Sunday, December 28, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 – At Sea – Pacific Ocean – Mostly Cloudy – 84F

The weather continues to be warm as we continue toward the Equator…

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I have the morning off so it is filled with reading and relaxing.

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There were some birds following the ship and I managed to catch up on camera.

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Our Avian Escort

My next presentation, “Mysteries of the Titanic”, is scheduled for 1:15 PM.  It is another good turnout with about 550 – 600 people in attendance.

Dinner tonight was in the Horizon Court – I went over to the Trident Grill to pick up a slice of their pizza.  On the way, I passed the huge outdoor theater screen.  This time, on the screen was an image of the moon with loud music in the background.  There were plenty of people watching this.

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The Moon on the Screen

After dinner, we went to the Vista Lounge to see comedian Scott Harris.  We have seen him before and he is funny but the last time, he focused on “old people” jokes.  No so this time.  New stuff and very funny stuff.  Always good to have a comedian on board.

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Comedian Scott Harris 

After Scott finished, we went over to the Theater to see the Singers and Dancers perform.  I think they were part of the show also featuring Flautist Stephen Clark (and we got there late).

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014 – Puntarenas, Costa Rica – Sunny – Hot – 85F

Cabo San Lucas to Puntarenas, Costa Rica: 1692 Nautical Miles (20.3 knots)

A beautiful day in Puntarenas (“Sandy Point”), Costa Rica.  We are not on any tours today (we have done just about all the tours from this port), so we plan to walk around the town to see how it has changed since we were last here.  After all of the sea days, it is good to walk on non-moving surfaces again.  Also, it is always interesting to see what the beach side vendors have to offer.

The calm waters of the Bay of Nicoya can be seen from the ship – perhaps some volcanoes in the distance also dot the horizon.

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Bay of Nicoya

Getting to the town from the ship involves walking the extremely long pier – the little train that transports people back and forth from the ship is not yet running so we walk (quickly since there is no shade on the pier). 

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The Long Pier to the Town

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The Golden Princess from the Pier

Although it is a nice day, there are few people on the beach.  From the pier you can see the length and breadth of the Puntarenas peninsula (below)

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Our only stop in the town was at a new supermarket to buy some bottle water (about a dollar but we got back some CR coins).  We then walked through the town and back to the beach area.  We passed a park complete with statues (not in the greatest shape) and a church.  This is where I used to go to get WiFi but now my carrier is supplying worldwide data and text so I don’t have to deal with a very hot and musty WiFi center anymore.

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Park with WiFi store at Right

Back at the beach – this time on the other side of the pier, we not only could get good pictures of the ship but we also noticed piles of wood on the beach.  We were not sure what these wood piles were but they were organized and spaced out in an orderly fashion.

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Shooter Getting Shot

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At the Pier

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Me and the Golden Princess Docked

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Golden Princess and Wood Piles on the Beach

We returned to the ship and found a nice place on deck to read and look at the scenery.

After dinner, we went to the Vista Lounge to watch the Singers and Dancers perform “Words and Music” – standards and musical theater numbers.  The small venue worked and the show was entertaining.

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“Words and Music” 

We have found a new quiet place to read and listen to soft music.  Orphea with lead singer, Pascale Guertin, plays nightly in the Wheelhouse Lounge.  She is under amped so you can listen and read at the same time.  Her song selections are great – standards to show tunes, to Spanish and French songs.  Our place, at last.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014 – At Sea – Pacific Ocean – Sunny – 82F

Another warm day at sea…

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Deck 14 Aft Poolside

The Golden Princess has a huge “spoiler” type structure which arches over the pool on Deck 14.  I thought this was a structural feature, to give the ship that starship look.  Turns out that this archway hold the “Skywalker Lounge” (appropriate name), which is the late night Disco venue.


Skywalker Lounge from Underneath

Had to get moving this morning because my next presentation,
“Genetic Eyewitness” is at 10:30 AM (following a time change last night).  The turnout is a bit down due to the time but the theater still had between 450 to 500 attendees. 

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Morning Crowd in the Princess Theater

The talk went well and I had quite a few people wanting to talk to me afterwards – we could actually chat in the theater since there was nothing following me in the theater this morning.

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Post Talk Chat Time

After a relaxing day at sea, I took some shots of the sunset before we headed off to dinner.  Most of the dinners were in the Horizon Court because of the limited number of non-meat choices in the Bernini Dining Room. 

