This was something new and we were told that it is only done on this ship. There was a cocktail party for all medal holders starting at 7:15 in the Hudson and Half Moon Rooms. A few medals were given out but since there were 99 people who were to get Copper medals -- they chose not to call out their names but instead they got their medals in their mail boxes. On all other ships the new medals are given out about 15 - 30 minutes before the Mariner brunch while all other medal holders watched. This new little get-together was very nice.
We were originally to have been here from 8 AM until 6 PM but with engine problems our times were changed to 10 AM to 5 PM. Since we got here so late - we got the last dock thus we had the longest walk to go to the shops by the pier.
Because we arrived so late and would be leaving early -- some tours were cancelled again.
The port area was mobbed. The lines for the tiny ferries to go into town were very long. You couldn't even get a taxi into town. We had wanted to go into town just to do something different but gave that idea up quickly. People were mad -- screaming at each other and pushing trying to get ahead of the lines. We ended up walking around the port area and then just going back to the ship. Our port verandah viewed the Epic.
I do have to say that I like the Epic's concept that the lifeboats are already at deck level and need only to be opened up and passengers walk right on compared to HAL ship's where the lifeboat has to be lowered down to the deck.
This amused me -- there were 2 gangways always opened and beside each gangway there was a sitting area for passengers to rest:
We were also told that the new parts had arrived for the engine and that they would start to tear the engine apart.
Tonight we went to the Pinnical for the Le Cirque dinner. It was very nice. Some people don't like the limited menu -- but we enjoy it. To each his own.
Around 6:30 PM the seas started to get really rough and the ship was rocking and rolling. I couldn't even keep my walker going in one direction when we left dinner. So we decided to call it a night and head to bed.
Since it was Valentine's Day and formal night there was a Valentine's Ball scheduled for 10 PM. We thought we would attend for a few minutes so that I could get some pictures. The next day we leanred that very few people made it to the ball.
When we got up the seas were still a little rough so Joe decided not to try and work out at the gym.
Around 1 PM the captain announced that they were still working on the engine to repair it. He also said that we were only going 15 knots and that we need to do at least 19 knots to get back to Ft Lauderdale on time.
Since there was a new show that we hadn't seen we thought we would go to that after dinner. But at 4 PM the cruise director made the announcement that the male lead singer had a bad throat and that the show would be tomorrow night. So much for that idea for the evening. Instead they would have a variety show.
While we were sitting in the MIX after dinner having an evening cordial, the hotel manager stopped by and asked us why we weren't at the Mariner's Brunch -- we had been scheduled to sit at his table. A couple of days before this we had been asked by several people if we were going to the brunch as they knew that we had skipped the last one on the Noordam. We had told them as well as the hotel manager that we had not received an invitation. On all our previous Collectors cruises Mariners are only invited to the final brunch -- not both. So we assumed the same thing was in place for this ship. The hotel manager explained that all mariners on the Maasdam are invited to all brunches when he is in charge. So here we go again -- another misplaced invitation. He said he would check into it -- we never heard why we had not gotten the invitation.
It was great not having to worry about packing like others were doing.
Today was the Suite Lunch in the Pinnacle. It was a very limited menu and I was surprised to see that there wasn't a vegetarian offering for the entree. Only about 30 people showed up -- poor showing. It was nice but I really preferred when we had the buffets -- more choices. The hotel manager walked around to all the tables and talked to everyone for a few minutes. The captain went to only one table and then left.
AT 4 PM it was announced that the production show was again cancelled -- this evening Lynn and the HAL Cats did a show.
We do not care for the Master Chefs dinner in the dining room on the last night of our cruises. On this ship it is only done for the fixed seating passengers. We like to end our cruises without the Carnival show and antics. So we booked the Canaletto. It was not good on this ship. We have done the Canaletto on other ships and have enjoyed it. Service was very sloooow. We had to keep asking for certain items. I had ordered the veal - it was very watery under its coating -- strange. Very low grade iif veal. On all the other ships we have gotten cotton candy right before our dessert -- not on this ship. No one got any.
