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John and Diane's 125-day Adventure at Sea

Johnny B

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Thursday, January 26 - Day 23 (sort of)

Honolulu, Hawaii


It’s actually Friday morning, but yesterday was so full that I’ve just now finally had time to write. I’m hardly the only passenger to have this problem, but it’s just such a wonderful port that everyone seems to be running here and there and everywhere, and when they’re not, they’re accessing free internet. What a treat. It really is ironic that 900 people sign on for an exotic round the world cruise with ports that people only dream of visiting, but then get really quite giddy when we pull into an American port where Verizon works and there’s a Wal Mart. Who knew?


Honolulu has a beautiful sail-in, but when we arrive at 6:00 and sunrise isn’t until 7:15, it pretty much doesn’t make anyone want to get up at 5:30 to try to see Diamond Head in the dark. We did get up about 6:30, and when we looked outside it was still dark, but the Aloha Tower was next to the ship and it was beautifully illuminated. Gene announced that passengers could get off at about 7:30, but we had to have breakfast and showers, so that put us back until about 9:00.


The ship didn’t provide a free shuttle (very disappointed at that), but Maui Divers did. The word “free” is an interesting one. The shuttle took us to the Maui Divers Jewelry Center, where we had to take a 20-minute tour, including an “opportunity” to buy jewelry in their showroom, and then ending in a Hilo Hattie store where John actually bought a new Aloha shirt. I think his total is now at about 40! Then we had another shuttle, which actually took us to Waikiki, our real destination. I guess “free” can have a price.


We always like to look at the changes in Waikiki, since we’ve been visiting it since our first trip in 1964. At that time, Kalakaua Avenue was a bit seedy but a great place to have a cheap lunch or dinner. We usually ate at Stewart’s Drugstore on the corner of Lewers and Kalakaua, since we were basically starving students, one of whom worked as a secretary at a travel agency, which made the trip possible.


What’s different this trip? The iconic International Marketplace is now history, replaced by an incredibly upscale “mall”, but at least they still have the central banyan tree. We wandered around it a bit, but then headed out to the street again to find some sand, which we accessed near the Halekulani. We walked along the beach and found a great bar/restaurant sitting just above the water, and because it was 11:00, we figured it was too early for lunch but not too early for mai tai’s. We saw on the menu that they were $12.00, but when we got the bill they were listed as “AM Mai Tai’s” for only $8.00. Welcome to Waikiki! Who knew there were rewards for drinking before noon?


We finally found a good spot near the Sheraton to roll out our towels. Since we’re never here in January, I was surprised that the water was pretty cool, but not too cool to jump in and enjoy. After an hour and a half of sun, it was time to find some shade.


Next stop was lunch, so we headed down the beach to Duke’s. We often go to Keoki’s in Poipu Beach, Kauai, and since this is the same chain, we figured we’d take advantage. I guess anything that serves mai tai’s and sits on the beach must be a good place for lunch - and it was. Fortunately, Duke’s is located in the Moana Hotel, the pick-up spot for the return shuttle. This one was non-stop, for which we were grateful.


Sun and mai tai’s require a nap, and when we awoke we decided to explore the area. When we walked away from the water, we found ourselves on Fort Street, which used to be a highly questionable area, but it’s been completely updated and emphasizes the history of Honolulu. We found the ever-desirable Wal-Mart where we bought some cabin necessities like chips and Pass-O-Guava juice (my favorite in Hawaii).


There was a Hawaiian barbecue from 5:30 until 8:00, so we decided to take advantage, but didn’t get there until about 7:30. Our friends Jane and Bill wandered through, so we took turns going to get dinner - including whole roasted pig, an interesting sight. We just sat outside eating and talking until Gene joined us. He had to leave at about 9:15 to get ready for the Hawaiian cultural show in the Queen’s Lounge, so at 9:25 we headed down there too. The place was packed, but we finally found a place to sit. What a great show! It was loud, with drums and singing and dancing, and everyone seemed to enjoy it enormously.


