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The 2011 Amazon Explorer Cruise, part 2 of 7

The 24-Day Amazon Explorer Cruise 2011, November 26–December 21, 2011, Holland America Prinsendam
Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Two

(Remember to click "read more" if you're looking at this from the main medary.com page to get the whole article!)

December 1 (Thursday, Day 6, Castries, St. Lucia; 1 XCD = $0.37; $1 = 2.70 XCD) -

Filbert set the alarm for 6 AM since we wanted to be off the ship as soon as it docked at 8 AM. Our plan was to snorkel on our own since the ship didn't offer any snorkeling shore excursions. Neptune Lounge opened at 7 AM and we were ready before that so were enjoying the view from our balcony at the very front of the ship when we saw dolphins. The pod of five or six dolphins finally left and then we went to breakfast.

Police academy, St. Lucia


After waiting for the ship to clear customs, we finally got off around 8:30 AM and found out that a taxi ride to the one snorkeling place would take 90 minutes each way and cost $100 total. We found one boat company that was going to the same place and it was going to leave at 10:30 and return at 3:30 for $100 total (plus lunch on your own) but the boat looked like a little motor boat with very little shade so we decided to pass.

We returned to the ship to drop off all of our snorkel gear and then took the water taxi ($5 per person, round-trip) from our dock to the city directly across the harbor. It wasn't that far to walk, but since it was so hot and humid we decided to save our legs for the actual walk in the city rather than the walk to and from the city. We walked by lots of sidewalk vendors selling things to the locals (clothing, soap, sidewalk bars, sidewalk “cafes”, etc.) and wandered in two grocery stores and Filbert bought the local Piton beer (3 bottles for $3.10 which was much cheaper than yesterday). We also found the central plaza/park named for one of the two Nobel prize winners from St. Lucia. We saw a class of police recruits learning how to be a traffic cop, too.
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The 2011 Amazon Explorer Cruise, part 1 of 7

The 24-Day Amazon Explorer Cruise 2011, November 26–December 21, 2011, Holland America Prinsendam

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part One

(Remember to click "read more" if you're looking at this from the main medary.com page to get the whole article!)

November 26 (Saturday, Day 1, Flying to Ft. Lauderdale) -

The cruise itinerary


We left home around 8 AM and it was raining but around 55 degrees which is just about unheard of for Kansas City in late November. We've flown out in ice storms before during this time of year. We ended up in Ft. Lauderdale without any hassles. Our Southwest flight was mostly full, but we managed to keep an empty middle seat between us. And, a Southwest pilot and flight attendant and 14 of their family and friends were passengers on the flight in order to go to the wedding of the pilot and flight attendant. It was a happy flight!
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The 2011 Amazon Explorer Cruise

The 24-Day Amazon Explorer Cruise 2011, Holland America Prinsendam

November 26–December 21, 2011

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

The 24-Day Amazon Explorer Cruise 2011 (from Holland America)

The Amazon (from Holland America)
This is the table of contents for the online version of our trip journal. Here are the chapters:

Part One - To St. Bart's

Part Two - St. Lucia

Part Three - Devil's Island, Macapá

Part Four - Santarém, Boca da Valeria

Part Five - Manaus

Part Six - Manaus, Parintins

Part Seven - Alter do Chão, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Aruba

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The 2011 Ultimate Northern Discovery Cruise, part 9 of 9

The 29-Day Ultimate Northern Discovery Cruise, Holland America Eurodam

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Nine

(Remember to click "read more" if you're looking at this from the main medary.com page to get the whole article!)

September 4 (Sunday, Day 28, Nanortalik, Greenland, 1 DKK = $0.19; $1 = 5.21 DKK) -

Nanortalik

Snookums attended total body conditioning while the first tender was going to the little settlement of Nanortalik, population 1,500. (For comparison, the ms Eurodam has 2,100 passengers on it and 800 crew.) Greenland only has 53,000 people in it so this is probably a normal sized settlement. It was around 50° and misting. We weren’t in any big hurry to get out and about since it didn’t seem like it would take too long to walk the few streets there were.

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The 2011 Ultimate Northern Discovery Cruise, part 8 of 9

The 29-Day Ultimate Northern Discovery Cruise, Holland America Eurodam

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Eight

(Remember to click "read more" if you're looking at this from the main medary.com page to get the whole article!)

