Day 3…Greenland cruise…Akureyri, Iceland…Fun at last night’s Silent Disco!.

Tom was squinting his eyes after he took off his glasses for a selfie. We had so much fun at the” Silent Disco.”From the ship’s brochure about  Akureyri, Iceland:

“Akureyri, Iceland, is the country’s second-largest city and one 0f the country’s most important ports and fishing centers. Affectionately known as the capital of North Iceland, it has a cool cafe scene, a growing gourmet movement, and a bustling nightlife that proves this city is more than meets the eye. Soar into the blue sky to discover Grimsey Island, home to only 92 residents and thousands of sea birds. The city’s botanical gardens are famed for their collection of high/latitude plants and are well worth a visit. Explore the ancient lava formations of Dimmuborgir and the geothermal landscape of bubbling mud and hissing fumaroles at Namafjalll Mountain.  The city is best known as the gateway to Iceland’s natural wonders; thundering waterfalls, gurgling lava fields, snow-capped mountains, sweeping fjords, and robust folk culture. Whatever you choose, it’s sure to be an adventure of a lifetime.”

Yeah! We can post photos now with Celebrity’s good WiFi. Our photos from the Azamara cruise will be added once we settle in Nevada on September 1. Thanks for your patience!

View from the ship to the port in Akureyri, Iceland.

Now that I am feeling like myself after two good nights’ sleep, having recovered from our harrowing ordeal in Reykjavik as described in yesterday’s post here and my 24-hour bout of Afib, I am able to sit back and enjoy the remainder of this cruise ending in ten days.

But I won’t rest on my laurels and overdo it. I am drinking lots of water, only sipping on one glass of wine all evening, and not over-exerting myself. Last night, at our favorite shipboard event, the “Silent Disco” in the Ice Bar, we only danced in our seats at the ice bar, rocking to the fun music.

For those of you unfamiliar with a Silent Disco, it is an event on some cruise ships whereby the passengers don chunky headsets with three channels and sound control. With the flip of one of three buttons on the side of the headset, three channels with various types of music can be heard, one by one. However, no sound can be heard in the bar when the music is only broadcast via the headsets.

Silver Seas Silver Moon ship at the port.

It is very funny to watch people dancing but not hear any music while the area is abuzz with laughter and loud conversation over the ear-splitting music blasting into everyone’s ears. The headsets light up in blue, green, or red lights, depending upon which of the three channels one is listening to. Tom and I may “dance” to two different songs. He likes rock and roll and oldies, and I like disco, all of which dominate the three channels. What a blast!

Last night we joined new friends, Laura and Les, for dinner in the main dining room with a couple they were traveling with, Maya and Tom. Our table of six was lively and animated with conversations about our like-minded thoughts and ideas about the state of the world and about world travel. It was a delightful dinner.

Again, today, we won’t be getting off the ship. The small town of Akureyri, Iceland, with a population of 18,191, doesn’t hold enough interest to us to tackle the long walk from the pier. We noticed these small towns don’t have awaiting taxis to drive us around to see a few things, and walking further to find a taxi, doesn’t make sense right now.

The small town of

As it turns out, based on the location of our cabin, and my Fitbit, we’re walking 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, and I don’t feel as if I can do much more right now. It’s a fact of life I have to face now and into the future. Will it impact our lives of travel? We’ll make every effort to engage in events that make us fulfilled and happy.

Right now, on this ship, Celebrity Summit, as well as the last ship, Azamara Journey, we are having a fantastic time socializing with wonderful people and enjoying the onboard activities that we love the most. In a few minutes, we’ll put away our laptops after having had fantastic coffees in Cafe al Bacio on deck 5 and head to the Sky Lounge on deck 11 to play two rounds of trivia from 10:15 to 11:15.

Thereafter, we’ll head to the Oceanview Cafe for lunch (I’m still not eating breakfast) and more delightful conversations with other passengers. It couldn’t be more enjoyable. After lunch, we’ll return to our cabin to pick up the laptops and return to the cafe to wrap up today’s post.

View of the town of Akureyri, Iceland.

We just returned to Cafe al Bacio after a nice lunch at the Oceanview Cafe. It doesn’t look as if we’ll get a nap today, but we’ll be fine. Once we’re done here, we’ll head back to the cabin again to drop off the laptops and head back up to the Sky Lounge for more trivia at 3:30 and 4:00 pm. Then, we’ll change for dinner, and the evening will begin once again. We love the routine we’ve developed while continuing to meet more and more passengers.

