Thursday, September 24, 2015

Day 39 (23 September 2015)

A clear sunny day today - the water is a sapphire blue. Somewhere near the Hawaiian Islands, North Pacific Ocean.

We did nothing today. However a 3.2 klm walk around the ship was our highlight. There was a $10 USD max shopping offer per item in one of the dining rooms. Later at night we watched and listen to karaoke singers - some were excellent and of course our sleaze (who we found out his name is Elliot) sang. Tomorrow we are in Honolulu - no tours were organised as we have previously gave Hawaii a big visit two and three years ago. We will be visiting Walmart and Macy's and later Duke's Bar in Waikiki. So until then cheers. 

Day 38 (22 September 2015)

Nothing but blue sea - a smooth sail mid way between San Francisco and Honolulu

Nothing really different from yesterday’s activities. We attended a cha cha cha lesson at 2:30 pm. The steps were basic and we knew all what was shown. The American way of dancing the cha cha cha is on the first step, not the second beat as we do in Australia. Also we are starting to walk around the ship – today it was a 1.6 klm stroll – tomorrow we will stretch it a bit further. Our meals have been breakfast delivered to our room, a buffet lunch in the huge dining room and a sit-down dinner in a room forward of the ship. The buffet are the worst meals – the plates they give you are twice the size of a normal size plate and it is easy to fill your plate with food that you don’t usual have. At least the sit down night meals are controlled. Now, this is a good time to talk about the people we have met and seen on board the Golden Princess. The average age appears to be about 73 years – mostly Americans with many Australians and a few Canadians. On arrival in Australia the North Americans are only staying in Sydney between five hours to three days before travelling back to their homeland. What a pity they couldn’t see our great country with time to spare! The crew are a mixture of various countries with their country of origin labelled on their shirt badges. There are many Filipinos, especially in the dining room. We have made a great acquaintance with Ferdinand (a Filipino) who is on his fifteenth (9 month) contract with Princess Cruises. He is fantastic, fun with an unusual accent and seem to be at our needs in the dining room before we decide what we need – uncanny! Now there is the laundrette room, not far from our Stateroom. There is the Queen of the Laundrette, an Ozzie with amazing knowledge of everything laundry. Her knowledge of every nook and cranny of washing machines, irons and dryers would make you squeal with amazement. What a journey she has taken – to have a 28 day cruise and enjoying the company of unwitting passengers in a claustaphobic laundry room. Enough of that. There is another person –an American. A tall gentleman with almost portly pear shaped figure. Who feels he is the Elvis at karaoke sessions and can dance with any lady he wants on the dance floor. This James Bondish fellow dances the dirty dance way. Thank goodness he hasn’t taken our Anne into his clutches in what appears to be the typical sleaze many women avoid. At dinner time we are sitting with a Chinese couple from Vancouver, Canada. They are in their eighties and is a struggle to have a good conversation with them. We don’t know if it is a language barrier, however they did tell us they were English teachers before retirement – who’d have thought? They introduced us as Priscilla and Mr Wong. We try to crank up good old Australian conversation but their usual response is an impassive stare to display recognition that they understand what we are saying – we meet all sorts of people on this adventure. So far the weather has been overcast – the North Pacific Ocean being a beautiful blue sapphire colour. So until tomorrow – cheers.

Day 37 (21 September 2015)

Anne's new hairstyle - taken somewhere in the North Pacific Ocean from the stern of the Golden Princess

The back end of this ship is huge - above is a disco room called the Skywalker.

Inside the Skywalker on board the Golden Princess.

Looking forward from the Skywalker nightclub on board the Golden princess.

Looking rearwards showing the Skywalker Nightclub. The highest point on the Golden Princess where passengers are allow to go.

Another view of the Skywalker Nightclub.

There's nearly 950 feet of corridor at Level 10 on board the Golden Princess. This is our level about two thirds down from this position.

Our first formal night on board the Golden Princess - ahhh..... Anne in her new ball gown.

