Thursday, August 15, 2013

26th July to 10th August to Los Angeles

Friday 26th July we continued through the North Atlantic, the ship now has a new Captain and a number of the Executive.  

The Captain’s name is Martin Stenzel and he is very different from the last one, it is funny how the how feeling of a ship can change.

The Captain told us during his mid-day report that there is a cyclone forming in the path we were taking to visit the island of Antigua so we had to change direction and make a path to Aruba. 

It is a shame as I hadn’t been to Antigua before but had been to Aruba which is where I went horse riding.

The weather is quite rough and the weather has cooled down quite a lot.  Our change of plan means that we will be at sea one extra day before we get to Aruba.

The sunsets had become to be earlier over the last few weeks and sunset is at 2000 although we are not going outside at all.

We went to see the Marionettes tonight, my gosh it was fantastic, it was nothing like the Thunderbirds, the guy had a trapeze artist that did amazing tricks, a dog that carried bones, a pianist and you forgot that they were puppet.  

Will see his show tomorrow night, we are lucky because of the cyclone we will have him for another night.

 27th, 28th and 29th July still travelling across the North Atlantic Basin, passing Cuba and Haiti and finally towards the Dutch Antilles and the island of Aruba.

The world outside the ship is cold and wet and the mist has surrounded the ship, in fact if you sit in the front of the ship you can’t see the middle section, the fog horn is sounding every few seconds.

Tuesday 30th July we embarked the pilot at 0715 and we were onshore by 0830.

Oranjstad, Aruba.  Currency – Aruban florin (AWG)

While native tribes from Venezuela settled Aruba as early as 1000 AD, Europeans did not discover the island until 1499.  After many years of colonial rule, it was not until 1986 that Aruba became its own country, although it still remains a Dutch protectorate.

Aruba is famous for gorgeous, palm tree lined white sandy beaches which are home to calm clear waters.

Last year when I was here I went horse riding and this year I decided on booking a private tour and drive around the island to see the sights.

Our first stop was to see the Ayo and Casibai rock formations which are boulders, some the size of a small house, once on top you can see our ship in the harbour.

We then moved on to the coast to see the baby natural bridge which is a rock and coral formation, the original natural bridge fell into the sea in 2005 but a smaller bridge remains.

On our way to the California Lighthouse we stopped to see the Chapel of our Lady of Alto Vista which must have the most beautiful view while praying.  The church is quite small but this is no problem as the parishioners sit outside.  I bought a lovely string off rosary beads to add to my collection.

California Lighthouse is perched on a high elevation and named after the steamship California, which sunk off the coast of Aruba in 1891.  This lighthouse was built in 1910 and offers stunning views of the Island and coastline.

We were back in Oranjestad by 1400 and we walked through the main street and found a pub for lunch, I had a spicy jambalaya and a few bottles of the local beer.  

The other ladies went shopping and as you know I hate shopping so I went across the road to another pub and sat and waited until they finished shopping and after a few more beers it was time to go back to the ship and go to the back of the ship to watch as we sail away into the sunset.

We didn’t have far to travel overnight as our next port was right next door.

Distance Travelled from New York to Aruba 1767 Nautical Miles, average speed 14.42 knots. 

Wednesday 31st July we arrived at the island of Curacao.

Curacao is an independent country and the largest of the three ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.  Currency – Netherlands Antillean guilder also called the florin.

The name ‘Curacao’ is most likely derived from the Portuguese word for ‘cured’.  Early Spanish sailors, suffering with scurvy, found themselves miraculously healed after eating local fruits rich in vitamin C.

This is a really lovey island, the buildings are painted very bright colours and trimmed with white gingerbread.  We all decided just to wander around the town which is quite small and the path from the ship takes us through small sea side stalls and nice shopping centres.

Bit of Tivia.  Curacao Liqueur, produced in Chobolobo, a 17th century plantation estate, is used in such drinks  the Blue Lagoon, the fuzzy pirate and the zombie.  At last count there were over 508different drinks recipes containing Blue Curacao.

