Yesterday I ended my blog with the remark that this cruise was not POSH. That does not just apply to this cruise, but basically to all cruises, unless you are on a world cruise which only travels one way. POSH comes from the old days of the British Empire, when company’s such as P & O Lines maintained regular liner services to the colonies in the Far East. P & O still exists as P & O Cruises but the British Empire is long gone. In the heydays of this travel between the colonies there was no air conditioning on board and even worse, many of the ships had a black hull. This to cover up the soot of the coal smoke coming from the funnels. Once the ships became oil burners, the white hulled ships showed up, as the soot was reduced. The black color absorbed the heat and thus these ships were only a means of transport; nobody took them for a cruise through the Red Sea so to speak.
The clientele quickly figured that if the sun was not burning on your cabin all day, then that cabin was considerably cooler than the other ones. Hence they booked POSH = Port Out Starboard Home as the ships sailing from England to India and beyond had the sun on the starboard side when outward bound and when coming back homeward bound, had the sun on the portside and thus they booked cabins on the opposite side. POSH cabins. Of course the shipping companies were not stupid either and charged more for the privilege. Quite a bit more. Hence we now have in the English language the word “posh” if you buy something expensive that you really do not have to buy. A Rolls Royce is posh, because it is more comfortable to drive than a Toyota Prius but that car gets you there a lot cheaper and as fast. (Plus it is a lot easier to park).
What does this have to do with this cruise? Well you cannot buy POSH on a cruise ship; your cabin is yours for the duration of the cruise. You get 50% of the Caribbean weather on your balcony, either when going down from Fort Lauderdale or when coming up to Fort Lauderdale. So at the moment the guests with the portside cabins have 25+ knots of Trade Winds blowing onto their verandah, enhanced by a bit of salt spray at times, and the starboard side is happily sitting out of the wind while the portside balcony’s struggle. To and from the Panama Canal when the wind is on the stern or on the bow it is all even. But once we leave Puerto Limon, it is the starboard side that gets all the wind.
Only on a world cruise when you travel either only westwards or only eastwards you can avoid this. Then you can scrutinize the route and see what you prefer. Shade or Sun. My wife and I do the same ashore. When we go to London by train or by express coach we check where the sun will be most of the time for the journey and then book seats for the other side. Even with good air conditioning on the train or in a coach, it does get warm when sitting on the sunny side. (And yes the sun does shine in England, at least in our region which is the driest part of the country)
We sailed this morning through the Wind Ward passage and as the sun rose at 07.00. it shone brightly on the coast of Cuba on our Starboard side with the light house of Cabo Maisi clearly visible at 07.45 hrs. It made it a lot harder to see Haiti on the portside as we had to look into the glare of the sun. So this time only a gloomy view of Haiti for the portside balconies but a clear view of Cuba for the starboard balconies. It takes about 4 hrs. to sail through the complete Windward Passage as the island of Hispaniola (which is made up of Haiti and the Dominican Republic) is quite large.
Tonight we will have another exciting happening. A Super moon. The moon is coming very close to the earth and as it is a clear night we should have a good view.
Tomorrow we continue to cross the Caribbean Sea and we should have nice weather again but very windy.