Yesterday’s harrowing drive in Boston…Now, we are in Henderson, Nevada…

Pool view from our gorgeous room at the Green Valley Ranch Resort in Henderson, Nevada.

Whew! Lots of traveling! Lots of walking! Lots of late hours. We’re a little pooped but holding up well.

Here is our itinerary from the past 31 hours:

  • 9:30 am:  Disembarked Celebrity Summit in Boston. Took an Uber to the rental car facility at the Logon Airport
  • 10:30 am:  Picked up the rental car at Alamo near the airport – highly complex drive from this location
  • 11:00 am: Drove to Embassy Suites Hotel at Logan Airport and received an early check-in
  • 11:30 am: In our room at the hotel, we prepared the post and relaxed for an hour.
  • 3:15 pm: Left the hotel to commence the long drive to meet my cousin Phyllis for dinner in Stoughton, MA. Maps stated it would take about 90 minutes to reach the restaurant due to rush hour traffic. It took two hours in stop-and-go traffic, the worst we’ve experienced in years.
  • 5:15 pm: Reached the restaurant. We had a delightful dinner with Phyllis.
  • 7:30 pm: Headed back toward the airport but decided to drop off the rental car since it was so challenging to drive from the hotel to the car rental facility; we could have a problem getting to the airport by 5:00 am this morning with the road construction and detours in the area.
  • 8:30 pm: Dropped off the rental car and walked to the hotel from the facility. Yikes, it was a long walk for me, but it made no sense to get a taxi when we could see the hotel sign from the rental car building.
  • 9:00 pm: Back at the hotel, planning to go to bed early for our 4:00 am alarm. I didn’t sleep well but got up on time and took the hotel shuttle to the airport
  • 5:30 am: We were able to do curbside check-in for Delta Airlines. After security, we were at the gate an hour before boarding.
  • 6:30 am: Boarded the plane for a 5½ hour flight from Boston to Las Vegas. No food but nuts and chips was served on the plane.
  • 10:00 am: (Three-hour time difference). We arrived in Las Vegas, picked up luggage, and took the tram to a rental car area to wait for the shuttle bus to take us to the rental facility, standing outside in a long queue at 93F, much of which was in the sun.
  • 10:30 am:  Arrived at the rental car area and unloaded the bags, which I watched while Tom got the car taken care of
  • 11:30 am: Left the Las Vegas Airport in the rental car and drove the short distance to the Green Valley Ranch Spa and Casino in Henderson
  • 11:45 am: Checked in to the resort in the VIP lounge with lots of nice perks for us regular guests.
  • 12:00 pm: Arrived in our well-appointed, beautiful pool view room to a sigh of relief. We only unpacked a few items we’d need in the next 24 hours.

Tom just made me a big mug of Crystal Light lemonade with my metal straw and lots of big chunks of ice.

At 5:00 pm, we’ll head to dinner in one of the many restaurants in this resort for a much-needed meal. Most likely, we’ll be back in our room by 7:00 or 7:30 pm, where we’ll shower again, chill out, and hopefully get a good night’s sleep. Whew! It’s great to settle in for the next nine days until it’s time to leave again.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today,  August 31, 2013:

There wasn’t a post on this date ten years ago since it was a travel day.

Cruises have ended….We’re in Boston to see my cousin tonight…

Moonlight on our last night on the Greenland cruise. Thanks, Tom, for the good photo!

At the moment, we are sitting on the sofa in our Embassy Suites Logan Airport hotel. I just made a cup of decaf coffee to enjoy while listening to the Garage Logic podcast on Tom’s laptop with TV news in the background, showing the ravages of  Hurricane Idalia. We’re sad for the people of Florida but glad we got out of there when we did over one month ago, on July 28.

So much has transpired since we left Florida, having had the opportunity to visit Norway and Greenland, two locations we never imagined we’d see when our journey began almost 11 years ago. It is 11:30 am, and we managed to get into our room early due to our Hilton Honors membership and Expedia VIP status.

We each received a certificate like this at the end of the Greenland cruise.

Thank goodness we didn’t have to wait to get the room until the official check-in time of 2:00 pm and had no choice but to wait in the lobby. This is much easier. We’re a little raggedy after a tiring morning disembarking the ship. Our luggage numbers were 22, meaning we couldn’t exit until around 9:30.

We had our last meal on the ship, breakfast at 7:30, grabbed our carry-on luggage from our cabin, and headed to the Sky Lounge on Deck 11 to wait until our number was called. At that point, we had no idea what time we’d be outside to grab a taxi or Uber to Alamo Car Rental at the Logan Airport to pick up the car we rented in order to make our way to Cousin Phyllis today for our 5:00 pm dinner reservation in Stoughton, a 55-minute drive from here.

As we were sailing away from Halifax, Nova Scotia., we spotted this Holland America ship.

Thus, we’ll leave here in about four hours to begin the long trek in rush-hour traffic to meet Phyllis at the restaurant in time for our much-anticipated get-together after almost nine years since we last saw her at the end of another cruise to Boston. It will be wonderful to see her again.

Once outside the cruise terminal, we had a little trouble getting an Uber, but finally, one appeared, and we were on our way to Alamo. I waited with the bags in the rental car parking garage until Tom returned with the papers, and we were assigned a car. Within about 45 minutes, we were on our way to the nearby hotel. Again, check-in went smoothly when I pressed for a room now rather than at 2:00 pm check-in.

