Sea Days

Friday, September 29, 2017
United States
We won't bore you continuously by telling you what we did on our sea days, but we did keep busy - HAL has partnered with the American Test Kitchen so we had demonstrations that I found very interesting; Russ attended most of the Microsoft classes and learned some stuff and review of a lot of other info he already knew.  
The ship had a really nice library and coffee bar (pay as you go for the coffee); we enjoyed a few mochas while we were on board.
The floor shows were so-so, it was a new group of dancers and singers and they had never performed together before, so we had the benefit of that.  Oh Well.  We did have some really good entertainers come and go, so that was enjoyable.  The food was okay - a lot of people said it was superb, but Russ and I are not into rich and fancy food, so we weren't overly impressed.  This was actually good in a way, because neither of us put on any weight on this trip - NICE. 
This ship line caters to an older group, so we didn't have any parties going on out by the pool, or a lot of games in or outside.  They did have a theater and also the shows that played at the theater were shown on the TV the next day.  Movies to check out from the front desk; people to meet and visit with and lots of gorgeous scenery to watch as we sailed past.
One of the things that we found very interesting were the lectures that we were able to attend during the sea days.  We had two lecturers on board and one spoke about the ancient history of the Incas, Mayans and Aztecs and the groups within those peoples.  The other lecturer spoke about the natural resources of the areas we are visiting.  We really enjoyed these talks as it gave us an insight into what we were going to see, or what we had recently seen.  I just wish lines would do this.
We also got to tour the kitchen, and the five star mariners (people who have sailed over 200 days with HAL) were invited to a tour of the bridge.  
We had a very nice captain and he gave a question and answer session twice while we were cruising.  He had a very nice voice and when he spoke over the loud speaker you could actually understand him.  Many cruises we have been on it is a challenge to understand what the captain is saying, but this guy was great.
On this trip many of the ports we came into were actually cargo ports.  So we disembarked and then were bused to the exit of the por, and from there you got your pre-booked tours or a taxi guided tour, or the local bus to ride into town.
Prior to getting to each port we were given a port talk by the Excursion Desk selling the HAL tours; but then we were given a separate talk by a port information lady, I can't think what her real title is, but Bonnie would tell us all about the local areaS we were coming into; how to arrange transportation or tours (not connected with HAL), the local places to see and eat; about the currency and the rate of exchange, etc., etc.  
We found this very interesting in that all the other ships we have been on, they usually only have someone selling their tours.  I don't believe we have encountered a cruise ship that had a separate person telling you it was okay to do things on your own.  This was quite nice, and Bonnie was very knowledgeable about the areas we were seeing.
Sea days were nicely broken up between ports - we were out at sea for either one or two days before we got to the next port - it made it quite nice.
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2019-10-19