Thursday, October 1, 2015

Day 46 (30 September 2015)

Professional photo of us at the last formal dinner on board the Golden Princess.

The sign that begins our walk around the Golden Princess.

Heading towards the front of the ship – a series of small stairs. Also it becomes very windy.

The front of the ship (the bow). Very noisy and windy.

Now on the port side walking down the first set of steps from the bow. No more noise and no wind.

Just around the corner is a 12 step descent. A view of the port side is evident.

Anne walking down the 12 step stairs to the promenade Deck (Port side)

The port side promenade deck - a long stretch of straightness towards the stern.

Almost to the stern and the halfway mark.

As we turn to the stern of the ship a mirror to prevent collisions. Starts to become noisy at this point.

The stern and very noisy with the propellers churning the sea wake.

Now returning to the starboard side – Anne saying “come-on”!

The starboard promenade deck and much quieter – the last straight stretch to finish one lap.

One lap done and ready to climb the starboard side 12 stairs to the front to the vessel.

Another relaxing day after our celebration yesterday. We walked around the ship (1 mile) and took a half hour session in the gym. It is interesting that we can lose calories and easily put it back on at our next meal. Cruise ships are famed for the undisciplined and certainly we must fall into that category. Buffets are the worse – they give a large plate with many varieties of foods, especially seafood. The sit down meals are best – food control is so much easy. They taught the tango today and it was interesting. Slightly different from our style but nothing we can’t handle. Also went to a Veteran’s Meeting in the afternoon and met many American ex-servicemen – some served in WWII. There were some Aussies who were in the RAAF and Army that also attended. One particular ex US Marine gave us some idea what some of their people thought about the big wars in the 20th Century. He said that one young impressionable boy believed that World War II was the eleventh war and wondered that WW 3 to 11 was undocumented. It was a joke of course but it did liven up the fraternity of serving men and women. The following photos portrays the one lap around the ship via Deck 7 (Promenade). It is a good walk and the best way to keep those calories intact. Tomorrow we hit Papeete (Tahiti) with two excursions organise we will be busy. The following day will be Bora Bora. Hopefully tomorrow the blogspot will be up-to-date. Cheers. 

Day 45 (29 September 2015)

The beauty and the beast – celebrating 43 years of marriage. In the Golden Princess Caneletto Dining Room.

Three excellent pianist performing late at night on board the Golden Princess – an ad hoc affair.

It was our 43rd wedding anniversary today and outside our cabin door was a congratulatory message with balloons. What did we do for our auspicious day – we walked 3.5 klms around the Golden Princess. Later Anne attended a foot analysis seminar and yes the high pressure personal trainer and salesman believed Anne’s anecdote was a $200 USD podiatric insert to solve her feet problem. Well, Anne tried the plastic pieces to no improvement and one aerobic personal trainer lost a sale. We had dinner at our usual room and our excellent waiter “Ferdinand” served us with an anniversary cake and made a special event for us – rather a great moment of our day. Before and after dinner we practiced some dancing – with a chance to practice some sequence dances and after dinner went to a show – a crooner and vocalist with a name of Tony B, an old  New Yorker with ties to the artists of old (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and other Rat Pack members). He was excellent and after we kept celebrating in the Piazza Bar listening to a pianist Oliver Holland. Our day was great and tomorrow we are still at sea but almost near Tahiti. So until then – cheers. 

Day 44 (28 September 2015)

Having dinner with Priscilla and Mr Wong – our formal dinner on board the Golden Princess. 

Us – having our formal dinner on board the Golden Princess.

Another day at sea. So far the waters crossing the equator has been smooth. Outside temperature is humid and somewhat overcast most of the day. We attended the programmed basic waltz lesson this morning and on a dance floor with fifty couples there was nowhere to move. We managed to go along with the tide and watch the box steps with travelling steps presented. There is a lady of Chinese descent from New Zealand who claims to be an exhibition Australian New Vogue dancer who asked us to show her the President Daughter’s Waltz. We have asked the ship’s Director if there is a time to practice dancing and happily he has place a time and a dance floor in his ships program, starting tomorrow. It was also a formal night tonight – we dressed up and as usual dined with our Canadian table mates, Priscilla and Mr Wong. Tomorrow is our 43rd wedding anniversary and we may just chill out and relax. Until tomorrow – cheers.

Day 43 (27 September 2015)

King Neptune and associates walking down to start the crossing of the Equator ceremony on board the Golden Princess.

King Neptune and his beautiful queen “Fish” during the crossing of the Equator ceremony.

King Neptune and the Captain during the crossing of the Equator ceremony.

Administering punishment on the poor souls during the crossing of the Equator ceremony.

King Neptune’s punishment of several ship’s company who haven’t crossed the Equator.

Somewhere in the medical tent is the MC “Tim Donovan” getting the treatment in removing his Funny Bone” during the crossing of the Equator ceremony.

The MC “Tim Donovan” emerging from the medical tent after his funny bone was removed during the crossing of the Equator ceremony.

The highlight today was the King Neptune’s ceremony at 3:30 pm. Only four shameless passengers and several ship’s crew were targeted by the King and his Queen. The ship’s crew were innocent souls who had not crossed the Equator in their life and according to maritime creed must endure correct passage rites to ensure safe passenger through King Neptune’s realm. The outcome was complete public humiliation by being splattered with various foods and coloured material. Also they had to kiss a fresh fish. Even the MC of the public affair was targeted at the end. We did actually cross the equator at 6 pm and now in the southern hemisphere still sailing south to Tahiti. Another highlight today is Anne is on the amend recovering from her cold of virus and we actually walked five times around the ship before lunch – a whole 4 kilometres worth. Tomorrow we are still sailing south and at sea all day. There is a formal night so it’s another dress up. Until tomorrow – cheers.

