By Gerry Barker
ABOARD AZAMARA QUEST, DAY THREE – We are now 700 miles from Miami. As we continue on toward St. John, we can’t seem to escape the clouds. A gray overcast with temps in the 60s has been the order of the day so far. Hopefully we’ll encounter sunnier conditions once we arrive in the islands.
On board, the disposition of the ship’s crew seems to always be sunny. Everyone we’ve encountered greets you with a smile and is anxious to help in any way they can. A special shout-out to Nathalia, who untangled my Internet connection. She is excited that we are making a stop at her home island of Dominica.
Last night we enjoyed our first dinner in Discoveries, the main dining room. Except for the first night, it’s open seating, which is great for us since we like our schedule to be flexible. Going into the restaurant, we did observe one passenger scolding the wait staff when his party couldn’t be seated immediately. It is after all “open seating,” not immediate seating. And, come on everybody, it’s a cruise – time to relax. Isn’t that one of the main reasons we’re here? The food by the way is excellent, with lots of options from which to choose.
Late night found us back in the Looking Glass lounge, enjoying French martinis (in a very stylish glass) while enjoying smooth jazz and pop instrumentals from Max Difaz, who informed us he had lost his voice somewhere during the last voyage when Quest sailed to South America. That was followed by DJ Alex Mac’s Motown Party, and let me tell you, you don’t have to be in your 20’s to still shake that booty.
This morning we enjoyed breakfast alfresco at the Sunset Bar, adjacent to the Windows Café on deck nine aft. It provides the perfect setting to sip coffee and watch the endless blue waves that stretch to the horizon. Later we sat in on the Destination Enrichment Series lecture by geologist Jack Thomas, who gave an overview of the history, culture and topography of the islands we will soon visit. Since many of the ports on this voyage are new to us, it’s good to get the backstory before we arrive.
Random factoid: The nationality breakdown of the guests onboard is: United States (384); United Kingdom (101); Canada (97); Germany (9); Switzerland (8); Norway (6); Denmark (5); Sweden and Belgium (3); Netherlands, Greece and Romania (2); Austria, Belarus, Bermuda, Dominica, Honduras and Poland (1).
The featured attraction for lunch was a poolside BBQ. Given my Texas roots, I rarely pass up a chance to sample BBQ. The meat from the charcoal grills was very flavorful – I sampled a pork chop, chicken and swordfish. But there were a few items missing you find at most Texas BBQs: Mainly, the fixins’. No BBQ sauce, baked beans or peach cobbler in sight. Note to self: Speak to the chef.
Later today, there’s afternoon tea (the perfect complement to my poolside BBQ), then dinner at the Captain’s table tonight before we reach St. John. Send some sunshine our way.
March 4, 2013