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2023 Grand World Voyage with The Inside Cabin


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2 hours ago, Tampa Girl said:

 

What were some of the other disappointments, if I may ask?

I will only say, even giving consideration that this was the first post-Covid Grand, the 2022 Grand Africa ship experience was no where near what a Grand should be.  The vast majority of my approximate 700 sea days have been on Grands. We had done Alaska cruises in 2021 and 2022, which were fine.

Pete, sorry about the hijack.

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8 hours ago, 0106 said:

We enjoyed Mike West on our Oosterdam transatlantic in November.  I was double booked twice and missed his lecture.  I really wish HAL would show the recordings of presentations on the stateroom TV.  One day the captain’s cooking show in the BBKing lounge was SRO so they projected  it on the MainStage so I know they have the ability.  Are any presentations being  on the TV too?  
 

Appreciate all your insights, thanks for taking us along.

They have been rebroadcasting the port talks given by Ian, Cruise and Travel Director.

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On 1/16/2023 at 8:54 PM, The-Inside-Cabin said:

No live entertainment tonight on the Mainstage.   They are showing a movie instead.    Not sure why they don't let one of the cast singers do a "Spotlight" show...

 

The movie is "The Woman King"   They will show it twice...at 7 PM and 9:30...

 

Showing movies instead of live entertainment on the Mainstage while at sea on a Grand Voyage is not something I would have expected.

This same movie is showing in the Lido Pool big screen on the Rotterdam tonight in the Caribbean

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Hi Pete & "PETE FOLLOWERS"

 

First - so enjoy your Posts Pete - keeps all of us HAL lovers up to date & we cruise vicariously through you on the Grand World Voyage.

 

Re:  Movies shown on MainStage -- this may not be proper etiquette to discuss here --- but there are so many HAL CC members who are following Pete.

 

Movies would be something my husband & I would enjoy in lieu of some of the entertainment that we don't care for OR have seen the exact same entertainment over and over again ---  as we do multiple cruises a year. 

 

Because we no longer go out to Movie Theaters nor Stream we've always enjoyed the movies being shown in the smaller HAL movie theaters. 

To view a Good Movie on a Large Screen within the MainStage setting -- would suit us.

Perhaps there are others who feel the same.  So on a positive note - while Movies may not suit all passengers -- there may be passenger like us that would prefer them.  It's another way for HAL to provide a more variety of entertainment that suits what all passengers are looking for.

 

Just saying --- another viewpoint on Movies

Edited by CruisingGrandmaW
correct grammar
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Just now, CruisingGrandmaW said:

Hi Pete & "PETE FOLLOWERS"

 

First - so enjoy your Posts Pete - keeps all of us HAL lovers up to date & we cruise vicariously through you on the Grand World Voyage.

 

Re:  Movies shown on MainStage -- this may not be proper etiquette to discuss here --- but there are so many HAL CC members who are following Pete.

 

Movies would be something my husband & I would enjoy in lieu of some of the entertainment that we don't care for OR have seen the exact same entertainment over and over again ---  as we do multiple cruises a year. 

 

Because we no longer go out to Movie Theaters nor Stream we've always enjoyed the movies being shown in the smaller HAL movie theaters. 

To view a Good Movie on a Large Screen within the MainStage setting -- would suit us.

Perhaps there are others who feel the same.  So on a positive note - while Movies may not suit all passengers -- there may be passenger like us that would prefer them.  It's another way for HAL to provide a more variety of entertainment that suits what all passengers are looking for.

 

Just saying --- another viewpoint on Movies

Thanks for your perspective.    The turnout for the movie the other night was pretty good - so - maybe this will be a preferred  option for some as you mention.   

 

I recall that on previous world cruises - they had movies every night in the Waijang Theatre and often in the afternoon.    I guess that once a week may be the compromise as I am sure there are many folks who are used to having a big screen movie option more frequently probably miss the old screening room.   

 

Appreciate everyone's point of view on this!   

Edited by The-Inside-Cabin
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I love watching a movie on the big screen occasionally but think it's more appropriately shown in the afternoon.  Too bad the dedicated screening rooms have been removed on HAL. 

