Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Poz cruise’ Category

Saturday, 10-30-2010, Day 8 of the Poz cruise was another day at sea. Every morning I liked checking the map showing where our ship was located on our journey. This morning showed me a huge surprise. Last night our ship had done a total U-turn, did an emergency docking in the Cayman Islands and was now back on course. We later learned that one of the women in our group had become very sick last night with a collapsed lung and the ship had been diverted to allow her to get off and get into a hospital immediately. We were all praying for her safety.

This set our arrival time in Ft Lauderdale significantly back tomorrow and many people had to reschedule their flights, but we have to applaud Carnival for making this expensive but necessary stop.

Today was a relaxing day hanging around the pool, chatting with friends, doing the YMCA chant and riding the slide. I want one of these slides in my back yard, but I probably should get a pool first.

I missed the Super Password game for our group. But for my last dinner on board, I had 4 appetizers including stuffed portobello mushrooms and asparagus Vichyssoise soup, 2 entrees, Prime-Rib and Shrimp. For dessert I had the Grand Marnier souffle. Tom said I could post his pic from formal night.If anyone has a pic of themself from the cruise, send it to me and I’ll post it.

After dinner we wandered over to the Victoriana Theater to see the Legends show. One of our members performed dressed as Elton John. We also say Aretha Franklin, Sonny and Cher, James Brown, Garth Brooks and Britney Spears. Our group’s last event was an 11:00 PM open bar cocktakl party at the International Lounge. Over 23 prizes were awarded, but nobody from Poz Attitudes were among the winners. Prizes included two very nice watches and accomodations for next year’s cruise.

This was our last night on the cruise.

Read Full Post »

Friday, Day-7 of the Poz Cruise. We left Panama and headed for home. That means Two days at sea to reach Port Everglades, Ft Lauderdale.

Nelson Vergel gave an informative talk on vitamins, nutrients and aging. We’ve talked about many of these same issues in group, but Nelson brings a lot of this into focus.

Jonathan started giving facials out by the pool area we had designated as ours.

Someone started taking pictures and then it was a free-for-all. Everyone wanted to be mudpacked and pose for a pic.
If it wasn’t evident before that this was a Gay men’s group, it was now. He had different facial medications. One was a light green and the other was a mud pack.
Probably, 30 guys got their facials that day.

At 4:30, I went down and saw the Newly-wed and Not-so Newly-Wed game sponsored by our group. There were 4 Gay-men-couples and 1-Lesbian couple. Of course, the Lesbians won. Women actually communicate with each other. At heart, we’re still basically uncommunicative men.

Dinner tonight was our second elegant night and we had a group photo before dinner in the atrium. We do clean up nicely, don’t we? And look how smooth our faces look! That’s me on the Far right in the back. Wore my white dinner jacket again. I rarely get dressed up anymore, so this was fun for me. Other people had two different formal outfits.

For dinner, I had escargot, chilled berry soup, salad and delicacies of the sea. My main course was Chateaubriand and Baked Alaska for dessert.

After dinner, the Victoriana Lounge was doing a tribute to The Beatles. It was like a live Donny and Marie variety show with staging of various Beatles numbers. I’m sure John Lennon was rolling over in his grave, but I enjoyed it.

Wandered the ship afterward. I’m fascinated by Karaoke. The rules seem to be so trusting and supportive. You are not allowed to gong or boo anyone. The goal is to be supportive of whatever effort someone gives. I’m seeing a lesson in here. Reminds me of those Business retreats where people fall backwards into the arms of people while learning trust.

Read Full Post »

Docked in Colon, Panama for Thursday, day-6 of the Poz Cruise. We had to set the alarm for this morning. We had to be on the pier at 7:15 for our excursions. I’m trying to eat a better breakfast. I want to save my calories for dinner. I’m sure my nutritionist would agree with this lack of logic. Eating fruit and coffee for breakfast from now on. The tour I selected was the Panama Canal, swimming at a waterfall, and an Indian village. They loaded us into buses and drove us out to a small town on a lake.

Our tour guys were young indiginous boys in beaded loin clothes. NOT this young. These were just local children playing and watching the weird tourists.

There were multiple motorized canoes to transport us across the lake to our destination.

we raced across the lake and up a river into the jungles of Panama.

It seemed like the trip took an hour.

The scenery was exotic and exiciting.

