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LIVE from the 2018 HAL Grand World Voyage!

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At Sea – March 2, 2018

 

They fixed my banging noise and I got a good night’s sleep and was able to get up for water aerobics. (I got a call just before lunch to make sure the problem had not returned).

 

We are now back into winter (technically) since we crossed the equator for the second time last night.

 

About ten (people come and go) at Sit and Stitch and Judy Lee taught me how to do the cast on for a pair of socks knit from the toe up. My cuff down socks are finished.

 

At 10:15 I went to have my temperature taken for entrance into the Philippines. Very high-tech. You walked past a camera. If the image changed colors you had a fever.

 

For morning trivia we had 13 correct and two teams tied with 14.

1)What is the major ingredient in Thousand Island Dressing?

2)How many brains does an octopus have?

3)Bronze is an alloy of which two elements?

4)What does A.M. and P.M. stand for?

5)In Romeo and Juliet, what was Romeo’s last name?

 

We made a stone pendant in arts and crafts.

 

I read a little and then finished the toe of my new pair of socks before afternoon trivia. We had 12 correct and the winning team had 14 (out of 17).

1)What is Scotland’s second largest city?

2) What country did the Romans call Hibernia?

3)What is the official language of Egypt?

4)What kind of Indian food is “kulfi”?

5)How many stars are on Alaska’s flag?

 

After talking with the trivia team until after 6 pm, I got ready for “Name That Tune” with Jamm. I only had 14 out of 30 (I played by myself).

 

For dinner I had fried English Cheddar Cheese, egg drop soup, Chicken Makhani, and a blueberry sundae for dessert. I skipped the show since I have to get up early for my excursion tomorrow.

 

Puerto Princessa tomorrow.

 

Morning trivia…

1)mayonnaise

2)9

3)copper and tin

4)anti-meridian and post-meridian

5)Montague

 

Afternoon trivia…

1)Edinburgh

2)Ireland

3)Arabic

4)ice cream

5)8

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That is any easy way to check temperatures.

Hope their is no more banging to disturb your sleep.

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Glad to hear they have corrected the banging, Kathi.

 

Nice of you to give a tour of your cabin to help your roll call members decide if it was a cabin they could stay in.

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Puerto Princesa, Philippines – March 3, 2018

 

The tour I chose for today was called “Puerto Princesa Highlights”. Our first stop was at the Palawan Heritage Center which had current art works as well as artifacts from the history of the island. They also had excellent air conditioning! 😊

 

We then went to the Palawan Special Battalion WWII Museum. This is a privately-owned museum and contains artifacts from the war as well as some earlier ones and even a pair of shoes once owned by Imelda Marcos.

 

After a ride in the country we arrived at the Iwahig Penal colony which houses all kinds of prisoners who work the land and get re-educated. This is on the site of a former US army base. Some of the inmates danced for us and then a few of the guards joined in for another dance. We then had time to buy some souvenirs made by the prisoners.

 

Our last stop was for Plaza Cuartel and the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. There was a Japanese garrison on the site of Plaza Cuartel and a POW camp. A number of American prisoners-of-war were murdered nearby in 1944.

 

There were a few stalls by the ship and I bought a few more souvenirs before returning to the ship for a late lunch.

 

Only nine present for 3:30 trivia so we formed two groups. Once again our team lost (14 out of 17 – winners had 16).

1)What is the official language of Latvia?

2)What do most lobsters and crayfish do with their shells when they have molted?

3)What name if often given to the Boeing 747?

4)What is the name of the first manned mission to land on the moon?

5)What was the US name for the first Gulf War?

 

Had my afternoon ice cream before 5:00 trivia. Only Bonnie, Rodney, and I were present for our team. We had 13 and two teams tied with 15 (out of 17).

1)Whose birthday does Bermuda celebrate on the second Monday in June?

2)In what city did the band U2 form?

3)Who was the Beatles’ bass guitarist?

4)What causes pollen to stick to bees?

5)In what city would you find the Rembrandt House Museum?

 

Went to the Seaview Pool area for sail-away. Puerto Princesa had dancers and a large “Bon Voyage” sign as a send-off and in return we gave two series of toots.

 

For dinner I had a Caesar salad, short rib Beef Stroganoff, and a butterscotch sundae for dessert. I skipped the show but am listening to it as I write. He is doing Motown and sounds real good.

 

Sea day tomorrow.