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Ellen on Deck and Dusk in the Pacific

Showtime tonight featured an encore performance by Sonia Selbie.  I even got in the act because just after the photo below, she came over and ran her fingers through my hair.  My 10 seconds of fame.

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Heads Up, Sonia is Coming My Way

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Above – “Through the Eyes of Love”

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“Someone Like You” (better than Adele’s Version) 

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Taking Her Bows

It was a terrific show and she was in excellent voice.

Tomorrow, we are in Puntarenas, Costa Rica.  It will be good to get on dry land after three days at sea.

Sunday, December 7, 2014 – At Sea – Pacific Ocean- Sunny – 82F

Happy Birthday, Leo…

The weather continues to be very nice as we continue South along the coast of Central America.

Breakfast in the Horizon Court CafĂ© – tried an omelet today but reverted back to my waffle combo – a creature of habit when it comes to breakfast.  I brought Ellen an eggbeater omelet to the room – it was good and will be the breakfast of choice – along with fruit - for personal room service.  Princess has improved their omelet process – you get a ticket for your omelet in the buffet line and hand it to a waiter – in a few minutes a hot dish is delivered to your table.  Beats standing in a crowd around the omelet counter.

A warm morning meant reading on the deck.  We tried something different today – we went to the adult pool next to the gym on Deck 15 forward.  It is pretty quiet and today, there were a few empty deck chairs.  The venue was very comfortable and we managed to get some lemon ice water brought to us by the deck butler handling the pool.  Perfect place for reading with the only downside being that the pool area has no view of the sea.

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Adult Pool – Deck 15 Forward

Lunch is special today – The Crown Grill is running its “Pub Grill Lunch” – Fish and Chip, Bangers and Beans, etc.  We got there pretty early because we thought it would be crowded – it was actually only partially full – no wait would have been required.  We had the supremely greasy but very fresh and tasty fish and chips (I asked for another piece of fish because the last time we did this on the Grand Princess, the plate only had one piece of fish).  This time, there were three pieces of fish.  It was all really good albeit still very greasy.  Only drawback – only water and drinks are served during the lunch. 

I was already dressed for my talk today, which was scheduled for 1:30 PM.  The “Mystery of the Romanovs” was very attended with about 550 people in attendance.  The only seats not occupied were right in the front, where it is difficult to see the slides.  

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Mystery of the Romanovs – Nice Turnout

The seas got a little rough in the afternoon and I was able to witness the water attempting to leave the pool.

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Rock and Roll in the Pool Area

The show tonight in the Theater features an encore performance by singer, Chris Riggins.  He put together another entertaining show.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014 – At Sea – Pacific Ocean – Sunny – 82F

The weather is still nice as we head South toward Costa Rica…

Breakfast in Horizon Court.  It’s warm so I need out at the pool area.  Standard but good breakfast – waffle, cottage cheese, sour cream, and preserves.  The coffee is good and the wait staff comes by often with refills.

The morning is a relaxing one – reading and watching the water go by on Deck 14 aft.

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Why We Sail – Back Deck


I am hoping that the presentations have legs as my second presentation is scheduled for 1:30 PM.

“DNA Testing -Cold Cases Solved” – draws over 500 people.  The techs have improved the sharpness of the image using modifications to the computer aspect ratio and some magic in the control booth but it is a trial and error process.  The headset works great.

It is warm enough to sit out on the deck and read.  I finish the Jack Reacher novel - “Worth Killing For”.  I liked the novel because it had more than the usual number of bad guys being popped by Jack.

Started “Riptide” by Robert Prescott – modern day take on Jack the Ripper (in Venice California).  The book’s protagonist, Jennifer Silence, is a forensic linguist and document examiner.  I found out about this book while reading an article on line about the current Jack the Ripper DNA controversy.  The author of the post suggested reading his fictional take on the Ripper so I did.

After Dinner, it is still warm outside and so I hop out on the deck to get a shot of a beautiful Pacific Sunset.

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Tonight’s headliner is Sonia Selbie – a perky singer with a lot of movement and a pretty big voice.  She didn’t say much about her background (not much on Google either).  Her show was very entertaining but she moves around a little too much.

She made her way through the audience while singing “Downtown” but her showstopper was “I Dreamed a Dream”.  Not many singers have the range and pipes to do that song but she pulled it off.

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After the show, we went up to listen to Lynn on the piano on Deck 7.  We had seen her before on the Island Princess.

A little peace and quiet on Deck 7 between the theater and Vista Lounge was next so we could get some reading done.