tastevin. I tell ya, there is nothing quite like the view you get from their terrace. It was gorgeous.

Juliana picked us up at 2:30 and we headed back to the Dutch capital of Philipsburg to conclude our shopping day. Lynda dragged me, kicking and screaming, out of David Yurman and we were back on board by 4:00. (my shopping pout didn’t work --- this time)

We had dinner in the dining room and naturally headed to the casino. The Panamanians began singing O Canada when they spotted “Mees Leendah”. Even the little Panamanian children are learning our names. It’s kind of sad, really. YES they are very loud…but they are also one of the most close-knit families we’ve ever seen. It seems that Lynda and I are the only people outside of their family that have made any effort to speak with them (in totally butchered Spanish, we might add !)

Today we’re docked alongside the “Rising Sun” which is the 2nd largest yacht in the world. It’s really kind of ugly with way too much open deck. Initially when we saw it we thought it was likely another charter yacht. Apparently the head dude from Oracle owns it. But of more importance (to Lynda anyway) is the yacht that you can see just beyond, tucked in behind the stern with the little helicopter on the back. The yacht is called Vango, and gossip indicates that it is Oprah’s. Lynda’s been beside herself about it !

Arriving in St. Thomas means that it is time for customs clearance back into the USA. This is great because it saves us having to awaken at the crack of dawn on disembarkation day in Miami. Our customs call was for 8:30 which was nice because it got us up and around much earlier than we normally are.

We shuffled past the customs officials and had our stamped passports returned to us. After that formality we had brekkie in the dining room (another 1st for these past 19 days !) and then taxied into town prior to our afternoon sailing excursion.

Upon our arrival the main road was cordoned off by police tape. It looked kind of ominous, but it turns out that the island’s junior, public, and senior schools were having a parade through town. It was really neat…lots of local dancing and marching bands. We were surprised at the number of children in attendance…there were at least 300-400 kids all having a blast.

We had our mandatory Bloody Mary at Gladys’ and then walked back to the port area. St. Thomas has really developed the new part of the port area. The new shopping/condo/marina area is really chi chi. We showed restraint and only bought a couple of blouses.

Our tour was scheduled for a 12:30 departure from the pier. We’ve tried 4 times before to get onto this tour. When we initially boarded 3 weeks ago, we were on the wait list and told that it was very unlikely that we’d get bumped up. A little schmoozing with the shore excursions manager snagged us tickets the day before yesterday!

The “St John Champagne Catamaran Sail and Snorkel Adventure” was just that. We’ve never been to St. John so this was one of the reasons we were really wanting to do it. We left the dock in an open-air safari bus for the 30 minute drive to Red Hook Bay. We boarded the Calypso and off we went. With only 23 passengers and 3 crew we had lots of room to spread out and enjoy the sail.

The winds were fairly strong and we headed out on a vigorous beam reach that soon had sea water barreling over the bow and soaking anyone who was on the fore deck. Of course that was us. Lynda was attempting to get a video of the action when a giant surge of water smashed into us. That was the end of the video camera. (we’re kind of hoping it dries out and becomes operational again, but it doesn’t look promising)

Like a true Gilligan’s Island episode, the skies turned black and a tropical downpour ensued. We were soaked right through. The ship’s escort told me I didn’t quite look like ‘Spike” anymore. My secret is out ! I’m a natural “smoothie”.

When we anchored in St. John the skies were clear once again and we had 90 minutes to snorkel the reef and explore the beach. It was wonderful ! I didn’t point out to Lynda the 4 ft long Barracuda swimming along beside us for fear of an “incident”. Swim Lynda, SWIM !!!

A gorgeous sail with champagne, cocktails and canapés got us back to the dock and on to the ship by 4:30.

Tonight we’re going to Prego.

Two days at sea and we’re back to Miami *pout*

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sailing out of Antigua….

*WHEW* Is it Wednesday already ?? I think we’re suffering from blurred lines. For the past few days one day just blurs into another. We often don’t know what day it is or where we’re headed.

We’re past the ¾ mark now and starting to get that melancholy feeling about going home. Good thing we know the perfect cure for the melancholies …. VODKA !!

As we sailed out of Aruba on Monday, the skies opened up and it poured for a good 10 minutes (hey…that’s a major storm down here !) Oh my gosh…we had to scramble like mad to get our wine, wine glasses and lobster cocktails in out of the rain !! It was tough, I tell ya !

