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faerievert

Eurodam Feb 3, 2019 San Diego/Hawaii Live Thread

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Just got caught up on your reports.

 

I have a feeling that all items in the new shops will be expensive.

 

I also don't care for those fruity drinks.

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The Humanity dance/light show was very enjoyable. A mix of contemporary, jazz, hip hop, and a little latin & disco. The light and LED screen effects are very impressive. It felt a lot like watching the show So You Think You Can Dance, but it's only 6 dancers in different combinations and solo numbers for 45 minutes. My husband enjoyed it and he's not usually interested in strictly dance performances. I definitely helped that he liked most of the music. 

 

The room was PACKED for the 8pm performance. Go early if you can. We snagged a couple random seats left very near the front just a few minutes before show time after wandering around quite a lot. Balcony was easier to find seating, but very, very warm. Even the floor where I'm usually cold during the daily lectures was quite warm with so many bodies in the room. Guess I didn't need to bring my scarf after all!

 

Tip: There are hidden drink holders in the main stage arm rests! Little metal drawers pull out from under the hand area of the arm rest. Some are stuck (probably have spilled soda or juice liquid turned glue) but most seats do have a very small drink holder. I wouldn't try balancing the extra tall drink cups, or a wine glass with stem, but the standard 16oz mix cups and lido water cups fit perfectly. Ask for you drink to be in a sturdy glass if you plan to use these.

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After the show it was off to Pinnacle Bar for my husband's Port wine tasting. They asked him to go to one corner and we chatted with another attendee. I had only intended to stay until it started. I don't like Port. At perhaps 10 or 15 past the bartender informs us no one else has signed up so the tasting is canceled. He gave both attendees a complimentary glass of port (they had the choice between two). We stayed and chatted about craft distilleries and breweries in our home states while they drank, then headed back to the room. He was disappointed, but the free drink always helps. We were very surprised though. The wine tasting had been absolutely packed, and the price tag for the port tasting was reasonable. Maybe 9pm was too late for this crowd. 

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Random things based on things I'd read ahead of the cruise:

 

Yes, there IS still a yum yum man serving candies outside the MDR. And he still does the chimes before the set dining seatings. 

 

Yes, bread is still served with MDR dinner. It's not at the table at seating, but delivered very soon after. You could request to skip it if you preferred. It's a slightly different assortment of rolls/breads each day.

 

No, straws aren't available self-serve or included with most drinks (the extra tall glasses still get straws by default, because they're usually frozen concoctions and too hard to drink from even with liquid). They usually have tall clear straight plastid straws by default. Colorful bendy straws are also available. I'm certain you can get a straw with any drink if you ask a waiter or bartender. Use the same one and they should remember that you want a straw. I haven't seen any paper straws. 

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Slept in a bit today and woke just before morning announcements. Had to get up and listen to them at my door. I really wish you could decide for yourself if you want then broadcast in your room or not. 

 

Hit the Lido when it was officially closed between meals, but my muesli turned out to be one of the only things still available for breakfast during the turn over (the others were whole fruit and cereal). At least getting a seat is easy when meal service is down! Had a seat to sip some tea with my mini-breakfast. 

 

Today's talk was all about the Lei. Turns out you can make them from anything -- flowers, leaves, seeds, shells, ribbons, money, even candy. They're also considered totally unisex and should never be thrown in the trash. Toss in the sea as an offering or return to the earth (bury it, dry it and sprinkle on the ground, leave it in the forest, etc.). They are very much NOT a tourist thing and hawaiians really do give and wear them regularly for basically any occasion. All celebrations, common at business meetings, greeting visitors, etc. etc. Prices vary widely from $3 for basic flowers to many thousands for special shells (usually used for weddings or as a show of wealth, much you like might do with diamonds). 

 

Interestingly, pregnant women are supposed to not wear a closed-loop lei or anything else around their neck like a necklace according to superstition. So expecting mothers wear open-ended lei draped around rather than wrapped or abstain entirely. They will still wear on other body parts like wrists or ankles or hats. 

