Trip Diary - My Daily Impressions(2022)

Index Cruise
Diary – Sept-Oct Trip 2022

2 cruises on the Windstar Legend, a day in Marseille and 18 days on MSC Meraviglia
across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and back to the USA

Part 1 - Getting There
September 5th - MedExpress for Covid Tests - Easy/Quick/Professional and NEGATIVE test results
Breakfast in Wendy’s – “Honey Chicken Biscuit” Surprisingly Good
Noon – parked at airport, texted a pic location to Jeanne - Easy check-in/boarding/flight -Same at Dulles
Sept 6th – United flight arrived in Barcelona early
BW Hotel shuttle (Alfa Aeroporto) waiting - Arrived 9:30 but we could check in at 11:00 – NICE!
Ate at bfast buffet - Room clean & pleasant – good choice
USPS Forest called (Kim) Will take care of the forwarding problem
Dinner – Oops! 8-11pm Seriously? We forgot how late people eat in Spain
We walked to a local place “La Pera” - No English, local workers eat here.
Good food and nice staff understanding my basic Spanish

Part 2 - Cruising on the Windstar Legend
Sept 7th
– Nice bfast buffet in hotel. Taxi to cruise port
Noon – Easy boarding the Windstar Legend for Cruise #1
Cabin – Wow, spacious – see photos
Lunch buffet – great food, Cabin attendant, Nancy
4:15 – Muster drill – very well organized
Joe got snacks in “Yacht Club” That will be our wake up place at 6am
8th – At Sea
6am Yacht Club – met Doyle & Harriet Steele (Atlanta) He was in Nam (Tay Ninh) same time as Joe – 1st infantry. Nice folks
Bfast – VG as always – Relaxed on deck. Joe found another kindred spirit
1.5 hrs was enough for me. I asked Nancy to remove the curly bathmat. Seemed like bacteria haven to me. Extra towel is better on the floor
5:30 Captain’s reception - Dinner in “Candles” Great green food, aka pesto chicken
Dessert Chocolate ganache, Italian merengue & caramel ice cream – VG
9th – Cagliari, Sardinia
6 am – Met a couple from eastern Oregon who knew Tum Tum & Long Lake
Excursion – Church of Our Lady of Bonaire – Patron of sailors because of a miracle of her likeness calming a storm at sea
Archeological Museum, Cathedral, Antico Caffe. Met couple from the Virgin Islands & Colorado
Dinner in Amphora (Snitzel & seafood)
10th – Trapani, Sicily
Excursion – Cable car to Erice – Cathedral & Castle – amazing views
Mid afternoon – snack in yacht club
5:15 – Cocktail Party
6:30 – Cuadro44 – Lamb chops etc – excellent
11th – Sunday – Messina
No excursion – we’ve been here twice before. Walked along the shore
6:15 – Port talk & Intro to Greece
Dinner – Amphora – Music in Compass Rose
12th – Argostoli, Kephalonia, Greece
Melissani Lake & Drogarati Cave
200 steps down & back up. Nice tour around the island with history & geology & an Underground lake by boat & a walk thru town
Joe bought a hat.
BBQ onboard
13th – Corfu, Greece
Early excursion up a winding road from a James Bond Film You (Only Live Twice)
Boat ride into grottos. Looked at a pretty beach, bought a dress (a mistake)
Back to town. Nice Greek snacks on the highest point of the island.
Saw the area from “Durrells of Corfu”
Greek Music & Dancers onboard in the evening
14th – Delphi, Delos, Greece
Oracle at Delphi & Museum
Transit of Corinth Canal
Karen’s birthday
Excellent dinner in Amphora. Music duo in Compass Rose
15th – Pireaus (Athens), Greece
We planned to stay onboard since we have been here twice before
Started with a nightmare type dream. Missed breakfast since we misread the hours.
Ate in the Yacht Club (YC)
We took pictures in the pool and hot tub while no one was onboard. THEN!!
Joe slipped and badly slashed his foot. Off to medical for 12 stitches
Learned about room service. Bought Internet with our OBC.
This was an unexpected start to Cruise #2
Lots of food & resting
16th – Back thru the Corinth Canal
This cruise (our 2nd leg) is fully booked. Everything seems more crowded although it is a ship of only 312. This crowd gets up earlier, somewhat younger & more talkative. We used to have the YC (deck 8 FF lounge) to ourselves from 6-7 am. Now there are 2 or 3 people waiting for coffee. No big deal but I am amazed at the variety of specialty coffee requests. I just want plain black, American coffee.