Immigrant statue at the port in Halifax.

After getting settled, I decided it was time to prepare a post when we could not do so yesterday. I had blamed it on the ship’s WiFi, but this morning, I got an email from our hosting company, Hostinger, taking full responsibility for the problem. Now that we’re back up and running, we should be able to post going forward until we leave the US in October, about six weeks from now.

Feeling exhausted after the last few days, I don’t feel motivated to write a newsy, informative post about where we sailed in the past few days since our previous post. Mainly, we sailed in the North Sea toward the US with little incidents other than massive fog and the necessity of the captain sounding the fog horn a few times each hour.

A dessert at the last dinner aboard the ship.

The seas were otherwise smooth and uneventful, which made the final few days pleasant. We had lots of fun with countless passengers we met.

I stopped doing the post when I desperately needed a nap. After laying on the bed under the covers, I fell asleep for about 20 minutes and felt refreshed. In less than two hours, we’ll drive to Stoughton. Tomorrow morning, we’ll be at the airport at 5:00 am for our Delta flight to Las Vegas, pick up the rental car, and head to our hotel in Henderson.

Tom’s pork loin dinner last night on Celebrity Summit to Greenland. The food was ok but not great.

From there, we’ll prepare our next post. and in a few days, start adding the photos we couldn’t add while on the first ship to Norway.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, August 30, 2013:

Everything I own, except six pairs of shoes in a smaller bag, is to be sucked into the Space bags. For more photos. please click here.

Day 11…Greenland Cruise…Halifax, Nova Scotia…Two days and counting…

We are docked at the Port of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The seas were quiet last night, and we both slept well after heading off to our stateroom after the “silent disco” in the Martini Bar. Last night was lobster night, but the three-ounce tails were rubbery, hard to cut, and hardly enough for a meal with a dollop of white rice and a few pieces of broccoli.

It was a good thing that Tom ordered three starters, as he had each night: French onion soup, shrimp cocktail with three small shrimp, and escargot with six tiny bits of snails in butter sauce. I never ordered starters and ate my entree, usually with too-buttery vegetables and a protein source, either seafood, beef, or chicken. The flavor was either bland or over-seasoned.

In many ways, Halifax is a modern city.

No doubt, under new management, Celebrity has gone downhill since Covid. We were sorely disappointed by many aspects of this cruise. But, if we want to cruise again and avoid outrageous prices and oversized ships, we may not have many options. We’ve ruled out Royal Caribbean due to the massive size of their ships and the abundance of amusement park venues and events.

From what we’ve seen, there are no more than six kids on this cruise, yet every time there’s a movie in the theatre in the afternoon, something we like to do, it’s a movie for kids, not adults. The majority of the passengers on this ship are over 60, and few enjoy superhero movies. Go figure.

In the future, we’ll be looking to do less cruising or spend more time on cruise lines such as Azamara, where we particularly liked the small ship size and number of passengers, under 600. But even that wasn’t as ideal as we’d expected. Everything has changed since COVID, with many service, amenities, and atmosphere cutbacks. We can’t perceive that these factors will improve over time.

More views of Halifax.

Cruise lines are attempting to recover losses after the pandemic, and the only way to do this is to reduce the services and amenities that most appeal to customers. Last night’s lobster night was a perfect example…tiny tails with an extra charge of $16.95 to add a second tail to one’s plate. Sure, in years past, passengers abused the “all you can eat” aspect of cruising and would order three, four, or five tails. But few did, so it balanced out when many didn’t even eat lobster tails.

Tom’s been disappointed to be unable to order a cocktail in the dining room, which should be included with our drink package. But, there’s been no one in the dining room to get him a cocktail, although wine service was abundant. He’s had to leave the table to go to a bar to get a drink when often we’d sit at a table chatting with other passengers for a few hours.

He’s also mentioned that many of the desserts are dry and tasteless, although he seemed to enjoy the Baked Alaska last night. Usually, I’ve just eaten my special order entree and nothing else, no salad, starter, or dessert. Once or twice, I ordered the cheese plate, but generally, I don’t feel like eating cheese after dinner.

A slight rainbow Tom picked up last night.

Today, we are in Halifax, Nova Scotia, our last port of call on this Greenland cruise, which ends in two days on August 30. Included today are photos we took of the seaside town, and no, we didn’t arrange any tours which were overpriced and retired hours sitting on a bus, something we’d rather not do.

There have been a lot of cases of COVID-19 on this cruise, and we didn’t want to sit on a crowded bus. After finally being rid of the pain in my head and face, there was no way we would expose ourselves to the risk. Plus, we wanted to be healthy to see family for the upcoming six weeks in the US and not be lying in a hotel room with COVID-19 as we had in 2022. Seeing family is much more important to us than visiting a few sites on a bus.

Halifax Waterfront Aerial View A low altitude aerial view of the Halifax skyline and waterfront in late evening. Taken from an altitude of 800'. halifax nova scotia stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
Aerial view of Halifax. Not our photo.

