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ccrain

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Everything posted by ccrain

  1. If we don't dance, I can't eat! Just in Case, we brought dance music and bluetooth speakers for DIY...
  2. BTW - Starting tomorrow afternoon, I will be 'on the clock' as in using ship wifi. So I will try and answer questions, but if someone else jumps in and answers it, I probably won't. I always compose off-line and upload, then log off, reading messages cached on the screen. Helps keep the wifi bill down a bit. For those of you interested in more details on this cruise and the people involved and some of the other stuff we did in preparation, the Shutterfly website is in my signature line below. So later all!
  3. The trip in to LAX yesterday was typical January Colorado weather. A blizzard. 2 hours late into LAX on a direct flight from the Springs, but at least it was on an E-175 with decent E+ seating. Even got a little nap. In winter we always fly two days early. Especially for a cruise this important. All 4 bags made it off the luggage belt - #1, 2, 3 and 5. Found a cart laying around and headed up to the departure level to grab an UBER. (LAX United UBER stops at the departure level between T7 and T8.) It was rush hour so UBERX, no UBER XL was available, was $85 to the Doubletree and took about 45 minutes. I think a taxi would have been over $100 with the stop and go traffic. The Doubletree is our go-to hotel for San Pedro departures. 30,000 HHonors points per night, free breakfast (for Gold and Diamond), free shuttle to the port, free shuttle to a lot of places nearby and a nice place to walk around the Marina. We have used Super Shuttle before, but with this delay we would have missed our assigned shuttle and would have had to wait for another. Waiting time for UBER was about 5 minutes. After getting something to eat, OCPD kicked in and we shuttled to Home Depot to pick up a roll around toolbox – which I, of course, had previously scouted out on-line and at our local Home Depot – and walked down to the Target to pick up almost 75 items on our STUFF list – which of course we had previously scouted on-line and in person at our local Target. Two hours later, we had everything we could find on our list and called the shuttle to pick us up. That was the end of my day for sure… This morning we (Judy) removed all the packaging, broke out the duct tape and filled the tool box, which will serve as a storage coffee or end table on the ship, with the STUFF purchased so far. Some friends of ours picked us up to complete the shopping quests for the day. Walmart and Whole Foods had almost everything we need. Anything else we will pick up in Honolulu at the Ala Moana Wal Mart. After intensive shopping, our friends took us to Din Tai Fung, in the Del Amo Fashion Center mall in Torrance. WOW. This is really good dim sum. As good as the dim sum we had in Hong Kong last April. The pork/soup dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) were fantastic. The cucumber salad could have used a bit more spice, but was very good as well. The Shrimp & Kurobuta Pork Shao Mai were fantastic, but the dish that stole the show for us was the Vegetable & Kurobuta Pork Dumplings in a spicy sauce. That sauce was to die for. The braised beef noodle soup was also really good as well! This was, what I refer to, as WOW food! A really good start to the trip for sure! So now, OCPD is sated for the day. Time to kick back and relax, watch the boats in the Marina and join fellow cruisers for happy hour. So until tomorrow…
  4. I will check tomorrow when I post the first patter details.
  5. Since the Honolulu Stadium flea market was such a bust last November, maybe we will gather some people and do an excursion. Thanks for the tip!
  6. Is Bill sure? I know how persnikity he can be! Judy brought lots of EVERYTHING! Oh my aching back, and that poor UBER driver from LAX. His Prius had to have 3 of our luggage pieces in his front seat! Take care guys and have fun. Wake Bill up for me - ok?
