Part 2…Murano, another fine dining option aboard the ship…Our anniversary cake…No boredom here…

The anniversary cake hosted by the restaurant.  Tom didn’t eat any of it.  We handed over to the neighbors from Minnesota in the next cabin for them to enjoy.

The cruise is rapidly coming to an end with only four days until we disembark in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from which we’ll immediately fly to Minnesota on the only flight that worked time-wise for us, requiring a lengthy layover in Detroit. We don’t mind since its a relatively short travel time, compared to most international flights.

For the next few days, we’ll revel in the relaxation and delightful encounters and interactions with other passengers and of course, with one another. It’s funny how people often assume we cruise all the time when they first hear we are world travelers.  
The lobster was fabulous!

Neither of us would ever be interested in cruising all the time. Firstly, it would be too expensive for our budget unless we selected “inside” cabins which don’t appeal to us.  

Secondly, we’d eventually become bored with cruising if it were to be our permanent status. The novelty of cruising an average of three times a year is ideal for us. We use cruising as a means of transportation whenever possible greatly reducing travel day stresses.

Besides, who wants to socialize every day? The ability to interact with others at our option is ultimately is an ideal scenario. Doing so every daily could become trite and boring.

Tom’s plate with chateaubriand, potatoes and vegetables.

Neither of us ever feels bored with our lifestyle.  We’ve shaped it in a manner to avoid becoming bored and lackluster. This is one of the innate requirements of ensuring long term travel has purpose and meaning.

With considerable forethought and planning as we research each new location, we allow ourselves quiet time to relax, reflect and recharge.  Even during these less-than-exciting times, we seldom, if ever feel bored.

If a moment of “what-do-I-do-now?” overcomes us, we both easily switch gears to tackle a new project, conduct more interesting travel options or engage in research on our favorite topics.

Tom’s dessert of chocolate bites, coconut macaroons, and sugared ginger.

In the worst case, we can always stream a movie or favorite show to watch on our laptops. In these respects, our lives are no different from anyone else who may or may not be traveling. 

Sure, in most cases others have the option to make a phone call to meet up with family and friends for social activities, lengthy phone chats or planned activities. This is rarely the case for us when everyone is so far away. But we have each other and find tremendous fulfillment in our time together.

Soon, we’ll be in the US and spending some time apart with our respective families during an undetermined time in Minnesota. We have no doubt we’ll figure it all out with ease. 

In any case, regardless of how much time we spend in the US, on January 30th, we’re flying to Mumbai for the next leg of our journey when the adventure continues.

Happy Monday to all.


Photo from one year ago today, November 4, 2018:
Finally, the lions reached the kill perhaps left behind by another lion. For more photos, please click here.

Part 1…Murano, another fine dining option aboard the ship…

Tom seated at the table in Murano specialty restaurant. Tom took a photo of me but it was too blurry to post here.

Celebrating our seventh year anniversary of traveling the world in Murano Restaurant aboard Celebrity Silhouette was an ideal way of observing the special occasion.

A tower of unsalted butter and crusty rolls which Tom tackled with gusto.

The fact that Celebrity had “comped” the meal due to the flood in our cabin in the middle of the night made the event all the more enjoyable knowing we didn’t have to add another $150 (including gratuity) to our bill.

My ice cold seviche.

We’ve easily used our $400 cabin credit for other items including dinner in Qsine and a lovely sterling silver necklace I purchased that totally hides the scar from my open-heart surgery. I also included a high-quality pair of matching earrings.

Murano has a pleasing atmosphere.

The jewelry was pricey at $345 but I rarely purchase anything expensive for myself. I justified this purchase for these special reasons. It felt wonderful wearing this fine piece of jewelry on the two formal nights when I wore dresses with a little bit of a low neckline.  

This small tower of seafood was not only pleasing to the eye but delicious.  I asked them to return this one and bring me another without the wheat cracker at the bottom.

Most likely there will be one more formal night to go. This jewelry will serve me well in the future for dress-up nights on other cruises and other social events. I can’t begin to say how much more at ease I am wearing the necklace.

Tom’s lobster bisque.

Yesterday, we spent the day in Boston but again, we along with many other passengers stayed aboard the ship. It was cold and windy and we didn’t have the appropriate clothing for such weather.

