Off to South America travel blog

Best coffee on the ship

High Tea in the afternoon

High Tea

Live music throughout the ship

More coffee please

Yesterday's entry should have been dated Jan 5. Because today is Monday, January 6th.

We are at sea for 2 days sailing to Lima, Peru.

This is turning out to be a nice, relaxing vacation. On our Grand Circle and OAT trips, we're out every day on some new adventure, no sea days! So we're relaxing this time.

Every morning we go to the gym. It's not very big or fancy but it's sufficient for our needs. A few weights and lots of cardio machines. And then of course there are lots of stairs to run up and down when we have nothing else to do.

Then we go to one of the coffee shops to get our coffee which is better than Starbuck's. Then we go off to breakfast. WOW! The selection is unbelievable. Today the main selections were Eggs Benedict or Huevos Rancheros. Of course there's always the omelet bar, oatmeal, grilled tomatoes, deli meats, cheeses, all kinds of breads and pastries. Basically anything you can imagine for breakfast. There's also the Vegan Smoothie Bar which looks kind of interesting.

We have a miniature putting green with competitions, a casino with competitions, table tennis with (you guess it), baggo bean, canasta, duplicate and social bridge, texas hold'em, art classes, cooking lessons, seminars in the gym on various health issues, spa, mensa daily quiz, line dancing, needlepoint, shuffleboard, bingo, team trivia, blackjack tournaments, afternoon tea, musical shows in the evening (too late for us, starting at 9:30 pm). In the evenings, they also have music in the several cocktail lounges, piano, string quartet and band. There are movies on the in-room televisions. I mentioned on the first day that there are several specialty restaurants. I forgot to mention the Red Ginger restaurant with Asian cuisine. So there are the 4 specialty restaurants, 6 bars, the Grand Dining Room, the buffet, 3 grills, and several boutiques.

During these sea days, they offer Enrichment Lectures. We listened to two today.

Greg Wheeler, retired from California State University, Sacramento as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Professor of Metallic Ore Deposits (or you can just call him a geologist). Today he talked about "The Restless Earth Explodes and Shakes: Volcanoes and Earthquakes of South America and the Caribbean". We felt like we were back in school except there were no pop quizzes or tests. It was very interesting. He told us that the "floating continents" theory has basically been disproven. I'm so glad to hear that. I didn't like the idea of us just floating around the world bumping into each other. He explained the new theory. I didn't quite understand it completely but it makes a lot more sense. I'll have to consult with my family geologist when I get home, but basically, the land didn't move but the water rose and filled in the lower spaces which made the continents look separate.

Another coffee during the break.

The second lecture was by Ernie Rea. He is one of the BBC's leading broadcasters; from Northern Ireland; has a great sense of humor; and of course a great voice. He told us about "The Conquest of the Incas". In a very small nut shell, the Spanish Conquest of Peru starting in 1526 was one of the most important campaigns in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. It took years of preliminary exploration, smallpox and other diseases, and military skirmishes before they completed their conquest in 1572.

Then's it's time to eat again! Lunch!! Specialty is all things Mexican, plus everything else they always serve. Doug and I have been holding ourselves to salad for lunch. Of course the salads are even delicious. Always just a little different with different dressings. Very fresh. And the people watching is fantastic. Who's eating what. There's an Asian group traveling together and they can really eat. And they are all so slender.

Hygiene is of the utmost importance. They keep reminding us to wash our hands and use the sanitizer before coming into any of the food places. This cruise isn't getting the norovirsus!!

After lunch, Doug reads and I work on the blog. At 3, Doug rushes off for his second workout of the day. Just some more cardio!! Now it's 4 and he's off to take pictures of High Tea! I'm not going because it would be too tempting not to try some of the goodies. He just got back and said it was a good thing I didn't go!!

Tonight we're going to dine at Toscana's on some Italian delights. Will report on it tomorrow.

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