 

Also, it's considered very rude to touch someone on the head/shoulders with your hands, so you'll be handed the lei for you to put on yourself (generally giver will have arms outstretched overhead with the head bowed, but don't expect them to follow through with putting it on you). Somehow a kiss on the cheek or traditional forehead to forehead "kiss" doesn't count as the same kind of invasion. But they no longer consider it appropriate to kiss thousands of strangers on arrival as part of the greeting ceremonies (the germs!). Locals decide amongst themselves whether to use the cheek kiss or forehead/breath greeting. 

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Following the talk was lunch in the lido and a very disappointing announcement from the captain. Weather is taking a turn for the worse. We may hit 12 meter or more swells as we approach the islands. Our first stop was to be in Kona on Saturday. We can't possibly run tenders in that weather. He's canceled Saturday's stop. We will make it up on Monday. So we still get to visit Kona if the weather settles a bit as forecasted. But we miss out on Monday's original stop of Nawiliwili entirely. This is extremely disappointing as we had a private open-air biplane scheduled there.

 

I emailed our Kona plane tour and asked to switch to Monday. We can, but so far no one else is on that time slot and if no one else books the flight will be canceled. Of our private tours, they had the strictest cancelation policy -- requiring 7 days. We're probably out of luck if we can't convince anyone to join us on that 11-something plane tour of the big island. Company's called Big Island Air if anyone is interested in joining us! 

 

Luckily, the biplane company had a more generous cancelation policy and the refund is being processed now. Same for the plantation train tour there. It's not that I want refunds... I'd much prefer to have my experiences as scheduled. But short of that a refund is good. If you can't afford to lose out in case of a rescheduled port, EXC is the way to go. The extra price booking through the ship is best thought of as insurance. That's not usually worth it to us, but I bet this flip-flop is throwing a wrench in a lot of private arrangements! 

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This afternoon we did the premium wine tasting. I found the format a bit odd, but I think the problem was they sold more tastings than they had space for. So two tables -- us and one other -- had to be just outside the private corner room of the Pinnacle where the tasting was held. This messed with the flow and made it hard to hear. It came with 4 expensive wines and an impressive expanded food pairing plate. Odd to say I enjoyed the cheaper tasting more, despite very much disliking one of the wines on that previous one. I'm very glad this was included in our package and not something we paid the extra $39/pp for. Looking forward to the last tasting next week. Unlimited pours of like 10 different wines. We are paying for that, but know for sure we like at least 4 of the options and can definitely get our money's worth trying the rest. 

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Here's tonight's menu for the MDR. We won't be going. Today is my husband's birthday and so we've booked one of our two cellar master package Pinnacle dinners for 6:30. Yesterday he received a $50 gift cert to the spa (good for services 50 mins plus, among other restrictions) which he used to bring a massage down to a palatable price range. Today he received a cupcake in the stateroom with a card from the captain. A nice touch. We'll see if I get both myself next week for my birthday (yes, we both have birthdays during the cruise).

 

If Pinnacle fails to impress tonight, I'll be asking to swap my birthday dinner to the less expensive Tamarind. Anyone know if it's better to get the small or large filet mignon? I only want the small one, but getting a 7 oz properly medium-rare sounds like a long-shot. Do you recommend I order the 10 oz instead and just accept that I may leave food behind unfinished? Also accepting porterhouse vs strip steak recommendations for the husband.

menu-dinner-mdr-20190207.docx

Edited by faerievert

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1 hour ago, faerievert said:

Anyone know if it's better to get the small or large filet mignon? I only want the small one, but getting a 7 oz properly medium-rare sounds like a long-shot. Do you recommend I order the 10 oz instead and just accept that I may leave food behind unfinished? 

I'd order the larger one and leave it unfinished. 

 

But I'm that person who at a table full of medium rare orders?  Also orders medium rare yet gets medium well.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

 

 

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Happy Birthdays!  I have enjoyed your report.  You can listen to the announcements in your cabin by tuning into the Forward Camera on your TV.  I have always had my petite filets cooked perfectly (medium-rare) at the Pinnacle Grill.  The server has you cut into it to make sure it is cooked to your liking.  Whatever you do, don’t order the rib-eye.  Worst steak I have ever had.  Literally.

