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Pink and Perky goes around the world on the Arcadia Blog

Started by Phil, December 24, 2010, 05:59:08 PM

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Pinky and Perky

Day 11 15th January 2011.

WOW Aruba what a magical island. Plenty of white powder sandy beaches.
The cactus-studded terrain is flat, with the exception of 3 small hills rising to about 600 feet.
The real lure for tourist is sunshine and magnificent beaches with crystal- clear waters on the leeward side.
Swimming is out of the question on the windward side as thundering wave's crash against the rugged shore.
Arcadia docked at Oranjestad, a picturesque port full of colour and showing its Dutch heritage.

Bridgetown (Barbados) was a typical port with little character and very unimpressive to the eye.
By contrast Oranjestad was full of colour and buzzing that made you want to go ashore asap.

Our excursion in Barbados was excellent, but in Aruba a little disappointing.
It was a glass bottom boat that you stood up in when reaching a site of interest and peered down around 6 feet into the partially glass bottom of the boat. Photo opportunities were limited as flash was required and the reflection from the thick glass produced very poor images.
But the boat trip was fabulous, also the coach ride to and from the pier gave wonderful views of Oranjestad, its town, beaches, posh hotels and posh homes.

After the excursion we asked the coach driver to drop us at the port gates as we did not want to return to the ship at that time.
He stopped in the middle of town for us and we went off for lunch and a beer or 3!.
The meal we had was local snapper, brilliant and a good choice. Had local beers and tried a Venezuelan beer.
Not sure our American friends will be too impressed by that!!
No the beer was not called "Chavez".

Shopping( a must for Missus O) followed as usual with Popeye carrying the bags and producing dollars when the call went out!!
Zuiderdam and Seven Seas Mariner were also in port.
I have so many photos and need lots of time to sort then out.
I may need to leave until we are home and post a full recap of our adventure.
Here is a flavour of Oranjestad(Aruba).

Sunrise over Aruba.

Seven Seas Mariner arriving.

One of the many beach's.

Sail Jolly Pirates, they were having a wild time with glasses of rum punch flowing.

A Pelican on a rock.

Zuiderdam and Zuiderdam and Arcadia.

Oranjestad from Arcadia/ our balcony.

Sunset as we sail away from Aruba.

Panama next, cannot wait to fulfill another of my dreams.

P & O.

Pinky and Perky

Day 12 16th January 2011.

Sea day before Panama tomorrow.

We have joined the early morning deck walkers.
The reason because the "inches" have started to appear and not in the desired area!!
3 laps of deck 3 = 1 mile.
Check to see how we are doing in a week or so!!
Missus O says l will need 6 laps as l refuse to give up the lovely beer!! :bounce: :bounce: Cheers

P & O. 8)

Pinky and Perky

Day 13 17th January 2011.


And what a day to remember.
Watched our arrival early in the morning and the picking up of the Canal pilot.
In fact it was 3 pilots.
The senior pilot was on the bridge with the Captain watching the bow "mules" and running the show, one pilot at the stern advising the bridge and stern "mule "drivers. The third pilot was "midships" watching the port/starboard sides and advising the bridge.

There were ships everywhere. And my favourites, Container ships!!

Panama Canal Company sent "lines men" on board to attach the steel cables needed to secure to the "mules".
P & O staff observed, but did not touch anything, it was not there job.

Our busy day started with champagne breakfast in the Orchid restaurant on deck 11 midships.
The restaurant had been exclusively reserved for all "Suite" passengers that would be 25 cabins.
Our butlers were on hand to welcome us and serve us tea/coffee, juice and champagne.
Chef had prepared a special buffet breakfast which was first class.

We did not stay too long as we wanted to take lots of photos and although the view from the restaurant was terrific all photos would be taken from behind windows.

The decks were full of passengers trying to view this wonderful memorable transit.

I have to say P & O did a very good job for everyone.
Just a few examples and it is the small things that count.

Sun loungers had been stacked and securely tied together to enable passengers to stand up and view from the decks that had glass fronts. Staff stood close by to ensure no accidents and would assist people wishing to climb up or down.

A number of special areas on the open decks had been reserved for passengers with mobility difficulties or who could not stand for long periods and needed a seat. This meant no passengers hogged the deck rail and blocked their vision.
A steward was stationed close by to serve cold drinks and even bring a pot of tea/coffee.

A team from Panama came aboard early and P & O set up a shop for them to sell local souvenirs and gifts all made by the local community.
This was very well received by the passengers and you felt as if you were giving back a little having received so much joy from the Panama Canal.
We believe they sold out. We purchased a lovely plate with Panama on it and a picture of 2 ships transiting a lock.