I bring Joe coffee & pastry so he can rest his foot. He gets room service for lunch, dinner & snacks.
We have Internet & TV. We are fine.
We reached Delphi mid afternoon. Obviously no tour for us. Good thing we already saw what was important to us. We cancelled our excursion to the monastery – Would have been nice, but we can see it on video easier than hiking up the mountain.
Joe got his foot checked by the doc & rewrapped (yes, there are 12 stitches, 4 on the side of his toe and 8 on the top instep). Doc is the same as on the Wind Surf December 2021
17th – Sea Day
Many people in the YC by 6:30. I thought they would sleep in.
18th – Santorini, Greece
We were here in 1996 when the largest ships carried 600 people
Today there are 5 ships in port including several mega ships (Princess, MSC & ?)
Folks complained about the crowds and 1.5 hour wait to get the cable car. Much easier back in 1996
Took nice photos from the ship including lovely evening fireworks (fire on the mountain) – memorial to volcanic eruption.
19th – Bodrum, Turkey
Cancelled our tour to the castle. Joe rested his foot. I went ashore and walked the length of the circular harbor to the castle. Many beautiful sailboats. At 9 the shopkeepers were washing the streets & sidewalks & sweeping with brooms made of some kind of rough foliage. Locals were already on the beach and even in the water. Cafes were open. Lovely hotels & apartments overlooking the harbor. Dozens of private & charter boats docked.
I bought a magnet for Joe & had a nice conversation with the shopkeeper who gave me a tiny “eye” to ward off evil. I got to the castle at 10. The tour we cancelled had just arrived. I explored the area and bought a “designer” shirt for 5 Euros for ME (mens size M)
Cats of Turkey – they are everywhere. Got pictures
Dinner was BBQ on deck. Joe went too. Good food & music.
Met Tom & Sheryl from Arizona – nice evening.
20th – Tuesday – Kusadasi - Ephasus, Turkey
I went on the tour alone so Joe could rest his foot for the special dinner event there in the evening. I took loots of pictures. We had a very knowledgeable guide. Many changes since 2011. New excavations etc especially in the Terrace Houses, BUT many mosaics & murals that we once saw up close were now under glass or at a distance.
I wanted to buy a magnet from the vendors, but the guide rushed us back to the bus.
“ All this is also available in town” NO! It was NOT!
The rush was so we could go to a carpet shop demo. No thank you! Done that!
Dinner at the library was beautiful – worth the trip. Photos tell the story. Joe rode the special bus for those unable to walk far. Sat with Chris & Jerry Cheng – kindred spirits. They are from Singapore & Australia. He is a pilot for Singapore Airlines. She works for charitable missions and after the cruise is going to India/Myanmar to work with refugees.
21st – Mykanos, Greece
Spent the morning online getting a Turkish Visa. We’ve been to 2 ports in Turkey with no visa needed. Now $51 each to go from the ship to the airport in Istanbul. A money grab I think. We couldn’t have managed the logistics without the help of La Rhose from reception.
I took the tender ashore. Much more crowded than our visit in 1996. Celebrity, RCL, Costa & MSC ships were here also. I bought a placemat & 2 magnets for Joe. The shopkeeper said the pelican that used to greet tourists was killed in an accident. His mate is now under government protection.
The crew show in the evening – talented folks.
22nd – TROY! – Jeannie’s Birthday
Sailed thru the Dardanelles & took an excursion to the excavation of Troy (actually 9 separate cities built on the ruins of each other) The Troy of ancient myth is #6. The Trojan horse used in the movie “Troy” is now in the center of the town. Another replica is at the entrance to the excavation.
The site includes an amazing museum – very high tech. Our guide Ken was excellent and provided extensive background & commentary in both the museum and at the site itself. His personal library contains 5000 books.
After dinner we packed up – ready for disembarkation in the morning.