The Queen Emma Pontoon was built in 1888 and nicknamed the ‘Swinging Old Lady’; this bridge swings open to allow ships to access the bay.  It is interesting, the bells ring and everyone runs to get on the bridge and then the whole bridge swings across the bay to the edge and this takes about 20 minutes and while the bridge is open, a free ferry takes people across each side.  While we were watching the bridge opened to let a very small yacht go through.

We wandered around this pretty city for some time and then went to the pub near the ship and shared some tapas for lunch and tried the local beer before wondering back to the ship.

I bought myself a new top to wear to the Christmas in July party that was being held on the deck that night.  We wandered up to the deck after we finished dinner that night about 2130 and we danced, threw streamers and had a great time until the band left and the DJ took over.

Distance Travelled Aruba to Curacao 97 Nautical Miles, average speed 9.8 knots. 
Thursday 1st August we travelled through the Caribbean Sea toward the entrance to the Panama Canal.

The ship’s photographers leave the ship and travel along the canal to film our trip tomorrow and they have a poster completion. 

Our group decided that we would make a poster so we met up in the evening and spent a couple hours making it, we were lucky because Lorraine brought her colour printer and I had brought staples, paints and other bits and pieces.

Friday 2nd August we took on our pilot and waited to begin our transit of the Panama Canal.

Panama Canal.  This marvel of engineering took 34 years to construct at a cost in lives of over 25,000 people who died from either tropical diseases or landslides. 

The Panama hat isn’t made in Panama at all it originated in Ecuador but was worn by the balding Ferdinand de Lesseps during the building of the canal.  

They were imported from Ecuador to be used by the thousands of canal workers to protect them from the intense tropical sun.

At 0600 everyone was up on deck as we slowly leave the Caribbean Sea and proceeded along jungle covered banks, through the channel towards the Gatun Locks.  The whole process is truly amazing, we travel through two locks, we approach the first lock at 0630 and move up to the lock gate and the gate closes behind the ship and the water rises, we rise 9 meters in 8 minutes and the water is gravity fed

We have been held in place be mechanical ‘mules’ on either side of the ship, these mules travel with us to the end of the lock.

The ship paid just under $400,000 to pass through the canal and that included a helicopter for the film crew.

It is quite strange standing on the deck and feeling the ship rise so quickly, the gates open and we then move into the next lock and the process begins again, 9 meters in 8 minutes, we are now towering over the land below, we then carry out the same process of 9 meters in 8 minutes, twenty seven meters higher we enter the Gatun Lake.  

Gatun Lake is a man-made lake and it is huge and ships anchor up each end of the lake while they are waiting for their turn to go through the locks, we waited over 40 minutes until we could move into the lake.

We passed under the Sentennial Bridge and at 1328 arrived at the next set of locks which are the other end of the lake and we had to commence our decent into the Pacific Ocean.

Pedro Miguel lock, the first of the last two locks was entered at 1408 and we proceeded to drop 9 meters and we then moved on to Miraflores Locks where we moved through two locks and dropped a further 18 meters.

At the end of the last lock was a lovely surprise, a very large group of about 200 hundred Panamanians from the nearby city of Panama City  were there to welcome us to the Panama Canal and of course we had to yell “Aussie, Aussie, Oye, Oye” at least twenty times as we went through.

At this point we were back at sea level and were soon passing under the Bridge of America at 1643 and into the bay of Panama, continuing on our passage to Puntarenas.

The Panama Canal Authority has been working on an expansion including the construction of two new lock complexes, one on the Pacific and the other on the Atlantic, with thee chambers, water saving basins, a lateral filling and emptying system and rolling gates.

The Panama Canal was truly one of the manmade wonders of the world and very different from the Suez Canal, both canals enable thousands of miles to be saved by sailing ships travelling around the world and of course save many weeks of travel.  