Here’s the information from the ship’s brochure on our current port of call:

“Nova Scotia is one of eastern Canada’s Maritime provinces on the Atlantic. Consisting of a peninsula and off-shore islands, it’s home to puffins and seals and popular water sports like kayaking. The Bay of Fundy, with its famously extreme tides, is a whale-watching destination. Halifax, the capital, dominated by the star-shaped Citadel, is known for its lively waterfront and Victorian-era Public heritage, including Glooscap Heritage Centre, Grand=Pre National Historic Site, Hector Heritage Quay, and the Black Cultural Centre for Nove Scotia.”

Here are 15 Fun Facts About Halifax, Nova Scotia, from this site:

1. People from Halifax are known as Haligonians.

2. Halifax is the capital of Canada’s Nova Scotia province

3. The Honorable Edward Cornwallis of Britain arrived to establish a permanent British settlement in 1749. The settlement was named Halifax, after Lord Halifax, head of England’s Board of Trade.

4. The star-shaped Citadel Fort overlooks the Halifax harbor from its hilltop location. James Arnold, the fifth son of American traitor Benedict Arnold, designed the initial plans for the fort.

5. Today, the Halifax Citadel is Canada’s most-visited National Historic Site.

6. Alexander Keith, born in Scotland, immigrated to Halifax and founded Alexander Keith’s brewing company in 1820. Not only a brewmaster, Mr. Keith was a three-time mayor of Halifax.

7. The Cunard Steamship Line was founded in Halifax in 1840.

8. Halifax is closer to Dublin, Ireland, than it is to Victoria, British Columbia.

Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada Peggy's Cove is one of the landmarks and tourist attraction on the East coast of Canada. halifax nova scotia stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
The lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove is a long drive and challenging walk. Not our photo.

9. There are six universities and colleges in Halifax. Mr. Jones is a proud alum of the largest — Dalhousie University.

10. There are 81 college students out of every 1000 Halifax residents.

11. Halifax has more bars per capita than anywhere else in Canada.

12. In 1809, the Royal Navy hung pirate Edward Jordan at Black Rock Beach. They coated his body in tar and left the remains up for almost 20 years. The Royal Navy continued the practice of hanging pirates at Point Pleasant Park’s Black Rock Beach until 1844.

13. When the Titanic struck an iceberg on April 14th, 1912, she was 700 nautical miles east of Halifax. While the Cunard liner Carpathia took survivors to New York, the dead were brought to Halifax. There is a permanent Titanic Museum at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, and a hundred and fifty Titanic victims were buried in three Halifax cemeteries.

14. In December 1917, the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship carrying munitions, collided with the Belgian Relief vessel SS Imo. The resulting “Halifax Explosion” killed approximately 2,000 people and injured 9,000 in the largest artificial explosion before the development of nuclear weapons.

The fishing village Peggys Cove View of boats and houses, in the fishing village Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada halifax nova scotia stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
View of Peggy’s Cove, a small fishing village. Not our photo.

15. The Bedford Basin is a large enclosed bay forming the northwestern end of Halifax Harbor. There are said to be 32 Volvo cars on the floor of the Basin, where they sunk in 1969 after the container ship that was transporting them sustained water damage.”

We didn’t intend for this post to sound negative. Of course, regardless of the changes we’ve seen on this ship, we still have had a fantastic time visiting with passengers and sharing our stories and theirs over countless hours aboard the ship. Let’s face it, one of the major reasons we enjoy cruising is the socialization, which never disappoints.

We’ve met many interesting and delightful people aboard this cruise and the last, many of whom we’ll stay in touch with in the future. That is such a joy for us, especially when we’ll spend many months with less socializing in South America.

That’s it for today, folks. We’ll be back with more tomorrow.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today,  August 28, 2013:

With no photos posted on this date, we posted a list of the nutrition information for various nuts, which I can eat in moderation on my way of eating. Here’s the list instead. Please click here for the post:

Carbohydrates and Fats in Nuts and Seeds (1 Ounce Unshelled)

Cal Tot. Carb Fiber Net Carb Sat. Fat Mono Fat ω-3 Fat ω-6 Fat
Almonds 161 6.1 3.4 2.7 1 8.6 0.2 3.4
Brazil Nuts 184 3.4 2.1 1.3 4.2 6.9 0.05 5.8
Cashews 155 9.2 0.9 8.1 2.2 6.7 0.2 2.2
Chestnuts 60 12.8 2.3 10.5 0.1 0.2 0.03 0.22
Chia Seeds 137 12.3 10.6 1.7 0.9 0.6 4.9 1.6
Coconut* 185 6.6 4.6 2 16 0.8 0 0.2
Flax Seeds 150 8.1 7.6 .5 1 2.1 6.3 1.7
Hazelnuts 176 4.7 2.7 2 1.3 12.8 0.24 2.2
Macadamia Nuts 201 4 2.4 1.6 3.4 16.5 0.06 .36
Peanuts 159 4.5 2.4 2.1 1.9 6.8 0 4.4
Pecans 193 3.9 2.7 1.2 1.7 11.4 0.28 5.8
Pine Nuts 188 3.7 1 2.7 1.4 5.3 0.31 9.4
Pistachios 156 7.8 2.9 5.8 1.5 6.5 0.71 3.7
Pumpkin Seeds 151 5 1.1 3.9 2.4 4 0.51 5.8
Sesame Seeds 160 6.6 3.3 3.3 1.9 5.3 0.11 6
Sunflower Seeds 164 5.6 2.4 3.2 1.2 5.2 0.21 6.5
Walnuts 183 3.8 1.9 1.9 1.7 2.5 2.5 10.7

Day 10…Greenland Cruise…Newfoundland…Sea day…

Cape Spear Lighthouse.