Part 3 - An Interlude from Istanbul to Marseille and the Frioul Islands
Setember 23rd – Istanbul

Very easy disembarkation. Very attentive Windstar escort through the airport checking at Turkish Airlines.
The “new” Istanbul airport built 2018-2019 and closed during Covid (2020-21) is huge, well designed & quite beautiful. Lots of seating, nice food court & clear travel info. Visa fees likely needed for the expense of this and the lost revenue during Covid.
There was lots of seating at the gate too. The only surprise – one announcement only “ready to board” and a mad rush for the plane. Very strange.
Easy flight & surprisingly good meal with wine.
Taxi to Marseille hotel, a BW older center city hotel near the “Old Port”
Got Covid tests at a nearby pharmacy - $15 (15 Euros) Our US tests were $225 each.
HMM – the “Very French” couple in the apartment across the alleyway. We shut our drapes since they did not!
Sept 24th – Marseille & Frioul Islands
Connected with Bernard by text. Will meet at 12:30. Weather is cooperating. Rain is holding off.
I walked around town & the port by myself. Bought a pair of pants for 10 Euros. Very French!
Bought lunch at the Ankara Grill “to go” & Baklava at the bakery
12:30 – Met Bernard and took the ferry to the Frioul Islands. Met 4 of his friends and and a very comprehensive historical tour of the battle there in 1944 when the islands surrendered to the USS Philadelphia. Just like Dad wrote in his WWII diary.
This was a wonderful, historic day - Photos tell the story

Dinner – same Ankara Grill meal. They know me now.
BW staff was very helpful & printed ALL the documents we need to board MSC cruise tomorrow
Weird thing – Joe rolled off the bed around 11 pm and scratched his head on the corner of the end table, his arm too. It’s nothing compared to the 12 stitches in his foot which he treats every morning with peroxide & bandages I bought at the pharmacy.
Sunday – September 25th – Ready for Cruise #3
We have a taxi to the cruise port for 12:15
Easy taxi ride but embarkation on MSC COULD have been a disaster.
MSC had 2 ships in port in 1 terminal. We were directed to luggage drop off & check-in. All went smoothly through many document checks. They had to see our last EU passport stamp and my passport to FULL of travel stamps.
THEN the final check-in guy noticed that we were on the WRONG SHIP! A very helpful woman took charge, found our luggage and directed us to repeat the check in process on the RIGHT ship, the Meraviglia.

