|Let's Get "Lei'd" Article - Part 1 Let's Get "Lei'd" Article - Part 2 Let's Get "Lei'd" Article - Part 3 Let's Get "Lei'd" Article - Part 4|
Last night's dinner in the Summit's alternate (and additional surcharge) dining room was a culinary and social delight. I reserved two tables of six, and we arrived to find two more tables of CruiseMates friends enjoying the experience of the Normandie.
The dinner lasted more than three hours, but we had such a wonderful time, we didn't notice the minutes passing. Food and service in the Normandie were both superb--just as I had experienced on an earlier sailing in the Millennium's Olympic restaurant.
Friday morning we awoke in a partly cloudy (but hot) Kona, where I had booked yet another golf game at the Waikoloa Beach Resort. It's about a half-hour ride from the pier, but it has a very pretty layout. The "girls" used the resort facilities while we golfed.
I've enjoyed running into our CruiseMates group members as we move around the ship. There's been lots of stopping for conversation, or just friendly waves across a room, giving the ship a neighborhood feel.
Saturday morning we stopped in Hilo, where I had reserved a vehicle for a drive to Volcanoes National Park. However, it was raining when we were to head out, so we decided to pass on the road trip and just go into town for some shopping. We later talked to people who went ahead with their scheduled excursions, or helicopter tours, or bus trips, and despite the weather, everyone seemed to have a great time.
As the ship left Hilo, it seemed there was a collective sigh. Everyone was looking forward to the next five days at sea en route to Vancouver--ready to relax, party and have fun. On this night the ship seemed livelier. Maybe because for the first time since the cruise began, no one would have to wake up early, other than the staff.
This was really the Summit's first taste of the CruiseMates "Let's Get Lei'd" group together in public. It appears Celebrity's image of reserved elegance may be put in some jeopardy over the next few days.