Yesterday’s visit to St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland, was an exciting look inside coastal living in northern Canada. The weather was cool but pleasant, the people friendly, and the town of roughly 114,000. It was a mix of old and new architecture, as shown in today’s photos.

A beautiful building in St. John’s is the Supreme Court.

From the ship’s brochure:

“St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland, is the providence’s largest city. It was settled by the British in the 1600s. St. John’s is one of the oldest cities in the “New World.” Known for colorful row houses, it has the perfect balance of luxurious city and old-town charm. Guests can wander the streets learning the history of this fishing town, or for the more adventurous, hike up Signal Hill and enjoy the views.”

It was a lovely town filled with old-world charm, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Another view of colorful buildings in St. John’s.

Here are more facts about St. John’s, Newfoundland…

From this site:

“St. John’s, capital and largest city of Newfoundland, Newfoundland and LabradorCanada, at the eastern end of the Avalon Peninsula. It stands on the steep, western slope of an excellent landlocked harbour that opens suddenly to the Atlantic. The entrance, known as the Narrows, guarded by Signal Hill (500 feet [150 metres]) and South Side Hills (620 feet [190 metres]), is about 1,400 feet (425 metres) wide, narrowing to 600 feet (185 metres) between Pancake and Chain rocks. It was probably visited in 1497 by John Cabot on the Feast Day of St. John the Baptist and was early used as a haven for fishing vessels.

In 1583 a marker was placed on the shore by Sir Humphrey Gilbert claiming possession of Newfoundland for England, but permanent settlement was not made until the early 17th century. St. John’s prospered as a fishing port, despite frequent attacks by the French and disastrous fires in 1816–17, 1846, and 1892.

The city, one of the oldest and the most easterly in North America, now dominates the economic and cultural life of the province. It is the island of Newfoundland’s commercial and industrial centre, a major ocean port, and the base for the provincial fishing fleet; it is also the easternmost terminus for the Trans-Canada Highway and for several national airlines. Among its varied industries are shipbuilding, fish processing, brewing, tanning, and the manufacture of clothing, hardware, marine engines, paint, and furniture.

The city’s two cathedrals (both dedicated to St. John the Baptist) are the ornate basilica (1841; Roman Catholic) and the ecclesiastical-Gothic Anglican cathedral (originating in 1816 and rebuilt after the great fire of 1892). The Confederation Building (1850) replaced the Colonial Building (1860) as the provincial headquarters and houses a military and naval museum. St. John’s is the home of the Memorial University of Newfoundland (1925) and Queen’s College (1841; Anglican), and its Newfoundland Museum displays relics of the extinct Beothuck tribe (Newfoundland’s original inhabitants). Signal Hill Historic Park, once a location for signaling the approach of ships, memorializes several events, including John Cabot’s presumed landfall (commemorated by a tower [1897]); the French-English struggle for Newfoundland that ended in 1762 with the last shot fired on the hill (remnants of the fortifications, notably the Queen’s Battery, remain); and the reception atop the hill at the Cabot Tower by Guglielmo Marconi of the first transatlantic wireless message in 1901 from Europe. From the city’s Lester’s Field, the aviators Captain (later Sir) John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Brown took off in 1919 to make the first nonstop transatlantic flight to Clifden, Ireland.

The Quidi Vidi Battery, which once guarded the entrance to a small fishing harbour east of Signal Hill leading to a small lake, has been restored to its 1812 appearance; the annual (August) regatta, held since 1828 on the lake, is one of the oldest organized sports events in North America. Inc. 1888. Pop. (2006) 100,646; metro. area, 181,113; (2021) 110,525; metro. area, 212,579.

Scenic views of colorful buildings.

Memorial University of Newfoundland

Last night, after dinner, we headed to the theatre to watch the show, a live entertainer who impersonates Neil Diamond. The performance was excellent, and we enjoyed every moment. When it was over, we headed back to our cabin for another good night’s rest. Again, Tom headed to breakfast alone while I stayed behind, got up, showered, and dressed for the day.

Robert Neary, Neil Diamond impersonator, performed at the Theatre last night. Gosh, he even looked like him.

When he returned, we put together another load of laundry since we won’t have access to laundry facilities until we get to Henderson, Nevada, where we can do laundry at Richard’s house or a laundromat near the Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa, and Casino. This time, we’ll have a rental car so we can get around and do whatever we need to do; renew our driver’s licenses, pick up mail from our mailing service, and get together with Richard and some friends in Las Vegas.

Today, a sea day, we’ll chat with passengers and enjoy another delightful day aboard the ship. In another hour, we’ll head to the dining room for lunch, after which we’ll head back to Cafe al Bacio for a more relaxing time, doing exactly what we want to do.; It’s delightful.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, August 27, 2013:

+ Each day in Tuscany, it’s cooler than the last as fall rolls in. More of these puffy clouds surrounded us yesterday morning. With the cool weather, we kept the windows closed all day. The laundry on the drying rack required the entire day to dry. It appears Tuscany’s days of hot weather are over. For more photos, please click here.

