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Old January 11th, 2006, 09:38 PM
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Default JAN 10

Jan.10 – Island Princess

Following last night’s dinner we attended the show in the Princess Theater. Tonight’s show was called “The Relationship Show – Part 1?, with Kevin Hughes, and Kevin was hilarious. Up tempo, philosophical banter, about the relationships of men, women, and life - delivered at the speed of light had us rolling in the aisles. I’ll definitely be checking the “Princess Patter? to make certain we catch Part 2 of Kevin’s act when it occurs.

The Princess Theater is one of the most unattractive main showrooms I’ve seen on a ship. Though site lines are all good, making the showroom functional, the interior design work, with leather squares decorating the walls, has more in common with a movie theater than it does a showroom.

The seating is amphitheater style, with a too steep pitch to walk down to the front rows of the theater (or back up). The railings at each row, which are very important to hold on to while ascending or descending, are thick copper piping, and look more like subway blockades than showroom material.

When we returned to our cabin last night there was a reminder to turn our clocks and watches back one hour (for the second time in the cruise) so we would now be on “island time?. I’ve had to smile both times that the notice for these time changes have been posted in the Princess Patters. Each time, it’s stated quite elegantly… “clocks will be retarded by one hour this evening?.

Now it’s time to get back to the story about our last sea day before reaching the Hawaiian Islands.

A cruiser’s delight awaited us as we awoke this morning; clear skies, smooth seas and light winds.

The Princess Patter is jam-packed with a variety of activities filling virtually the entire day. Historian Dr. Alan Stone’s lecture series continues, another lecture series with naturalist, Dean Paige, on Hawaii, the 50th state is available as well. The list of possible activities include bridge classes, dance classes, ceramics classes, computer classes, trivia games, digital photography seminars, more games poolside, mini-golf tournament, 3 on 3 basketball, afternoon tea… and the ever present bingo! One could run themselves ragged trying to do it all, and certainly no one could complain there wasn’t anything to do.

We did what I do best; relaxed poolside in sun loungers socializing, with breaks for eating, until late in the afternoon. At least I’m easy to locate for other cruisemates.

Tonight show time was set for 7 P.M, prior to late seating dinner. This is a trend I’ve seen much more of lately on all the cruise lines, and one I don’t care for at all. It seems to me to diminish the main benefit of late seating dinner; the ability to take late afternoon naps, or spend sunsets out on the open decks, and then get cleaned up for dinner. So, tonight we skipped the show entirely.

At dinner this evening I gave Elena and Marius a couple of our CruiseMates Let’s Get Lei’d T- shirts, because they really have won our hearts, and become a part of the group (even if they are serving us). Elena is a relatively demur young lady, and has a delightfully “kuki spirit?. So as a bit of a prank, I gave her a size XXXL T-shirt. I handed each of them a shirt, and asked if they would put on them on to “officially? become a part of the group. When Elena realized just how large her shirt was she knew right away that it had been done on purpose, and we all got a good laugh out of it. I told her I had a different shirt to replace it that would fit her, and I then gave her a second shirt that was baby sized, and therefore much too small. Finally I did end up giving her a shirt the correct size.

This was to offer them a token of the appreciation we have for the amazing job they’ve done serving us; constantly reminding us if we want something not on the menu to ask, and they’ll do their best to deliver, and all the while, doing it all, while allowing their personalities to come through.

Of course, Elana served the rest of the meal to us, and her other tables, wearing the XXXL T-shirt proudly.

Dinner was once again very good, but frankly if everyone on the ship had a service team as good as we’ve got, I don’t think we’d ever hear complaints about the food. It simply tastes even better than it might, when combined with the experience provided by our team.

By early evening this ship pretty much becomes a well decorated “ghost town?. If you’re returning to your cabin past midnight, you feel pretty much as though you’re a part of the cleaning staff.

By the time we leave the dining room each evening (probably around 10 PM), even the onboard shops are already closed for the evening.

We did go the casino for a bit of black jack gaming before returning to the cabins. The casino staff were all getting pretty excited about tomorrow being day one of four and half days where the casino would be entirely closed while we in the Hawaiian Islands, and they wouldn’t be working. It sounds pretty good until you realize they’ve worked 10 days straight, with returning form Hawaii, turning around and going back.

Previous Hawaiian cruises we’ve gone on have been repositioning cruises, and the casino has been open in the evenings as the ships travel between islands. That’s not the case on this itinerary. The casino remains closed the entire time we are in the islands.

Tomorrow, myself and some of the other cruisemates are going golfing at the Kona Golf & Country Club. I had best get some sleep now, to be prepared for our early morning departure.
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