Mostly jungle, but we passed a few thatched Indian buildings.

When we finally landed, we then had a 10 minute walk along a rocky creek to a spectacular waterfall. It was like a scene out of South Pacific. Stepping into the basin of the waterfall surprised me. The current was much more powerful than I anticipated. We had to swim over to the opposite side to get under the waterfall.

After swimming, we loaded back into the canoes and headed back across the lake. This time we stopped at one of the thatched buildings.

It was a huge tent. We didn’t know if we were going to be served dinner or whether we were dinner, but there was no large boiling pot.

Around the perimeter of this large thatched tent were stands were the villagers were selling local crafts. One of our members bought one of the beaded loan clothes. We think the beads were made in China.

In the center of this tent were a lot of benches where we sat down and watched a presentation of the struggles of these people in their clash with the modern world.

They danced for us and told us their history. I was hoping this wasn’t a time-share presentation.

We started wandering around the village looking at the local houses.

The village was set on a hillside overlooking the lake.

Most of the houses were on stilts and underneath was used for storage and hang laundry.

It seemed as if there was only one shower and one latrine-outhouse in town. We were discussing the simplicities of life among ourselves and whether we would like to live or at least spend time in a primitive place like this. I don’t think I could survive the lack of amenities.

After the festivities, we loaded back into the canoes and went back to the original village where our buses were located. Loading up into the buses, we then headed to the Panama Canal.

I love history and seeing the canal was one of the highlights of my trip. The picture would have been better without my finger. After the French had built the Suez Canal in Egypt, they came to Panama and tried to duplicate that feat using the same technique of building a sea-level canal across the 50 mile isthmus of Panama. There was a large internal lake that could be incorporated into the canal. But Panama was a mountainous tropical jungle unlike the Sinai and the French failed.

American ingenuity designed a series of huge locks to lift the ships up and over the various levels connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. We saw the Gatun Locks.

This was a long day and we made it back to the ship at the appointed time. At dinner I had the Caesar Sald with anchovies, Vichyssoise soup, Tomato-basil-mozarella sald, filet mignon, and apple ie a-la-mode for dessert. We went to a show at the Victoriana theatre, but in all honesty it was disappointing. Basically it was a couple karaoke numbers. I went to bed early skipping the Carnival on-deck dance party. I’m just not a late-night person.

Read Full Post »

Wednesday, 10-27-2010, Day 5 of the Poz Cruise; The ship arrived in Limon, Costa Rica and had to meet at pier at 10:15 for our excursions. There were 3 planned, Zip Line, White Water Rafting and tour of the rain forest.

Some guys from our group went on a tour of the rain forest. Costa Rica is a beautiful country with very nice and friendly people.

I choose the White Water Rafting along with 35 other people from our group. We took buses out to a camp site where they gave us a short class on rafting procedures and then we took the buses over to the launch area where we got life jackets, helmets and a paddle. We had to divide up into groups of eight per raft plus a tour guide. Wearing water shoes, sun block and a change of clothes was a good idea. We were going to get wet. I got into a raft with 3 other guys form PozAttitudes, and 4 other guys from the cruise.

We launched from shore raising our oars with a great bonding cheer and enthusiasm.

Right into the rapids we went with our guide yelling out instructions. We had to work together as a team to navigate the raft through the rapids.

At times I imagined myself a Viking and other times I thought I heard the dueling banjos from Deliverance. This was my favorite excursion.

We watched as someone fell out of another raft and was quickly rescued. This was challenging and exciting.

After the excursions, they buses us back to the ship where I had time for a nap beore dinner. Sleeping and eating and then eating and sleeping, what a life!

Another view of the atrium. At dinner I had an assortment of appetizers, the Rack of Lamb, and Tiramisu for dessert.

Read Full Post »

We left Cozumel and spent the next day at sea headed to Costa Rica. There was a Scavanger Hunt and Dating Game planned for the Group. I decided to master the slide, after lunch.

Instead of a casual lunch at the buffet, we went into The Posh Restaurant where we dined with full waiter service. I had the chilled apple soup, baby back ribs and poached pear with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

After lunch, went out to the pool area. We had self-designated the area to the left of the slide as ours. Occassionally there were other people on the ship that thought that might be a good area for them, but they usually were overwhelmed by our group.