Day 9…Greenland…Still in the Labrador Sea on our way to Newfoundland…

We are having a great time. This is us in the Rendezvous Lounge on Deck 4.

Note: Yesterday, I made an error and didn’t upload the post. Thus, we heard from several readers last night asking if we were okay. Gosh, we appreciate the concern. And yes, we are fine. In the flurry of activity aboard the ship, I simply got distracted and failed to upload the post that I am loading now. Tomorrow, we’ll catch up, but today will be an easy day for me since I’ll only upload this one post instead of doing another.

This cruise ends in four days. There will be two more sea days over the next four days until we disembark in Boston on the 30th. We don’t mind sea days. It gives us plenty of time to relax and enjoy lively conversation with other passengers. Some days, we take a nap; others, we do not. It all depends on how late we got to bed the previous night.

Last night, after dinner with Laura and Les,  a couple we met early on and another couple. We had a lovely dinner, and then Tom and I headed to the Rendezvous Bar and spent time chatting and rocking to the music. By about 11:00 pm, we decided to make it an early night. We nodded off by midnight but woke up very early this morning.

There have been several time changes, including a few 30-minute changes, which is odd. I can’t get my broken Fitbit to show the correct time. I’ll have to wait until we get to the US and buy a new device since mine broke on the last cruise, and it can’t keep recording sleep time and the correct local clock time. When the WiiFi works well, I may consider some options online, but I haven’t purchased anything yet.

This morning, as always, we’re comfortably situated in Cafe al Bacio at our favorite table for four, which somehow ends up available for us each morning after Tom has breakfast. He gets up early and heads to the Oceanview Cafe, where he orders bacon and eggs.

Afterward, he heads back to the cabin to collect the laptops and races to the coffee shop to ensure he can get our favorite table. At that point, I get up, shower, dress for the day, and do whatever little projects I may have on the agenda before departing the stateroom. Usually, by 8:30 or 9:00, I join Tom at the table. Often, passengers ask if they can “share” the table with us, and we’re always happy to do so, especially when an interesting conversation ensues.

During these conversations, I get sidetracked and stop writing the post to participate in the conversation. Often, it takes me the better part of the morning to get a post uploaded, especially with the slow loading of photos, which is much better on this ship but still a challenge at times when so many passengers are online.

We love our little routine on the ship in the same way we relish routines we establish wherever we may be living at any given time. There’s a pleasing sense of comfort in having habits in our nomadic life, unlike most people when they aren’t traveling. We never feel bored or disinterested in our routines, providing us with a great balance in our peculiar lifestyle.

It”s a pleasant feeling knowing we’ll be visiting family and friends when we get to the US in only five days. This will be the longest period (one month) we’ve stayed in Minnesota since our travels commenced almost 11 years ago (as of October 31). It will be fun to spend extra time with our kids and grandkids. During this stay, we’ll have enough time to see many of our friends while in Minnesota, which has been tough to do on shorter stays in the past.

Sorry, we don’t have much exciting news today. Tomorrow, we’ll be at a port and take photos and share experiences after returning to the ship. On these quiet sea days, there’s little to share other than to say how much fun we’re having and how much we like cruising.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, August 25, 2013:

In Boveglio, Tuscany, on this date, it almost looked like smoke, not clouds. But we were so high up; we were in the shadows. For more, please click here.

Day 7…Greenland Cruise…Currently in the Labrador Sea, heading to St. John’s Newfoundland…

Labrador Sea - Wikipedia
Here is a map of our upcoming destination.

Labrador Sea

The Labrador Sea is an arm of the North Atlantic Ocean between the Labrador Peninsula and Greenland. The sea is flanked by continental shelves to the southwest, northwest, and northeast. It connects to the north with Baffin Bay through the Davis Strait. It is a marginal sea of the Atlantic. Wikipedia
Area324,712 mi²
Mean depth6,227′
Coordinates61°N 56°W / 61°N 56°W
Depthabout 3,400 m
Max. widthc. 900 km (559 mi)

We are at sea today and tomorrow, heading toward the island of St. John, shown in the above map at the bottom right of the mainland. Once we arrive on the island, we’ll add more information about it. If the weather is decent, we’ll get off the ship and take some photos.


Last night, once again, we dined at a shared table for eight in the Cosmopolitan dining room, enjoying conversation among the tablemates that went well into the evening. Afterward, we headed to the Rendezvous Bar and then to the Sky Lounge for another night of Silent Disco.

We were both tired after staying up late many nights and ended up heading off to our cabin by around 10:30, both looking forward to a good night’s sleep, which we accomplished, feeling much more alert and energetic today. We love cruising and socializing so much that we stay up late on cruises, often not returning to our cabin until after midnight.


Are we enjoying this Celebrity cruise as much as the previous Azamara? Socially, yes, but there are a few issues on this cruise that we have discussed among ourselves several times. One, the food isn’t as good as it was in Azamara. The menu options in the dining room, where we prefer to dine each night, are limited.

