Notes from Puzzle Palace

Monday, January 3, 2022

Non-puzzling travel post

January 2nd, sea day # 6.

In my last posting of our little sail around the world, I wrote about how we spent a sea day watching the calming waves go by.  Well, here we are 4 days later and I have more of the same to add.  The seas are not as calm today as they were earlier in the voyage, but not as rough as they were yesterday.  I took a motion sickness pill in the morning and managed to say a few prayers to that god again in the afternoon.  We went up and had some lunch and that seemed to calm my stomach a bit. 

At dinner last night, the couple we were with told me they take a dramamine each night before going to bed and it seems to work for them.  I decided I’d give it a try and see what happened.  It worked!  I’ve been fine today.  I’ve not had to drink any ginger tea, eat any crackers, or any ginger candy.  I think I shall keep up this nightly routine of 2 tablets until I am well and truly accustomed to the movement of the ship.  I suspect this will take me a bit more time. After all, it has been over 2 years since we’ve been on any ship.  (I don’t really count that Virgin Atlantic thing. I was ill the entire time.)

The problem with COVID running rampant throughout the world is that one cannot simply go down to the ships doctor and ask for motion sickness tablets after heaving one’s cookies.  The fear of having COVID would cause one to become quarantined.  Add to this the problems I have always had with food. And I’m terrified someone will here me and report me. Every time we go on a trip like this I need to learn what I can and cannot eat, and there is really no easy way of doing this.  

When we booked the cruise, there were an additional 3 stops that have since been cancelled. Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas were cancelled upon embarkation-something to do with an electrical hook-up in LA.  The cynic in me is saying that Oceania knew of this in advance and should have warned people, but I will go with the flow and chalk it up to last minute changes of plan.  Sadly we also missed Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala because of a few cases of COVID on board.  The rumors run anywhere from 2-12.  I simply do not know and will not speculate.  It’s a minor inconvenience. I’d have loved to have seen these cities, but this gives us an excuse to travel again.  

We have spent the last three days in the room watching old black and white movies on the tv, writing a few articles for CFF (Cubism For Fun), and just relaxing.  We nap each day after lunch and just enjoy being alone together.  It seems that we have been trying for this bliss for a while, but have just been too busy with workers or friends or the bug to have much alone time.  The good news with this?  I’m 99% certain we do not have COVID.  Even with cases on board ship, we haven’t socialized enough to really have been exposed.  I know that sounds ignorant, but then ignorance is bliss isn’t it.  

We’ve printed a few more simple puzzles, but nothing new. Just copies of what we have already printed on this cruise.  We ran into a little snag with the printer cords catching on the edge of the printer, but George was able to solve the problem by putting a box under the cable.  

Tomorrow we stop in San Diego and have to clear US Immigration.  Apparently they wake us up at 8 am and give us our passports back.  This is so we can go through security at the gangway and not have to go through inspection.  How institutional.  :) 

Our plan for the day is to hit a Target and Office Depot to pick up a few supplies for the trip that hadn’t occurred to me to get before we left.  For example, I would like to get some yoga pants for the morning sessions. I’ve never done yoga before getting on this ship and didn’t realize that I would be flipping upside down and exposing my bits while wearing my running gear.  The lessons I have learned on this ship.

And now for a few more bits of information that may help those fellow Around The World travelers who are getting on in Los Angeles.

First, we will all be tested for COVID on 5 January.  I’e heard rumor that if you test positive you are booted off the ship. Fingers crossed our solitude has paid off.  I’m sure you will all be tested before being allowed on board. 

Now on to the room.  These questions have been asked on the Cruise Critic Boards as well as on Facebook. I will try to let the photos speak for themselves. The room itself is relatively small.  We have a standard Concierge level veranda.  Don’t mind our clothes, or the unkempt look of the room.  I want to show the size of the main closet,

The safe closet with drawers

The cupboards under the drinks area

And the drinks area

Our hanging area (note the closet rod below.  We bought it from Amazon and it does not fit in the closet.  If you are going to bring one along, make it adjustable)

The desk outlets (2 US plugs very close together as you can see, and 2 EU plugs spaced farther apart.  There are also 2 USB ports here.  My travel extension cord is not surge protected and has an on/off switch on it.)

The under desk outlet (a standard US plug)

The bedside outlets (I did ask at the desk, and these plugs are 220 volts.  If you need adaptors or assistance you are to contact your room steward or the front desk and they will try to get you some but they are not guaranteed.  We use Apple products, and have had no problem with our computers, iPads, or phones as all of them switch the voltage automatically. I cannot vouch for other products.)

The bathroom plug (dual usage-be warned, for the US plug it will not take anything with the bulb on one of the male parts of the plug.)

The under bed area with the suitcases laid out flat for additional storage (there are about 30 cm of space from floor to base of bed)

The under sofa area that holds a dollar store folding box 

The little stools I brought along and placed in our seating area.  These were bought at Aldi’s for around $12 or so each.  They fold up and are disposable and will remain on the ship when we get off.  

And finally, the shower floor. I don’t now how helpful this is, but I wear an EU size 36 shoe.

I've been watching the comments made on both Facebook and at the Cruise Critic board and I'd like to add my opinion to the mix.  First of all, only some of the ports have been cancelled.  The two in Mexico we should have been told about before boarding, but like I said, go with the flow.  As for the one in Guatemala, it was the Guatemalan government that cancelled our stop. Not Oceania.  You cannot blame the cruise line for something a foreign government has done.  

No shows have been cancelled, some have been postponed or shifted around, but that is normal during any time, let alone during a pandemic.  We are still able to have drinks in a bar if we wish.  We can still dine at a shared table at anytime we want.  We are not all in quarantine.  I wish the people who write things like this were actually on the ship so they could see how careful most passengers and staff are.  Sure, we have a few who wear chin diapers, but I've noticed staff reminding them they need to cover up properly. Everyone I've seen reminded of this has complied.  The laundry room is open.  But why do your own laundry?  It's part of all the ATW packages isn't it? Every day the artist loft is open, the coffee chats go on as do the invited lectures.  Everyone is still doing the games with the entertainment staff for those O points. The only thing that has changed?  We wear masks.  Again, I feel safer here than back home.  EVERYONE IS VACCINATED. The cases of COVID are at a low, and even those who are contracting it (if the news is to be believed) are having mild cases of it.  

We did not participate in the revelry of New Years Eve, nor do we go to any of the shows. It’s not just the idea of COVID, it’s more that this just isn’t our thing.  Nor do we sit at a bar and drink the night away.  We are simple folk who like to enjoy a good puzzle or a game of cards.  

I’ll put it out here again, if anyone wants to play Hand Knee and Foot, look for the old man with the beard.  We would love to play with you.  If you don’t know how to play, give me a call and we will teach you.  

Sadly until further notice the meet and greats have all been cancelled.  I look forward to seeing you around the ship.  George has the longest beard onboard and cannot be missed.  We both wear our Around the World pins.  Here’s hoping we see each other often, in good health, and all the way to New York.


  1. Thanks for that! I look forward to hearing from you.

  2. As always a great blog. I really am finding them very interesting and living vicariously through you. X

  3. This is so great. Very helpful We are booked for next year, so are reading your comments with great interest. Could you step back and take pic of the length of the under bed area? Thanks! Have fun. I know you will.

  4. Thanks for the photos. It's nice to see how the cabins have changed since our 2017 RTW ... that extra space under the sofa will be a nice-to-have when we board ATW2023.