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Come sail with me on a virtual cruise to Hawaii on Ruby Princess


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ALOHA, AND WELCOME, ALL YOU CRUISING ADVENTURERS!

 

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Some of you may have already read my very first review, and it seems you want more, so I would like to invite you all to join me on a virtual cruise to Hawaii, and hope you will enjoy this adventure as much as the one on Majestic Princess to Singapore, Sydney and Fiji. It is very different, as we’d never been to Hawaii before, so sadly, no travelling back in my Tardis (but that does leave me room for more pairs of shoes in my luggage, so that’s a bonus!) and there is only a short pre-cruise pre-amble (do I hear cheering, Voljeep?), but we enjoyed it so much that it’s great to be re-living it again.

 

I started my Fiji blog with some trepidation, but actually it was great fun and very positive, with 71 pages, over 68,500 views and 1770 replies (only one negative!), way more than I ever expected. Of course, not everyone likes my style of writing, but if you decide to sail along with us I hope that it will be informative and interesting, and at times, humorous, with lots of photos on the way.

 

If you want to read my Fiji blog then here is a link:

 

 

 

Having spent over 4 months preparing and posting my virtual cruise to Fiji, I have to admit that, when it finished, I was feeling at a loss. Writing the blog kept me going at a time when I was feeling very low, and wondering how on earth we would get through this pandemic. Posting gave me a purpose to the day, and I looked forward to reading the comments of others along the way. I know that many of you who read the blog enjoyed living this cruise virtually, and that it also helped you to pass the time. For some it gave them an insight into places they never thought of visiting, and a few have now put them on their ‘bucket lists.’

 

At the moment, there’s not much scope for a ‘live from’ cruise review as cruises are still few and far between, so its a ‘rehash’ or nothing. But I hope I won’t bore you too much. There will be lots of photos (some good, some bad and some downright ugly) plus a lot of words, but maybe there will be a few useful tips in amongst all that lot.

 

However, I would say that, unlike my Fiji Cruise, which had 3 parts to it, with Singapore and Sydney thrown in, this one has only a short pre-cruise stay in LA. I’m afraid it took a long, long time to get to the cruise last time, and I was amazed that anyone stayed the course. But this time we will embark on Ruby Princess much quicker...... well, as quick as I can do it!

 

This Hawaiian cruise is quite different from our Majestic Princess Fiji cruise, as there are 4 sea days before we reach the first port, and then 4 hectic days visiting four islands, before 5 days at sea, followed by a quick stop at Ensenada, before disembarking.

 

So here I am, travelling backwards in time, and inviting you all to come with me on this virtual cruise on Ruby Princess, which we took in April 2019.

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, PurpleTraveller said:

I'm here on Waikiki beach under a palm tree🌴 waiting to board! Thanks for taking us on another adventure. 🚢

 

I thought I saw you, sipping a cool drink, relaxing on a sun lounger....

 

Did you notice the purple writing?😉

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2 minutes ago, ellie1145 said:

 

I thought I saw you, sipping a cool drink, relaxing on a sun lounger....

 

Did you notice the purple writing?😉

 

I most certainly did - very pretty! 

 

I'll just lay back, admire the view, enjoy my drink and maybe indulge in a shaved ice while I wait for our adventure to start. 🍸

 

IMG_20170825_210923.thumb.jpg.d63269e084bcd6f8e42b6738140b7cbd.jpg

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18 minutes ago, PurpleTraveller said:

 

I most certainly did - very pretty! 

 

I'll just lay back, admire the view, enjoy my drink and maybe indulge in a shaved ice while I wait for our adventure to start. 🍸

 

IMG_20170825_210923.thumb.jpg.d63269e084bcd6f8e42b6738140b7cbd.jpg

 

What a gorgeous beach. I’ll have a pina colada if you are passing the bar...🍹

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HI Ellie,

I am all set to go. Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses all packed and of course mustn't forget the umbrella...  I am waiting patiently to head out on the Ruby. Not as large or new as the Majestic, but still a lovely ship. But before we set sail, I am looking forward to a short stay in L.A.

