Sapphire Princess Day 22

Written by Safarigal
March 27, 2024

At Sea

March 25th, 2024

It was a beautiful calm morning, gone are the rough seas of the Atlantic. Now we have the very calm Pacific. It hardly feels like we are on a ship at all unless you go out on deck or look out of a window.

This morning there was the very well attended shore talk for our next port of call, Manta, Ecuador. We planned a private tour, which included a stop at the Panama hat factory. Although the hats are called Panama hats, the really good ones are made in Ecuador.

Brian had left his Panama hat on the plane in December so was excited about getting a replacement. I have the belief that you can never have too many hats, so was interested in one for myself.

Then the captain made the announcement about an itinerary change.

We knew what was coming next. Due to the state of emergency in Ecuador, our visit there tomorrow has been cancelled, and our next port of call will be Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

I was very disappointed; I had really been excited about going there. Our tour sounded great, and Ecuador would be a new country for us. However, it really wasn’t that surprising, things had looked a bit iffy in Ecuador for a few months, and as always “safety first” and it did give us another sea day. So that’s 2 ports, Cape Horn, and the Amalia Glacier that we have missed.

As if to cheer us up a large pod of dolphins swam by just then.

We spent a lazy afternoon in the Conservatory pool. I had hoped that they would open the roof, but it remained closed. Still, it wasn’t hot or stuffy, and we were in the shade. And it was quiet. The other 2 pools were very crowded and there was no shade. It worked out well.

I had meant to go out on deck to watch the sunset, but I looked out of our cabin, and beyond our lifeboat, the sun had already arrived near to the horizon.

It didn’t look hopeful for a green flash, Llu llu agreed with me.

I watched the sun’s progress as it slowly slipped over the horizon.

No green flash, but it was wonderful to watch the sunset.

One of my complaints is that there are no sommeliers in the restaurants. The waiter hands you the wine list, and on occasion will recommend a wine that just so happens to be on special offer that evening. When one obliging waiter had offered to assist me with finding a good sauvignon blanc, all of his recommendations had been red wines.

My other compliant is that there seems to be very little differentiation between the wine glasses and water glasses, they are the same rather thick rimmed heavy glass. Once you get your white wine, the waiter fills your glass to the brim, and offers to leave your bottle of wine on the table. Requests for the bottle to be placed on ice in a wine bucket are met with surprise.

But tonight it was different. No sooner had the waiter handed me the wine list than a very suave young gentleman appeared and announced that he was the sommelier and how could he help madam this evening?

After I had made my choice, he rapidly returned with the bottle, and magically produced a proper wine glass. I got to taste the wine (a first this cruise) and then he poured half a glass of wine, he didn’t fill the glass to the brim. That’s exactly how I like it. And then he placed the bottle in a wine bucket without me even asking him to.

All these are small, maybe picky, things. However, it felt good to have a professional in charge. I wonder where he and his glasses have been hiding all of this time.

After dinner we stopped by the Crooners Bar which is in the Atrium. There was a 50s and 60s dance party going on in the Piazza 2 decks down, and the dance floor was crowded. The music was great, and our waitress treated us to a dance exhibition of her own

The movie under the stars tonight was Bohemian Rhapsody. We have seen it before, but I can never get enough of Queen’s music, so we went to Neptune’s pool on deck 14, grabbed a couple of blankets, and settled down on the loungers with popcorn to watch the movie.

It was the perfect venue for the movie, and the stars and full moon overhead added to the experience.

I must say I had been a bit skeptical about the whole idea of a huge screen at the pool, but I do think it works well. It was a great evening.

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I love to share my adventures with others, and hopefully give them some insight into what to expect on their own exciting travels. I hope reading my blog will be a useful resource, and inspire others to follow their travel dreams. As a travel advisor, I get great pleasure out of being able to help folks fulfill their aspirations by translating my experience in safari adventures and ocean voyages into memorable travel experiences for them.