The fjords of South America – magnifico!

LOCATION:  Cruising along the Beagle Channel which cuts through the southern tip of South America
WEATHER:  Mostly sunny (for great views!).  High 52

We left Ushuaia at 10:00 and started meandering through the Beagle Channel.  This was the “shortcut” around South America that Darwin sailed through.  The channel is highlighted in red on this map….

The entire day was spent oohing and aahing over the scenery on both sides of the ship.  The jagged mountains seemed to rise from the water. 

We passed hundreds of glaciers. 

Waterfalls from high up seemed to flow straight down to the water.

In the afternoon, the captain announced that we would detour from the regular route and nose ourselves into a narrow fjord.   We started seeing big chunks of ice floating in the water.

And then…….it was right in front of us – a glacier sitting right on the water.  Just breathtaking!

We had to make a 3-point turn to turn around in the narrow fjord.  We were really close to this rock!

Later in the afternoon, I did some laundry. This Azamara ship offers a small, free laundry, even with laundry detergent.  (Most cruise lines don’t offer this and you have to pay $$$ to get your clothes washed.)   It is a tiny place and today was packed with women trying to figure out how to operate the machines and decide whose clothes were where in several languages.  I spoke Spanish to one lady, showing her how to operate the washer, and heard French and Portuguese-speaking women trying to communicate with one another.  Then a lady from Fiji joined the crowd in broken English.  Finally a prim and proper Englishman came in, clueless about how to do laundry.  I helped him sort things out.

DINNER:  We ate again in the main dining room.  George had Chilean bass which he said was excellent, and I had an ahi poke’ bowl. 

George had a beautiful dessert….

After that, we had to go out to open water (the Pacific) to skirt around the channels.  The waves were really high.  While we were eating, a particularly big wave rolled into us, causing an ice bucket full of wine to fall over and crash on the floor.

The entertainment was very good again tonight, a magician/comedian.  I almost didn’t go to the performance, as I don’t particularly like magic shows, but he was quite good.  

We behaved ourselves tonight, going to bed right after the show.  We’ll dance again another night. 

George followed me to the End of the World!

LOCATION:  Docked in Ushuaia, Patagonia, Argentina.   
WEATHER:  Overcast.  Much warmer than we had thought.  High 53

The excursions provided by the cruise ship are quite expensive, so we decided to go on our own today.  We are in the part of Patagonia called Tierra del Fuego – Land of Fire.  We learned it got its name from the Indians who lived here.  They cut brush in the foothills for fire and warmth.  When the Europeans arrived by sea,  they saw lots of smoke in the hills and then named it after that.   Ushuaia is the southern-most city in the world.  They call it “El Fin Del Mundo” – the end of the earth. 

Our first impression of the city, about 60,000 is that it looks like a rough-and-tumble frontier town.  It reminded us of Homer, Alaska.  There is a big airport as a lot of tourists fly in here to catch ships to Antarctica.  This is one docked next to us….

With 3 other people, we negotiated with a taxi driver, arranging transportation to the Tierra del Fuego National Park, and a 3-hour tour of the area.  It ended up being a fraction of what the same tour costs if we had booked it through the ship.  My Spanish came in handy!

We get used to not carrying anything with us on the ship other than our room key which is also used to charge anything we buy.  Otherwise, we keep our billfolds, credit cards, and cash in the room safe.  Once we disembarked and started the negotiation of the taxi, we realized that we had not brought anything!  Thankfully the others had enough USD and Argentian pesos between them to pay for us, too.  We felt a bit foolish.

The tour started with a photo op on the bay.

Then, we drove to the park.  It felt like being in a Canadian or American national park – same vibes.  The roads were sand and gravel and it was very dusty.  The driver said they haven’t had much rain and they are really suffering from climate change.  He said in this part of the world that is often cool/cold, they have started reaching 30C (90F) in the summer, something totally unheard of in the past.