Gail

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Hi Ellie!

                Good to see you back.

Looking forward to more great photos and descriptions of your travels and adventures. As I've said before, you have a way of bringing a story to life.

Loved Singapore, Australia and the Pacific islands, so will be following along to take my mind off present circumstances.

Unfortunately our planned trip to the Pacific islands has been cancelled by itinerary changes in 2022 but have added a cruise on the Royal to Tasmania and Melbourne instead.

Loved Hawaii, when we were there in January 2019, and did the Pride of America cruise around the islands. 

Cheers!

David

 

 

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How it all started...

 

90903BD7-B9F2-49B1-BED5-0F58FF4B31D7.thumb.jpeg.81d6f1d92838c9c772837cd08eb8f00e.jpeg

I can hardly believe that our last cruise was on Allure of the Seas in January 2020, and our next and only cruise is not until the end of October 2021 - a long 22 months without a cruise, and even that one is not a certainty. I am certainly experiencing withdrawal symptoms...

 

Our back-to-back on Caribbean Princess in May 2020 was, of course, cancelled, and we do not feel confident enough to book anything else. Our Transatlantic on Harmony of the Seas in October 2021 was actually booked in January 2020, whilst on Allure, just before the pandemic hit. So much could happen before October 2021 that we are not banking on it. I’m not sure how I will manage without my regular dose of cruising, as I’m afraid it is an addiction, and one I don’t want to give up.

 

As an avid cruiser (over 60 to date) there is definitely something missing in my life. We are now 8 months into the pandemic here in the UK, and so far, there is no end in sight. All the plans we had have vanished overnight, and as far as I can see, life will never be quite the same again.

 

However, perhaps it has forced us to re-assess what is really important and maybe we will value even more those things we took for granted - hugging a parent, kissing our grandchildren, sharing a meal with friends, going to the theatre, setting off on a long-distance flight, meeting new people, standing on the deck of a ship. But I hope that eventually we will be able to return to our favourite vacation, and enjoy all the wonderful things that cruising offers, without too many restrictions.

 

This cruise was something we had often promised ourselves to do, but the opportunity did not present itself until August 2018, when I spotted this cruise vacation in an email, and as the dates fitted we booked it. We had sailed on Ruby Princess about 8 years ago and we enjoy sea days so we were not put off by the fact that, despite it being a 15 night cruise, there were only 5 ports.

 

Another reason this cruise was so appealing was that we very much wanted to visit Pearl Harbour, and to stand on the deck of the Mighty Mo, where the Japanese signed the surrender documents that ended the war in the Far East. We have a very personal reason for wanting to make this pilgrimage, as my father-in-law was captured by the Japanese in Singapore, and was saved by the intervention of the Americans.

 

To read more of his story here is a link:

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2753611-come-sail-with-me-on-a-virtual-cruise-on-majestic-princess-to-fiji/page/3/

 

I will try to briefly introduce myself - if you want to know more then take a look at ‘Come Join Me on a Virtual Cruise to Fiji on Majestic Princess.’

 

DH and I are in our twilight years, he is 72 and I have just reached three score years and ten. At times it’s difficult to believe we are that old, but in my head I am still a teenager who fell head over heels in love with cruising when I was 16, and I still feel just as excited when setting off on a cruise as I did back then. Indeed, even during this time I only have to think about cruising to get that ‘butterflies’ feeling.

 

We have both been working part time - me as a teacher, and DH working for a big energy company. This paid for our many cruising adventures and we looked forward to the freedom that proper retirement would bring, when we envisaged many last minute bargain cruises that we have been unable to do over the years, having been tied to school holidays etc. My DH recently decided to take voluntary redundancy,  with an end date of December, but instead of sailing off into the sunset we must live in hopes, and dream of future cruises, as well as re-living past adventures.

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50 minutes ago, cnd crsr said:

HI Ellie,

I am all set to go. Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses all packed and of course mustn't forget the umbrella...  I am waiting patiently to head out on the Ruby. Not as large or new as the Majestic, but still a lovely ship. But before we set sail, I am looking forward to a short stay in L.A.

