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


ellie1145
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8 hours ago, cr8tiv1 said:

John Denver was the son of my college parents' very dear family friends.  My parents had a very colorful relationship with my college parents (oh the stories my mom would tell me).  He was a draftsman and lived/worked with them when he was just getting his career started in Los Angeles.  Our visits overlapped the time John Denver was living with them.  I would not ever claim to have been in his inner circle, but 2 degrees of separation.  

Oh, the stories YOU could tell.:classic_rolleyes:

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13 hours ago, azbirdmom said:

 

I just joined!  Sorry for the delay.  Our little one is doing just fine.  And yes we have been to Hawaii multiple times.  I was first there as port stops on a cruise on the Fair Princess from Papeete Tahiti to Los Angeles in 1989.  And when we got married in 1994 we honeymooned in Hawaii and then spent every anniversary in Maui until my husband and I started cruising together in 2008.  Since then I think we have only been back there 3 times and I have to say I miss it so seeing your pictures will be wonderful, especially since I miss cruising a lot too!

 

I've enjoyed seeing your pictures of your early days of cruising.  I was on the Norway sometime in the early 80's.  Boy have things changed a lot since then.

 

Looking forward to this wonderful virtual cruise!

 

Great to have you back. Glad the little one is doing well - probably the only one to be grateful for Covid, as it means no cruising so you won’t be leaving anytime soon. 🤣

 

How wonderful to have honeymooned in Hawaii. I guess you have seen many many changes over time. It must have developed enormously since 1989. 

 

Hope you will add to this blog when we reach Hawaii, as I am sure you will have some wonderful photos to share. 

 

Fancy you being on the Norway, too. A grand old lady, like stepping back in time - the International Lounge was a beautiful room, with those huge statues. They used to serve proper afternoon tea in there, with white glove service. The enclosed promenade deck was amazing, too. Those were the days! 

 

Hope you enjoy this little adventure. 

 

 

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10 hours ago, cr8tiv1 said:

John Denver was the son of my college parents' very dear family friends.  My parents had a very colorful relationship with my college parents (oh the stories my mom would tell me).  He was a draftsman and lived/worked with them when he was just getting his career started in Los Angeles.  Our visits overlapped the time John Denver was living with them.  I would not ever claim to have been in his inner circle, but 2 degrees of separation.  

 

Hmm, intriguing......

 

I had to look up what a ‘college parent’ was...but I’m not sure it’s the same in the UK as it is in the USA.

 

Thanks for sharing. Would love to know your mum’s stories but we might get into trouble for digressing too much! 🤣 But I’m all ears......🙀 You could just tell me....I promise I won’t pass anything on....🙉🙈🙊

 

 

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Thursday, April 4th, 2019

 

But the dawn is breakin’

It’s early morn,

The taxi’s waiting.

He’s blowing his horn...

 

It’s 3.45 am. Yuk!

 

Our phone alarms start to shrill and we reluctantly drag ourselves from a deep sleep. It seems only the blink of an eye since we fell exhaustedly into bed last night, and we have a very long day ahead of us. Little do we know how long.... It’s pitch black outside with just the lights of Heathrow twinkling in the distance.

 

I wonder if I can grab a few more minutes in this warm, comfortable bed, but I know we don’t have much time, so reluctantly I haul myself out from under the duvet. But thankfully, once I am up, I feel that rush of excitement, knowing that we will soon be on our way to the airport.

 

While DH gets washed, I sort out our clothes, and finish packing away our overnight things before we trundle our luggage downstairs, to wait for our taxi, which eventually arrives at 4.45 am, after a few anxious phone calls.

 

Now we really are on our way!

 

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Although it’s still very dark, Heathrow is a hive of activity. The airport is lit up, casting a glow over everything. There are cars making their way in and out of the airport, and as we drive through that famous tunnel at the entrance, I feel incredibly excited.

 

Our driver parks at the front of Terminal 2, the Queen’s Terminal, and we find luggage carts to transfer our cases onto. Then we trundle them over the road and into the brightly lit terminal building.

 

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Terminal 2 is probably one of our favourite terminals, as it is only 6 years old, having replaced the original Europa Building, which opened in 1955.

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We walk past ‘Slipstream,’ a beautiful silver metal sculpture which is supposed to represent a stunt aircraft in flight.

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We scan the boards for our check in area, where we join a small queue to drop our bags off. I’m always anxious at this point as I tend to overpack, despite numerous lists which I update each cruise. But my excuse is a girl can’t have too many shoes!

 

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I breathe a sigh of relief when the scales decree that we are within the 23kg limits - just! I watch as they disappear along the conveyor into the bowels of the airport, and hope and pray that they make it safely onto our Munich flight, as we won’t see them again until we reach Los Angeles.