By the time it was over, I was ready to hit the sack, and that’s the reason this is being written on Friday morning. Aloha for now.


P. S. We don't get the Sommelier menu or wine list until we enter the Pinnacle.

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In case you haven't been able to follow the Australian Tennis Open results, this year is one for the "old guys", male and female -


The Williams sisters

Federer and Rafa


Should be an exciting weekend for watching tennis on TV live. Even more exciting to be there, of course.

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Friday, January 27, 2017 - Day 24

Honolulu, Hawaii


Another wonderful day in paradise, which we spent very differently from yesterday. The day began for us when my watch alarm went off at 7:00 - yikes, that’s late for us. We pretty much just putzed around (with me writing yesterday’s post) and then finally showered and headed up for breakfast. Our plan for the day was to explore the historical areas near the ship, including Chinatown, and we knew it wouldn’t matter if we began late, so we did.


Finally, at about 10:00, we headed out down Fort Street and found a great market selling everything from produce to flowers to decorations for tomorrow’s Chinese New Year celebrations. We wanted not only to send our granddaughter’s post cards for Hilo and Waikiki, but we decided to stop at Wal-Mart to pick up some chocolate-covered macadamia nuts to send to her parents. So . . . two boxes of candy and two postcards later, we found the post office, sent the package, and headed toward Iolani Palace, the only royal palace in the United States. It truly is beautiful, and right across the street from it is a famous statue of King Kamehameha which is draped in hundreds of leis on May 1, Hawaiian lei day.


Across the street from both of those monuments is a beautiful stone church whose name I can’t spell. It was the first Christian church in Hawaii, and it is the place where statehood was announced in 1959. We couldn’t go in because they were preparing for a wedding this afternoon, but we did get a peek and the carved koa wood and stained glass windows create a beautiful place for worship.


One thing I really and truly needed to do today was get a pedicure (yes, needed!), so we headed back to Fort Street where I found a cute little nail salon that could take me right in and make my little toes glow with new color. Talk about an accomplishment. Poor John said that he’d wait and read (free internet, you know), but the 45-minute pedicure took over an hour, so he was really happy to see me when I was finished.


We decided to just have lunch on the ship today, where we ran into a couple of friends out on the Lido and caught up on how everyone had spent their day. By the time we finished, it was just about time for the mandatory emergency drill, where it’s now even harder to skip because the little machine reads everyone’s key card. They make it quite clear that anyone who refuses to attend these drills may not sail on the ship. Safety is really important business.


All-aboard was at 3:00, although a couple of tours were late, and our 4:00 departure was delayed because two people weren’t back yet. I really wouldn’t want to have to explain that I had kept 2000 people, passengers and crew, from sailing because I was late. I’m sure that having to answer to the captain would be worse than being sent to the principal in 5th grade.


Sailaway was beautiful. The sky was blue with a few puffy clouds, and Honolulu was backed by rugged mountains and bordered with turquoise-blue water. The back deck was crowded with many people ordering mai tai’s, the official sailaway drink. The hot hors d’oeuvres were little grilled lamb chops and those went like hotcakes. After about a half hour, the officer of the watch announced that whales were spouting and breaching on the starboard side, and I’m surprised the whole ship didn’t list to the right as everyone raced over to the railing with cameras in hand. I think Jeff got a couple of good photos; I certainly didn’t.


We’re back to our dining room table tonight, but the evening show has been replaced by the movie Amelia, about the life and adventures of Amelia Earhart. After two full days in port, folks are pooped, and it wouldn’t be fair to an entertainer to perform to a mostly empty theatre. Since the Australian Open women’s final begins this evening at 10:00 our time, that will be our “show” for the evening. And a belated Happy Australia Day to all our friends down under.


Three sea days coming up - I think we all need the rest.

