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Manuela

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Manuela's cruise to the South Pacific
« on: September 09, 2013, 02:53:29 AM »
Star Princess Cruise to Hawaii, Samoa, and Tahiti

I’m sorry this took so long. Besides thousands of pictures to go through, we have been planning our daughter’s wedding and there are thousands of details to deal with.

This cruise almost didn’t happen. My husband hurt his back during a two day snowstorm in February. It wasn’t until the Thursday before the cruise started that his doctor gave him the go ahead. He rented a scooter for on board use, just in case he couldn’t walk or stand very long. Thankfully, it fit in the closet and wasn’t in our way. I’m happy to report that he never used the scooter and is much better now.
 


Sunday, March 24th --- We flew from Boston to LA and spent two nights at the DoubleTree in San Pedro. We usually fly the day before a cruise, but in this case we decided to go for the extra day.

Monday, March 25th --- We thought about visiting the Queen Mary, but felt a bit tired so we went for a walk around the LA Marina instead.

Tuesday, March 26th --- We were able to drop off our luggage, but no one could board because of a ship inspection and crew immigration check. Frank drove to the pier to meet us. We had coffee and ice cream and a very pleasant couple of hours. He drove us back to the ship and waited for us to sail away. Thank you, Frank, for taking so many beautiful pictures of the ship and for keeping us company while we waited to board.
 

 

The original sailing time had been scheduled for 4pm. We received an email changing it to 5:30. We boarded the ship at 4. During the muster drill we were told that we would sail at 6:30. Shortly afterwards the captain announced that we would be leaving at 8. We were having dinner when we finally left LA. It was 8:30. Because of the delayed boarding, there were no welcome aboard pictures taken. We usually skip those, but this cruise was special and we were looking forward to having that souvenir. Oh well, we’ll just have to do it again.
 
We sailed under a full moon.

 


We attended the Welcome Aboard Show that evening. The cruise director talked about how fantastic this cruise was going to be and the singers and dancers gave us a preview of future shows. After a very long day, we came back to our room to find a wonderful surprise, a beautiful bouquet of tropical flowers which lasted until the last week of the cruise. Thank you, Phil and Chris.
 


Wednesday, March 27th --- We attended the first Cruise Critics Meet and Greet. With almost 300 cruisers signed up to go, the meeting location was moved from Skywalkers Lounge to one of the dining rooms. Many ship officers spoke, including the captain. In the afternoon there was a reception for past guests, which numbered 2300 out of 2500 total passengers on this trip. About a dozen of them had been on the previous cruise, around South America, which was also around a month long. We met one couple who had been on Star Princess for four months. It must be nice to “live” on a ship.
 

This evening we went to a performance by a harmonica virtuoso, surprisingly entertaining, and later, to a comedy show.

Thursday, March 28th --- We listened to a speaker on piracy on the high seas, who said we had nothing to worry about on a cruise ship. Pirates prefer ships with valuable cargo and small crews to defend it. We also listened to a naturalist speak on the islands we were about to visit. She lives in Hawaii’s Volcano National Park and is quite knowledgeable about the Pacific Islands. She sails on Princess ships to Tahiti in the Spring and in the Fall. Not a bad side job to have.
This was a formal night with the captain's cocktail reception preceding dinner. Champagne was freely available as well as hors-d'oeuvres.
There was a production show tonight and later we listened to a guitarist. There is also a pianist playing until late most evenings and he is a wonderful entertainer.

Friday, March 29th --- We listened to a talk about Oahu. Tonight's show was a singer followed by a comedian and again the pianist.

Saturday, March 29th --- Today’s talk was about Kauai. After lunch we went on a cabin crawl. We visited several cabins, voted on the best Easter bonnet, and the guys held a putting contest, which Mike won. Tonight the harmonica virtuoso returned.
 