Scallops in a puff pastry roll.

We’ll have to figure something out for clothing for our arrival in Minnesota in five days as the cold winter weather rolls in, not unusual for November.  No doubt, it will snow while we’re there.

This was fish in another pastry for Tom.

We continue to have an extraordinarily good time on this ship. We’ve probably made more friends on this ship than any other in the past, literally handing out dozens of business cards with our web address. 

This was my cold spinach salad, dressed in a tasty vinaigrette and topped with a chilled poached egg. Its appearance was odd but the flavor was superb.

As it turns out, many people have approached us saying they “already know us” from our over seven years of posts. We certainly realize our lifestyle is unique from that of many other frequent world travelers. 

The platter of accompaniments prepared for the chateaubriand served tableside.

We haven’t met anyone on this ship that has a situation similar to ours. Yes, many people travel but all have homes, apartments, belongings and a place they call “home.”

The flambe of the chateaubriand.

Many express shock over how we ever managed to leave everything behind to embark on such an adventure. Overall, most struggle with the concept of ridding themselves of their treasured belongings. 

Many have moved to other states/countries to their desired locales with good weather and like us, don’t see their family and friends as often as they’d like.  But, they too, feel a powerful sense of freedom and commitment to carry on their lives experiencing as much of the world as possible.

Slicing the delicious well seasoned and prepared chateaubriand.

It’s been purely delightful sharing stories with other travelers, further confirming that we are not alone in our desire for wanderlust and a somewhat nomadic lifestyle.

Today, a sea day we spent most of the day in the Cafe al Bacio enjoying our unlimited drink package which includes specialty coffee, tea, and other beverages. I don’t drink alcoholic beverages during the day but Tom has partaken of a few Pina Coladas and other interesting coffee drinks.

We shared the chateaubriand for two but also ordered the lobster as the main course.

Soon, we’re off again for yet another evening of entertaining conversation, good food, and adult beverages. I’m been sticking with my daily limit of two small glasses of fine cabernet sauvignon which is included in the unlimited drink package.  

With each of the two glasses of wine, I always order a green glass bottle of Pelligrino (sparkling mineral water) which makes it possible for me to easily “stretch” the wine throughout the evening.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more food photos and updates. 

May your Sunday evening be entertaining as well.


Photo from one year ago today, November 3, 2018:
Mom and offspring cuddling during a nap in our garden.  Note the oxpecker on mom’s head. For more photos please click here.

An evening to remember…Our seventh world travel anniversary…Dinner and dancing…

View of the Intrepid Museum from the ship.

We’re thrilled to finally be able to upload photos.  As it turns out we’re still at the Port of New York when high winds prevented us from sailing away last night as planned.

As a result of the high winds, while we’ve been stuck at the port overnight, one of the pier gangway ramps severely jammed inside the ship and is being repaired/removed. We definitely won’t be able to sail away for several more hours.

Clouds over the skyline.

We aren’t sure as to how this will impact the few remaining ports of call on this cruise’s itinerary. The captain will let us know once we’re on our way again sometime this afternoon.

As long as we arrive in Fort Lauderdale in time for our flight to Minnesota on November 8th, we don’t have a worry in the world. We’re continuing to spend time engaging in lively conversations with other cruise passengers and of course, with one another.

The New York skyline on a cloudy day.

Last night, the celebration of our seventh world travel anniversary was very special. First, we had happy hour in the Sky Lounge on deck 14 with the same group of about 10 people with whom we’ve mingled each evening.  

At about 7:00 pm, we wandered down to the Emsemble Bar, chatting with another lovely couple.  At 8:00 pm we made our way to Murano, the specialty restaurant where we had a fantastic meal with impeccable service. We have several photos yet to share from the meal including finally, one of each of us.

An old Concord supersonic plane on display at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum as seen from our ships in port.

After dinner, we returned to the Sky Lounge for the 10:00 pm “silent disco.” I can’t dance as long or as enthusiastically as I had in days past but I have no doubt that in time my stamina will improve.  

We had a fabulous evening reminiscing over the past seven years, particularly regarding cruises since our first in January 2013 when we experienced our first foray through the Panama Canal.  At this point, we’ve been through the canal twice but who knows what the future holds?

