Day 16 Armacao dos Buzios, Brazil

Day 15 we cruised the Atlantic and at noon on January 18, 2019 (Day 16 of the Cruise) we arrived a Buzios, Brazil.  This had been a small fishing village with some wealthy home owners from Rio, until a visit in 1964 by Brigitte Bardot.   Since then the major industry is tourism with a small fishing fleet.  We are tendering in today.  We took the included tour.  This is the oldest church.  They used whale oil in the mortar.  And this is the next beach.  This is a shop that features sculptures made out of a paper mache type process.   Here is a crabby one with Linda.  They are also fond of bronze sculptures and there were several in town.  These kids and dog were done by a local artist.  This guy was the architect for the capitol.  Nice high five.  Here are the three fishermen.  And the most famous sculpture in town, Brigitte Bardot.

 

 

 

 

The homes and restaurants here seemed to represent prosperity. 

Another beach – they have many around the island.  At the end of the tour, we stayed at one of the beaches and enjoyed the afternoon. 

I walked to the end of the beach where the rocks start.  Got my 10,000 fit bit steps.

Nice sand sculpture.  Headed back to the boat and said goodbye to Buzios.  We thoroughly enjoyed our stop here.  Interesting place with friendly and polite people.  Nice sand and clear refreshing water.

Day 14 Salvador de Bahia, Brazil

We arrived at the pier in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, on January 16, 2019 at 7:00 am.  This is our grandson, Anthony Oliver’s 16th birthday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY Anthony!

We have a tugboat assist.  Not sure what this guy is doing in the harbor. 

We head out on our walking tour at 9:30 am.   Laws protect old facades from being removed.  Lots of coconut vendors.    This is the elevator to take you to the upper city.  No charge for those over 60.  View from the top of the elevator.

Upper level.  Previous Governor’s Mansion.  These ladies wander around and let you take their picture for $.  This is my Tyler art deco picture for the day.  This is a very smooth area.  Most of the cobble stones are ankle turning difficult.  Some interesting street vendors.  

This is the new main Catholic Cathedral after the city paid off the Bishop to remove the old main cathedral and replace it with a trolley house.  The Bishop received a large donation.  The trolley no longer runs.

They have a form of dance/combat moves and for a fee you can have your picture taken with the performers.  The moves date back to slave days when it was used for self defense since the slaves could not carry weapons.

There are numerous churches, with one square having 5.  The primary influence is Roman Catholic but it was surprising to me the amount of Masonic influence.  This is a Masonic Temple built in the Baroque style.

A traveler poses with some local art.  Pillory square where they used to hold slave auctions.  The art work on the left of Michael Jackson designates the house he used to make a video here.  Back to the Elevator.  A view of the harbor and we return to the ship.  We were dripping wet when we got back.  We did a weigh-in.  Not as bad as I thought but nothing to publish.

Day 13 In-House concert during Day at Sea

We are continuing at sea, chugging toward Salvador de Bahia.  On January 15th, we enjoyed a concert in the Atrium that show cased on board talent.  They often do back-up to other stars that come on board and they entertain around the ship, but this time they were given their own venue, with the team led by Jerom.  This is Jerom on the keyboard.  He is quite amazing.  Here Tina sings a classical piece.  Emilia belts out some jazz.  Melenia is featured on the violin.

This is the whole gang, with Heather the Cruise Director, on the right.

Entertainment always available and the talent level is great.

Engine Control Room Tour

On Jan. 14, 2019 I enjoyed a tour of the engine control room.  Post 911, we cannot go to the actual engine room, but since the engine rooms are 130 degrees F, and the control room is air conditioned, I’m good.  This is Peter from Croatia.  Peter is the Assistant Chief Engineer and he conducted the tour.

 

 

 

They have numerous video monitors

and they can bring up lots of digital  monitoring as well.  Note that the third engine on this screen is off-line.  That is the one with the turbo problem, and puts us down 9,000 hp or about 28%.  The result is 12 knots vs. the normal 17 knots.

 

 

This guy is logging engine data.  They have three guys for this and they log 24/7 with 4 hours on and then 8 hours off.