 

 

3:30 trivia…

1)Latvian

2)eat it

3)Jumbo jet

4)Apollo 11

5)Desert Storm

 

5:00 trivia…

1)Queen Elizabeth II

2)Dublin

3)Paul

4)electromagnetic charge

5)Amsterdam

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This is my first world cruise live thread to read and I think this will be my next bucket list cruise to book. Either 2020 if I can't wait or 2022 when I don't have a 10% penalty. Thanks for providing so much detail. Haven't yet looked at blog and pictures but I've bookmarked the page and will catch up one of these days.

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This is my first world cruise live thread to read and I think this will be my next bucket list cruise to book. Either 2020 if I can't wait or 2022 when I don't have a 10% penalty. Thanks for providing so much detail. Haven't yet looked at blog and pictures but I've bookmarked the page and will catch up one of these days.

A World Cruise was the #1 item on my bucket list when I retired. I am now on the second one - they are very addictive!:D

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At Sea – March 4, 2018

 

Since there was no water aerobics this morning I slept in. Arrived at Sit and Stitch at 10:00 and was there by myself for a while. Judy (Lee) showed up for awhile and after she left Bonnie arrived. Margaret came by for a minute but did not knit. I finished the knitting for the cowl made from the alpaca I bought in Sydney.

 

Morning trivia gave us 12 while the winners got 13. We are thinking of changing our name to “The Bridesmaids”.

1)In which county in the UK is Bamber Castle?

2)What is Batman’s butler’s first and last name?

3)Which animals are on the Philippines coat of arms?

4)What is the largest animal to inhabit the Earth?

5)Which is larger – a megabyte, a kilobyte, or a gigabyte?

 

My next project is a shawl made from the alpaca I bought in the terminal in Hobart. It came in a hank and I haven’t rolled a ball of yarn in ages. I started before lunch, worked on it some more before afternoon trivia, and finally finished it before dinner. UGH!

 

In arts and crafts we made lace earrings.

 

Read and worked on my sock before returning to ball winding.

 

Afternoon trivia was looking fairly dismal at the beginning but me managed to get 11. The winners had 13 out of 17.

1)Into what sea does the Yukon River empty?

2)How long did the Hundred Years War last?

3)Hg is the atomic symbol for what element?

4)In Judo what color belt follows orange?

5)How many times did Henry VIII get married in 1540?

 

Rodney, Marilyn, and I went out on deck 3 to check out the pirate preparations after trivia. A lady walked by and said we should go to the port side and see the beautiful sunset, so we did. Got to talking with Jim and Jessica about trivia (they are on another team) as it got dark.

 

Back to the cabin to finish the ball winding (and I have two more to do but that can wait until I need them).

 

For dinner I had Cheddar and Beer Soup, Chateaubriand, and Crème Catalana for dessert.

 

Listening to the show (a musician) in my cabin. I need to make it an early night because I have two full day tours in Manila. Tomorrow’s is 11 hours long!!! And I forgot to mention the high is predicted to be 95. Tomorrow’s blog may be delayed.

 

We are scheduled to dock in Manila by 8:00 am.

 

Morning trivia…

1)North Sussex (none of us knew there even was a North Sussex)

2)Alfred Pennyworth

3)a lion and a bald eagle

4)blue whale

5)gigabyte

 

Afternoon trivia…

1)Bering Sea

2)116 years

3)mercury

4)green

5)2

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Oh my, Kathi - an 11 hour tour in that heat? I admire your tenacity. Enjoy and we can wait for the blog - we appreciate you taking the time you are.

 

Enjoy your tour :)

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My heavens -- we could never have done an 11 hour tour when we were young. Sure glad you can handle it.

No problems -- we can wait for your report.

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Batman did not have a butler. Bruce Wayne did. People would have noticed if Alfred's paycheck said Batman on it. :)

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Manila, Philippines – March 5, 2018

 

We arrived early in the morning and beat the other three ships into port. We were cleared to leave the ship just around 8:00.

 

Bonnie (trivia teammate) had set up a private excursion on Cruise Critic for the two days in Manila for seven of us. The first was to the site of the former Clark AFB (which at one time was the largest American base overseas). Her father had been stationed there in the early 60s and she wanted to see it again. We had three veterans on the tour, one of whom had flown into Clark a number of times during the 60s and early 70s.

 

We left about nine and although it is only about 45 miles it took us close to two hours to get there. The traffic in Manila rivals any other large city. We had a comfort stop at a very interesting place on the highway. It had a number of small stalls selling various products but also a number of chains like McDonald’s and Starbucks.