When we entered the park, we saw this sign telling people to not feed the foxes.

Unfortunately, they must not obey this rule, as we saw a fox approach a car, looking for a handout.

Our first stop was a lake filled with run-off from the snow melt in the mountains surrounding it.

At another stop, the driver dropped us off and we hiked through the forest to the other side where he picked us up again, in this bay below.

The last stop was a bay on the Beagle Channel with its own post office.  We were a bit south of Ushuaia, and so this post office is the most southern in the world.  In addition to selling stamps, and stamping them with “End of the World” stamps, the hut sold souvenirs and boasted a wood-fired stove for warming.

Back in town, we walked around seeing what there is.  (Not much).  Their main business is tourism, from cruise ships and for the people who come here to catch the Antartica ships.  It is also popular for skiing in the winter.     We joked with this man grilling sandwiches.  They smelled so good!

We saw some bicyclists who had biked all the way down through South America on the Pan America Highway as well as a few campers.  The license plates were from France and New York.  What a trip!

George went back to the ship to get the credit cards so we could stop for a coffee and wifi.  He had the lemon pie while I hit the internet.

There was no urgency to get back to the ship as we are docking here overnight.  A Carnival cruise ship docked next to our ship.  It is about 8 times bigger than ours!

DINNER:  We ate from the buffet tonight as it was Japan night.  I mostly ate sushi, which was pretty good. 

Tonight’s entertainment was the house singers and band with a theme of “The Crooners” – lots of Frank Siniatra, etc.  Then, we went to the lounge and danced with the Lucky Boyz band.  We sat with our Scottish friends.  We all decided to stick around for the D.J. and more dancing.  I asked the D.J. to play “September”, then got a group out on the dance floor to do a line dance.  Fun!

This evening, I had worn my world map shirt.  Many people came up to me to compliment me on the shirt and to point out (on my body) where they lived/had traveled.  A bit strange! This is the Assistant Cruise Director (the guy) gasping in shock at my blouse.

Made it to midnight tonight!

Heading to El Fin Del Mundo – The End of the World!

LOCATION:  In the far South Atlantic, going west from the Falkland Islands to Ushuaia, Argentina
WEATHER:  Much chillier.  High 52

Lots of people read during the day, especially on sea days.  I found a cozy, quiet nook with sun streaming through the window to read.  Very nice.

We met up with Lee who will be our world cruise concierge on our cruise in 2024.  He wanted to know our questions and wanted to introduce himself as a contact for communication before the cruise.  He said there will be 270 of us on the world cruise; others will join for just legs.  Whenever he sees me around the ship, he calls me “Miss World”.  Funny

We attended a lecture about the European sailors who discovered the southern routes around South America for trading (where we are heading).  We like the fact that there are educational sessions almost every day. 

We played Bingo again, not winning the main prize, but snagging an Azamara T-shirt. 

Then, a special afternoon performance of the house bands and singers/dancers.  It was a Broadway show-type performance with the theme of “Wanderlust”. 

After that we played two trivia sessions in one of the bars as we watched us approach the bay with Argentina on one side and Chile on the other.

  The rugged mountains stretch up from the ocean on both sides.  Glaciers top the mountains.  It is very dramatic scenery.

In late afternoon, we started seeing boats and other signs of civilization..

DINNER:  In the main dining room….George had the hake..

And I had a vegetable curry dish, the first thing I’ve eaten here that I didn’t really like….not nearly spicy enough!

We docked about 8:30.  The twinkling lights of Ushuaia welcomed us.

BOOK:  “Last to Die” by Tess Gerritsen.  This is part of the series with a female medical examiner and police detective.  4 stars out of 5

Feeling very British in the Falkland Islands

LOCATION:  Stanley, Falkland Islands
WEATHER:  A bit cooler.  High 60

We anchored outside of Stanley about 8:00 AM and took a tender (actually the life boat) to the main island.   The Falkland Islands (The Malvinas)  are a protectorate of England, although Argentina claims that it belongs to them.  There are about 750 islands but almost everyone lives on the main one. We are really far South!