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Saturday, January 28, 2017 - Day 25

At Sea en route to the Marshall Islands

Posted January 29 because of internet problems


I think that I wrote that we have three sea days coming up. Now I think it’s four, but I’m not sure. Boy, this International Date Line idea is confusing. Our friends Jane and Bill made reservations for the Pinnacle for January 30, but then they found out that there would be no January 30. I guess we go directly from January 29 to January 31, and then figuring out what time and date it is at home gets very complicated. We usually call our daughter and family on Wednesday afternoons because that’s “early out” day for Jessica’s school and we can talk for awhile. It took me almost a day and a half to figure out that in order for us to call next Wednesday at 3:00 PM, we have to call from the Marshall Islands on Thursday at 11:00 AM. Go figure. I’m usually relatively OK with time changes and such, but when you start changing days on me, it’s confusing.


Although everyone loved Hawaii, it’s nice to be back to sea days (whatever number there may be). The rocking makes sleep sounder, and since sunrise isn’t until about 7:20, we sleep later in the dark. By the time we got up to the gym it was after 7:30, and even though we’ve walked and walked for our three days in Hawaii, it was still tough on that treadmill. The funny part is now hearing people complain that the only shuttles go to Wal-Mart. Since half the ship seems to love Wal-Mart, I don’t quite get that.


Today was distribution day for Book Club selection number two: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of Pilgrimage by a Japanese author named Murakami. I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I immediately liked this book because of its cover. Front, back and spine are covered by a map of the Tokyo subway system and it reminds me a lot of the Underground map in London - one of my very favorite places. Of course, knowing that I choose wines by their labels would help to explain this fault of mine.


We’re also back to Trivia, and there are some really tough teams. One team, which we had consistently beaten, is now getting perfect scores from time to time. Another team, which has a member who announced that they would win every game after San Diego because a certain man would board there, is now explaining their failure to win ANY games by saying that he had had a series of small strokes and, consequently, is not as sharp as he used to be. We have the same six members as before and are still having as much fun as before, but we haven’t won since San Diego. We do come in 2nd or 3rd from time to time, but that’s the way it goes. It’s sort of like Jeopardy, in that it depends what the categories are. John’s crackerjack on history and geography, Cathy is great on contemporary music, Marty’s the best on Broadway, Marianne has really good general knowledge, and Barbara comes up with some incredibly logical answers that the rest of us overlook. For example, one bonus question was, “How many colleges were in the original Ivy League.” While five of us were busy arguing about which colleges were original, Barbara simply got a piece of paper, wrote “IV” in capital letters, and we instantly knew that the correct answer was 4 - just in case anyone ever asks.


It looks like our dining table is back to all eight of us, which is still great fun. Last night we laughed so much that I think we offended the couple at the next table. I hope not, but they did not look happy. Susie keeps saying, “I love this table,” and I think everyone feels that way, which makes for eight very happy cruisers.


P. S. We only finished fourth in Trivia today, and it was because John said that one of the three animals in the Sphinx was a bird (in addition to lion and human) and we wrote cat. This gives him bragging rights for some time.

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Sunday, January 29, 2017 - Day 26

At Sea en route to the Marshall Islands


As you know, there is some type of entertainment each evening in the Queen’s Lounge, usually offered at both 8:00 (for early seating folks) and 10:00 (for the rest of us). Generally the entertainment is of a high quality, but occasionally it is exceptional, as with the Spanish/Italian/Uruguayan singing group 4Ever. Last night was one of those nights, as we were privileged to enjoy an evening with Bobby Brooks Wilson, the son of Jackie Wilson, the famous Motown/blues singer.


Bobby’s story is almost as interesting as his singing and dancing. Apparently he never knew his father, and didn’t know he WAS his father’s son for quite some time. When he began his singing career, he advertised himself as Jackie Wilson’s son, and he was promptly sued by Wilson’s estate as an imposter. DNA now comes into the equation, and when he was proved to be who he said he was, the estate had to back down.


