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John and Diane's 125-day Adventure at Sea


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I am impressed that you are able to watch the Australian Open on TV on the ship.

 

We are currently have a heatwave here, so I have been watching the Australian Open live sitting, in my wet togs, in front of a fan.

 

Enjoy your day in San Diego picking up last minute supplies and catching up with friends.

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Fingers crossed that the rain gods are kind for you!!!!

It is 5:15 am here in San Diego ( my beach town Encinitas) the rains started around 4:30 this am. 4 storms back to back coming in. I sure hope there will be a calm for all so you can enjoy walking to get supplies.

Will be down having dinner tonite, so we will watch the sail away !

Denise/)

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It is hard to believe that "we" have already transited the Panama Canal twice on this adventure. I hope you are enjoying the beautiful sunshine we are enjoying two hours north of SD. You may be in for a wonderful sail-away today. Thank you again for taking us along. Cherie

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I may have missed this, so if already reported - sorry. I have been reading your comment regularly - THANK YOU SO MUCH!

 

Question - who is in the Piano Bar for the WC (or whatever it is now called on the Amsterdam.)

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

San Diego, California

 

We walked through fairly heavy rain six loooong blocks from the ship to Horton Plaza since we didn't want to wait until 9:30 when the shuttle began. When we arrived, I was cold, wet, and fairly miserable (somewhat alleviated by Starbucks). We wandered into CVS to pick up the things on our list, and as I was hunting for the zip lock bags, a gentleman said, "I really enjoy reading your blog." Boy, what a lift that gave me! It turned out to be Rich and Peg, but I'm still not quite sure how he recognized me.

 

We slid quietly into our centrally located dock about 6:30 this morning to quite the rainstorm. The comments about the rain between Paso Robles and Morro Bay could have applied to the rain between the ship and the mall. All non-US citizens must be processed before anyone can disembark the ship, so we had plenty of time for showers and breakfast before heading out for more showers on our hike. The outing was very productive, however. We picked up our miscellaneous items at CVS and then found some nice additions to our cruise attire (on sale) at Macy's.

 

At about quarter of 11, it was time to grab a taxi for the trip to the Waterfront Bar and Grill, to meet our pal George Geary for a late breakfast. We caught up on our lives since December 21, when we last met there. George confirmed that he'd board as Guest Chef in Mykonos and stay on board until Funchal, Madeira. Debbie Bacon, who plays in the Piano Bar, was supposed to go with us, but she was required to be on board for the day.

 

Then it was time to head back to the ship to watch the 90 or so "newbies" wandering around the ship along with lots and lots of "V" marked visitors on board for the day. We spent some time with our friend "Spa Renee" and our old friend Renee from Orange County, who was on board for the day. It was great to see her. It is amazing how easily one makes friends during this 4-month great adventure.

 

One really nice thing about this port is that we get full Verizon coverage while we're in port, so we've been able to catch up on all kinds of things. We get so used to being aware of every minute on shipboard wi-if that it's a real treat to just go crazy on it. The same thing will be true in Hilo and Honolulu, but that will be it for the rest of the cruise.

 

So . . . We begin the next segment of this wonderful cruise with warnings of high seas and wind between here and Hawaii. We'll batten down the hatches and look forward to the remaining 95 days.

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Diane, Once again thanks for posting the book club selections. I have just finished reading all five of them (I obviously need something to do or a cruise - next month). I think this is the best group of books I have seen on the World Cruise - my hat is off to whomever chose these books. Barbara

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Friday, January 20, 2017 - Day 17

At Sea en route to Hilo, Hawaii

 

Last evening the captain promised 15-foot swells for today and asked us to make sure that nothing breakable was in a position to fall. As I sit in the library looking out the window, I see that he was correct; the seas are quite high and the ship just leans to one side and then the other. I’ve seen a lot of people with little round patches behind an ear, and green apples and saltines are available at the front desk. We love it, of course, as we finally feel that we are at sea. Instead of sailing a straight line from San Diego to Hilo, however, Captain Jonathan has steered the ship south, along Baja California, to miss the worst of the storm. Bless him.

 

Yesterday’s sailaway was in the midships Lido, because rain was expected in the evening. Unlike the sailaway from Ft. Lauderdale, however, we had to pay for our drinks. We sat with our entire table group, and later Jacques, the Cellar Master and Gene, the Cruise Director, joined us as we chatted up a storm. The ocean was calm as we sailed out of the harbor, saying goodbye to a great day in San Diego.

