20 Mar 2014

Port Louis, Mauritius - Dodo Bird


We have all heard about being dumb as a dodo; the bird that was so dumb it became extinct. FALSE.

It only lived on Mauritius, an island we visited today, way down the Indian Ocean off the Southeast coast of Africa.

The dodo, about three feet tall weighing 30 pounds, has been extinct since the late 1600s.

They were not stupid. They just lived without fear of attack, because they had no reason to fear people who were not living here.

They lost the ability to fly because they stayed on the ground. To some they appeared stupid because they ate small rocks, which aided in digestion. 

So what doomed them? Explorers came and introduced dogs, rats, pigs, monkeys, cats and other animals to Mauritius. They ate the birds' eggs, which were laid on the ground.


16 Mar 2014

Purim on the Crystal Serenity, 2014



If there is an event onboard, Allyn is there.

If there is a Jewish event onboard, Allyn is involved.

13 Mar 2014

Jakarta, Indonesia


Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city, is huge (28 million in the greater area), noisy, slummy, and corrupt as it gets.


The best jobs are in government. You pay to get appointed or pay to get votes. Then they start paying you for things.


It is the most populous city in Southeast Asia and is located on Java Island, the world’s most populated, with 140 million inhabitants.







No country has more Muslims than Indonesia, 245 million comprising 87.2% of its population. They are much less orthodox than their brethren from the Middle East.


Masjid Istiqlal is the third largest mosque in the world.





Our cute guide, Terresia, ( took us to a local restaurant for lunch.



The 433 foot National Monument, Monas, in Central Jakarta symbolizes Indonesia’s fight for freedom. It is topped by a flame covered with gold foil.


06 Mar 2014

Sihanoukville, Cambodia 2014



Somehow I have a friend, Mike Ross, who has lived here for several years. Just recently he opened up the poker room at Queenco Casino, about 5 minutes from our ship.

He and his lovely wife Phear met us with a giant bouquet of flowers for Allyn.

This afternoon they had a 40-person poker tournament in our honor. Four of our pals from the ship even joined us.



Of course they insisted on treating us to the obligatory sensational lunch. 

03 Mar 2014

Chill Skybar and 27 Grill Restaurant, HCMC, Vietnam



It’s Sunday night at 10:00 PM and still busy. It was another good evening with great food, service, ambiance and company at HCMC’s current “in” place – Chill Skybar and 27 Grill Restaurant. 

The outdoor bar 27 floors up was quite special.




I like how the ship brings along their own basketball court (and bikes etc) for the crew to enjoy personal time off.