First day of a sure to be great trip.
We left Dulles a wee bit late this morning, as they were eating for connecting bags. That was ok by me as if they were mine I would have been very happy, they made it and the lady two rows bag was.
It was bumpy going out of VA, but soon we climbed out of it, and it was smooth all the way so far. I say so far, as we jus flew over the GRAND CANION!! 😱 And I have never seen it before, it was so exciting. It was sooooo clear. Ed said as many times he has flown over this area he has never seen it so clear.
Well I was so intrenched that I plum forgot to take a picture, but remembered befor we passed it, so here they are.
We approached the plains the clouds parted and we could see the massive snow covering the plains extending to Denver and the Rocky's. We crossed Rocky Mountain NP and into western Colorado. We began a west-south-westerly heading passing over Grand Canyon, what a sight, first time Cindy and I had ever seen the whole canyon from 35000 feet, it was beautiful. We crossed over Palm Springs and made a straight in approach to LAX landing 15 minutes early. What a great flight!
Once we gathered our bags it was off to a taxi and a $70 cab fare to Long Beach. One glitch, they broke off one of the bag wheels and its mounting. Oh Well, the bags have a life.
We got an ocean view room at the Long Beach Westin hotel and had an excellent lunch with both of us having a chicken salad... it was excellent. John and Janet called about 1600 and said that they had arrived and they would meet us at our hotel. they joined us at 1700 and we went to the hotel bar for a beer and glass of wine. The hotel bell man indicated he could make us reservations at Patrick's Lighthouse at 1900 so that we could be present for the beautiful sunset over the Pacific! Diner and the views were unbelievably beautiful. It was a great evening and when we returned to the room we just crashed into the arms of a restful sleep.
25 March - We managed to sleep until 0630 as we transitioned to Pacific Time zone. We had breakfast at the Westin Grill restaurant, excellent food, however the prices are pricy!!! Almost Brussels prices.
Janet and John joined us after breakfast and we were off for the day of sight seeing. We took the Long Beach Passport bus (free) to the Ocean liner Queen Mary center. We saw the ship from the restaurant last night, but the size of it is overwhelming. Ed used to see it come in and out of NYC as a kid, so it is on his bucket list. We purchased tickets to tour the ship for the day. We took the guided ghost ship tour and climbed through many of the back locations of the ship including the boiler tower chambers, indoor swimming pools, and other crew locations. after the tour we became our own tour guides; touring the bow, anchor and chain locations, bridge, first class club rooms, and finally the Tea Room where we decided to have lunch.
After lunch Ed and John wandered the remainder of the ship stopping at the engine room and observing all the propulsion systems and related equipment. They also visited the radio control room and were briefed on the communication systems employed by the ship.
Al and Linda Colton arrived and called us to say they had arrived. We joined them and proceeded to the Shore Line Village Shoppes and on to Patrick's Lighthouse for an early diner. The diner served to commence our 4 - week cruise to the South Pacific via the Hawaii Islands to celebrate Linda and Al's 50th wedding anniversary. Thus began our Bon Voyage from California.
We are now awaiting going to the ship. So now I will take advantage of the last of our free internet, and try to catch up with the blog. Maybe this time I can pull this off. We are planing to go over about noon, but they have said we shouldn't come before three, but that is hard as we need to check out.
We met Judy this morning (Voovodool) for coffee it was really fun to see her again, we met on the Ruby TA a couple years ago, she is still as sweet as ever.
Janet, John, Al and Linda are already on there way to the ship as they had to take the 1100 shuttle, from there hotel. We will leave about noon.
Well we have checked in, and waiting for them to let us board. I guess this late boarding means we won't have to wait for our bags,,,,, right. Doesn't mater we are already having fun!
We found a space in the terminal for the six (John, Janet, Linda, Al, and us to sit and wait for the opportunity to board. There were several announcements noting that boarding would not occur before 1500; however at 1445 we were permitted to board; we all were within the first twenty folks; great!!!! Just after settling into our room the captain announced that the ship would have delayed departure at after 2000 hours. However we did our muster station training at 1730 as scheduled. Ed made reservation for the six of us at Sabatini's restaurant at 1930. Just prior to going to diner, we got all four of our bags at one time; it was great! Janet & John and Linda & Al each received a portion of their bags, with a couple still to be delivered as we left for diner. Diner at Sabatini's was terrific!!!! everyone had a wonderful diner and enjoyed the evening. While Cindy and Janet went back to their rooms; John and Ed went to see the movie Money Ball; it was excellent. Then it was off to bed and test out the new Princess Pillow top mattress used by the Star Princess!