 

Pete, I love that you have showcased one of the lecturers here and were able to speak with him one on one.  How interesting! I hope you will be able to do similar in the future.  I vote for them showing the presentations on cabin TVs too.

 

I also graduated from Ohio State in 1976 (March) Microbiology/Chemistry major.  I threw my diploma in the trunk of my car and left town, never to return!!  Moved to San Francisco shortly afterward.

Ohio State University Symbols

~Nancy

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10 hours ago, oakridger said:

I love watching a movie on the big screen occasionally but think it's more appropriately shown in the afternoon.  Too bad the dedicated screening rooms have been removed on HAL. 

 

Pete, I love that you have showcased one of the lecturers here and were able to speak with him one on one.  How interesting! I hope you will be able to do similar in the future.  I vote for them showing the presentations on cabin TVs too.

 

I also graduated from Ohio State in 1976 (March) Microbiology/Chemistry major.  I threw my diploma in the trunk of my car and left town, never to return!!  Moved to San Francisco shortly afterward.

Ohio State University Symbols

~Nancy

Leaving Columbus after another winter wasn't that hard.   No more crossing the Oval at 7:30 am when it's 10 degrees outside in Winter Quarter...

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We arrive in Nuku Hiva in a few hours - here is a video from my last trip in March of 2022.   We'll see how much has changed.   We will probably walk along the coast to the left this time.   We were wondering if there was anything left at the hold Survivor Site from 2002?  Does anyone know if there is anything to see there?

 

 

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SUNDAY BRUNCH – AT SEA (POST #15)

JANUARY 18, 2023
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Swing Cast Feature

Sundays at sea mean it’s time for a special brunch

Normally we would surrender our passports during check in, but that adds time to an already lengthy process.  Today was the day passports were collected, along with our yellow fever vaccination card and the reference numbers for NzETA and Australian ETA.  Everyone received a form last night to fill out the required information.  The forms, passports, and yellow fever cards would be collected by deck from 9 am to 10 am.  We are not scheduled to receive our passports until we reach Durban, South Africa, in March.  That means we will probably have to do a face-to-face check with South African Immigration.  The good news is we probably won’t have to do a face-to-face Immigration check in Australia, New Zealand, or any other earlier port.

People were waiting in line for 30- 45 minutes, depending on the deck.

Every Sunday at Sea, the Dining Room will have a special Sunday Brunch with a 3-course sampler menu.   You can find a copy of the menu HERE.

While reservations were suggested, and many people did make reservations, people were seated quickly and with little wait whether or not they had reservations.  Over 600 people enjoyed the special Brunch today.

Sunday-Brunch-Table-Setting.jpgTypical table setting for Sunday BrunchTable-89-partial.jpgTable 89 at Sunday Brunch. Susan and Pete were present but out of the pictureFirst-Course-Sunday-Brunch.jpgFIRST COURSE: COLD SAMPLER Fresh Fruit with Granola Parfait, Norwegian Smoked Salmon on Brioche, Devilled Egg, Black Tobiko|, South Italian Prosciutto, Speck and Coppa on Six Grains Baguette * Beecher’s and Brie CheeseSecond-Course-Sunday-Brunch.jpgMAIN COURSE: HOT SAMPLER Vegetable Frittata Sauted Shrimp * Mini Beef Wellington * roasted sliced potato, steamed broccoli, Biscuit and Gravy,  Pancake Stack with Maple SyrupDesert-Course-Sunday-Brunch.jpgDESSERT: SWEET ENDING SAMPLER Cream Caramel, Pecan Pie, Baked Apple Strudel

Tonight was a “Dressy” night instead of the more recent “Formal Night.”  There were only a handful of tuxedos tonight and not many suits or even coats and ties.

table-89-dressy.jpgTable 89 Dressy Night

The Zuiderdam Cast performed their second show of the cruise:  Swing.  The four singers and four dancers performed on a backing track instead of a live band.  There weren’t any sets or stage decorations – simply various backgrounds displayed on screens.  As you can judge from the title, the music was from the swing era.  Here are a few of the songs they performed.

  • At Last
  • It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)
  • L-O-V-E
  • In The Mood
  • Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

Swing-Cast-3.jpg

Swing-Cast-2.jpg

Tomorrow is another sea day.