Some of the passengers last year said that they saw monkeys in the jungle and this year I used my binoculars and saw nothing!!

  Guess what, we won the Poster Competition.

Distance Travelled from Curacao to Panama Canal 639 Nautical Miles, average speed 18.5 knots. 

Saturday 3rd August at sea in the Pacific Ocean heading towards Costa Rico, it is sunny and about 28 degrees.

We won a bottle of cheap champagne tonight in a fun game where the entertainment team tell stories and we have to work out who is telling the truth.  

This is the 3rd bottle we have won and we will have to drink them before we leave the ship, it really is awful stuff.

Sunday 4th August at 0140 we entered the Nicoya Bay at 0140 and we were berthed at 0415.

Puntarenas, Costa Rica.  Currency – Costa Rican colon (CRC). Language - Spanish

When I came out on deck this morning, the ship was already moored and we were looking at beaches whose sands were brown because it was ground up lava and it seems that we were back into 3rd world counties again. 

Puntarenas was discovered in 1519 and is located south of Nicaragua and north of Panama; Puntarenas sits off the Pacific Ocean in the Gulf of Nicoya.

I visited this island last year and saw most of the inner island so this time I just stayed in the port and wandered around the township which was very poor and very dirty.

Maisie and I spent a few hours in the township and then went into a local pub for a glass of the local beer.  It was interesting, 

Maisie doesn’t like beer so we asked for lemonade to make a shandy, after much discussion with the waiter we thought we had it right until he returned with a glass of lemon juice!.

The other girls had a great day as one went to see the active volcano and the others went up the jungle river and saw crocodiles and monkeys.

We were at the back of the ship waiting to watch the ship leave and we notice a couple strolling down the wharf towards the ship when the ship’s horn rang out and they realised that the ship was leaving and they weren’t on board.  

As you can imagine they started running and we were all calling out to them to ‘run’, all good they had plenty of time before we actually left.

Distance Travelled from Panama Canal to Puntarenas 478  Nautical Miles, average speed 13.1 knots. 

Monday 5th August at sea in the Pacific Ocean, the weather is warm and foggy and the seas are rough.

Bit of Trivia. The idea for Princess Cruises came about because there wasn’t enough hotel space in Seattle during the 1962 World Fair.  Local business man Stanley McDonald thought of a unique way to solve the problem and in the process started a cruise line and made history.

Tuesday 6th August at sea and we continued north westerly course leaving the coast of Mexico over 30 miles to the north, the winds have increased to force 6.

I love the rough weather; the only problem is that you can’t get out on deck.

I didn’t show you my cabin

Wednesday 7th August at sea, the weather has cleared and the sea is as flat as a table and a beautiful day.

I was out on deck all morning reading and enjoying the sun when a large pod of dolphins went by and from then a lot more, they were enjoying the sun and flat seas as much as us, we even saw a little turtle in the middle of nowhere.

We had another free wine tasting this afternoon and enjoyed a great movie under the stars, I still needed a blanket but wasn’t as cold as other times.

Thursday 8th and Friday 9th August still at sea.

I really enjoy being at sea, we spend our time eating, talking, reading and when possible sitting on the deck in the sun.

We had our end of sector formal and there were only 3 of us at our table.  I forgot to mention that we have now an 80 year old man at our table.  We were at dinner the other night when one of the head waiters told us that his gentleman as coming to sit at our table in our spare chair.

We were and are still not impressed, he is OK but we have been together for over 70 days, it is a bit sad and we tend to stay away now.

The MaĆ®tre d on the ship is and Indian who lives in Poland and he is really ‘out there’, dressing up in kilts, Mexican hats and much more, he visits every table and stops to have a chat.

He and the Chief Chef put on a cooking demonstration every section and this one was Mexican, so much fun.

Saturday 10th August we embarked the pilot at 0415 and we entered the port of San Pedro which is the port nearest to LA.

Los Angeles, USA.   Currency – US Dollar.