He really is the consummate entertainer. He sings, with the ability to mimic several different singers, he dances like he was born with dancing shoes on, he’s funny as heck, and he has the ability to bring the audience into his act. He sang “Lucille” by Little Richard, including the “big eyes” characteristic of that singer, “All Shook Up” complete with vibrating legs, a la Elvis, “Shout,” and his dad’s “Lonely Teardrops.” The finale of his overtime act (which everyone appreciated) was “My Way,” over a montage of slides of his and his dad’s lives, including his dad’s friendship with Elvis. The standing ovation at the end was richly deserved. Fortunately, there’s another one of his shows coming up in a few days.


The weather has improved soooo much. Yesterday it was blue, sunny, and about 80 degrees, tempting us out onto the back deck for a couple hours of sun. Since I was lying on my back the whole time, I have a red chest and “owl eyes” where my sunglasses sat. I guess that means that today I have to have an equal amount of time on my stomach to ruin the skin on my back equally.


This evening is a “gala” occasion, with a Black and Silver theme. Since I accidentally left my perfect black and silver evening dress at home, I’ll have to improvise, and that problem will be solved this afternoon with a hunt through the closet after my time at the “beach.” Philip, the dining room manager, told us that our officer this evening would be Dr. Dave again, and we are very pleased to hear that. We’ve asked Philip if he would be our officer some formal night, and he said that he would love to, but not tonight when he has to oversee the assignment of 25 officers. BTW, if you wish to have an officer at your table (and I don’t know on which cruises they do this), it helps to have a large table, which we almost always have done.


The Amsterdam Singers and Dancers will be performing tonight, but because of the Black and Silver Ball at 10:00, the shows will be at 5:00 and 7:15 instead of the usual 8:00 and 10:00. Should be fun, and we’re looking forward to all of this evening’s activities.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - Day 27

At Sea en route to Marshall Islands


If you’re one of those people who hates Mondays, this would have been the week for you. We got rid of Monday altogether. You may have noticed that yesterday’s post was dated Sunday, January 29 and today’s post is Tuesday, January 31. It was that darned International Dateline striking again. The card on our beds last night told us to “set your clocks ahead 23 hours.” I think that’s way too complicated; all we have to do is set our clocks back one hour and remember that today is Tuesday and not Monday.


Last evening’s festivities were great fun. We began in the Crow’s Nest at 7:00 for a glass of wine with friends. Yesterday I mentioned that I had left my black and silver dress at home by accident. Lucky me - another of our friends was wearing the very same dress! It would have been a bit awkward to be the “black and silver twins.”


At 8:00 we headed down to the dining room where we found Dr. Dave waiting to greet us. He is such excellent company and just a whole lot of fun. The only problem is that I think that the couple behind us think we’re having just a bit too much fun and then they leave early. We talked and laughed until about 9:30 when the Black and Silver Ball began in the Queen’s Lounge with a large crowd.


The only ball we had on the holiday cruise was on New Year’s Eve, but for that one there was nary an officer in sight. Last evening the place was crawling with them, from the Captain down to one-stripe interns - and they were there to dance. It was such fun, and in addition to John, I danced with Dr. Dave; Henk, the Hotel Manager; Gene, the Cruise Director; and Captain Jonathan. I felt like Cinderella at the ball, but my slippers were silver rather than glass.


One nice thing about these balls on the ship is that they are of limited duration. It began at 9:30 and ended promptly an hour later, so those of us who wanted to continue dancing headed up to the Crow’s Nest, where the band continued to rock out. I think we headed home at about 11:30, but after setting back the clocks, it was only 10:30, so we were able to get a good night’s sleep.


We’re looking forward to a quiet, restful day today, but the skies are cloudier than yesterday (when it was perfect), so I don’t know if we’ll get out to “the beach” again. My front had 90 minutes one day and then my back had 90 minutes the next, so I don’t want to press my luck. It may just be a reading and nap day.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017 - Day 28

STILL at sea - Marshall Islands tomorrow


Although this is our fourth day at sea, most passengers don’t seem to mind as much as they did on the rough passage from San Diego to Hawaii. We, of course, love it. The sky remains blue, the temperature is about 80 degrees, and the winds are just enough to cool the sunbathers. It does remain an incredibly restful passage across the Pacific, with three really interesting island ports coming up very soon. The one thing we notice as we approach our next ports, however, is the increase in humidity. As Californians, we aren’t used to humidity, but as long as the temperature stays around 80, it shouldn’t be too bad (probably famous last words).


