Saturday, January 22, 2022

December 14, 2021 – Charlestown, Nevis – Mostly Cloudy, Chance of Showers, 79F

COVID-19 Regulations in Nevis:  Only fully vaccinated passengers can go ashore and only on Azamara run excursions.  No independent tours and you must carry your vaccination cards. 

COVID Testing.  We received a letter last night that all 401 passengers would need to be tested using the antigen test today (perhaps to satisfy a requirement for Barbados or just to monitor how mitigation is working on the ship).  We have a 9:15 AM appointment in the Living Room.

The Cafe opened at 7:00 AM and I was there right when the barrier came down.  I had the usual great breakfast and sat at my distanced and wonderful window seat.  We are supposed to arrive in Nevis around 9 AM but, I did not see Nevis while I was having my breakfast.  Just ocean and no islands anywhere.

As it turned out, we were not at Nevis but instead Quest was on a marine rescue mission, this time dealing with two stranded sailboats.  I didn’t know any of this was going on until much later.  There were no announcements and whatever was happening was not on our side of the ship.

When I got back to the cabin with Ellen's breakfast, I got a call from Tanya asking if I could put on a talk at 10:00 AM to help fill in activities for an unscheduled half sea day.  I said that wouldn’t be a problem and I would do “Identifying the Famous and Infamous”. 

Ellen and I went up the Living Room for our test but when we got there the line snaked all the way through the room (at the end of the line, there were maybe two or three Eurofins (again) samplers).  The wait estimate was about 45 minutes – in fact, after I got there, they shut the doors to keep the rest of the crowds away.  And this was all a scheduled operation with set appointments.

We left – I had to get to the Theater – and would come back after my talk.  Well, as you might expect, with the whole ship being tested and this being a last-minute deal, there were only 10 people at my extra talk.  Despite the expected low turnout, the talk went well.  I had to make some quick changes to make the talk make sense as it was out of order.  I did my part to keep at least a few people entertained during the rescue.

We went back to the Living Room and the wait was still about 45 minutes – I had enough time to go back to the cabin and change my clothes and only moved up about 10 feet in the line.  Well, eventually, we did get tested – that probe seemed to reach to the wall of my sinuses (ouch).  In about an hour, we both got our negative results.  Captain Johannes came on the PA to announce that ship wide testing has revealed one positive antigen test, which was confirmed by PCR.  The passenger and contacts were now in the special Isolation Cabins – these cabins have dedicated ventilation and HEPA filter systems so that infected people cannot share air with healthy passengers.  I don’t know how long the isolation lasts or whether they get disembarked and travel home.  No details were forthcoming. Quest had only been in one port since the beginning of the cruise and that was yesterday so the guest must have returned a false negative result on boarding and the viral load increased to the point of registering positive today.  

We got to Nevis just after lunch (about four hours late) so all of the excursions had to be modified.  

To make things even more complicated, Nevis is a tender port so tenders from both sides of the ship were ferrying people to the island.  From our vantage point in both the Café and on deck, we did not see too many passengers on the tenders.

For lunch, we ate in the Windows Café – I had a salad from the salad bar and some tuna on a brioche.  Good and just enough.  The tuna salad is pretty good on this ship (especially the Tuna Brioches in the Mosaic Cafe).

There was a wonderful breeze across Deck 5 so we spent the rest of the afternoon on those comfy loungers.  I am still reading “Better off Dead” and the story has begun to pick up its pace.

It was Italian Night up in the Windows Café and some of that food made its way down to the Discoveries Restaurant.  I had Vegetable Spring Rolls (with a smidge of peanut sauce) (an Italian delicacy) and the Caprese Salad (missing the balsamic vinegar) as starters, the Ravioli with Spinach and Mascarpone Cheese and Creamy Tomato Basil sauce and a Cesar Salad. I had the Cherry Ricotta cheesecake for dessert – the NY Cheesecake is much better.  The cheesecake, no matter the type, needs to be colder. The dinner was very good.

Because of the schedule change due to choppy seas, we are seeing two production shows in a row.  “Jump, Jive, and Swing” sounded familiar, 

but I couldn’t find it in my cruise log.  Dancing and singing made up the show.  The only memorable song was “My Way” sung as a duet by the lead singers.  

The stage seemed empty with only two lead singers and four dancers – my opinion based on past shows.

I was able to document the nighttime sail away from Nevis.

This crazy day finally came to an end. 

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