Lynda’s got Goran trained pretty well. He now bursts into our room with our 5 o’clock munchies yelling, “I’ve got JUICE !!” hahaha He then provides us with all the gossip up and down the floor. As his last days of the cruise ship industry are winding down he’s taken to showing up for a 45 minute chat fest. We really look forward to his arrival (Lynda had to rearrange a salon appointment today because it conflicted with this little pow wow !)

Let’s see…Yesterday was a sea day with not much going on. When we returned to our room at 2:00am (the night before) Lynda *hic* filled out our breakfast request. We actually did better than we did last week when I think we ordered for 10 people ! That day Goran showed up with a bigger table to serve all the food on ! YIKES

So Eggs Bennie showed up at 9:30 on Tuesday. After about 15 minutes I noticed that Lynda had a really sad look on her face. I asked her if she was OK and what was the matter. She looked at me with a forlorn expression and said “I don’t really like Eggs Benedict” I laughed so hard. If that’s all we’ve got to be sad about, we’re doing pretty good !

We lazed around all day. We decided to while away an hour at Afternoon Tea before getting ready for the Crystal Society party at 7:30. A couple of Goosetinis and Cosmos and we were ready for dinner.

If you can’t beat ‘em…..join ‘em !!

In the casino, Lynda decided that she was going to Panama. The Panamanian fellows were crowded around a Black Jack table with only one empty seat. GO LYNDA !! She strutted over there with a happy “Hola” and that was it ! She was happily welcomed and they were having a blast. All of a sudden a strange song, in a thick Spanish dialect, began wafting through the casino. Yup…Lynda was leading the Panamanians in a rousing version of “O Canada”. The whole casino burst out laughing.

Today we were back in Antigua.

During the night when we’re sailing we like to leave our sliding doors and drapes open so that we can hear the sea. Well. This morning I awoke with my little (ha!) bare butt pointing at the verandah. I turned over and OH MY GAWD ! we were docked directly alongside a HUGE Danish ship. Yup…butt meet danes…danes, butt !

We went ashore after breakfast for about an hour then returned to lounge and read poolside. Lynda got a hair cut and then it was time for cocktails.

We just sailed out of Antigua and we’re just heading to the Avenue Saloon.

Tomorrow we’re out with “The Joes” in St Martin again.

Report to follow.

Sorry if this is a little dry…we’re really not doing too much of anything and I’m having difficulty making it sound interesting !

OH…..sorry about the snow. AGAIN !

Monday, February 4, 2008

Hello from Aruba !

It’s 4:00 in the afternoon (we’re currently one hour ahead of home) and we’re sitting on the verandah after a wonderful day of shopping and imbibing by the pool. Once again it’s VERY hot ! You wouldn’t believe the view I have from here as I type this to you !

Let’s backtrack a bit.

Transiting the canal was still interesting. The Panamanians obviously had no interest in the canal, and they spent the day waving Panama flags and screeching at each other around the pool. Still more diapers entered the hot tubs. Yuck. Here’s some pics (sorry if they all kind of look the same.) The alligator we saw as we exited the Gatun locks was gigantic and really hideous. We scoped him out with the binoculars but couldn’t get a really clear photo of him. (see how we assume it was a dude ?)

On Saturday evening we met up in the Cove with Joe and Jody for pre-dinner drinks. Joe makes us feel a twinge of guilt as he’s always footing the bill for our drinking habits. (and we’re VERY good at drinking !) So we got to the Cove earlier than them and pre-arranged the bill. When it was time to go to dinner, Joe enquired about the bill and we told him that we took care of it. OOPS !! Apparently that is a huge insult to a southern gentleman who is inviting his friend-girls out !! He made us promise that we would never do that again. Consequently, when the sommelier arrived at the table in Prego, Joe commandeered the wine list and ordered a “significant bottle of red” for Lynda and me. Jody doesn’t drink, and Joe limits himself to only 2 glasses of white wine a day. Thou shalt not insult a southern gentleman. *hic*

We had a fantastic dinner, once again. Joe is an incredible conversationalist and he enjoys regaling us with stories of his ROMEOS (Retired Old Men Eating Out) After dinner Lynda, Jody and I headed for the casino, and Joe went dancing.

FINALLY, I managed to leave the casino with some purple ! *whew*

Yesterday was a lazy day at sea. Once again the Panamanians took over the Lido deck. While transiting the canal on Saturday, Crystal had flown in a “Junior Activities Director” who actually boarded the ship in one of the locks. On Sunday morning the children were blissfully busy doing other things elsewhere. All was quiet until lunchtime when they all gathered prior to their Kosher luncheon. Poolside was once again a noisy circus. There were pop cans and napkins and papers floating all over the deck. Around their table there was greasy food all over the floor. It’s a real shame to see the disrespect they have for the passengers around them.

