Four Days at Sea
26.10.2017 - 29.11.2017
I saw that breakfast was 7-9 in the Portafino Dining room. So Polly and I got up and went. I asked the matre-d there if we couldn't switch to dining in the Portafino Dining Room because of the problems getting to the Amalfi dining room with a scooter. And said he would see to it and we would get a note in our room about what table.
They did give me cranberry juice even though it was not on the menu. A tiny glass.
After breakfast we had a meeting with George at 10:30 in the Amalfi Dining room
which meant that I missed the Cruise Critics meeting at 11:00. He collected our biography/menu pages that he had us make and explained something about how the travel agents worked. Then we had a group photo taken - on deck 7 and I had a real problem getting an elevator, but I did get there. I lost Polly, but she got there too.
Then we went to lunch. Lunch has an option for Brunch with some breakfast items including James Beard's French Toast which I had on the previous Princess cruise and is very good but I did not get that this time.
There was also an Anytime burger menu.
I had the mozzarella and tomato starter (which I would have called "Caprese salad"
and a second appetizer sized rigatoni. Getting it appetizer sized means that it is a smaller amount. Then I had blueberry frozen yogurt for dessert.
We did get a notice that we were now early dining in Portafino dining room. Polly went the naturalist's lecture,
and then to a thing at the spa and was there all afternoon. I finished unpacking, and found the chock for the door. I have not figured out how to turn the scooter around. So I put it into free wheeling and turn it around manually. But with the chock, I can get in and out by myself. Part of George's package was magnetic door signs so I can tell when I get to the room and he also gave us a lanyard and punched a hole in the room key card so it could be attached to the lanyard. Polly was not back by 4:45 and I was ready to leave, so I left a note in the door. She had the note that said what table we were to be at, but I remembered the number.
She got to dinner about 5:30 - the rest of us had already finished our appetizer. The others at the table were Stan and Mary and Jerry and Terri. The other two seats were vacant and the others said that the couple that was there decided that they wanted anytime dining.
I had the shrimp cocktail for an appetizer (available every day) and then we had an "intermezzo" of a strawberry sorbet.
Then Polly had scallops and I had fried chicken. Then I had the
and Polly had the pineapple brulee which she had yesterday, so she must like it.
Polly wanted to go to the show, so she left from dinner to do that. I tried to call Bob, but the system dropped the call three times so I decided not to call again until I get to Hawaii. I tried to log on with my phone but I couldn't use the internet to call. I could have sent a text message, but of course Bob doesn't do text messages.
When I got back to the room there was a message to turn our clocks back an hour and I turned the alarm clock back but my phone doesn't have a time zone for the middle of the Pacific. Polly has cleared her bed off but her clothes are not at all organized.
We woke up and went to breakfast. I had a bowl of oatmeal and
Then i went up to the Excursions desk because they said they had to see me by today. They agreed that I could use the scooter for the two Princess excursions I have (so nice of them). Polly had something she wanted to go to, so she left me there. I went on to the port talk, which was very interesting and I have now figured out how to get it on the TV.
Princess TV is terribly disorganized. The menu has things by category and not in order by channel. But I put the port talk on the TV and took a nap. I went and took some photos of the ship, and then went back to the room. I decided to make my own list of the channels and while I was doing that, Polly came back briefly. She went to the naturalist talk and enjoyed it. On the next to last day of the cruise I discovered a slip of paper in front of the TV (above my head) which had the numerical list of channels.
I got up about 11:30 and went out to lunch without Polly. There was a couple from Orange County (CA) who wanted to get to something at 1:00 so they had already ordered and a family - mother, father and grown daughter from Grand Isle Nebraska. I had gazpacho which was very acidic
The two other ladies had that too, but they didn't like it, so they got something else. For dessert I had
After lunch, Polly had a wine tasting at 2. She likes a sweeter wine and decided that she did not like red wines.
I took some photos of the atrium area and the stores on deck 6
There was a bear in the store
Every morning the Cruise Director had a show (taped the afternoon before) where he said what was happening the next day - it was played on the TV the following morning. He had one of the assistants (Kevin who was from Canada) with him, and they had a stuffed bear similar to this one sitting between them.
There is a reception for returning Princess passengers at 4 and then it is formal night.
Polly and I went to the Captain's reception for returning cruisers together. They gave away elite status for the stateroom for one person, and two bottles of champagne (I didn't win) and then they gave everyone a voucher for a free drink. I gave mine to Polly. We went back to the room and dressed for dinner. Polly went to have her photo taken - she was all dressed up in purple dress and looked good.
Stan and Mary were at the steak restaurant for dinner, but Jerry and Terri were there and we were joined by another couple - Jim was originally from Cuba and looked a little like Humphery Bogart, and Anna was originally from Honduras. Jim and Jerry bonded over the fact that they both had concealed carry permits - one from Florida and one from Kentucky. The photographer came around to take our photos and I took some too
At dinner I had Waldorf salad. It was one of the more bizarre Waldorf salads that I have had This turned out to be a small pile of shredded apple, a couple of walnuts, a bunch of watercress and a big lump of grey Stilton cheese. There was too much cheese for the apple part, so I put the cheese on my roll to eat it. The rolls are good but they are all hard rolls which are very crumbly.
Jerry decided to make the dinner turf and surf by ordering both the tiger shrimp and the medallions of beef. I thought that was a good idea. So I ate the shrimp, and one of the broccoli heads which came with it (it was very garlicy) and a little of the rice.