 

The gym was a bit of a challenge today; it was absolutely necessary to hold on tightly to the treadmill’s “handlebars” and a couple of times I even had to watch my steps to be sure I stayed on. After 30 minutes I decided that I’d had enough of rocking and rolling for exercise, so I headed out to the Lido for breakfast.

 

As I walk through the public areas of the ship, it seems less crowded, and I think that some people are staying close to home because of the rocking. My guess is that many activities will be less well attended than usual, but who knows? There are a lot of hardy sailors on this ship. In fact, I understand that there are 35 President’s Club members as well as dozens and dozens of 4 and 5-star Mariners. Last evening we received a card in our “mailbox” that asked for patience with laundry. Since anyone who is 4 or 5-star gets free laundry, the poor people who work in the laundry are just overcome with too many tee-shirts and socks. On both the Koningsdam and the holiday cruise, laundry would go out in the morning and be back before dinner. Now that laundry is free for so many passengers, there is much less use of the laundromat and we’ve been told to expect a 3-day turnaround in laundry service.

 

Since this is the beginning of a new segment, we “begin” Trivia all over again. We had some interesting action day before yesterday, though. On the last day of a segment, we play an abbreviated game, get back all of our answer sheets for that segment, add them up and then get paid for them in “Grand Dollars,” formerly called “Dam Dollars.” We know our score every day, of course, and we know because of a show of hands who has done better or worse than us. Strangely enough, two teams that we beat on a daily basis had higher totals than we did, after adding up their own scores, of course. Strange how that happens. In addition, each team was to send one member up to collect their rewards, and one team’s representative tried to push her way to the front, insisting that her President’s Club status allowed her to do that, and if necessary, she could get someone from the front desk to escort her to the front of that line. Since several of our friends are in President’s Club, we know the rules and the only line where they are allowed to “jump the queue” is for tenders to shore. A couple of women made her get to the end of the line, and when she tried to tell our team of that imaginary “rule,” I told her that she knew better. She just looked me in the eye and said, “I really was only kidding.” Oh sure. Are we in junior high again?

 

We’re looking forward to our five sea days to Hilo, fully expecting that we’ll be bouncing and rolling all the way. At least it will be quite a bit warmer than our current 60 degrees when we get there.

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I'm wondering if you were lucky enough to get to know Darlene Carnahan who usually sings in the Crows Nest. We became good friends with her and Gia on our trip on the Zaandam last year. What a great gal she is! Don't know where all you are going but we will be on the Volendam from 2/28 to 3/28 and then transfer to the Queen Mary 2 for another 6 weeks at sea. We are Carrie and Barry from Phoenix, Arizona (Sweetipie) here on Cruisecritic

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I'm wondering if you were lucky enough to get to know Darlene Carnahan who usually sings in the Crows Nest. We became good friends with her and Gia on our trip on the Zaandam last year. What a great gal she is! Don't know where all you are going but we will be on the Volendam from 2/28 to 3/28 and then transfer to the Queen Mary 2 for another 6 weeks at sea. We are Carrie and Barry from Phoenix, Arizona (Sweetipie) here on Cruisecritic

 

Darlene and Gia left the Amsterdam on January 4. We had a great time with them on our Tales of the South Pacific cruise this fall. We enjoyed Darlene's sets with the Hal Cats very much.

 

Cheers, Denise

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Ahhhh, Trivia......oh yes, I know exactly who you are talking about. I wonder if Gene will (or has he already) invoked the "she who will not be named" rules again for trivia? As in, the team that corrects your paper is the one to hand it it (so that "she" can't hand in the team corrected one instead). At least, if I'm correct, you all won't have to deal with this after Singapore. In '15 that person got off there and I swear that I heard the entire ship cheer as we sailed away that day! I believe that the same thing will happen this time too.

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Saturday, January 21, 2017 - Day 18

At Sea en route to Hilo, Hawaii

 

It wasn’t until yesterday at Trivia that I discovered the “marathon walk.” I guess it had been in the daily newsletter that we receive each evening, but I missed it. Since there are 5 sea days between San Diego and Hawaii, there is a 6:30 walk each morning. It covers 20 laps of the Promenade Deck, which is about 5 or 6 miles, and takes about 90 minutes. It will continue each day until we arrive in Hilo, and those who cover the 100 total laps will have walked a marathon, or 26.2 miles. In addition, the real draw is that anyone who completes it receives 2000 Grand Dollars, which is a huge incentive. For those who can’t do the entire “marathon,” they can walk ten laps each morning, for a “half marathon” and 1000 Grand Dollars. I haven’t done it yet, but at Trivia today I’m going to ask Gene if I can begin late (this afternoon) and catch up before the end of the fifth day.