Remi told us that Saturday was a record breaking day for passenger complaints at the front desk.

We headed to our room fairly early to spend some time out of the sun, reading on the verandah. Usually Goran is like clockwork, showing up at exactly 5:00 with canapés and ice. Yesterday he showed up at 4:30. I said, “wow, you’re early today !” He replied by saying that he was going to have cocktails with us today before his 5:00 duties. What a sweetheart ! We mixed up our usual Goosetini and Cosmo, and he popped some limes into a Corona.

We sat around chatting and drinking until his pager went off at 5:20. He’s a fascinating young guy who really seems interested in the people he meets. He’ll be disembarking with us in Miami and won’t be returning to shipboard life.

After cocktails, we decided to get ready early and head out to the Super Bowl festivities. We checked out the Hollywood Theater and the Connoisseur Lounge – jam packed. So we chose the Starlite Lounge as they had the biggest screen, a snack buffet and of course the bar. It was packed too. We drank a bottle of wine and then headed in to dinner.

At dinner, we decided to buy drinks for our service staff. It was pretty funny. Even when we got permission from the Maitre D’ AND the bar manager, our waiters and sommelier were still jittery about having a drink with us.

After dinner we played Roulette for a change of pace and we did pretty well.

Today we awoke in Aruba after sleeping in until 9:30. Last week we had the benefit of the clocks going BACK…this week we’re paying for it ! We had the Late Risers breakfast in the Trident Grill and then headed into town for a bit. I bought a pretty little Tanzanite & Diamond band that I told myself was due to success at Roulette. (okay…so I’m lying !)

We were back onboard by 1:00 and lazed away by the pool. No sign of the Panamanians, so it was an indulgent afternoon. (apparently another Junior Activities Director boarded today – flown in from Canada !)

So here we are on the verandah, once again. Lynda is just about to mix up the libations for 5:00 canapés. Tonight we’re dining in Jade Garden and we’re hoping that the chef has something exciting planned !

Oh…this morning I awoke with someone right beside me ! It was ME !!! yikes !

Saturday, February 2, 2008

From West to East….

Oh my goodness. A lot has happened since we last blogged.

We’re currently sitting poolside cruising the Gatun lake on our way to the Gatun Locks: due to arrive there at about 4:00. It’s a much breezier day than the last transit so it seems more comfortable, although I’m sure you’d still fry to a crisp if you spent more than 10 minutes in the sun.
OK….good stuff first.

Our dinner on embarkation day was in Jade Garden. On our arrival, John Poh, the executive chef rushed out to meet us. He asked if we’d allow him to prepare a special meal for us. Now who’s gonna decline that ? It was FABULOUS !! My gawd ! Each dish was a work of art and he pulled out all the stops. The best dish was a rock lobster tail threaded on a lemongrass skewer with a spicy Thai coconut sauce. It was unbelievable. We’ll be there again later this week and he’s promised to treat us to something new.

Okay people….the winners are…. David & Gary !!!

You probably all wanted to do this for us but weren’t sure if it could be done. VOILA ! As we were seated at our table last night, our sommelier, Raphael, presented us with a gift card and a lovely bottle of Merlot, compliments of our dear friends David & Gary from Boston. Don’t be shy now !

We had a fantastic dinner (precipitated by many Cosmos & GooseTinis at the Captain’s party) During dinner the Head Sommelier, Pasquale, visited with us and insisted we come for digestives in the wine cellar following our meal. He wanted us to see the room when it’s in action, still serving the latter half of the evening’s dinner. WHAT A BLAST !

Pasquale has got to be one of the most personable fellows on the ship. We probably spent an hour in there toasting to everything we could think of. He was extremely generous. My camera battery died right after dinner, so he’s invited us to do it again before the end of the cruise so that we can get some pictures. I think all 3 of us were a little tipsy when we left. (ut oh…once again we’ve committed to and pre-ordered some rather fancy selections for upcoming dinners – do you think we got the upsell ?)

Get them tipsy and wave yummy wine in front of them…we’re like Pavlov’s dog when the bell rings !

Tonight we’re going to dinner at Prego with Joe and Jody.

This is a very different cruise ! I have no idea where to begin to adequately describe what’s going on here.