 

 

Peter provided lots of interesting statistics.  The boat is diesel / electric with two in-line 7,000 hp engines and two 9,000 hp V8’s.   The electric generators run at 6,600 volts.  So you have AC, then DC, then inverters back to AC at the correct frequency to run the two main drive electric motors.  The diesels are modern common rail devices with an input pressure of 1,400 bars.  Yikes.  The diesels consume 100 liters of engine oil per day.  At normal cruising speed of 17 knots and powering all the auxiliary equipment they consume 90 cubic meters of fuel per day.  This is that real heavy stuff that needs heating to be a liquid.

Very interesting stuff.

Day 12 Days at Sea

Today is Day 12.  We are at sea today, and have been for Days 9, 10, and 11 as planned.  Today (Day 12) we were supposed to be in Recife, Brazil, but we are now skipping that port.  Not even to that latitude yet.  Engine troubles have us cruising at 12 knots.  Passing Recife to make Salvador de Bahia, Brazil on time, where spare parts and technicians are waiting.  Mechanical problems on a Viking Ship – Oh MY!

No worries, we are in 8,000 feet of water, so probably will not run aground.  There is plenty to do and to eat and drink.  Like listening to the string duet while sipping Grand Marnier.

Also, grandma has become quite a dancer.  We have been entertained by a group of Cloggers named ALL THAT.  They are amazing.  Here is grandma on stage with one of the dancers.  She is teaching him some new steps.

On days at sea, we have been going to the Nordic Spa.  It is awesome.  The center piece is the steam room and snow grotto combo.  Recommendation is to use the steam room and then cool down by rubbing snow on yourself in the snow grotto doing a total of three cycles.  Next is the bucket (no big deal, it is at room temperature) followed by the jacuzzi and the big bubble pool.  What a hoot.  Have a plan to remove 10 years of aches and pains.  In the locker room area they also have the classic dry sauna with cold plunge pool.   

A really great facility.

 

Day 8 French Guiana, Iles du Salut, Ile Royale

Day 7 was a leisurely day at sea.

Day 8 we arrived in French Guiana at 11:00 am.  Three hours later than planned.  Oh dear, an unheard of event on a Viking ship.

We are visiting Ile Royale of Papillon movie fame.  It is an island in the Iles du Salut chain of French Guiana.

Here comes the Pilot to direct us to our anchorage location.  

When we were all set, we were tendered over to the island.  Boarding the tender was a real experience as the swell was about two feet where we were anchored.  Made it, no problem.

 

The island was a French penal colony from 1852 until 1946.  It served 80,000 prisoners, most of whom never returned to France.  They did have a church and a convent.  The Church still looks nice inside.  

The convent did look as well preserved.

Ran into some ship friends along the way.  This is John and Gayle from Dallas.

We spent the day touring with Mike and Linda.   We also like to play Euchre with them, so we hope to see a lot more of them.  T

One can see the remains of many of the cells and envision how small of a space the prisoners were given.  

There were some new prisoners.  

As if this were not prison enough, they also had a section for solitary confinement.   

Got the door closed.

There were nice walking paths and at 85 degrees, had to be good for you.  

We frequently saw monkeys along the paths.  This one appeared to be angry or annoyed.

 

 

 

When the time came, the prisoners were weighted down and buried at sea.  There was a cemetery for the guards and their children.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regrets, indeed.

 

This is the asylum.  Just for the record, Harlan, they did not ask me to stay. 😜

 

 

This is the mess hall.

 

 

 

and the slaughter house, 

and the pig barn. 

Photo stop on the way back to the ship.  Devil’s island in the background.  

And there is our ship.  Would have been post card worthy on a sunny day, but we really appreciated the overcast on this hot and humid day.  Very interesting day.

Day 6 Grenada January 8, 2019

On the morning of January 8, 2019 we entered the harbor at St. George’s, Grenada.  

 

 

 

 

We’re ready to tour.  

We are welcomed by a group playing the pan.  Unemployment is 50% and tourism is their number one industry, so they are pleased to welcome cruise ships.  We are scheduled on a later tour of the island, so we head into town to find the market.  

 

 

 

And, there it is.  A nice island market.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey lady, would you like some nutmeg?  

All the islands seem to have churches on top of very prominent hills.

