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Grumpy1

Prinsendam 2005 World Tour... it has begun

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I'm so glad that this is being maintained as one thread - I just record the message number I last read and go from there. I truly appreciate your answering my questions.

 

Slinkie, :) your insurance broker is going to love you when you add all those baubles to your policy :D :eek: he's probably reading this and contemplating his commission right now! :)

 

As for the alarm clock for folks about to travel - battery powered is the way to go - it's easily changed and works for afternoon nap 'wake-ups'

on sea days- just remember to buy extra batteries at your next port of call!

 

Now, a 'just curious' question, how many Bingo games are there?

 

Any comments on Alternative (Pinnicale) Dining?

 

How frequently do you have Boat Drill?

 

At what size table are you dining?

 

Smooth Sailing!

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Slinkie and Grumpy were awake before sunrise this morning, just as the Prinsendam was sliding into her berth in Puerto Vallarta.

Sailaway was interesting. It seemed to take a long time to manuver away from the dock, get clear of the Pride and head out to sea past the anchored Oosterdam. Slinkie and Grumpy headed up to Deck 12 forward where they had a good view in all directions. They suddenly realized that the ship was turning hard to port just after passing the Oosterdam on the port side. Captain Gundersen was at the controls on the port wing of the bridge and proceeded to run a full circle around the Oosterdam, just a hundred yards or so away.

 

WE were in town, finishing a late lunch at Mickey's No-Name Cafe (great BBQ) and saw the P'dam leaving then swing around the O'dam. From that distance and angle we thought that something was being transferred (perhaps a passenger who got on the wrong boat). But when we asked the captain that night (we were both at the same party), he was just as surprised by the manuever as we (and you) were!

 

-dave

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Hi all,

 

When they were in Long Beach docked next to the Queen Mary, Grumpy called to check on things at home.

 

In response to the question about mail, etc., I'm the chauffeur, mail-getter, check-mailer, house-checker, etc., etc. He did file for an extension on the Income Tax.

 

I visited them last April here in Naples and fell in love with the place--as they did. So, after I left they found a condo a couple of miles from them which I bought (sight unseen--just his pictures), sold my house in Iowa, and became a Florida resident in October.

 

Grumpy is quite handy and got me well on the way to some extensive remodeling which he'll finish up next fall ... "payment" for all those chores I'm doing now! My payment to them was an occasional dinner out someplace. Slinky enjoys not having to cook, and practically every restaurant around here has blackened grouper--even if it's not on the menu.

 

Slinky and I are both jewelry hounds--I have a magnificent amythest purchased in Rio which I had mounted in a ring. Also two raw opals from Australia which were cut and polished. They're now in a pendant, ring and earrings. My emerald pinkie ring will probably look pretty tame compared to the new ones she bought. If he feels more "payment" is necessary for the house-checking chores, I could use a pair of emerald-cut sapphire earrings! Lost one of mine ...

 

Slinky won't have any trouble maintaining her svelte figure...but methinks Grumpy is going to have to do more than look at the gym. He does enjoy food! And I doubt that the waistband of that tux he bought has elastic at the sides.

 

Enjoy "meeting" all of you and reading your comments.

 

Like most of you, I'm just vicariously enjoying their cruise. I put the itinerary into an Excel spreadsheet so I can keep track of where they are, ports of call, etc.

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lynnaldo-

Thanks for the update!

Seems like a perfect arrangement to me. Unless you had family or very close friends near by, it would be difficult to take a cruise like this. You are wonderful to do this for Slinkie and Grumpy!:cool:

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DH and I are enjoying the World Cruise -- even if it is vicariously. Too bad it won't add the days to our Mariner status. :D

 

For Cruiseoften (and others) - if you've read to the last post on the thread on your previous visit, just click on the little box with the check mark on the left side of the thread title on the main HAL forum. This will take you to the first new post since you last read the thread.