Some people we had met met earlier invited us to join them in a private tour that they had arranged on the island.  It turned out that there was only room for me, so George stayed in Stanley and roamed the town.

We first drove around the coast, spotting a few shipwrecks.

We stopped at a sandy beach and watched the small Magellenic penguins running around and hiding in their burrows.

Leaving Stanley, the roads are bumpy gravel with sand that has blown from the dunes.    Everyone drives 4X4s.  The island has about 2500 people, with almost everyone living in the town. 

In addition to watching the penguins, it was very interesting to talk with our driver.  He is a zoologist, and not really a tour operator.  He said people either love living in the Falklands or absolutely hate it.  It is really for people who like solitude and nature, and also don’t mind that everyone knows everyone.   The driver was helping out his neighbor who had booked this trip, but then had to be away.  He was born in England, and went to the Falkland Islands as a young man to work as a naturalist.  He told us that his first job was living on a deserted island in the winter in a tent for 3 months, killing all the rats that had populated the island after shipwrecks,  as the rats were eating all the native birds. 

He said the Islands are a great place to raise children – zero crime, zero drugs, and a lot of things subsidized by England.  There is a school on the island.  Children on farms on other islands have a traveling teacher who travels around on a boat, plus learning via 2-way radio.  Once the kids are 16, they are sent to England to attend boarding school then university, all paid by the English government.  He said interestingly enough, most return to the islands after graduation, rather than stay in England. 

The climate is similar to England’s.  We were lucky today in that it wasn’t too windy.  When the wind blows from the South, he said it can turn to snow very quickly.  Stanley is growing, and there is a housing shortage.  There is zero unemployment, and they need a lot more workers.  A sort of utopia. 

He took us to another beach where we had to make our way through the dunes.  It was like trudging through fine snow. 

At one point, our driver went running ahead of us to scout out the best route to take to the beach.  Don’t leave us!

At this beach, we saw a lot of Gentoo penguins.  Just as we approached a group, a big seal lurched out of the water and gobbled down one of the penguins!  We also watched dolphins frolicking in the ocean. 

We were lucky because there was also a small group of King penguins – just standing around looking royal.

The Land Rover he drove was quite high up.  It was fun getting  in and out!

After the 3-hour trip, George and I strolled around the town.  It is very British.  They use the British pound and all have a strong British accent. 

Our driver told us that their internet is bad.  He pays 200 pounds per month for a poor plan.  We wanted to use some wifi, so found out that we had to buy a card for 5 pounds and find someplace with a wifi hotspot.  So we found a British pub with wifi and spent a frustrating hour using the poor wifi.

Back on the ship, the captain announced a change of plans.  He is a very gregarious guy who likes to keep us updated all the time.  He said a big storm was coming in, so we would speed up to miss it.  This means we will land in our next port a day early.  Later, we noticed that the doors were closed off to prevent people from being on the deck and barf bags were placed strategically all around the ship. 

DINNER:  We sat with a nice German couple whom we had met earlier.  They will be on the 2024 world cruise with us, so we had a nice conversation.  They appear quite wealthy, with her wearing designer clothes and talking about all the travels they have made.  I had a vegan quinoa patty which was tasty. 

After dinner, we went to tonight’s show, the comedian again.  Tonight his jokes focused on aging.  He was pretty good. 

Heading south to the Falkland Islands

LOCATION:  Day at sea – in the Atlantic heading south on board Azamara Pursuit
WEATHER:  Each day gets a little cooler.  High 72

Unlike big cruise ships, there is just one main dining room.  They serve breakfast and dinner here.  There are two specialty restaurants, one a steak house and the other Mediterranean (where there is a surcharge).  There is also a buffet which is quite nice, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Each night’s dinner in the buffet features a different cuisine – like Mexican, French, Italian, Japanese, etc.  Another option for lunch is the patio, a pool-side bar/grill.

