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Old 07-15-2012, 07:46 PM   #211
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Wonderful pics from an amazing excursion! I love the dress you wore to Palo, you two look so sweet!

What you described as your dream trip is what I had wanted to do for our 30th next year, but right now I'm just hoping we can do a timeshare exchange on Maui - much cheaper.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:18 PM   #212
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Amazing dolphin excursion and your descriptions and the photos were beautiful. The coffee drink you got in port sounded yummy.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:12 AM   #213
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Corrina,

The dolphins and turtles are truly amazing creatures and you got to spend such lovely time with them.

It looked amazing from the pictures and I am sure it was more beautiful in person...

I have this fear of water, I can be on top of it without any problems, I can jet ski, water ski, cruise all that, but if I get in it, I get very scared. not so much where I can stand but any place that is deeper than I can stand is

I would love to do this, but just reading about the water coming in the pipe and making you cough, that would send me over the edge....


I was so scared reading this.


But again, it was beautiful and thank you so much for sharing the pictures.
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:11 PM   #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggrbaby View Post
Wonderful pics from an amazing excursion! I love the dress you wore to Palo, you two look so sweet!

What you described as your dream trip is what I had wanted to do for our 30th next year, but right now I'm just hoping we can do a timeshare exchange on Maui - much cheaper.
The dress was actually one of my Ebay bargains. This cost me less than $20. It creases quite badly, but as having clothes pressed is so cheap on the ship, I just sent them out to be pressed as soon as I am unpacked.

I think this will be pretty good value. We will use our DVC points for both Disneyland and for Aulani and NCL normally offers pretty good travel industry rates.

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Originally Posted by dgbg100106 View Post
Corrina,

The dolphins and turtles are truly amazing creatures and you got to spend such lovely time with them.

It looked amazing from the pictures and I am sure it was more beautiful in person...

I have this fear of water, I can be on top of it without any problems, I can jet ski, water ski, cruise all that, but if I get in it, I get very scared. not so much where I can stand but any place that is deeper than I can stand is

I would love to do this, but just reading about the water coming in the pipe and making you cough, that would send me over the edge....


I was so scared reading this.


But again, it was beautiful and thank you so much for sharing the pictures.
I am actually a bit of a water baby and love to swim. I do not like the water to come higher then chin level though. Jetskis are a different matter. They scare me to death. One of them threw me off at Castaway Cay.

Corinna
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:18 AM   #215
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Day 13

We had a 7:45 meeting time that morning, but as this was just a morning excursion, we decided to pass on breakfast and I had set the alarm for 7:00. We got up and got ready. This was an easy task today as it was a strictly land-based excursion. Once we were ready, we headed up one flight of stairs and headed for Wavebands, where our meeting point was. This was another adult only departure and although there was also a family version of this excursion, they even kept them separate at the point of check in. Check in was very smooth again and they had multiple buses. Again, they took people down to the gangway a bus at a time. This time they took us past the photographers at the speed of lightning so we did not get the chance to have our photo taken. The buses were parked just outside the port building. Our driver was waiting for us outside the bus to collect our excursion tickets and soon we were all on the bus and on our way.

Our last Hawaiian port of call was Nawiliwili on the island of Kauai. Kauai is the fourth largest of the Hawaiian islands and is also known as the Garden Isle. The island of Kauaʻi has been featured in more than seventy Hollywood movies and television shows, including Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Lilo and Stitch is also set there. Kauai could not be more different from Oahu if it tried. On Kauai there is a rule that no building can be higher than the tallest palm tree. So there are no skyscrapers here.

The excursion we were doing on Kauai was a happy accident. What he had really wanted to do was Tubing the Ditch, which is the ultimate lazy river ride. Essentially you travel on inner tubes along the irrigation system of a disused sugar plantation. Unfortunately this had been fully booked before we were able to make our reservations and Disney Cruise Line seemed to have bought out all the slots for that day so we had not been able to arrange this independently either. So instead we booked an excursions to Waimea Canyon, which is also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.