A team of the ships photographers were landed and bused around to take photos of Arcadia as she transited from the start to the final lock.
Also they took photos of the many, many passengers viewing this spectacular event from the ships decks.

A speaker came on board also.
Mr. Edgar Paulk, who is an official of ACP (Autoridad de Canal Panama), he gave an excellent commentary from the start of our transit to the final lock.
His English was excellent and his commentary describing the many points of interest along the way was extremely informative.
C.C. 13 if you get a chance, please email your friends at Panama and tell them Mr. Paulk was excellent and we all appreciated his brilliant commentary. It enhanced the wonderful experience even more.  l have made a note and will do so when l have time, maybe when home.
I have yet to see what captures you all managed to get.
We have 2 days now to catch our breaths following that memorable day in the Panama Canal.
Again l have so many photos that l need to sort through.
Give me time and l will post a selection.

What an exhausting day, but well worth it, my dream of Transiting the Panama Canal has been lived. :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

P & O.

Pinky and Perky

Day 14 18th January 2011.

A lazy sea day today with time to recharge the batteries after yesterday's exceptional transit.

Today is very hot and humid as we sail up past Costa Rica.
Satellite difficulties have been experienced throughout today due to our location.
Hope for a connection tomorrow.

P & O. 8)

Pinky and Perky

Day 15 19th January 2011.

Can things get any better than this?

A lazy start to the day, a 1 mile plus a lap of the deck.
We are getting there!

A "Round the World Cruise Luncheon 201" at noon.
This was exclusive for all cabin grades of passengers travelling the "Full Monty "around the world.
The number was 868 passengers ( a record for Arcadia), so it had to be held over two days.
The first on 16th January and the second on 19th January.
We were booked on the second event.
The Captain Ian Walters gave a fascinating speech and his Officers sat at various tables for the meal.

Executive Chief Trevor Connelly produced a wonderful first class meal for the occasion.
We were given a copy of the special menu to take away signed by our waiters Oliver and Ramish, both from India.
Champagne and wine flowed free throughout the lunch and P & O finished rather tipsy!!
Example of what we selected from the menu.
Starters..Maine Lobster Cocktail with Morcambe Bay Shrimps with Hawaiian Sauce.
Sorbet Course..Blackcurrant Sorbet.
Main Course..Carved Prime Beef Fillet Chasseur style with Morel Mushroom and Foie Gras Tartlet.
Desserts..Plated Selection of British Cheeses featuring a port-marinated Stilton Round.

Yum, Yum.
Fantastic lunch.

Did very little after such a wonderful lunch.

Missus O played the slot machine for half an hour and won GBP 100.The end to a perfect day on Arcadia.

Tomorrow is Acapulco.
P & O.

Pinky and Perky

Some photos of Aruba l have not posted and one from Panama.
Zuiderdam in Oranjestad.

Not Battie C.C. 13 but a Pelican, l think and many were flying over Arcadia before we set sail.

As we sailed out of Oranjestad we passed the airport with 2 planes waiting to depart (for the plane lovers).

Panama day and our champagne breakfast in the Orchid restaurant that serves a fusion of cuisine based upon Chinese,Japanese,Thai and Indian influences.
Kanya arriving.

Champagne anyone?  Cheers

Ice and fruit sculptures.

The first lock at Gatun.

P & O. :bounce: :bounce:

Pinky and Perky

Day 16 20th January 2011.
Acapulco and what brilliant day weather wise for this port visit.

Acapulco is a serious playground for the rich and famous.
Wonderful city.
We booked a "Bay Cruise and Cliff Divers" excursion.
A very good excursion with spectacular views of the bay and the rich and famous homes perched high on the cliffs around the bay.
The divers were excellent although difficult to photograph there death defying dives off the cliff face.
Here is a photo l have reduced slightly, hope you can see them on the side of the cliff.

A wonderful Mexican buffet lunch was served with all the favourite dishes, plus plenty of local draft beer.

On the way back to the bay we spotted a number of whales leaping out the water.
One mother with a calf could also be seen. A first for us and most of the passengers on the boat.
A real treat.

Back to the shore and a short walk to Arcadia.
We took off down town and did some shopping, had a small lunch at a beach restaurant, Mexican food naturally, some local Corona beer and a few Tequila shots.
Lots of people watchers and people wishing to been watched in this magical playground.

Some photos of our day.
Arriving in Acapulco Bay.

Views of the Bay.
And our "Sail Away" party.