This morning we tried the main restaurant for breakfast.  Superb service.  George  had polenta (grits) with artichokes.  I tried the Japanese noodle bowl.  Quite unusual…

The daily schedule is packed with options.  There are a lot of trivia games going on all of the time.  I elected to get some exercise, and walked on the jogging track, round and round.

It’s a good thing I did, as the next event was a cooking demonstration.  It was how to make tiramisu.  The chef showed us the technique, and then we each had a small piece.  Very moist and light.  The chef said it is the most popular food in Japan now!

From there, I attended a session on future cruising, learning about the different type of staterooms and suites.  Some of the suites have more square feet than our tiny house in Texas! 

We took advantage of today’s warm, sunny weather and sat outside for lunch.  While we were eating, we spotted some whales blowing  at a distance.  Later, George saw some flying fish glistening in the sun.  The captain keeps us updated over the P.A. system.  He told us that overnight the ship had sped up to miss a storm.  Later, he explained a sudden stop which was to miss hitting a pod of whales.  The ocean is remarkably calm and the ride has been smooth so far. 

Busy, busy….We played Bingo, hoping to win the prize of an upgrade to a suite.  No such luck.

Then, to a presentation about penguins that we will be seeing in the Falkland Islands..

From there, I rushed to a class in the spa about hair.  There was a raffle for a haircut and shampoo.  Again, no luck.

Now – time to relax.  There are 4 bars on the ship.  People drink some, but it is not a crazy kind of atmosphere.  The bartenders all seem to be Indian and enjoy talking about their country.  This guy made me a drink that he had invented, and asked us to return tomorrow so he could show off another invention.  (Drinks are included in the price of the cruise, but one can upgrade to packages that include fancier drinks and high-end wines.)  Of course, we did not do that….  🙂

DINNER:  We ate in the main dining room and talked with the couple from Northern Ireland sitting  across from us.  George had Chilean sea bass, and I had an Italian seafood pasta dish.  Yum!

Every evening there is a show at 9:15.  Tonight’s was an outstanding flautist from Spain.  She played classical music, native Spanish songs, and even some modern tunes.  One was Uptown Funk which I dance to in line-dancing classes.  I wanted to get up and dance!

She got a standing ovation, even though people had been a little skeptical about a flute player.  From there, we went to a bar where The Lucky Boyz were playing.  This Indonesian band plays every evening at 10:00. 

From there, it was bedtime, foregoing the 80s night DJ at 11:00. 

Another great day at sea!

BOOK:  “This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing” by Jacqueline Winspear.  This is a memoir/autobiography about her life growing up in rural England.  4 stars out of 5.

My lucky day on the sea

LOCATION:  Another sea day as we head south to the Falkland Islands on board the Azamara Pursuit
WEATHER:  A bit cooler.  High 62

We went to two different lectures today, one about the penguins and one about the seals that we will be seeing in the Falklands.  Both very well done, by Ph.D. scientists who lecture on cruise ships as a living.  Cool!

Cooler weather had been predicted, but the sun was out so we enjoyed lunch out on the ship’s deck. 

Then, off to Bingo.  And…..I won!!!  $243 in cash.  Yay!

My good luck continued.  I stopped by the cruise ship sales office and asked about getting credit for booking back-to-back cruises.   When I originally purchased the 2nd cruise, I was told we didn’t qualify.  I didn’t think it would hurt to ask here on board.  After a lot of consultation with the main office, I was told that we would get $400 on board credit for each cruise.  Yay!  We can use this towards excursions, or towards future Bingo games.  🙂

We stopped for our Sunday Bloody Mary in one of the cozy pubs.

A delightful Scottish couple invited us to join them.  After some good conversation, we played trivia with them.  How fun!

