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faerievert

Eurodam Feb 3, 2019 San Diego/Hawaii Live Thread

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44 minutes ago, JeanieCM said:

Faerievert, I am so enjoying your posts.  We did this cruise two years ago & had a wonderful time.

I'm so sorry that the weather has precluded your visiting many of the ports.  I feel a little bad saying 

this, but the volcano to which others are referring was one of the top highlights of our trip.  The

Captain stopped the ship in front of the erupting volcano for an hour at midnight, under starry

skies, and we were able to watch all the orange lava streaming down the sides--amazing!   If

you all don't get to experience it this time, I do hope that you will be able to take this cruise again

in the future--with an erupting volcano and good weather visits in every single port!  

It's been 9 years since we did this cruise and I agree wholeheartedly.  Even the Captain said it was the best viewing he'd ever seen, and it definitely was the highlight of our cruise.  We missed one port on our cruise, and had cool weather, but nothing like what is happening with this cruise. :classic_ohmy:

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On 2/13/2019 at 4:37 AM, Caribbean Chris said:

 

I join everyone else who has expressed their sympathies on the rough weather that so badly affected the cruise itinerary for those of you who have been posting from the ship.

 

We’ll be on a Hawaii cruise on Eurodam next year, so appreciated faerievert’s numerous posts with the daily programs attached. The port ambassador’s talks about Hawaiian history and culture,  the related crafts like Lei making, the hula and ukulele lessons, Aloha Sunset Music Hour, all sound like destination-related theme activities I typically enjoy on ships that still offer them. There also seemed to be the typical range of options for cooking demos, digital workshops, sports like pickle ball, Trivia, bridge and other games, casino, recent movies, wine events, spa, the music walk venues, etc. that I expect to see on HAL.

 

So your last sentence (above) that the activities were dismal from the first day at sea was kind of puzzling. I’m not questioning your opinion, but I'm just genuinely curious to know what activities you felt were missing during the first five sea days.

Please keep in mind that this is a very subjective overview of this cruise compared to roughly 50+ cruises we have been taken over the years. My wife enjoyed the pre arrival talks on Hawaii though she noted that cooking demos presented she observed last fall.

 

My comments should not be construed in any way to dissuade you from the cruise.  If the activities offered by HAL  enrich your cruise experience, I’m sure you’ll have a great time.Just hope for good weather and calm seas.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Squire5000 said:

Please keep in mind that this is a very subjective overview of this cruise compared to roughly 50+ cruises we have been taken over the years. My wife enjoyed the pre arrival talks on Hawaii though she noted that cooking demos presented she observed last fall.

 

My comments should not be construed in any way to dissuade you from the cruise.  If the activities offered by HAL  enrich your cruise experience, I’m sure you’ll have a great time.Just hope for good weather and calm seas.

 

 

 

No worries, I’m not dissuaded at all (I worked in the cruise industry for years, and I know how subjective opinions can be). So sorry you had bad weather.

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Until the next (inevitable) eruption, flowing lava is a thing of the past. There’s not so much as a glow to be seen anywhere on the big island for sure, nor on any other island right now if I understood the locals correctly. The usual big glowing pool at the national park is down a thousand feet right now. Extremely low. Too low to see even after dark at its edge. Our local guide said it wasn’t even worth going to the park with so little open (lava tubes and hiking trails are closed) and nothing active. Timing-wise, we had to choose between VNP and going where there was at least activity, if not visible lava. We chose to see the steam and fresh destruction at Fissure 8. 

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Your pics give me a sense of the power of this flow. I can only imagine how fearsome this would look if it were glowing and moving.

 

Thank you. Glad you made it to Hilo.

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menu-dinner-menu-dinner- mdr-20190207.docxmdr-20190208.docxfDinner menus. A few are missing. There's no way to access ones I missed. Some of these I posted already, but I don't feel like going back to check.

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Looks like I left off on Wednesday afternoon. The cancelations and weather definitely tak a toll on morale. Hilo, for the short time we could be in port, was beautiful. I'll write that up later. The second day in Honolulu was also lovely. The third failed try at Kona was also nice for for a while. And a couple days on the way over were at least what was to be expected. A little cooler than most would like, but sunny.