Great evening with disco and dancing around the Aquarius Pool/Bar to Mexican songs/tunes like "Going Loco in Acapulco".
Think we all did.

P & O. :bounce: 8)

Pinky and Perky

Day 17,18 and 19  21st,22nd , 23rd January 2011.
Lazy sea days.

The main pool area on Arcadia called the "Neptune" pool /bar and grill.

It has a retractable roof needed for those horrible UK summers l guess!!

Having said that it is getting colder here!.
Had to switch from A/C to heating in our room last night.
Whats going on Frank with your weather!!.

Will  Cheers when we pass L.A shipmate, what ever the local time :bounce: :bounce:

Getting ready for San Francisco.

Post again then,bye  :wave:

P & O.

Pinky and Perky

Day 20 24th January 2011.

San Francisco.

Yesterday morning (23rd), sometime before noon l guessed we were somewhere off L.A.
So out came the beers and a terrific "CHEERS' to shipmate Frank. Cheers Cheers
A photo of our balcony set up for the toast to Frank.

An hour later we had a great treat from our balcony.
We would like to thank Frank for arranging for a pod of black and white dolphins to swim and play off Arcadia's port side just north of L.A.
How did you organize that show Frank?!!
We had a terrific view but unfortunately the camera was packed away.
Missus O likes her Guinness (the real McCoy C.C. 13, brewed and canned in the fair city of Dublin) and Popeye has a bottle of fine English ale called Morland Speckled Hen (they used to have a brewery close to my place of work in West Oxfordshire,well what a surprise!, but l see from the label they have relocated.
But surely not because sales went south when we moved to Thailand?).

Missus O is so very excited to at last visit America for the first time.
She has long dreamed of this day, it is so wonderful to see her so excited and her dream coming true.
Many of her friends have had USA visa applications rejected for many different reasons.
It is very difficult these days for Thais to obtain a visa to visit America.
Kanya feels so very privileged to be here.

For old Popeye this is the furthest west l have been in America.
Previous was to Colorado Springs on a business trip many moons ago.

After clearing immigration we are booked on a tour of the sights of San Francisco and bay cruise.

Berthed around 6.00am.
Immigration Officials came on board and set up camp in one of the function rooms on deck 3.
No passengers or crew could disembark until ALL passengers (including those not going ashore) had been screened by the CBC Officials/ Agents.
This required a face to face interview.
This process started at 7.15am and was completed for all passengers by 9.45am.
Passengers could then go ashore.
Crew then had to go through the same process.

Needless to say Kanya and l had the longest interview of all passengers in our group.
Everyone else was "Hello, have a nice day" stamp, stamp "keep this slip safe"."Bye".

All our questions they already knew the answers, but wanted to see your body language. long do you plan to stay in America Madam?
What is your occupation Sir? What is your occupation Madam?
I said I am retired, he said and what was your occupation before you retired Sir?...and so the questions went on and on.
I have to say being Thai or having any connection with Thailand appeared to be a "red flag" to the CBC agents.

Still l am all for security and feeling safe.

It did not spoil our visit.
Some photos.
Sunrise in San Francisco from Arcadia looking towards Bay Bridge.

By 10.15am we were on Pier 39 (Arcadia was berthed on Pier 35) really enjoying a crisp but sunny day in San Francisco.

Arcadia from Pier 39.

Sea Lions next to Pier 39.

We had a really small breakfast and very early too, so we could watch our arrival, so being hungry around we stopped for lunch at one of the many seafood restaurants.
We had an enormous seafood salad of local crab and prawns.
Was it wonderful washed down by local San Francisco beer.

Back to Pier 35 to start our tour at noon.
The tour visited all the local landmarks.
Here are some photos.

Carnival ship for Phyllis from the "Twin Peaks".

Golden Gate Bridge.

Olive found a new "Popeye" boyfriend!

For Frank and C.C.13.

Name those ships?


The Golden Gate Bridge and Arcadia and the city.

So many photos this is just a selection.

After the boat cruise it was back to Fisherman's Wharf for some shopping.

It was a real treat to have part of an evening in a port.
So we decided to splash out and have dinner ashore rather than the ship.
Found another wonderful seafood restaurant and had Crab and Prawn cocktail, steamed clams in a delicious white wine sauce, garlic soda bread (boy was it large!) followed by tuna steak.
As a must to try we also ordered the seafood chowder (small portion) as most people were ordering this and appearing to real enjoy.
It was really good; in fact all the food was delicious.

At 20.00pm we waddled our way back to the ship like 2 fat sailors very happy with our day in San Francisco and America.