Hope your day is going filled with pleasing moments. Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, August 20, 2013:

There was no post uploaded on this date ten years ago today.

Day 5…Norway Cruise…Olden, Norway…Cruise demographics…Dancing while “rocking and rolling”…

Note: I cannot add one photo due to the poor WiFi signal aboard the ship. Once we arrive in Nevada in early September, we can post our photos from Edinburgh and this cruise. Of course, we’ll continue to try to add photos each day! We are sorry for the inconvenience. Perhaps, when this cruise ends, we can start posting photos while on the upcoming Celebrity cruise in 13 days. We’ll continue taking photos and writing text daily, if possible.

Again, this morning, I attempted to download one photo from our main page Alas, no such luck. Although, as we write here now, situated comfortably in the Mosaic Cafe on Deck 5 with my big mug filled to the brim with delicious iced coffee. (Tom just finished his caramel macchiato) and we’ve already been off the ship to see the village of Olden, Norway.

The ship’s brochure describes Olden as follows:

“Olden, Norway, a picturesque village encircled by awe-inspiring fjords and glaciers. Surrounded by natural beauty, it beckons travelers to explore the enchanting Briksdal Glacier and immerse themselves in Norwegian traditions. With warm hospitality and outdoor adventures, Olden is a captivating destination for nature lovers and culture enthusiasts alike.”

We realize these ship-generated comments about each location are becoming redundant, but with the poor WiFi signal on the ship, any help I can get to complete a post is worthwhile.

This morning, after breakfast, we boarded one of the ship’s  lifeboats, used as tenders to get us from the bay to the port, which only has a dock sufficient  for one cruise ship, which was already occupied with the Costa Fascinosa, in the bay as described:

“Olden is a village and urban area in the municipality of Stryn in Vestland county, Norway …Olden by the shores of Oldebukta, a terminal bay in Nordfjorden.”

Once we arrived on land, we took a shuttle bus to the center of town. But, the small village had little that appealed to us. There were a few tourist shops and tiny cafes, but nothing prompted us to stay long. We took several photos, and in no time, we were back on the bus and headed back to the tender and then the ship.

Upon our return, it was quiet on the ship, with so few passengers on this smaller ship. Stephen, the cruise director, sent me some information on the ship’s demographics for this specific cruise which stated as follows in this email he sent a few days ago:

“Hi, Jessica and Tom,

Lovely to meet you yesterday, and I found some time today to poke around the website – very cool and impressive! Looks like you’ve had a lifetime of adventures 

I’ve attached a breakdown of the demographics for this voyage to use as you’d like. Let me know if there’s anything else you would want – metrics or basic ship information.

The average age for this voyage is 70 and probably a touch higher than our typical, which I would put around 67 – itinerary and length of voyage always play a factor; longer and more unique itineraries tend to pull in a more experienced crowd.

The current guest count is 562 after a few late arrivals, and the max capacity is just under 700 – 694 if I recall correctly.
Fun fact – the Journey is one of 8 identical ships originally part of Renaissance cruise lines that were only around for a couple of years in the early 2000s. The ships were numbered R1-R8, and the Journey was R6. Azamara now has 4 of that fleet, and Oceania operates the other 4.

I’m sure I’ll see you around more, so feel free to ask anything else!


Stephen Millett / Cruise Director”

We appreciate Stephen’s quick response to our inquiry and this interesting information. It’s been lovely sailing on a smaller ship of this size with its small number of passengers.

Last night after dinner, we experienced some rough seas that continued well into the evening. We were seated in a lovely bar, The Living Room, while the live band played a wide array of current music and many oldies. The ship was rocking and rolling, but we decided to get up and dance anyway. It was quite fun and funny as we hung onto each other while dancing to keep from tipping over as the ship rocked and rolled during the rough seas.

After the band stopped around 11:00 pm, we had little interest in heading to bed. We returned to the Spirits Bar, where we ran into Cheryl, John, and several other couples we chatted with for a while. We didn’t get back to our cabin until 1:00 am! We are having such fun we hardly worry about getting to bed early.