 

By this time we are both in need of a cup of tea, so our next destination is Security, before we can find somewhere to have breakfast. I love being at the airport, and we always make sure we have plenty of time -  unlike my children who usually arrive by the seat of their pants, just as the gate is closing - so we walk straight through to Security.

 

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I really dislike those middle of the night excursions to the airport to catch an early flight.  When we flew to Buenos Aires in March, the taxi came at 3AM.  Why did we even go to bed?.....you don't sleep well anyway.  Was the Munich flight Lufthansa?

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We make it through Security! 

 

‘A witticism in an airport security line is like a Swiss tap - turn it on and you instantly find yourself in hot water’ Shashi Tharoor.

 

Now as I’ve mentioned before, I am the kiss of death to Security. Almost without fail I set the alarms off when I go through the scanner, and to add insult to injury, I usually have to have my hand luggage searched throughly.

 

As some of you ladies will undoubtedly know, there is a certain garment which we wear to ‘lift and separate’ which inevitably causes the alarms to go off, due to a metal component. Cross my heart, I’m really not a terrorist... But today I pass through with ease. Phew!

 

As someone who packs her hand luggage to the absolute limit (and sometimes way over!) it is incredibly embarrassing when I have to open it and have it searched with a fine tooth comb. But incredibly, this time I sail through and reclaim my little suitcase. Woo hoo, I think, double whammy, I’ve made it!

 

Being paranoid about someone stealing my precious iPad or iPhone I am relieved that, today, I am there ready and waiting with open arms to rescue them from the tray, as it slides down the conveyor towards me. I’m afraid I have little faith in the security cameras being able to reunite me with these two precious articles should they get stolen. There are simply not the resources to deal with such an incident, and anyway, there is no time to waste when you have a flight to catch.

 

However, DH’s hand luggage goes sailing down the wrong side and so we have to wait while it is examined. Now DH does not usually have his hand luggage filled to the brim like me, but he does have a large plastic bag of medications, including tablets plus sprescription creams for his eczema, which normally don’t cause any problems. Not so this time.

 

This bag is searched and, for some unknown reason, the creams are taken out of his large plastic bag of medications, and transferred into another smaller plastic bag and then returned to the suitcase.

 

I am delighted that, having had my husband’s creams re-packed into a small plastic bag, we can all now fly safely, secure in the knowledge that a potential terrorist attack has been thwarted... Now don’t get me wrong, I have every respect for those who are at the forefront of keeping us safe, and wholeheartedly support everything they need to do, but this really is a little bizarre. But it’s a relief that they didn’t confiscate his creams and you have to laugh or you’d cry. 

 

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Security completed, we make our way through the never ending shops, ignoring the tempting perfumes and giant packs of chocolate, and look for somewhere to eat.

 

It’s still really dark outside, but it’s still early and the terminal is half empty.

 

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5 hours ago, AF-1 said:

Ellie1145;   I will be waiting for you at the McDonald's on Kalakaua; right at the beginning of Waikiki Beach.  

 

Great, AF-1, so glad you are waiting for me and the rest of the Cruising Adventurers!

 

Hopefully, I will be able to see you in LA as I have a special McDonald’s with our names on the seats, ready for our arrival. 😉

 

Waikiki sounds just the ticket! 🍔🍟 See you there!

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4 hours ago, azbirdmom said:

Love your comment about shoes!  My husband says that to me all the time.  Of course when we went to Hawaii my shoe selection tended to be a selection of different colors of flip flops and a couple of pairs of sandals....

 

I love flip flops, azbirdmom! The first thing we do when we arrive in Florida  is make our way to Aeropostale, as I love their flip flops.. We don’t have anywhere like that here in the UK. I usually fill my suitcase with them for the family. Am really missing my retail therapy in the USA. 😊

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1 hour ago, TeaBag said:

I really dislike those middle of the night excursions to the airport to catch an early flight.  When we flew to Buenos Aires in March, the taxi came at 3AM.  Why did we even go to bed?.....you don't sleep well anyway.  Was the Munich flight Lufthansa?

 

I really hate those early flights, too. I spend more time trying to go to sleep than actually sleeping. The more I think about how little time I have to sleep the less I am able to switch off. I end up just falling asleep when the alarm wakes me! 

 

Yes, the Munich flight was also Lufthansa. Pretty standard, short flight, no better and no worse than any other short-haul flight. 

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By now it’s about 5.30 am and we end up at ‘The Gorgeous Kitchen’ which is empty and nice and clean. It’s a bit early to eat, but we don’t have a lot of time to wait around, and anyway, we need a cup of tea.