 

This is the official post from my blog page...some content was previewed earlier...

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Aloha. So enjoy your posts and pictures. You strike me as such a humble and fun person who loves life. You are not pretentious and worried about President Club preferences nor reciting such in your posts. This is not to insult others but just to show how gracious and enjoyable your posts are and fun to read, look at pictures and follow along.  All the best!

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41 minutes ago, The-Inside-Cabin said:

 We were wondering if there was anything left at the hold Survivor Site from 2002?  Does anyone know if there is anything to see there?

When I was at the site in 2016, there was just the beach. I saw it from an overlook when we took the one and only HAL tour. I much prefer walking around Nuka  Hiva. Enjoy your day. Hi to Judy. 
Cheers, Denise

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Just now, dchip said:

When I was at the site in 2016, there was just the beach. I saw it from an overlook when we took the one and only HAL tour. I much prefer walking around Nuka  Hiva. Enjoy your day. Hi to Judy. 
Cheers, Denise

Yeah, were not sure it would be worth the time to drive out there.   I fugure it would be at least an hour each way - maybe longer.    We may have a hard time finding a taxi since usually every available car is booked for the HAL and private tours.

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TAMING THE TOWEL ANIMALS – AT SEA (POST #16)

JANUARY 18, 2023
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towel animal demo feature

We learn the inside secrets of how to tame the towel animals!

Towel Animals have been a part of cruising for years.  They used to appear in our cabins daily after dinner and disappear once again the next day.  Now they only make an appearance on Gala nights or other special occasions.  If you are traveling with children, then you may see them more often, particularly if you make your desires known to your cabin steward.  

Did you ever wonder about how they put them together?  How long do they take to assemble?  Edy and Han from Housekeeping answered these questions at 2 pm in the Rolling Stone Lounge for about twenty guests.  

Han (on the right in the above photo) showed how many of the Animals assembled from basic shapes can be combined to form different animals.  One common element is the “roasted chicken,” used in several different animals.  

roast-chicken.jpg Han demonstrated the Roasted Chicken which is a common element in many towel animals

They created about a dozen towel animals, and then a few guests took their turn with pretty decent results under the expert guidance of Edy and Han.  

guest-helping_.jpg A guest tried his hand at creating a towel animal under Hans’ expert guidance

Our Cabin Steward, Arsana, told us that there are 21 towel animals in the official rotation for this cruise, and he has memorized about 35 different animals.  He told us that the Iguana is the most difficult to create, but with experience and practice, he can create any of them quickly.  

elephant.jpg

towel-animal.jpg

We will be on the lookout for an “Invasion of the Towel Animals,” where you may discover every lounger in the Lido pool covered by towel animals early in the morning.  See this post from last summer.  

A movie was shown on the Mainstage for the evening’s entertainment.  The Zuiderdam doesn’t have a dedicated movie screening room which makes it difficult to show movies during the day.  While there is a nice collection of movies on demand in our cabins, seeing a movie on a big screen is special, and some people enjoy “going to the movies” on cruises.  Tonight’s feature was “The Woman King.”  

 

Tomorrow is our final sea day before Nuku Hiva

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THE FINAL DAY OF OUR 8TH CONSECUTIVE SEA DAYS (POST #17)

JANUARY 18, 2023
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chris p feature

The longest stretch of sea days is coming to an end – we are ready to go ashore!

Our longest stretch of sea days comes to a close.  When I was in the US Navy, my longest stretch of consecutive sea days was 93!  And many Navy veterans can easily beat that number.  

I hope that the days of poor internet will be fewer as we cruise closer to areas with better internet satellite coverage.  Updating my blog is time consuming with poor connections, as the simplest tasks can sometimes take minutes instead of seconds.  There are also occasional security issues as the servers involved are often in different time zones, and sometimes synchronization is a problem.  I am anticipating another spate of connectivity issues as we cross the date line, and our servers think we are on a different day.  It will all settle out in time.  

One of the most difficult things to do on any cruise, and particularly a World Cruise is to decide how to spend your time.  There are always many choices, and Grand Voyages are chock full of activities from 7 am until 11 pm.  It’s easy to get into a routine, and that’s OK.  