Although we’re carefully monitoring how much we drink, I continue to be thrilled not to have a headache and facial pain for five days in a row. Wow! This is so exciting; I feel like dancing! Duh, which we’re also doing!

Be well.

..Photo from ten years ago, August 5, 2013:

Here are some deli meats we’ve purchased in Pescia, Italy. We’ve found the beef to be tough here, instead, eating mostly chicken, pork, and fish. Notice the price of the rare roast beef on the right-center at Euro $34.90, which translated to US $46.31 per gram (less than a pound). We skipped that item! For more photos, please click here.

Day #265 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Bollywood dancing in Fiji…

The couples were in sync while dancing the traditional Bollywood type performance.

Today’s photos are from a post on this date in 2015 while out to dinner at a resort in Viti Levu, Fiji, where performers were dancing Bollywood style. Please click here for more details.

With 37.5% of Fijians of Indian descent, it wasn’t unusual to see Bollywood dancing at a resort we visited for dinner on this date five years ago. Ironically, Tom and I discussed the event yesterday, and here it pops up today as our highlighted photos.  It was a lovely evening at the beach with good food and entertainment.

The Bollywood dancers prepared for their performance.

Gosh, that seems so far away from our current reality at this point when the only meals we’ve had for months have been repeated in our room, day after day, night after night. I don’t know when I’ll ever feel like eating a piece of salmon or grilled chicken breasts which I alternate every other day.

I’ve never been a fan of chicken breasts. Due to lack of fat and flavor, I’ve always preferred dark meat. I don’t think we’ll give up eating “flatties” (a whole chicken cut to lie flat) on the braai (grill) once we get to South Africa, although it may not be right away.

The locals perform their routine on Saturday nights.

When Tom and I share an entire flattie, he eats the white meat while I have the dark. My mouth kind of waters at the thought of a juicy leg and thigh on the bone, something I haven’t been able to get here in India at this hotel. They de-bone all the chicken here, which often results in a dry piece of grilled meat.

Not surprisingly, I’ve already made a grocery list for our arrival in South Africa. Perhaps, doing so is a bit lofty at this point, but since Louise has generously offered to shop for us while awaiting our arrival, this will allow us to stay put the first few days without venturing out.

Many of the guests joined in the dancing. It’s never us on the stage! Neither of us likes to participate “on stage” during performances of any type.

We’ll need such items as pellets, coffee, cream, block cheese, eggs, bacon, butter, and meats for the first few nights’ dinners and, of course, some wine for me and brandy for Tom. Typically, in South Africa, I only drank Four Cousin Skinny Red Wine which has zero carbs and low alcohol.

This lighter wine was ideal for me then and will be excellent once again since I won’t have had any wine since February 20th, on my birthday in Khajuraho, India. In reviewing our past posts, we realized I didn’t drink any alcohol until the cruise 33-night back-to-back that circumnavigated the continent of Australia.

Another view of the astounding sunset on Saturday night at the Uprising Beach Resort.

It had been over 20 years since I’d drank alcohol in a feeble attempt to be healthier. Not doing so, in moderation, wasn’t particularly beneficial. I suppose the key is moderation when imbibing any alcoholic beverages, regardless of what they are. We both are very capable of only having “a few,” especially when it’s been relatively easy for us during this lengthy lockdown.

Again, my mouth waters over the concept of the first feel of the room temperature red wine crossing my lips for the first time, accompanied with a hearty chunk of beef of one cut or another. Tom, feels the same way, although he’s not a wine drinker, instead preferring Courvoiosier, brandy, or beer.

There was a post-blocking part of our view, but I didn’t want to obstruct anyone else’s view by standing.

These simple pleasures also will signify our freedom at long last, although we’ll still be predicated by lockdown rules in South Africa which we’ll diligently follow.

Speaking of birthdays, as mentioned above, Tom’s birthday is in 10 days. I’d love to do something special for him, but he insists he wants nothing at all; no cake, no drinks, no special meal (duh, what would that be?). I’d considered buying him a gift from Amazon India, but we’ll be unloading weight in our luggage before we leave, not adding to it.

So there it will be, another uneventful birthday, Christmas and New Year’, not only for us but for most of you throughout the world. We have made tremendous sacrifices during the pandemic, and we still have a long way to go. At least we have tentative peace of mind with the prospect of leaving India to fly to South Africa in the next 31 days. Please stay tuned.

