Showing posts from January, 2020

Cape Town, South Africa January 21 - 27, 2020

The morning opened to a blazing sun overtaking our room looking at Cape Town with its Table Mountain and three others reaching into the sky. One can only imagine what early Explorers thought when they discovered this jewel rounding the southern tip of this massive Continent. Today, the city is wrapped in the comfort and glory of its Bays and Mountains all provided by those incredible Tectonic Plates shifting and driving upward millions of years ago. During and after breakfast we said our farewells to other guests and staff we had come to appreciate and headed for the Gangway. Not expected, but also not surprisingly, Captain Filip and Entertainment Director Earnest where at the bottom of the plank with stretched out arms for Terryl and the Azamara hand shake for me. Captain Filip and his wife Nickoleta had given Terryl their personal email address; they have also invited us to stay with them in their home in Greece.  But first I'll need to call them We checked into Mount

January 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 2020 Richards Bay to Cape Town

 January 16, 2020 With a wake up call at 06:00, room service breakfast at 06:30, and my walk to the Cabaret to see South African Immigration officers at 07:30 and be ready to board my bus to the Game Reserve, everything stopped cold. Captain Filip is on the horn apologizing for the Pilot’s helicopter being a little late, additionally, that the Immigration Officers were a going to be little late, and he also stated that, ‘what can you do, this is South Africa?’ My read on all of this not a fault of Azamara's…so be calm, get in the line and relax. Many of my fellow passengers followed a different thought, and after a few abrupt words to line jumpers here and there we all left 1.5 hours later than expected. My tour consisted of a two-hour air-conditioned bus ride to the Game Reserve, a two hour 4X4 (ten-seater) ride through 230,000 acres of mountainous waist-high grassy land with indigenous trees and plants to munch on - for the animals of course, and a two hour ride back. We

January 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 2020 Tanzania to Maputo

January 11, 2020 After last night’s Ribeye Steak grilled perfectly in the Patio dining area, two Vodkas with a splash of triple sec and lime juice in the Den we hit the sack.  And this may hold some interest for you: I used the ship’s ATM yesterday to acquire USA Dollars for various reasons. The bills popped out as usual. Late last night I was informed that my USA Visa card had been shut down by RBC. Azamara asked if I would call the Bank in the morning and sort it out. A call to the number on the back of the card put me in conversation with a person in one minute, who, after a few introductory questions, determined that the ATM transaction in Zanzibar, Tanzania was suspect (perhaps by an automated process). Within a few minutes the card was reactivated. This is not meant to be an advertisement for RBC…only that I read it as a positive attribute for the protection of my credit when abroad. I also learned, coincidentally, while reading Matt Ridley’s book, The Rational Optimist is

January 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 2020 Seychelles to East African Coast

January 6, 2020 Azamara Quest left Mahé Island with a bang last night; they did it with a huge party that began with a fabulous Buffet dinner on the Pool Deck complete with local musicians and dancers that performed well into the night. Everyone seemed to be dancing except Terryl and me: we were bushed from the tour we had throughout Mahé and hit the sack by 22:00. Today, once again the sun rose in a majestic sky with billowing clouds overlaying the island of Praslin, and we were on the tender by 10:00 sharp. After a fifteen minute 100 passenger tender ride and an Azamara arranged air conditioned bus (the temperature had to be 88 degrees F) for another 15 minutes we were on the pristine beach that put our Maché Beach into second place. At this time I cannot include photographs of sights we have seen, sensational water colours from beach sand, turquoise water, slowly developing light to darker blues that melt against the tropical skies of this Paradise. But in time both of my App

January 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 2020 from Cochin to Seychelles

January 1, 2020 It’s 12:45 (my body clock says 14:15) and I’ve recovered quite nicely from Azamara’s New Year’s Eve extravaganza beginning with a fabulous meal shared with Gloria (New York City) and Brian (London, UK) whom Terryl had been speaking with earlier and happened to have our third martini with at the Discovery Bar. The four of us were dining late by appointment and Terryl suggested we ask for a table for four. They agreed enthusiastically. Gloria declined the first table offered and accepted the next and settled in overlooking the passing ocean below. Again, the food was sublime and our conversation was agreeable. Gloria and Terryl were non stop and joined Bryan and myself on a few occasions to quickly return to their topic of choice. Tonight was the second time Trump (Donald J) entered any conversation on the entire trip. Brian knew his current British events, Canadian and much of the USA’s as well. He likes Boris Johnson and would have voted Trump if he’d been a USA vo