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Day 10: More concerts!

Previous Posts All of the ringing groups (small ensembles, Shooting Stars, Red Stars, Blue Stars, and All Stars) performed for the ship's passengers and crew today. Below is a typical daily plan for the ship's activities during an "at sea" day. There are multiple...

Day 9: Mainstage concert

Previous Posts Today's highlight was the Bells of the Cascades (BOC) afternoon concert on the Zuiderdam Mainstage. Directed by Matthew Compton, BOC performed 8 pieces in front of a "sell-out" crowd of 600+ passengers and crew.             The Panamania! All Stars made...

Day 7: Monkeys, toucans and sloths

Previous Posts This morning around 6 am, the Zuiderdam entered the Panama Canal. We transited through the Gatun Locks and entered Gatun Lake. After some passengers disembarked for various excursions, the Zuiderdam did a "U-turn" and exited the Canal back to the...

Day 6: More rehearsals

Previous Posts Today was filled with rehearsals for the Blue Stars, the Red Stars, and the Shooting Stars. The Shooting Stars is a cruise-only ringing group intended for beginning ringers, family members, or just curious individuals who want to learn the basics of...

Day 5: Curacao

Previous Posts Brian Parrott has been the Bells of the Cascades Cruise Committee Chairman for 4 years. Cruise planning starts about 18 months out from the actual cruise date. During the cruise, Brian keeps all the cruise ringers informed of upcoming events and any...

Day 4: AM rehearsals then into Aruba

Previous Posts Day 4 began with a 90 minute rehearsal for both the Blue Stars and Red Stars ringing groups.  In the photo below, Pat Dedert and husband Mike Ultee review a difficult section after a Blue Stars rehearsal. Pat and Mike are from Hillsborough NJ. They also...

Day 3: Ringing at sea

Previous Posts We started rehearsing with guest clinician Cathy Mocklebust this morning.  The ringing groups are divided into Blue Stars and Red Stars (based on the Panama flag) with each group ringing 4 different pieces and rehearsing at different times.  Each group...

Day 2: Half Moon Cay

Previous Posts Early on Day 2, we pulled into Half Moon Cay and had the chance to enjoy the beach or a short excursion.  Here's the Zuiderdam just off shore.  We loaded into tenders for the short ride to shore. On a short nature walk, one of the guides demonstrated a...

Day 1: All Aboard Panamania!

Previous Posts Hello from the ms Zuiderdam where 106 ringers and 45 non-ringers have joined the Bells of the Cascades for a 10-day cruise around the Caribbean and Panama Canal.  All the handbell cabins had a welcome sign on the door: The ms Zuiderdam can hold 2,000...

Day 8: Exploring Costa Rica

by | Jan 15, 2019 | Panamania, RMC Event Blogs |

We had a full day in Costa Rica and many ringers chose some adventurous shore excursions like zip-lining over the rainforest canopy or white water rafting on the Pacuare River.

Most excursions included a drive-through of a banana plantation. Bananas are one of the top exports from Costa Rica and between 10-15% of the world’s bananas are grown in the Caribbean side of Costa Rica.

Costa Rican bananas

The photo below is a typical roadside cafe lunch of chicken, potato/beet salad, and a regional rice dish seasoned with coconut milk.

Costa Rican lunch

 

The Zuiderdam Executive Chef Vinod Patil joined our table for dinner tonight. The senior officers of the Zuiderdam rotate to different tables each evening so many passengers get the opportunity to speak with the ship’s senior leadership. Chef Patil is from Mombai, India, and has been with Holland America for about 20 years, working on several ships in his career. He skypes with his wife and 2 daughters nearly every day when he is at sea. In describing some of his daily executive duties, Chef Patil said that he does a lot of tasting and managing, but sadly not as much cooking anymore. Today’s culinary challenges were (1) finding grits for tomorrow’s breakfast and (2) counting 1500 lobster tails for the final gala dinner.

Zuiderdam Executive Chef Vinod Patil