27 March - 1st Sea Day enroute to Hilo Hawaii... We set the clocks back one hour as we went to bed. We awoke at 0630 to see a very gray morning with an overcast sky with the air temperature at 53 degrees and the sea temperature at 59 degrees. We ordered and had a light breakfast in or room. Then Cindy and John went on the Princess sponsored ship treasure hunt and gathered the stamps from all over the ship. Janet and Ed went to gather cruise information at the future cruise desk and then joined Cindy, John, Linda, and Al at the Cruise Critic's meet and greet function held in the Amalfi Dining Room. While there we watch several dolphins riding the ship's waves and playing in the calm seas. We all adjoined to the Lido deck and had a light lunch. The Lido deck was cool with the temperature only reaching 63 degrees but the sea is as calm and the sky is clear. The sea food on this ship has been prepared perfectly in all venues. Quite a change from our recent experience on Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas which was poor at best! After lunch Cindy went to the spa to have her feet pedicured and Ed went to the room to sit on the balcony in the sunshine and read his Lee Cliff book. We all gathered at Skywalkers for evening snacks and drinks and adjoined to diner at 1945. Diner was excellent!! This was our first time (due to our very late departure from LA) for diner at late seating in the dining room and our waiters were excellent! John, Al, and Ed decided to attend the late night performance of the comedian, Doug Funk. It was light entertainment, easy to say good night with. Looking forward to a warmer sea day tomorrow.
28 March - 2nd Sea Day enroute to Hilo Hawaii... We awoke at 0700 to bright sunshine and light seas. The temperature increased to 63 degrees and the sea began to gain its character. We ordered room service and ready ourselves for the day by studying the daily Princess Patter to plan our day. Tonight will be formal night so we will adjust our plans accordingly. Cindy decided to attend the ship's shopper's sale and rejoin Ed at the Princess Scholarship@Sea Lecture on the Big Island of Hawaii presented by Sharron Faff, PhD. Ed attended the Scholarship@Sea Lecture "Piracy: It's a Very Lucrative Business" with Edward Glick, PhD prior to joining Cindy. Both the lectures were very good in the topics presented. All of us went to the Horizon Court for lunch with the theme of Oriental lunch Buffet presented by Executive Chef Gaetano Patamia. The lunch was terrific. After lunch all the group except Ed went to a Line Dancing class to learn the basics. Ed retired to his cabin to continue to read his book. We plan to gather at 1700 for cocktails and then dress in our formal attire.
March 29th 3rd Sea Day Good Friday,
On this holy day we woke up to cloudy sky's, and rough seas, and Al is a wee bit motion sick.
Ed and I ordered coffee and then we went to breakfast at HC, with Janet and John, and Linda joined us later. Ed and John have gone to a lecture about and the girls are going to do trivia. And I thought I would catch up on the blog.
Last night was formal night, and we all got dressed up, and had a wonderful dinner in the Almalfie dinning room. Our waiters are proving to be spectacular. So the evening was wonderful. but Ed and I crashed early.
Today is a busy day. After Trivia, we will go to a lecture on Oahu, then the Pub Lunch, and then later this evening we will do Movies Under the Stars, (MUTS) The Life Of Pie. And get a snack up at Skywalker's or International Court.
March 30th 4th Sea Day
Last night was truly casual night, blue jeans, long sleeve shirt, jacket, and blankets for an evening at MUTS. Diner was Pizza, Hot Dogs, Burgers, fries, ice cream cones, and of course pop corn! We all enjoyed the movies and adjoined to the buffet for a midnight snack. REALLY a low key evening.
We began today having breakfast at the Horizon Court per our current daily routine. One of the waiters (from Argentina) stopped to talk with us and share some of his background. It appears Pope Frances was his districts priest and baptized his sister some 26 years ago, AND he informed us that one of the Pope's first cousins is on board this ship!!! The sun rise was terrific again and the temperature continues to climb and now is just 70 for both the sea & air temperatures. the sea is calm and the wind has subsided to least the 5 mph. It should be a great day at sea.
We continued attending the Lecture series presented by Prof Glick (Sea Power) and the series on the Islands of Maui and Kauai. We then tried our talent on Trivia and got 17 of twenty correct, not bad, but the winners got them all right. Diner wasn't special but all the choices were great and Ed had the lamb shank! We went to bed early so as to get an early jump (0600) on our day on the Island of Hawaii.
March 31 Easter Day - Hilo, Hawaii!! We were up early and got all together on the Lido deck to watch the docking in Hilo. We got off on time and boarded our mini-van for the full day tour of Volcano National Park, Black Sands Beach, the Orchard gardens, macadamia nut farm, and many other sights around Hilo. A great day, so much to do we skipped lunch. It will be a quiet evening, just watching sail away at sky walkers and then diner, nothing too fancy, just right to complete our day.
Well we have arrived in Honolulu, and are waiting to go ashore. It is 7AM and Al has rented a car here to take us around to all the places we are planing to go. And we will have to see what we can do.
Boy has Honolulu changed,,, it is so big now, lots of tall buildings, didn't get a photo, so sorry. I will try later,,, back later.
We have all just been laied,,,and the tower.