 

Grumpy1 and Slinky - THANK YOU for letting us tag along too. Years ago on a Royal Viking ship we had some of the entertainers at our table. They had done a WC or two, so we asked them about how the passengers could sail that long and still fit in their clothes. We thought maybe passengers brought a few different sizes :rolleyes: They said that usually the first 2 weeks passengers eat in 'cruise mode' (everything! :eek: ) After that they tend to return to a more normal style of dining. Whatever you do - ENJOY!

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Prinsendam 2005, Jan 30

 

"Sailing, sailing, over the bounding main" and it really has been bounding since we left LA... everyone bouncing off the walls... really rocks you to sleep once you manage to stagger back to your cabin...and it's still chilly. Today is the first day of the cruise that Slinkie and Grumpy have not gone out on the open aft Lido deck for breakfast. They didn't see anyone else out there this morning either. Well, by the time they get to Hawaii things should be starting to improve...

 

The forced debarkstion in LA went pretty smooth... one hitch that slowed things a bit was a requirement that everyone fill out a customs declaration in the terminal after leaving the ship. Passengers that were departing the ship for good at LA probably had their forms filled out ahead of time, but apparently no one was expecting it for those that would be getting back on. Since Slinkie wasn't wearing any of her new trinkets, they could honestly say that they were bringing NO foreign purchases into the country. The agent checking passports scanned Grumpy's and wanted to know if he lived somewhere other than Florida. Grumpy said that he does have an Ohio home... the agent asked "how about London, England?" Hmm... looks like there's a Grumpy on one of those federal lists... Grumpy told him he'd never been there, though, and the agent seemed satisfied that Slinkie and Grumpy were harmless and allowed them to continue on. It was close to 11a when they finally boarded the bus for the LA tour.

 

The LA tour should have been interesting, but having a tour guide that speaks with a heavy European accent and that presents the history of America and the area from a very warped perspective really made it a fiasco. Did you know that the sole purpose of celebrating Thanksgiving is to thank and honor the American Indian? Did you know that our elementary schools are so understaffed that if a teacher takes off for a day, a volunteer parent babysits the class and reads stories thus depriving our children of a good education in the elementary years. But we do have excellent high schools and universities... The tour included several stops of 10 to 30 minutes, including one of exactly 10 minutes on Rodeo Drive... now Grumpy and several other husbands were pleased that the stop wasn't any longer... Dayum, that place could do serious damage to the retirement funds if Slinkie had been able to get inside of Van Cleef and Arppels...The stop at the Farmer's Market area was OK.. the bus stopped right outside of World Market and Slinkie loves to prowl the wine selections there... she's got 3 more Merlot choices now... so it wasn't a totally wasted trip. The bus was back at the port about 4p and our LA tourists had just enough time to get back to the cabin and stash the wine before the lifeboat drill.

 

Karen and Bob, sorry that we weren't able to meet you. We'll be looking for you comments about you impressions of the Prinsendam.

 

Slinkie and Grumpy didn't get up to the Crow's Nest until about 45 minutes after sailaway and missed meeting with Alsas. They'll probably cross paths later, though.

 

GrannyPL, you'll be happy to know that Sheri's DH is on board with her... I think the CD was trying to have some fun with her when he said something about separate ships early in the cruise. Grumpy was talking with her at sailaway and got the correct info firsthand.

 

Grumpy and Slinkie haven't met Dolly yet, but it's been confirmed that she is on board. The HAL corporate employee that confirmed it says that she is either number 1 or 2 in total number of days sailed on HAL. Grumpy will definitely say hi from RuthC when he does meet her.

 

longtimecruiser, cavier has been on the menu at least twice, and it's been in the appetizer section in the Lido at least once. We're sorry to hear that it's not on some of the ships. The Prinsendam is supposed to have a menu that is a little more upscale than the other ships. Slinkie and Grumpy can't make a first hand comparison, since they are first time HAL cruisers, but they sure haven't heard any complaints about the menu and have no complaints themselves... well, OK, there have been two times that Slinkie got a dish that was overcooked, (tuna and lobster). She should have sent it back, but didn't.