Having dinner on our formal night - we are compelled to dress up.

A senior member of the Golden Princess crew assisting a passenger in filling up the champagne tower.

Now it's Anne's turn. 

Our second full day at sea – same as yesterday cloudy however warmer as we travel south west towards Hawaii. Anne had her hair done in the ship’s salon. She is very happy with the result of the expert hairdresser. This was fortuitous as there is a formal dinner tonight. A dress up is required and Anne can wear one of her newly purchased Macy’s outfits. We attended a Line Dance lesson at 2:30 pm and learnt the Electric Slide (easy) and the Macarena. As mentioned we attended our sit down dinner in our best clobber and after the Captain started pouring champagne into hundreds of glasses as a welcome activity Anne and many others were invited to assist him to pour the bubbly fluid. We went to a show – the Stardust in the large theatre. Tomorrow will be the same as today so cheers.

Day 36 (20 September 2015)

The North Pacific Ocean is calm today

Looking towards the stern from our balcony. On board the Golden Princess in the North Pacific ocean.

Our usual place for dancing with the ship's band "The Mosaic" on stage.

Our first full day at sea. The weather was cloudy and we orientate around this large vessel – 950 feet long and weighs in at 108,000 tons. They say if you walk around two and a half times around the Promenade Deck you will have walked one mile (1.6 klms). Our balcony view is on the starboard side – an advantage going down the New Zealand east coast. Our meals are 5 star and the service is excellent. We attended a merengue class in the afternoon followed by some ballroom practice (by ourselves) on a small floor. Dinner is a traditional sit down and after attended the live band “Mosaic” for some dancing – mostly Latin styles are played. It was an easy day and relaxing. Tomorrow will be similar activities. Cheers.

Day 35 (19 September 2015)

Lombard Street in San Francisco - how come these vehicles don't tip over is amazing!!

Walking down Lombard Street, San Francisco - the most crookedest street in the world.

At the bottom of the crookedest street in the world - Lombard Street, San Francisco.

Our last neal together as a foursome - Ghirardelli Chocolate haven in San Francisco. Note that Anne is in heaven! 

The San Francisco Bay Bridge from the Golden Princess.

Departing San Francisco on board the Golden Princess.

San Francisco in the background from the Golden Princess.

Passing Alcatraz from the Golden Princess, San Francisco.

Just clearing the Golden Gate Bridge - going under this famous bridge.

The underside of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Made it!!! Just gone under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Saying bye to San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge on board the Golden Princess.

Almost sunset view from our stateroom balcony on board the Golden Princess.

The four of us had our bags pack and left the tonnage in one room before check-out at the Red Coach Motel. As a calculated guess the total bags would have weighed in at 80 kgs – thanks to the accumulated shopping we did over the past 35 days. We caught the local bus to the famous Lombard Street – yes the street renowned for the crookedness street in the world. We actually started from the top and walked down to the bottom. As a final get together we had a dessert attack at the Ghirardelli factory famous for its fine chocolate – and this was at 10 am!!! We tried to take the cable car back to our accommodation but luck was not on our side – apparently the underground cable was damaged and the line was shut-down. That followed was a $28 USD donation to the San Francisco cable car company to the angst of four disappointed visitors. Back to the motel we said our goodbyes and Meng & Choon was collected by their SF friends. Neil & Anne managed to arrange a taxi for the short journey to Pier 27 where the Golden Princess was waiting. It was a full ship, 3,500 in all. The Princess Cruise staff are excellent and tried to smoothly organise the mass check-in over a three hour period. We were allocated stateroom C247, our credit card at the ready and away the ship departed San Francisco at 4:30 pm. Another beautiful day in SF found the ship sailing under the Golden Gate that is a one time excellent experience. The food on board is marvellous – 5 star treatment and some dancing before retirement made a memorable day. What our body weight will be in 28 days’ time is not going to be good. Wifi on the Golden Princess is expensive and apparently slow therefore this post may not make it until one week time when we are in Honolulu. Until then cheers.