This cruise ship had a huge 3-story slide. At the top was a Carnival employee who monitored people going down, (Slammers has someone that does that for free). The trick of gaining speed and maximizing the splash at the end, was to reduce friction. Lay straight on your back (I’ve had practice at that), lift your butt up (that too was an area of expertise for me) so that you’re going down the slide on basically just your heels and shoulders.

So here are a couple pictures of me going down———–the slide. Notice I’m sitting up. That was done so we good get a picture. Sitting up took me about 3 minutes to go down the slide. I almost had to pull myself down while everyone at the top was impatiently yelling for me to lay down. I guess my butt gave me a lot of friction. With the delay on my camera, we got a lot of pictures of an empty slide.

At 5:00, I stopped by the Sushi bar. I hate eating dinner on an empty stomach. But, the sushi bar was way over-rated. It was mostly California Rolls with tiny bits of salmon or tuna. Dinner was fun again. Tonight I had the Norwegian salmon and cucumber soup, proscuitto mellon balls and Caesar salad WITH the anchovies for appetizers. For dessert I ordered both the cheeses and the fig date-cinnamon cake with rum raisin ice cream plus coffee with Kahlua. The cake was outstanding.

After dinner, we wandered around the ship where I meet Cher and a woman with pumpkins on her head. I don’t know which one impressed me the most???

The atrium of the ship was pretty spectacular. Hope this picture does it some justice.

Around midnight I wandered around and fell asleep on the hammocks for 2 hours. Sleeping and eating are two of my favorite activities.

Guys, please send me some pictures. I hate posting pictures of me all the time. Oh, who am I kidding? I love posting pictures of me, but I’d love to post some pictures of you too!!! Here’s one Mark sent me of Mark and Paul, the tour guide operator at the Red Party.

-Steve

Read Full Post »

Monday, 10-25-2010, had to get up early and eat. The ship was docking in Cozumel and we had a snorkeling adventure planned today. Had to meet on the pier at 8:15. There was another Carnival ship in the harbor at the same time.

The weather looked ominous, cloudy with sprinkles, but nothing was going to stop us. We were going out to get wet anyway. We boarded a catamaran and headed out to the coral reefs. As we were leaving the thunder and lightening started so the crew just turned up the music and started blasting the song ‘Tequila’. We were going out regardless. They said it would pass and be fine. And it did. By the time we got out to the reefs, the skies had cleared. Snorkeling in the coral reefs among the exotic fish was more fun than I expected. This was my first time snorkeling.

We then took the catamaran over to a private beach with huge inflatable toys in the water for us to play with. NO, not those KIND of toys!!!

There was a water slide, trampoline and a huge saturn looking ball for people to balance on.

As we were leaving, someone noticed that someone was missing, so we had to head back to the beach. One of our group was left stranded on the island. Can you imagine, going out on a 3-hour boat tour and getting stranded on an island? They could make a sitcom about that!

On the way back, the bar was open. The crew did the Macarena and YMCA dance for us.

Some people bought new bathing suits for the cruise.

Some people even painted their toenails for the cruise. Guess who?

Got back to the boat and I think I was feeling a little motion sickness. I took a Bonine pill before dinner. Did not stop me from eating. I ordered the langostino and fruit cup for appetizers and 2 entrees, lamb chops and the New York Strip Steak. I really wanted the Coq au vin too, but restrained myself. Chocolate cake for dessert.

Tonight was the Red Party. I never made it. The snorkeling excursion wore me out.

Any comments?
-Steve

Read Full Post »

Poz Cruise – Day-2; 10-24-2010

Woke up early and went out for coffee. Started walking the track, 9 laps = mile. For breakfast, you can either go to the main dining room or the buffet. I chose the buffet. Today is going to be a day at sea, so all activities will be on board ship.

At 11:00 AM, Nelson Vergel gave his talk “Looking into the Future, The Search for the Cure”. 33,400,000 HIV inections worldwide and 60% don’t know their status. !.2 million in USA and 2.4 million in Europe. In the USA in 2015, over 50% of HIV infections will be over 50 years old. Atripla, the one a day drug therapy costs $20,000/year. New therapies being developed include IV drug that’s administered once a month for experienced patients and highly experienced patients. In Germany they “cured” a man of HIV, by selecting his bone marror transplant from someone who had the delta-32 mutation. The delta-32 mutation is someone who does not have the CCR5 receptor for HIV attachement to the T-Cell. This is not an effective way to “cure” HIV, because 30% of patients die during the bone marrow transplant, but this is exciting news of a possible way cure. There is no evidence of resistance being passed from people who are already infected to other people that are already infected. We’ve talked about both resistance and the German cure in group before, but it was good to hear it discusssed again. Egrifta is being tested for treatment of viscereal fat. Members of the group were actually on this study which was conducted from Vern Applebee who came to the group a couple years ago.

