Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May 1,A daily blog and a virtual cruise through the Panama Canal!

Well, I guess everyone has gotten off the ship and the new people have started to arrive.  I would imagine that this trip will be hot and humid!  I am sure that Bill and Mary Ann will do a good job of keeping us posted!

Today, as usual, we went to coffee, Curves and Quick Trip!  Now we are at home doing some catch up type of jobs.  Isn't it interesting how we have so much to do in this modern age where everything is done for us?  I think I am missing something in this concept!  lol!

I talked to my DIL Melinda who, with her husband, my son, Todd are traveling the country in their 18 wheeler....they just dropped of a load of  Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in Hershey PA.  yum yum!!  Now they are taking a load of cream cicles to their next drop spot!

I am taking this opportunity to introduce to my family so in the future you will know who I am talking about!

Todd, my son, a retired tech person, and Melinda, my DIL and retired nurse,  have given up their dress up clothes for jeans and T-shirts  and are traveling the  US!  Todd and Melinda are the proud parents of Molly and Tyler!

   This is my grand-daughter, Molly.  She was married to Dexter last June.  Molly is studying to be a nurse.                                                            

This is Tyler.  Tyler starts college in the fall.  He just returned from 20 weeks training in the Air Fource National Guard.

This is Davin, my youngest and his wife, Amy.  Davin teaches school and Amy is a Pastry Chef.  Amy will be returning to school in July to enter the Medical field!    They live in Kansas City.  Davin and Amy are the proud parents of 3 cats!

This is my daughter Tami and her husband, Mark!  Mark is retired from the Air National Guard Reserves  and Tami is still active in the Air Force reserves.  Both Mark and Tami are nurses.    They are the proud parents of Aaron and Josh!

This is Aaron and Josh, 2 of my grandsons.  They are both working toward a career in the medical field.

What we did in Ft Lauderdale....but the Amsterdam did not!

                        Taken in Ft Lauderdale, March 2013 after taking a cruise around the bay!

Postcards from Paradise!

 Day at Sea April 30, 2013 Tuesday
Well, here we are at day 115, and the final full one of this world cruise. The morning activities included a Grand World Voyage photo slideshow preview in the Queens Lounge at 9:15am. We think this was designed to get the folks up early and into the lounge for a champagne disembarkation talk, followed by a crew farewell at 10am. It is at this talk that Bruce gives all the info the passengers will need to know for a smooth transition from the ship to shore tomorrow. It is a massive undertaking for the crew to offload all the luggage that we have seen building up in the hallways on every deck. If all goes well, everyone that is leaving will find all of their bags, take them through the customs check, deliver the ones that will be shipped Fed Ex, then find their rides to wherever. No matter how well is is orchestrated, it will be a zoo, and that is the main reason that we have chosen to stay on for another two weeks. Anyway, that will be tomorrow, and we still have the day to relax as we sail towards Ft. Lauderdale.

Another important job that we have been asked to do is fill out the guest satisfaction surveys that were delivered to our room after 11am. The number system that is used to rate our overall experience of each service and department on the ship is extremely important to them. The highest mark is a "9", and believe us, that is what they want from everyone. Yes, in a perfect world, that would happen. Nothing is perfect, so by being truthful, this is the best way to bring about positive changes in the cruise experience for the future. And the pressure was on, with the powers to be requesting these forms to be returned by 1pm today. Hopefully all of the written comments are read. This is our opportunity to dole out the personal compliments as well as observations of changes we may or may not like. By the time we stopped by the front desk at 4pm to ask a question about the immiration and custom forms, the large box for these surveys was stuffed solid.

Again, the weather was nice outside, so while the folks were at the talk, we were walking and enjoying the flying fish that popped up every now and then. Many folks that we usually see out here doing the same as us, finally stopped to chat and ask if we were returning next year. Sometimes it takes people two or three years before they will talk to you. We know some passengers by sight, but don't always know their names. And in a few years, we may be friends. Who knows? Thanks to these trips, we have met some pretty nice folks that we keep in touch with all year until the next trip. We call them "keepers".

While at the back pool, we noticed that four stacks of lounge chairs were sitting up on deck nine. Bet those lounges are brought down to the pool deck tomorrow for the next cruise. We'll be paying close attention to the changes that take place for the next 15 days. It will be different. If we want to spend our usual sun time back there, we will probably have to come early and save our lounges.

We did a little more packing this afternoon...very little. Half of it is done, and we have two more weeks to accomplish the rest. It's a great time to tweak the list for next time. Bringing less is always the objective. By the way, we got the REAL final gifts today of two refrigerator tiles with the world cruise map on them. The card said it all.....remember that travel is not about the destination, yet far more about the journey to get there.

This was on our minds when we went to our final dinner with our buddies at table 311. Carol and Van have been the most compatable tablemates that we have met in a long time. We thank former host Ellen for sending their names to us last year to add to the table. And of course Barb, our pal from many years ago. We have shared many laughs together over many, many long voyages. And finally, after most everyone left the dining room tonight, we taught Van and Carol how to play "cork-forking". Hey, we can't get into trouble now, because it was our final dinner together. They absolutely loved flipping the wine cork into the flower arrangement in the center of the table, or should we say "trying" to land it in there. Easier said than done. They are such troopers that we could have stayed there for another hour practicing. But since we all have to get up early tomorrow, we said our goodbyes, exchanging email addresses, hand shakes and hugs. Hope our paths cross again on anothe DAM ship.

The "good evening" cards on the bed also said it all this fine night.........ships that pass in the night are quickly forgotten, but nights on the ship are remembered forever. We can second that thought.

Tomorrow ends the world cruise, and begins a new one that will take us through the Panama Canal and back to the west coast of California. Looking forward to it.

Bill & Mary Ann


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