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LIVE FROM - 2019 Pacific World Cruise - LA to LA

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On 2/1/2019 at 8:56 AM, ccrain said:

02-01-2019 At Sea To Tahiti – Last of the last 5 day sea days

 

Still some more motion, more overcast this morning. Quite a bit rockin and rolling last night. The Pacific, being a smaller ship, moves a lot more than the larger ships and the ‘safe’ zone, deck 4 midships, is much smaller than the Piazza in the big ships. Something happened to our A/C in the cabin and its getting hotter. No lower than 73 at night, and up to 75 during the day. Airflow has greatly diminished noticeably, which I think is where the problem lies. We are currently on the afternoon shaded side, port, headed south. When we turn to the west, we will be on the southern exposed side and the temperatures will rise. I hope they can fix it as the Diamond was miserable last March in the tropics headed North.

 

Mental note – from now on, pick cabins based on solar heating potential!

 

Yesterdays show was the second production show of the cruise – Bellissima. It was not a production show in the big ship sense, but a series of song and dance routines featuring the dancers and vocalists. The Belinda King dancers and vocalists Charlie Vose and Lisa Wilson. This time her mike worked perfectly. But he is one great singer. The dance routines ranged from irish river dancing to contemporary accompanied by appropriate songs modified to fit the choreography. Several solos and duos were also performed. A very nice show. We have 10 more shows on this cruise with them.

 

Luigi, the Maitre De, had to leave the ship for an emergency. We are getting a new Maitre De, just not sure when. Neil is not leaving in Sydney, he is staying on until FLL. Peter Tredgett (sp?) will take over for the ship until drydock. Rumor is that they will be getting a miniature golf course and a LED screen in the Cabaret lounge during drydock in the Bahamas. No other major features, other than hull touch ups, new carpets, general cleaning are being rumored. I will check on Medallionet installation, as a drydock would be a perfect time to install the new satellite hardware.

 

Domino Duo – I have to talk about them as well. Daniella and Costello are consummate professionals. In the 12 days we’ve been with them and listening to them, they have repeated, maybe, 3 or 4 songs in a couple of dozen music sets. That’s pretty incredible, and although she denies it, she has a beautiful voice. It is a pleasure to listen to them and dance with them, even on the carpet in the Casino bar. They leave in Auckland and will not be back before we disembark in LA. I wish we could keep them the whole cruise.

 

Today is the finale event for our Hawaiian couple. An Aloha Oe show with the hula dancers and ukulele players. I have to put that on the schedule as Judy is performing in that one…

 

So that’s it for the day, today…tomorrow, Papeete!

 

Later!

Do you think the small ship's extra motion is enough to make it uncomfortable for someone prone to seasickness? The DH tends that way, but won't wear the seasickness patch. He's leery about going on the small ship for next year's wc.

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Wanted to print off the roll call and a few pages but can’t open Shutterfly.  Not sure I ever signed up with Shutterfly site....only looked at such when on the original ....???....whatever it was called.  Any trick to opening Shutterfly?  Looking forward to boarding in Sydney.  Have been busy getting shots and visas for our post-cruise stay in Africa.

 

Barbara 

 

i can accommodate another 2 to 4 on a Durban City and Zulu culture tour.  Email if interested b Cail 52345 at gmail dot com. Rate is no more than $75 USD per person.

 

barbara 

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Princess must be hurting for cabins. We just got a move over offer for our segment from Sydney to Cape Town. We are on one more cruise on the Majestic and be back in Sydney on the 18th to meet up with all of y’all on the 19th. Been too much planing and waiting to even think about not going. 

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On 2/2/2019 at 6:52 PM, happytravels2U said:

Do you think the small ship's extra motion is enough to make it uncomfortable for someone prone to seasickness? The DH tends that way, but won't wear the seasickness patch. He's leery about going on the small ship for next year's wc.

Question on Motion –

 

Yes, the Pacific moves much more than the larger ships in smaller seas. This morning, the pitching motion is noticeable even in very slight seas. Judy is doing better than I would have expected and she is very prone to motion sickness. She just keeps her bands on and Dramamine in her system (the generic version actually).

 

If you have concerns about it, I would definitely recommend booking a shorter cruise later in the year prior to deciding on a World Cruise or not. That should give you a feel for the motion.

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02-05-2019 At Sea To Auckland (Not Tonga)

 

Shades of the 60 day Coral. Another storm in the Southern Pacific has forced an itinerary change to skip Tonga and go direct to New Zealand via a more circuitous route, only gaining a few hours for arrival. So we are presently planned to hit Auckland at around 2030 the previous night and overnighting. Not a lot of additional time. Bummer.