DINNER:  We elected to eat in the main dining room again.  The buffet is fine, but we prefer being waited on for the evening meal.  George had the salmon/scallops combo and I had some grilled swordfish with tabouleh.

After dinner, we went to tonight’s show, the house band and dancers.  They put on a terrific show.

On South America’s French Riviera

LOCATION:  Punta del Este, Uruguay, then at sea onboard Azamara Pursuit
WEATHER:  A bit humid.  Sunny.  High 80

We  anchored outside of Punta del Este around 7:30 AM.

At breakfast, George tried the typical Uruguayan “chivita” sandwich.  It is a ham and cheese sandwich on a grilled baguette with bacon and a fried egg.  Later when we were in town, I saw “chivitarias” where they sell these.

Tenders took us into the port.  Punta del Este is called the French Riviera of South America.  The port is so different from Montevideo’s, which was full of container ships.  Here there are  lots of yachts and fishing boats.  Fancy seafood restaurants line the harbor.  Punta del Este is a tourist town, popular among wealthy Argentines and Uruguayans. 

A single lady from Germany/Mexico that we have befriended walked  with us around the small city.  We walked along the waterfront, admiring beautiful beach houses.  We saw sea lions and lots of birds, including thousands of wild parakeets. 

George and I will be staying here for about a week after our 2nd cruise.  So today, we tried to find the condo where we will be staying.  We found the general area, and stopped in a coffee shop there to use the wifi.  I think we will enjoy Punta del Este for a week. 

We returned to the ship around noon, as we had a 1:30 departure.  After lunch in the poolside cafe, we listened to the house band at a “Sail Away” party.

This elderly couple are a hoot.  At every music venue, they are out on the floor dancing….and they dance really well.  The guy has a lot of sexy moves, and they really seem to be having a lot of fun.

Later, I did a “Ladies Pamper Party” in the spa where they gave us facials with lots of nice products.  Of course, they tried to sell them to us afterwards.    Here I am with my “new” face…

We have enjoyed meeting fellow passengers.  At the cocktail hour today, we chatted with a couple from Savannah who just returned from an African safari, with experiences similar to ours a few years ago.  Then later, we met a couple from Germany who will be on part of the World Cruise that we are taking in 2024.  They want to get together with us to chat more later.

DINNER:  We ate in the main restaurant.  George  ordered escargots for an appetizer.  I tasted one – pretty good.  For the main course, George had venison which he said was superb.  I had a Korean eggplant appetizer as my main.  He tried the Dulce de Leche cake for dessert.  Very moist and tasty.

Tonight’s entertainment was a Canadian comedian.  His act was about funny things that happen to you when you travel.  There were a lot of Canadians in the audience, who appreciated his jokes poking fun at Canada. 

Again, to bed around 10:00.  If we stayed up, we could have gone to a dance with a live band at 10:00, and then to a disco with a DJ at 11:00.  Maybe later in the cruise we will do this. 

Another day exploring Montevideo

LOCATION:  Montevideo, Uruguay on board the Azamara Pursuit
WEATHER:  Another nice one.  High 82

We moored overnight in Montevideo so were able to return to town to continue our exploration.  The port is mostly commercial with containers and container ships filling the area.  We have to take a shuttle bus through the container traffic, for safety.

We walked around the Old City, found a nice bar/restaurant with wifi, and sipped on drinks while we used their wifi. 

When we returned to our cabin, an expert on Uruguay was on the TV comparing Uruguay to…. Iowa!  There are a lot of similarities, he said – similar population, more animals (cows/pigs) than people, similar size, and under-appreciation of the state/country,  and excellent education.  The similarities certainly end with the weather and location. … is pretty warm here all year long, and is located on the water….

We napped in our stateroom in the afternoon.  We were a little taken aback by the crewman washing our window! 

We then explored the ship some more – found a ping pong table, a few cozy rooms for games, a library, and specialty restaurants.  Unlike most cruises, there is no casino here.  It is much more low-key, not a party group.