September 25th - Part 4 (Cruise #3) - MSC Meraviglia - First Impressions
This is a huge international floating city – 6 languages
English/Italian/Spanish/French/Portuguese/German and food to satisfy all cultures.
Very modern & artistic décor
Pro – good size cabin (deluxe balcony) and decent seating on the balcony itself
Con – Need more storage space. Would be fine for a shorter itinerary but we are here for 18 days.
Dinner was excellent as good as any other cruise line. I had an eggplant napoleon starter and chicken parm – perfect!
Show – A magician from Spain – OK, not bad
26th – Genoa, Italy
Very comfortable bed – slept well. Bfast at 6:30 in the buffet. Amazing food selection. Even fancy dessert cakes for breakfast. Must take photos.
Our historical excursion of Genoa was cancelled “not enough people”
Thousands on the ship and not enough interested in what we want? Perhaps they have been here before? Americans are a minority.
Days later we learned that MSC often cancels people if there aren’t enough to fill the “next bus” on a tour. That doesn’t seem right.
On my own with a map I walked the streets of Genoa. The map was detailed. The street signs were not. I bought 2 magnets and took lots of pictures since Joe couldn’t go.
A nap in the afternoon & another great dinner (Greek salad, lasagna, baklava)
Table companions (Mary & Dennis from FL) said the food is not up to the quality of “other lines”
Really? Seems fine to me.
Show in theater (ensemble) “Journey” Excellent
27th – Ajaccio, Corsica, France
Tour of Napoleon’s City – History, monuments etc
Ship provided rain ponchos and they were needed for a sudden downpour
Lunch in Buffet – I really like the “Wellness Options” Joe likes the ribs
Met a nice staff guy from Honduras
Afternoon – Relaxed in cabin – Internet/read/nap – high wind and waves but nothing like our “whole gale on the North Sea in the Spring.
Dinner – Ship is rocking & waves smashing the hull
MDR (main dining room) Not many options for me i.e. lots of FISH
Veal was OK. Should have gone to the buffet, lots of options there.
The menu is posted online and viewable in our cabin. Must learn to check it first,
Show #1 – Singer from Brazil – Great voice but not my choice of songs. Ship rocking so much that the crowd leaving was all thrown to the left
Show #2 – “Houdini” postponed for obvious safety reasons. Can’t have acrobats in angry seas.
28th – At Sea – Much calmer today
Slept until 7 – Bfast in buffet – good as usual
Went to a Spanish Lesson & got the daily program in Spanish. Good practice
Joe went to the medical office & got some of his stitches out. Will return tomorrow afternoon for a recheck.
Checked out Malaga options. We have been here before. Hop on/off bus? No, bad reviews
Castle? Maybe next time – Joe’s foot not ready for a long climb. Likely a shuttle to town.
Lunch – buffet OK I’m sticking to Wellness options. Great desserts, better than the dining room, I think.
Con – No ice cream without a special add on package. Even soft serve by the pool is $3-$4. Really? No problem for us but if you have kids, then probably need an add on package.
Seems this is how they keep prices so low. You don’t pay in the cruise cost for stuff OTHER people want.
For example: We paid $3700 in a deluxe balcony for this 18 day cruise.
We added $10 a day for Internet. We do not get the drink package, but a bottle of sparkling water is included in the MDR.
There is great free entertainment every night in the Broadway theater and 2 “specialty” shows in the Carrousel theater which carry a $15 charge with a drink included ($5 if you have an alcohol package). “Houdini” was the Specialty show tonight – well worth the fee. Aerials, tumbling, dancing, singing – lots going on at once. Drink quite good – Vodka & raspberry juice.
29th – Malaga, Spain
We were here on the NCL Escape in the Spring and took a great tour to El Torcal National Park. Today we will take the shuttle to town. If Joe weren’t injured, we would hike up to the Moorish fortress “castle” above Alcazar (El Gibralfaro)
Bfast in buffet – tried the “cake desserts” OK probably the same calorie wise as having pastry.
On our own in port. The ship operates shuttles to town every 15 minutes. Not far to walk but best to ride for Joe’s foot. Nice walk around the center city. Bought candy in the terminal shop an “ricolla” just in case.
Joe got his foot rewrapped and went to the veterans get together.
Dinner in MDR – VG – The only place for free ice cream if no beverage package.
Show – “Houdini” Aerial/acrobats/dancers/singers VG but so much going on all at once – somewhat distracting.
15 Euros pp if no package (5 otherwise) includes a free drink. Quite well organized
Captain’s announcement – We will pass Gibraltar at 8:30. We joined others in the sky lounge and open deck (windy) for photos. There were lights on the shore of mainland Europe & Africa but not on the ROCK itself. No wonder I never saw it on our spring crossing at midnight.
30th – At Sea
Bfast in buffet. Added a “baked apple” like Dad used to make except he used brown sugar not a prune in the middle. Not a fan of that.
Met Jim from last night’s vet’s meeting. Lots in common regarding music from Cincinnati
I paced off the corridor of our Dec 13. 1 round trip = .25 miles
Joe met Glenn & Iris from FL & exchanged travel info.
At Spanish class I talked to SF guy & Nomad lady. So many different traveling lifestyles. Got info on paid accommodations for English speaking volunteers in immersion programs in 7 countries. Bookmarked the sites for reference.
Buffet: Strawberries, fruit tarts, eclairs. Love these desserts.
2 pm – Port Talk on Madeira, Portugal – our next stop. “The most beautiful island and free”
Interesting history & environment. Closer to Africa than Europe. Funchal the capital (fennil)
Dinner – Good choices, even cheesecake
Captain & crew intro before the show. People just stayed for the 1st show so very crowded. We stayed in the back until they opened the “reserved” Yacht Club area.
Show – “Cool” the 2nd ensemble show – energetic disco – dancing, singing and even a roller skating duo.