 

When we arrived at Clark everyone was disappointed that the museum was closed. Instead we walked around for awhile in the area of the parade field. We next looked for the remains of the hospital where Bonnie’s father had worked. During the height of the Vietnam War many badly injured soldiers were brought here for treatment. After getting directions from a number of locals, the hospital was found. It was abandoned in 1991 after Mount Pinatubo erupted covering much of the area in many inches of volcanic ash. It is now often called the “Ghost Hospital” because people have heard screams coming from the empty building.

 

Next we went to a park with planes from the Philippine Air Force (which took over part of Clark after the US left) next to some of the buildings that housed airman.

 

It was now lunch time so we went to a large mall. There are quite a few large malls in the Philippines and the guide said people loved them because of the air conditioning. Bonnie asked the guide for a suggestion of a restaurant that served typical Philippine food. He recommended a buffet that was very popular with the locals. I think we were the only westerners in there. None of us knew what we were eating but none of us came out hungry. A very nice lady came over and talked with us and then gave us some watermelon she and her family had brought with them.

 

After lunch we headed back to look at the K-Nine Cemetery and Clark Veterans Cemetery. At the entrance to the Veterans Center was a marker for the Bataan “Death March”. This began after the early April 1942 surrender to the Japanese. American casualties were estimated to be between 500 and 650 and Filipino deaths more than 10 times that. It was declared a war crime and General Homma who was the overall commander of the men in charge of the march was executed after the war was over.

 

We then started our trip back to Manila. We were scheduled to return by 8 pm but because we missed the museum we returned much earlier (around 5) beating the worst of rush hour (although you could have fooled me – driving in Manila is crazy).

 

Returned to my cabin exhausted even though we had spent a lot of time in the very comfortably air-conditioned van. About 7 I made my way to the Lido for dinner (Cyndi, Ed, and I had already told our dinner table not to expect us). While passing the Lido pool area I saw there had been tables set up all around it with table cloths and hats for the visiting families of the crew. Everyone was disappointed that they were not being allowed on before 7pm. The port authority had refused to allow them because there were four ships in port and security could not process the visitors. By the time I finished my dinner there were many crew family and friends all over the Lido deck enjoying themselves. Luckily, they have most of the day tomorrow to be with their loved ones.

 

Returned about 8 to my cabin. Spent a few minutes out on my deck and then caught up on e-mail and started on the blog. No show tonight – they are broadcasting the Academy Awards. We start tomorrow’s tour of Manila at 7:45 a.m. :eek: so my goal is to be in bed by 10:30!

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I was in the Navy in the late 1960s and was stationed at a transmitter site in Capas, Tarlac, north of Clark. Three times a day a bus made the run from our base to just outside Clark in the part of Angeles City called Balibago (pretty much Navy territory, not Air Force space). The Navy base has been de-commissioned, but what made it famous was that was originally called Camp O'Donnell, the end of the Bataan Death March. It was a long trek and most did not make the entire distance.

 

Clark was huge, our base had 98 enlisted men and 2 officers and our PX was smaller than my bedroom. If we wanted anything of significance, we ordered it thru the Clark PX and had it delivered to our base. If we wanted to really do some shopping, we rode that bus onto Clark and did our purchasing that way.

 

I used to tell people that the weather where I was stationed was only two seasons: hot; and hot and raining. When I first arrived on base that looked at my footwear and got me some above-the-ankle boots. When I asked why that was necessary as I was an office-type person, I was told that eventually I would be outside and those boots helped to deter the snakes!

 

Jim

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It is too bad that so many museums around the world are closed on Mondays. I try to figure that kind of thing into plans when we are in port.

 

Jim

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hi where did the cruise start please? here will it end?

do they keep serving you different meals daily or do they start over with the same menus again?

are you tired of sailing yet? how often do you do your laundry?

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Sounds like a great day on tour Kathi.

 

Glad to hear that the crew get to see their families and have the entire day tomorrow. Nice of the ship to set things up for them all, too.

 

Bet there are a lot of big smiles on crew's faces today. :)

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hi where did the cruise start please? here will it end?

do they keep serving you different meals daily or do they start over with the same menus again?

are you tired of sailing yet? how often do you do your laundry?

We started in Fort Lauderdale on January 4 and will return back there on April 28.

 

Some items on the menu repeat but not the entire menu. We also have some items only once that are locally sourced.

 

I purchased a laundry package that gives me unlimited laundry for the cruise. I usually send out a bag every two or three days.