Last night, Tom noticed only one meat option for dinner: coq au vin, which he doesn’t care for. He picked at his plate, eating only small bites. The other three options were all vegetarian. By no means are we vegetarians. Also, my special order didn’t go as planned.

More Greenland…

I have to order the next night’s dinner in advance on this and other ships due to my special diet of meat and vegetables without starchy sides and sauces. You’d think this was easy to accomplish, but it is not. All I am looking for is food in its natural state without vegetable oils but flavored with some spices to avoid being bland and unappetizing. This has been tough to accomplish on this cruise.

On the Azamara cruise, the food was much better. With fewer passengers on Azamara Journey at 587, compared to over 2000 on this ship Celebrity Summit, it was easier for the chefs to prepare special meals that were delicious. Here, it doesn’t seem very easy for them to get it right.

More Greenland…very desolate but interesting nonetheless.

The first several nights, my meal was swimming in butter. When I asked for less butter and more spices, they over-spiced it, and last night, it was so salty I couldn’t eat it. I quietly let the head waiter, who attends to special orders, know the food wasn’t good, but only quietly when we were leaving the restaurant. I am not one to make a fuss in public.

Graciously, I explained the dilemma, and he promised it would be better tonight. If I’d mentioned it during dinner, he would have pressed me to order something else, and after a big lunch, I didn’t care about getting an entirely new dish while everyone at the table waited for me to eat before ordering their dessert. It just doesn’t matter that much to me to make a spectacle.

That’s all I have for today, folks. We are continuing to revel in the delightful scenery and socialization aboard the ship. The cruise ends in Botson in six days on August 30.

Be well.

Photo ten years ago today, August 24, 2013:

There was no post on this date ten years ago. The internet was down.

Day 6…Greenland Cruise…Amazing scenery in Greenland…

This iceberg was much more enormous than it appears in this photo.

We are in Greenland! Wow! What a place! Late yesterday afternoon, we arrived at a magical wonderland known as Prins Christian Sund, named for Prince Christian VIII of Denmark. The area is a dramatic fjord separating the southernmost islands of the rest of South Greenland, a land of jagged mountains and green pastures where sheep farms border icy fjords and Norse history intersects with modern communities.

Prins Christian Sund presents exquisite scenery for cruising, with mountains reaching nearly 4,000 feet, glaciers inching toward the sea, and tidal currents that limit ice formation.

What an interesting iceberg floating by this glacier.

From the ship’s brochure:

“At approximately 4:00 pm, Celebrity Summit will be reaching Prins Christian Sund. The duration of viewing will be influenced by prevailing weather conditions. Our Celebrity Activities Speaker, Brent Nixon will provide updates to our navigation to Prins Christian Sund and some narrations about the history and importance of this symbolic place. 

Announcements can be heard in public venues as well as open decks around the ship and on your stateroom TVs on Channel 1. Please turn the volume up. If weather permits, we will open the helipad in order to enhance your scenic cruising/viewing experience. Please listen for announcements via the PA system to advise you accordingly.”

We encountered one amazing glacier after another.

Here are some essential facts about Greenland from this site:

1. World’s Largest Island

Let’s start with the basics. Greenland is actually the world’s biggest island – by area – that is not a continent. The total area of Greenland is 2.16 million square kilometers (836,330 square miles), including other offshore islands. Almost 80 percent of the land mass is covered by an ice cap. The ice-free area may be a minority, but it’s still around the size of Sweden. With a population of 56,480 (2017 estimate), it is one of the least densely populated countries in the world.

2. Greenland Was Green

The Arctic nation is mostly white since most of Greenland is covered in ice, snow, and glaciers. So how did it get its name “Greenland” when it’s not really green? It actually got its name from Erik The Red, an Icelandic murderer who was exiled to the island. He called it “Greenland” in hopes that the name would attract settlers. However, scientists say Greenland was quite green more than 2.5 million years ago. A new study reveals that ancient dirt was cryogenically frozen for millions of years underneath about 2 miles of ice.

They couldn’t have been more awe-inspiring!

3. Greenland is an Autonomous country

Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark. Although Greenland is geographically a part of the North American continent, it has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for about a millennium. Since 1721, Denmark has held colonies in Greenland, but the country was made part of Denmark in 1953. In 1979, Denmark granted Home Rule to Greenland, and in 2009, expanded Self Rule was inaugurated, transferring more decision-making power and responsibilities to the Greenlandic government. Under the new structure, gradually Greenland can assume more and more responsibilities from Denmark when it is ready for it.

4. 4,500 Years of History

According to historians, the first humans were thought to have arrived in Greenland around 2500 BC. The group of migrants apparently died out and were succeeded by several other groups who migrated from North America. At the beginning of the 10th century, Norsemen from Iceland settled in the uninhabited southern part of Greenland, but they disappeared in the late 15th century. The Inuit migrated here from Asia in the 13th century, and their bloodline survived to this day. Most Inuit Greenlanders are their direct descendants and continue to practice some of the centuries-old traditions.

“Humans have inhabited Greenland for more than 4,500 years.”

Deep-sea sediment cores from northeast Greenland, the Fram Strait, and the south of Greenland suggest that the Greenland Ice Sheet has continuously existed since 18 million years ago.

