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Enroute to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Trip Journal

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Chris' (Previous) Daily Journal

February 25, Day at Sea
Enroute to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

A day at sea is always a great opportunity to catch up on work projects, relax some, read, watch a movie or take part in one or more of the many ship activities.

After breakfast, we took our daily walk. The weather was great and we’re so enjoying being back outside on the deck.

Normally for lunch, we eat pretty light – salads, fish or soups. However, today, I indulged in their taco bar. It’s not offered every day, so when it’s available, I enjoy it. Great fajita chicken. The only disappointment is they don’t offer any jalapeño peppers, nor is the salsa very spicy. But, it’s a nice change from a salad every day. And, not everyone likes hot and spicy foods.

During the afternoon, while John worked, I took advantage of a Portuguese language class. Since we’re going to be in Brazil till mid-March, I thought it would be good to pick up a few phrases. There were a lot of people at the class. The instructor is a passenger who retired from school teaching after 30 years. And, yes, she definitely reminded me of my teachers in my early grade school years. The language classes will be offered on the sea days for those who are interested in learning some basic Portuguese phrases.

We had a different table at dinner tonight, as the ship’s Chief Engineer, Jaap Wisse, hosted our table. He also brought Alexandra, the onboard shops manager to dinner. Alexandra was on our cruise on the Ms. Volendam last year from Auckland, New Zealand to Hong Kong. She’s from Serbia and is a very interesting woman.

Jaap was informative and has a great sense of humor. He’s Dutch and so is Tom, our tablemate from New Zealand. They spoke Dutch to each other once in a while during dinner – I sure hope they weren’t making fun of the rest of us!

One of the interesting facts Jaap told us is what is done with the leftover food people leave on their plates. It does not go to waste. It is ground up and piped overboard at various times as food for the sea life. He told us that is why we will see dolphins following the ship so often – it’s for the food. I think I’ll stop eating so many red onions on my salad – I don’t want a dolphin to get indigestion!

We were prepared to ask a lot of detailed questions, but Jaap was in a conversational, social mood. He is primarily on the Prinsendam. He works for three months, is off for three, back on for three and off for three. So, in essence, he works six months out of the year. Not too bad, except for the fact, that all the crew, while on board, get no days off. Six months is a very long time with no time off.

When we returned to our cabin, our daily program for tomorrow was on our bed. The program is great as it outlines the schedule, port information, facts about the ship, entertainment and on and on. It also updates us on any important items we need to know.

This program definitely had “need to know” information. Here’s the headline: “For your information: Your toilet won’t flush…in the “wee hours”.” Engineering had to replace some piping in the sink and tub waste water and toilet system. The program said the work would be done overnight tonight, so from 1am to 5am we would not have any water. The wording was quite clever: “you won’t be able to Flush – so please bare that in mind!”

We do hope they are able to make the repairs overnight.

One more day at sea and then we’re in Rio!

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About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on July 12, 2016.