Thursday, May 15, 2008


Our trip is over and this made us sad and glad. We were gone for 53 days and with all the traveling and such (like daylight savings time) we went thru 21 times changes and/or zones, we took 8 planes, one ship that traveled 11,000+ miles.

So while we knew it had to end we hated to see it end, BUT we are glad to be home, our bed, our dog, etc. When we left we knew it would be a Journey of Lifetime and it was - would we do it again - YES but not real soon. LOL

We are looking forward to this summer and our families activities, a couple of road trips, and just enjoying the summer.

Thanks to all of you who took this journey with us. We're glad to be home.

We'll see or talk to you all soon

Char and Sam

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Today was a sea day and we were invited to a private tour of the galley. As usual, Sam became friends with the dining room wait staff and a couple of days ago, the Head Waiter came and asked him if he would like to have a private tour of the galley. Of course, he said that he would. So we met Robert at 10:30 this morning for a tour of the galley.

It was extremely interesting. He took us through the entire kitchen area and we saw one of the dessert people preparing plates for lunch. He explained how they did several different things – i.e. there is a separate grill for steaks and one for fish – they never mix the two. They never mix storing food together. All of it was fascinating.

Some friends did the Chef’s table dinner and now I would like to try it because they I could see the kitchen during the dinner hour. Maybe on our next cruise.

Then we ran into some friends we met on this cruise and chatted for two hours . We ran into some other people we met and agreed to meet them at 4 pm. So the day flew by for us.

Tomorrow night is the last formal night. There were five formal nights on this cruise – we’ve done two and blown two off so tomorrow night we’ll probably get dressed up. We have decided no formal nights would be just fine with us.

We are now three days out of LA – I can’t believe how fast this trip has gone. It seems liked we planned forever and it is almost over. But it is ok I am already planning our next trip.
Good night to all – we’ll be seeing most of you soon.

Sam and Char

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Hilo, Hawaii home of an active Volanco. Today we arrived to overcast and gray skies with just a hint of clear skies peaking thru in Hilo.

We disembarked and got to our rental car immediately but not before I bought a wonderful plumeria lei. Man those things smell great. I loved having it and in the rental car van everyone remarked on how great it smelled.

So after picking up the car, we were off to see the Volcano. They have a lot of areas now where you can’t go either because of dangerous gases or lava flow. But still we got some great photos and we spent the entire day on the volcano exploring. It was fascinating and fun. We drove all the way down to where the lava flow cut off the road and made it impassable. Went from the top of the volcano right down to the ocean. It was truly amazing and so desolate in some spots and then remarkable rainforest type areas in other.

We laughed because at one point I said it looked like a science fiction movie and Sam said he was thinking the same thing. We went thru the lava tubes (where the lava formed cave like tubes) and it was both fun and eerie at the same time. That took quite a bit of time as it was a steep decent which sometimes are hard for me and we had to go thru the tubes which had quite a bit of water and were slippery so for us it was slow going. Some of the craters here are just unbelievable.

We decided around 3 pm to call it a day and headed back toward Hilo. Hilo is so very different from Honolulu – it is like downtown LA versus Albion (I’m sure you all get the drift). Very urban vs very rural.
Ok back to the ship and we watched the last sailaway for this cruise. Mixed emotions about going home. Hate to see it end but it is time.

Next stop LA
Sam and Char


Aloha from Honolulu. We pulled into Honolulu this morning and went ashore to pick up our car. Originally we planned to go to the Arizona Memorial and do some shopping and then the beach. My legs were fairly tender from falling asleep in the sun yesterday so we decided to skip the beach.

When we determined the number of tour buses loaded with people to see the Arizona we decided to skip that too – we have seen it so it isn’t as if we missed anything.

So you say – what did we do ????? Not much, we went to K- Mart (couldn’t find Wal Mart) then to the Ala Monoa Mall. We stopped in at Barnes and Noble and stocked up on books for the trip home. We had parked in front of Macys so I went in and bought Sam a birthday gift. Then we went out to lunch at a fast food place since we both craved junk food. Then we did a driving tour around some of the island and made our way back to the ship.

We dropped off the stuff we bought and then went back over to the Aloha Tower Market Place and sat at the edge of it and had a drink as the sun was setting. We sailed from Honolulu at 8 pm to make our way to the last stop Hilo.

A big Aloha to everyone
Sam and Char

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


We are going to Cross the Equator tonight (May 5th) at around 6:00 pm. I learned something I didn’t know today. The weather is horrible today rain and high winds and we are in what is called the “the trough” – which means that there is a northeast wind pulling on us as well as southwest wind because of the equator and they call that the “trough” rather interesting I thought. The ship will be having a “Crossing the Line” ceremony tomorrow at 2 pm so as not to interfere with dinner – heaven forbid we miss dinner.