 

The last couple of days has been pretty awesome. Papeete was hot. Just plain hot. We didn’t plan anything special except for a little pearl shopping, market hopping and walking through the various parks near the ship. The pearls were very expensive, with strands that interested me in the 3 to $5k USD range. No thanks. But it did give me a benchmark for the pearl farm visits to come on Huahine and Raiatea.

 

From the dock in Papeete we went to the visitor’s center to use the WiFi, which went south in a hurry when another 4 or 5 people showed up. Apparently they have a pretty narrow bandwidth. The visitors center was in a tent up the dock from the Pacific nearer to the ferry terminal. (McDonalds has free wifi as well, nearer to the Market area.) There is also an internet vendor in the shopping mall across the main street from the dock, on the 3rd floor, that sells high speed access for $4USD for hour. I did not try that, but was tempted. (BTW – TEPPY DID NOT WORK IN PAPEETE.) But T-Mobile One+ did, at 2G speeds. I did purchase a high speed data pass, which did not give me LTE speeds, but apparently did increase speeds to the 3G limit of the cell connection. We were able to update everything via the cell phones using a combination of 2G and 3G connections. Especially since we were docked until later at night.

 

I had thought about riding the ferry to Moorea and back just as an alternative cheap excursion. But one look at the Tevaru high speed ferry bucking waves across the lagoon nixed that idea in a hurry. Better to walk. So we walked around to Parc Bouganville and Paofai Gardens. Lots of construction going on in the area. Lots of people camping in the area or living out of their cars as well. The ‘beach’ area in the gardens was off limits to swimming, but the gardens are nice, clean and, if it wasn’t for the heat, a nice jaunt around the area.

 

Since we were there on a Saturday, almost everything closed at 1200. Not much was left in the market to oogle at, and as I previously said, the pearl shopping was to rich for my blood. But we had arranged to have dinner at Sabatini’s with Paul, Elizabeth, Daniella and Costello from Domino Duo. We had a great meal without having to worry about sea state, since we were docked. And the wine recommended by the Head Waiter, a Pinot Grigio and a Pinot Noir was fantastic with dinner. Domino had the night off, but were on IPM (In Port Manning), so they couldn’t leave the ship. We all had a great time just talking the night away.

 

BTW – I had requested Nights in White Satin (Moody Blues) from Domino a few days ago and they did not have it in their repertoire. Now they do and they did an excellent job. How cool is that for them to take the time to put together a song on the fly like that!

 

After dinner, we went to the late show of the Tahitian Forkloric show. Very good Tahitian style dancing. Very different from Hawaiian hula, but very enjoyable to watch. Basically as you travel north from New Zealand you go from the Haka, a very intense mano-a-mano type dance routine, through Tahiti and their blend of less intense but still very energetic dance styles to the laid back, graceful Hula. Very interesting cultural distinctions and differences via dance styles.

 

We knew we were going to pay for a late night as the next day was Huahine and the first snorkeling tour of the cruise. I had found Huahine Natique via TripAdvisor and had booked with them several months ago. Several other people on the roll call had booked with them as well. They had two different tours. One a combo land and snorkel, ours a two snorkel and Motu picnic.

 

Tendering was a piece of cake – there was no lines and we were on the first tender ashore. And Huahine is now absolutely my favorite south sea Island. With only a little over 6000 people, it is very undeveloped and extremely beautifully natural. Large tracks of beach and shoreline with no habitation. Raw cliffs, large umbrella trees, coconut palms and very few people. A postcard in every shot.

 

We were picked up at the dock via one of their large boats. 16 of us had plenty of room on the boat. We went under the bridge connecting Huahine-iti with Huahine-nui, and snorkeled in a sheltered little lagoon with scattered tufts of coral and sand. Lots of little colorful fish, very clear water and nicely warm, not bathtub, but just right for some snorkeling.

 

Traveling back past the ship, we visited a 40 year old pearl farm and actually talked with the owner, born in the US, speaks almost with a southern access. The pearls were almost a quarter to a third the price of pearls in Papeete. Instead of 3-5K, they were 1-2k. Still a bit too rich for me for what I was looking for. Although nothing jumped out at me and said ‘take me home’!