 

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We find a table near the window where we can watch the ‘planes come and go.

 

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DH orders just toast and I order a bacon and egg sandwich, which is freshly cooked and very acceptable. It’s definitely not cheap, but what food is cheap in Heathrow? But it’s a calm and quiet atmosphere, and just what the doctor ordered. 

 

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A cup of coffee and a pot of tea complete our refreshments.

 

Dawn is breaking as we make our way to Boots and Smiths for some last minute bits and pieces, including some magazines.

 

 

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Wow, Ellie you really were the only people there!  Was that bacon and egg sandwich not toasted?  Sorry, I hate eggs and have done since I was a kid but  crisp bacon makes the world go round!  I hope you were able to sleep on the plane.  It's a fairly long hop to LA, kind of like to Vancouver but with the 8 hour time difference you would be arriving in LA shortly after you had left!!  I like that about flying west.

We get an extra hour tonight but I know you got yours last week.

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5 hours ago, TeaBag said:

Wow, Ellie you really were the only people there!  Was that bacon and egg sandwich not toasted?  Sorry, I hate eggs and have done since I was a kid but  crisp bacon makes the world go round!  I hope you were able to sleep on the plane.  It's a fairly long hop to LA, kind of like to Vancouver but with the 8 hour time difference you would be arriving in LA shortly after you had left!!  I like that about flying west.

We get an extra hour tonight but I know you got yours last week.

From Sydney we arrive in LA a DAY before we've left!!  We lose a day returning and one year I didn't realise I'd booked and not have a birthday .... does that make me one year younger?!!

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6 hours ago, TeaBag said:

Wow, Ellie you really were the only people there!  Was that bacon and egg sandwich not toasted?  Sorry, I hate eggs and have done since I was a kid but  crisp bacon makes the world go round!  I hope you were able to sleep on the plane.  It's a fairly long hop to LA, kind of like to Vancouver but with the 8 hour time difference you would be arriving in LA shortly after you had left!!  I like that about flying west.

We get an extra hour tonight but I know you got yours last week.

 

Yes, Teabag, we really were the only people. It was brilliant. 

 

No, the sandwich was not toasted, and whilst we normally only eat whole meal bread I decided to indulge in white this time. It was delicious. I’m afraid that our bacon is not really crispy as we don’t tend eat ‘streaky’ bacon, except at Christmas to cover the turkey breast while it cooks. Our bacon is back bacon (more like Canadian bacon) and not usually served crispy. Although I know that American bacon is ‘coronary on a plate’ I have to say that I love eating it when on cruises, especially when it is really crispy and crumbly. I particularly enjoy a Cracker Barrel breakfast complete with bacon. yum! Yet another thing this cursed virus has robbed me of! 

 

I feel the same way about cheese as you do about eggs. I’ve never been able to eat it, and can’t even bear the smell of it. Makes life difficult sometimes as cheese is in so many foods. Can’t bear coffee either which is a real pain as it’s such a social drink. 

 

Hope you enjoy your extra hour of sleep. I certainly could have done with that the morning we left to fly to LA. 😴

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First off, thanks for taking us on another adventure Ellie.  Hawaii is spectacular and we have been there probably over 20 times, including 3 times on cruises.  Additionally, since both of our kids have lived there we would see things a lot of tourists never would.

 

Teabag - I had the same thought the first time I ordered an egg sandwich in London.  Limp white bread instead of toasted like we are familiar with in North America.  

 

Ellie we are going to have to start an anti-cheese and coffee club.  I didn't realize that there was another person in the world that despised the smell of cheese and didn't like coffee!  I have never been able to tolerate either.

 

As for the early morning flights - we decided about 7 years ago (after I retired) we were done with them.  We would rather leave at a reasonable time, and arrive late in the evening or night.  If that isn't an option we travel a day earlier and make a stop at an in transit airport hotel rather than get up at 4 or 5 in the morning and feel crappy to start our trip.  We realize that not everyone has that option but since I retired, time away isn't a concern (helps that my wife owns her own business and can be away whenever she wants).

 

Ellie - if we miss you on board, you can find us at Duke's in Waikiki watching the sunset if you want to stop by.  Their late afternoon entertainer has been playing there since my first visit in 1978.

 

Ray and Ann

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Oh my, cheese and coffee are two of my favorite things in the world!  Good thing we have a lot of other things in common.

 

As for flip flops, my favorites are Clark's.  The leather tops are adjustable and they are very comfy.  Living in Arizona I do wear them quite a bit at home too.

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4 hours ago, RLK33853 said:

 

 

Ellie - if we miss you on board, you can find us at Duke's in Waikiki watching the sunset if you want to stop by.  Their late afternoon entertainer has been playing there since my first visit in 1978.