And so that concludes the first segment of our cruise.
The captain really pushed it and we arrived back in Ft Lauderdale back in Ft Lauderdale by 7:30 AM -- we were docked at pier 25. The Zuiderdam, Island Princess and Seabourn Sojourn were also in port with us.
The officials very quickly cleared our ship and the Self Disembarkation people were called at 7:45 and Luggage Direct at 8. Shortly after that the colors and numbers were called. Thank heavens HAL has given up the silent disembarkation as it was a mess each time we did it.
There were 205 of us who were Intransit and we were told to report to the Showroom at 9:30. We were excorted off the ship at 10 -- quickly went through immigration, went upstairs and sat for just a few minutes and were back on the ship by 10:25. Only 1 woman forgot her passport and she ran back onto the ship and quickly was back in line. That is the fastest we have ever gone through immigration in years. usually we spend anywhere from 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours to go through immigration -- most of it sitting in the terminal waiting for the ship to go down to zero count.
I don't know how we lucked out -- but port side faced the ocean so after a few snacks in the Neptune Lounge we sat out on our verandah for most of the afternoon.
As per the new rules -- everyone including Intransit passengers -- must attend lifeboat drill. So at 4:15 we all reported to our lifeboat stations. This one did not go as quickly as the our first one. Our Roll Caller for our station kept calling cabin 520. Several announcements were made over the PA system for cabin 520, Mr and Mrs...... to report to their lifeboat station. After 10 minutes the captain came on and asked Mr and Mrs............ of cabin 520 to report to the front office. Then we finally had our talk. Took 20 - 25 minutes this time. I have no idea what happened to those people -- their cabin had even been checked. They weren't put off the ship as we left just a couple of minutes after the drill.
This evening was the Suite cocktail party in the MIX at 7:15. It was very crowded this time -- nearly everyone showed up.
We also moved our clocks forward one hour tonight.
We had planned on sitting on our verandah -- but we were only out there and the man on the verandah next to us started to smoke his cigar. It affected me right away and I started coughing badly and we had to go inside. So we just roamed around the ship and read most of the day.
The ship was pretty quiet as many people were tired from losing an hour's sleep.
Busy day -- at 11:30 we had the Indonesian Rijsttafel lunch for the Intransit passengers. And unlike the other ones we had on other ships -- it was limited to the Intransit passengers and was a sit down lunch.
Around 12:50 PM the captain came on and announced that we had a very credical ill person who needed to be airlifted off the ship. He said that it would happen later in the afternoon and he would let us know when the Crow's Nest and Spa/Gym areas would have to be evacuated.
At 2 PM we had our usual invitation for the free Navigator's wine tasting. But we felt too full from lunch to go to it.
At 3 PM there was the Indonesian Tea -- we didn't stay -- just dropped by to get a couple of pictures:
At 4:45 the captain announced that helicopter was on the way and should be near the ship by 5:15. The Crow's Nest and Spa/Gym areas were closed. The camera in the bridge was adjusted so that people could watch everything on the TV if they wanted to. The captain said that the nurse would be flying with the patient to San Juan and then she would fly from San Juan to meet the ship in St Thomas tomorrow.
The patient was to be flown from San Juan to Miami. The patient's wife was to fly from St Thomas to Miami.
The winds were high and the captain did an excellent job of turning the ship 30 degrees so as to use the ship as a buffer against the winds.
The helicopter made several attempts before everything fell into place.
The helicopter was very near our verandah:
Many of us were a few minutes late to dinner -- but no one seemed to mind.
As usual we are at Crown Bay -- I HATE this pier -- there are so few stores here. About 5 or 6 years ago HAL signed a 10 year contract to dock here and I hear that they will renew their contract to remain here.
For people with mobility issues it is very hard to get into town. The Safari buses have moved been down to the area where one building has never gotten any stores in it. We looked and looked for a regular taxi - the couple that were there were already reserved for wheel chair people and didn't want to be bother with those of us who had walkers.