April - May 2016
  • Day29

    Ashton in Makerfield, Allways the way.

    May 17, 2016 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    After flying thousands of miles from Manchester, to Dubai, on to Sydney, then Seattle to London, without any turbulence, we get thrown all over the place on the short hop from London to Manchester.
    Not to bad I suppose. Lol
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  • Day24

    Lahaina, Hawaii, Continued

    May 12, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    As I said earlier, we had all decided to go ashore today, and I'm very glad that we did.
    We got in the tender at about 9.30am after a very short wait in line.
    The ride over to the pier was smooth and pleasant, unlike the choppy sea horror stories from the day before.
    When we got to the pier and first saw Lahaina, it looked beautiful and very like Key West, in the Florida Keys.
    The place was a lovely bustling small town with plenty of shops and restaurants etc, nothing like the posts I'd read on cruise critic and similar sites, which all said that there was nothing there.
    One of the first things I saw was the Banyan Park, which has the largest Banyan tree in the USA.

    The park is quite small but beautiful, with the Banyan tree's branches covering it, giving some much needed shade from the hot sun.
    There are also a couple of museums in the town, which we didn't get to see as Maz, Sue and Sheila are not really into that kind of stuff.
    We decided to head left along the beach road towards the outlet mall, so the girls could do a bit of shopping.
    It was a really lovely walk with shops on the right hand side and for the most part a beautiful sea view on the left.
    We arrived at the mall and did our shopping, actually picking up some bargains.
    Then we had a coffee in Starbucks which pleased Maz and Sue.
    We also decided to stop at the Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant for lunch on the way back, and had one of the best burgers I've ever had, along with the sea views from our table, it was an excellent meal.
    After that we headed back to the tender and as luck would have it, walked straight on to a tender, and straight back to the ship, unlike the later passengers who ended up in a quarter mile queue, waiting to get on the tenders.
    So all in all it was a great day out in beautiful Lahaina.
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  • Day22

    Lahaina Hawaii

    May 10, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Today we anchored off the small town of Lahaina, on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
    It is a tender port, and so once again they give out tickets for the tenders.
    I normally like to wait until the open tendering starts and then go ashore, thus missing the crowds. But due to high winds the tendering took ages, and by 12.30am they where still calling numbers, so I decided to give going ashore a miss.
    Maz and Sue went ashore as they had booked a whale watching trip on a catamaran.
    Sue said that the tender ride was like white water rafting, because the bay was so choppy, but out at sea on the catamaran was lovely and they had a great day.
    As we are anchored here for two days, we've all decided to go ashore tomorrow, even Sheila!
    So once again watch this space.
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  • Day21

    Honolulu, Hawaii

    May 9, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Well all the panic about long lines for the immigration check proved to be as expected, with the line snaking up and back down the royal promenade.
    We arrived very early and were right at the front of the queue.
    We had all our paperwork and our tour tickets to prove that we had an early pickup.
    It turns out that they didn't even ask for our proof of pickup and we sailed through the immigration check, except for the officer who checked my passport minutely examining the stamps in it and asking why I had so many for the middle east.
    Paranoid or what?
    Anyway as I said we sailed through it all, not like the poor buggers who stuck to their allotted times and ended up in the massive queue

    I love the USA but their immigration officers are the worst and most paranoid on the planet.
    We boarded our tour bus right on time and had a great day at the Pearl Harbour memorial site.
    The only one down side of the trip, was that we didn't get to see the USS Arizona monument up close as the navy had suspended the ferry out to the ship, due to high winds or something.
    But the rest of the Pearl Harbour site was brilliant and very moving.
    On the way back our guide, the very knowledgeable Keith Fujiyama, gave us a great tour of the city and its interesting sites.
    I must admit that I can see why people fall in love with Hawaii and especially Honolulu.
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  • Day21

    Sea Day, It's Homeland Security Sir!

    May 9, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Today we dock in Honolulu, Hawaii.
    This is the first American port since leaving Sydney, Australia, and everybody is expecting the usual USA immigration hold up.
    The immigration procedure is expected to last for approximately 4 hours, and done by lifeboat station order, the first batch starting at 7.15am and the last batch starting at 11.30am.
    With the passengers who had Royal Caribbean tours included in the first group, irrespective of their lifeboat station number.
    No consideration was given to the passengers who had private tours booked, so we had to go asking if it was ok if we joined the first batch also.
    I was told by guest services that it should be ok as long as I have proof of a private tour.
    I have proof, so we'll see.
    It appears once again that all the ship's management has focused on is passing the US immigration inspection, and the passengers are as I said in an earlier post just a necessary inconvenience.
    So watch this space!! Lol.
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  • Day16

    Sea Day, Progressive, Agressive Quiz

    May 4, 2016, South Pacific Ocean

    We finally started the first round of the progressive quiz, and as usual it very quickly became the aggressive quiz.
    One of the questions believe it or not was in what English county is the town of Wigan?
    Well my correct answer of Greater Manchester, was met with anger from one American guy who was insisting that it was Lancashire, which it hasn't been for about 30 years.
    Anyway this guy says to me that he knows that it's Lancashire as he's been to Liverpool and that's right by Wigan.
    So when I told him that I was FROM Liverpool and that wasn't in Lancashire either, he just stormed off. Lol.
    We'll just have to see how the rest of the quiz goes, so watch this space!
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  • Day16

    Sea Day Monday, Monday

    May 4, 2016, South Pacific Ocean ⋅ 🌧 24 °C

    Today is the first of two consecutive Monday 2nd of May's, as later on tonight we cross the international dateline.
    I've never done this before, as all my cruising has been done in the western hemisphere.
    So this week goes Sunday 1st, Monday 2nd, Monday 2nd, Tuesday 3rd, etc, it's very strange and confusing a lot of people.
    ( especially Sheila who has asked me to stop explaining it as she's getting a headache and more confused ) LOL
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  • Day15

    Sea Day, Am I expecting to much

    May 3, 2016, South Pacific Ocean

    As it is, all anyone seems interested in is getting the ship ready for the American immigration inspection when we get to Hawaii.
    The level of officer visibility is nil.
    And to be honest most of us get the feeling that we the passengers, are just a necessary inconvenience on the repositioning.
    This personally is made even more disappointing by the fact that my previous recent cruises on the wonderful Splendour ots totalling approximately five weeks, were among the best I've ever had.Maybe I'm expecting to much, maybe the staff on the Splendour set the bar too high?
    You tell me.
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  • Day13

    Suva, Fiji

    May 1, 2016 in Fiji ⋅ 🌧 24 °C

    Apparently three crew members where mugged last night; the stories vary from right by the ship, to in the town.
    Some reports say one crew member was bitten, others say at knife point.
    Problem is this put a lot of people off going on private trips or going for walks in and around the town.
    My thinking is that this kind of thing can happen anywhere in the world, even in your own home town.
    Again in my personal opinion, you are safe in most places that the cruise lines take you to, if you use common sense.
    I'm probably tempting fate by saying this, but I've never had any problems when I've been walking around off the ship, but as I say I use common sense, and always try to look confident when walking.
    Muggers etc only want an easy target, someone who looks nervous and has their valuables on show. They don't want anyone who looks like they may resist and put up some sort of a fight.
    So when I go out I don't carry any valuables or much money, and I walk as if I know the place, I do what our Alan calls the Kirkby walk, and stride along confidently, even if I've got no idea where I am.

    ( for those who don't know, Kirkby is the rough council estate I grew up on )
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