As always happens on a long voyage, we’re beginning to hear more coughing and nose-blowing as lovely little bugs spread from one person to another. Fortunately, we’ve stayed pretty healthy (here she reaches over to knock on wood) and hope to remain that way by lots of hand washing, Purell, and exercise.


Last evening, the general consensus at dinner was that most were skipping the show as it was “only a saxophonist,” but we decided to give it a shot. His name was Barry Seacroft, and although he’s an Aussie, he was raised from the age of eight in Ireland. He still talks like he just left down under, though. I wondered about his instrument, since it was absolutely straight, but he explained that it was a soprano saxophone. He played a combination of classical pieces (loved “Flight of the Bumblebee”) and Irish tunes, including a medley of music from Lord of the Dance.


It was another “turn the clocks back” night, so when we went to bed at 11:20, it was only 10:20, providing lots of sleep. I couldn’t go to sleep, however, until I finished my new book club selection: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage3 I had begun it in the morning, but it really grabbed me and I really needed to find out what was going to happen next, so I just read and read until I finished. It has a very open-ended conclusion, but I just loved the book and learned a great deal about Japanese culture by reading it.


Finally! Yesterday we actually WON at Trivia, and didn’t even tie with anyone. This is the first time we’ve won since the segment from Ft. Lauderdale to San Diego. I think it’s like Jeopardy on television: if the categories are ones we know, we do just fine. The question we missed asked what year the White Sox “threw” the World Series. We had a number of guesses, but none of them was correct. It was 1919, in case you’re curious.

Our friend Marty knew what I thought was the hardest question: In the movie West Side Story, who was killed first? He knew it was Riff, but none of the rest of us knew it. Lucky us!


Another relaxing day coming up, and we get to rest up for tomorrow’s port, Majuro. It’s one of those funny little ports where there are absolutely no HAL shore excursions. My preference is to find a nice hotel with a pool and a beach (and free internet) and hang out for the day. Only time will tell.


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I can hardly wait for your report on Majuro. What you have planned for the day sounds like heaven to me, and as a new port it will be interesting. As always, thank you for letting us cruise with you. Cherie p.s. congratulations on coming in "first" in Trivia again.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017 - Day 28

STILL at sea - Marshall Islands tomorrow




Finally! Yesterday we actually WON at Trivia, and didn’t even tie with anyone. This is the first time we’ve won since the segment from Ft. Lauderdale to San Diego. I think it’s like Jeopardy on television: if the categories are ones we know, we do just fine. The question we missed asked what year the White Sox “threw” the World Series. We had a number of guesses, but none of them was correct. It was 1919, in case you’re curious.

Our friend Marty knew what I thought was the hardest question: In the movie West Side Story, who was killed first? He knew it was Riff, but none of the rest of us knew it. Lucky us!


Another relaxing day coming up, and we get to rest up for tomorrow’s port, Majuro. It’s one of those funny little ports where there are absolutely no HAL shore excursions. My preference is to find a nice hotel with a pool and a beach (and free internet) and hang out for the day. Only time will tell.



Congratulations on your team's solo Trivia win. Do you have members of your team from different countries? Being Australian, I don't even know "White Sox" nor what World Series, yet I know Riff was the first killed in West Side Story, a universal musical. It is always a thrill to be the only one who knows the correct answer or being able to convince your team to go with your calculated guess, when no-one really knows the correct answer. Continue to have lots of fun with your trivia.


