Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hawaii / Tahiti 30 Day Cruise - Day 11 At Sea

Wednesday Day 11 – At Sea

That’s right, we’ve skipped Tuesday, we crossed the International Dateline so there is no Tuesday this week, and we will not have an April 16h at all.  After a light breakfast we were off to hear the next in a series of talks on our upcoming port stops, this morning it was for Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.  These talks are very interesting and very well attended, if you don’t get there early, you won’t find a seat.  The showroom holds 925 so you can see how popular these talks are.  Val is interested in buying some pearls on this trip so after the Rarotonga talk we were off to the Queen’s Lounge for a seminar on pearls.  Even though it was put on by a group trying to sell us pearls, they provided a lot of background information on how pearls are formed, what different types of pearls there are and how to judge the quality of pearls.  It was actually quite interesting.

After learning about pearls it was just about time for lunch so we headed for the Lido buffet.  Val had her team trivia at 1:15 so after lunch she went on to that and I went back to the room and did some reading out on the balcony.  Val’s trivia team is continuing to do well and seems to end up in the top 3 or 4 each day, but first place has been elusive.  Still, pretty good since there are 32 teams.  Today they tied for first place, but lost the tie-breaker.

The weather was very nice with fairly mild temperatures, but the humidity continues to increase.  It was mostly sunny, but we ran through a series of rain squalls which passed quickly and mostly missed the ship.  Here are a couple of pictures of what sea days are like from the balcony, nothing but ocean and sky.  Unless you’re coming into a port, you never see land and we’ve only seen one other ship since we’ve left San Diego.

Our typical view on a sea day.
We dodged numerous rainfalls through the late afternoon.
At lunch today we ran into a Ken and Cathy, a couple that we stood in line with in San Diego waiting to board the ship (that line took so long you got to know the people around you pretty well) and they asked us to join them in the Crow’s Nest for Happy Hour.  After doing not much of anything most of the afternoon we went to the Crow’s Nest to meet them and were surprised to find another couple we stood in line with as well as the friends Ken and Cathy were traveling with.  They were all really nice people and we enjoyed talking and getting to know everyone until it was time for the early dinner seating when they had to leave.  Before everyone left we made plans to meet for lunch in couple of days, we’re looking forward to that.

Val and I returned to our room and I decided to walk again and try to at least burn off a little of all the good food I’ve been eating.  I intended to walk two miles again, but the high humidity sent me back inside after a mile and a third (4 laps around the ship).  After that it was time to clean up and get ready for the evening’s entertainment and dinner.  The show tonight was comedian Richie Minervini.  I had never heard of him, but he was quite funny and we really enjoyed the show.  We finished the evening in our usual fashion with a great dinner and time in the casino.  We are really looking forward to our stop in Fanning Island tomorrow, our first of the South Pacific Islands.

I want to add that I find it interesting that Holland America tries to find ways to connect people together.  I was happy to see on the schedule for each day informal gatherings planned for a wide variety of people.  There are meetings for AA, LGBT, nondenominational church service, Catholic mass, military veterans, and singles.  Then there are several more set times for people with different hobbies and interests like bridge, and needle crafts to get together. It’s nice to see the diversity and inclusiveness.

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