Sapphire Princess Day 23

Written by Safarigal
March 27, 2024

At Sea Crossing the Equator

March 26th, 2024

We should have been in Ecuador today, but instead we are at sea, heading towards Costa Rica.

It was another calm sunny day, perfect for doing absolutely nothing. There were many great looking enrichment talks and fun activities on the schedule, but I was feeling very lazy, enjoying the warm, calm weather.

Although the official ship’s crossing the equator is tomorrow, we actually crossed the equator this afternoon, so I wanted to be out on deck to see. OK, there is nothing to see, but I have always loved crossing the equator.

My grandparents used to live in a Kenyan village 15 miles north of the equator, and their nearest town was 30 miles to the south. So that meant every shopping spree involved crossing the equator. I used to love staying with them, I mean it was just so exotic to cross the equator every time you wanted to buy a box of Weetabix.

So I was very excited about today’s crossing, and as we gradually progressed from the southern hemisphere into the northern hemisphere I felt the excitement of returning from a successful shopping expedition with my beloved grandparents.

There was proof that we were on the equator

I placed a pin on my Apple maps to mark the occasion.

A very sweet Japanese gentleman then shared his phone with me so I could take a photo. I think it shows that we are at the equator.

Meanwhile, while I was gazing out into the blue yonder, a ceremony was happening at the back of the ship. Rob Raincock posted on Facebook that the 3rd Official Equatorial Crossing and Spaghetti Snapping Ceremony had taken place! This time on the Sapphire Princess headed north. We beat last year’s record with over 300 participants! What a great way to mark crossing the equator as well as usher in good luck, fortune, and happiness. We crossed just off the coast of Ecuador at about 3:27pm.

What, you may ask, is spaghetti snapping? Honestly I don’t know, but was told that uncooked spaghetti is broken in half and then passed around. That sounds wonderfully random.

I returned to our cabin after the excitement of crossing the invisible line and found a letter from the shore excursion desk informing us that our volcano and hot springs tour in Puntarenas had been cancelled for :”operational reasons” whatever that might be.

I was so disappointed. I love volcanoes, and the thought of soaking in a natural hot spring seemed like heaven to me, but it is not to be.

I went to the shore excursion desk to see if they had a printout of what excursions would be offered instead. They do not have paper copies, but I was told I can check them out on my Medallion App. I explained that I would love to, but my App thinks I am on the Emerald Princess, and thus does not let me access anything for the Sapphire. The man at the desk tells me I should do something about the App. I try to explain that I have tried, but to no avail. The shore excursion agent next to him explains that there is a glitch in the system. They both look at me with sorry eyes, and I bid them farewell. I am shore excursionless on the equator.

Cancelled much wanted shore excursion, cancelled Puerto Montt, cancelled Manta, cancelled Amalia Glacier, cancelled sailing around the horn. At least they couldn’t cancel the equator. And looking on the brighter side of things, maybe there will be proper wine glasses at dinner tonight.

No such luck. As I sat down to dinner the waiter poured my room temperature white wine into a regular wine glass. Full to the brim. Well I didn’t have to worry about it warming to room temperature in the glass, it had well and truly arrived there. I asked him to put the bottle on ice in a wine bucket. I wonder where the sommelier and his magic wine glasses is hiding out.

Talking of magic, we went to the magic show tonight. Well he says he is and illusionist, which takes a bit of the magic out of it I think. Anyway, he was very good, but 80% of his act was identical to the act we had seen last week, so it lost some of its magic, so to speak.

However, he did a have a few new things, so the other 20% was excellent, and at least he didn’t pretend to be a comedian as well.

We may be in the northern hemisphere, but can we still see the southern cross? There was star gazing at the front of the ship tonight. I thought it was a the back of the ship, but no it was at the front, which delayed our arrival, and things were in full swing by the time we got there. They had turned off the lights, so you could actually see the stars, although the moon is still quite bright. It was a warm, clear night, perfect for stargazing. We looked to the south, and sure enough, there was the southern cross. We may be in the northern hemisphere, but those 4 big stars were shining bright tonight. As long as I can still see the southern cross, things are fine in my world.

Post Discussion


  1. Mick

    Sad that a line with the reputation of Princess can’t handle wine service in the restaurant. Wouldn’t happen on Cunard!

    • Safarigal

      Totally true. I so hope that Cunard doesn’t follow their lead.

  2. Lynda

    Makes one appreciate the small things on Cunard that we take for granted
    I would not be a happy camper with warm wine filled to the brim … grrrr
    Ur a better & kinder person than I am, Charlie Brown.

    Overall, it does sound like a successful voyage, even with the missed ports,
    You now have a valid reason for a future cruise … and Panama hats.

    • Safarigal

      Ooooh! I like that – a return visit to South America in search of a Panama hat. That sounds like a plan 🙂

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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.