September 3 (Saturday, Day 27, Cruising Prince Christian Sound [Ikerasassuaq]) -

Early morning iceberg

We woke up at 5 AM since the captain said that we might see whales at the entrance to Prince Christian Sound (a channel off the coast of Greenland). Last year the ship saw 80 whales. It was cold and windy so we bundled up with all the layers we brought (including tights for under our pants). It took us several minutes and lots of stair walking to find a door open on the ship for us to get outside but we finally found one. The TV said that it was 48° and it felt colder due to the wind from the cruising of the ship. We stayed outside for about 45 minutes before calling it quits and going to breakfast.

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The 2011 Ultimate Northern Discovery Cruise, part 7 of 9

The 29-Day Ultimate Northern Discovery Cruise, Holland America Eurodam

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Seven

(Remember to click "read more" if you're looking at this from the main medary.com page to get the whole article!)

August 28 (Sunday, Day 21, Dublin, Ireland; €1 = $1.43; $1 = €0.70) -

Dublin

Since the ship was docked in Dublin until 11 PM and the stores didn’t open until noon, we decided to leave the ship around 11:30. That meant that Snookums had plenty of time for the 7:30 “Circuit Training” class. It was sunny and around 62 but Filbert’s Dublin radio station said storms were expected. We decided to not take any umbrellas with us.

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The 2011 Ultimate Northern Discovery Cruise, part 6 of 9

The 29-Day Ultimate Northern Discovery Cruise, Holland America Eurodam

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Six

(Remember to click "read more" if you're looking at this from the main medary.com page to get the whole article!)

August 24 (Wednesday, Day 17, Dover, England; £1 = $1.63; $1 = £0.61) -

The Prince Albert Pub, Dover

We woke up during one of the many announcements letting disembarking passengers know what tag color could leave. It didn’t bother us too much. However, the two crew members that walked across our balcony around 8 AM surprised us since we hadn’t been notified about balcony maintenance. Luckily Snookums was still in bed and Filbert was fully dressed! Filbert decided that he needed to notify the front desk of this since he wasn’t sure that the ship knew we were staying on board. (In the past, we’ve always received notes the day before whenever there was going to be maintenance to our balcony.) The front desk man didn’t seem too bothered by it, but apologized to Filbert and said it wouldn’t happen again.

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The 2011 Ultimate Northern Discovery Cruise, part 5 of 9

The 29-Day Ultimate Northern Discovery Cruise, Holland America Eurodam

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Five

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August 19 (Friday, Day 12, St. Petersburg, Russia) -

In the Hermitage

The tour group met at 8 AM. The day was sunny and looked 100% different than yesterday. We drove to a boat for an hour-long boat ride along the rivers and canals with room temperature champagne and chocolates. Filbert joked that in Russia the vodka is cold and the champagne is room temp. (That didn’t stop him from drinking several glasses of it, though!) We passed most of the places we drove by yesterday, but today we could actually see them. Snookums found a 10-kopek coin on the boat, too, keeping intact her skill of finding money in foreign countries.

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The 2011 Ultimate Northern Discovery Cruise, part 4 of 9

The 29-Day Ultimate Northern Discovery Cruise, Holland America Eurodam

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Four

(Remember to click "read more" if you're looking at this from the main medary.com page to get the whole article!)

August 18 (Thursday, Day 11, St. Petersburg, Russia; 1 ruble = $0.03; $1 = $29.14 ruble) -

Eurodam, rain, St. Petersburg

Snookums arranged to take a tour with an independent tour company. We normally don’t like tours, but Russia requires a $250 visa unless you are with a tour group and then you don’t need a visa. So, we signed up for a two-day St. Petersburg tour for $256 with http://st-petersburg-tours.ru/. (The ship was charging $400 for the same thing and took people in big buses. Our tour group was limited to 16 people.)

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The 2011 Ultimate Northern Discovery Cruise, part 3 of 9

The 29-Day Ultimate Northern Discovery Cruise, Holland America Eurodam

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Three

(Remember to click "read more" if you're looking at this from the main medary.com page to get the whole article!)

August 16 (Tuesday, Day 9, Cruising the Baltic Sea) -

Show girls

Snookums woke at 7:15 and hustled to the 7:30 fitness class. Only one other person was there and the fitness instructor went ahead and held it. Snookums was on cruises before where the policy was that at least three people had to show up for a class to be held. Snookums is very impressed with this cruise so far. It was another 30 minutes of good torture and during the class Snookums found out that the instructor is from Zimbabwe and played professional rugby in Zimbabwe and in South Africa. Then he decided that his body couldn’t take the punishment anymore and he got a degree in Exercise Science before training various Olympic athletes. Now he’s on a cruise ship training non-Olympic athletes! After the 30-minute class she used the elliptical for 30 minutes and was sweating through her gray T-shirt by the time she was done.