After lunch, a lot of us gathered on deck near the water slide. I became obssessed with the water slide and discovered the secret of speed by reducing friction. This also created a huge splash at the end.

There were also presentations on HIV101 and “Navigating the Waves and Windfalls of Friends, Boyfriends or Lovers with Special Docking Privileges”.

Dinner tonight was was formal. I wore a white dinner jacket with magenta bowtie and cumberbund. I had the lobster tail and shrimp for entree and cherries jubilee for dessert. Yes, you are going to hear what I ate for dinner each night. The food was my favorite part of the trip.

The ship was rolling a little tonight, I guess we hit some of the aftermath of Hurricane Richard. After dinner I went with Tim over to the Swintime Bar and listen to Karaoke. He sang ‘Mack the Knife’. I don’t have the guts to get up there and sing. went to bed around 12:30.

Comments on Day-2.

-Steve

Read Full Post »

I woke up early and had to finish packing and getting ready to leave. Was leaving Harry, my dog, for the first time since I got him and was a little concerned how he would react. I was leaving him with a friend he liked who also had a dog Harry could play with. Got picked up at 11:00 AM with two ther friends and headed to Port Everglades. I’m very glad the ship is leaving from Ft Lauderdale and not Miami.

We were on the Carnival Freedom and got on-board at 12:30 and went straight to the buffet lines to eat. No sense letting free food go to waste. Everyone seemed to have the same idea. The lines were long. I hoped I wasn’t going to be standing in food lines the whole trip. After eating, we went to our room. Our luggage was already there waiting for us. The room was very nice and had plenty of storage space.

Then we headed down to the International Lounge and the Hospitality Desk where Nate and Grover were witing to check us in and give us wrist bands. Rainbow bands for guys that had been on previous cruises and multi-colored bands for us first-timers, timers. I felt like a virgin, touched for the very first time. Yeah, right!

I went back and took a nap. Didn’t sleep well the night before in anticipation of the cruise. Yes, I was excited and a little apprehensive. I get seasick. Even on big boats, actually especially on big boats, the slight motion nauseates me, but I came prepared. I had put the patch on that morning and also had Bonine and Dramamine as backups.

At 5:30, we went back to the International Lounge for a Welcome Cocktail Party. Mark was the emcee and did a fabulous job, giving us some wonerful helpful hints like knocking on the outside door before we entered so as not to knock out our roommate coming out of the bathroom. He also gave us a suggestion about talking about HIV in front of the other guests on the boat, mixed company he called it. He suggested we refer to it as “the recipe”. As in “How long have you had the recipe” and How many people does it serve. I’ve had my recipe for 21 years and it curently serves 836 people.

Jonathan, Nate and Paul also spoke and gave us the itinerary for the coming days. Then we all went into the Posh Dinning Room for dinner. We were all scheduled to eat together at 8:15. You also had the option of going to the buffet any night, the Steak house for a fee or the other sit down restaurant. I chose to eat with my fellow cruise mates.

Dinner was an extravanganza. You could order as much as you want, as many appetizers, entrees and desserts as you could eat. But you weren’t allowed to ship any home or to starving children in some third world country. I had 3 appetizers, shrimp cocktail, rare tuna and gazpecho soup, stuffed chicken breast for my entree plus 2 desserts, creme brulee and a cheese sampling. I enjoyed everything except the creme brulee which was a little too sweet.

After dinner we wandered all over the ship in little groups. The ship is realitively new (2005) but is decorated in a 1970’s orange. I think the father on the Brady Bunch designed it. I went over to the Victoriana theatre. The show was fairly hookey with an emcee who was bringing guest up on stage to do unusual embarassing things. I left early and eventually made my way to bed around midnight. End of Day-1.

Would love to hear your comments about Day-1
-Steve

Read Full Post »