“I feel good”! Just as James Brown said it in his recording.

We just got back from an Oceania cruise to the western Caribbean, that was designed to deliver us from the snow and cold to a warmer clime where we could get some sun, warm, gentle tropical zephyrs, well, you get what I mean. Over the next while I will try to convey what the trip was like from our point of view.

In spite of our original intention, we were rewarded by Mother Nature deciding that this was the year of the Big Cool. She got her way, for most of the cruise, and while it was somewhat disappointing, I have tried to not let what was inevitable to affect my view of he overall cruise.

We sailed on January 3, 2014 on the MS Riviera, a pretty new ship, built in 2012, weighs 70,735 tons, is 785 feet long, and has a beam of almost 106 feet and has a cruising speed of 22 knots or just over 24MPH. It draws some 24 feet of water, has an international staff of about 800, to look after the needs of 1250 passengers. I doubt that we had the maximum since there were a lot of folks who didn’t make it to the ship, with the snow and cold closing airports and flights from all over the country.

Our itinerary was to start at Miami, on January 3, at sea for day 2, and Cozumel Mexico on day 3. Then it was on to Roatan, Honduras for day 4, and then on day 5 we were ashore in Santo Tomas Guatemala. Day 6 found us at Belize City in Belize where we tendered in. On day 7 we docked at Cost Maya, Mexico, and on day 8 we tendered in to Georgetown in the Cayman Islands. Winding down we have yet another sea day, for our day 9 (our last one) and finally our day 10 in Key west Florida. We then overnight to Miami, and disembark on the morning of January 13.

OK, so there is the outline of what the cruise is about, let’s look at some of the details about how we got to Florida, including the good and the bad. A couple of days before we need a cab, I order one up, and for some reason unknown to me, they were right on time, but 12 hours too early. Something going wrong with step one on a trip does not augur well for the rest of the trip. The tea leaves were all wrong! Anyway we had been up since 6 am this morning, and we are finally on our way to the airport where we leave Calgary a 12:05 am on January 2, 2014.

No problems to report so far, and we get to Toronto the first leg of the flight to Miami. We have a couple of hours there, that we spend going through customs, and the inevitable TSA which proved to be of little problem, largely it seems because I am now 80, and they can’t be bothered too much by hassling old people. They get their jollies some other way.  There was no time to get anything to eat so I settled for a trail mix kind of bar, and hey they work OK. It is snowing in Toronto, which proved to be a harbinger of no good since just after we got out the snow problems built up and flights were cancelled in the thousands. We were de-iced in Toronto and Calgary.

Like the Calgary / Toronto leg, the Miami leg proved to be a fair ride with little turbulence. The pilot had promised us rain in Miami, but it never happened, instead it was warm and humid, just what we ordered. It was a long walk to get our bags, and we were almost the last ones at the carousel, and we found both our bags waiting, as well as 2 young men from Oceania who took us under their wing and got us into a large Ford version of the Chevy Suburban. This had to be the fastest bag pick-up I have ever experienced. It is now about 2:00pm and we have hung around airports and been up for over 32 hours and have crossed a couple of time zones. No matter, we are delivered to our hotel, the Marriott on Biscayne Bay. The room is tiny, but quiet and clean. The rack rate on the place is $520.00, and I thought that the 440.00 we paid was a bit ridiculous. I thought that with the money it cost it should have been larger, but we were really too tired to care.

Found a lady from Oceania who had a desk set up in the lobby and who had a whole list of suggestions we would need for tomorrow, as well as a few places we could try for lunch. We settled for lunch on the patio outside at the hotel overlooking Biscayne Bay. Good Mahi-mahi sandwich that filled us nicely.

Too full from the late lunch to eat dinner, and we sat out on our wee balcony and took a look at our grand view, and had a drink.

We walked a lot today, and my arthritic knee decided that today was good day to act up. Our room is cold and there doesn’t seem to be any connection between the thermostat and the climate control unit. Called the desk and they sent up the “engineer” who “fixed” the problem by disconnecting the AC portion od the unit, failing to understand that even though the relay kicked in to initiate the heat, if it is inoperative to start with it will never come on.

So, we had a shower to get the trip washed off, and we turned in ending the first 38 hours of the trip without sleep, and we are asleep by 8:31.
To be continued…….


To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.

Aldous Huxley


A few minutes before the church services started, the congregation was sitting in their pews talking.

Suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of the church.

Everyone started screaming and running for the entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate.

Soon the church was empty except for one elderly gentleman who sat calmly in his pew without moving, seemingly oblivious to the fact that God’s ultimate enemy was in his presence.

So Satan walked up to the man and said, "Do you know who I am?’"

The man replied, "Yep, sure do."

"Aren’t you afraid of me?" Satan asked.

"Nope, sure ain’t." said the man.

"Don’t you realize I can kill you with one word?" asked Satan.

"Don’t doubt it for a minute," returned the old man, in an even tone.

"Did you know that I can cause you profound, horrifying AGONY for all eternity?" persisted Satan.

"Yep," was the calm reply.

"And you are still not afraid?" asked Satan.

"Nope," said the old man.

More than a little perturbed, Satan asked, Why aren’t you afraid of me?"

The man calmly replied, "Been married to your sister for 62 years."

Have a Great Day
Ross Smile

About techmech

Older type, enjoys computer, cruising, photography, fishing, travel, good food and movies

2 responses »

  1. Maxine says:

    Ross, I didn’t know you were such a writer and photographer. I enjoyed reading some of your blogs and viewing pictures. You and Joan have sure done a lot of travelling.
    Bravo to you both, hope good health stays with you and you can continue seeing the world!
    Maxine B.

    • techmech says:

      Hi Maxine,
      Thanks for the positive comments, I do appreciate it. I have created web pages in the past, and found out that I enjoyed writing! The cruise we were just on was our 14th. Our first one was to Alaska in 2001, on the inaugural trip of the Celebrity Infinity, and we were hooked. We have been to places we never dreamed we would ever see. As far as photos go, that started when I was about 9 when we lived in Bermuda. There was a guy who lived down the street, who was to become a very successful portrait photographer, and he let me help him with some of the development process. I found the whole thing fascinating.
      Our next cruise is a 28 day one going to Hawaii, Tahiti, and Samoa. Looking forward to that one. Good cabin and a good price. Princess will be our cruise line.
      Take care now and try a cruise or two on for size, while there is still time. I have arthritis in one knee, and it has slowed me down a lot.I am also 80 now. You know the old saying, If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.
      Vaya con Dios, Ross

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