 

CruisingJake, Slinkie really doesn't change her eating habbits much. Her normal day is a breakfast of cereal, fruit, toast and coffee. She has eliminated the toast. Lunch for her is usually pretty light and that hasn't changed. Moe fruit, some vegetables, perhaps a smoked salmon appetizer, and a nonfat ice cream for dessert. Since she is at the late dinner and is used to an early dinner at home, she's been swiping a bag of popcorn from the Wajang and will have a handful late afternoon. She usually skips the soup at dinner and avoids high fat choices. She eats lots of seafood, very little beef. In spite of the teasing of her tablemates, she has not tried any of the desserts. Grumpy can attest that the desserts are very good... She had a husband that had bypass surgery and learned to eat healthy years ago and the habits are pretty well ingrained. Grumpy is not watching his diet as much as he should, but tries to keep the portions small. So far, all of the clothes still fit...

 

Cruising Gator, Slinkie and Grumpy do not drink coffe after breakfast as a normal rule, and Slinkie does not like Cappuccino, so they haven't really checked out that item. The Java Bar is still there, just off the explorer's lounge, but there is no Cappuccino machine visable. It may be behind the curtain, though. There are always pastries and chocolates on the counter. Some of their tablemates have ordered Cappuccio after dinner so it's available.

 

Aussie Gal, there was a note distributed yesterday that says the Prinsendam will port in Melbourne instead of Geelong. The timetable, 23Feb, 7a to 6p is unchanged from the original schedule. We would enjoy meeting you while there if you schedule permits. We haven't scheduled any tours, as yet, for that area.

 

Well Grumpy can report with certainty that this thread is being followed by at least one HAL corporate lurker. The director of future long cruise planning and marketing is onboard for a few days to get feedback and comments that will help him in planning itenerary and deciding Perks in the various categories. He called Grumpy last night and said he would like to meet him and Slinkie and had been following the thread. They had an open seat at their table last night , so he joined them for dinner. Let's see now... what do we suggest.... all inclusive drinks? Tips included in the price? Lobster every night? (with cavier, of course) and a max price of $100pp/day? And we haven't even started on iteneraries yet...

 

In the "it's a small world" department, Slinkie and Grumpy sat down at lunch today witha couple that had gotten on in LA. After a bit of chit chat Grumpy and Marsha found that they had grown up about 14 miles apart in NW Ohio. A few more comparisons and checking to see if they had any friends in common, it turned out that one of Grumpy's classmates and good friend of Grumpy's first wife is Marsha's aunt. She may also be related by marriage to Grumpy's first wife but couldn't be certain.

 

Time to get this posted... oh, thanks for all of the comments about the picture.... that Slinkie Girl does have a way of bringing out the best in Ol' Grumpy.

 

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Thank you so much for allowing us to tag along on your cruise. DH and I have so enjoyed each new addition. In fact, DH is now saying we should look into a world cruise. Thank you. :D :D

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Prinsendam 2005, Jan 31

 

Just a quick note... the wireless network wouldn't connect to the internet yesterday, so the last update didn't get posted until this morning. Nice to see Sis (Lynnaldo) posting to the thread... Hmmm, from her comments maybe Grumpy had better find something a little nicer than the T-shirt and shot glass that he had planned to get her...

 

Cruiseoften, there is one bingo session, snowball jackpot, every day at 4p in the Queen's Lounge. Slinkie and Grumpy haven't been to the Pinnacle Grill yet but plan to do that after we leave Hawaii. The cruise is divided into 4 segments so there will be a lifeboat drill at sailaway on each segment at least. We haven't seen any thing about any others that will be held. Slinkie and Grumpy are at a table for 8, main dining room, late seating. It's table 112 for those that have a seating chart, Starboard side, next to the windows, 4 tables back from the galley entrance for those that don't have the chart. Pretty good location.

 

They are holding a crew emergency drill this morning... simulated fire in the engine room... at least we HOPE it's simulated...