 

Last evening we had dinner in the Pinnacle with our friends Michael and Susan. The way that restaurant is laid out, each table is pretty private and it creates a nice little area where four (or two) people can be in a lovely little alcove. The food is always excellent, and the four of us had four different entrees. Michael had a steak, Susan had the stuffed eggplant, John had the cioppino, and I had the lamb chops. Everything was really very good. One of my favorite things is the little tiered tray they bring at the end of the meal with pretty little chocolates on it. We went through them pretty quickly, but Susan asked for more, and we finished those, too.

 

The weather was fairly bad yesterday, but today the seas are smoother and we have only some clouds, with much of the sky blue and sunny. I don’t think it’s “beach” weather yet, but hopefully it will be tomorrow. The captain’s decision to sail further south before heading directly for Hawaii seems to have been a good one.

 

We began our new segment of Trivia yesterday, and our team had such fun with some of the answers. We only missed three, but came in fourth. Oh well. We have such a good time with the six of us that we don’t mind that from time to time.

 

Our friend Denise Vivaldo boarded yesterday as the Guest Chef, and although I haven’t been able to catch up with her yet, she’s giving a talk today, so I’ll wander by to say hello. (I just did it and she’s just as much a hoot as ever) I’m signed up for her cooking class next week, and although her “real” job is as a “food stylist,” she cooks up some mean meals, too.

 

This evening is our third “Gala” night, and Doctor Dave told us that he’s not allowed to come to our table a third time, so I guess we’ll have someone new. I’m hoping that they’ll let him sit with us later in the cruise, since we all get along so well together.

Now it’s off to Trivia again; hope we do better than fourth today.

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Sunday, January 22,2017 - Day 19

At Sea en route to Hilo, Hawaii

 

Here we are, our third sea day on the way to Hawaii, and I’ve just jumped into an activity that began on Friday, our first sea day. After Trivia yesterday, I asked Gene if I could make up some of the laps, but he said the rules were pretty firm and I could not. However (always a good word), after completing the 20 laps each day, each person receives a card good for 400 Grand Dollars. So . . . what did I do this morning? I set my watch for 6:15 to be on time for the 6:30 beginning. I awoke early, though, so I was up and at ‘em at 6:00, in time to dress and do two laps before the official start.

 

It’s amazing how many people participate. After my two pre-laps, I went into the 3rd floor atrium to find it full of people in exercise clothes. Gene takes a photo at the beginning (if you’re not in the photo, you’re out of luck for Grand Dollars), and I was front and center in this one. Then we headed out onto the Promenade and began our 20 laps (or 18 more for me). I can walk very fast, but my short legs aren’t very long, so I really have to haul to get there. Fortunately, there was a lady in a plaid shirt just in front of me, and even though she also had short legs, she really moved - faster than me. All I had to do was to keep up with her (which involved some race walking from time to time) and I made very good time. Because it’s Sunday, my goal was to finish before 8:00 to give me time to shower and be in church by 8:50. I made it! I now have my 400 GD card, and I think I’ll walk the remaining two days for a total of 1200.

 

Last evening was a Gala night, but we didn’t have an officer because it was also a Captain’s Dinner and ten officers must be “on deck” to sit with people there. Henk, the Hotel Manager, told Susie that since he couldn’t come last night, he’d be there tonight. He’s always fun to have around, so I think we’ll have a good time.

 

The show last night was really entertaining. It was a five-man group which played ukuleles and sang. They were very talented, had wonderful voices, and there was a great deal of humor in the act. They were on two years ago, but we decided we’d skip that evening because who’d want to see ukulele players. Famous last words. Afterward, everyone spoke of how great they were, so we decided we’d better not miss them this time. An excellent choice!

 

We also have a group of Hawaiians (called “cultural ambassadors) on board, and in addition to teaching Hawaiian crafts each day (yesterday was lei-making), they entertain from time to time. We saw that they’d be at the midships Lido at 5:00 last evening, so we had almost an hour of wonderful singing and dancing. It’s a great introduction to Hawaii.

