Christmas at sea sailing the Brujo & Amalia Glaciers
December 25, 2010

I had enough trouble getting up at 6 am; grateful that I made the decision to forego the late night Christmas festivities.  I piled on the heavy clothes & went on deck.  The Capt. was using the side thrusters to keep up spinning in a circle so everyone could see Brujo Glacier from all sides of the ship.  I went all the way forward on deck 6 & up a (normally off limits) stairway so I could take photos from the very bow of the ship.  It was 41 degrees; but felt much colder with the wind blowing off the ice.  The skies were grey & there was a mist of rain.  The narrator mentioned that glaciers, being such a massive presence, are known to create their own weather conditions.

There were big chucks of floating ice that had broken (“calved”) off the glacier.  Although the top had some dirty residue on it, you could see a bright neon blue in the crevices in the ice.  The Capt. would get no closer than 1 mile because no one is sure exactly how deep the water is closer in.  The glaciers can recede so quickly that depth charts would need to be updated (literally) monthly to keep an accurate reading.  Unfortunately I saw no sea life, although the narrator said he spotted the head of a seal peeking out of the water.  The Capt. decided to spend a little less time here so that we could swing over to the Amalia Glacier (which is just over the ridge, so to speak).

I took advantage of the break in the action to have breakfast at the Lido.  All the deck stewards are wearing Christmas hats this morning; & the buffet is draped with red cloth.  I had scrambled eggs, sausage links, some fruit & a big cup of hot chocolate (much better now that I’ve discovered they have hot milk to mix with the powder instead of hot water).

We were able to get a little closer to Amalia Glacier.  True the wall of the glacier isn’t as deep as the Brujo; but the ice floe is clearly visible sloping down between the gorges.  It looks like it stretches up the mountain for miles.  For that reason, I was more impressed with Amalia than with Brujo.

There was a small expedition vessel visiting this glacier as well.  Before we spun around to leave the glacier, the sun started to come out; and the fresh snow on top of the mountains glistened like diamonds.

Trying to get anywhere at the aft end of the ship is difficult today.  We’ve had one of the 4 aft elevators out of service for a few days.  Now, we’re down to just one.  Had to wait a good while to get back down to deck 6.  I wanted to shoot some more with the sun out; but I wanted to be close to my cabin so I could duck in & out of the cold.  At 9:30 the C.D. announced that Santa had just appeared on the radar & was headed for the ship.  He made an appearance in the showroom where there was caroling & hot chocolate for the kids.  They did a great job with the Christmas morning festivities.

Still not feeling that perky, I laid down a while & watched the crew Christmas show on TV.  They did an outstanding job; breaking the nationalities down into separate chorus groups.  And then as the C.D. mentioned after the Indonesians sang, here goes “the rest of us” (meaning all non-Indonesians).  Even DJ John did a little Christmas rap session.

I got up about 1:15 & went for some lunch in the Lido.  The scenery outside is the same as it was the day before, fjords visible through misty rain & fog.  Ho-hum (just joking).  I had an appetizer of prosciutto, grilled Mediterranean veggies & some cheese.

My main course was a hodge podge of Yankee beef short ribs, eggs benedict, sausage links & home fried potatoes cooked with onion (yes, sounds like I had breakfast again).  It’s the first time in days that they haven’t run out of hollandaise sauce.  I was nearly through eating when Lou went dashing through the serving line before they closed at 2.  I think I’m becoming addicted to the bread pudding; had to have some for dessert.  We talked until the stewards were about ready to run us out of there so they could dress the tables for dinner service.

I went back “home” intending to read a while; but I dozed instead.  I just don’t feel well.  Maybe I’ve caught a cold on top of the sinus stuff.  Woke up about 5:30; it’s still raining outside; seas are calm.  I worked on the photos some more (I’m getting behind again).

I dressed in the most festive red clothing I could find (minus the reindeer antlers, I’ve had enough of them).  A group of us had reservations at Canaletto at 8 pm.  It was to be Bill & Lee Ann, Jean & Bruce, Lou & I.  When I arrived at the table, Lee Ann told me that Jean & Bruce wanted to eat in the main D.R. since it was a formal night; but that they had invited another couple to join us.  Well, they never showed either.  So, it was just the four of us; & we had a great evening.

Since the sun doesn’t set until after 10 pm, we still had some lovely scenery to look at from our table by the window.  I started with a selection from the antipasti tray:  grilled eggplant, peppers, onion, asparagus, prosciutto & garlic toast.  Yummy!

This was followed by the Canaletto salad (mixed greens).

I had a hard time deciding about my entrĂ©e.  I loved the penne a la vodka I had a few nights ago; but they have that on the menu every night.  For that reason, tonight’s special won out.  Lamb osso bucco, with goat cheese polenta & steamed veggies.

The Canaletto waiters were in a jovial, holiday mood.  Sale, who is obviously Indonesian, keeps telling us his Italian grandmother makes the food in Canaletto.  He’s a cutie!

They brought out a plate of cotton candy to each table.  Gosh, I hadn’t had any in years; & it was really good.  Not sure of any particular significance, except that it did resemble the snow capped mountain peaks we’ve been seeing the last few days.

I had a decaf cappuccino while the others all had dessert.  And their plates were so beautiful, I just had to take photos of them.  One was a trio of tiramisu in teeny glasses; one of each flavor, espresso, lemon & amaretto.  Lee Ann & Bill each had the dessert made of layers of walnut praline wafers with a filling in between.  It was topped with ice cream, chocolate sauce; & the plate was drizzled with strawberry & kiwi sauce.

They raised the lights in the restaurant & begin to remove table cloths around us.  So, I guess that was our signal to leave.  Lee Ann & Bill stopped by on their way ‘home’.  I coerced them into buying some of my Chilean pesos.  Tomorrow is the last day that we can use that currency; & I needed help getting rid of my stash of cash.  Lee Ann also gave me a pair of disposable “penguin poop shoe covers”.  Actually they’re painter’s booties that she brought along to protect her shoes from being ruined by penguin poop.  She had a dozen; & I was grateful that she was sharing them.  I had been making jokes about walking in penguin poop; but I didn’t even consider ruining my shoes or tracking it back on the tour bus.

The cabin stewards outdid themselves tonight.  We all got penguin towel animals on our beds.  How apropos!  Now it’s almost 2:30 am; & I have the alarm set for 6:30.  Yes, I had a few naps today; but that’s not going to make me any nicer when I wake up in a few hrs.  That is……if I’m able to go to sleep.


Anonymous said...


We are really enjoying your blog. We did this trip two years ago on the Symphony and your descriptions bring back many happy memories.

We look forward to cruising with you again in the near future.

Bill and Carolyn

Anonymous said...

I had an appointment with my cardiologist this morning. After he looked at my recent blood work and this morning's weigh in, he said, "Stop reading Becky's blog!!"

Boston Webbie