October 1st – Funchal, Madeira, Portugal – our last stop in Europe
Madeira is an island in the Atlantic south of the Azores & north of the Canary Islands
Visiting here means walking up, up, up. We went by bus up to several viewpoints & walked thru the town afterwards.
We bought placemats & 3 necklaces from crafts women in booths in the park.
There are still people boarding and disembarking today. This ship is like a big ferry with people coming and going at each port.
Every afternoon there is a safety drill announcement for newcomers. Very different than other cruise lines where occasionally people get off early, but never new arrivals unless they “missed the boat” at the original port.
Dinner – OK
Show – A multi-instrumentalist originally from Poland – Kuba Kwanik
Vibraphone – like a xylophone but with metal strips and electric
Kalimba from Africa – which he found in an antique shop in Ushuaia, Argentina
_____________ from Russia which is played by waving your hands above it.
I even bought his CDs. He is donating the proceeds to Ukraine relief
Oct 2nd – Sea Day #1 as we sail across the Atlantic
Walked some miles on the outside track. Bfast in Buffet. Toured the Spa. We may use our free hour in the area once Joe gets his stitches out. I know people like this experience, but it doesn’t seem to be something for me.
Spanish Lesson. Joe reading on deck 16. It’s OK and not crowded since only 1300 passengers left for the crossing. The ship holds nearly 5,000.
Lunch is the Waves Restaurant – 3 courses – no stuffing ourselves.
Met Kuba on the pool deck. Told him I found his website. We discussed Jeannie’s music program especially for disabled students.
Joe got the last of his stitches out & went to meet his new vet buddies.
Dinner - MDR menu was uninteresting. The buffet a better choice.
Show Ken Boyd, comedian – Black guy with jokes accordingly.
Bad timing for a card to appear in our cabin afterwards detailing how to report crime or suspicious behavior
including phone numbers for the FBI in all ports we will be visiting.
This was one show with an all English speaking audience. Other shows have not been language specific.
Oct 3rd – Sea Day #2
Up at 4am YUK! Bfast in buffet at 6 sharp. Walked the deck, met Richard & Brenda from FL. Info on YC. The ship may be at 25% capacity but the YC (exclusive ship within a ship) is almost full.
Spanish Lesson – Showed Benedicta Lamberg from Munich area web photos of April 2019 trip of Jeanne playing at the Gasteig
Very interesting people attend these language lessons.
Doctor wants to check Joe’s foot 1 more time now that the stitches are out. Joe met his Vets group
We are setting clocks back 1 hour each night to coordinate with Eastern time once we arrive in the Caribbean. This is changing our automatic wake up time but better than a 5 or 6 hour change all at once.
Oct 4th – Sea Day #3
Up at 5:30 – better. Bfast in buffet at 6. Full buffet opens at 6:30 but we are fine with coffee, cereal, fruit, yogurt & pastry until then.
Others rush the counter as soon as they see the food.
Walked the track with Brenda & Richard Noyes. They had checked out my website in detail. That was very nice.
Lunch – I wanted to check out the Wellness selection in the buffet before deciding if MDR menu was better. The buffet hours are 12:30 – 2:30. At noon must be the same crowd from this morning. Quite a mob sitting at tables watching for food to be set out. They swarmed (some ahead of the 12:30 opening) like storm or war victims waiting for rescue supplies. After the initial rush, things calmed down. A much smoother experience.
Another easy day on calm seas. Spanish lesson/info talk on the Caribbean as usual/ Joe’s Vet group
Dinner in MDR. I had 2 entrees – chicken kiev and the vegetarian eggplant dish which I knew would be tiny – almost like a side dish.
Show – Kuba again, but a different show. He even played Chopin on the piano in addition to his unusual instruments.
After the show we met the comedian Ken Boyd and shared the “FBI/Crime report card” that appeared after his performance last night. He loved the unfortunate coincidence and kept the card. Likely it will find a way into a future act of his.
Oct 5th – Sea Day #4
Up at 5:30 again, not bad. Bfast in buffet at 6. Walked the track. Spanish Lesson.
Lunch in Buffet – It is the Day of Fancy Desserts – The “Chocolate Buffet” There was a huge line for those.
The afternoon lecture was “Explorers” The presenter is very knowledgeable.
Lots of reading/relaxing. I’m reading Rutherford’s book “London” – a historical novel in the same vein as the Paris and New York novels that I read on our last transatlantic crossing. The time frame of this one is much longer.
Begins with Caesar’s invasion of Britain 54 BC and goes through 1997

