1 April 2013


“DING, DING, DING, DING, DING, DING… Your attention please. This is the 1st officer from the bridge of the Westerdam speaking. The sound you have just heard is the fire alarm. A fire has been detected in the silo of the aft incinerator. Please sand by for further instruction. All fire staff to their stations please!”

Not what you want to hear when you are 100 miles of the coast and in very deep water AND at 4am on Easter Sunday morning.

Then moments later:
“DING, DING, DING, DING… Attention passengers this is your captain speaking. A fire has been detected in silo of the aft incinerator. Please stand by for further instructions.”

Then 5 minutes later:
“DING etc… Attention all passengers. This is your captain speaking. The fire in the silo has been contained and extinguished. I repeat, the fire has been contained and extinguished. No further action will be necessary at this time.”

“Ding etc…Attention all fire crew. Please stand down. Thank you for your cooperation.”
It is now 4:30am and now we had to try to go back to sleep.
After that early start we had b’fast and headed to the dock bus area and took a local shuttle bus into the city of Tapachula for our usual self-guided walkabout. ½ hour bus ride in each direction and the cost was $10.00 roundtrip.

The guide on the bus told us a lot about the city and the area which is really growing. We drove by a massive university, high school and hospital. It all looked very clean and fairly new.

The city shows more of the poorer side. The sea port was build about 10 years ago to encourage tourism in this province. It seemed as though the residents simply accepted and basically ignored us. It might take a few years before they realize the source of funds that tourists can be to them but for right now it was easy to walk anywhere without being accosted by sales people.

We walked through many markets, alleyways and plazas. This is definitely not wheelchair accessible city. Even walking you have to be careful you don’t step into a hole of off of a sudden curb. Sidewalks end and start at will and you must keep looking down ahead of you so you can plan your route.

Being Easter Sunday a lot of businesses were closed but the markets and plaza areas were open and full of people, both local and foreign to watch the dancers and various entertainers.

The people seem very happy and when we asked they tried to be as helpful as possible.

Our days don’t last that long because in this heat and humidity you can only last so long before you need to stop. We rested in the shade of these wonderful, huge trees quite often and of course continue to drink lots of water that we take along from the ship.

The ½ hour bus ride back to the ship was much more quiet than the outbound ride. People just get tired.

We learned today that a couple missed the ship in Cartagena, Columbia. They did not have their passports with them although we are told with every days announcement and the daily schedule sheets that we get every evening that we should not leave the ship without are Cruise Cards and our passports. Apparently, after much expense they rejoined the cruise in Costa Rica totally missing the three day in between including the Panama Canal transit day. One lady said, “Well they are just plain stupid”.

Today we took Easter Dinner in the Vista Dining room.

Tomorrow, Huatulco, Mexico.

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