Gail

 

Brilliant, Gail! 

 

Yes, she’s a lovely ship, as you say, not as new and sparkling as the beautiful Majestic, Princess, but still providing a great cruising experience. 

 

Hope you enjoy the LA pre-cruise adventure. 

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42 minutes ago, TRUEBLUE66 said:

Hi Ellie!

                Good to see you back.

Looking forward to more great photos and descriptions of your travels and adventures. As I've said before, you have a way of bringing a story to life.

Loved Singapore, Australia and the Pacific islands, so will be following along to take my mind off present circumstances.

Unfortunately our planned trip to the Pacific islands has been cancelled by itinerary changes in 2022 but have added a cruise on the Royal to Tasmania and Melbourne instead.

Loved Hawaii, when we were there in January 2019, and did the Pride of America cruise around the islands. 

Cheers!

David

 

 

 

Glad to see you are travelling along with us again, David. 

 

I’m so sorry to hear that your Pacific Islands cruise has been cancelled, but at least you will see some of Australia and Tasmania. It seems that nothing is certain anymore. I just cling to the hope that, sometime in the future, we will be able to get back to cruising. 

 

Wow, you went on Pride of America, so I guess you didn’t have the long sea days before you reached Hawaii. How many islands did you visit and did you have a favourite?

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I just found this, Ellie and I should be making dinner.  Oh well, dine late!

Okay, I hope you don't find this negative but when I saw you use the word "bore" as in boring us, I just want to say that word should just not be in your vocabulary.  You write amazing things, often funny and so very entertaining.  So. I'm looking forward to your impressions of Hawaii.

We were booked on a short trip on Ruby this year,  but of course, it was cancelled, so it will be very special to me to see what we missed.

So you are in the 70's.....amazing age!  How on earth did we get there?  Yes, I'm 16 in my head too (but not my back!) At that age I had no idea what a cruise ship was.  However, my first transatlantic was made at 12, when my family emigrated from Ireland to Vancouver.  We kids thought it was an amazing adventure but I'm sure my parents sailed with some trepidation.

We have been to Hawaii several times as it is the vacation destination from here.  We have a timeshare in Kauai and we will be going next in May 2022.

I am so sick of this COVID and quite worried about our cruises booked for 2021.  I hope we sail (fingers crossed).

Thank you, Ellie for spending your time keeping us entertained.  I hope your future cruises work out too.

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Phew! almost missed this !!!!!but luckily caught a flight! Just freezing in Scotland today so can't wait to join you all.

Loved reading your last trip report and as CV continues to stop us all from getting on our much loved cruises this will be our substitute for now! Thank you for starting this thread. 

Spotted Azamara ships all docked at a port near my home, so sad to see. I  was wondering if I could  shout up to the captain on deck  and  ask very  nicely they might allow me on ? Just to test them out??😉 

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12 hours ago, cr8tiv1 said:

Hmmmm.  Were we on the same cruise (April/Ruby)?  I will follow your voyage.  If you missed any Honolulu destination photos, check with me.  See you in Honolulu.

 

Wow, that would be great if we were, and I will certainly be pleased to have any photos you want to share. 

 

Was it the April 8th, 2019 sailing?

 

See you soon! 

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12 hours ago, DUCHESSRN said:

Did someone say CRUISE here I am packed in less than 30min .

We just had our 28 day on Star in March cancelled , Panama Canal in February not cancelled yet ...

Thank you Ellie for this great escape to Hawaii.

 

Wow! That IS impressive! 30 minutes! I will have to get some tips from you as I always pack way too much, especially in my hand luggage! 😉

 

Glad you are sailing along with us! 👍

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10 hours ago, TeaBag said:

I just found this, Ellie and I should be making dinner.  Oh well, dine late!

Okay, I hope you don't find this negative but when I saw you use the word "bore" as in boring us, I just want to say that word should just not be in your vocabulary.  You write amazing things, often funny and so very entertaining.  So. I'm looking forward to your impressions of Hawaii.

