Friday 18th February - Monday 21st January
Valparaiso & Arica: Chile
General San Martin & Callao: Peru
Quito, The Galapagos Islands & Manta: Ecuador
Balboa, Panama Canal & San Blas Islands: Panama
Aruba, Curacao & Bonaire
La Guaira & Margarita Island: Venezuela
Grenada & Mayreau Island in the Grenadines
This was even longer than our previous cruise - which in turn had been the longest to date. We joined at Valparaiso, part-way through the voyage around South America that we had originally booked before news of the babies. We learned that the 164 people who had sailed the whole way had encountered a Force 9-10 Gale off the Falklands. Everyone was confined to their cabins and one of the Ports on the Falkland Islands was inaccessible as a result.
When we joined the cruise we were in Cabin 4120. This time we had not received an upgrade and we really missed the space and the bath that we had enjoyed in Cabin 7124! However, 4120 was certainly quiet - despite being on the small side. We are due to stay in it again on our next cruise.
Again, this cruise was two legs back-to-back and we were on Table 32 - a table for six people. During the first week we shared the table with Jutta and George from Canada (Jutta being of German origin and George being Canadian but with a very definitely French surname). George has a mother of 101! Our other table companions were Dorothy and Malcolm from South Wales. We did the quiz most nights with Dorothy and Malcolm and even managed to win on 3 occasions!
Our first waiter was Ronaldo and then, on leg 2, it changed to Alex (our former bus boy). Bus Boys are now called "Assistant Waiters".
Our Cabin Steward was Rhandie who was very quiet and non-extrovert - but very pleasant.
Joel greeted Jill with "You've put on weight since December!" and then proceeded to recount how many calories there were in anything she chose for lunch! He recruited one of the other waiters who said ""No piece!" whenever he saw Jill near a piece of cake - to which she replied" "No, no peace!"
We had travelled out from Heathrow via Madrid on Iberia (not to be recommended) and had sat near Janet and Philip - the photographers who had lectured during our Iceland, Greenland cruise. We attended their lectures again during this cruise and again they were excellent.
Dorothy and Malcolm left to go to Macchu Picchu shortly before we also left the ship to go to the Galapagos Islands. We were away when they returned and they then were going back to Wales.
We enjoyed Quito, despite the altitude problems that Adrian experienced - and in particular a trip out northwards which we shared with Julian and Vera from Bury St. Edmonds. We got to know Julian and Vera well and, even when Brian and Anne joined us in Quito for the Galapagos and all that followed, we often made up a group of six with them.
The "Discovery Cough" rather dominated our health on this cruise from the Galapagos onwards. We even went to a chemist on the islands and bought some antibiotics over the counter! (Despite this, Adrian had to have more from our GP after our return home!)
Vera had experienced bad altitude sickness in Cusco and never made it to Macchu Picchu. Then she developed tendonitis and finally the Discovery Cough - so she had a very rough time. Julian shared Jill's love of technology and introduced her to the joys of the HTC Desire - which she purchased within a fortnight of returning from the cruise! We were delighted that Vera and Julian decided to join us on our next visit to The Manor in Okehampton.
After our return to Discovery, we were again on Table 32 for our First Sitting evening Dinner. Again Jutta and George were there and Brian and Ann joined us.
We enjoyed this cruise - despite the fact that we revisited several destinations that we had gone to just a few months earlier. Our ports of call were varied and we particularly enjoyed flying over the Nazca Lines as well as sailing down the Panama Canal.
Jill also enjoyed buying South American baby clothes for Zac and Ava!