Tuesday, January 4, 2011


DAY 36 We awake docked across form another HAL ship. It is much bigger than we are. We head to breakfast for the last time in our special dinning room and have our last eggs Benedict. Carolyn will really miss this tomorrow!!

Back in the room we gather up the odds and ends and head down to the Neptune Lounge to wait for our number to be called. Most people seem to be waiting in the suites. There is no pressure on the suite passengers to leave.

About 9:30 they call the first group and then about 10 minutes later they call our group and maybe six others. Of course, by the time we work our way down to the level of the gangway it is packed with people. There was only one card reader so things were moving very slow. People are getting really antsy and Elizabeth just continues to call one group after another!!

We are finally off the ship and breeze though immigration and customs. There is a bit of a wait for a taxi, but we are soon off to the airport. Security is a pain and we are stopped for a baggage check. Both bags are completely unpack and the contents sent back through x-ray. At last we make it to the waiting area for our flight. From here things go smoothly. The flight is uneventful and JW is there waiting for us in luggage pick up. The luggage arrives intact and we head back to Brenham. We love this luggage direct, makes things so easy!

The cruise was great. The itinerary was very nice, we enjoyed seeing all the islands. For us though, it is probably a one time cruise itinerary. We do like the Neptune Suites on HAL and have tentatively booked a 14 day Round trip Alaska trip for next year. We leave on Jan 9, 2011for a 71 day circumnavigation of South America including Antarctica and the Amazon River. After that we will work on plans for the next bucket trip.


DAY 35
Another nice day and a good breakfast. .It is our last full day on the ship. We will miss the breakfast service! We spend the morning packing and weighing and rearranging the suitcases to get only one that is over weight...we hope!We are using luggage direct service for the first time.

Dick tries for the disembarkation talk, but it is packed so we watch it later in the room.
We have the TV on while we are packing and a 14 day Alaska trip is shown...it sounds interesting with stop in Anchorage, Kodiak, Sika and Victoria...either new ports or ports we haven’t been to since our first Alaska cruise 20 years ago. Carolyn goes down and books a suite for the last cruise next September. We may/probably will move it to 2012. But it gets us the $200 OBC and the $200 deposit.

Dick watches TV movies and Carolyn finishes packing and sits on the veranda for a while. We go to dinner in the dinning room and enjoy one last dinner with our friends. Back in the room we put the luggage out. We are using luggage direct so we won’t see the bags until we get to Houston.

Our travel companion is going to miss all the attention and nightly chocolates.


DAY 34
Today is a little grey, but looks like the clouds will lift. It is much cooler now. We head to the King’s Room for our usua morning fixl. Then have every intention on doing the kitchen tour at 10:30, but get busy talking in the Lounge and forget about the time.

We do make the last cooking demonstration with Chef Kartik. He is the Indian Head Chef in the Pinnacle.
He is doing Pawn Coconut Curry. We aren’t real fans of curry, but we will give it one more try since he is cooking a dish he loves from "home" We are blown away with the chile and chile peppers he adds! It is a wonder the show and the kitchen didn’t go up in smoke! The sample is not near as loaded with chile pepper and not hot, but we just don’t like the spice combo that makes a curry.

We spend the rest of the day reading and napping on the veranda. The sun does come out, but it is cool. We are eating in the Pinnacle again tonight and it is another and last formal night. We go to the last of the shows in the showroom "Amore". It is nicely done with beautiful costumes! We also loose our last hour tonight and will be on San Diego time tomorrow.

The  moon rises off our balcony...what a perfect night.


DAY 33
It is finally a beautiful sunny day! After our usual good breakfast, Carolyn adjourns to the veranda for a day of reading and napping!. Dick is out some but spends most of his time on the computer. There are lectures but he only makes the afternoon one.

It is one lazy day! We order room service and have dinner on the veranda as the sun sets. It has been a wonderful day!


DAY 32
We sleep late and barely make breakfast at 9:25. We aren’t the only sleepy heads...the King’s Room is full! We actually spend a long time talking with a couple we often sit with. The A/C went out over night on our deck...everyone is hoping it is fixed soon...they had the ceiling in the hall on the floor working on it as we came down.

Chef Thomas does his last cooking session Mexican Chocolate Crepes this morning so we are both there. The crepes are really good. He recommends the same crepe maker Carolyn has used for years to make omelets.

Dick watches some of his DVD’s on his computer and goes to his lecture this afternoon. Carolyn sits on the veranda..it is stormy, but with the deep overhang our veranda stays dry so it is pleasant. She works on the blog and reads. Chef Thomas is doing crepes on the Lido so she goes up for a Banana’s Forster and a Chocolate with Kuluha after a snack in the Neptune. After lunch she post all the trip reports for the islands to the blog and works on the memory book. The A/C is fixed so the room is comfortable
We order angle hair pasta with meat sauce last for our dinner tonight. Holland American’s food is just as uninspired as it was eight years ago...lots of steak, potatoes, and the same steamed plain vegies...no Italian which we love and are really missing. As it turns out, tonight is also Asian Night in the dinning room so we have several plates of our favorites to go with the angle hair!

Our stewards strik again playing with our traveling companion...we have really enjoyed their service.


DAY 31
We are up a little earlier today and make it to the King’s Room about 8:30. The staff is off their mark today. I order grits and cream of wheat! Oh well, I won’t starve, but since there are four staff that work there every day and we are there most every day, ordering the same thing everyday...you get the picture!

This morning Chef Thomas is cooking again...Spanish Omelets this time. We really enjoy this Holland American program and Thomas is a hoot! The omelet is an open face one. He gives lots of pointers on what to use as fillings and how to serve it for breakfast, lunch or dinner or as an appetizer if any is left over.

Dick goes to the lecture in the afternoon and to the marionette talk by Phillip Huber. Carolyn has a club sandwich from room service then goes to the flower arranging talk and watches the ship’s florist arrange some vases for areas in the ship. She is using tropical greenery and flowers she cut yesterday at a local farm as the ship didn’t get their supply of flowers as planned in Tahiti. It was amazing to watch her work with all the parts of the plants coming up with two beautiful arrangements!

Carolyn ordered a cheese plate for four for our little get together in the room. It came a little late and was only a serving for one...room service, except for the breakfast card routine, has been less than wonderful...they have rarely brought all that was ordered and have had to go back for things.
We have a good visit with the Rodriguez’s. They have been having problems with a diesel smell in their room along with so others, but so far we haven’t had that problem....

We go to dinner together and have a pleasant evening. Tonight we loose another hour. Think there is only one more to get to San Diego time.