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On 2/5/2019 at 4:32 PM, faerievert said:

Discovered I can download the MDR menu each day! All the ones that are the same for the full cruise are below, plus today's MDR (first gala night). Rudi's is a pop up a couple nights in pinnacle on this ship. I've heard Pinnacle will also do a special valentine's menu on the 14th, but I haven't seen it yet. Note the MDR daily doesn't include the other half of the menu that's the same every day. 

menu-dinner-pinnacle.pdf

menu-dinner-mdr-20190205.docx

menu-lunch-divein.pdf

menu-dinner-rudisseldemer.pdf

menu-dinner-tamarind.pdf

menu-dinner-canaletto.pdf

Thanks for posting!   We like MDR lunches are those still available?

 

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On 2/7/2019 at 2:01 AM, faerievert said:

Tried the shore shopping presentation, but it started with a schpiel from the onboard diamond rep and I didn't last long enough for them to get to the part I was interested in. If they ever did. Guess I'll go get the port maps at one of the other "drop by" times. Highly recommend getting these maps even if you don't shop. Assuming they haven't changed too much, they were always super useful if you have any interest in seeing any of the port on foot. 

 

Today's cultural talk was a serious one. History of Hawaii becoming a state, basically from Captain Cook through to becoming #50. Including several very moving stories relating to pearl harbor. A lot of heavy stuff, but he's so good it's totally worth it and he impressively manages to both present the blunt, painful facts and keep the US from sounding like colonizing monsters. The main stage is more packed each day. Word is definitely getting around that he's worth coming to see. I would happily listen to him for at least three times as long every day.

I was so pissed off about that shopping presentation. I wished afterwards that I had just walked in got the maps & left. I even double checked the title of the presentation...nope didn’t say anything about shopping onboard! So the lady, Estee, then had to speed thru her presentation about the ports because he had taken 30 minutes of the time & they had to get done quickly so that everybody could go to the ribbon cutting for the shops. Omg! Quite frankly even if she hadn’t sped thru it, you didn’t miss anything. It was the typical Maui divers jewelry store, Cariloha, Hilo Hattie & Del Sol in every single port. Stupid me wasted my time for  that! 

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24 minutes ago, Augustina said:

Thanks for posting!   We like MDR lunches are those still available?

 

According to the schedule, yes, but I haven’t been for lunch at all. Some days pinnacle, too. It doesn’t post lunch menus for either. 

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Wow -- I am impressed. We have spent many birthdays and anniversaries on board HAL ships -- no cupcakes -- no cards -- nothing.  And sometimes we didn't even get a cake after dinner.

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1 hour ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

Wow -- I am impressed. We have spent many birthdays and anniversaries on board HAL ships -- no cupcakes -- no cards -- nothing.  And sometimes we didn't even get a cake after dinner.

So I am curious. How did they know it was his birthday? Did they get it from his Mariner info or is this something you told them when you booked the cruise? I'm celebrating my birthday on my upcoming cruise and those touches would certainly make my day more special!

 

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Huh - had always gotten a card & occasionally something at dinner when cruising on my birthday.  Make sure your birthday is in your mariner profile, perhaps?

 

Looks like the ship is getting close, and still on track for Hilo.  You can see the weather the Captain is worried about off to the west-

51221386_10217958727342156_7141767139861463040_o.jpg

51768462_10217957854600338_8139904521405988864_o.jpg

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I had received a notice last night that there had been an earthquake (about 4.6 on the Richter scale) several miles off the Big Island coastal area Thursday morning, and while there was no fear of Tsunami, I guess there were some aftershocks and choppy waters.  Is this another possible concern of the Ship's Captain?  Just curious.

 

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2019/02/07/no-tsunami-threat-after-magnitude-earthquake-shakes-big-island/

Edited by Buck1949

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Look into backup tours in Honolulu because that’s a safe harbor and your voyage & ours will be there extra days to ride out the storms. 

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Happy Birthday! I am enjoying your posts. My DH and I were booked on this cruise and had to cancel the week before sailing when he got sick.

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16 hours ago, fann1sh said:

I'd order the larger one and leave it unfinished. 

 

But I'm that person who at a table full of medium rare orders?  Also orders medium rare yet gets medium well.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

 

 

Went for the 10 oz and skipped the potatoes 😂 My steak was perfection. My husband’s, same 10 oz medium rare, was closer to medium, but his lobster was perfect and he didn’t want them to take away the steak if he complained. 