Happy day to all!

Photo from one year ago today, December 13, 2019:

At a farmers market in Apache Junction, Arizona, we purchased five yellow and orange peppers for $1.99. The red peppers, as usual, are priced higher at $.79 each, still an excellent price. For more photos, please click here.

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone!…A new year, a new decade, a new beginning…

On this date in 2013, this foot-long insect on the wall by the bathroom door in the master bedroom made us cringe.  Sleep didn’t come easy the remainder of that night, fearing that the rains of the previous few days may have brought more of these ugly things indoors. Tom, as always, disposed of it outdoors, but of course, didn’t kill it.  For more photos from that date, please click here.

Many times in the past seven years, we’ve chronicled our year in review on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. In tomorrow’s post, we’ll list where we traveled in 2019 with snippets of what transpired during those travels. 

As our readers know so well, this has been a tough year for us when on February 12th, I had triple coronary bypass surgery with many complications. We won’t get into all of that. 

We’ve said enough and appreciate the patience of our readers who saw us through that difficult time and stayed with us, continuing to read our daily posts. That month I only uploaded 16 posts when I could not prepare posts during the first two weeks after surgery. 

In tomorrow’s post, we‘ll breeze by that period when in May we were “on the move” once again, albeit with a certain amount of trepidation and fear.

Instead, now, we look to the future with hope and optimism that we’ll be able to continue for years to come. But, we’ve both decided over the past few months that we cannot and will not dwell on fear or apprehension of what could happen. 

We could all get caught up in this state of mind, even those in great health. None of us know what the future holds and we can only do our best to maintain good health and a good attitude which ultimately may be instrumental in our quality of life and longevity.

Most of us can look back at our prior year and recall various circumstances causing us to worry and be concerned for ourselves, our loved ones, our circumstances. No one is exempt.

And, most of us choose to move forward, learn from our experiences, good and bad, and continue on the path we’ve chosen for our lives or in some cases choose a new path as we had done over seven years ago. It changed everything.

Rather than New Year’s resolutions, we find it helpful to look back over the past year to determine what we have learned, changes we have made and the changes we need to make going forward. 

It’s highly individual and we cannot imply or suggest that any of our readers/friends follow such a path. But, we find a sense of comfort moving into the New Year knowing we are doing the best we can to maintain a quality of life that brings us both joy and contentment. 

That being said, we wish each and every one of our readers a meaningful and purposeful New Year that fulfills your needs and wishes and brings you joy and contentment as well.

Happy New Year!

Photo from one year ago, December 31, 2019:

Adorable giraffe at rest in Marloth Park. For more photos, please click here 

A fun video on “silent disco” night!…The unreality of life on a cruise…Routines become all encompassing…

 This was a “silent disco” so you won’t hear much
in the way of sound.
Living aboard a ship is comparable to living in a world far removed from day-to-day reality, not unlike that for other passengers who have left their homes to travel on a ship for weeks or more.

Having spent 198 days cruising since the onset of our travels, beginning on October 31, 2012, it served us well to roll into the comfortable routine. Moreover, doing so provides us with a sense of a home during these extended periods.

The ease with which we move from activity to activity, area to area, and a variety of dining and drinking venues become somewhat of a routine for other passengers and us as well.

Christina hung out with us on disco night along with many other new friends we’d met aboard the ship.

This becomes particularly evident when we visit areas we tend to frequent each day or evening at certain times. As a result, our daily routine looks like this:

6:30 am – One of us gets out of bed to shower and dress, with the other immediately following behind. 

7:30 am (8:00 am on sea days) – Arrive in Epernay dining room for served breakfast at a shared table from six to 10 passengers.

The lighting was not conducive to taking photos, but it’s evident that not everyone listened to the same channel.

9:00 – 9:30 am – Return to the cabin to collect laptops and head to Cafe Al Bacio to begin posting. Often, I’ll go directly to the cafe to secure a seat at one of our favorite of three tables situated along the railing overlooking the centrum while Tom dashes to the cabin to get the laptops and the camera.