 

It’s completely clouded over today and the ship just keeps on rolling. When I began my walk this morning, the deck was completely wet from rain during the night, and I don’t think anyone will be doing any sunning today. The other problem caused by this storm is that television and internet reception are occasionally interrupted. Last evening we tried to watch the Australian Open, and it was really frustrating when the picture kept going in and out. The NFL semi-final games are scheduled today, and if they aren’t on, there are going to be some very unhappy passengers. Such is life. How people on a world cruise can find things to complain about, I really don’t know.

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Sunday, January 22,2017 - Day 19

At Sea en route to Hilo, Hawaii

 

Here we are, our third sea day on the way to Hawaii, and I’ve just jumped into an activity that began on Friday, our first sea day. After Trivia yesterday, I asked Gene if I could make up some of the laps, but he said the rules were pretty firm and I could not. However (always a good word), after completing the 20 laps each day, each person receives a card good for 400 Grand Dollars. So . . . what did I do this morning? I set my watch for 6:15 to be on time for the 6:30 beginning. I awoke early, though, so I was up and at ‘em at 6:00, in time to dress and do two laps before the official start.

 

It’s amazing how many people participate. After my two pre-laps, I went into the 3rd floor atrium to find it full of people in exercise clothes. Gene takes a photo at the beginning (if you’re not in the photo, you’re out of luck for Grand Dollars), and I was front and center in this one. Then we headed out onto the Promenade and began our 20 laps (or 18 more for me). I can walk very fast, but my short legs aren’t very long, so I really have to haul to get there. Fortunately, there was a lady in a plaid shirt just in front of me, and even though she also had short legs, she really moved - faster than me. All I had to do was to keep up with her (which involved some race walking from time to time) and I made very good time. Because it’s Sunday, my goal was to finish before 8:00 to give me time to shower and be in church by 8:50. I made it! I now have my 400 GD card, and I think I’ll walk the remaining two days for a total of 1200.

 

Last evening was a Gala night, but we didn’t have an officer because it was also a Captain’s Dinner and ten officers must be “on deck” to sit with people there. Henk, the Hotel Manager, told Susie that since he couldn’t come last night, he’d be there tonight. He’s always fun to have around, so I think we’ll have a good time.

 

The show last night was really entertaining. It was a five-man group which played ukuleles and sang. They were very talented, had wonderful voices, and there was a great deal of humor in the act. They were on two years ago, but we decided we’d skip that evening because who’d want to see ukulele players. Famous last words. Afterward, everyone spoke of how great they were, so we decided we’d better not miss them this time. An excellent choice!

 

We also have a group of Hawaiians (called “cultural ambassadors) on board, and in addition to teaching Hawaiian crafts each day (yesterday was lei-making), they entertain from time to time. We saw that they’d be at the midships Lido at 5:00 last evening, so we had almost an hour of wonderful singing and dancing. It’s a great introduction to Hawaii.

 

It’s completely clouded over today and the ship just keeps on rolling. When I began my walk this morning, the deck was completely wet from rain during the night, and I don’t think anyone will be doing any sunning today. The other problem caused by this storm is that television and internet reception are occasionally interrupted. Last evening we tried to watch the Australian Open, and it was really frustrating when the picture kept going in and out. The NFL semi-final games are scheduled today, and if they aren’t on, there are going to be some very unhappy passengers. Such is life. How people on a world cruise can find things to complain about, I really don’t know.

. There have been several mentions on Grand Dollars as incentives/prizes. How do they work? Can you redeem them against your shipboard account?????
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Monday, January 23, 2017 - Day 20

Still at sea!

 

It was another early rising day for me, since I’m determined to do the 20 laps each day, which will end tomorrow. While the official starting time is 6:30, I arrived this morning at 6:00 so I could get in 6 laps before the dozens of people head out. I’m a fairly fast walker, but the woman I used as a pacer yesterday decided to walk even faster today, so I soon lost sight of her. Part way through, Gene came out to walk with me for a few laps, and he mentioned that this particular activity won’t be repeated because of too many complaints from the people on Deck 2. Having had a cabin there for one cruise, I certainly understand how they feel. If it’s not the lounges being moved, it’s people who begin at 5:30 AM and don’t understand the “No Jogging” sign, or even women in spike heels who decide that an 11:00 PM walk in the moonlight would be just the thing.

I am enjoying the whole activity, but I have to confess that I’m a bit more sore this morning than yesterday.

 

Last evening we knew that Henk, the Hotel Manager, was coming to dinner, but when I arrived in the dining room, I saw no one at our table. Instead, Asep, the downstairs dining room manager, explained that it would be too crowded at our regular table, so we were to be at the ginormous round table in the middle of the dining room. I found it entertaining that when our officer is the doctor, our regular table is just fine, but when it’s the Hotel Manager, we need a much bigger and more centrally located table. Poor Henk - I can’t imagine anyone who takes himself less seriously but is treated like visiting royalty.