It was a beautiful morning when I went up on deck, the sun was shining and we have been promised about 18 degrees and clear skies. 

The Immigration people came on board with the pilot this morning and we had all been given a time to see them in the Vista room and fortunately it only took 30 minutes which was an improvement on New York.  The actual disembarkation was an anticlimax.

Ann and I were on a city drive of LA by with just a couple of stops on the way, we left the Port and got onto the Freeway and headed to Olvera Street which is the birthplace of the City of Los Angeles  and is very Spanish as this area was settled by the Spanish and then later handed over to the US.

We drove past Disney Theatre, many Government buildings and we then set out towards Hollywood Bowl which is an enormous natural outdoor amphitheatre and is one of the most renowned music venues, the only problem was that there was a function on and we could not get near it so we had to drive past. 

We saw the letters ‘HOLLYWOOD’ up on the hill although it soon disappeared behind trees and buildings.

Hollyood Boulevard is the home of the Walk of Fame, a committee of legends, including Walt Disney, Cecil B De Mille and Sam Goldwyn met at the Brown Derby restaurant in 1956 and nominated the first 1,558 inductees. Today, there are more than 2,400 brass stars along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard.

Built in 1927, the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre seats 2,200, Sid Grauman accidently stepped into wet cement during construction and inspired the idea of movie stars imbedding signatures and prints to harden for eternity.  

It was very busy with heaps of tourists and locals wandering around looking at the stars. 

We stopped at the Farmer’s Market for lunch.

Unfortunately we headed straight back to the ship, the trip was a disappointment as we were back early and also didn’t get to see the footsteps which was the main reason I chose the tour.

Sail-a-way commenced at 1830 and we proceeded to leave Los Angeles, still don’t think much of the city.

Distance Travelled from Puntarenas to Los Angeles 2507 Nautical Miles, average speed 18.9 knots. 
Total Distance Travelled from Sydney to Los Angeles 26,801.2 Nautical Miles  

Monday, August 5, 2013

13th July - 25th July in Atlantic

Satruday 13th July – Rotterdam, Netherlands.  Currency – Euro.

The heart of the city was destroyed in 1940 by the Germans and has been entirely rebuilt which makes it a modern city indeed.

We decided to leave Rotterdam for a 30-minute drive by comfortable private coach to medieval Delft and after about 1 hour we got out and strolled along the canals, enjoying the rustic courtyards and discover the most beautiful spots of historic Delft.

The town is also known as small Amsterdam, because of its canals and the grand monumental merchant’s mansions in the old town center. The town center of Delft is one of the best-preserved examples of a medieval Dutch town. It is a town with rich historic and cultural heritage.

Delft is also the town of the painter Johannes Vermeer. Think of his masterpiece “Gezicht op Delft” (the Girl with the Pearl Earring.

Delft is the burial ground of members of the Royal family, they rest in the New Church which is called this because it was built in the 13th century and the Old Church was built in the 12th century.  Besides the Royal family there are also several others famous people buried in Delft.

In the Old Church rest the painter Johannes Vermeer and great ocean commanders as Piet Hein and Maarten Tromp. 

We went to shop for cheese tasting and tried sheep, goat and cow cheese flavoured with chillies, nuts, fruit and lots of other things.  I was in my element as not only did they have cheese, they also had free chocolate tasting.  Yum. 

We then went to lunch in a nearby pub and I had a local soup made of mutton and beans and then we went on a 20-minute drive to the “Royal City” The Hague, where we went on a walking tour through this great old city. 

We went to the Palace Noordeinde which is the working Palace of King William, he lives somewhere else and only uses the palace during the day. 

Hague is an easy city to wander around (except for the bikes) the oldest parts are from the 13th century ending up at the spectacular Panorama Mesdag Museum. 

