Seabourn Odyssey Cartagena

Alert, alert, alert. In my last entry I listed he hourly internet fee as $69.99. Where that extra six came from, I have no idea. Thankfully both Ralph Grizzle and honeymoonridge (sic) gently spanked my brain to get its attention. It is $ 9.99 per hour and has been corrected. Sadly, I had to choose between truth and a funny line about Madoff.

There are two cities here. The old city built by the Spanish in 1586 is surrounded by a ring of massive walls.

I often wonder when I see buildings that are close to 500 years old, how long the homes in our home development will stand.


“You’ll love this house, sir; it’s only 350 years old and has such a quaint heating system.”

We’ve visited Cartagena before and mostly stayed aboard. Among other things I had forgotten my hat, so it was off to the small shop at the end of the pier.

I came back, not with the baseball type cap I was seeking. They didn’t have one that didn’t have Cartagena plastered all over it, so I picked one a bit more urbane.

Michael looked and said, “That’s nice”. The translation, using her facial expression as a guide, is “Ugh”.

The first time we were in Cartagena many years ago, we had a guide take us through the old fort. As we went into a narrow and dim passageway, our guide looked at us and said, “Don’t be nervous, you’re with me.” He then pulled out an ancient revolver. My preceding lack of nervousness did an immediate 180.

Guess what I got.

Yes, the mystical Molton Brown bath oils. This morning I poured a bottle of “The Invigorating Ginseng Bath” into my filling tub. It is supposed to revitalize the mind. Well maybe, but there was such a mound of bubbles, stimulated mind or not, I had difficulty finding both the water shut off and the drain opener. Do all these oils have to bubble?

“We looked everywhere for him, sir, but all we found were bubbles.”

Because we’ve been sleeping so late, I haven’t had an Odyssey breakfast as of yet, but lunch at Colonnade does the trick. There are hot dishes, salads, and the best thick pieces of smoked salmon ever plucked from a fish. Outdoors is the most favored place to eat,

and the side is my choice.

One of the most noticeable differences between Odyssey and other ships I’ve sailed is the incredible service. At Colonnade (lido) the attention to tables is equal, if not better than, the top restaurants in Los Angeles. (Yes, there are some.) Server after server comes by to refresh drinks, check to see if all is well, and smile and chat if that is your wish.

Dinner tonight was at a table hosted by one of the lecturers on the ship, Fran Weissler, a Broadway producer of note. We were a table of eight and the company and conversation; fun.

One sad note; with all I’ve said about service, food, etc. my meal was a disaster. I ordered penne pasta with basil pesto sauce. It was not edible. Can penne be tough and hardly chewable? Apparently. It was singularly the worst I have put in my mouth. OK, that can happen, but the waiter never showed up again. Thus I had no chance to reorder something chewable. Remember the first meal on this ship we had about 6 servers. What happened tonight, I have no idea, but my dinner was a breadstick, two tubes of penne, and dessert.

When I finish this blog I’ll order from room service. Tomorrow night we’ll eat in Restaurant 2. This is a fixed menu that is heralded as a true gourmet experience.

But for now, bon appétit.

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  • Great stuff, as always, Geoff. And I like the hat (be kind, Michael)…it’s about time you went native.

    Question: Which is better, if you have to choose: Great service or good food. I don’t mind if the waiters ignore me as long as the chef doesn’t.

  • Geoff,
    I am reading your blog with more than casual interest, since I am joining your cruise in Acapulco as a Special Interest Lecturer. I call what I do “Programs,” because they are not lectures in the traditional sense – very animated PowerPoint presentations with lots of action, color and about 50% music, the topic I speak about. There are two on opera, one on the piano, one on cabaret music, one on the Lovely Ladies of Broadway, “La Musica del Amour” about Caribbean and Mexican music and a few other surprises. I look forward to meeting you between Acapulco and LA and hope you will honor some of my programs with your presence. I will remain on the ship until Honolulu.

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