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LIVE - Coral Princess - Circle the Pacific - 09-19-2018

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09-18-2018

 

We have finally arrived in San Pedro to prepare to board the Coral Princess tomorrow on its 60 day Northern Pacific Circle Route that will take us from Alaska to Japan, China, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, Guam and Hawaii. A pretty epic adventure on one of our favorite classes of ship.

 

OCPD (Obsessive Cruise Planning Disorder) is one of my major ‘issues’. And this cruise was certainly no exception. The roll call was started in May of 2017 and for the past 15+ months all of us on the rolls have been planning and scheduling and thinking about this cruise. So hopefully, the internet gods willing, you will all get a little taste of the trip with us. I’m hoping that several of my fellow cruisers chip in and provide different perspectives on this cruise in this Live From.

 

So let’s get the basics out of the way, shall we?

 

We are Charles and Judy from Colorado Springs. Flew in yesterday because I could not stand one more day staring at a pile, and I mean a big pile, of suitcases. Originally planned to be in today, but that went away. We are staying at the Doubletree in San Pedro. I am a HHonors members and try to stay at Hiltons because I use points. The last time we stayed here I was disappointed. Not this time. The remodel is over with and its very nice. Not to mention the chef is pretty good and the food is tasty. A room upgrade to a suite didn’t hurt either. Now we have plenty of room to lay everything out as we re-pack from boarding.

 

Speaking of re-packing, this was the most we’ve every packed since our first cruise in 2001! 4 checked, 2 carryons and a backpack that did NOT fit in the RJ overhead (I hate those Canadair 200’s!). With 48 pounds for each checked piece in the cart I am wheeling around the airport, having forsworn years ago the use of one, this cruise has proven to be a packing challenge with 3 seasons to pack for, a ship full of elites to delay laundry service, and 60 days of ‘stuff’ to consume. We did 61 days in the Med on the Ruby with only one checked and one carryon each several years ago! But the cameras are bigger, the pharmacopeia more extensive, the need for better quality shampoo, conditioner and body wash, and the number of vitamins and supplements in the pack took up almost all of one carry-on! Then there are the shoes! 5 pairs each! And my 14’s take up most of a suitcase all by themselves!

 

Oh, I can hear it now – the gasped ‘5 pairs of shoes each!?!’ – so here is where OCPD comes into play. One pair of hikers, one pair of deck shoes, one pair of dance shoes. That’s the bare minimum. But for 60 days, shoes get wet one day and you have to have a spare for the next day while the one dries out. So we bring a combination shore/deck shoe as a spare. Dance shoes? Last cruise my dance sneaks/formal shoe soles tried to abandon ship. We ended up in the Victoria Market in Melbourne buying shoe goo as our supply of super glue, in our first aid kit for wounds, was insufficient to fix the problem. So now, for these longer cruises, I am bringing a complete spare set of dance/formal shoes.

 

See what trouble OCPD can get you into? Spare this, spare that, pretty soon you are packed for survival at sea! And yes, there are even spare laces for the shoes as well. (They also double as sign holders for the Halloween costumes and for fire bow drills if we get stranded on a desert island with all of our luggage.) Of course the signs are laminated! What do you think we are? Amateurs? Then add 20# of candy for the crew, Halloween door decorations, rain gear, emergency rain gear, wipes of every type imaginable (body, hands, insect and unmentionables – indispensable in Asia), energy and electrolyte drink mixes and the electronics – oh don’t get me started on the electronics!

 

Enough about packing. Let’s talk itinerary.

 

Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Kodiak – 2 ports in Alaska we’ve never been to. Across the Northern Pacific, maybe the Bering Sea? Down to Kushiro, Yokohama, Osaka and Hiroshima Japan. Been to two of the ports, but this time we will do different things. Kyoto from Osaka, Yokohama itself instead of Tokyo, the fish market in Kushiro and Miyajima Island in Hiroshima. Then its Beijing, Incheon, Shanghai, Okinawa, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Been to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, but have not seen everything. Okinawa, Incheon and Taiwan are new to us. On to Vietnam and two new ports, Ha Long bay and Hue. In Phu My we will do Vung Tau and avoid the scooter chaos of Saigon. Over to Manila, Guam, Honolulu, Kauai and back to LA.

 

Most ports have nice long port times. As in docking by early morning and leaving at night. Looking forward to having dinner in several ports. We have a mix of private excursions and DIY planned. One of our fellow organizers on this cruise (Pam of pamandcookie) organized a whole bunch of excursions. I took the easy way out and found a vendor in Vietnam to take care of everyone at all the ports. Then several other people jumped in with private excursions as well. Princess made a big mistake by pre-charging for excursions. That removed the final incentive, for me, to book with princess.