Other aircraft on display at the Intrepid Museum includes a Blackbird spy plane.

This particular cruise is our third transatlantic and the crossing has been seamless with only a few short spurts of rough seas during the first six days at sea. 

The itinerary from here in New York to Boston, to Bermuda to Fort Lauderdale, should be relatively easy providing we don’t encounter any unanticipated storms along the way.

A peek of the Empire State Building.

Tomorrow, we’ll report as to what has transpired with the ship’s repairs and our ability to continue on the planned itinerary and hopefully be able to upload more photos.

Thanks to Louise and Pamela for filling us in on this architecturally unique building in New York:  VIA 57 West (marketed as VIΛ 57WEST) is the name of a residential building designed by the Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). The pyramid shaped tower block or “tetrahedron” rises 467 ft (142 m) and 35 stories tall and is located on West 57th Street in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, New York City. According to The New York Times, the name was chosen “because the southbound West Side Highway slopes down as drivers enter the city, right at the spot where the building is situated”, serving as an entrance to Manhattan “via 57th”.

Enjoy your Friday and weekend to come! 

Photo from one year ago today, November 1, 2018:
Lilies growing in the Crocodile River as seen in Kruger National Park. For more photos, please click here.

Our 7 year travel anniversary is today!…It seems s long ago…

Due to WiFi issues while in port today, we are unable to upload any photos.  We will be back out to sea tomorrow and should have a better signal at that time.  Thanks for your patience.

Seven years.  It went quickly, more quickly than we ever imagined. When we started in 2012, we had no idea we’d still be traveling all these years later.  After selling everything we owned, which was a huge commitment to stay on this path for the long haul, this in itself presented a huge degree of dedication.

It would have been ridiculous to only stay gone a year or two and then try to rebuild an entirely new life living in a condo somewhere in or outside of the US.  The thought of having to buy furniture and household goods made us cringe then and still does today. 

Is it inevitable that we’ll eventually have to stop traveling? Sure. At some point, we’ll no longer have the health or stamina to continue on. At this point, we prefer not to have to think about that.

We realize now, that in the worst of circumstances, short of one of us eventually losing our “leasehold” on life, we won’t be able to haul one more heavy piece of luggage, sail on one more cruise ship, or fly on one more plane in a cramped seat. Those days will come.

But, now, after our big scare in February, we’re all the more determined than ever to continue on.  There is so much more, we’ve yet to explore.  In reality, we haven’t even put a dent in it with so much more ahead of us.

Today, we revel in this special day, our seventh anniversary of total freedom to live life on our terms, where, when and how we’d like based on the hopefulness of maintaining good health, a sense of well being and ongoing financial security.

Each of these conditions requires a degree of mindfulness and effort but we do so with the utmost enthusiasm and zest for life. We each easily possess these qualities as we make our way through each and every day.

And today, we’ll celebrate this seventh anniversary in style…spending a leisurely day on the ship, preferring not to get off the ship in New York when its pouring rain, cold and cloudy.

Had we made plans they may have been dashed due to the unexpected hours-long US immigration process. With happy-hour and tonight’s specialty dining reservation to celebrate our anniversary, we’d have had little time in the traffic-congested city to do much of anything.

Easily we avoid disembarking when we know full well, that eventually, we’ll travel the US when most certainly New York will be included in that itinerary.  Also, I’ve visited New York many times over the years and am not chomping at the bit to get out on this cloudy rainy day nor am I enthusiastic to tackle a tremendous amount of walking at this point.

Tomorrow, we’ll share photos from tonight’s activities and special dinner. 

Happy day!


Photo from one year ago today, October 31, 2018:

An orange-breasted roller.  For more photos, please click here.

Less than 24 hours until we’re on US soil as we celebrate life after 7 years of world travel….

Bartenders performing tricks at the Ice Bar.

It’s hard for us to fathom the idea that tomorrow on Halloween, October 31st, we’ll be stepping foot on US soil for the first time in 2 years, 3 months, which coincidentally, will be the seven-year anniversary of the day we left Minnesota to begin our world travels.
For us, it’s a momentous day for many reasons including the harsh reality of the struggles we experienced in the past year with the necessity of my having the triple coronary bypass surgery in February and the subsequent slow recovery.