We were booked on a short trip on Ruby this year,  but of course, it was cancelled, so it will be very special to me to see what we missed.

So you are in the 70's.....amazing age!  How on earth did we get there?  Yes, I'm 16 in my head too (but not my back!) At that age I had no idea what a cruise ship was.  However, my first transatlantic was made at 12, when my family emigrated from Ireland to Vancouver.  We kids thought it was an amazing adventure but I'm sure my parents sailed with some trepidation.

We have been to Hawaii several times as it is the vacation destination from here.  We have a timeshare in Kauai and we will be going next in May 2022.

I am so sick of this COVID and quite worried about our cruises booked for 2021.  I hope we sail (fingers crossed).

Thank you, Ellie for spending your time keeping us entertained.  I hope your future cruises work out too.

 

Oops, sorry to hear that. Hope you didn’t go hungry...

 

Thank you for your very kind words, I still feel its amazing (and very humbling) that anyone actually reads my long ramblings, let alone enjoys them, so thank you very much for that boost to my confidence. 

 

Let’s hope that Ruby will be waiting for us when we can finally sail again.

 

What a wonderful story about how you came to be in Canada, and what a brave thing it was to leave one’s homeland and sail across the Atlantic to start a new life. It’s difficult to imagine how traumatic that must have been when there were no cell phones, or cheap flights to America. Once you made the decision to emigrate you knew you had to cope with homesickness without the benefit of all the modern technology - Zoom and WhatsApp to name but two. But Canada (and Australia) was a land of opportunity so I hope that you and your parents have had a happy and successful life there. 

 

What ship did you sail on if you don’t mind me asking? I am always so fascinated to hear how people came to emigrate. 

 

I hope you will add anything you like to this thread as you must have lots of knowledge of Hawaii. 

 

I think we are all heartily sick of this pandemic, although unfortunately it cannot be ignored. It is here to stay for some time and we have to learn to live with it, whilst doing everything in our power to decrease its spread, and to keep ourselves, and maybe more importantly, others safe. I have no doubts that we will eventually come through it, but its going to be a very long and tough road and, sadly, many will not make it.

 

So keep safe.  I live in hopes that those beautiful ships will be waiting there for us when cruising restarts. 

 

It’s me that should be saying ‘thank you’ as writing these blogs has kept me sane! 😉

 

 

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12 hours ago, DUCHESSRN said:

We just booked a 28 day Sydney to SFO on Sapphire , lets hope that is a go.

 

 

I’ve got everything crossed for you! That would be a fantastic cruise. I have the Pacific Islands on my bucket list as I would love to see Tahiti, Bora Bora etc. When is that going to be?

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2 hours ago, Lucky TGO said:

Please forgive me I have to get out of the sun ☀️ I’m getting a sunburn. 😁

Tony 

 

Tony, now take yourself inside out of that hot sunshine and get yourself a cool drink in the bar. It won’t be long before we will be on our way! 😉😎

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1 hour ago, winifred said:

Phew! almost missed this !!!!!but luckily caught a flight! Just freezing in Scotland today so can't wait to join you all.

Loved reading your last trip report and as CV continues to stop us all from getting on our much loved cruises this will be our substitute for now! Thank you for starting this thread. 

Spotted Azamara ships all docked at a port near my home, so sad to see. I  was wondering if I could  shout up to the captain on deck  and  ask very  nicely they might allow me on ? Just to test them out??😉 

 

Thank goodness for that, Winifred, it wouldn’t be the same without you! I had worried that you’d taken yourself off to a remote Scottish island and quarantined yourself until all this is over, but I’m glad to hear that you are ready and waiting! 

 

Fancy seeing those Azamara ships so near and yet so far! Maybe you could shimmy up the ropes and get onboard. Even just walking round without doing anything else would be great. I wouldn’t care if we didn’t go anywhere, not even out of the dock. 

