A Travellerspoint blog

Sea Day Eight, En-route to Hawaii

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Up at 0530 to catch the sunrise which was somewhat lacklustre this morning. Back to the stateroom for a refresh and up to breakfast on the Horizon Court. There is nothing of interest to me until 1130 and Jenny's craft session commences at 1030. We go our separate ways armed with Kindles in case we don't find someone to chat with. I didn't get to read a lot, at one time or another there were four different couples stopped to ask questions. Do you have a copy of the Patter ?? Is that an iPad or an Android Tablet ?? Do you know when the Destination Lecture is on ?? "Yes, tomorrow !!" Then there was the retired teacher who was waiting for his wife to return and wanted to know where the best place was to buy electronics in Honolulu

I escaped to the Theatre for another War in the Pacific Lecture with Bruce Petty. This one focused on some of the individuals he's interviewed and their personal stories. The five brothers serving together on a ship, all killed in the same action. The kid of 13 who enlisted and at the end of the conflict, as a Chief Petty Officer, is charged with falsifying his enlistment papers.

At 1145 the whole ship was alerted and we stood and observed a minute's silence to commemorate the twelfth anniversary of those who died during the '9/11' attack on New York and Washington and those from the many military forces who have fought and died since then in the War Against Terrorism. The Captain closed the silence by reciting the 'Ode'.

Met Jenny back at the stateroom and decided to try the Pizza at the Café Corniche. A lot busier than our previous visit by worth the wait. Up to the Horizon Court for a coffee and a chat. Yes, I admit, a piece of chocolate mud cake leaped onto my place and I just HAD to eat it.

Back to the stateroom to sort though my photos, write up this tale, eat the fruit and rest up for tonight.

Formal night tonight so spent a little more time getting dressed up. Lobster tails for mains and fooled around with the small Lumix. Took some reasonable shots from across the table.

Sacrificed my ice cream and coffee to make it to the Theatre in time for Donna Campbell's show. With 20 minutes to go to 'show time' there wasn't an available seat. Tonight she told the story of her singing career by belting out many of the best hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s. The lady has an amazing voice.

Finished this report and created a quick collage from the snapshots. Now off to Deck 14 to connect and upload this lot.

More tomorrow.
My photos are posted each day to http://365project.org/tonydebont/365
Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 01:42 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Sea Day Seven Crossing the Equator

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 East

Today finds us North of the Equator and East of the International Date Line. I have changed the computer's date/time to be correctly aligned to the ship's time, so we had a repeat of Tuesday 10 September. That day will be made up on our return when we will miss Monday 30 September.
Up early for a less than spectacular sunrise followed by our usual breakfast on Deck 14.

Back to the stateroom on Deck 9 to collect our Kindles and Jen went off to her craft while I attended the Destination Lecture in the Theatre on Deck 7 where we were presented with an overview of Nawiliwili, pointing out the many scenic locations that were used in the making of movies.

After the lecture up to Deck 12/14 to witness the 'ceremony' that marks the crossing of the Equator. Almost all of the passengers were crowded around the pool area taking up every vantage point on Decks 12 and 14. The Captain played his part as he has no doubt done before and then escaped the 'punishments' handed out to the hapless selected passengers and crew who had not previously 'crossed'. In the next day or two we will receive another piece of paper certifying that we've crossed the Equator (yet again).

The theme in the Horizon Court for today's lunch was a German Bier Fest. With almost everyone already assembled on Deck 14 there was a stampede for the food. I didn't stay as the Author/Historian Bruce Petty was presenting his talk on Pearl Harbor at 1230 in the Theatre on Deck 7. There were not as many at his lecture as there have been in the past.

After the lecture back to the stateroom on Deck 9 to drop off the Kindle and catch up with Jenny. She'd had her lunch so I made my way to the Horizon Court on Deck 14 where the remnants of lunch were still in the warming trays.

You know what happens next, back to the stateroom on Deck 9 to write up this report, eat the room-service fruit, read a little, snooze a little and get ready for dinner.

On reviewing the above, I note that I've travelled up and down the decks a number of times today. All of the down and some of the up journeys are on the stairs, that's a fair amount of exercise. When you add the horizontal travel (stagger with the roll) from the stairwell to the bow of the ship there would easily be over a hour of walking. No wonder I need that snooze.

Lovely dinner tonight and great company again. I've held reservations about tables for eight but this lot have been good company. Still have trouble communicating with the people directly across the table but either side is fine.

Made our way to the Vista Lounge on Deck 7 Aft for the 'Country Jam', the seven girls and five guys of the Sea Princes Dancers put on a high energy song and dance show. Not my cup of tea but great to see all that energy.

Back to the stateroom to complete this blog and then I'll go up to the Horizon Court to upload today's postings. The WiFi connection is 'five bars' but the link via the satellite is not very fast. Still much better than trying to do it from the stateroom.

More tomorrow or is that a repeat of yesterday??

My photos are posted each day to http://365project.org/tonydebont/365
Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 01:32 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Sea Day Six, En-Route to the Equator

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 West

Up early to catch the sunrise, the sea is calm and the air heavy with humidity. We are heading in a North-North-Easterly direction and I was initially fooled by the hint of a sunrise which was more towards the bow rather than directly to starboard. It took some time but then the 'real' sunrise showed itself where it should have been. Over a 15 minute period the sun rose and blossomed into a beautiful apricot display.