Many often asked us, “What will you do if something bad happens?”  

Passengers learning dance steps in the Centrum.

We have no home, no place to land, no belongings to settle into should such a situation arise. At the times of such questions, we’ve always replied, “We’ll figure it out.”

And…we did.  We figured it out and, here we are 8½ months later with me feeling well, albeit a little terrified at times when thinking about what transpired after being in the operating room four times in six weeks.

But, we must continue to face another harsh reality…that there’s no guaranty that I will be OK in the long run. Then again, no one has such a guaranty. Life doesn’t come with warranties and return policies.  

We “get what we get” and none of us are exempt from those unpredictable situations whereby our lives are turned upside down by a single event. For now, we survived and for this, we are more grateful than words can express here in a post written with the utmost of candor and vulnerability.

Dancer training passengers to perform dance steps.

We often surprise ourselves by how well we survived this trauma, how well we, as a couple, came out on the other side. Here we are on a cruise ship on its way back to the USA to see family and friends and to be reminded so close to this anniversary of how delicate life can be.

Playfully, we’re enjoying every moment of this cruise, often finding ourselves laughing, dancing, and reminiscing over how much we’ve gained, how much we’ve learned and how we’ve survived these fascinating, exciting and dangerous past seven years.

The future? Who knows? None of us knows. None of us can state emphatically that we’ll continue on any path we’ve chosen for the past years, months or even days. Life will always be uncertain.

Tomorrow, our ship arrives in New York City. At this point, we may or may not get off the ship. Halloween festivities will create more traffic, more tourists, more hustle and bustle that at this point neither of us are much interesting in exploring.

The participants are having a great time learning dance steps.

The calm and peacefulness we’re experiencing during this highly pleasurable cruise could turn on its head if we threw ourselves into that tumultuous environment right now.  

Plus, I’ve only been able to walk well for that past six weeks. I don’t know if I’m ready to tackle as long a walk as will be required if we get off the ship.  Our other option is a taxi to be potentially stuck in Manhattan traffic, a situation totally unappealing to either of us at this point.

We’ll see how it goes and what we feel like tomorrow. We have no one to please but ourselves and as we’ve discovered during the past seven years, we aren’t “required” to do anything that doesn’t appeal to us at any given time.

Please check back tomorrow for our anniversary celebrations as we share highlights of this exquisite journey that we hope we’ll be blessed to carry on.

Have a safe and festive Halloween!

Photo from one year ago today, October 30, 2018:
Our friend Lois feeding a large number of kudus who stopped by.  She puts the pellets on the veranda’s edge to keep the helmeted guineafowl from taking them all.  For more photos, please click here.

Too much fun…Little time to post…Not much in the way of photos today…

Pumpkins and Halloween decor decorate the grand staircase.

It’s close to 4:00 pm and I’ve yet to get to upload today’s post. Nor, do we have any worthwhile photos. The only excuse I have is the fact that we are simply having too much fun.  Plus, the fact my laptop battery only lasts for about one hour and there are no outlets nearby any of the areas where we visit with people, posting is tricky right now.

We spent the entire morning and up until this time in the afternoon with Carolyn and Fred in the Cafe al Bacio, sharing a variety of travel stories and experiences and we had a fantastic time.

We had the laptops in our possession but never got around to getting started on today’s post.  Now, we’re back in our cabin with little time until we need to dress for dinner to head up to the Sky Lounge for happy hour at 5:00 pm.

If we don’t get up there on deck 14 early enough, we’ll never find a place to sit.  The place is packed with enthusiastic passengers like ourselves, excited to share travel stories with new people they meet.

Tonight is the big Halloween party aboard the ship as we sail toward New York, arriving on our anniversary in two days.  It will have been six days at sea to arrive in New York on the 31st with little opportunity to take many good photos.  

Its a far cry from our previous three Atlantic crossings when we’ve experienced rough seas. Fortunately, neither of us suffers from seasickness regardless of the condition of the seas. But with all this fun, we may suffer from a bit of tiredness from the late nights and social activities.

We’re always amazed by how many people we meet during cruises.  We’re both making a point of attempting to remember the names of all the fine people we meet while traveling but in this case, we’ve met so many, it can be difficult.  