The sea is still very calm with no other ships in sight. According to, we are very much alone in this area. I know we are the 1st cruise ship to reposition across the Atlantic, but we must be outside regular commercial shipping lanes as well. There is NOTHING out there. Very different than the situation we left in the Mediterranean.
Dinner – excellent in the MDR. Met Kuba there.
Show – “One More Day” another excellent ensemble production of Broadway musical numbers. Saw Nomad lady talking at length to Kuba.
6th – Sea Day #5
After bfast got a message from reception. Our USAA credit card was declined beyond 100 Euros. Darn them! They are useless! We even told them before we left when and where we would we traveling.
Gave them a different card.
Walked the track. Met a runner/track coach from VA Beach who saw my Shamrock race hat.
Spanish lesson
Great choices for lunch in the buffet.
Lecture was “History of the 7 Seas” SEVEN throughout history has depended on in what part of the world people were sailing. Now it’s North & South Atlantic, North & South Pacific, Indian, Artic and Southern (Antartic) Oceans
Dinner – MDR not great – our only real FAIL. Tried “Deviled Rooster” tasted ok what there was of it. Kind of like eating a small, spicy pigeon. Luckily I also ordered the vegetarian fritters. They were VG.

Our 2nd show in the Carrousel theater – “Rock Circus” (15 Euros pp) Kind of like Houdini but with rock music – singers, dancers, amazing aerialist and gymnastic tumbling and strength moves. I would like to know the background of the performers (like on NCL).
If available, I haven’t found it yet.
7th – Bridgetown, Barbados
6 am Bfast as usual. Saw the “happy guy” there that we have seen and heard every day.
Funny guy from NJ: “ Leave 0 to the kids. Out 5 months already. Will sell house, get 1 bedroom apartment & continue travelling” They have 11 suitcases with them. Where can you put all that luggage in a cruise ship cabin? Even if you have a suite!
Our tour today: “Snorkeling with the turtles”
Began badly with a 2 hour delay getting off the ship. Sudden rain downpour, ugly scene between lady with a cane and entitled YC lady “we paid for priority, we get on the bus first!”
Boarding the catamaran badly handled too. Remove shoes and carry them walking barefoot way before the boat was even in sight including leaping across gaps.
Once onboard – “The Day of Jabba the Hutt” Details will be in my memory forever. No reason to recount them here. Horrible snorkeling masks & no flippers. Got in the water and out again Crew was nice enough. Lunch: Didn’t eat much. Chicken was undercooked.
Lesson learned: I will buy a snorkeling mask for travel so this doesn’t happen again.
Dinner: OK, another lesson – best to order 2 entrees. The vegetarian ones are VG and small enough to be a side dish.
Show: Comedian from NJ. Not bad, but all in all this was not one of our better days.
8th – Fort de France, Martinique (France)
Bfast at 6. Met happy guy. Saw “coughing man” - Excursion: “Historical Martinique”
Oh no, coughing man and his wife are on our bus. As time went on, the more he coughed. Whenever we got off the bus, she lit up a cigarette.
1st half of the tour was VG. After the rum distillery we walked thru St Pierre with ruins of 1902 earthquake where all were killed except 2 men – a prisoner in a low cellar and a baker. The baker died later. Then a LONG bus ride back to Fort de France. The guide did well in English/Spanish & tried to make it interesting. This island was the home of Josephine Bonaparte etc. Coughing man’s hacking drowned her out.
At the tour end he asked the guide for directions to a pharmacy. FINALLY!
Dinner: Ate each of my 2 entrees, turkey & vegetarian.
Show: Ensemble “Born to Rock” Unusual to have 4 ensemble productions (plus 2 specialty ones) on one cruise.
More daily activites (free!) than any other cruise line. See daily program. You could be busy all day if you wanted to.
By midnight my throat & ear really hurt. It had been feeling bad since the snorkeling debacle with salt water in my throat and sinuses.
Started the amoxicillin I carry just in case.
9th - Phillipsburg, Sint Maarten
This island is divided into Dutch and French parts.
Feeling much better, but now must continue the amoxicillin
Excursion today – “Snorkeling & Kayak Adventure”
Ocean going, sit on top kayaks – great equipment, great guides. Explained what fish we were seeing off “Pelican Rock” The birds on the rock (frigates) and blue footed boobies, observed us until we got too close. We kayaked from one beach to another, snorkeled and paddled back again. We did well keeping up with everyone much younger than us. One guide told us he had been concerned when he saw our ages on the participant list. Once before he had to tow a couple after 5 minutes in the water and they were in their 60s.
A fun but very active morning. Relaxed after lunch
Dinner – VG like last night. The music in various venues. No show tonight