 

The show was great. It was just the four singers: Brianna, Oliver, Maddie (Oliver’s fiancee) and Tom. The guys are British and the young women are American, but you couldn’t tell by listening to them sing. The songs were well chosen and they have such beautiful voices that it’s a joy to hear them.

 

Today is a nice, quiet, boring day - my favorite! We’ll play Trivia at 11:45, have lunch, take a nap (5:45 is just TOO early to get up in the morning), and then top off the day with a little excitement: the James Bond Sommelier Dinner in the Pinnacle. Again, it will be too much food and too much wine, but we’ll struggle through it somehow. Tina, the Pinnacle Manager, is in the process of putting together the seating chart, so I stopped by to ask for particular friends to join us. It should be great fun.

 

Only one more sea day (and one more early morning) before Hilo, where we have a car rented for a drive to Volcano National Park. We haven’t been there for years - actually, since it was possible to drive around the sound end of the island - so we’re looking forward to seeing all the changes.

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I read Jeff is considering a change and stopping cruising - please pass along as a blog reader of his since at least 2009 I thank him for his time and letting us tag along.

 

His photography has grown leaks and bounds too, it's been a fun read over the years!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - Day 21

At Sea - tomorrow is Hilo

 

Last evening was the first of three Sommelier dinners on the WC. The theme was “James Bond - 007” and it’s been sold out for some time. There will be two more of these events and we’re booked for both. It really is good to have a beautifully planned dinner (of many courses) paired with excellent wines. We met in the Wine Bar, where there were trays of martinis (shaken, not stirred, I imagine). As I’m not fond of hard liquor (unless it’s in a margarita), I took a pass on that and went for the lovely Moet and Chandon Champagne which was poured as the first wine.

 

The dinner began with an amuse bouche of crab and caviar in a crab mousse and served in a cute little expresso cup. I’m not a huge caviar fan, but the taste of the crab overwhelmed the caviar, so I thought it was quite good. Everyone at our table enjoyed it, and we just wanted more. We were seated at a table for five with our friends Craig and Sumi as well as Oliver, one of the Amsterdam singers. It was a great group and I think we all enjoyed the company.

 

Our second course was tuna, and although I do not like raw fish at all, this dish had four very thin slices of raw tuna, but the fennel and ginger marinade made it very palatable. I quite surprised myself. This course was accompanied by Domaine Laroche Chablis Premier Cru from France, and it was a lovely dry white wine which went well with the fish.

 

Next it was time for a slice of duck breast, and after I cut off the layer of fat, it was very good. The dollops of pureed cherry made a perfect dipping sauce. John didn’t like it too well, but I did. The accompanying wine was Franciscan Chardonnay from California, and since I’m an ABC drinker (anything but chardonnay), I passed my glass over to John.

 

To “refresh our palates” (I think that’s what they call it), we had a small plate called “Textures of Martini.” No, I didn’t have any idea either. It was a round white frozen ball of gin atop a large white Japanese spoon along with a small scoop of vodka-flavored sorbet. I disliked the first but enjoyed the second. I’m not a gin fan.

 

The main course was excellent. It was a slice of beef tenderloin along with a small cylinder of short rib, accompanied by small amounts of pureed parsnip (better than I expected), sweet potato crisps, and a spear of asparagus. The wine for this course was Magnificat Franciscan Oakville Estate, also from California.

 

It was the dessert, however, that stole the show. Florin, the Culinary Arts Manager, had told me earlier in the day that I would be shocked, and I certainly was. It was called “Final Explosion” and the rectangular plate contained two objects: a dark chocolate “grenade” (with a small fuse) and a scoop of beige ice cream. All at the same time, servers came with small hammers and hit the “grenades,” releasing a cloud of powdered white chocolate. I really liked that part. The ice cream, however, was extremely unusual. It was foie gras ice cream (don’t gag right here), and the flavor, while distinct, was so mild that it really wasn’t too bad. I guess chefs like to create unique dishes, and this one certainly was.