Our driver for the day was a native of Kauai and he told us a lot about Kauai and its history during the drive. Our first stop was the Spouting Horn near Poipu Beach. There is a blowhole there that can sea water up to 50 feet in the air. This occurs whenever waves are forced under the lava shelf and up through an opening in the rocky coast. In the past there was a much bigger blowhole there, but that was blasted by the manager of the sugar plantation, because the salt spray was damaging a small portion of the crop. Still the blowhole that is there now is pretty impressive. We watched this for a while and then went exploring. There is a little craft market in the area and I had a look there, but nothing caught my eye. We headed back towards the car park where there were a lot of feral chicken and also some of the most beautiful flowers that I had seen that trip. We still had a bit more time so we headed back to the outlook to have another look at the blowhole before heading back to the bus.



















When we left the observation area, we drove through the Poipu Beach resort area, which is very pretty. There are mainly holiday homes there, but also some low-rise hotels. The views in this area are stunning. Once we turned away from the ocean, we saw something I had not expected - coffee plantations. Before we came to Hawaii, I was aware of the famous Kona Coffee that is grown on the Big Island, but I had no idea that coffee is grown elsewhere on the Hawaiian islands, too. Traditionally, the main agriculture on Kauai was sugar cane and pineapples, but like most of the other Hawaiian islands, they could not compete with third world countries that have become the main producers of these crops. In the mid 19th century, the owner of one of the main sugar plantations on the island decided to branch out and started to grow coffee. This was not exactly a success. In 1845, 248 pounds of coffee were grown on Kauaʻi and Hawaii island. A few years later, much of the coffee crop was destroyed by an infestation of scale insects. Nowadays coffee production is thriving on Kauai and they are hoping that eventually Kauai coffee will be as well known and thought after as Kona coffee.

Our next stop was an overlook near the area where Jurassic Park was filmed. This area actually belongs to the Robinson family. Elizabeth McHutchison Sinclair, an immigrant from New Zealand, purchased parts of Kauaʻi and the neighbouring island Niʻihau from King Kamehameha V in 1864. The land is still owned by her descendants, the Robinson family. Because this is privately own land, nobody is allowed to enter it. However, we got a good view from the overlook by the road. I have to say this really looks like Jurassic Park and I would not have been surprised if some dinosaurs had appeared.















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Old 07-20-2012, 08:25 AM   #216
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After this photo stop, we drove through some pretty towns and villages. In one of them, they had a catholic church, a congregational church and Buddhist temple right next to each other. Soon we were in the rainforest again and started to climb. Like in Maui, the rainforest is mainly made up of non-native invasive species. It does look pretty though.

Soon we arrived at Waimea Canyon State Park. Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, is a large canyon, approximately ten miles long and up to 3,000 feet deep is located on the western side of Kauaʻi. Waimea is Hawaiian for "reddish water". After the obligatory bathroom stop, we headed up towards the observation points. We were lucky enough to spend some time at the Grand Canyon National Park in 2006. I have to say that even though Waimea Canyon is on a much smaller scale, it is still absolutely breathtaking. The name Grand Canyon of the Pacific is well deserved. Even so the various outlooks are very close together, the perspective is completely different from each of them.

















































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Old 07-20-2012, 08:28 AM   #217
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Once we had admired the view for long enough, we headed back towards the bus. Somebody had set up a stall selling toasted coconut, dried fruit and fresh coconut, mango, papaya, sugar cane and pineapple. One of the things I really wanted to do while in Hawaii is have some fresh pineapple. I had kind of got round to the idea that this was not going to happen. So I was very glad to see this stall. Although there are no commercial pineapple plantations on Kauai anymore, there are still farmers that grow them on a small scale to fulfil local demand. I could not resist this. I got a huge tub of fresh cut pineapple that Graham and I shared. I think it probably contained a whole pineapple. It was absolutely delicious and the pineapple we can get over here will never taste the same again.