  7. Now its 4 suitcases, 4 carry-ons and a toolbox! A toolbox from Home Depot, wheeled, cheaper than a new piece of luggage, duct taped closed, filled with 4 months of toiletries and STUFF. Oh yeah, let’s not forget umpteen different charging cords and the futility of trying to make sure your laptop and all your electronics are updated while still connected to decent WiFi – and knowing full well that the moment you get on the ship and leave the harbor, every device will require a major system update and app updates totaling more gigs of bandwidth than the entire Apollo program used in its lifetime – and those update will only last about 2 weeks… When did cruising get so darn complex! Oh I forgot, we signed up for our first world cruise! To paraphrase a famous general, everyday cruisers think fun, drinks, exotic ports, sun, sea, surf – serious cruisers think logistics, alternate plans, closet space, backups upon backups (what if the toothbrush charger goes out?) – how many days of vitamins and supplements? How many bottles of shampoo and conditioner? No wonder the house budget consists of 20% food and the rest – STUFF! (Good thing we don’t have to bring toilet paper!) But I get way, way ahead of myself. Hi Everyone! For those of you who don’t know us, Judy and I have been sailing since 2001 when we got hooked on an Alaskan cruise on the old Ocean Princess (Sun Class). 50+ Princess cruises and a little over 600 days and here we are – on our first World Cruise and our first cruise on the Pacific Princess. Yep, from a ‘can you fish off the back of the boat’ guy to a serious OCPD (Obsessive Cruise Planning Disorder) engineering approach to World Cruising. We are presently ensconced at the Doubletree in San Pedro having had our breakfast, inventoried and re-packed a bunch of STUFF, and are enjoying a nice cup of coffee before heading out to purchase MORE STUFF. After spending almost $600 last night in STUFF for the next 100+ days on the ship, what more STUFF could we possibly need? Glad you asked. Crystallized ginger and Stevia from Whole Foods. A closet organizer, flip flops and a couple of other things from Walmart, with a backup location of a Target in Carson just in case the Walmart fails me. So welcome to a Live From thread on the 2019 Pacific Princess World Cruise. Roundtrip LA. Or at least we are doing the R/T LA. Several of our Cruise Critic band has already started the journey from FLL. And many will get off in FLL as we circle the world. But I wanted to do a World Cruise. The whole enchilada. So here we are. Why the 2019 WC? In a word, Africa. When we booked, I didn’t think they would do Africa very soon after that, although the 2020 cruise also does Africa. But we have already booked our Route Sector Deviation and will be doing a 3 Day safari from Durban, catching up with the ship in Cape Town. But again, I get ahead of myself. The 2019 cruise, for us, starts in LA and then goes on the following itinerary. The Indian Ocean and Africa part of the itinerary is what caught my eye. Parts of the world we will probably never see, and face it, we’re not getting any younger. To quote another famous general “L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace”! Sun, Jan 20 Los Angeles, California Mon, Jan 21 At Sea Tue, Jan 22 At Sea Wed, Jan 23 At Sea Thu, Jan 24 At Sea Fri, Jan 25 At Sea Sat, Jan 26 Honolulu, Hawaii Sun, Jan 27 Maui (Lahaina), Hawaii (Tender Required) Mon, Jan 28 At Sea Tue, Jan 29 At Sea Wed, Jan 30 At Sea Thu, Jan 31 At Sea Fri, Feb 1 At Sea Sat, Feb 2 Tahiti (Papeete), French Polynesia Sun, Feb 3 Huahine, Polynesia (Tender Required) Sun, Feb 3 Raiatea, French Polynesia Mon, Feb 4 Raiatea, French Polynesia Tue, Feb 5 At Sea Wed, Feb 6 Cross International Date Line Fri, Feb 8 At Sea Sat, Feb 9 Nuku'alofa, Tonga Sun, Feb 10 At Sea Mon, Feb 11 At Sea Tue, Feb 12 Auckland, New Zealand Wed, Feb 13 At Sea Thu, Feb 14 At Sea Fri, Feb 15 Dunedin (Port Chalmers), New Zealand Sat, Feb 16 Stewart Isand, New Zealand (Tender Required) Sun, Feb 17 At Sea Mon, Feb 18 At Sea Tue, Feb 19 Sydney, Australia Wed, Feb 20 At Sea Thu, Feb 21 At Sea Fri, Feb 22 At Sea Sat, Feb 23 Cairns, Australia Sun, Feb 24 At Sea Mon, Feb 25 At Sea Tue, Feb 26 At Sea Wed, Feb 27 Darwin, Australia