The Panorama is a cylindrical painting, more than 14 meters high and 120 meters in circumference.  The vista of the sea, the dunes and Scheveningen village where painted by Hendrik Willem Mesdag in 1881. Also his wife Sientje Mesdag and several other painters of The Hague School worked on this amazing painting. It is the oldest 19th century panorama in the world in its original site. The panorama is similar to the one that was in Alice Springs.

We continue the tour with a short walk to hidden courtyard “Rusthof”, as the word says, this court is totally hidden from the outside world.

The court from 1831 is most unique. The founder, Mrs. Groen van Pinsteren built this court for poor woman and widowers. Today only ladies above 55 are able to live in this court which has a beautiful garden.

Once again a lovely day and we were soon back home and watching the ship sail away from the harbour.

Distance from Dover to Rotterdam 116 Nautical Miles, average speed 16.57 knots

Sunday 14th July we continued sailing through the North Sea towards Copenhagen.

I forgot to mention that I am now an Elite member of the Princess Line which is really great.  

The line has an award scheme made up of 5 levels and the highest is 15 cruises or 150 days on board and in Dover I made it.  

What does it mean, well every sector we get a mini bar which includes all the various spirits, water, coke and lemonade but even better I get free laundry and dry cleaning.  The free laundry is just fantastic and next time I will not need to take as many clothes.  I give away all the soft drink but keep the alcohol.

The weather is still warm but the wind is very strong and it is beginning to be to cool to sit on the deck.

Sunday is lazy brunch day and I wandered down to the dining room about 1100 and had a late breakfast and the drink of the day was Bloody Mary so of course had to have one.

We all sat around to watch the Australian movie call the Sapphire under the stars and really enjoyed it, although it was a little cool.

Monday 15th July found us transmitting the narrow straight between Denmark and Sweden arriving in Copenhagen very early in the morning.

Copenhagen, Denmark.   Currency – Danish Korne.    Language – Danish, Farese.

The Danish Vikings were once the scourge of Europe; they raided and held large areas of England, France and Spain before settling down and using their knowledge to trade peacefully.

Copenhagen was built in the 11th Century and is a Monarchy and most of the Kings have been named either Frederick or Christian.

The ship berthed right in the centre of the city so we all decided to us the hop-on hop-off bus to see the city.  We waited until most of the passengers went on their tour and we then set off to see this lovely old city.

Most of the palaces, churches and civic buildings belong to the royal family, the Amalienborg Palace is the ‘official’ royal residence for most of the year and Kronborg Castle was written about as “Hamlet’s Castle” by William Shakespeare.

Copenhagen has the longest pedestrian street, called Stroget, in Europe.

The statue of Hans Christian Anderson’s heroine, the Little Mermaid was a lot smaller than I thought and she was just within walking distance from where we were moored.

We were only in port for a few hours and were again at sea by 1600 on our way to Norway.  We found that everything was quite expensive as the wages and taxes are very high here.  Postcards which are usually 3 for $1 were 1 Euro each which is about 4 times as expensive

Some of the crew

That night the 5 of us went to the Steak House which is the only eating venue on the ship that you pay a cover charge for a 5 star steak meal and it is only $20 but the meal is fantastic.  
The only problem is that although the restaurant is inside it is right by the windows and it was so cold that we had to ask for blankets to wear to keep from freezing.  We left the restaurant about 2300, very full and warm on the inside.

Distance from Rotterdam to Copenhagen 590 Nautical Miles, average speed 17.35 knots

Monday 15th July at about 0530 the pilot boarded the ship and we commenced a 54 mile transited up the fjord towards Oslo arriving 1000.

Oslo, Norway.                      Currency –  Norwegian Krone (NOK)

Once again the ship moored in the centre of the city and Ann, Ann and I walked through the heart of Oslo to the City Hall and past the National Theatre on our way to the Royal Palace unfortunately we would have to wait an hour until they would take us on a tour of the rooms. We saw the changing of the guards and we wandered through the gardens.

Oslo is a lovely city to walk around and we walked through the main street known as Karl Johan and it is full of very expensive shops, you know the type you look but can’t afford to buy.