We just returned from lunch in the dining room to find some big, sweaty, hairy ape laying on Lynda’s chaise lounge ! The pool deck isn't even half occupied ! Every day the lido boys set Lynda up with “her spot” as she prefers a chaise lounge to the table-side chairs. Her chaise lounge is complete with a pillow roll, a slip cover, her towel, her book and various other things she takes poolside. Voila ! ABDUCTED !! That has never happened to either of us before. When we leave for the day, we always pick up our towels and straighten our ‘zone’ so that it’s obvious that we’re gone for the day. This dude didn’t even change to a fresh towel ! YUCK !

Yesterday was our first day at sea with this ‘new group’. The staff and passengers are freaking out about the Panamanian family. There’s 40 of them and they’re all dining Kosher style. They’ve brought two Kosher chefs, two Kosher kitchen supervisors, their own Rabbi and there own service staff. The chefs are constantly in the kitchen demanding that the executive chef caters to their needs on THEIR schedule. The kitchen is a zoo.

The children are the most misbehaved kids we’ve ever seen. They’re running up and down the corridors, screaming and banging on doors. One of the 6 year olds paged Goran, the butler, yesterday afternoon and demanded that he come to his room and play with him. Goran wasn’t quite sure how to tactfully explain that the butlers are not toys.

In the dining room they’re running around underfoot…running to other sections, taking things off of other passenger’s tables, moving table settings around. It’s BAD !

None of the group knows how to speak to one another. They just YELL, constantly, back and forth, across rooms and decks. It’s unbelievably loud. The hot tub is full of screeching children jumping in and out, some of them in diapers.

Sasha, one of our favorite senior waitresses in the dining room, has lost 36 people from her station because of the proximity of her section to this group. Almost everyone has asked to be moved. (in dollars, their presence has cost her, personally, over $700.00 in tips for this week)

Last night at the Captain’s Welcome Gala, the children were all horsing around on the dance floor among the serious dancers, tripping them up. They were up on the stage getting in the way of the band and banging on drums while they were in play. It was a formal night, and none of this group conformed anywhere near to the minimum standard of dress.

Pasquale told us that they’re trying to get all of the family up on the Penthouse deck and that we should be wary of offers to switch rooms. (we figured we’d only do it if we could turn a profit and get full compensation for the cruise ! chances are slim !)

We can’t understand why the ship is catering in an above and beyond fashion to their needs AND letting their behavior go unchecked. Apparently there are a lot of complaints being registered. (of course we’re actually enjoying the show – but if we hear any whisper of compensation, you can bet that we’ll be in on it !)

The new Alumni Group are all 1st time Crystal Cruisers. We feel bad for them as they’re definitely not experiencing the product at its best. (probably why that big ogre took Lynda’s chair ! “It’s beginning to look a lot like Carnival around here !!” hahaha) 

The whole atmosphere is askew.
Here's a jungle shot...kinda cool how the greenery goes right down to the water !

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hola from Costa Rica !

Today we start the return voyage to Miami. This is probably a good thing since Lynda has taken a baseball bat to the deceitful mechanical entity in the bathroom.

Yesterday was a lazy day at sea spent sitting around the pool reading, sunning, gossiping and sipping. We bid farewell to several people that we’ve befriended and enjoyed the company of a cloistered little group that are staying on for the next segment. That really is a special feeling. There are only 58 people staying on from the last cruise and we all walk around with that evil little grin plastered across our mugs.

We had an excellent dinner in Prego last night and then closed down the casino afterwards. Other than the casino, the ship was a relative ghost town as most passengers had to disembark prior to 9:00am.

We were up and out of our room by 9:30 and had a light breakfast in the Bistro with the senior officers of the crew at an adjacent table. You should try saying “Good Morning, Captain” with a mouthful of croissant! Again it was nice to have that “we’re staying on” feeling.

On a moments notice we decided to take the shuttle over to Puntarenas which is about a 30 minute drive from Caldera. We hopped the shuttle without really organizing ourselves ie: no camera, no sunglasses, no water. The ground staff that were escorting the coaches, were fantastic. Nice young local fellas that really enjoyed sharing their culture with us.

As we approached the town of Puntarenas we were debating whether to just stay on the bus and head back to the ship as it didn’t look like a place you’d want to spend too much time in. Alberto, our tour guide, seemed disappointed that we weren’t going to explore. That was enough of a guilt trip to have us jump off of the bus and wander around for an hour.

This is our only Spanish speaking port for the entire cruise. (Unless, of course, you count Miami !) The crescent of beach that Puntarenas is built on goes on for miles. The local people were very friendly and there were no panhandlers or pushy vendors. We bought a Costa Rican carving for Bogey’s that I’m sure we only paid full price for because the guy that sold it to us was so charming. Chicks…we’re such pushovers.