 

I don’t think I could ever tire of sailing. There are always things to do - sometimes 2 or 3 at the same time!

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We started in Fort Lauderdale on January 4 and will return back there on April 28.

 

Some items on the menu repeat but not the entire menu. We also have some items only once that are locally sourced.

 

I purchased a laundry package that gives me unlimited laundry for the cruise. I usually send out a bag every two or three days.

 

I don’t think I could ever tire of sailing. There are always things to do - sometimes 2 or 3 at the same time!

 

Kathi,

 

You are not 4-star yet? Will this cruise put into that level? I know you sail other lines but I thought you had more than enough days with HAL to be free laundry eligible.

 

Carole

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Kathi,

 

You are not 4-star yet? Will this cruise put into that level? I know you sail other lines but I thought you had more than enough days with HAL to be free laundry eligible.

 

Carole

Not even close! I only had 70 days going into this cruise (this is only my fourth HAL cruise). If I spend enough money I will be four star for my next cruise.:D

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Sounds like you had a wonderful day.

Are you sorry that you missed the Museum?

Not as much as Bonnie and the three Vets on the tour. It would have been nice to get more of an overview of Clark and its importance.

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Manila, Philippines – March 6, 2018

 

It has been a long day and as I start writing this it is only 9:38 p.m.!

 

The seven of us on Bonnie’s Manila tour met at 7:45 and started our tour at 8:00. We first drove past Manila Bay (the site of Dewey’s defeat of the Spanish in the Spanish-American War), by reclaimed land that now has numerous casinos as well as the Mall of Asia, and through a very poor section to a Jeepney factory.

 

When WWII ended the US government decided to leave behind many Jeeps. Some of these were sold and some given to the Filipinos who started modifying them as mass transit. Today most of them are not made from Jeeps. The factory we saw takes old parts and puts them together as well as fixing Jeepneys. I’m not sure there is such a thing as a “new” Jeepney.

 

From the Jeepney factory we headed to see the “Bamboo Organ” constructed by Fr. Diego Cera in the early 1800s. We were shown around the museum, seeing some of the original keys, as well as a demonstration of how the organ works. Then we were taken into the church (St. Joseph’s) where the organ was played for us.

 

Heading back into the center of Manila we visited Rizal Park named for the Filipino hero, Jose Rizal who was executed close to where the park is now located in 1896 after being convicted of treason against the Spanish. From there it was a short drive to the old walled city of Intramuros.

We toured Fort Santiago and in the museum saw the cell where Rizal was held during his trial as well as information about him and his life and death.

 

Lunch was next (we were all wilting by this point) in a very nice restaurant called Barbara’s. It was authentic Philippine food again and other than the salad fixings and rice, I’m not sure what it all was.

 

At this point it was almost 2 pm and we were scheduled to have two more stops – the National Museum and Casa Manila. As all aboard was at 4:30 and we wanted to be back at least an hour before that, we chose to just go to the museum. We saw many of the displays including interesting ones on weaving, textiles, and artifacts from the wreck of the San Diego.

 

We were back to the port just after 3 pm where I spent the rest of my Philippine money.

 

Showered and didn’t do much of anything until time for afternoon trivia. Only Rodney, Bonnie, and I played. We had 13 out of 17 correct and the winning team had 15.

1)How many engines are on a 747?

2)How many eyelids does a cat have?

3)What was the first motion picture filmed in color to receive the Best Picture Oscar?

4)What is the only bone in the body not connected to any others?

5)What natural fabric is used to make denim?

 

Went out on deck as we sailed out of the bay. We passed a USN ship, the Bonhomme Richard according to the captain, which had a deck full of helicopters.

 

I was invited (along with the rest of the trivia team) to our morning teammate’s birthday celebration in the Canaletto. The team (Rodney, Marilyn, Tom, Jeanette, and I) sat together along with one of the dance instructors, Kirsten. We ordered one of each of the appetizers (except the soup) and shared. Almost all of us had the special for the evening – lasagna – which was delicious. I had gelato and birthday cake for dessert.

 

For those reading my blog, I am not posting pictures tonight. I am too tired to sort through the 250 pictures (that’s after trashing the poor ones!) for today. Also, the internet keeps cutting out (I have been knocked off three times in the last hour!) Check back tomorrow.

 

One sea day before Hong Kong.

 

Trivia…

1)4

2)3

3)Gone With The Wind

4)hyoid

5)cotton

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