Thu, Feb 28 At Sea Fri, Mar 1 At Sea Sat, Mar 2 Komodo Island, Indonesia (Tender Required) Sun, Mar 3 At Sea Mon, Mar 4 At Sea Tue, Mar 5 Singapore Wed, Mar 6 Singapore Thu, Mar 7 Kuala Lumpur (Port Kelang), Malaysia Fri, Mar 8 Langkawi, Malaysia Sat, Mar 9 Phuket, Thailand Sun, Mar 10 At Sea Mon, Mar 11 At Sea Tue, Mar 12 At Sea Wed, Mar 13 Colombo, Sri Lanka Thu, Mar 14 At Sea Fri, Mar 15 Maldives (Male) (Tender Required) Sat, Mar 16 At Sea Sun, Mar 17 At Sea Mon, Mar 18 At Sea Tue, Mar 19 Seychelles Islands (Mahe) Wed, Mar 20 At Sea Thu, Mar 21 At Sea Fri, Mar 22 Nosy Be, Madagascar (Tender Required) Sat, Mar 23 At Sea Sun, Mar 24 At Sea Mon, Mar 25 Port Louis, Mauritius Tue, Mar 26 Pointe des Galets, Reunion Island Wed, Mar 27 At Sea Thu, Mar 28 At Sea Fri, Mar 29 At Sea Sat, Mar 30 Durban, South Africa Sun, Mar 31 East London, South Africa Mon, Apr 1 At Sea Tue, Apr 2 Cape Town, South Africa Wed, Apr 3 Cape Town, South Africa Thu, Apr 4 Cape Town, South Africa Fri, Apr 5 At Sea Sat, Apr 6 Luderitz, Namibia Sun, Apr 7 Walvis Bay, Namibia Mon, Apr 8 At Sea Tue, Apr 9 At Sea Wed, Apr 10 At Sea Thu, Apr 11 Saint Helena, Great Britain (Tender Required) Fri, Apr 12 At Sea Sat, Apr 13 At Sea Sun, Apr 14 At Sea Mon, Apr 15 At Sea Tue, Apr 16 Natal, Brazil Wed, Apr 17 Fortaleza, Brazil Thu, Apr 18 At Sea Fri, Apr 19 At Sea Sat, Apr 20 "Devil's Island (isle Royale), French Guiana Scenic Cruising" Sun, Apr 21 At Sea Mon, Apr 22 Barbados Tue, Apr 23 Guadeloupe (Point-a-Pitre) Wed, Apr 24 "Marigot, Saint Martin Tender Required Thu, Apr 25 At Sea Fri, Apr 26 At Sea Sat, Apr 27 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Sun, Apr 28 At Sea Mon, Apr 29 At Sea Tue, Apr 30 Aruba Wed, May 1 At Sea Thu, May 2 Panama Canal (Scenic Cruising) Panama Fri, May 3 At Sea Sat, May 4 Puerto Quepos, Costa Rica (Tender Required) Sun, May 5 At Sea Mon, May 6 At Sea Tue, May 7 Huatulco, Mexico Wed, May 8 At Sea Thu, May 9 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Fri, May 10 At Sea Sat, May 11 At Sea Sun, May 12 Los Angeles, California For this itinerary, we have a mix of DIY, Private Excursions and Princess tours scheduled. The largest and most complex, of course, is the safari in Durban. The DIY ports are mainly those that we’ve been to before – Hawaii, Auckland, Dunedin, Sydney, Darwin, Singapore – and the private excursions where we could get on them. Then we just filled in the rest with Princess excursions. As we go through the cruise, I hope to give everyone an idea of what we did, who we did it with and how it all went. Especially the mechanics of what we did for those of you infected with OCPD. We have over 150 Cruise Critic members on this cruise. Meet and greets planned for FLL, LA and SYD. Hopefully we can do group luncheons and dinners as well – we had a great time on the Coral late last year during the 60 Day Northern Pacific cruise. I will try and give everyone, especially those on the 2020 cruise, a good idea of shipboard life, cabin space, food and entertainment, as well as the ports. After all, you can’t get enough information when planning something like this… So that’s the morning before update… Later!
  8. I used Corel Videostudio X10 exclusively for the videos. It was the most stable of all the ones I have, including the newer 2018 version, but is still not my favorite because they ditched SmartSound completely. So that requires me to use SonicFire to score the videos, or Corel's new AutoMusic, which sucks. As a backup I have Cyberlink, Premiere Elements and Movie Studio Platinum. My secret to video is one I learned years ago during analog video editing (tape to tape). Choose the music and then cut the video to the music. I always choose the music first, then add in video and photos that 'fit'...Most of the music was selected from various albums I have. The only one I knew in advance I had to do was the Cyclo ride to Apocalypse Now music - the alternate selection was Top Gun's Danger Zone. Glad you liked them. Not entirely happy as I typically spend more time editing, but I wanted to get these out to everyone so that those on the cruise could play them during the family gatherings over the holidays - sort of a more modern version of pulling out the old slide show!
