Transiting the Suez Canal

We arrived at the anchoring spot at Port Said, Egypt at 10:00pm. This reminded us very much of the staging area outside the Panama Canal off Balboa when we transited with Net Result. The Azamara Journey would be cleared by the Egyptian authorities. The top portion of the Suez Canal now has 2 lanes. One for northbound and the other for southbound vessels. This second lane opened in 2016. This expedited the transit of vessels. In the middle there’s a huge lake…at least that’s what they call it. There’s a “passing lane” — simply two lanes for ships traveling north and southbound. Southbound ships can also anchor here and wait for their turn in the bottom portion of the Canal that terminates at Suez. The Azamara Journey was given a slot in the 3:30am southbound convoy. 

Monday, October 30 – transiting the Suez Canal

When we woke up as the sun was rising and looked out from our balcony all you could see was sand for as far as you could see. Every once in a while a hut or a fishing boat would be sighted. Today was spent taking photographs, relaxing and enjoying the warm weather. We arrived at Suez earlier than anticipated at 2pm. 

Sunrise on the Suez Canal

Sunrise on the Suez Canal
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While at sea there are loads of activities, the fitness center and spa is open, and there are lectures you can attend. There’s a meteorologist and a history professor onboard. The history professor has done a number of stints on cruise lines and is truly delightful. He gave a lecture on Luxor and the pharaohs of Egypt today. He was excellent. 

We also attended the Shore excursions presentation on Safaga, Egypt. It was very informative on what to expect while we were in Egypt as well as detailed descriptions of the various shore excursions that were available to the passengers. We booked our excursions for Luxor and Petra in advance as those two destinations were the reason we selected this itinerary. If we were unable to visit these places because the shore excursions were full, there would be no reason to take this trip. We got aced out of the Emperor penguins excursion on the Falkland Islands when we did our Antarctica cruise and learned the hard way. 

We took a spinning class at the fitness center this afternoon. 

Tuesday, October 31 — at sea

Another day to try and get as much rest as possible because the following 4 days were going to be grueling.

We attended the shore excursion presentation for Jordan. To learn more about our excursion to Petra and the Azamazing Evening on Friday night. Azamara cruise lines tried to focus in staying in ports of call as long as possible to maximize the passengers trip. Every itinerary also has an Azamazing evening. These are complimentary events intended to provide a local experience on your cruise. Ours would be a visit to a Bedouin camp with a performance. 

The destination lecturer also presented a lecture on Petra. 

We had dinner at the Italian Specialty restaurant tonight – Aqualina.
Joe had the lobster raviolis. I had the bacon wrapped scallops. Followed by lobster bisque for Joe and the Insalata di Rucola e Radicchio for me. I had the lobster tail tri-color pasta and Joe had the Veal scaloppini. For dessert Joe had the chocolate crunch soufflé white chocolate sauce and I had the Lemoncello soufflé with white chocolate sauce. It was truly excellent. 

Aqualina menu

Aqualina menu
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Early as possible to bed for us as we would be departing the ship at 10am tomorrow for our 2 days in Luxor.