Looking forward to hearing about your visit to Majuro, as I am fascinated by the Marshall Islands.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017 - Day 29

Majuro, Marshall Islands


Majuro is the capital of the Marshall Islands, and it is so thin that as you walk down the main (only) street, you could throw a rock into the ocean on either side. It’s shaped like a fishhook and is somewhere in the ballpark of ten or twelve miles long. We docked in the village of Delap and, while there was a shuttle to the Alele Museum and Library in the middle of town. We thought it would be a 15-20 minute walk, but it turned out to be much more than that, more in the vicinity of three to four miles. That wouldn’t have been so bad, but the 87 degree temperature and about 90% humidity made it a very long walk.


When we arrived at the park outside the museum, it looked like half the town had turned out. In fact, because there’s only about three ships which call at Majuro each year, school had been let out and it seemed to be a town holiday. There was a bandstand in which local folks were able to show off their singing ability (and there were some really good singers) and there were dancers, and about a dozen high school students were wearing blue tee-shirts which said, “Welcome m/s Amsterdam.” This was about the warmest welcome we’ve seen in a long time. As we walked to the center of town, we were greeted by numerous residents with friendly waves. The people may not be rich in material goods, but they are rich in culture and family relationships.


We wandered through the museum, and were especially struck by an exhibit which detailed the 67 nuclear tests that took place in the Marshall Islands between 1947 and 1955. It was eye-opening and poignant.


After buying the necessary post card and sending it to our granddaughter (for 36 cents postage), we wandered over to the Robert Reimers Hotel, #1 on Tripadvisor. We used the ($5.00/hour) internet in the restaurant/bar and then had a walk through the lovely tropical grounds. While there are some brightly painted motel-like units along one side, there are also several large, thatched-roof rooms that we would have been happy to occupy for a few days.


Then it was time to head back to the park for the shuttle back to the ship; the walk one way had been quite enough, thank you. The line was extraordinarily long, but all of a sudden four shuttles showed up and we got two of the last few seats on the last shuttle, even though John had to use the jump seat in the middle of the aisle. The best thing about returning to the ship was the air-conditioning. We just aren’t used to that level of humidity and it really takes it out of you.


A nap was necessary, of course, and then it was time for sailaway, with Pina Colada specials and some delicious macadamia-encrusted chicken “nuggets” served with a light sauce. As people were standing out on the back of the ship taking a last look at Majuro, the skies opened up and the rain poured down. I’ve seldom seen so many people move so fast.


One real treat this evening was in the Piano Bar. Bobby Brooks Wilson is good friends with Debbie Bacon and her husband, and they set up an “Elvis” evening in the Piano Bar at 7:00 and then again at 9:00. Bobby was a bit late, but he really made up for it in his performance. The two of them did a lot of improv on the songs, and it was a wonderful way to spend the hour before dinner.


It was a great day at an out-of-the-way port that we’ll probably never return to, but which we really enjoyed visiting.

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You have a good balance of experiencing ports and shipboard life, then reporting on it. You are doing the sorts of things that I would want to be doing, so it's especially nice to read your reports. It's the only way I will ever experience them.


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Friday, February 3, 2017 - Day 30

At Sea en route to Guam


Did you know that Guam has the largest Wal-Mart in the world? Neither did I. We’ve been told that as fact, but yesterday someone said it might be K-Mart. Who knows? As this cruise has seemed to turn into the Wal-Mart cruise, the former may be the case. I guess because of the U. S. military presence on Guam, a super-large point of sale was necessary, so there’s a huge “mart” of some sort there. Some people are so excited about this!


We, however, are interested in hiring a taxi for a couple of hours to visit some World War II sites. Here’s a secret tip: we read the descriptions of the ship’s shore excursions, decide what sounds interesting, and then do those things on our own. Although ship excursions are terribly overpriced, our main objection is the time allotted to things like two-hour lunches and the requisite shopping stop, not to mention the 50 people on the bus and the getting on and getting off time. We do want to see the interesting sites, but don’t want the “frosting” of unnecessary (at least to us) stops.