 

Unfortunately, other than those few exceptions, the weather has been crap. Unusually cold. Unusually windy. Unusually rainy. Unusually rocky. I hope everyone with an outdoor cabana got a refund. They've been nearly unusable. Even balconies have rarely been worth stepping out on for more than a minute's fresh air! The promenade, when not closed off, has been too cold or too windy or too wet to enjoy. I usually walk it daily. I've only bothered with enjoying a proper walk out on it ONE day... when sailing around the big island after skipping Kona for the third time. I wanted to at least enjoy my volcano views (caught a deck chair on the promenade for a bit, too). Took one lap around the day after Hilo. The wind was so hard at my back one direction I was practically flying, and in my face so hard the other way it was like walking through mud. Worst of all, the end cap with the doggy greens had a horrifying wub wub wub pressure sound (like one you only open one window in a car at speed) that hurt my ears so bad I had to cover them and gave up on my plan for a second loop. An hour later it had been roped off.

 

We've had maybe 5 visible sunsets on board. Wish I'd gotten pictures, as we're unlikely to get another. We had a slight reprieve in the rough seas today, but I hear it's worse tomorrow than it was the last two days. The poor waiters in the MDR having to carry all those trays. I feel as though I've forgotten how to walk. I can't imagine stumbling around on a cane in this day after day. My first cruise (transatlantic) had far higher seas (the kind where you're visibly riding up and down the swells and can't help imagining the poster from 'The Perfect Storm'), but the worst of it only lasted a day or two. Being only kinda bad day after day after day wears you down. I'm tired of swaying, the vibration means nowhere is quiet, and I can't use the gym with this rocking (I have an injured psoas, so my core stabilization isn't what it should be). Honestly, I've taken to drinking a lot more than I normally would to keep me distracted from the lack of sunset (I grew up on Lake Ontario with spectacular sunsets over the lake, and now live in a land-locked city... those big, beautiful sunsets are my favorite part of being at sea and I'm more upset about missing them than even the ports we skipped). Thank goodness for 4pm happy hour. We've got quite a crowd of regulars at this point!

 

I think that's enough griping for tonight. I meant to sit down and write up my dailies and have obviously gone off track. I'll try again tomorrow after Mahjong. After a bit of a turf war with the bridge group and run in with some uno players (the quilters have taken over both of the large meeting room spaces, so most games are in the gallery bar and art gallery), Mahjong now meets every morning in the Tamarind bar at 11am. It's a much better location. I highly recommend it to anyone meeting for games and needing no more than 4 card tables. On a positive note, the ladies have all been so very kind and patient to teach my husband and myself to play and we're really liking it. I'll have to find people back home in Nashville to keep it up!

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On 2/14/2019 at 6:24 PM, faerievert said:

Dinner menus.

 

Gosh, that last try at menu uploads went all kinds of weird. The 8th and 12th are missing, but I'll add the rest at the end once I'm on better wifi. Trying to attach them here is taking forever, even at night when the wifi is otherwise working pretty well.

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faerievert - we all need a good vent every now and then.  

Edited by cat shepard
Misspelled word

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On 2/8/2019 at 4:44 AM, 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.

That's too bad! We took a Christmas Cruise a few years ago on HAL - and in our family there were 4 birthdays during the cruise (including a 21st BD). Each and every one of them was a big deal to our waitstaff. Though I'm betting at least a few of them were  probably wondering by the fourth birthday if 4 BDs so close together in one family were for real … indeed they are. One on Dec 22, another on Dec 24, the third on Dec 27 and the last one on Dec 29. Sorry that you didn't get any recognition! 

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I spent the second half of the cruise focused on relaxation. Therefore I didn't want to spend much time online (it was increasingly slow as more people signed up at the end of the trip anyway). Once at home I totally forgot to finish my travelogue until today when I finally imported the photos from the photographers. 

 

The cultural ambassadors were gone, unfortunately, after leaving Hawaii. This left onboard activities a lot less colorful. The days were all pretty much the same. Sleep until 9:30. Get to breakfast by 10:15. Join the mahjong players in Tamarind at 11. Play until 12 or 1. The ladies were delighted to have youngsters, and especially a man, interested in learning. Lunch with the husband. Catch a 2pm activity or go read in the thermal spa. Enjoy the hydropool, go shower, and hit happy hour in the ocean bar. Do my makeup, visit the photography stations, have dinner, read or go to a show, then early to bed. We had a wine event basically every other day, so between that and happy hour and finishing our wine package, I was drinking a LOT more than at home. 