LOL Sam and I seriously “fooded” out. Last night we had a hamburger in the cabin – it was heaven!!!
Yesterday was a beautiful day sunny and warm and we did NOTHING and didn’t feel a bit guilty about it. Today it is raining so not sure what are plans are.

May 6th – The Crossing the Line Party – well what can I really say about this???

This “party” takes place at the pool and you get chocolate sauce, ketchup, mustard, jello and all sorts of other food slimed all of you. I understand the tradition of becoming a pollywog but honestly it is a bit disgusting. Needless to say they have to drain the pool once they are done. Combine this with about 2,000 people crowding around trying see. Got the picture. The good news is we get a certificate saying we crossed the equator. We chose not to be slimed (go figure).

Sam and Char

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Today was Papette and a great day. We didn’t have to meet our tour until 8:20 so we had time to have breakfast on our balcony. Then it was off for the day.

Beautiful day, sunny and hot with the hint of breeze. We left the ship and caught a ferry to Moorea from Papette. When we arrived a bus was waiting to take us on a short land tour and we went into the mountains which were lovely. Then we on a boat to a private motu for another picnic – this was one was fantastic. Chicken, fish, some delicious sausage that I have never really tasted before, pasta salad, lettuce salad, fresh pineapple and beer and soft drinks. We swam and could snorkel if we wished and relaxed until it was time to leave.

Then we were bused to the airport where we took the shorestt flight in history. The flight was 7 minutes long – it took longer to taxi than to fly. We got into the air at cruising altitude and the ding ding for decent came on. It was laughable. But the view from the window of the plane was priceless.

We are both so tan and relaxed it is pathetic. Tonight we are going to the Sterling Steakhouse for dinner.
Alas, we are leaving “paradise” and our next stop will be US soil. While a certain part of me is ok with that a huge part of me hates to leave the islands of the Pacific. We have decided we would like to come back t the islands – not necessarily Australia but the islands have enchanted both of us. Sam’s favorite is Bora Bora and it has long been known that I love that island. We’ll have to wait and see what happens who knows what is in the cards for our next trip.

Now we have four days at sea and we’ll be in Honolulu. I can hardly believe we are on the downhill side. Before too long we will back at home in Pennsylvania doing everyday things and have a million memories of this wonderful adventure.

Love to all of you
Sam and Char


Today is our 5th wedding anniversary and it was so special.

We woke up and ordered some room service and it was delivered just as we were pulling into the lagoon of Bora Bora. I mistakenly thought we would be in Papette today.

So while we were having some coffee and cereal another knock on the door and a bottle of champagne was delivered from the dining room staff for our anniversary. We weren’t able to linger as we had a private tour so we left to go ashore. There is no way to describe the waters here in Bora Bora they change color and are a myriad of different blues and some turquoise.

We took a tour in a motorized outrigger canoe for a day of snorkeling, shark and ray feeding, lunch on a motu (private island) and finally a stop at the world famous Bloody Mary’s.

First off the day was perfect – warm (hot actually in the sun) and slight breeze. We went to the ray and shark feeding sight. Sam was one of the first in the water (it was shallow and came up to about his waist) and the first ray came gliding up to be petted and he obliged. I didn’t want to feed them but several of group did. They feel silky soft as they glide up against you. When the sharks came to be feed, I decided to get back into the boat but Sam stayed in the water and was within 20 yards of them. They were not big sharks just small but sharks nonetheless. Back into the boat and onto the next sight.

Then we went to a sight for swimming and it was heaven. We stayed here for about an hour and then onto the sight for picnic lunch. We arrived at the motu and played in the water for about 45 minutes while lunch was prepared. Once again, it was served on woven leaves. We had BBQ tuna (that was the best tuna I ever ate), lomi (again), some kind of bread and fruit. All nice presently with flowers etc on hugh leaves.

After lunch back into the boat for the snorkeling sight. Oh my goodness, this was so awesome – it was like being in a giant fish tank (well actually I guess it was a giant fish tank) and there were literally hundreds and hundreds of all kinds of fish. A feast for the eyes. Sam’s mask leaks so he wasn’t able to enjoy it as much as I did but still got to see some of it.

The last stop was Bloody Mary’s Bar in Bora Bora which is world famous. We stopped in for a drink but we had so much sun by this time we both thought it prudent to drink a coke instead. We had spent several hours in the sun and we both felt a drink would do us in. Then back into the boat and we were delivered back at the main pier in Bora Bora where we tendered back to the ship.

After a shower we sat on the balcony to watch sailaway and it was magnificent. We went to dinner in the dining room and enjoyed our meal and had lots of extra attention from the wait staff since it was our anniversary. We plan to “celebrate” our anniversary tomorrow night by going to the Sterling Steakhouse here on board for a “special” dinner.

We were talking tonight about how thankful we are to have each other and the years that we have. We hope to have many more.

Sam and Char