Once again, tonight we’ll dine in the main dining room with my special meals prepared properly, although they may be bland.  Without the addition of sauces, many of the meats, chicken, and fish are relatively tasteless. 

Passengers attending a dance class in the Grand Foyer.

But, for us, cruising isn’t about the food as much as the friendliness of other passengers, the good service and the general ambiance of yet another cruise.  On this particular cruise, we’ll remember the good meals we’ll have had in the two specialty restaurants as illustrated in the posts of the past few days.

We’re enjoying this cruise considerably more than we did the Baltic cruise which embarked on August 11th and ended on August 23rd.  No doubt the added enjoyment is a result of my feeling better and being able to walk about the ship with ease and the opportunity to meet more passengers.  

Most days, I walk close to 10,000 steps, although we end up spending plenty of time sitting and yakking.  It couldn’t be more fun.  We haven’t attended a single show in the theater nor have we participated in any classes or games.  Even so, we find ourselves in a constant flurry of activity with the many new people we meet.

Sorry to be rushing through these past several posts.  But, we’ll have plenty of time to languish over future posts when we reach Minnesota in only nine days.
Thanks for all the positive email messages wishing us well as we rush through the cruise posts.

May your day be filled with lively conversation and interactions, as well!

Photo from one year ago today, October 29, 2018:
Her “friends” or family members on the opposite side of the road noticed her dilemma between nibbles on tree tops. For more photos as to how this story unfolds, please click here.

Part 2…Two spectacular videos of a most exciting 3D dining experience…A flood in our cabin….

Please watch this second video of our extraordinary experience in Qsine Restaurant.

Note: Please excuse the less-than-perfect photos all taken in the darkened dining room.  For more clarity, please watch today and tomorrow’s videos.

It’s Monday afternoon. We’re seated in Cafe al Bacio with another couple, the third couple of the day that has joined us at our table while I’ve attempted to post today’s story when I’m not distracted by the delightful conversation.

A digital preview of Tom’s dessert.

We’ve had an excellent experience since the onset of this cruise which included a few nights where we’ve stayed up until 1:00 am or later.  Subsequently, last night it caught up with me and I desperately needed an early night and by midnight we were sleeping.

There’s been three time changes since the onset of the cruise, all of which resulted in turning back the clock which “seemed” to help with an extra hour of sleep each night.  

Tom’s dessert.

On the dress-up night, Saturday, when we returned to our cabin at 1:00 am, a pipe broke in the toilet in the cabin and water literally filled up the bathroom floor in a minute or two.

Between courses…

We immediately called guest relations to report it, pleading with them to hurry.  There was no way for us to turn off the water.  In the 10 minutes it took for the plumber and cleaner to arrive at our cabin, the water had escaped the bathroom and was soaking the carpeting outside the door.

By the time the plumbing was repaired and the carpeting cleaned it was 2:30 am.  After all the excitement I couldn’t fall asleep. By morning, my fitness watched showed I’d slept two hours and I felt exhausted and beside myself.
Colorful displays…

Yesterday, I had a sluggish and exhausting day. Mid-afternoon tried napping with no luck. Last night, I hadn’t fallen asleep until midnight but managed a total of six hours of sleep, feeling a lot better today.

Guest relations contacted us, apologetic for the inconvenience and offered us a complimentary dinner in a specialty restaurant. We’d already booked Halloween night, October 31st, the day of our seventh travel anniversary for dinner in Murano Restaurant.  

It couldn’t have been a more delightful presentation.

This worked out perfectly for us…they pay for our anniversary dinner, priced at US $55 per person. I suppose in the realm of things, it didn’t turn out so badly after all. We’ll undoubtedly enjoy our comped dinner at this fine restaurant.

The tabletop is a plain white blank canvas, making such colorful presentations possible.

Tonight, we’ll dine in the main dining room, most likely seated with a new group of people, enjoying the fun chatter among which seems to center around travel-related experiences.

Later in the evening, there’s a Queen (rock group) sing-along in the Sky Lounge which we look forward to attending. We may dance a little as we had a few nights ago, good exercise for both of us.

We loved the polka dot display!

In a few days, we’ll arrive in New York.  We’ve yet to decide what we’ll do in the Big Apple but whatever it is, we’ll be sharing it with all of you here.