 

Lipopop, we're really sorry to hear about having to cancel your cruise... You're entitled to be grumpy for a few days... Heck, the real Grumpy will even waive his usual royalty fee for copyright use... Hope you can get things worked out and find a way to get on a cruise.

 

Will get this on the board now..

 

Slinkie and Grumpy

 

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Grumpy and Slinkie, thanks for answering my question about eating. I don't know if I could be so good - I love sweets and bread. Post more pictures if you can, perhaps in different ports. And, of course, all of us ladies want to see the sparkling somethings that Slinkie is accumulating, thanks to Grumpy.

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Prinsendam 2005, Jan 30

 

 

 

The LA tour should have been interesting, but having a tour guide that speaks with a heavy European accent and that presents the history of America and the area from a very warped perspective really made it a fiasco. Did you know that the sole purpose of celebrating Thanksgiving is to thank and honor the American Indian? Did you know that our elementary schools are so understaffed that if a teacher takes off for a day, a volunteer parent babysits the class and reads stories thus depriving our children of a good education in the elementary years. But we do have excellent high schools and universities...

Hey Grumpy our schools here in California are bad, but not that bad! You know they say CA is the state of fruits and nuts, seems you got a taste of the local flavor.:eek:

 

Well Grumpy can report with certainty that this thread is being followed by at least one HAL corporate lurker. The director of future long cruise planning and marketing is onboard for a few days to get feedback and comments that will help him in planning itenerary and deciding Perks in the various categories. He called Grumpy last night and said he would like to meet him and Slinkie and had been following the thread. They had an open seat at their table last night , so he joined them for dinner. Let's see now... what do we suggest.... all inclusive drinks? Tips included in the price? Lobster every night? (with cavier, of course) and a max price of $100pp/day? And we haven't even started on iteneraries yet...

 

Seems like a perfect time to learn a great deal. :D I wouldn't say all inclusive alcoholic drinks as I don't drink enough to justify me paying for someone elses alcohol....but surely water and sodas as an enticement in the Suites. We are thrilled with the Australia/ NZ intineraries and are anxious to see the offered shore excursions. Also what really is the scoop on the Prinsendam? :eek:

 

Our best to both you and Slinkie! We will think thoughts of warm days and calm seas!!:)

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Hey Grumpy our schools here in California are bad, but not that bad! You know they say CA is the state of fruits and nuts, seems you got a taste of the local flavor.:eek:

 

Maybe that's the tour guide's way of keeping folks from deciding to move to California:D

 

Enjoying the Play-by-Play, G&S! And if you can bend the HAL rep's ear, ask them to give all SS's the suite/concierge amenities...

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Hi Grumpy and Slinkie,

 

 

 

I hope the rocking and rolling to Hawaii is now smooth sailing. We were on the Amsterdam from Seattle in April and the sea days were pretty well the same R&R. Very relaxing though if the rocking wasn't a problem. Someone mentioned caviar. On the 21 day Panamerica cruise on the Statendam in October I never did find caviar on the menu. Maybe I missed it, or maybe, as someone has stated, they only have it on certain cruises now.

 

Maybe I missed a post - who is the Cruise Director? and what type of activities are offered (besides the inevitable Bingo!) on sea days.

 

Enjoy the sea days and Hawaii.

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I also am enjoying your travelogue. Thanks for taking the time to post. Smashing picture! Enjoy your sea days to Hawaii.

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Hi Lynnaldo-great to hear from your side too. Thanks for a very humourous note.

Grumpy & Slinkie,if you ever have a spare moment,please say hello to our friends Lynn & Buddy--the ship's dentist--they just arrived on Saturday and they are marvellous dancers as well as being very friendly folk.

Thanks a million for all of this--we just LOVE your notes.

Wendy & Al

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Your wonderful commentary has us contemplating the NY to Barcelona leg.....

thank you for sharing!