5. Inuit Culture

Today, 88% of Greenland’s population are Inuit (predominantly Kalaallit) or mixed Danish and Inuit. The remaining 12% are of European descent, mainly Danish. Truth be told, Greenlanders actually don’t appreciate being called ‘Eskimos’; the proper name for them is Inuit or Kalaallit, which actually means ‘Greenlander’ in the native Inuit language, Kalaallisut. The Inuit Greenlanders identify strongly with Inuits in other parts of the world, like Canada and Alaska, and they actually share some similarities in their languages as well.

6. A Multilingual Nation

The majority of the population in Greenland speaks both Greenlandic (mainly Kalaallisut) and Danish. The two languages have been used in public affairs since the establishment of home rule in 1979. Today, the young generation learns both languages, as well as English, in school. The Greenlandic language is an interesting language with a long history, and it’s closely related to the Inuit languages in Canada, such as Inuktitut. “Kayak” and “igloo” are Greenlandic words that have been adopted directly by other languages.

Another interesting iceberg.

7. No Roads In Greenland

Despite having a land size of 2.16 million square kilometers, there are no roads or railway systems that connect settlements to one another. There are roads within the towns, but they end at the outskirts. All travel between towns is done by plane, boat, helicopter, snowmobile or dogsled. Boats are by far the most popular mode of transportation, and you’ll often see locals out cruising the fjords every summer.

8. Whaling & Fishing

Fishing is a major industry in Greenland. The country imports almost everything except for fish, seafood, and other animals hunted in Greenland, such as whales and seals. Each administrative area has a certain quota of whales, seals, and fish assigned to it, ensuring that there’s no overfishing. Certain species, like the blue whale, are protected and thus cannot be fished. No export of whale and seal meat is allowed — they are only consumed locally.

Another interesting iceberg.

9. A Vibrant Capital City

Almost one-quarter of Greenland’s population lives in the capital city of Nuuk. Vibrant and funky, the city is the biggest, most cosmopolitan town on the island and it packs in quite a lot of museums, hip cafes and fashion boutiques for its small size. To get an introduction to the country, be sure to visit the National Museum of Greenland, the Katuaq Cultural House as well as Nuuk Art Museum. Backed by a panorama of mountains, the city is perched at the mouth of a giant fiord system, making for easy day trips into the fiords and surrounding nature.

10. Midnight Sun

Every year, the sun does not set from May 25th to July 25th, and it stays visible throughout the entire day and night. The midnight sun, as it is called, is a pretty cool natural phenomenon that everyone needs to experience at least once in their lifetime. June 21, the longest day of the year, is the summer solstice and a national holiday in Greenland. You’ll find locals out basking in the sun or enjoying a barbecue out in nature.”

More views of a glacier.

We had such a fantastic time yesterday afternoon, taking photos and commiserating with passengers over the wonder before our eyes. The captain did a great job rotating the ship to accommodate our viewing. We took tons of photos. In many ways, it was similar to being in Alaska, which we did in 2017, and then to a much more expansive experience, Antarctica, in 2018.

Check out the amazing ice formations where the glacier meets the sea.

Seeing glaciers and icebergs was exciting again, and we loved every moment. Finally, when we moved along, we headed to dinner in the main dining room at another shared table and dined with three lovely women with great stories.

Stunning scenery.

After dinner, we headed to the Rendezvous Bar for live music and to visit with our new friends, Tracy and Sean, whom we’ve had much fun with since the cruise began. They are newlyweds, 30 years younger than us, and quite a fun couple.

Glaciers running toward the sea.

Soon, we’ll be heading to a tender to go ashore to the small town of Nanortalik, Greenland, with less than 1200 residents. Tomorrow, we’ll share photos from that experience.

Be well.

.Photo from ten years ago today, August 23, 2013:

We sure have plenty of tomatoes (Pomodoro) to last through our remaining eight days of cooking before we travel to Africa. Yesterday, I had none, and we have more than we can use today. After Santina left this morning, I discovered this glass bowl filled with tomatoes in the kitchen. We’re well stocked with tomatoes with the substantial batch Lisa picked for us yesterday in the steep yard. For more photos, please click here.

Day 5…Greenland Cruise…Another sea day…Time changes…

The sunset out to sea last night. Tom took this photo using his phone. Excellent, minus the post.

Yesterday, I was tired after many late nights. Last night, we headed to our cabin by 11:00 pm, and shortly after, I was sound asleep and slept through the night. I broke my Fitbit when we were in Norway, dropping it on the ground and breaking the face. It still works for most features, except it doesn’t record sleep correctly, so I have no idea how I am doing sleep-wise.

With the Costco shop card we earned from the last cruise, I will purchase one online at Costco when I have a strong enough signal to do so. The WiFi is good on this ship but not necessarily enough for shopping. Then, I’ll send it to our mailing service in Nevada, where we will be in ten days.

There’s a greater variety of shops on this ship than on the smaller Azamara ship a week ago.

Since we rented a car there, after all, getting a much better price last minute than what we’d found months ago, we’ll head to our mailing service a few days after we arrive and pick up the Fitbit and a few other items awaiting us. The last time we visited Henderson, we didn’t rent a car, and it worked out using Uber, but this time with several tasks to accomplish while there, including renewing our driver’s licenses, having a car will be easier.