 

In answer to the question about Grand Dollars, they do seem a bit puzzling, even to WC passengers. In fact, as I sat in the library beginning this blog, a lady walked up to the Explorations Cafe (i. e., coffee shop) and asked, “Can I use my Grand Dollars for coffee?” The young lady explained that no, she couldn’t, and she wandered off. There are always prizes for Grand Dollars. In some years it’s been tee-shirts and sweatshirts, in others things like electronic chargers, but this year it seems to be Amazon gift cards

(1000 GDs for a $10.00 gift card) and Kindles (5000 for a Kindle) and a few other things. The morning “marathon walk” has produced the largest number of GD’s - 2,000 if you completed the whole thing, but there are many shipboard activities that award small numbers, like Trivia. Some people, of course, cheat in order to get them, but most people just enjoy the activities where they’re earned. They can only be used for the prizes, and not for anything else.

 

Regarding officers at one’s table, this is something that I’ve been aware of since our first WC in 2008. For the most part, if you’re at a large table (six or more), you can ask the dining room manager or assistant manager to have an officer at your table on formal nights. Sometimes you get one; sometimes you don’t. As you know, we’ve had Doctor Dave twice and Henk once, but in the old days we had a chief engineer once who told us that he really didn’t like the whole idea - and pretty much just sat there quietly the whole time.

 

This evening there are just four of us because of another Captain’s Dinner, so I imagine we’ll sit at a smaller table to make it easier for Indy, our waiter. That usually means we finish dinner earlier, but that’s a good idea so we can get well rested for Hilo tomorrow.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - Day 22

Hilo, Hawaii

 

How could a day which starts with Spam for breakfast not be great? One of us had this Hawaiian “delicacy,” and it certainly wasn’t me. However, It did begin a memorable day at Hilo for us.

 

I’ve never liked the wet sides of islands. On Kauai, where we spend a lot of time, I much prefer Poipu to Hanalei. On Hawaii, the big island, I’ve always preferred Kona and the Kohala Coast to Hilo. Give me a beach, sunshine and a palm tree and I’m a happy girl. That was basically the way I was thinking about Hilo today, but it turned out that I loved it!

 

We had rented a small car so that we wouldn’t be stuck at the mall where the shuttle took passengers. Instead, we had a rental car shuttle to the airport where we picked up our Nissan Versa and headed out to explore. Our first stop was at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the home of the only bubbling volcano in the United States, and because of that, the only state which is still growing. We began at the Visitors’ Center, where a film showed us the history of Kilauea Volcano. Watching it was fascinating, but it made us wish we could be here at night to see the molten lava in all its fiery glory.

 

We continued to the Jaggar Museum, where we saw exhibits of the products of volcanoes, everything from plain old pumice rock to “Pele’s Hair,” which is made of such thin strands of lava that it really does look like hair. We passed by the Thurston Lava Tube, but knew our time was limited with a 4:30 all-aboard so we continued on our drive.

 

Our next stop was farther north at Akaka Falls, the highest free-falling waterfall in Hawaii. The park has a wonderful trail that takes visitors on a long walk with lots of steps through an area that could have been the setting for Jurassic Park. At home we fight to get our little ferns to live through the winter and grow to about two feet in diameter, where here they fight to keep them under 20 feet across. The tropical flowers are beautiful and the long steps up and down are well worth it.

 

It was then time to head back south toward the ship, but as we drove around one corner, we saw a small mom-and-pop cafe, so we pulled in, found a table, and went inside to order loco moco for John and rice with kalua pig for me. It was a meal that had absolutely nothing in common with our Sommelier dinner the other night, but it certainly was perfect for the time and place.

 

We only had one errand left: Target! We knew it was somewhere behind the Wal-Mart, and after a little poking around, we found it. Our shopping list was limited, but the trip was a success. There were two 12-packs of Diet Pepsi to be purchased, along with a box of small envelopes (for tips) and a post card for our granddaughter. It was quick, cheap, and we had achieved our goal. We had only to return the car to the airport and then take the shuttle back to the ship. It had been a long day but a really enjoyable one.

 

The highlight for many passengers was the sailaway party from 4:30 to 5:30, where the magic phrase, “Complimentary Drinks,” had passengers headed to the midships Lido like lemmings to a cliff. As with the party after sailing from Ft. Lauderdale, there were six little “huts” which served as bars, and boy were they busy. If you didn’t get there early, you’d better hope someone saved you a seat or you’d be walking around the deck for the entire hour of the party. The behavior of the guests was actually very good, and when I asked for a Diet Coke at 5:35, I was told, very politely, “Sorry, the party’s over.” I guess it had to end sometime or other.

 

Overall, it was a great day and I think everyone’s really looking forward to the next two days in Honolulu. What are we going to do? We’ll figure it out tomorrow.

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