Looks like you meet early to beat the heat.

 

We took a bus tour of the island.  Got a little higher for a nice view of our ship. 

There are large and small marinas scattered around this side of the island. 

We stoped for R & R (rest rooms and refreshments) at the Prickly Bay Marina and Resort.  Nice resort with nice  guests.

Grenada is very hilly and the residents seem to like to build on the edge.  Million dollar, but dangerous, views.  

This is a monument to the American soldiers that lost their lives during the 1983 rescue initiated by President Ronald Reagan.  The locals are very quick to say they love Americans and they thank us for the rescue.  

This is an attempt to show how very steep many of the roads are on Grenada.

This is a typical scene along the beach roads.  .

Nice day, full of new sights.  Back to the boat to keep heading south.

Day 5 At Sea from Puerto Rico to Grenada

We are headed from San Juan, Puerto Rico to St. George’s Grenada.   A pleasant, relaxing day at sea.

The Cruise Director announced that the ship was accidentally sent an excessive number of pineapples.  To use some of them up they were offering Pina Colada’s in hollowed out pineapples.  We volunteered to help them with their problem.  

So here we are, in a great sitting area next to the Wintergarden Lounge, enjoying our beverages.

Day 4 San Juan, Puerto Rico

We arrived at the San Juan port in the early morning.  We did a walking tour of the old fort and Old San Juan.  Our guide was Victor

and we all used a Viking provided wifi receiver with a single ear bud.  They worked great and it made it very pleasant to hear without general disturbance.  Victor was born in San Juan, but was also a self proclaimed travel-holic and couldn’t help but tell us about his trips to China.

They are proud of their statue of Christopher Columbus and have

no thought of removing it.

We have other interesting people on this tour.

In the old days, they used material from the ballast in the arriving sailing ships as part of the material to form bricks.  The result is these beautiful cobble streets that have survived to this day.  Some people in government had a bright idea to put asphalt over these, but the locals shut them down.  Good move.

 

Many of these islands have forts guarding the harbor.  This one is called the Castillo San Felipe del Morro.  The Spanish and English fought over this fort for years, and it finally ended up in US hands.

 

 

It is definitely a large fortress.

 

By the sea.

One can see part of Old San Juan from the fort.

 

 

 

Old San Juan.  I may have discovered why power outages are a problem during and after hurricanes.

Our tour guide referred to this area as low end housing where no one will leave due to the million dollar view.   

Some tourists check it out.  

This is the street that leads from the main gate of San Juan to the Catholic Cathedral.  

 

 

 

 

This is just outside the old main gate where they are restoring the wall.

This sign is above the main gate and loosely translated it says “All are welcome who come in the Name of the Lord”.   Back in the day, this was a shot at the Moors, who were not so welcome.

 

 

This is the Cathedral at the top of the hill.

Back in the day, it was to be your first stop, after entering at the main gate, to thank God you were still alive after the arduous voyage.

A modern building built above a very old wall.  

A replica of the Santa Maria sits in the harbor.  

Back to our ship.  Yes that’s the one.   

Viking Welcome:  Red carpet, flags, plants, and canopy.  (Yes Lily, they did that just for us.)  😊

 

 

 

 

Day 3 of Around the World, A Day at Sea – January 5, 2019

What fun!  Went around the ship and checked on the various venues where one could fine food and drink.  They are plentiful, including the Pool Bar & Grill.

Lots of seating by the pool if you eat here, and yes they deliver drinks to your table.

This one is near the stern just forward of the infinity pool.  How convenient.

This bar is at the back of the Star Theater.  One simply cannot attend the Theater without a drink in hand.  By the way, the entertainment has been excellent.

The above various venues are conveniently scattered throughout the ship.  They do not include The Restaurant, The Chef’s Table, Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant, or the World Cafe.  I have changed my New Year’s Resolution from no gain to no more than one pound per day. 🤣

The Wintergarden offers afternoon tea, so we decided to try it.

This is the set up.

We absolutely crushed it (along with our table mates).

All the while enjoying superb entertainment.

I really like this ship.

Later we enjoyed a lecture on writing a journal by

Jean Fullerton the resident author.

Here we are passing by the Dominican Republic.

A great day.