 

There are, supposedly, a large number of ships anchored offshore a few miles down the coast from us, and they are doing boat trips to look at them. I am very tempted to go down there just to see them. It’s such an addiction that even sailing close to them would be better than nothing! 🛳️

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My Ship of Dreams...a bit of history

 

As many of you will know, my addiction to cruising started when, at the age of 16, my parents took me on the SS Australis, owned by Chandris (now Celebrity), and the minute I stepped onto her I was transported into a whole new and magical world. It was definitely love at first sight (please don’t let DH know he wasn’t my first love....).

 

A playing card from SS Australis. The white cross can still be seen to this day on Celebrity ships. 6949EEA9-7F93-459F-9F17-B5C1C0F9F4F9.thumb.jpeg.113b7aea11cf1f07b03dffd3bd3c187b.jpeg

 

When I learned that she had ended her days run aground on rocks, and broken in two off the coast of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, I felt a huge sense of sadness. It was like a bereavement, as ships have a life all of their own. However, maybe that was a fitting end to a grand old lady rather than being torn to pieces on an Indian beach.

 

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Australis, renamed American Star, being battered by waves off Fuerteventura. She was being towed to Thailand, having been bought by a Thai company who were, apparently going to use her as a floating hotel off Phuket. However, it was later established that nobody in Thailand was aware of either this company or of plans to use her as a hotel. They had paid $2 million dollars and the insurance paid out a hefty $6 million, so $4 million was no bad profit! Strange, eh? 

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It really saddened me to see the recent photos of the cruise ships being torn to pieces in a Turkish salvage yard, as the result of Covid.

 

 

In those days, cruising was pretty basic compared to the mega ships of today, but it was elegant and exciting. Steaming into a port or watching tugs manoeuvring the ship was a wonderful experience, that never ceases to fascinate me to this day, although now it is high tech and relies on bow thrusters and azipods.

 

My first few cruises taken with my parents were all from Southampton, and included Australis, Ellinis, Britannis, Canberra and the Union Castle ship, Reina del Mar. It’s funny how certain things remain in your memory, but I can remember that, on the Reina del Mar, if the sea was rough the lifts would bang against the sides of the elevator shafts - pretty scary - and sometimes they were taken out of service completely. I also remember how you had to step over thresholds as you moved along corridors, particularly on the lower decks, as you passed through water-tight doors.

 

 

As we left Southampton, the band of the Royal Marines played on the dockside, while we threw streamers, and people waved from a viewing gallery. As we pulled away from the dock, with tugs doing all the hard work (no bow or stern thrusters in those days!) the sounds of Rod Stewart’s “Sailing” could be heard in the distance. It really felt as if we were emigrating, and was an exhilarating and quite emotional experience. Some 54 years later I can still recall the sights and sounds of those cruises as if it was yesterday.

 

Things were so different, with no fears of terrorist attacks, that you could even bring friends or family onboard to say goodbye to you, prior to departure.

 

Everyone dressed for dinner, all meals were taken in the dining room, and we were called to meals by a tinkling tune played on a small glockenspiel. There was no ‘My Time Dining,’ as if you were late, the doors were Firmly shut, and you went without. There was no room service either, apart from a cup of tea and a biscuit brought to you by your cabin steward in the morning.

 

Luxury was having your own bathroom, but my sister and I shared a cabin in the bowels of the ship and had to use the communal showers and toilets, only 3 for ladies and 3 for men, despite there being dozens of cabins sharing the facilities. I cannot imagine this now, but we must have survived! It certainly didn’t put me off cruising, but I guess in those days very few people had ‘en suites’ at home, so our expectations were much lower. Indeed, many top hotels still had shared bathrooms.

 

However, it seemed like paradise. There were occasional midnight buffets where the chefs highlighted their talents with sugar models of the ship or the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

 

197F8669-AB66-452D-98CE-5F48AC19AE9A.thumb.png.be890f8b445d9ef7517d457ac101ea71.png

 

Stays in port were normally long, with evenings to explore the cities, and cruises were usually of 14 days duration. We crossed the Bay of Biscay many times, and travelled across the Mediterranean as far as Turkey and Greece, and down to Madeira and the Canary Islands, and across to Casablanca.

 

 

 

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