We listened to some live music  over appetizers and drinks – in 2 different bars. 

We ate dinner in the main restaurant.  George had rack of lamb and I had two appetizers – a tuna poke’ bowl and a slice of pate’.  Trying to eat quality, not quantity. 

We joined the Captain’s Welcome Party.  He (from Finland) introduced the senior staff.  It is so interesting to see how multi-cultured the officers are –  from Brazil, Ukraine, UK, Philippines, Poland, Canada, and Indonesia.  Most of the support staff seem to be from Ukraine, Russia, and Indonesia.  (Unlike the Princess cruise where almost all were Filipino).   The boat’s capacity is 700, but there are only 472 of us, with 392 staff, equally multi-cultural. 

Then, the house band put on a show, introducing us to all the entertainers that we will be enjoying throughout the cruise.  A lot of talent! 

Another early night for us – 10:00. 

Mardi Gras in Montevideo

LOCATION:  In Montevideo, Uruguay onboard the Azamara Pursuit cruise ship
WEATHER:  Hot, but breezy.  High 85

We cruised overnight on the Rio de Plata, the very wide river separating Argentina from Uruguay.  We docked at 8:00 AM this morning.  It is much calmer here than in Buenos Aires, with a population of about 1.5 million.  Most of the country’s people live here, so the country is fairly sparsely populated.

After a nice buffet breakfast (we did mostly fruit and some smoked salmon), we headed to town.  We didn’t do any of the available tours, but just walked the city ourselves.  The port is close to the Old City

The central market located near the port is very interesting – in addition to the stalls, it houses many beef/grilled food restaurants.  This is a meat-eater’s paradise.  Big chunks of meat slow-cooking on the grills awaiting lunch and dinner customers.

The area closest to the port is called the Old City.  The streets are filled with vendors and small cafes.  It is pedestrian-only, so very enjoyable to stroll around.

As we were consulting our map, a local woman approached us asking if we needed help.  She struck up a conversation speaking really fast.  She seemed to take my Spanish in stride and kept talking and talking…..about how she loves her city, but how she doesn’t like the current government nor the changes taking place in her beloved Montevideo – increased crime, drug gangs (from Mexico she thinks), and poverty.  At one point, she asked me if George was bored, since he couldn’t follow the conversation and was looking elsewhere.  In any case, she was extremely friendly and kind.  This is the corner where we chatted. 

To be honest…..we are cheap!  I had made sandwiches for us from the breakfast bar.  We found a bench and enjoyed a picnic lunch.  Later, I bought a Tupperware-type sandwich container so we can continue to do this on days we stop in ports.

Our final destination on this stroll was a brewpub.  Alas, they were closed until evening.  However, there was a kombucha/brewery next door and we bought a can of IPA.  We sipped on it in a park with shade trees.

We passed by the theatre where we will be returning tonight for a show.  It is a beautiful, historical building…

The downtown is a combo of old buildings and new, with a lot of sidewalk cafes…

This big plaza is where a lot of protests take place regarding who owns the Faukland Islands.

We were able to use wifi at the Visitors’ Center, along with a lot of other cruise ship people.  There is one other cruise ship in port – a P&O from England.  You can identify the Brits as you walk around as they look miserably hot! 

Back to the ship for an early dinner.  We ate in the buffet to speed things up.  George had seafood pasta made to order and I stuffed myself with sushi.  Then off to one of the “Azamazing Evening” events that the cruiseline is famous for.  They bussed us to the theatre – beautiful setting and outstanding performance – a kind of ballet, opera, Broadway  show, dancers and drummers all rolled into one –  depicting the different ways Mardi Gras is celebrated here – cultural differences from Europe and Africa. Mardi Gras here lasts about 60 days – the longest of any in the world.

These guys welcomed us, and then we had photos taken with the ship’s captain.

It truly was “Azamazing”….

After the show, the performers wished us farewell.