We returned to the ship in time to catch the tail end of the Champagne Welcome Luncheon. The dining room was practically empty as most people won’t arrive until later (it’s a 2.5 hour drive through the jungle to get from the airport to the pier…plus a minimum 5 hour flight from the US) Goran told us that there were lots of passengers whose flights were cancelled due to weather in the North East. The penthouses on both sides of us have yet to arrive. That sucks because they won’t be able to catch up to the ship until Aruba (that’s 5 days from now !)

There’s a family of 40 Panamanians that boarded today. Grandpa is in the BIG penthouse and is footing the bill for the rest of his family. (Lynda is currently running down the corridor waving her arms and yelling “mi padre, mi padre !”)

We’ve seen about a dozen children so far. That’s a big increase over the 1 six year old that was on the last cruise. Methinks the pool is going to be noisy.

We’re sailing an hour before schedule tonight as there is a big Panamax freighter that has priority docking over our little cruise ship. We imagine that even more people will likely miss the sailing due to this.

We’re in Jade Garden for dinner tonight. We’ll head there while the muster drill is underway to ensure we get the best table. Another perk of a back to back sailing is that we don’t have to don our life jackets tonight. (we have a hilarious video of us dancing to “Sexy Back” in our life jackets from the last muster)

Our fingernails and hair is growing as though we’re corpses laid out in coffins. Neither of us thinks that our hairdos are going to last without a visit to the salon. I’m currently parading around looking like a bleach blonde version of “Link” from the Mod Squad. My spiky “fro” is now bigger than my head and like an aging old man; I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to ‘keep it up’.

The clocks go forward an hour tonight.

Sorry about the photos…we only have video of today.

Hmmmm…maybe something interesting will happen for tomorrow’s update.

Pssst….Goodnight, Betty :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

From Sea to Shining Sea….

Welcome to the Pacific !!

What a gorgeous morning. Last night the clocks went back another hour so we’re now an hour BEHIND home and blissfully enjoying an early morning on the verandah.
The last 2 days have been burn out days for us. We’re too old for this late night carousing day after day so we’ve been forgoing the Casino *gasp* and heading to our room fairly early (for us, anyway)
We’ve decided that proximity to the equator has a direct effect on how your bathroom scale and physical mass behaves. We’re currently just barely 7 degrees north of the equator and obviously our bodies are responding to the opposite of being on the moon (follow along with my twisted logic). Consequently, we are no longer standing on that unreliable piece of tin in the bathroom. So there.
Yesterday was an excellent transit of the canal. We really weren’t too interested in making a great effort to observe it, but we both found this much more interesting then the last time we did it. I think the narrator was more interesting than before as well. (and we were less hungover!)
Talk about HOT ! Oh my gawd…you couldn’t walk barefoot on the deck without your soles sticking to the teak and you could feel the sun searing into your skin. Just about everyone behaved like lizards for the day.
The ship cleared the Cristobel breakwater at about 5:30am and stopped adrift to pick up the pilot and commentator. To transit the canal, the Captain has to hand navigation of the vessel over to the pilot (I guess it’s a day-off for him !)
We couldn’t resist, and we were both out on the verandah from 6:00am until we cleared the Gatun locks at 10:30. Transit Nerds !

We went topside for part of the afternoon until the heat finally chased us to the verandah. Lynda had one of the Lido Deck Stewards bring down some chaise lounges, so it was a wonderfully relaxing day with gorgeous jungle scenery. We saw crocodiles as we crossed the Continental Divide. Very Cool.

We got Tess and Lenka in on a gag we played on Goran. Yesterday morning, after we left the room, they stormed in and draped the room from head to toe in white sheets. Lenka (our senior stewardess) then went and told Goran that the girls in 1040 (us) wrote her a long note detailing our concerns. He rushed to the room to see what the problem was and nearly fell over when he saw the white sheets. You had to be there.
The ship is in a melancholy mood today because everyone is preparing to disembark tomorrow. This is the fun part of doing a back to back…we just sit and grin.
Reading this back it sounds like it’s kind of boring ! You really have to be here to understand just how awesome it really is ! We’re so relaxed…if I read the same page of my book only six times over, I’m doing well !

In case you're wondering.....

My photo
We're just 2 girls who absolutely adore cruising with Crystal. We became "Crystallized" in 2003 while we were part of a *gasp* "Group Cruise" through our work. The nature of our business limits us to winter itineraries, but one day....ONE DAY....we're going to embark on a World Cruise. Is that a lofty goal, or what ?