On our way back from Waimea Canyon, we saw the island of Niʻihau a short distance away. Niʻihau is the seventh largest of the Hawaiian Islands. The people of Niʻihau speak Hawaiian as their primary language. This is not the modern Hawaiian that is spoken on the other islands either, but an ancient for of Hawaiian. The island is generally off-limits to all but relatives of the island's owners, U.S. Navy personnel, government officials and invited guests, giving it the nickname "The Forbidden Isle". Niʻihau has approximately 130 permanent inhabitants, nearly all of whom are Native Hawaiians who live in the island's main settlement of Puʻuwai. Niʻihau has no telephone service or cars. Horses are the main form of transportation, but bicycles are also used. There are no power lines. Solar power provides all electricity. Water comes from rainwater catchment. They do have TVs on the island, but no TV signal so the TVs are just used to watch DVDs or videos. There are some special shells that can only be found on Niʻihau and that are turned into very exclusive leis that can sell for thousands of Dollars. Our driver had told us that during the shell season, the women of Niʻihau are at the beach from dawn to dusk collecting the shells and on a good day, they may have a jam jar full of shells at the end of the day. I was thinking that he was exaggerating. However, at our last stop, I was able to see some leis and other jewellery made from Niʻihau shells and they are tiny. Each of the shells is only about 2 to 3 mm big. Not only does it take forever to collect enough shells for a lei, but they are all sewn together to make the lei. I only saw some white shell leis, which are the most common and the most affordable, but they were absolutely beautiful. The shells also come in different colours, but they are quite rare.

Our last stop was in one of the towns that we had passed earlier. There was a huge souvenir shop there, which is where we were headed. Essentially if it it was of interest to tourists, it was there. They sold everything from the typical tourist fare like magnets and t shirts to more unusual things like CDs with Hawaiian music, Hawaiian art work and the Niʻihau shell leis. I finally found my Plumeria body lotion there at a fair price. They also had some Plumeria perfume so I got a small bottle of this. I was also drawn to the dresses and particularly to the traditional Hawaiian Muumuus. Unfortunately they did not have the colour and style I liked in my size so I passed. The seemed to make good business of our bus so. Virtually everybody came back with at least one shopping bag. On the way bag to the port, our driver pointed out a mountain range that supposedly contained a profile of Queen Victoria. I personally could not see it, but I took some photos anyway. If nothing else, it looked pretty. Shortly afterwards, we arrived back at the port. As we approached the port, we were asked to have our ID and Key To The World ready. When we got to the port entrance, port security got on the bus to check them. This almost felt like the border controls of my childhood.





As soon as we got back on the ship, we headed to Triton’s for lunch. We were asked if we were OK to share and were seated with a family with two young kids. It turned out that they were part of our cruise meet thread and the mother is actually one of my Facebook friends. This was the second cruise where we spent time chatting online, but we had never met in person. So it was nice that we finally had the chance to put faces to names. Lunch was very pleasant again. Graham had Citrus Fruit Cocktail with Toasted Almond and Fresh Mint followed by Angus Chuck Burger with Bacon, Cheddar, Lettuce, Tomatoes and Onions served with Coleslaw and French Fries and Key Lime Pie for dessert. I had Vegetable Quesadillas served with Guacamole, Sour Cream and Pico de Gallo; Chilled Mango Soup with Mint Foam; Glazed Meatloaf with Smashed Yukon Potatoes, Buttered Carrots, Green Beans and Gravy and Key Lime Pie for dessert.
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:31 AM   #218
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Originally we had planned to head for the beach in the afternoon, but more sun and heat did not seem appealing at this point. I decided to take the free shuttle to Hilo Hattie to see if they had a Muumuu similar to the one I had fallen in love with in the morning in my size. Graham decided to stay on the ship. While I was waiting for the Hilo Hattie shuttle, every other shuttle came past, some of them even more than once. Still, eventually the shuttle arrived and about 10 minutes later I arrived at Hilo Hattie. Near the entrance, they had some tables set up with various samples of local produce. Among them were a few varieties of Kauai Coffee. I tried one of them and really liked this. So I decided to get a bag for Graham. They also had a good selection of wines from the Tedeschi Winery in Maui for sale and about half the price that they charged at the winery itself. I was so tempted, but did not want to risk that they wine would be confiscated by the port authorities. They did have the same Muumuus that I had seen in the morning in my size and also did have them in different colours. I decided to try on a couple as they were also on the sales rack, but this is a style of dress that does not suit me so I passed. I did end up getting a silver necklace for my pearl pendant as the one that I already had did not fit. The concession where I bought the necklace was actually the same company that provided the Pick a Pearl on the ship. They also had a second concession at Hilo Hattie near the exit and they had a competition where you chose a key to see if it opened their treasure chest. Of course the key I had chosen did not, but I got to draw a money off voucher for an oyster and in the end the oyster only cost me $4. So I decided to go for this. I got twin pure white pearls. The lady on the counter was not impressed when I made it clear that I was not going to purchase a setting. I decided that I had enough of shopping and headed out towards the shuttle stop. The shuttle was already sitting there and although the line was quite long, I was lucky that everybody else was there as a couple or family and they had on spare seat. So I got to queue jump. Looks like the single rider line even works on a cruise. When I got back to our cabin, I realized that Graham had decided to have a nap. This was rather appealing so I decided to have a nap myself.

