Saturday, November 19, 2011

Oahu: Sunset Beach; Cruise day

My day started at 7am. Man that came quickly. I guess when you go to bed at 2am, 7am comes in only hours. I’ll have to remember that for the next time I decide that I am going to stay up all night talking. Karran, Bena and I went to Waikiki beach for a walk around 7:30am with our cups of coffee each. We found a closer route to the beach that only took us 5 minutes through a couple of parks. There were a lot of people walking, running, jogging, swimming and surfing. We made less stops today and saw some beautiful pink orchids in some of the cork trees. It reminded me of the giant orchid we had in our genip tree in the backyard. We used to think that jumbies (ghosts) lived in the orchid bush.

We got back to the hotel and had some breakfast with some of the pineapple and coconut buns we bought yesterday along with some cheese and fruit and another cup of coffee. We then decided that we would drive up to Sunset Beach because we don’t have to be on the ship till sometime after 3pm. We saw several pineapple plantations along the way to Sunset. I was told that Hawaii doesn’t grow pineapple anymore because labour is so expensive but there is a huge Dole pineapple processing plant along the highway. There is one nice thing about the beaches here, most if not all of them have public showers so that people can get cleaned up after the beach. We checked one or two of them out for when we return on our last day and before going to the airport. We decided that we might go back to Sunset but after some discussion, we all agreed that we would stay in Waikiki for the day when we finish the cruise. We made our way back to Honolulu after stopping at a seaside food vendor (another suggestion from the Thrifty Car rental driver). The food was okay but I think we all wanted to get on to the cruise ship.

Trio enjoying Sunset Beach

An almost famous lunch truck
We finally boarded the vessel about 3:45pm and at 4:30pm, they had the emergency drill. In that time, I was trying to get a wheelchair for mom because her hip is still hurting and she is not really able to do much walking. After some time, one of the crew came and took her down to the muster station in a wheel chair. After the drill was over, I went to rent a wheel chair for the week and with the amount they charged for the week’s rental. I could have bought a wheel chair. I finally took it to Mom’s cabin (which is next door to ours and has a connecting door) and took her to the deck on the 11th floor (we’re on the 7th floor in a room with a balcony but very little space). The cabin is much smaller than I anticipated considering that I was on a cruise with Princess last year and the balcony suite was quite large; the cruise this year to Alaska with Celebrity was also, or at least, it felt larger even with two adults and two kids sharing the same space. So where was I? Did I mention that I got to the cabin but my room key was not working? Yes that’s true. I think I am having one of those weeks when you wish things are going to go smoothly but it doesn’t and every odd thing happens to you.

View of Honolulu from ship's balcony
I took Mom to the 11th floor and Karran, Bena and Sophie were there so I said that I was going back to the 5th floor to get my room key fixed and then go and have a nice hot shower. That should be pretty straightforward but was it? Noooo. I got the key fixed and went back to the cabin to have my nice long shower and what do I find but a note in Karran and Mom’s cabin (they are sharing a cabin) telling him that his luggage cannot be brought up to the room because the scanner found something in the suitcase that is not supposed to be in there so he’d have to go down to the 3rd floor to open the luggage so they could check it. This did not concern me. What concerned me was that I would have to go back to the 11th floor to give Karran the letter. I thought about leaving it in the door and pretending that I didn’t see it but my conscience wouldn’t let me do that so I walked up 4 flights of stairs to deliver the letter to Karran. Why didn’t I take the elevator like most normal people? First of all, I am not normal people and secondly, I probably could use the exercise. Neither of those were the reasons. The elevators were quite busy taking passengers to the 11th floor to eat so it wouldn’t stop at the other floors. That left me either to wait for a long time or mount the stairs by foot. I consoled myself that this is good for my heart.

I finally came back to the room to have my most desired shower but the suitcases were blocking most of the space in the cabin so instead of showering, I unpacked my stuff and no sooner was I done, than Bena arrived and started to do the same; then Sophie arrived and did the same. By the time we were done, Bena ended up in the shower before me and by the time we left our cabin for supper, the cabin steward – Onofre Doctolero (yes that’s his name) – was pacing outside because he wanted to make up the third bed for the night. We took off for dinner minus Mom who said she was not feeling so well so I ordered room service for her and she went to bed early.

The four of us, all dressed in various combinations of black and white, went off for dinner I had cream of mushroom soup, lobster and snapper and bread pudding. Sophie had polenta and steak and sorbet; Bena had same soup as me, mahi-mahi, and bread pudding and Karran had smoked salmon tartare, lamb skank, and bread pudding. I have to say that the servers were not very attentive tonight. I was expecting the same level of service as other cruise lines but I’m not yet impressed although the check-in was very smooth and fairly quick.

Bena wanted to go to see a tribute to Johnny Mathis show but that didn't happen. It’s now 10:20pm and everyone is fast asleep except me who is still blogging. Say Good night Sandra. Good night Sandra.


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