April 4, 2019 -This morning, Seven Seas Explorer is docked in Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal. Ponta Delgada is the largest municipality and capital of the Autonomous Region of the Azores in Portugal. Even though it is cloudy and cool this morning, we do see periods of sunshine peeking through the clouds.
We have booked the Whale and Dolphin Safari which departs at 12:45pm.
Our afternoon excursion departure allows us plenty of time to sleep late and have room service deliver a delicious breakfast to our suite. As you can see, the table setting from room service is quite elegant.
Rickee and I both ordered Eggs Benedict, and everything arrived warm and delicious.
We skip lunch today after our late breakfast and, at 12:45, leave the ship for the short walk to the Ponta Delgada cruise terminal.
After meeting our local guide for the day, our group walked about two blocks to the tour operator's office, which is located at the marina, just across from where Seven Seas Explorer is docked. We are each given "waterproof" pants and tops, as well as life vests. We also get a short safety briefing before we walk to the marina to board the Zodiacs.
The Zodiacs can hold from 10 to 14 people and we boarded one of the larger boats. Guests sit two abreast in the Zodiac, straddling a padded bench.
The farther we got from shore, the rougher the seas got. We eventually arrived at a location where we discovered a pod of Bottlenose dolphins, which were fun to watch, but the seas by now were really giving us a pounding.
Sea water was continually splashing over the sides of the Zodiac, bathing us with sea water. The rubber pants and tops we were provided did not prevent our shoes and socks from getting completely soaked, as well as parts of our clothes underneath the rubber garments. As you can see in the photo below, we were getting pounded with sea water. If you did not have a waterproof camera, it would get ruined.
The trip back to shore was long and very rough. When we finally pulled alongside Seven Seas Explorer, I don't think I have ever been so happy to see a cruise ship! Had the seas not been so rough, or, if we had seen more than just dolphins (which we have seen dozens of times), perhaps we would have a much different opinion of this excursion. But, if we had it to do over, we would have skipped this one and just walked around Ponta Delgada on our own.
Once we were back on board Explorer, we hung our clothes up to dry. I am pretty sure our shoes are ruined and will have to be thrown away. But, once we changed into dry clothes, we chose to head to Sette Mari for dinner (Deck 11 aft).
We were pleased to see that the menu has changed since the first time we dined here. In fact, the menu changes every couple of days. The meal starts with a glass of Prosecco and a beautiful basket of Italian breads. Olive oil and Balsamic are poured for dipping.
Several plates of antipasti are placed on the table as starters. There is also a large self-serve salad bar with additional starters available. I also ordered an appetizer of Spaghetti Carbonara which was delicious. Soon after my appetizer, my main course arrived: three grilled lamb chops, perfectly cooked and delicious. In fact, these are the best lamb chops I have had on Seven Seas Explorer (even better than those I ate at Chartreuse).
Rickee ordered Spaghetti Bolognese, which she said was very good.
Sette Mari is located on the port side of La Veranda, the ship's buffet restaurant (breakfast and lunch). Each evening, the space becomes an intimate Italian-themed restaurant with an open kitchen.
After dinner, there is a very nice selection of tempting desserts at the buffet area, like these Mascarpone Peach Tartlets.
After our dinner, we had enough time for a quick drink at Observation Lounge before heading to the Constellation Theater on Deck 4 for the second production show of the cruise: "My Revolution". The theme of the show was "If you remember the 60s, you weren't there." The show starts with a teenage girl getting her first glimpse of The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show as her parents look on in confusion.
The show continues through the 60s with song and dance performed by the Seven Seas Explorer Singers and Dancers. The production was very well choreographed and featured a lot of excellent popular music from the 60s. Again, the vocals and dance continue to impress.
Of special note are the amazing talents of world-champion ballroom dance couple, Max and Safiya.
The show ended with the audience on their feet giving the cast a rousing standing ovation. It was an excellent performance that everyone enjoyed.
Tonight, we have to move our clocks forward one more hour, so we lose an hour of sleep. And, tomorrow will be another day at sea as we sail to Funchal, Portugal.