10th - Sea Day #1 in the Caribbean
Relaxed & read our books. Spanish Class. Joe left the pool area after Jabba the Hutt arrived “prancing around” with his suit hiked up into a thong.
Lunch: Again special desserts. We ate too much
2 pm – Lecture on Ocean Cay, MSC’s private island
Very different than that of other cruise lines. They turned a garbage dump of industrial waste into a marine reserve
Dinner – excellent
Show: Ensemble production “Top Hits”
OOPS – We realized we could not take the ship shuttle to the airport since Delta changed our flight time from 4 pm to 12:30. New plan – Carry our own luggage off as soon as the ship is cleared by authorities.
We reserved seats on “GOPORT” shuttle and hoped for the best.

11th – Sea Day #2 in the Caribbean
Bfast - I think they are running out of certain foods. Cereal (muscli) and yogurt are being set out in separate “single serving” bowls. Problem is that I only eat half or ¾ of each mixed together. I hate to waste food but that’s the result.
Spanish lesson – same time as debarkation lecture. I only have one question and by chance I met the captain (Giuseppe Gazzano) in the elevator. He confirmed my understanding of the “express debarkation” procedure
Lunch – Trying to eat less
Spent the afternoon relaxing and reading
Dinner VG. No show tonight. Music is various venues
12th – Ocean Cay – MSC’s private island
It looks as described in the lecture. It is a marine reserve reclaimed from an industrial waste dump.
As we walked the path to pick up our snorkeling gear, a guy backed up a golf cart. It hit a light pole knocked it over and it hit me behind my right leg. Ice & an accident report required. I was more shocked than hurt.
We got our gear and found a shady spot under a tree next to a rented cabana.
Great snorkeling equipment “Aqua Lung” I must buy one of their masks. I realized that the size of the mouth piece is important. The last 2 we rented on excursions were large and uncomfortable. I have a small mouth. This one was perfect.
Unfortunate lesson: When I swam across the lagoon to a float and back to shore, my noseplug would NOT stay on my nose and I got a sinus full of salt water. I always wondered if I could swim without a noseplug – answer NO! Realized that a noseplug will not stay on when wearing sunscreen. Another lesson learned.
Snorkeled across the lagoon to the rocks. Saw a few fish & a “lemon shark” which the staff insists is not dangerous to people.
Lunch was provided in a buffet on the beach. Very nice!
I walked the beach and Joe swam some more. Photos tell the story.
My sinuses are still burning from swimming without a nose plug in the salt water.
13th – Cape Canaveral - Disembarkation Day
“ Express Disembarkation” was well organized.
There were signs to the GOPORT shuttle which filled up quickly and drove us the 45 miles to the Orlando Airport.
Airport lacks seating and reasonable food options, but you can buy Disney gear.


Back in the USA
Flight on time and pleasant enough – only a bit over an hour to Raleigh
We picked up our rental car from Budget. 1st time ever for a brand new car. Only 125 miles on it
Nice Toyota Camry.
BW hotel is OK as usual. Ate at Panera Bread next door – the absolute WORST food ever for $27.
Panera Bread used to be good when we were in NOVA.

Oct 14th – Drove home, picked up our car and returned the rental at the Lynchburg airport.
The adventure ends.