We had walked for about 3 hours and then we walked to the splendid Akershus Castle which was first built in 1048 and further reinforced in the 1300’s by King Hakon V.  Inside the oldest part of the building is a museum and shop and also some of the buildings are still used and there are soldiers walking the perimeter.

The Castle overlooks the city and we could see our ship and it was only about 10 minutes from where we were and we had 30 minutes left before we were due to sail.

Ann and I found a small outdoor bar near the ship to buy a local beer and a packet of nuts and this cost 250 Kroner which is about $25.00, like I said everything is expensive in Scandinavia.  

The weather has kept warm during the day and cool during the night.

Did you know since 1947, the people of Oslo have given a gigantic Christmas tree to the city of Westminster, England as an expression of gratitude for Britain’s help to Norway during World War II.

Distance from Copenhagen to Oslo 270 Nautical Miles, average speed 17.76 knots

Wednesday 17th July we rounded the most southern point of Norway and entered the North Sea and later passed between the islands of Shetlands and Fair Isle as we made our way towards the Faroe Islands. 

The weather has turned cold, wet and miserable, we can’t go outside on deck and the sick bags have disappeared from the stair rails.  Thank heavens I don’t get sea sick.

It is funny with sea days especially when we can’t go out to sit on the deck, the time still flies by so fast but we are never sure what we did.  I love the sea days and of course I also love going on shore to discover new towns.

Thursday 18th July, this morning at 0700 we made our final approach to Torshavn entering Noisoy Fjord when we experienced strong winds up to 35 knots.  

The pilot and the Captain decided that due to the strong winds and the narrow shallow entrance into the harbour, for safety reasons, we had to abort our visit to Torshavn and continue on our journey to New York.

As you can imagine we were disappointed but it wasn’t worth the risk to ship and passengers.

The weather was freezing and I had put on my long johns under my tracksuit and had my hat and gloves ready, we went outside to take pictures then took off our outer clothes and settled in for another day at sea.

Toshavn, Faroe Islands.  Currency – Faroese krona, Danish krone (DKK).

The island of the Faroes are 18 islands in all, 17 of the inhabited, although volcanic in origin, the islands have be changed by glaciers and it is rugged country indented by fjords. 

Distance from Oslo to Torshavn 688 Nautical Miles, average speed 18.35 knots
Friday 19th July at sea we sailed across the North Atlantic; the weather was freezing and overcast and the seas high and rough.  

The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest of the world’s oceans and covers a total are of about 106,400,000 square kilometres and covers approximately 20% of the entire earth’s surface. Temperature is 14 degrees.

Saturday 20th July at sea, continuing across the Atlantic Ocean.  The Atlantic Ocean is named after the Greek mythical god Atlas making the Atlantic the ‘Sea of Atlas’.  Temperate is 15 degrees, winds were up to beaufort force 8 during the night which rocked us to sleep.
Sunday 21st July at sea and we have now passed through the low pressure systems and the seas are now calmer and the temperature is rising.

Monday 22nd July at sea, we encountered thick fog during the evening and the fog horn sounded throughout the night not that I could hear it from my ‘cave’.  We passed 15 nautical miles north of the site of the Titanic.

Ann and I were invited to join Davor Pvlovic-Kalifo who is the Staff Engineer Officer to dine with him for Dinner with 6 other passengers.  
It was great fun, they choose some passengers at random and they sit with various ship’s officers.  We had a special table and we had the same menu but were provided with wines and a special sweet.

All 6 ladies from our table were invited to different tables and I think it was because we are a very loud and cheeky group, though I noticed they split us up.

Tuesday 23rd July at sea with calm seas and warm temperatures of 21 degrees.

One of the benefits of being and Elite passenger is the invites to Grapevine Wine Tastings which are held every sector and so I went to my first one today.  

We all were seated in front of 6 empty glasses and a plate of cheese and olives and over a period of 1 ½ hours were given a few drops of wine in each glass and listened to 3 head waiters talk about the wine.  I hated the wines but I was allowed to keep the shot glass the final wine came in.