 

From the pearl farm we went south along the largest Motu on the island. 40 families own the Motu and its is about 1km wide at its widest point. This is where the truck gardens provide most of the fresh vegetables for the island. With this soil you can probably grow just about anything. We did a 500 yard drift snorkel across some very shallow coral tufts with lots of different typical coral fishes, and a couple of larger fish. Water again was extremely clear and the perfect temperature.

 

After two snorkels, we were all hungry and it was time for the Motu picnic and OMG this was some good stuff. A fresh tuna salad, made with fresh strips of tuna, lime juice and coconut milk, mixed with fresh veggies – right in front of us, grilled fresh tuna, grilled chicken, saffron rice and fresh fruit for dessert, accompanied by cold beer or homemade rum punch – with a kick!

 

Music, local dancing by the Captain’s niece, Armando BTW who claimed he was Italian! On the beach, in the water, under shade, it was idyllic and a perfect topper to a great excursion. And at $110 each, it was worth every penny. It was around a 7 hour excursion as well. We got back in plenty of time to get back to the ship, shower and collapse.

 

Huahine Natique is highly recommended, and this excursion is fantastic.

 

We docked in Raiatea around 2030, but we weren’t awake for the docking that’s for sure. Someone said they closed the gangway at 0000, but not much was going on anyway. Our excursion was with L’Excurs’on Bleue – a 3 snorkel trip, vanilla farm, pearl farm, picnic and tour around Taha, Raiatea’s less developed neighbor to the north. There were 12 of us on this trip at 22500 XPF’s per couple total. (A 1500 XPF deposit held our place.)

 

First of all, the snorkeling was incredible. First stop was sharks and rays and they did not disappoint. Unlike Moorea and Bora Bora in 2015, the sharks were not that shy and there was a bunch of them. At one time I looked over my shoulder and saw 12-15 sharks in formation coming under the boat toward me. Pretty darn cool. While not as many rays as Moorea, there were enough to keep the cameras clicking.

 

The vanilla farm was fascinating and where we spent all of our leftover XPFs on vanilla powder, paste, extract and rum. The breadfruit chips they served there were also fantastic. Could have sold several dozen bags to the various groups coming through the demonstration.

 

After the vanilla farm, we did a drift snorkel between two Motus. The current was far more intense than prior snorkels and you just had to drift along while the boat circled the tufts and picked us up about 500 yards away. Not nearly as many fish, but lots and lots of sea slugs on the bottom, and sand sculptures behind the coral tufts from the ‘blowing’ sand in the current.

 

Traveling counterclockwise around Taha, we could see the peaks of Bora Bora in the distance – about a 2 hour ferry ride from Raiatea. There is at least one over the water hotel on one of the northernmost Motus of Taha – that was the only one we saw as Taha is just a little more developed than Huahine, but not as much as Raiatea. We stopped for lunch on the Island and had pasta, rice, fish (with a fantastic sauce), pounded poi – a much better Tahitian version of Hawaiian poi with Tapioca and banana, and cake.

 

After lunch was a stop at the biggest pearl farm on the island and they had even better prices than Huahine. In fact a few people bought little bracelets with 3-5 pearls for under $10. Watching the implantation, the cleaning, drilling, placing, all a very labor intensive operation. Very interesting.

 

The last snorkel stop was arguably the best for seeing fish, but the hardest to execute. This was another drift snorkel between two Motus in a far more intense current than the last. We had to anchor the boat on the lagoon side of the inlet and walk around the beach to the narrow part of the inlet itself. The current was so intense guide instructed us which coral to grab and where to grab to control yourself in the current. I wish we’d have brought gloves and you could see from the coral that we weren’t the first to grab it. But the intensity of the current attracted such a variety of small and large fish – and one rather large Moray Eel – that it was worth it. Fish I’ve never seen before and up to 3-4# in size. Huge parrot fish in fact. At least several dozen different species of fish in that current, all awaiting a meal to be pushed by. It was a challenge. You could not swim against the current, only angle to another holding spot or grab one of our snorkel mates. Needless to say, we ended up on very friendly terms with each other!

 

On this type of snorkel, fins just got in the way. Reef shoes to shop yourself were the ticket. And I’m glad I did not take my camera. It would have just been another distraction from concentrating on the next stop or handhold. An underwater video camera, like a go-pro would have been perfect with continuous video of the entire snorkel.

 

We hand fed a lot of the fish fresh banana. That was a strange feeling, having a swarm of fish take little nibbles out of the banana in your hand.

 

We got back to the ship around 1645, a little sun burned in strange spots, tired and needing showers for sure.

