Part 2 of Amazon Cruise memories
By Patti Pietschmann Pavlus Blog Master/writer with photo by Richard Pietschmann
Bellying up to the bar was a preprandial pleasure for a coterie of passengers on our Seabourn Quest 15-day Caribbean/Amazon cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Manaus, Brazil. Out of 450 fellow passengers the ship can tote, about a fourth of them met at the Observation Bar. Most of us got there just when it opened. It was so popular that seats at the bar filled up fast. However there were plenty of places to plop with a pop at cushy couches and chairs.
So there we were smoothly sailing along sipping adult beverages while Martin, a leprechaun-like barkeep from Ireland, entertained us while pouring perfect martinis, Manhattans, negronis and other cocktails. I pretty much stuck to Champagne. Think “Cheers” the long-running TV series and Sam. Only on Seabourn it’s Martin (on the Seabourn Sojourn it was Bruno).
Martin’s patrons take their spots on the bar stools and like the fictitious bar, everybody knows your name, or at least remembers your face. It gets so loud you can’t hear the talented piano player or chanteuse who rotates the musical entertainment. But it is so lively and fun you sometimes forget about dining—which is open-seating where and when you want in one of four free restaurants. Unlike other ships Seabourn doesn’t charge for alternative dining venues or for wine, Champagne or spirits for that matter. Tips are also included in the fare.
Life on board the Quest
Dress is casual chic. Everybody abides by the code. But there are two formal nights when jackets are required for men and women don dressier attire. There was an unusual absence of bling on women this trip. Just a little glitz and glitter. But then Seabourn continues to attract a sophisticated well-heeled, thirsty clientele.
Before hitting the mighty Amazon we docked at Jost Van Dyke where in typical Seabourn style there was a pre-arranged free shuttle bus to take us to a beautiful white, soft sand beach with warm clear azure-colored, calm seas. Some passengers went from there to paid tours others took the shuttle back to the ships—well the launches as the Quest anchored in the harbor.
From there we sailed the colorful Caribbean en route to the Amazon River and Manaus. We anchored off Gustavia in my favorite French island St. Barth. There Richard and I did our usual self tour walk to Shell Beach.