Playing Texas Hold’em tournaments is one of my favorite activities on any cruise and especially world cruises.  The casino no longer has live dealers, which is both good and bad.  Live dealers using real cards is more fun than playing on a giant “Poker Pro” table.  However, live dealers, want to wrap the games up in 45 minutes, so they start with about $1500 in tournament chips and raise the blinds every 10 minutes.  On the other hand, at a Poker Pro Table, no dealers are involved, so the Casino doesn’t really care how long the games last.  On this cruise, the players start with $5000 in tournament chips and raise the blinds every 15 minutes.  This makes for longer games – almost 2 hours.  By playing 2 games a day, that’s almost 4 hours.  So for the most part, I will be playing one game a day.  

poker-pro.jpg This automated poker table has worked flawlessly this cruise.

We have a core group of about 12-15 players and we usually get 8 to play at any particular time.  We all get along great and no one is taking anything too seriously so it’s a lot of fun.  If you ever had a desire to learn Texas Hold’em, a cruise ship tournament is one of the best places to get experience.  The games are friendly and people are eager to help.  The buy-in is usually $60 and that is the limit of your potential loss.  The winners will usually split $400.  

As you cruise more often on the same cruise line, you will come to know more and more people from previous cruises.  This is another fun activity as you will spend time throughout the day catching up with old acquaintances and making new friends.  

Chris Pendleton was on the Mainstage this evening.  The first 1/2 hour of her show was stand-up comedy, while for the last 15 minutes she played the fiddle.  Elliot Finkel who joined her onstage to play the Celtic tune Bygone Days.  The show was great and we enjoyed it more than the first.

chris-P-2.jpg

chris-p-3.jpg

elliott.jpg Eliott Finkel came on stage to accompany Chris on one tune

We will be in Nuku Hiva tomorrow, 18 Jan 2023

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GLAMPING IN NUKU HIVA (POST # 18)

JANUARY 19, 2023
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Table 89 Feature

Glamping on the Grand Voyage was Glorious – Our first party was a big hit

The morning sun illuminated Nuka Hiva as we sailed into the harbor around 6 am.  Our early arrival allowed local officials to board and clear the ship without delaying tours or passenger going ashore.

Zuiderdam-at-anchor.jpg The Zuiderdam used engines, thrusters and an anchor to maintain position off the coast of Nuku Hiva

Once we were cleared, tenders started shuttling passengers the 1 mile to shore, taking about 10 minutes.  The waves around the shoreside landing were relatively small but high enough to slow people getting off as everyone required a little more assistance.

Nuku-Hiva-Tender.jpg Tiki Tuhiva seen in the background as the tenders return to the ship

Tender tickets were required and were available in the Rolling Stone Lounge for 4/5 stars and in Billboard onboard for everyone else.  There were far more people in the 4/5 star room than Billboard onboard, but they drew from the Rolling Stone Room more frequently so the people with the priority tendering perk still got some value.  Club Orange, Suite Guests and PC members can go directly to the tender platform and join the existing line on Deck A.

tender-landing.jpg View of the tender landing showing the sheltered waiting area where returning guests wait. The orange-colored tent on the left side is where you find the local welcome band. henk-w-judy.jpg Henk greeted guests as we left the tenders ashore

There is only one HAL tour here – which consists of a caravan of about a dozen local vehicles – each with about 4 passengers, driving single file into the interior and stopping at various viewpoints, a small village, and a craft market.  The drivers of most of the cars will usually only speak French, so the commentary is limited to the view spots when everyone exits and assembles around the English-speaking guide who has been riding in a different vehicle.  You may be fortunate to have an English-speaking guide in your vehicle so you can get a little extra commentary as you drive around.

tour-caravan-to-interior.jpg Here is the caravan of local vehicles getting ready for the afternoon interior tour

 

Aside from the one tour, there are three main attractions in town – The large statue on the knoll near the tender landing, the Norte Dame Cathedral, about 1 mile west along the waterfront walk, and Rose Corser’s He’e Tai Inn and Museum.   Walking to the end is about 2 miles where you will find the Inn and Museum.  The museum is hidden and a little hard to find – we were last there in 2018 – so check the opening times via email before you walk the 2 miles unless you want to walk to the restaurant regardless.