Breakfast over we picked up our kindles and sat outside the WheelHouse Lounge for a while. The Destination Lecture commenced at 1000 and covered our next port of Honolulu, Hawaii. We've been there before but will find plenty to keep us occupied. At 1130 Bruce Petty took us on a journey through the Battle of Saipan and the aftermath of the battle. He lived on the island for five years and showed many images he had personally captured.

The lunch special in the Horizon Court was themed on France. The predominate items were a huge display of bread rolls, cheeses and a range of pates. The standout attraction was the huge cakes. Some had been somewhat mutilated by the time I got up there, managed to photograph some of them from low angle.

The scheduled afternoon activities whilst many and various, don't appeal to us. So back to the stateroom, download the photos from the camera and write this report. That blows through an hour plus and is so taxing I feel the need to relax !! Bed, kindle, TV and perhaps a snooze.

The dining room was very colourful with all the waiters in their Italian rig. The menu had lots of dishes with names we couldn't pronounce and unknown meaning. James, the almost 90 YO ordered a dish by naming one of the ingredients 'Parma ham' and that's what he got a plate of it. The mistake was rectified quickly and he got what he'd intended but I'm not sure what he expected.

Made our way to the theatre and managed to find two of the few remaining seats. Tonight's show starred Donna Campbell who performed a very credible 'Dolly Parton' impersonation with many of her attributes. Great selection of songs and good fun.

Tomorrow we cross the Equator and also the International Date Line. Crossing the Equator is no problem but the Date Line will cause me some headaches with my photo numbering and dating of my blog entries.

It is now 2100 yesterday as I've set the computer date in anticipation of tomorrow's crossing.

More tomorrow or is that today again ??

My photos are posted each day to http://365project.org/tonydebont/365
Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 01:33 Archived in Samoa Comments (0)

Apia, Samoa

Monday, 9 September 2013

View 2013 Polynesian Cruise on greynomadm's travel map.

Woke at 0515 to an impressive storm with lots of lightning and heavy rain. By 0615 it had largely blown over but there was lots of heavy black clouds and little hope for a significant sunrise. I spent 30 minutes on deck in the hope of catching some colour in the sky.

Down to Deck 7 to watch the ship back into her berth and receive a welcome from the local dancers. A quick breakfast and pack our gear to go ashore. Joined a lengthy queue to visit the money changers who exchanged my AU$20 to WS$41 Samoan Tala.

We had a quick look around the stalls set up on the wharf and then ran the gauntlet of eagre taxi drivers offering us the best deal on the island. We decided to brave the heat and humidity and walked from the port to the centre of town. Again we were reminded of Port Moresby in the mid 1960s except that the people appeared friendlier.

On reaching the 'town clock' we happened upon a McDonald where we re-hydrated with some Coke Zero. Refreshed we wandered around the town visiting a combined supermarket and department store, the fish market and the flea market. The department store was huge and carried large quantities of cheap basic clothing, shelves of tinned meat and fish and an impressive range of dress-making materials. The fish market had a good assortment of what I think were tuna but not much in the way of small fish, we may have been a bit late.

Despite the threat of a rain shower we walked back to the ship and managed to get back without getting wet. A refreshing shower and changed clothes and it was time for lunch. We decided to try the Pizza in the Café Corniche. No crowds, no noise and friendly efficient table service. The pizzas were very enjoyable too. The range is limited, but we'll try it again occasionally.

Back to the stateroom to write this report, read a book and relax.

Dinner at 1730 is open seating because of the late departure of the ship. We sat with another couple from our regular table at a table-for-four. Much more pleasant. Meal was good and I tried something unusual in the form of 'stuffed slow-cooked goose', not a lot of goose and quite a lot of stuffing. Interesting dish.

Tonight's act in the Theatre is Roland Storm, we've seen him before and were not hugely impressed so will give the show a miss.

Found out last night that one of the reasons for the flakey WiFi connection is the steel walls between my computer and the antenna. They are only installed in the public areas and because of our location any connection was marginal. So now I take the Notebook to one of the lounges and do my upload from there.

More tomorrow.
My photos are posted each day to http://365project.org/tonydebont/365
Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 00:02 Archived in Samoa Comments (1)

Sea Day Five, En-Route to Apia, Samoa

Sunday, 8 September 2013

A calm night as the Sea Princess sails on a North-Easterly direction to our next port. This morning's sunrise was interesting without being breathtakingly spectacular. I'm impressed by the fact that the predicted time for the sunrise is spot on. Each evening the Patter contains the time of the next day's sunrise. Given the changes in our attitude and longitude as we travel there must be some interesting calculations starting with a prediction as to where we will be at that time.

At breakfast we met an ancient gentleman from San Francisco, a 89 YO widower who felt embarrassed that the waiters wanted to assist him. He was one of five brothers called up for service in WW2.

After breakfast there was a Church Service in the Theatre. This was followed by the Destination lecture and the War in the Pacific Lecture following at 1130. The topic of this lecture being the march by the Allies back to Manila.

Lunch on Deck 14 consisted of the normal range of hot and cold dishes. Many are too interesting to pass up so I finished up with a crowded plate despite my good intentions.

Back to the 'state room' for our regular mix of rest, TV and composing this report. Dinner at 1730 in the Dinning Room, three of us ordered the steak and we were all less than impressed with what was served up. Tendons not trimmed out and gristle along one end. Not up to expectations.
Not interested in the entertainment offerings tonight so we'll watch some TV and read our books.

More tomorrow.
My photos are posted each day to http://365project.org/tonydebont/365
Cheers ... Tony

Posted by greynomadm 00:22 Archived in Samoa Comments (0)

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