 

For the most part, this excursion was very good. Better snorkeling than Huahine, but less personable a crew, they spoke just enough English, and the boat was not as comfortable for the 12 of us – at least for that long a ride around Taha. Poor communication with the crew led to much confusion on the last snorkel. A better description of the process and the current would have helped.

 

The lunch at Huahine was also better, primarily because of the fresh tuna salad, gilled fresh tuna and fresh grilled chicken over a wood fire. The entertainment during the lunch was also better on Huahine.

 

But all in all, a good excursion and recommended. If you had to choose one or the other, I would choose Huahine Natique, but if we ever did this again, I would do both again as well.

 

After we got back to the Pacific, the Captain explained our plan to skip Tonga. As I understood it, the World Cruise has skipped Tonga several times in the past. So now it is on to Auckland, arriving the night before.

 

Later all!

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Thanks for the update!  I was most looking forward to your oost(s) from French Polynesia, my favorite part of the world. Sorry you’re missing Tonga, and an overnight in Auckland, while it may thrill the crew, doesn’t offer much for passengers. 

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Ha! Nights In White Satin brings memories of when I was an FM radio operator, we always had that cart at hand in case of emergency as it bought us roughly 7 minutes to get the station back on air.

 

Enjoying this immensely, thank you for taking the time to write it.

 

Edited by zoomerica
awful punctuation

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Hi Charles!  We are really enjoying your updates... tho I must say I am a little sad when I check for your latest report and find I need to wait another day.  Heehee!  I am always amazed at all you are able to do.  We were so lucky to cruise with you last year and are truly appreciative of all you do...Judy, too.  It was one of our best cruises ever.  Now we are looking forward to the 2020 WC, and feel like we have a head start thanks to you 

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thank you, I have read your post. We are joining the Pacific Princess in CT to Ft Lauderdale and looking forward to meeting fellow Pax. I am new at this roll call and not sure how to post comments. I don't want you to waste your internet minutes on board but would love to hear from anyone already on board,

how much it costs in corkage to take ones own wine on board ( South Africa has amazing wines) .

does it then include the gratuity>

where is the wine stored as we would also like ti enjoy in our cabin ? 

is there a desk to register ?. I ask as we did this once before on a 76 day on the Golden Princess but it was an AUD ship so once the corkage of AUD$15 was paid, no further gratuity required.

My husnand and myself would love to be included in any meet and greets and any tours planned.

Bregds

Suzette

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Hi Guys

 

Loving it!!!

We're in your suitcase next time, ok

Barbara & Peter

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11 hours ago, sydney52 said:

thank you, I have read your post. We are joining the Pacific Princess in CT to Ft Lauderdale and looking forward to meeting fellow Pax. I am new at this roll call and not sure how to post comments. I don't want you to waste your internet minutes on board but would love to hear from anyone already on board,

how much it costs in corkage to take ones own wine on board ( South Africa has amazing wines) .

does it then include the gratuity>

where is the wine stored as we would also like ti enjoy in our cabin ? 

is there a desk to register ?. I ask as we did this once before on a 76 day on the Golden Princess but it was an AUD ship so once the corkage of AUD$15 was paid, no further gratuity required.

My husnand and myself would love to be included in any meet and greets and any tours planned.

Bregds

Suzette

In case Charles does not have time to answer, this is our experience.  You are each allowed to carry on one wine each.  If you keep it in your room, no corkage fee.    You can bring on more than  but Princess (might) will charge a $15 corkage fee per bottle.  You can take you own bottle to dining rooom and if not all is consumed they can store it for next time and will give you a receipt.  Sometimes we pour a glass and carry to a lounge areas.  We also pick up when at some ports.  Sometimes Princess ignores us bring them on.  The $15 is inclusive of tips.

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1 hour ago, OK cruising said:

In case Charles does not have time to answer, this is our experience.  You are each allowed to carry on one wine each.  If you keep it in your room, no corkage fee.    You can bring on more than  but Princess (might) will charge a $15 corkage fee per bottle.  You can take you own bottle to dining rooom and if not all is consumed they can store it for next time and will give you a receipt.  Sometimes we pour a glass and carry to a lounge areas.  We also pick up when at some ports.  Sometimes Princess ignores us bring them on.  The $15 is inclusive of tips.

To add to this, you can bring the wine you paid corkage on to any place on board and they will open it and serve you. We brought 3 cases on in September and had no problems. Bottles are marked with a foil label that lets servers know the corkage was paid.

Not sure about getting a receipt for your wine at the MDR, we never asked for one nor ever received one. They do save your wine for the next night and can be retrieved at any dining room.  So you can go to a specialty dining room and any left over wine will be available at your table wherever you dine (except the buffet).