Cheers

MarkB

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Grumpy and Slinkie - I was so glad to hear that Hostess Shari had her new Hubby on board. When she left the Prinsendam after the Amazon Cruise she had not even bought her wedding dress. I just love that she never stops smiling. Penny

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Grumpy. You sure do not sound too Grumpy to me. Thank you so very much for your postings. I feel as if I am there on the ship. Maybe by the time you are on your way back home, I will know the ship well enough to really enjoy our Nov. Trip to the amazon.

 

I have stated before the concern about how the ship rides in rough waters.

We have been sailing the larger ships like the Mariner of the Seas and have not sailed the smaller ships in a few years. So naturally I am worried that I may get seasick. Oh, how awful that would be. A sure way to spoil a good trip. We will be on her for 26 days. Never sailed more than fourteen days, so this will be a new experience.

 

Do you have your laundry done by the ship? Do your own? Have you heard if the Prisendam is really being sold? I hope not until after we have our cruise.

 

Again thank you for all the wonderful information and you look wonderful together. I loved pictures.

 

BJ

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So naturally I am worried that I may get seasick. Oh, how awful that would be.

Get some meclizine (generic for Bonine.) It works well for most people. You take it just once per day, and it's a more non-drowsy formula.

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The cruise director is Garry, and I think his last name is Walker - not 100% sure of that. DD Jennifer is an ACD on board and just refers to him by his first name.

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Grumpy1

 

Is debarkation on the port or starboard side of the ship, or does it vary?

Thanks again for all of your wonderful reviews. I am really looking forward to seeing a picture of Slinkie wearing her emeralds :)

 

Ruffin

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Prinsendam 2005, February 1

 

Are we there yet??... Seems like we've been sailing forever... actually it's approaching 3 days since we left LA, 1-1/2 to go. The ship is now below the Tropic of Cancer so we're officially in tropic waters again. The seas have flattened out some, but still a nice gentle roll... there were a few strong rolls last night about 11p just as the late show was letting out of the Queen's Lounge. Made navigating back to the cabin a little more interesting, though. I think one gentleman fell on the forward stairway, between deck 8 and 9 about that time.. the "bright star" page went out throughout the ship. We could see the gentleman on the stairs and he appeared conscious, but some ship staff were with him and didn't want him to move... we hope he's OK, but haven't heard anything.

 

Assistant Cruise Director Johnny I stopped Slinkie and Grumpy on the way to dinner last night... seems his mother is reading this thread and forwarded the picture to him and he recognized them... Grumpy thinks he was looking for assurance that "what happens on the Prinsendam, stays on the Prinsendam"... rest assured, if Johnny wants to tell his mom about all those things he does onboard, that's his business... Ol' Grumpy won't say a word that would get him in any trouble... but he's keeping an eye Johnny's shenagians... teaching line dancing... stuff like that... getting pretty wild, don't you think?

 

Then this morning it happened again. This time it was ACD Jennifer. Her mom, Margie_Lady sent her the pic... Don't worry, mom, she's behaving herself... well most of the time...

 

Cuttle, the cruise director is Gary Walker. That's the way it is spelled in the directory, some others have spelled it differently, but that should be the official spelling. That also answers Marc's question. No, it isn't Bruce Skudder. As far as other Sea Day activities... well there's a couple of watercolor classes... lectures.. bridge lessons... dance classes... board games... culinary arts classes... Tai Chi classes... team trivia... scavenger hunt... and Slinkie's all time favorite... drum roll, please... Napkin Folding! Always something challenging going on.

 

Last night was another formal night and Captain's Gala. There is now an official photo of Slinkie with Emeralds and Ol' Grumpy has run it through the scanner... don't know if they'll show up very well in the size picture that can be posted here... maybe if Grumpy gets edited out of the picture... Menu included surf and turf, coq au vin, and several other excellent entrees.. escargot and caviar were among the appetizers.

 

Ruffin, about your question if debarkation is Port or Starboard... the answer is... yes. Haven't seen them use the bow or stern yet, but both sides have been used. Starboard seems to be most common, so far.