Wednesday 24th July at sea with calm seas and warm temperatures of 24 degrees as we approached the east coast of America.

Life has certainly settled into a pleasant routine and we have tried playing Balderdash which only succeeded in making all the people around us leave as we were laughing so hard and scrabble which last only a short while.

Have a look at these cakes; it was cake bonanza in the horizons buffet today and the cakes were fantastic to look but fortunately not all that nice eat.  Everything you see in the following pictures was made of icing.

Thursday 25th July we made our approach to the Hudson River passing the statue of Liberty on our port side just before sunrise and berthed in Manhattan cruise terminal by 0600.

The Statue of Liberty was designed by sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi out of thinly pounded copper sheets over a seal frame.  Standing 305 feet high, it was dedicated on 28 October, 1886.

I was going out with a different Ann today but first we had to go through the immigration process which in most countries takes about 10 minutes and in some cases the immigration people come on board and the process is done before we leave the ship but not in America.

We lined up for 1 hour before we even left the ship and then another hour before we were free to discover New York.  We had already bought the visa on line and during the face to face, we had our finger prints taken and retinas scan.  It took heaps longer than last year but I think there were only half the immigration officers working due to the recent budget cuts.

Ann and I caught a taxi to Central Park as Ann had never been to New York before so really wanted to walk through it.

Central Park is over 843 acres and it is full of statues, flowers and heaps of people, walking, riding, playing sport and walking their dogs.

As we were walking through the park we came across some street dancers and they put on a great show, entertaining the people and they were a lot of fun and it was great to see them in person. 

The weather turned cold and wet as we walked through the park and so we made our way back to the main road.  

As we were walking around the park we came across a lovely lake and as we were almost to the road we saw the memorial to John Lennon and a small park called Strawberry Park, there were a lot of people sitting around and of course Beatles’ music being played.  

We caught a taxi to Madame Tussaud’s wax museum which is where I wanted to go, it was just off Broadway and fortunately we didn’t have to queue up for long and we were soon buying tickets for $36 and climbing the stairs to start the adventure.

Ann had no idea what was in store as we climbed into the open hand of the huge gorilla from King Kong to have our picture taken.  

We were taken to a lift and take up to the 8th level and as we left the lift we were met by George Clooney and the Duke and Duchess of York.  

Ann was so surprised that they were made of wax, I must admit that it would be so easy to be fooled, you can see where the whiskers grew and of course the clothing actually belong to the person.

As you walk around there is a wax model just standing/sitting there and of course there were a lot of American’s we didn’t know especially in the sports level.  We kept moving down various levels, sports, film stars, singers, movie heroes, and a room dedicated to past and present Presidents.

Wow, I really enjoyed the wax works and it was everything I thought it would be, Ann was completely ‘blown away’.

We left the museum and walked into Time Square where we had lunch in a restaurant called Hubba Bubba which is a franchise based on Forrest Gump.  Huge meals so we shared one dish and that a just enough.

We had 1 ½ hours left so we strolled back to the ship, just before we got to the ship, we noticed a sign for a fortune teller so of course we had to go and have our palms read, which proved very interesting, seems that I am going to live till I am 89 (sorry kids).

It was soon time to leave and we enjoyed a lovely sail away, we sailed past the Statue of Liberty and the new Freedom Building which is built on the site of the Twin Towers. The building has taken ages to complete and hopefully will be finished soon.  When we came in this morning it was lit up with lights, red, white and blue and it certainly can’t be missed.

New York is the end of another sector and about 700 passengers changed over and I also got another restock of my minibar.

Distance from Torshavn to New York 2,870 Nautical Miles, average speed 18.11 knots

Distance from Dover to New York 4,534 Nautical Miles or 8,396.97 Kilometers

Total Distance Travelled from Sydney to New York 21,213.2 Nautical Miles