If you bring on wine and no corkage is charged, make sure to tip the server.

Enjoy the wine and say high to Charles for us from the TheRabbits.

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Oh my, I am so excited to have found your thread! We were on last year's World Cruise and just loved it! I remember Rich, he is quite a character and pretty interesting to sit down and talk to. We remember Dr. Mitchell, the most traveled passenger. He does the choir every year. Be sure to go and listen when they perform early in the morning when sailing into Sydney, it is magical. It was fun to get to know the dancers as they helped with many of the activities. Four of the dancers and Charlie, the male singer, have returned for another tour.  

 

I read that the seas have been a bit rough. We found that last year as well, though once we got past New Zealand we didn't notice it as much. Whether we just got our sea legs or the ocean was smoother, it was hard to tell.

 

Enjoy! I look forward to read more about your trip and our beloved Pacific Princess.

Kristy :)

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02-11-2019 Off Auckland – Tragic End To A Cruise

 

The light, the love of my life, my soulmate, my wife has passed away. Judy is gone.

 

She passed on 8 Feb 2019 while at sea after she contracted Noro and suffered successive complications.

 

I am at a loss for words, for feeling, for anything right now. Taking it one step at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time.

 

Yesterday we had the most beautiful memorial service for her at sea during the Sunday Church services. It was a fitting memorial to one that loved cruising so. It was a packed house. I am leaving the ship in Auckland, taking her home one last time.

 

I’m not sure if I can ever read a post on CC again, or post anything ever again – my heart is broken, my soul torn apart. I leave you with the words I spoke at the memorial. Words she would have wanted me to speak. Words I had to speak. Take them to heart. Farewell to you all…

 

Thank you all for coming. I will try to make this short and to the point, but you might want to get tissues ready, as I have already.

 

This set of circumstances rarely happens on a ship, but when it does, it reminds us of how precious time is. And it gives us a moment to reflect on just how important we are to each other.

 

I felt a need, on behalf of Judy and I, to help focus us this morning. In this time of grief to a larger purpose, a celebration of love and of life.

 

I also want to thank all of you for your heartfelt condolences, your hugs, your cards, your music and most importantly a shoulder to cry on, a friend to be with. I don’t know how I could have survived this on a ship full of strangers.

 

My grandfather retired at 62 and passed 6 months later leaving my grandmother alone and with unfilled promises of traveling the world together.

 

That taught me the importance and shortness of time in this life.

 

I swore to myself and to Judy that that would not happen to us. We vowed that if we died tomorrow, we would not regret. And we followed that vision as much as humanly possible.

 

We worked, we scrimped, we saved and we started cruising in 2001 on the Ocean Princess, Sun Class, to Alaska. I was a ‘can you fish off the back of the boat guy’ and she got carsick going to the mall. Strange duo for cruising.

 

But we and our four suitcases of stuff made the 7 day cruise and loved it. By our third cruise on the Island to Panama, 10 days but far less stuff, we were hooked on cruising.

 

But we also made the most of our time together not cruising. When cooking, cleaning house, making the bed, unmaking the bed, watching TV, going out to eat and dancing, especially dancing together.

 

Each and every day possible we looked at each other, thanking whatever lucky stars brought us together almost 41 years ago.

 

We valued, treasured, cherished the time we spent together. Those of you familiar with my threads from cruises know how much our lives were intertwined. How much we meant to each other.

 

And now, time has caught up with us. But I, and I hope she, has no regrets. It hurts. God it hurts more than anything in the world. But it’s a lesson in pain all of you can learn something from.

 

Today, tonight, right now – turn to the one you love. Look into their eyes, listen to their voice, touch their hand. Revel in that feeling of completeness, of oneness in that precious moment of time.

 

Tomorrow may bring emptiness, but right now, at this time, in this place you have each other. And nothing, nothing can take that moment away.

 

Make that moment count.

 

May god bless your onward journey with much love and many, many such moments. Thank you again for coming.

 

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We are feeling the pain of your loss and sending you much love.

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Cheyl and I pass along or deepest sympathies. May the memories of all your travels carry you through these dark times.

Take care Charles

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I am truly so, so sorry verybCharles to read that your beloved, wife and soul mate Judy, passed away. My deepest condolonces, Robyn

images-4.jpg

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My deepest sympathies in a time where nothing helps. My heart is truly breaking for you. Prayers and love for you and your love. 🙏💕

 

Sincerely, Denise

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