Guest Mary O’Donnell is on board Maasdam and sent in this great Cruise Diary from her voyage. Stay tuned for more posts from Mary!
This is what cruising is all about! Today is our second day at sea. After 8 a.m. Mass and 9 a.m. water aerobics, there was a lecture on Evita Peron, followed by lunch and two pasta cooking demonstration. Tonight after dinner, we will have drinks with the officers in the Crow’s Nest followed by a Las Vegas style show. Then at least 10 hours sleep! We are getting so spoiled!
Aqua aerobics is a real challenge! The pool has a very steep pitch, with a rather slippery bottom. The ship rolls sometimes forward/aft, sometimes starboard/port. Keeps you on your toes, or underwater!
Salvador de Bahia was Friday’s treat. This is a city of about 3 million. We walked from the dock to the public market and took the elevator up to the upper city (8 cents each), where the historical buildings are located. The big tour buses cannot negotiate the narrow streets, so you have to walk to see anything anyway. The streets are rough cobblestone and the sidewalks broken tiles, with many potholes.
The buildings and museums were interesting, but it would be much better if we had some command of Portuguese, as there are no English brochures. The next town we will hire a cab, or van with an English speaking driver, for a couple of hours, as quite a few of our shipmates did. It was very reasonable and would have saved us about 40 min of walking, in direct sun, next to open sewers (88°F, 90% humidity).
If you plan on visiting Brazil, do lots of research before, about what to see in each port and print out walking maps, so you have an idea of where you will be. We have found no bilingual guide books, or maps at the pier, in town, at tourist centers or on board.