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Here's the dailies from the rest of the trip. You'll notice a single printed sheet with the replacement program for the 12th. That's from when we finally got to Kona but failed to tender to land.

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A note on birthdays:

 

I mentioned that the Pinnacle didn't celebrate my husband's birthday with a cake. Well, for whatever reason they did acknowledge mine. With an amazing chocolate mousse cake, which was perfect because I love chocolate and don't like regular cake! I had no idea it would be coming so I'd already ordered the citrus tart. The waiter wrapped it up for me in a tinfoil purse, thinking I would eat it back in the room. This was a bad idea. I ate it the next day and it wasn't nearly as good. It's not stabilized food intended to sit. Some of the oil had separated and I probably shouldn't have even eaten it but I had been so excited about finding it in the fridge the next day I didn't want to give up on it.

 

The next day (valentine's day... my birthday is the 13th), the topic of my age came up at happy hour. This was not unusual on the cruise, and it was often a bit of a joke whether at 36 we would be considered less than half the average age of the guests onboard. Because it had come up, I happened to say that I just turned 36 yesterday. And of course they realized that meant it had been my birthday and then they had to tell everyone and then the bartenders sang me happy birthday. Repeatedly. And got the bar to sing along. And then to my husband when I tried to make them stop by saying no one had sung for his birthday the week earlier. The continued to sing happy birthday every time I came down to happy hour for the next 4 days. I generally don't like being celebrated publicly, but they were very sweet about it. It was partially mortifying, but mostly endearing. I also got the cupcake with card from the captain, but not the spa gift certificate. 

 

 

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The around the world wine tasting was a bit odd. This one wasn't included in our cellar master's package, but we paid the $25 pp anyway. It was unlimited tastings for an hour. Honestly, I wasn't much of a fan of most of the offerings, even the ones I had expected to like. I took a couple sips of each, but that was it. I ended up drinking the bubbly the rest of the event. They started late because there was a mixup with the small food platters that were supposed to be served (cheese and bread and grapes and blueberries). The servers tried to cut off wine 10 minutes before the scheduled end time, even though we started 10 minutes late. The cellar master corrected the timing, but they'd still put away all except the currently open bottles. I left a few minutes before the end. I'd already had more than enough. I heard they got them to open one more bottle of the group's favorite. 

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The last sea day turned out to be the cellar master dinner in pinnacle. It was advertised at $79pp including wine pairings. We did not choose to buy it. However, on the morning of the day, an invitation arrived in our box. So we went! It started with a glass of sparkling wine with strawberry syrup in the Pinnacle bar. Very sweet but yummy. For some reason the husband decided to ask the cellar master about how we got on the list. We thought he had invited us or something. He didn't know how we'd gotten on the list, and neither did his assistant and then they both disappeared for a while. We were concerned they were going to make us leave, but returned just in time for dinner. The assistant said we were all good and this dinner was included in our cellar master package. My theory is this is why our account showed we only had one dinner in pinnacle to schedule when we boarded. I think we were supposed to get this plus one other dinner. We argued about that not being told about being on the list for this one and therefore got two dinners plus the special cellar master event. I may not have been iffy on the fancy tasting and the around the world tasting, but this dinner was fantastic. We got second glasses of almost everything and the food was all perfection. I'm not that into fois gras, but I must admit it paired well, and for the first time in my life I actually enjoyed the lobster. Apparently, I like it with citrus. 

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Speaking of lobster... it wasn't on the menu the first two gala nights. My husband made up for it when tails finally appeared as an included item on the third gala night. My husband ordered 4 to show up our friends from happy hour at the next table who had ordered 3 each. I'd heard you had to order one at a time, but they brought them all together without question. He enjoyed every bite. 

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Forgot to attach the Captain's cupcake and Pinnacle birthday "cake" to the post #216 above.

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Ditto the thanks. And sorry we couldn't have had nicer weather for you in San Diego when the ship came in. It's been abnormally cold and wet around here this winter - with even more on the way.

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