We set sail on The Mariner of the Seas on April 21 on a 41-day journey to the other side of the world — From Galveston, Texas, to Singapore!
In my blog, I’ve tried to give an up-close and personal experience for my readers — taking them along for the ride to 10 countries and 13 ports of call.
I hope that each description of our excursions helped to make the journey real for my readers.
This cruise consisted of three, two-week cruises…each one spectacular in its own way.
It was amazing how the miles seemed to go by so quickly, even though the average speed of the ship was about 18-20 knots.
We were amazed as we checked on the ship’s TV channel daily to see the speed, sea depth, and total distance from the last port.
The first leg of the cruise was from Galveston to Barcelona, which totaled 5,456 nautical miles. From Barcelona to Dubai, we covered another 5,048 miles. On the third and final two-week cruise from Dubai to Singapore, which ended on June 1, a total of 3,693 nautical miles were logged.
Drum roll please! Our 41-day cruise from Galveston to Singapore equaled a combined total mileage for the entire journey of: 14,197 nautical miles!!!
At around 1:00 a.m. on June 2, we boarded Emirates Air for our flight back. It took seven hours to fly from Singapore to Dubai, with about 4-4.5 hour layover in Dubai. We left Dubai on an 18-hour flight straight to Houston, for a total return trip time of 29 hours!
This would explain why my internal clock is still mixed up, and why I’m dreaming about far away, exotic lands.
Until next time…
(Look for a link to Trilla’s Travels at http://www.ourtribune.com)
Docked in Singapore, here is my last glimpse of the Mariner — I’m going to miss her!
We were surprised to see our flight path back to Houston from Singapore, via Dubai!
Just to recap – it’s been a while since our continuing cruise statistics were gathered. I forgot to post the total mileage from Galveston to Barcelona, where the first of three, 2-week cruises ended.
When the Mariner of the Seas pulled into the port in Barcelona on May 6, the total cruise distance was 5,456 nautical miles. I’m amazed that time seems to be flying by…
We left the Port of Galveston on April 21, with our first stop Nassau in The Bahamas. From Nassau we sailed to Funchal, Madeira, then on to Gibraltar. The next stop was in Spain – Alicante, and ending in Barcelona, which is also the beginning of the second cruise!
We had many wonderful adventures at every destination, each with its own special memories. If I had to choose a favorite, I could not!
I will remember the tropical, beautiful surroundings of Paradise Island in The Bahamas; the fabulous, floral countryside and wine tasting in Madeira; the vistas from the Rock of Gibraltar and the Barbary Apes greeting us there; the quaint setting of Alicante, Spain, and view of the Castle of Santa Barbara, plus a visit to Town Hall Square and the Cathedral of Alicante.
Last but not least, Barcelona – the city of tourists! You can see why people love this lively Mediterranean city! The architecture, the castles, the museums, its proximity to Montserrat – and the list goes on and on.
Uh hum! There are some things not listed in the brochure, and we found out about one of them this week. A letter from Captain Flemming was delivered to our stateroom, which contained a warning about pirates in the Sea of Aden and how the ship would react in the event of an attack. In fact, he said we will have a drill to instruct passengers about pirate procedures. We were told not to be alarmed if we see small crafts approaching the ship. Ship security will be on high alert and, if necessary, the captain will zig-zag the ship to avoid the pirates. We are asked to keep drapes drawn during this period so that no light can be seen at night. Wow, I feel much better now… Well, at least until May 16-18 when this adventure will occur.
In the meantime, we were treated to uproarious laughter by John Martin’s comedy show last night in the Savoy Theatre. If you ever get a chance to see Martin, get ready for a real treat! He has CDs for sale, but you’ll have to check online to see if you can order them. Do it, if you can!
Now that we’re cruising through the Mediterranean, many well-known geographic names are passing by on both sides, even though we cannot see them. We sailed west-to-east by the island of Sicily off the tip of Italy to our north, and Benghazi south of us.
Today looks like another nice day to enjoy the Mediterranean sun on deck, with mild temperatures hovering around 70. As I write this at 8:30 a.m. on May 9, the air temp is 59 degrees F; sea depth is 7,780 feet and the distance from Barcelona is 1,147 nautical miles. Total distance for us on this day (19 of our 41-day cruise) is 6,603 nm.
The Mariner of the Seas will arrive at the City of Alexandria tomorrow morning, May 10, where our excursion to Cairo takes us to visit the pyramids! We will also take a boat ride on the Nile River, where they say we’ll be treated like Pharos…so come back soon for my next report!
Look for a link to Trilla’s Travels at http://www.ourtribune.com!
Mere words cannot describe Montserrat!
Yes, here we are in Spain! We arrived at the Port of Alicante about 9 a.m. Sunday (today), and proceeded to our onshore, bus excursion for an “Alicante City Tour!”
We just left Gibraltar yesterday, which is British, so now we switch gears! We’re enjoying many cultures along the way on this cruise!
The Alicante city tour was great, especially seeing all the different architectural styles of many old buildings. Our first stop was to visit a museum – “Museu de Fogueres.” The main exhibit consisted of amazing papier-mâché art associated with the Alicante Fogueres de San Chuan Grandes Fiestas. Each piece was captivating, making one wonder how such art could be created with papier-mâché! Fiesta Princesses dressed in specific San Chuan Fiestas costumes are also part of the annual festivities. In many ways, this reminded me of the royalty associated with Mardi Gras in the U.S. (Making a mental note to do some research on that!)
The highlight of our day in Alicante was a grand tour of Castillo de Santa Barbara, which is a Moorish fortress perched atop Mount Benacantil. The views of the city and the harbor from the castle were breathtakingly amazing! This intriguing fortress is one of the first things visitors notice in the city, as it is huge, imposing and sits high above the city protecting the harbor.
We took a stroll along the Explanada de España, a palm-lined promenade with shops and cafes. Alfresco dining is the norm here, it seems! Every restaurant we saw included many outdoor tables, some with umbrellas or awnings and some in the open. Today is Sunday and the tables were beginning to fill up as we came through. Our tour guide told us that people revere their Sundays for dinning out, and will scrimp on weekday meals in order to partake in this cultural tradition.
I enjoyed the best pistachio ice cream ever at Kiosko Peret at Explanada De España! What a sweet memory.
Back at the ship, we are getting ready to end the first cruise and begin the second of our three, two-week consecutive cruises. Barcelona is the end and it’s the beginning! See you in Barcelona tomorrow!
Gracias por su visita! Come back soon…
Explanada de Espana