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5 hours ago, Snowesha said:

So I am curious. How did they know it was his birthday? Did they get it from his Mariner info or is this something you told them when you booked the cruise? I'm celebrating my birthday on my upcoming cruise and those touches would certainly make my day more special!

 

We had the TA note both our birthdays.

 

There was not cake at dinner or singing, but we were in pinnacle and didn’t mention it to the server. He already had the cupcake and wanted the lava cake so there was no point.

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2 hours ago, Buck1949 said:

I had received a notice last night that there had been an earthquake (about 4.6 on the Richter scale) several miles off the Big Island coastal area Thursday morning,

😱 no mention of an earthquake (yet). We’re to go to Honolulu tomorrow night by 8 and stay overnight to shelter from the storm. Sunday we were already scheduled to be there, so no change in that regard. We’ll just have a wet day 🌧 

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12 hours ago, skypig said:

I was so pissed off about that shopping presentation. I wished afterwards that I had just walked in got the maps & left. I even double checked the title of the presentation...nope didn’t say anything about shopping onboard! So the lady, Estee, then had to speed thru her presentation about the ports because he had taken 30 minutes of the time & they had to get done quickly so that everybody could go to the ribbon cutting for the shops. Omg! Quite frankly even if she hadn’t sped thru it, you didn’t miss anything. It was the typical Maui divers jewelry store, Cariloha, Hilo Hattie & Del Sol in every single port. Stupid me wasted my time for  that! 

Glad I didn’t stay! Tried to get the maps in the afternoon but they were out?!

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At 6 my husband and the rest of the ukelele class had the chance to play along with their teacher and the hula dancers at the aloha evening music hour. He’s getting pretty good! 

 

We we had to duck out early for our dinner reservation at pinnacle. The staff are very friendly! And the dinner settings very beautiful. But service was a bit slower than the MDR, which I found odd. Perhaps that’s a good thing. This meal is much heavier. First piece of bread was eaten and wine ordered before we ever saw our waiter. Our reservation was at 6:30. We were in our seats by 6:35 but didn’t place our dinner order until 6:50. In the MDR they’re asking for your order almost too fast so the delay really stood out.

 

The amuse of the day was called lobster flan (sort of a layered lobster bisque). I had a bite and gave the rest to the birthday boy. I don’t like lobster. My shrimp cocktail was so jumbo I had difficulty eating it. I shouldn’t have finished it. Far too filling for a started. Will not get again unless I ask for just one shrimp. It’s good, so if you like HUGE shrimp, you will be very happy! I prefer smaller ones, personally.

 

We had 10 oz filets, medium rare. Mine was spot on and very juicy. His was more medium, and therefore left a much smaller puddle on the plate to dip the veggies in. But he had the garlic butter so he didn’t mind. He also had the lobster tail add on. It was just right. They send a detailer to disassemble it for you. The next table over had the king crab legs... they don’t deshell those for you. Our sides were the spinach, asparagus, and brussel sprouts. Brussels perfectly roasted (I hate when they’re mushy). Asparagus was thin and good. It’s hard to make it exciting but it’s definitely worth eating with steak. The spinach wasn’t the usual thick creamed mush. More like spinach boiled in cream? The leaves were still whole and bright green in a thin creamy liquid. It didn’t look good, but it tasted great! I think I like this better than the heavy kind i’m used to. We skipped the potatoes to better enjoy more meat.

 

I ordered tea and it came with chocolates! White chocolate passion fruit truffles x2, bitter dark chocolate truffles x2, dark chocolate solids x3, and white chocolate solid x1. I hope folks who skip “coffee” service don’t miss these! 

 

Dessert i I had the lemon tart (it’s a lightly brûlée’s slice of a large tart, not a lemon creme brûlée). Served with whipped cream, blueberries, and more butter dark chocolate like the truffle filling. Amazing. Husband had the lava cake. I’m not a fan of gran marnier or orange chocolate in general so I just had a tiny bite. Not my thing. He loved it.

 

Then they cleared the dessert plates and it was just awkwardly over without an ending or goodbye. No one brought a receipt for the lobster. No one came back to check on us. We left after about 15 mins and said goodbye at the entrance in case we’d done something wrong. In the MDR the servers always have something to say at the end when they take away dessert and we’re not immediately leaving.

 

the rest of the evening we just curled up with our books and let the antacids do their thing 😂 

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