 

DIY for us is a mix of public transport. We are going to try and do Kyoto from Osaka on the Shinkansen – gotta do that at least once. Miyajima via Hiroden and Ferry in Hiroshima. Yokohama via the Akai Kutsu bus. Okinawa via the monorail. Hong Kong to the Big Buddha via metro and Cable Car. For us it is about the journey. I was so tickled to learn, on the last cruise, how to navigate the metros of Sydney and Tokyo during our pre and post cruise stays. Kind of personal, minor victory. Yep, we got stuffed into a Ginza line car in Tokyo and loved it!

 

So anyway, here we are, ready to get started and I’ll try and update this as we go around the Pacific.

 

Get on-board! Let’s have some fun!

 

Later!

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I always love your ‘live froms’, but I’m especially looking forward to this one as we were originally booked to join you for the full 60 days. Our plans changed, but I will still get to do this cruise vicariously through you.

 

Thanks for taking the time to keep us updated!!

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Traveling along with you! Wishing you safe travels & lots of memories. Bon Voyage!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Thanks for taking us along. It will help pass the time till my next cruise. Brenda:cool: :cool:

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Your packing scenario had me giggling. Thanks for the laugh, I suffer from OCPD too (not suffering really). My spare bedroom bed has become a landing strip for our cruise on the Coral, when you return from your 60-day adventure. We're doing the Panama Canal - 19 day. Our plane leaves Sacramento at 5:55 am - the same day we board. So, we'll be camping out at the airport the night before. We've already been ticketed and we got free air with this cruise. DH didn't want to fly down the day before, so a camp out. UGH! Have a great trip and I look forward to reading about your adventure(s).

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BTW - Ask any questions, but I can't guarantee an answer right away. I will be composing updates off line and then simply pasting them in and I might not have time to read all the question posts. So I apologize up front. I'm not ignoring you! I'm just not reading all the questions! And sleeping, and eating and dancing and drinking...and...and...and...

 

Hopefully others will pop in with answers as well.

 

For what we are doing on the ship, the plans we've made, the cruise website is in my signature line below. It pretty much summarizes all the activities we have planned on-board, as well as all the private excursions we've collectively put together. Feel free to download or copy any of the information from the website for your own future cruises to the area.

 

So we just had a great breakfast at the Doubletree and now its time to stroll around the marina area. One of our favorite things to do...

 

Later!

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Looking forward to following along. We know some folks that are joining in Shanghai for the second half.

Enjoy!

Edited by sawtooth
mistake

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Aloha!

I will be following your live thread obsessively for the next month and a half, as my wife Leialoha and I will be joining the Coral Princess in Guam as your Hawaiian Ambassadors for the trip through the islands and back to LA.

 

We are looking forward to performing for all of you and sharing our islands with everyone. Safe travels and see you all soon!

 

Aloha No,

Tiki Dave

(Of Elua)

http://www.facebook.com/eluamusic

http://www.facebook.com/tikidavemusic

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Enjoying already!! This looks like a possible cruise for a 20th anniversary :D:D

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Enjoying already!! This looks like a possible cruise for a 20th anniversary :D:D

why yes it does countess......

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Wonderful to see another of your "Live From".

 

Love your writing style and content.

 

Judy

 

Sent from my WAS-L03T using Tapatalk

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Just got back from Dinner at 22nd street landing with some of the roll call group. Fresh grilled swordfish...mmmm. On the expensive side, but this is Cali on the water.

 

Nice to put some names with faces finally. Roll call started in May 2017 and we have over 300 CC members signed up.

 

On the 11:30 shuttle in the morning to the port. Two ships in dock tomorrow, Star and Coral. Hopefully our luggage doesn't end up on the Star. That would not be good.

 

First coffee klatch, with Holomoku's coffee mascot is scheduled to start at 0700 at the Deck 5 coffee bar area on the 20th.

 

Meet and greet at 1000 in Explorer's.

 

See you all there!

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I'll see you in the am Charles. This is going to be fun.

 

Fun?!? You're the one bringing all the wine!!!

 

Yep, this is going to be a lot of fun!

 

See ya!

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Fun?!? You're the one bringing all the wine!!!

 

Yep, this is going to be a lot of fun!

 

See ya!

Couldn't take a chance of them running out!:eek:

 

Tomorrow.

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