Yesterday our friends Woody and Susie became our temporary roommates, at least for part of the day. When Susie got up in the morning, she found her feet squishing on a soaking rug beneath her. It turns out that the cabin next door had a leak (discovered by their neighbors at 4:30 AM) and it seeped under the wall into their cabin. They had to get everything off the floor, so we offered our cabin as a storage facility. Since we were going ashore, we had two keys made for them, which then invalidated our keys. We did take care of that problem when we returned, thanks to one of the ever-patient young ladies at the front desk. When it became apparent that the situation wouldn’t be solved in one day, Woody and Susie were moved into a temporary cabin which is estimated to be their “home” for a couple of nights. Not a good situation. Of course Susie told them that they’d be happy to be relocated to a sixth floor verandah cabin, but I hope she doesn’t hold her breath on that one.


Usually 7:00 is Crow’s Nest time, but last evening we had a far more entertaining place to be. Since Debby Bacon was performing Elvis with Bobby Brooks Wilson, we arrived early at the Piano Bar, were joined by friends, and thoroughly enjoyed the nearly hour-long performance, only improved by the appearance of “Elvis,” (courtesy of Debby’s husband Ron). When “Elvis” began gyrating to the music, Bobby looked at him, and in a complete deadpan voice, said “I thought you were dead.” The place roared

with laughter.


One thing that confuses me some days is the difference in sunrise time from day to day. For several days, it was bright and sunny by about 6:15 in the morning, but when I looked at the clock this morning and saw it was almost 7:00 but it was still dark out, I was puzzled and had to check the daily schedule to see if we were supposed to set our clocks back. We weren’t, but sunrise was later (about 7:10) and it was rainy and dark outside. I guess we just have to depend on the clock rather than the sun.


The day has been cloudy all day, with light and heavy rain alternating. Right now I think we’re on the heavy part of that, and as I sit in the Ocean Bar (reserving our space for Trivia), the windows have heavy drops rushing down outside. Of course, after mentioning our win in Trivia, we only came in fourth yesterday, so pride has its price.


This evening we’re having dinner in Canaletto with Denise Vivaldo, the current guest chef and an old friend from several cruises ago. We don’t seem to get together without laughing a lot, which I guess is the sign of a good friendship. Since we won’t be at our table, I believe our tablemates are inviting Henk and Lucia, the Cruise Specialists’ voyage hosts to take our place. We’re going to have Oliver and Maddy, two of the cast singers to dinner early next week, since we’ve gotten to know them over the course of the cruise and enjoy their company. They did tell us that they love to eat in the dining room, but have to be invited to do so, so we’re happy to oblige. BTW, if you ever see or hear an entertainer or speaker you thing is interesting, just drop him/her/them a note via the front desk and issue an invitation for dinner. Most of the time they’re happy to join you. We’ve had some of our most interesting visitors at dinner over the years by doing this.


With this kind of weather it will be another reading and napping day - what could be better?

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Friday, February 3, 2017 - Day 30 At Sea en route to Guam

BTW, if you ever see or hear an entertainer or speaker you thing is interesting, just drop him/her/them a note via the front desk and issue an invitation for dinner. Most of the time they’re happy to join you. We’ve had some of our most interesting visitors at dinner over the years by doing this.


We would love to invite some of the speakers or entertainers to dinner, but we always have Early Dining. Will entertainers, speakers, or ship’s officers attend dinner at Early Dining or will they only attend dinner at Main Dining? Love reading your posts!!

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I have a couple questions if you have time...no hurry. Have they published the breakdown of nationalities on this cruise? I assume most are American, but I'm sure there are passengers from all over the world.


And, there is a thread on CC re the 2018 cruise being sold out. Are they taking deposits for it on your cruise? It would be hard for first timers who are now hooked and can't join next year.


It will be interesting to see if HAL does something nice for your friends who had to leave their cabin because of water, I'm hoping for the verandah cabin. It's raining again in So California so traveling in a tropical climate with you is wonderful. Cherie

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