 


Sunday, March 31st --- Today we arrived at our first port, Hilo, Hawaii. It was so rainy that we couldn’t see Mauna Kea, the tallest (because it’s measured from the bottom of the sea) mountain in the world. We will have to go back to see it.
Most stores were closed because it was Easter Sunday, so we took the free shuttle to Hilo Hattie's and bought souvenirs there. We wanted to get that out of the way. My husband sat while I shopped. His back is still giving him a lot of discomfort.
The guitarist was tonight's main entertainer, followed by the pianist.
 


Monday, April 1st --- We got up early to see the sail in to Honolulu. We took a taxi to Pearl Harbor. We saw the Arizona Memorial, the Missouri, and the Aviation Museum. In the afternoon we went to Waikiki Beach.
 

 

 

  Diamond Head

  Waikiki Beach


A group of children from a local dance school came aboard and put on a performance of native Hawaiian dances. We had a late sailaway, 11pm.
 


Tuesday, April 2nd --- We toured Kauai by helicopter. What a gorgeous island! Lush vegetation, dozens of waterfalls, the Waimea Canyon, the Na Pali coast. No wonder so many movies are filmed here, even some with opening scenes set in Moorea or Bora Bora are finished in Kauai.
Tonight we saw a ventriloquist.
 

  The Na Pali Coast

  Waimea Canyon

 


Wednesday, April 3rd --- No tours here. Mike needed a rest after the last two days. We had a short walk around Lahaina, Maui, where we were anchored.
A hypnotist entertained us tonight, as well as the guitarist. We liked him enough to buy a CD of his music.
 

  We saw some very playful whales


Thursday, April 4th --- Today was a sea day with a formal evening which included an impressionist and a production show.

Friday, April 5th --- Another sea day. We love sea days. The ventriloquist put on another show and so did the pianist.

Saturday, April 6th --- We crossed the Equator at 9:10 in the morning, local time, which is now 7 hours earlier than Boston. King Neptune judged several pollywogs who were properly smeared with gooey substances. The King then allowed the ship to proceed to the Southern Ocean.
 

 

 

And then for the fun traditions
  King Neptune

  and his court

  a Pollywog getting his punishment for daring to enter the King’s realm

After lunch we went to another cruise critic meeting where pollywogs got their shellback certificates. In the evening the impressionist and the pianist performed again.
Our passports were collected today and will be returned after our Tahiti stop.

Sunday, April 7th --- Another relaxing sea day. The hypnotist was back and so was the singer. Our favorite pianist was also entertaining until late.
The naturalist held many very informative talks. She spoke on whales, volcanoes, island formation, and of course, all the ports we visited. For Samoa, she suggested an informal survey to try and find out what the men wear under the lava-lava, a type of sarong.
  an official in his lava-lava


Monday, April 8th --- We arrived in Pago Pago, American Samoa, at 10 in the morning. We walked around but did not take any tours. We took a local bus for $1. They are small and colorfully painted.
 

 

 

  an elaborately carved tree

  pier shopping available

  the Pacific Princess?


Tonight’s scheduled juggler's performance was postponed, but the production show went on.
At 9pm tonight we crossed the International Date Line and it became Tuesday, April 9th for 3 hours.

Wednesday, April 10th --- We visited Apia, Western Samoa, today. We took a taxi to a local market, bought a kava bowl, and then went back to the ship. In the evening we attended a performance by a mentalist and another one by a violinist.
 

  you can see the reef that surrounds the island

  more pier shopping


At 9pm we crossed the International Date Line back to April 9th for another 3 hours.
By the next port lecture, the results of the survey were in. Most guys find it too hot to wear anything but their tattoos under the lava-lava! The ladies however, wear long dresses!

Wednesday, April 10th --- again, but this time it is a sea day. The juggler put on a very funny show and a singer treated us to some very nice songs.

Thursday, April 11th --- Another sea day. The violinist and the mentalist performed again tonight.