  9. The final two chapters are up: Chapter 7 – Manila, Guam and HI https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F33fBIYAmAcYKZRsk Chapter 8 – Friends https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F33b0_ZpBj8Mc4wHq
  10. Yeah he couldn't help but find the ship...he was hanging on for dear life! Glad you enjoyed. Next up, Phillipines!
  11. And now Vietnam is also ready: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F313T7a8KEgpqlSxt
  12. Chapter 6 – Taiwan is now ready here: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F31wErIYCjlWWwYj5
  13. Chapter 4 – South Korea is ready now https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F31qbJPuxU46A4YQa Chapter 5 – Hong Kong is also ready https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F31tf_7MN4WCb6Qf0
  14. To recap locations for everyone: The detailed and illustrated review/travelog is here: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F2W8Mslx-oAm5DCWV The opening sequence of the movie "60 Days on the Coral" is here: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F2XJ85Lpa3JYwDj4i The Scrapheap Boat Challenge Chapter is here: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F20vf5EzUVd8KHKzl Chapter 1 – Alaska is ready here: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F3CZTK85xEwo1zzBE Chapter 2 – Japan is ready here: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F3TyMznj3SvcNnVTr Chapter 3 – China is ready here: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F3T17-H8JYoJ3bWmT
  15. To recap for everyone: Photos from John and I, and the scanned patters are here: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F0HHCELwxazEGCzUd Raw footage videos are here: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F0HJwOgEzk3xUeHka The detailed and illustrated review/travelog is here: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F2W8Mslx-oAm5DCWV The opening sequence of the movie "60 Days on the Coral" is here: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F2XJ85Lpa3JYwDj4i The Scrapheap Boat Challenge Chapter is here: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F20vf5EzUVd8KHKzl Chapter 1 – Alaska is ready here: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F3CZTK85xEwo1zzBE Chapter 2 – Japan is ready here: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F3TyMznj3SvcNnVTr
  16. Chapter 2 – Japan is ready here: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F3TyMznj3SvcNnVTr
  17. Chapter One - Alaska, the video is now up at: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F3CZTK85xEwo1zzBE
  18. The raw video footage from which the sequence was cut is in the uploaded video folders linked above. Not sure where exactly since I sampled from multiple folders.
  19. Just to summarize for those of us just now getting home: Photos from John and I, and the scanned patters are here: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F0HHCELwxazEGCzUd Raw footage videos are here: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F0HJwOgEzk3xUeHka The detailed and illustrated review/travelog is here: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F2W8Mslx-oAm5DCWV The opening sequence of the movie "60 Days on the Coral" is here: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F2XJ85Lpa3JYwDj4i The Scrapheap Boat Challenge Chapter is here: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F20vf5EzUVd8KHKzl
  20. Who said it was 'Vietnamese' whiskey! Wild turkey man!
  21. Got some more inspiration this morning! Enjoy https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F20vf5EzUVd8KHKzl
  22. I got inspired this week: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AnklLO6ZVH8F2XJ85Lpa3JYwDj4i The new Coral Princess episode opening video ~ 35MB
  23. Thanks for the feedback. Yes, we are doing this for the itinerary, especially Africa, and to at least do this once in our lifetime...
  24. Now it makes sense why the schedule was so, so screwed up from Manila to HI, and then things opened back up after HI. He was following a 'script' from HI to LA, typical of the HI runs to LA. Manila to HI didn't have a prior script and he was limited to what corporate gave him. Probably never thought to deviate from the corporate offerings to try something new and unique... Shame.... Also, an interesting thing happened. He got on in Hong Kong. Never saw him in Explorer's during the 5-7 canned music dance hour -except for one night and that story bears a little explanation. The night of Manila and two nights after, the 5-7PM dance session was not in the patter. We showed up in Explorer's the night after Manila and Russel, the A/V dude, put the music on for us. We thought it was an oversight. The very next night it did not appear in the Patter again, and once again, Russel put the music on for us, but several of us also wrote into the Wake Show asking for the music to be put back on. (Russel gets a big pat on the back, and some Alaskan fudge, for his efforts.) The next day it shows up in the Patter, and he shows up in Explorer's talking to a group of entertainers, who typically hung out in Explorer's from 5-6 every night in the back. He sits down so he can watch the dance floor and for the entire hour watches us dance, goes over to talk to Russel every now and then, sits back down and keeps glancing over at us dance. He leaves at 6. Was he checking up on us? Checking up on the situation? Never showed back up again in Explorer's. We would have went over and thanked him, some people did, but our interactions with him previously were not comfortable. So we stuck with dancing...
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