Nuku-Hiva-Map.jpg

four-flags.jpg Four flags fly over Nuku Hiva

Here is a link to our 2018 trip when we visited the museum

Other popular stops include the pizza place and nearby grocery store.  On the way to the main street from the tender landing is a restaurant and craft market – immediately behind the tender landing are public restrooms, a Yacht services shop, a small gift shop, and a little snack bar.

 

Most of these places offer slow Wi-Fi but with T-Mobile we were able to get pretty fast cell service as part of our standard international plan for no extra charge.

 

We enjoyed the view from the small hill with the Tiki Tuhiva statue and always make a point to visit.  The views of the harbor from here are spectacular.  If you continue further past the turnoff for Tiki Tuhiva, you will quickly reach several public buildings including a post office.

After visiting Tiki Tuhiva, we headed west toward Notre Dame Cathedral, stopping to check out Moana Nui Pizza and the grocery store along the way.

pizza-place.jpg The best pizzas in town are here menu.jpg Moana Nui Menu market.jpg The Grocery store is a little east of the Moana Noi Pizzas judy-in-market.jpg Enjoyed chatting with the grocery store clerk inside-notre-dame-church.jpg Inside Notre Dame Cathedral

 

jeff-with-new-camera.jpg Jeff used to carry a nice set of Nikon cameras and lens. He left those at home and now gets great photos using his phone. They are amazing!

After our walk to the Notre Dame Cathedral, we spent a few minutes in the craft market before heading to Snack Tematapuaua, near the tender landing, where we ordered a Grilled Tuna dinner and a Meatball Plate.  The servers didn’t speak English very well, and the menu board was in French.  Google Translate came to the rescue, and I was able to decipher the menu board the learn about what menu choices were still available.  Two dinner platters, a beer, and a large water were 3,600 CPF or about $36.

meatballs.jpg Meatball Dinner tuna-dinner.jpg Grilled Tuna Dinner

 

restrooms-near-tender-landing.jpg Public restroom near the tender landing

 

craft-market-near-tender-landing.jpg A few of the items in the craft market near the tender landing

THE GLAMP OUT

Grand Voyages are known for their themed events and parties.  Our first major party was this evening while we were anchored in Nuku Hiva.  Here was the Glamp-Out description in the Daily Program:  Glamourous “camping” experience beneath the stars.  Enjoy music and short talks with Andy Fletcher.

 

Ship’s crew started setting up for the Glamp-Out around 6 pm and was scheduled to start at 7 pm with music by the Ocean Bar Band.  Four electronic “Camp Fires” were set up in position around the pool, which now contained a floating canoe.  Bar stations were set up on either side of the Pool and some Glamp-Out snacks from the ship’s store were available for purchase on a table.

Electronic-Camp-Fires.jpg The electronic “campfires” were a big hit

The Lido Market featured a special Glamp-Out Menu and some pass-around snacks.  Each hour starting at 7 pm, the staff would appear with trays of various treats, including Mini Hot Dogs, Beef Sliders, S’mores, Maple and Smoked Bacon Doughnuts, Hot Chocolate, and Mini Marshmallows.  They were all delicious and efficiently distributed.

smor.jpg Glamp out – S’mores mini-doughuts-glamp.jpg Cindy and Judy enjoy Maple Bacon Doughnuts.

We brought a dozen plastic pith helmets to pass around – you could see various people wearing them from time to time.

 

The band started playing at 7 pm and performed three sets until the party wrapped up around 10 pm.  In between sets, guest Lecturer Andy Fletcher presented short “Camp Fire” talks on Black Holes and Aliens.

band-playing-with-hats.jpg The Ocean Bar band tried on the pith helmets – for a little while – but these plastic helmets were seen making the rounds all evening.

Throughout the evening, Hotel GM, Henk, and Entertainment Director, Bienelisa Manalang, offered canoe rides to unsuspecting guests who thought that they might be in for a moonlight sail across the pool.  When I looked over a few times, the canoe was being rocked by forces that were never exactly clear.  No one got wet but everyone had fun.

canoe-in-the-pool.jpg Henk was giving canoe rides in the pool

Passenger energy, participation, and enthusiasm is the key to having a great cruise ship party.  The foundation for the party is the props, menu, drinks, and music.  All these baseline elements were in place and the enthusiastic passengers filled in the rest, creating a wonderful atmosphere for our first themed party.