Friday, April 12th --- We arrived in Bora Bora on a rainy day. We took a tour on a makeshift bus which made the obligatory stop at Bloody Mary’s - $20 for a pina collada! Even through the rain the island was beautiful.
At night we attended another performance by the juggler.
 

  this was not a private tour, it was a Princess tour

  we threw flowers to attract some very large land crabs

 

  a demonstration on how to tie a pareo

  Marina was there too
 

Saturday, April 13th --- We were in Moorea today and also toured the island. It is absolutely gorgeous. It helped that the rain stopped after we got there and that we were greeted by local dancers as we got off the tender. Moorea is my favorite South Pacific island.
 

 

 

  another example of the reefs that surround most of these islands


We left at 5pm and by 8 we were docked in Papeete, Tahiti. It was pouring rain so we didn’t leave the ship that night.
This evening we were treated to a Tahitian folkloric show with great drumming and dancing. We stayed overnight in Papeete.
 


Sunday, April 14th --- We toured the island of Tahiti. Since it was Sunday, the stores were closed and 2500 people couldn’t get souvenirs!
We need to go back, but we will have to make sure the ship stops there on a weekday!

  another pareo demonstration

  looking at Moorea from Tahiti

  leaving Papeete

  sailing away from Tahiti past Moorea at sunset


Five new entertainers joined the ship. The captain left and a new one is bringing us back to LA. A new singer performed tonight.
It is Fall and the days are noticeably shorter.
Monday, April 15th --- Today was a sea day. A new pianist and a comedian entertained us tonight.

Tuesday, April 16th --- It was another sea day. A new singer put on a Nat King Cole tribute. We heard about the Boston Marathon bombings tonight.

Wednesday, April 17th --- We were able to get in touch with our son and daughter and check that they were ok. Our son works in Boston but this was a holiday and he had stayed home. Our daughter had gone in to see a baseball game close to where the bombings happened and ended up having to walk home because all traffic was halted. We never watch much television on board a ship but we were glued to this story.
We crossed the Equator again, back to the Northern Hemisphere and to Spring and longer days. A comic magician performed and there was another production show.

Thursday, April 18th --- The soprano performed again and so did our favorite pianist. We learned that one of the bombers was captured and killed.

Friday, April 19th --- We enjoyed two shows, one a comedian and the other a pianist. We were very relieved to hear that the second terrorist had been captured. We could go back to enjoying the cruise.

Saturday, April 20th --- We again saw the magician and listened to a singer.

Sunday, April 21st --- This morning we crossed the tropic of Cancer. In the evening the captain hosted the Farewell Party. After dinner we watched a production show and listened to Tom play the piano.

Monday, April 22nd --- Today was packing day. The waiters paraded in the dining room with baked alaska, followed by the chefs who received great applause. The crew put on a show tonight.

Tuesday, April 23rd --- We were off the ship around 9am. We had a late flight so we decided to visit the Queen Mary in Long Beach, where we had lunch before heading to the airport.
 

 

 

  the Duke and Duchess of Windsor would bring 155 pieces of luggage and their Rolls Royce on board

  we travel much lighter - we only brought four

All in all a wonderful cruise. Very relaxing. Lots of sea days. Lots of entertainment. Very good food without much repetition in spite of the length of the trip.
  I took a galley tour

  pool and movies

  enclosed pool

  aft pool

  a rolling ramp to reach deck 18, aka the “shopping cart handle”

 

 

The seas were very calm but it rained in most ports. We’ll just have to go back. Someday.
April 5, 2020 - Grand Princess - Hawaii
Nov. 5, 2020 - Enchanted Princess - Transatlantic
April 9, 2021 - Regal Princess - Sydney - Alaska
Nov. 24, 2021 - Discovery Princess - Transatlantic

Cape Cod 13

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Re: Manuela's cruise to the South Pacific
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2013, 10:53:41 AM »
Great pictures Manuela, looks like you had a wonderful time, thanks for sharing.......Post more......C.C.13

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Re: Manuela's cruise to the South Pacific
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2013, 10:53:41 AM »

Phil

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Re: Manuela's cruise to the South Pacific
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2013, 03:25:16 PM »
Great review.

Than ks for posting.

Phil

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Re: Manuela's cruise to the South Pacific
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2013, 03:25:16 PM »