 

Ray and Ann

 

Which entertainer?  Maunalua or Henry Kapono?  Maunalua used to come on board when Dave Cole was the CD.  Both are local "boys".  Strangely, not many Kama'ainas (residents) frequent Waikiki.  But we do have a lot of talent performing on that one mile strip of (previous) swamp land.  

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Ellie, re: eczema cream, that also has happened to me once. I had put my cream in the plastic bag my husband had for his medicaton and security took it out and put it in a seperate bag. I asked them why and they told me those are the rules... They did not know why either lol. 

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11 hours ago, Westaussie said:

From Sydney we arrive in LA a DAY before we've left!!  We lose a day returning and one year I didn't realise I'd booked and not have a birthday .... does that make me one year younger?!!

 

Absolutely, Westaussie, you are a mere spring chicken! 😉

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6 hours ago, RLK33853 said:

First off, thanks for taking us on another adventure Ellie.  Hawaii is spectacular and we have been there probably over 20 times, including 3 times on cruises.  Additionally, since both of our kids have lived there we would see things a lot of tourists never would.

 

Teabag - I had the same thought the first time I ordered an egg sandwich in London.  Limp white bread instead of toasted like we are familiar with in North America.  

 

Ellie we are going to have to start an anti-cheese and coffee club.  I didn't realize that there was another person in the world that despised the smell of cheese and didn't like coffee!  I have never been able to tolerate either.

 

As for the early morning flights - we decided about 7 years ago (after I retired) we were done with them.  We would rather leave at a reasonable time, and arrive late in the evening or night.  If that isn't an option we travel a day earlier and make a stop at an in transit airport hotel rather than get up at 4 or 5 in the morning and feel crappy to start our trip.  We realize that not everyone has that option but since I retired, time away isn't a concern (helps that my wife owns her own business and can be away whenever she wants).

 

Ellie - if we miss you on board, you can find us at Duke's in Waikiki watching the sunset if you want to stop by.  Their late afternoon entertainer has been playing there since my first visit in 1978.

 

Ray and Ann

 

Hi Ray and Ann

 

I am really pleased that I started this adventure as we are going into lockdown again, and it will give me a purpose to life. Mind you, I should be painting the bathroom, but writing is so much more fun. 

 

How wonderful to have visited Hawaii so many times. I am sure you must have such a lot of useful information after all those trips. We’d love to go back again one day. Fingers (and everything else) crossed. If we ever get there again I will be sure to pick your brains! 

 

Oh dear, you mean you don’t like our limp white bread sandwiches? 🤣 I really don’t know why toasted sandwiches are so rare over here. 

 

Well, if ever you should visit the UK I will have to take you to a wonderful place where they do fantastic sandwiches and lovely home made soups, plus that most quintessential of English delicacies, a cream tea with scones. Just let me know! 

 

Oh yes, we really should start an anti cheese and coffee society. I don’t know why I have such an aversion to these two things, but I DO have a hyper sensitive sense of taste and smell, and as a small child the smell of either cheese or coffee used to make me feel quite sick. I can just about tolerate the smell of both now, although not if it’s really stinky cheese. if my husband ever eats cheese I have to sit well away from him at the other end of the table. 

 

It’s odd as I’m the only one in my family to feel this way. It does make life difficult though as so many things have cheese in them. It’s reassuring that I am not the only one to be repulsed by coffee and cheese. 🤣

 

Yes, those early morning flights are a real killer, especially as we get older, but we didn’t have a lot of choice at the time. We would have preferred a direct flight too, but as we had the Fiji trip just a few months later we took the cheaper option. 

 

We look forward to joining you at Dukes in Waikiki. Can’t wait! 🏖️

 

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2 hours ago, azbirdmom said:

Oh my, cheese and coffee are two of my favorite things in the world!  Good thing we have a lot of other things in common.

 

As for flip flops, my favorites are Clark's.  The leather tops are adjustable and they are very comfy.  Living in Arizona I do wear them quite a bit at home too.

 

Well, cruising for one! 🤣

 

And flip flops! 👍

 

 

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1 hour ago, ringers0815 said:

Ellie, re: eczema cream, that also has happened to me once. I had put my cream in the plastic bag my husband had for his medicaton and security took it out and put it in a seperate bag. I asked them why and they told me those are the rules... They did not know why either lol. 

 

We would call it a bit of a ‘job’s’ worth,’ ringers0815.  “It’s more than my job’s worth....’

 

Let’s hope that while they are examining our exczema creams so thoroughly they don’t let a tube of explosives past their beady eyes! 

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