Saturday, January 05, 2008

Trans Atlantic Crossing - First Day

Sweety found a repositioning cruise from Barcelona, Spain, to Galveston, Texas, USA, with stops in Cartagena, Spain, Funchal (on the island of Madeira, a Portuguese province off the coast of North Africa), Santa Cruz (on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Labadee (Haiti), and Cozumel in Mexico. The cost was very reasonable for a 15 night cruise, so we went for it.

We drove to Houston and spent the night at H&G's. The next day, we went to the airport to pick up G who was flying in from New York, had some very good BBQ at Rudy's then back to the airport to fly to Atlanta. After a brief, unpleasant encounter with a jerk on the plane regarding overhead luggage, we had a routine flight. We changed planes and flew all night over the Alps to Milan, Italy. We changed planes again for our flight to Barcelona. Here is the harbor in Barcelona as we approached for landing.

We arrived by bus at the dock and got in line to be inspected. Neither one of us was packing anything illegal.

Here she is, the Voyager of the Seas. She was built in 1999 and, at the time, was the largest cruise ship in the world. She can accommodate 3800 passengers and carries a crew of about 1300. Sweety is posed on the post thingy.

Our stateroom was very nice, located at the very aft of the ship on the port side of deck 7.

Our cabin attendant did a good job and our balcony was used early and often.

We dined at night in this place. It was three decks tall. We were on the bottom of the three, next to the Captain's table. He never asked us to join him. Every night there was live music from musicians on the top level.

We had very good service from our waiter, Laurentius (Laurence, standing at right), and his assistant, Orlando, both from Romania. We had a lot of fun with them and they usually spent several minutes after dinner telling us about themselves, their families, and their homeland. Our table mate was J, from Scotland. She is a world traveler and now our friend. She gave us a book of Scottish words and phrases which we study in hopes of someday traveling to my ancestors' birthplace.

Sometimes before and sometimes after dinner, we usually went to the La Scala Theater for entertainment. It seated 1300 and had all the whistles and bells of the best theaters I have seen. The shows were usually very good. The flamenco dancers got a little boring, but the Spaniards on board seemed to thoroughly enjoy them. I liked the magicians. They were pretty good.

While all this was going on, we set sail for Cartagena.