 

The weather was on the warm side, but pleasant, and the Lido pool roof was open letting in a gentle breeze.  Unfortunately, sometime between the second and third set, the skies opened up, the rain started hard and before the roof could be shut, most of the exposed areas around the Lido pool was drenched as people scattered for cover.

 

The Glamp Out ended at 10 pm and was a huge success.  We are looking forward to the next party as the cruise continues.

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Here is the HD version of the Glamp out video - I was surprised I was able to upload a 428 MB video to YouTube over the ships Wi-Fi - Not bad

 

I can't play them well out here - let me know if there is a difference - the SD upload was 80 MB the HD was 428

 

 

Edited by The-Inside-Cabin
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Hi Pete!

Thanks so much for your in depth coverage! Love your photos and commentary. I checked out both YouTube videos on my iPad. There was no difference. 
 

Loved your first photo of the ship and the bougainvillea. Great minds think alike. 😂 I took this photo in November. I, too, only use my iPhone now. Much easier on my hands. 
 

Cheers, Denise and Howie too

 

5F87FF1B-185B-49DE-ACC4-94BEF1F04BFB.jpeg

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1 hour ago, dchip said:

Hi Pete!

Thanks so much for your in depth coverage! Love your photos and commentary. I checked out both YouTube videos on my iPad. There was no difference. 
 

 

 

1 hour ago, Blondilu said:

Pete, on my pc the resolution of the HD video was oh so slightly crisper.  But I had to compare them side-by-side to even see the difference.

Thanks for the feedback on the videos -  not sure that trying for the HD uploads is worth it - as most people watch on smaller devices 

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1 hour ago, dchip said:

Hi Pete!

Thanks so much for your in depth coverage! Love your photos and commentary. I checked out both YouTube videos on my iPad. There was no difference. 
 

Loved your first photo of the ship and the bougainvillea. Great minds think alike. 😂 I took this photo in November. I, too, only use my iPhone now. Much easier on my hands. 
 

Cheers, Denise and Howie too

 

5F87FF1B-185B-49DE-ACC4-94BEF1F04BFB.jpeg

Judy took those pictures - she was the pro photographer for years....

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transparent.png
Post for Jan 19th

SAILING THE SOUTH PACIFIC (POST #19)

JANUARY 20, 2023
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bienelisa feature

Beinelisa is the guest at Coffee Chat and Rebecca Kelly is on the Mainstage – plus a photo tip.

Nuku Hiva is home to the largest statue in the South Pacific: Tiki Tuhiva.  Many people will have their picture taken with the Tiki Tuhiva in the background.  Here is a tip that will produce a better picture, not only here but whenever you want to have your picture taken in front of something huge.

Many people will stand immediately in front of the item of interest, and they will have the photographer stand well back to get the object in the frame.  This results in the person being very small and, in many cases, hard to identify.  My suggestion is to have the person stand close to the camera, with the object in the background.  This will produce a photo of the person where you can easily identify the person, and the object in the background is the same size.

Here is an example of Tiki Tuhiva using both techniques.

Nuka-Hiva-two-shot-2.jpg Many people will stand next to the large object of interest making the person very small

 

Nuka-Hiva-two-shot.jpg To fix this – stand closer to the camera. The large object is the same size but now you can easily see the person of interest

 

Entertainment Director Bienelisa Manalang was Ian’s guest at Coffee Chat this morning.  We learned that all the guest entertainers are booked from Seattle and the ship has very little input into who is scheduled for each segment.  The ship controls the show times and other details once the guest entertainers arrive.  Ian said that there are 40% fewer guest entertainers than there were before COVID.  Many entertainers have moved on to different jobs or are no longer performing on cruise ships.

bienelisa-2.jpg Bienelisa Manalang

 

Rebecca Kelly was on the Mainstage for her second show and was outstanding.

rebecca.jpg Rebecca Kelly
Edited by The-Inside-Cabin
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