We returned to the ship about 9:00, and went directly to bed…..still catching up with sleep from the flight. 

We almost missed the boat!!!!

LOCATION:  Buenos Aires, then Azamara Pursuit cruise ship
WEATHER:  Hot.  High 90

Our little boutique hotel is quite nice, and was very reasonably priced.  We had a very good breakfast (included) and then set off on foot again.  We walked to the cruise terminal as a test run to see if we would walk to it later with our luggage.  (no)

The currency situation here is puzzling.  The exchange rate bounces up and  down and there are black markets and blue markets for changing money.  Our dinner last night was 11,000 pesos which is $60 US using the official exchange rate.  However, our restaurant used a different rate, resulting in dinner only costing $30 US. 

Half the population here seems to be police.  They are everywhere.  At the same time, Buenos Aires has a reputation of being popular among pick-pockets.  So, as we were walking, we tried to be quite careful… issues.

We found the terminal and then headed back through a park.  We walked through a train station and through streets filled with vendors.  Most of their wares were pretty junky, making it impossible to figure out which were homeless people’s possessions versus items for sale.

There were political demonstrations everywhere.  Most of the banners said something like….”Bring back Eva” or “Evita”, or “We want Peronismo”.  Different groups were represented, most with names of  months which I think reflect some historical event, like “Movimiento Octobre” (October Movement).  We especially liked the one for the month of May which also is the same as where we used to work.  It would have been fun to buy a shirt proclaiming…”Movimiento Mayo”. 

There were even more police here,  brandishing their shields, looking like they were prepared to fight protestors.  We stumbled upon the parade, with big banners from each group.  Some had drums and trumpets blaring.

Back at the hotel, we asked the front desk to call us a taxi.  They said it would be quite a wait.  So, George tried Uber.  We watched on the phone as a driver got closer to us…9 minutes, 8, 7, 5, 4, then 10 again, and then disappeared.  This happened about 8 times, so we wasted more than an hour!  Meanwhile, I am starting to panic thinking we would miss the ship.  Taxis could not get to our hotel due to construction, so we weren’t sure where to wait.  Finally, after about 2 hours of waiting, the hotel said that a taxi with the company they used was waiting for us.  We had to run a few blocks to catch it.  The driver was sweating profusely and went on and on about all the closed streets.  He told us that it was partially due to construction, and  mostly due to the protests and police  closing streets as the Presidents of Brazil and Peru were visiting.  What a mess!  He had to go way out of his way to get us there, apologizing all the way, yet doubling his price due to the turmoil.  By this time, we had missed our time slot to board and my stomach was tied up in knots.  I was reminded of the “Keeping Up Appearances” episode when Hyancinth missed their Queen Mary embarkation. 

But….we made it!  Champagne awaited us after we went through Immigration. 

Azamara cruise lines only has four ships, and they call themselves a modest luxury cruise line.  At max, there are 700 passengers, but we are at 60% occupancy.   So, there is a lot of personalized service.  Gratutities and drinks are included.  Of course, I got a deal when I got our tickets!  Note – we did not buy the wifi package so our wifi (including these blog posts) will be limited. 

We went to the pool deck and watched us leave the port of Buenos Aires.  Complimentary drinks and snacks.  Nice

Then, to an air-conditioned bar with more drinks, a piano bar, and a nice conversation with some other people.  Passengers are mostly Americans, but there are quite a few Canadians, Brits, Argentinean, Spanish,  and Australian guests. 

There are several dinner options, and we went to the main dining room (not the buffet).  George had swordfish and veal,  and I had the scallop appetizer as my main course.  We sat with some interesting people.. 

Then, a good show featuring a Broadway vocalist,

followed by dancing.  Yay! 

BOOK:  “Q is for Quarry” by Sue Grafton.  This is an old series about a femal private investigator solving crimes.  Cute and light – just right for reading on an airplane.  3 stars out of 5