Then I had the two steak medallions, two potato fingers and a piece of the squash that came with the steak.
For dessert I had something that was billed as raspberry brulee, but it wasn't. It was chocolate cake with a raspberry on top and white chocolate triangles surrounding it.
Polly woke me up at 7 and I went and took a very short shower. I bought a TSA sized bottle of Listerine and I have finally gotten the top off of it. Then we dressed fo breakfast and went to the restaurant. There was an Oriental couple there and when I ordered cranberry juice, she ordered it too - we had three orange juice and three cranberry juice at our table. I had the Mexican omelet which wasn't very good. But the other featured breakfast was a Northeastern Breakfast Treat which included an energizing cereal of Rolled Oats, apple juice, vanilla yogurt, toasted almonds, raisins and sliced bananas. That just did not appeal to me.
After breakfast Polly was going to a talk on arthritis, so I decided to go down to deck 5 and talk to the computer person so I got in an atrium elevator which was going down (from 6) but I was too far from the control panel to push the button for five, so it went up to 8 before it went down to 5. When the atrium elevator is on the floors of the atrium (5, 6, 7) it has a window that looks out into the atrium. For other floors there is a kind of water bubble graphic.
Since it wasn't time for the computer person to be there quite yet, I explored deck 5 - Capri dining room,
the International Cafe with the specialty coffee, and sandwiches and pastries,
and the art gallery with hundreds of horrible paintings.
I talked to the internet person because when I go on the internet from my phone, I couldn't get back to the place to sign off and so I had a bunch of excess minutes. He restored the minutes. He confirmed that I could not call from the internet unless I could use Skype or similar.
Then I went to the lecture on Hawaiian plants. It was interesting but disorganized. He started talking about the garbage area in the middle of the Pacific, and then he talked at length about coffee. He touched briefly on elephant ear plants (3,300 species in Hawaii) and the silver sword endemic plant (although he did not explain what endemic meant), and he mentioned an invasive plant (but I don't remember what it was), talked about vanilla and said we could buy vanilla in Mexico on a bottle that would last the rest of your life.
I saw people leaving and looked at the time and decided I would go to Trivia. I saw Lori from George's group (she has a bright pink scooter so she's easy to pick out)
and I followed her to two other people from the group - Paul
and Owen. We formed a team. I correctly supplied what NATO stood for, the letter in Roman numerals that was for 500 (D), and the highest string on a guitar (G). I had to argue my case for both of those as they did not believe me. We did not know where Petra or Troy were and we answered the last true false question wrong. We had 18 out of 22 possible and the winning team had 21.
I went back to the room and recharged the scooter and watched some of the Notre Dame football game. Then I went to lunch. I was sitting with a couple from Indiana, one from Arizona and an oriental couple from Orange Co, California. I had the leek and potato cream soup which was OK and Brunswick chicken stew with kernel corn
which was more like succotash soup - not nearly as good as the Brunswick stew at the Sea Jay Cafe on Jekyll Island. The muffin was supposed to be a corn muffin but it was in the soup and was soggy.
For some reason Polly did not get the concept that you ate with whoever you get to the dining room at the same time as - she came when we were finishing and sat down with us in the extra seat. I sat with her while she ate. The other couples left. We were not the last people in the dining room.
She went to have something at the spa (she went to the gym in morning in addition to her lecture).
For dinner on the 28th I had the asparagus starter
and the veal scallopini (which I ate only half of although I ate the broccoli and cauliflower)
For dessert I had the pink grapefruit tart which was good-it had pieces of grapefruit on top of it.
Sunday the 29th, Polly was up before me- I did not get up early enough to have breakfast in the dining room so we went up to the Horizon Court (the buffet) for the first time since we boarded. We went past the big TV over the pool
which had the LA Chargers game on it. Someone helped me get some food -I got grits, eggs, bacon and raisin bread. And grapefruit juice. We talked so long to a couple at the same table that I completely missed going to trivia.
I went back to the room and saw the end of the Redskins game and also took some photos of the lifeboats outside our window. There are men working out there periodically. Then I went to the last port lecture (on the fourth port Laihana-I was particularly interested in that port because it was a tender port). I thought I could go down to deck 6
and go to the Theater for the talk and then go to lunch without having to take the elevator again, but I found that Deck 6 has no ramp access to the theater - you have to go up steps.
I did the steps as I did not want to fight to get an elevator again. I took some photos of the slides he showed
After the end of the port talk I did not know where Polly was so I went to lunch. She wandered in when we were mostly finished and there were 6 of us at the table so no spare seat this time. She went and ate at a different table. I had the waldorf salad again and this time the shredded apples came with some slices of an Italian preserved meat which they called Coppa.
Then I had
I had honey vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Polly and I went and found where all the ship photos of her were and she was deciding whether to buy them. I got an invitation for a drink or something at Etsy for my birthday and since I didn't want it, she took it. She said they didn't pay any attention to her there once they figured out that she was just looking and she didn't get the promised drink. I was going swimming, but instead I went back to the room and took a nap and watched the first half of the Pittsburgh game.
For dinner, I had a salad
and then beef stroganoff which was supposed to have sour cream but just had maybe a teaspoon full.
I had one of the make your own sundaes for dessert. Polly had
Then Jerry, Terri, Stan and Mary and I went to "Where do you think you are?" Trivia. We got 29 points and the winning group got 33 (out of 40). I came back to the room - we have to set our clocks back another hour (to Honolulu time) - and I got a shower and got prepared for tomorrow's excursion in Hilo.