May your Monday be filled with insight and purpose.  Happy day!


Photo from one year ago today, October 28, 2018:

A young male kudu learns the ways of being so cute its impossible to resist giving him pellets.
For more photos, please click here.

Part 1…Two spectacular videos of a most exciting 3D dining experience…

The 3D mapping presentation with Le Petit Chef far exceeded our expectations.  Our photos are blurry but the videos are more precise.

Note: Please excuse the less-than-perfect photos all taken in the darkened dining room.  For more clarity, please watch today and tomorrow’s videos.

If you tend to avoid watching our videos, as we do from time to time on other sites, please watch each of the two videos on today’s and tomorrow’s post. You won’t be disappointed. No words we can write here can adequately explain last night’s unique and entertaining dining experience.
When we first got situated at the table the only special lighting we noticed was this white line around our perfectly placed plates.

As described online and on each of the two YouTube videos, Friday night’s dining experience was truly over-the-top, unlike anything we’d experienced in the past. It’s not easy to explain but here goes:

“Le Petit Chef is a two-hour dining show that tells the story of how the world’s smallest chef followed the route of Marco Polo. The 3D mapping concept has been live since 2015 which uses animated optical illusion techniques to project a little chef cooking on your plate.”  

Moments later the letter Q appeared on our plates in the representation of the specialty restaurant, Qsine.

What a fantastic experience we had aboard the Celebrity Silhouette in Qsine Restaurant at a shared table including other diners and members of Cruise Critic, each of us experiencing this unusual show for the first time.  

More advertising for the ship.

The conversation at the table was lively and responses to the animated show were enthusiastic and enthralled over the unique dining experience. The light show coupled with the exceptional food and service which was as good as it could have been for a memorable experience.

The company that created this interesting and entertaining concept.

Adaptations were made for my way of eating and I never felt cheated over anything I missed…except perhaps the scrumptious dessert I eyeballed on Tom’s plate as shown in the photo below.  

The digital Le Petit Chef appeared on our plates dragging a digital lobster onto the plate in preparation for serving the bouillabaisse.

Instead, our wonderful waiter Alton (who remembered us from a cruise in the same-named specialty restaurant on another Celebrity ship in 2017) brought me a special dessert of a small bowl of fresh berries and a little unsweetened whipped cream, exactly what I needed to “hit the spot.”

Before dinner, we had a delightful happy hour on deck 14 in the Sky Lounge, again meeting new people to become delightfully engaged in enriching conversations.

The delicious bouillabaisse was served in “real-time.”

After the fabulous dinner ended, we headed to the  Entertainment Court, next to the Quasar Nightclub where the silent disco was in full force with all the participants dancing in a silent room with the lighted headsets on their heads listening and dancing to three options of types of music such as rock, disco or current pop.

Le Petit Chef illustrates an upcoming steak to be served in “real-time.”

I hadn’t danced since the heart surgery and at first, I was hesitant. It’s so easy to get wildly winded while dancing to fast tempo music but I gave it a try and did we ever have fun!  

Tom’s plate with filet mignon, fingerling potatoes, crispy onions, and broccoli.

I must admit I checked my fitness watch to see how my pulse was doing a few times but all seemed fine at a maximum of 130, shortly returning to the 60s when stopping. After this traumatic heart experience, it’s hard not to be a little paranoid when getting one’s pulse up through vigorous exercise.

My filet mignon was cooked to perfection…rare.

By midnight we were back in our cabin with both of us so energized we didn’t fall asleep until after 1:00 am even with the second of two time changes. There will be several more time changes as we get closer and closer to the US.

A video representation of Tom’s upcoming dessert.

Tonight is “dress-up night” and we’ve gotten the wrinkles out of our clothes after hanging them in the steamy bathroom. Ships don’t provide irons due to fire hazards. We won’t be the only passengers with wrinkled clothing and, of course, with this older (like us) crowd, wrinkled faces. Who cares? We’re having fun!

What a novel concept!

Have a superb Sunday!


Photo from one year ago today, October 27, 2018:

The Matsamo tribe in Swaziland performs for tourists providing the village with income.  The cost for the performance and tour is ZAR 200 (US $13.70) per person.  For more photos, please click here.