Gosh, we’re looking forward to seeing family members when we arrive in the US while we enjoy every day and night on this delightful cruise. It couldn’t be more fun! Again, last night was entertaining. We sat at a shared table with two other couples, one couple from California and the other from England. The conversation was hilarious and enjoyable.

I didn’t see anything I had to have.

After the later dinner, we headed to the Rendezvous Lounge, sat at the bar, and enjoyed the live band until we finally drifted off to bed. When my head hit the pillow, I was asleep and didn’t awaken until around 6:00 am. We’re experiencing a few time changes as we move closer to Greenland. By the time we get to Boston on August 30, we’ll be caught up except for three hours between Boston and Las Vegas.

I like Lancome cosmetics, but they don’t carry the items I may use.

We easily adapt to multiple time changes as we travel the world, especially so when cruising, which is only about one hour a day. Those slow changes make it unnoticeable for us once we change the time on laptops and phones, and of course, the Fitbit is a little trickier to change the time while traveling.

Today is another sea day. At some point, I’ll need to go to the shops aboard the ship and spend our remaining cabin credit of $284. The shops are only open when we are out to sea, on sea days such as today, and at night when we’re on the move once again. We’re so busy socializing at night that I don’t feel like spending time in the shops.

On the last ship, I used our excess cabin credit to purchase a small handbag appropriate for taking to dinner.

Also, over the years, I’ve lost interest in shopping. On cruise ships, prices are so high it’s challenging to find something to buy that doesn’t make me cringe over the ridiculously high price. But, at this point, as we get closer to the cruise end, the supply of products begins to diminish, and yet prices stay the same.

We don’t have any big plans today. We’ll likely play trivia and continue socializing with many wonderful ship passengers. We’ve become friends with couples of all ages and lifestyles, making conversations lively and animated. Tonight, we’ll dine late again, as we did last night, since at noon we’ll go to lunch and have a bite to eat. I’m still doing only lunch and dinner, but the later dinner hour is better after a good-sized lunch.

They carried some fitness watches but not the Fitbit brand that I like. Instead they carried Apple iPhone enabled, which didn’t appeal to me, although they work with Android phones like ours.

In a few minutes, I will walk through the shops to take the photos we’ve shared here today and see what I can buy with our cabin credit.

Tomorrow, we will be in Greenland and sharing photos from our outing.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, August 22, 2013:

There was no post ten years ago on this date due to the internet being down.

Day 4…Greenland Cruise…Sea day…Unusual events on the ship…Cruise food photos

My dish from two nights ago consisted of various seafood on a bed of steamed cabbage.

This morning, the ship’s captain announced that an ill passenger was being airlifted off the ship by a helicopter. Since the helipad was located at the bow of the ship but from our cabin’s location, we couldn’t see it and take a photo. Sadly, a passenger would have to go through such a frightening ordeal.

It’s a terrifying thought to be lifted from a basket (Tom heard the basket was used in this case) onto the helicopter to be airlifted to a hospital somewhere in Iceland. Hopefully, such patients will have suitable travel insurance. Otherwise, the cost can be prohibitive, often hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Next story…a man aboard the ship stole another passenger’s “sea pass” card, which is linked to a credit card in every case. The thief used the woman’s card to make massive purchases in the jewelry shop aboard the ship. When the woman encountered the man she was told was the perpetrator, a fight ensued, and she slapped him.

Cobb salad was made for me on the Azamara cruise only days ago.

The thief and the woman who hit him were removed from the ship. We don’t know what happened after that. But what an odd thing to transpire on a cruise. It’s been interesting to hear the varying opinions on how this occurred and the subsequent results.

Last night, again, we dined at a “sharing” table by heading into the main dining room by 6:00 pm. That’s a bit early for us to eat, but we love sitting at a shared table with other passengers, some we may have met and others new to us. Invariably, In most cases, the conversation is entertaining and lively.

The food on this ship isn’t as spectacular as it was on Azamara, but it’s been fine, and we have no complaints. The menu is less comprehensive than Azamara, but the taste and presentation are good, and the restaurant manager pays special attention to ensure my food is prepared correctly.

The issues I often experience are too much butter on everything and not enough seasoning. For some odd reason, the cooks think seasoning is out of the question for my way of eating, which is hardly the case. Last night, I stressed the importance of reducing the amount of butter I don’t need or want and the addition of seasonings, as long as they don’t contain starch, fillers, or wheat. That simply means spices are in their natural state, not highly processed.

Tom’s chicken rigatoni pasta was reminiscent of his lockdown dinners in India of chicken penne pasta in 2020. He said this version wasn’t as creamy and good as he’d had then.

Today is a sea day. Seating around the ship is limited right now, but we got a good seat at Cafe al Bacio and enjoyed a few cups of their fantastic coffee drinks, sugar-free for me and regular for Tom. It’s a pleasure to sit there when passengers often join us at our table for four minutes to engage in lively chatter. It’s pretty enjoyable.

We are having a great time. We are undoubtedly enjoying this cruise as much as the Azamara. I asked Tom which one he preferred, and he said they are equal in the amount of fun we’re having and the amenities we’re experiencing. I agree. Life is good.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, August 21, 2013:

Three-legged lizard in the house. For more photos, please click here.