Day 42 (26 September 2015)

A moment from the Ultimate Deck Party on board the Golden Princess.

This is our first day of choppy seas with inclement weather most of the day. We are heading south to Tahiti in tropical waters. In fact it is a tropical attire for tonight affair Anne is still recovering from her cold and we just relaxing the entire day. We did go to the dance class this morning where they showed us basic Swing/Jive steps. Slightly different to our jive movements however we were able to pick their steps quickly. Apparently the next lesson will be the waltz – should be interesting! Anne also attended a seminar on how to flatten one’s stomach. She had learnt a few pointers and will try to take some advice for the forthcoming wedding in November. Rule number one – don’t eat too much on board ship. We had more dancing after our dinner and later went to a show presented by a Tom Franek he was terrific played many medleys from yester years. There was the Ultimate Deck Party on Deck 15 with modern dances associated with the Caribbean – awesome. Tomorrow is another day at sea. If it is fine we will just chill out on a deck chair – along with many laps of the ship. Cheers.

Day 41 (25 September 2015)

Ready to board our tender from the Golden princess to landfall at Lahaina, Maui.

One of the tourist hotels along the beachfront at Lahaina, Maui.

The Golden Princess as seen from Lahaina, Maui before our excursion to Haleakala National Park.

The view from the winding road to the Haleakala Crater – showing the Maui Neck beween the two dormant volcanoes.

Another view from the winding road to the Haleakala Crater – showing the Maui Neck between the two dormant volcanoes.

The winding road on the way to Haleakala Crater, Maui.

Rare Nene Ducks located at the Haleakala National Park Headquarters, Maui.

Rare Silversword plants in the Haleakala National Park, Maui.

View of the Haleakala Crater, Maui.

Another view of the Haleakala Crater, Maui.

And another view of the Haleakala Crater, Maui.

The road to reach the Pu’u ‘Ula’ula Observatory on Haleakala Crater, Maui.

Looking down to sea level taken from the Haleakala Crater, Maui.

Us at the Haleakala Crater, Maui.

In the town of Makawao, Maui.

In the town of Lahaina, Maui.

Waiting for us – our Golden Princess in Lahaina Harbour, Maui.

Anne along the shoreline at Lahaina, Maui.

Shaved ice (yum) a Maui treat at Lahaina.

Driving the Golden Princess tender in Lahaina Harbour, Maui.

The other (sister) Maui volcano taken from the Golden Princess, in Lahaina Harbour.

After an overnight sail from Honolulu we arrived at Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui early morn. The Golden Princess is too huge to berth therefore a tender service is employed. We had an excursion to Haleakala National Park a 90 minute drive on switchback roads to scale the 9,740 feet volcano. This volcano is one of two on the island which last erupted in 1790, now declared dormant but the crater is awesome. After descending we had lunch in Hotel Casanova in village called Makawao. Our driver, a Hawaiian descent kept calling us cousins – a term frequently referring to anybody in Hawaiian lore. After a drive back to Lahaina via the back roads found us walking the tourist streets looking at ……..wait for it…..women and men’s fashion. Taking the tender back to the ship at 5 pm we were almost exhausted after two days venture on land. Anne is suffering from a cold and not the best on these excursions. The Golden Princess departed Maui for Tahiti at 6 pm and at writing is heading south-east. Officially we are out of the US and actually finish with being on American soil. This will take five days at sea and will cross the equator. We are now aware that we are on our last segment of our holiday and getting closer to Australia. Cheers.

Day 40 (24 September 2015)

The main road along Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii.

Anne in front of Duke’s Bar, Waikiki, Hawaii.

Waikiki Beach with Diamond Head in the background, Hawaii.

Night time view of Honolulu from the Golden Princess, Pier 2, Hawaii Harbour.

Night time view of the historic harbour clock taken from the Golden Princess, Pier 2, Hawaii Harbour.

Today we had our feet on terra firma. The Golden Princess berthed at Pier 2, Honolulu Port about 6:30 am and after breakfast we left the ship. At this stage most passengers were enjoying their tours ranging from Pearl Harbour to the windward side of Oahu. In the past we had done all this so today we went shopping and visit Duke’s Bar on Waikiki. The main shopping area is at Ala Moana and to get there from Pier 2 we boarded a complimentary shuttle via Maui Diver factory. This establishment have the monopoly on black coral which is found only on a nearby island. Their jewellery is expensive and after 20 minutes we arrived at Ala Moana Shopping Mall. We spend a bit of money at Walmart and Macy’s which will be our last chance to visit these stores. We used the free Wifi at the mall to catch up on these posts. A short journey to Waikiki Anne invaded Ross (a cheap women fashion store) and later went to Duke’s Bar. This bar was frequented by us on many occasions in 2012 and 2014. Sadly our favourite bartender Justin left the bar last year to settle in Seattle. Nevertheless, a couple of lava flows later and we returned to Ala Moana to finish some clothes buying. Anne is happy, she had bought her dress for Carol’s wedding in November. Anne has come down with a cold. We are confused where she had pick this up as we have been very careful in what we touch and constantly wash our hands. Tomorrow the Golden Princess will arrive at Lahaina the main town on the island of Maui. We are on a tour – the Haleakala Crater tour. This is a seven hour excursion and will embrace most of our time in Maui. Cheers.