12:00 – 12:30 pm – Return laptops to the cabin to recharge. If one of us didn’t eat breakfast (I’ve had smoothies most mornings), we might wander to the 14th deck to the Oceanview Cafe, a buffet, where each item offered lists the following, if applicable:  gluten free, sugar-free, vegetarian, lactose-free. This only helps me choose items to a degree since nothing is notated for “low carb” or “starches,” neither of which fit into my diet.

Sorry for the blur; I couldn’t resist including this dancing photo!

1:30 – 2:00 pm – On sea days:  Return to the cabin, collect laptops, and return to Cafe Al Bacio to work on the next day’s photos and post, respond to email and of course, chat with an endless array of friendly passengers.  Some passengers have giggled with us when labeling our seats in the cafe as our “office.” So true. On port of call days: It’s during this period, we may walk off the ship (or take a tender) to explore the port we’re visiting.

4:00 pm – Return to the cabin to relax a bit, later dressing for the upcoming evening’s activities. Most nights are “smart casual,” with no dressy clothing required. However, when “chic” is listed, people tend to wear dressier clothing, although it’s not required.

5:00 – 5:30 pm – Wander to the Sky Lounge for “Elite (or higher) members free happy hour during which we always sit with other passengers shooting the breeze while we share our collective travel experiences as lovely appetizers are servers by wait staff along with cocktails and beverages of our choice.

Our adorable new friend Christina (of Harold and Christina) also “rocked the night away.”

6:30 – 7:00 pm – Happy hour in the Sky Lounge ends at 7:00 pm, after which we wait in what is usually a short line to be seated for dinner. Since we enjoy dining at a shared table, arriving later than 7:00 may prevent the opportunity to dine with others since most passengers dine early to make one of the two shows presented at 7:00 and 9:00 pm. We rarely attend the shows when variety-type shows hold little appeal to either of us.

9:00 – 9:30 pm -Leave the dining room we make our way to one of the many bars where we’ll listen to music, chat amongst ourselves and others to relax and enjoy the remainder of our evening.

The “Ice Bar” is just that, covered in ice. I couldn’t resist making this heart shape as a remnder of our 22nd anniversary the following day.

11:00 pm to ???? – Head to our cabin for the evening hoping for a good night’s sleep, only to begin the same highly enjoyable routine all over again the next morning. 

A few nights ago, a disco event was listed on the program, referred to as a “silent disco.” This is the point when each passenger dons a lighted headset with three channels, each colored coordinated for three types of music being broadcast.

With all the party-goers wearing their headsets, those not wearing them didn’t hear a sound. This is a hoot, especially when a good song is playing and we all go nuts encouraging each other to change the channel for the better dance song via the use of a little button on the side of the headset.

More new friends from Australia, Corinna, and Beau, with whom we’ve had a great time.

As it turned out, at times, Tom and I were dancing together with each of us listening to a different song. This was hysterical. And proved to be more fun than we can describe. 

Tom danced for two hours non-stop, standing next to me at the “Ice Bar” while I joined him in dancing as often as I was reenergized, later sitting for a short recovery period only to begin again. (After all, I’d been sick for the past three months and hadn’t yet had quite enough time to recover after months of lounging. Now, vigorously walking through the ship each day, I’m beginning to feel a slow return to my old self).

We both had messy hair from taking the headsets on and off throughout the night. Tom’s was especially messy from sweating. His shirt was soaked by the end of the evening.

Gosh, we had so much fun. We were reminded of our “hay days” of carrying on in our younger days dancing in a variety of bars and discos. Wow! What a fun activity, especially when we were with friends we’ve made aboard during the entire evening.

Today, the ship is docked in Suva, Fiji. Having spent four months in Fiji over a year ago, plus considerings its where I contracted the infection, neither of us has any desire to get off the ship. 

Eventually, Tom had to remove his glasses. He was sweating so much!  I love this photo!

No offense intended for Fiji. We had a good experience on both the islands of Vanua Levu (Savusavu) and Viti Levu (Pacific Harbour) during the extended period. Today we’re content to stay on board in air-conditioned comfort, continuing to revel in our highly pleasing routine and visiting with the wonderful people we’ve met along the way.

Have a pleasing day, hopefully, spent in the presence of YOUR wonderful people!

Photo from one year ago today, March 8, 2017:

The sun was peeking through the clouds casting this glow at the beach in New Zealand. But, of course, the scene would have been more impressive had it not been so late in the evening. For more photos, please click here.