Arcadia departed before 21.00pm and we went straight to bed leaving the "Sail Away" party to the others!

I am sorry l have 2 marks on my lens that l can not clean off yet.Will keep trying :doh:

P & O.

Pinky and Perky

Day 21 25th January 2011.

A lazy sea day today and time for me to catch up on sorting some of my hundreds of photos.

Here are some sunset and sunrises prior to San Francisco.

Two more from San Francisco l should have posted.
Do you know the names Frank of the sailing ship and red funnel ship?

I now believe the garlic bread we had yesterday was "sour dough" not soda bread.
Is San Francisco known for this bread?

Two more photos from around Arcadia.
The Oasis spa and Hydro pool area.

Yesterday saw the completion of sector 1 of Arcadia's cruise, Southampton to San Francisco.

Captain and Deputy Captain changed also various staff, entertainment personnel and of course passengers.
A new team boarded as did passengers.
The next sector is San Francisco to Sydney.

Today is Robbie Burns day.
The Scots on board will love it and us, although we are not Scots! But l do like a "tipple or 3"!

Executive Chef has come up with a marvelous menu for tonight.
Specially flown in from the UK (that should read Scotland!) to San Francisco over the weekend.

Yes P & O has spared no expense and will treat the Scots and fellow passengers well tonight.
The menu reads.
The Chieftan-Highland Haggis with Champit Tatties "N" Bashed Neeps and a Wee Drap O' the Gratur.

Sorry no translation.
And l am not making it up either.
It is a super menu which l, not sure Olive, will love to bits.
But there are other choices for example Maine Rocktail Lobster Nantua.
Spoilt are we or not!!

So Popeye is off to warm up his kilt and blow up mee bag pipe's ready for the Highland fling tonight.

Ock 'ey Jimmy!! A wee dram bee for thee. See's yaah Jocks.

P & O. :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :wave:

Pinky and Perky

Day 22 26th January 2011.

A lazy sea day.
A very wild and enjoyable Burns day yesterday.
Enjoyed by everyone.


P & O. 8)

Pinky and Perky

Day 23 27th January 2011.

G'day sports, ;D

Another lazy sea day with the weather warming up a tad.

Today was Australia day and it was celebrated on Arcadia.
Many Australians joined in San Francisco.

An outback BBQ was set up in the Neptune pool/bar.
Very well attended and the food delicious.
Promotion Australian wines and beer was on sale all day at bargain prices.
Australian flags all around Arcadia, people with Ozzie hats, T shirts and the famous cork rimed hats.

P & O. (Bruce and Shelia) 8) ;D

Pinky and Perky

Day 24 28TH January 2011.

Another lazy sea day and nice and warm.

In the ships daily events program newspaper today, a meeting will be held by New Zealanders to talk about the up and coming "Waitangi" day.

Sounds like another "fun" day in the planning.

Honolulu tomorrow, weather promises to be good, thank you very much Frank! :bounce:

We have been informed that our departure tomorrow has been put back from around 18.00pm to 21.00pm.
The reason "bunkering" delay anticipated. The bunker ship has a previous commitment.
So they can not start refueling until the afternoon.
Hope that means another ship/s are in port.
Great news for us passengers.
Not likely to mean a delay to our arrival at our next port Pago Pago.

P & O. 8)

Pinky and Perky

Day 24 28th January 2011.

A  lazy sea day decided to post some more photos from within Arcadia for you to enjoy.

The original P & O line Arcadia's bell, now on deck 2.
I have a painting of her at home, so to photo and see the original bell is rather special for me.

A view of one of the stunning lighting ceilings around Arcadia.
This is looking up from the reception area deck 1 to deck 2 that has an open spiral staircase leading up with this magnificent and delightful view as you climb to the next level.

Popeye's favourite watering hole.
The Rising Sun, a typical English pub in every sense.
Serves English ale on draught (Boddingtons, a rather nice bitter from the Manchester area of the UK) and many more International ale's by the bottle.
Missus O always knows where to find me!!

The Piano Bar.

Took some of the main theater but they did not come out well due to poor lighting.
Will wait until they have a day when more lights are switched on in the theater.

P & O. 8) :bounce:

Pinky and Perky

Welcome to Oahu Honolulu.

What a magical Island.

We have had a terrific day.

Here are some of our photos.

Sunrise over Honolulu as we sailed in to port.

Arriving early this morning with Pride Of America already berthed.

That famous tower Arcadia was berthed next to it.

Some reassuring Navy guys looking after all our interests.

More to come.
P & O 8)