Thursday, February 23, 2012 – at sea
Heading to Forteleza, we had choir practice (our last before the concert on Saturday), lunch with an officer, lecture on the next ports of call, and dinner at the specialty restaurant, The Pinnacle Grill, with some friends. Captain Roberts came on the loudspeaker to advise that we were 12+ hours AHEAD of schedule and would be docking in Forteleza TONIGHT. They are concerned about filling the ship with fresh water as we go the 4,500+ miles up and down the Amazon before we can re-fill. The port area is not supposed to be very safe but at first they said we could get off until 1AM; next announcement said the “leave” had been canceled until tomorrow morning. Lee Bradley, UK opera singer, was the entertainer.
“The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.” - Rudyard Kipling (wonder if he has been to Cabadelo where they smell was fermented grain???!)
Friday, February 24, 2012 – Fortaleza, Brazil
The free shuttle supplied by the ship ran frequently to the central market in the city centre. It looked like a round stadium and each level had various handicraft stores and the tourist information. We hired a nice taxi driver, Marcus, to see the main sights and also went to the “street of eyeglasses and optometrists” to get Gene’s eye prescription. We found the streets were categorized for shopping – one for baby clothes, one for fish, one for hardware items…very interesting. Hot and humid day but we explored the city museum and I saw two sewing machines older than my grandmother’s! The beaches are beautiful but are not swimmable. The old prison is now an artisan’s workshop. The Teatro Jose de Alencar is an incredibly artistic art nouveau building with cane seats!! It has a beautiful U-shaped interior with cast iron on each of the balconies and curved stairs OUTSIDE the theatre that lead directly to the second and third levels.
Mr. Robin Zebaida, English classical pianist, was the entertainer. “Tower Heist” was the movie. We have a DVD library at the front desk also so if we want to watch any movie at any time, there are free rentals with DVD players in the rooms.
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” - Helen Keller
Saturday, February 25, 2012 – at sea
Prinsendam Singers sang “Simply Broadway” and then we had the Prinsendam Golden Raspberry Awards Show – a variety show of professional and passenger talent, including our choir singing a medley and What A Wonderful World. We were pretty good!