 

Traveller1, Grumpy is hoping he doesn't meet your friend the dentist on a professional basis, (one of his tablemates did, though), but will say "Hi" if paths cross.

 

OK, everyone seems to want to know about the future of the Prinsendam. Steve Simao, world cruise marketing manager, addressed that question in a chat with the social hostess session yesterday and in a History of Holland America talk in the Queen's lounge this morning. Although he never came flat out and said that the Prinsendam is or is not for sale... we all know that everything is for sale if the price is right... he did say that the schedule for 2006, with Prinsendam World Cruise, is set, being actively sold and it would be a very difficult task to substitute another ship or cancel the world tour. This year it sold out completely, there are over 400 already booked for next year. There have been millions invested in the upgrades. However, his success in marketing the world cruise could also lead to a demand for a larger ship in the future. But then a larger ship would have to be weighed against the ability to do ports of call that larger ships cannot do and the possible loss of loyal cruisers if a different ship were substituted. There are several on board that sailed the Prinsendam when she was the Royal Viking Sun and later, the Seabourn Sun. Would they move to a larger ship? The plans for 2007 are being developed now, but nothing is set in stone, so it is possible a different ship could do that tour, but right now the Prinsendam is still in the plans...

 

LocalLady, according to the 2006 World Cruise brochure, in suite soft drinks and bottled water will be complimentary to all SS cabins and above. Also Complimentary dry cleaning, pressing and laundry services. Also free USA today or International Herald Tribune. Right now, all we get is a New York Times digest... 8 pages, 8-1/2 x 11.

 

Bepsf, There doesn't seem to be any additional perks for the S categories, but Neptune Lounge/ concierge, binoculars and umbrellas, priority tender boarding, etc are not in the cards for SS in the near future.

 

Cruisinggranny, Slinkie and Grumpy have sent out the laundry twice so far and everything has come back clean.. shirts and pants on hangers, everything else neatly folded. Some passengers have said they had to send some items back to be pressed again, though. The ship has a good ride, but we've only encountered 12 ft seas so far. It bobs and rolls, but no worse than Grumpy has encountered on other larger ships. Coming out of LA, there were a few, including crew, that got seasick, but not very many. That's one of those things that is pretty hard to predict. Probably just the right combination of pitch and roll frequency, orientation of beds, etc could induce seasickness in just about anyone. Grumpy knew an ablebodied seaman years ago that had sailed ocean freighters all over the world. The only time he ever got seasick was on an ore freighter on the great lakes. Go figure...

 

Mark B, just accept the fact that you're hooked and book the cruise... you cannot resist... you're eylids are getting very heavy... you will forward a 10% fee to Grumpy's retirement fund... The Red Baron scores another hit...

 

A few days ago, Slinkie saw a meeting of Red Hatters listed in the daily program. There were 8 that showed up, including our Slinkie. Apparently, it was just a shot in the dark.. the social hostess didn't know if there were any on board or not, but was pleased with the turnout and will probably schedule another meeting. Slinkie hadn't planned on anything like that, but had purchased a purple skirt that she wore on Mexican/Aztec night and had a red top and scarf, so she was all set. (except for the red hat). Well, her tresses have a hint of red, so that should work in place of a hat...

 

The official count from the captain is that there are 701 passengers, of which about 570 are making the full trip. 24 cabins were removed from passenger inventory to accomodate entertainers and other special staff. There are also quite a few single cruisers, so the total passenger count is well below the listed official maximum passenger capacity.

 

Time to get this on the board, will try to attach The Pic. Nope too large, will have to edit it down.

 

Slinkie and Grumpy

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Grumpy and Slinkie-

 

I hope by tomorrow morning you are back into warm weather! Thanks so much for answering our questions so well! We sure are really enjoying this cruise, vicariously being on the trip! Make sure you have a Mai-Tai while you are in the Hawaiian Islands for us! :D

Aloha!!:cool:

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