Once we were both awake again, we decided to head up to the Outlook Café for a drink. When I did my Mojito tasting, I asked about Caipirinhas and was told that they had one bottle of Cachaça on the ship and that this was located at the Outlook Café. As I love my Caipirinhas, this was too good to pass up. Graham fancied one of their alcoholic coffees, but all of them contained chocolate, which he is allergic to. When he let the bartender know about this, he came up with some custom drink that did not contain chocolate. We had no idea what it actually contained, but Graham liked it a lot. My Caipirinha was not quite such a resounding success. A Caipirinha is a very simple drink consisting of Cachaça, Lime, Brown Sugar and Ice. Our bartender made it with the same ingredients, but also added Club Soda. It was not that the drink was unpleasant. It was kind of a cross between a Mojito and a Caipirinha and very refreshing, but it was just not the real thing. Shortly after we had ordered our drinks, one of the staff from Cove Café came up to relieve the bartender at the Outlook Café so that he could go on his break. This bartender was from Brazil and he nearly had kittens when he realized what was going on. I have learned my lesson. This was my third attempt at having a Caipirinha on one of the ships and not one was made properly. In future I will stick to Mojitos, Margaritas or the Drink of the Day.

Once we finished our drinks, it was nearly time for us to set sail again and to leave Hawaii behind for the final time this cruise. We went outside to listen to the horn and watched as Kauai disappeared into the distance. Once the clouds had swallowed the land, I decided to head for the Rainforest Room for a bit. Graham wanted to give his skin a rest from the heat for another day so we arranged to meet up in the atrium before dinner. I relaxed on a heated tile lounger for about half an hour and then I got showered and changed in the spa. When I headed back to the cabin to drop off my things, Graham was not there. So I headed up to the atrium. There were not many people around, but Stitch was out and about with an escort. He had stolen one of the robes that are normally used for crowd control and he used this to try to tie his escort to the metalwork on the midship lift. It was hilarious to watch. Time just flew watching Stitch’s antics and soon it was time for dinner.

Dinner was at Parrot Cay that night. The menu that night was Mai e'ai, which is Hawaiian for Come and Eat. Again the menu was not very Hawaiian, but it was nice. Graham had
Volcano Ground Potato and Sausage Casserole Soup with a touch of Paprika, Peppercorn Crusted New York Strip with Sauteed Green Beans and Corn, whipped Yukon Gold Potatoes and Brandy Sauce. I had Blue Cheese Polenta Cakes with Caramelized Onions and Walnuts, Volcano Ground Potato and Sausage Casserole Soup with a touch of Paprika and Peppercorn Crusted New York Strip with Sauteed Green Beans and Corn, whipped Yukon Gold Potatoes and Brandy Sauce. We both passed on dessert. We still had 5 bottles of our wine package left so for the rest of the cruise we would have a bottle of wine most nights. As we liked the Moscato at Palo so much, we decided to try the Moscato that was part of the wine package. It was called Moscato Allegro and was from California. It was also absolutely delicious. We started a trend there. By the end of the cruise, our whole table was drinking this wine.

As we left port quite early, this evening marked the return of the photo opportunities. They had a very simple backdrop with various shades of grey out. So we had a series of photos taken against this.













Once we had our photos taken, we headed back to our cabin. I took a photo of our towel animal and then we got ready for bed and called it a day.



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Old 07-20-2012, 07:55 PM   #219
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Corrina

I've loved reading your trip report....you guys packed so much into your trip...we found that the days just flew by and before we knew it the cruise was almost over....

I'm sorry you weren't able to do your tubing excursion in Kauai but the excursion you did take is the one I wanted but unfortunately I got the Wailua River and the Waimea Canyon mixed up and I ended up booking the (very disappointing) Wailua River/Kilohana Plantation excursion. I hope you don't mind if I "borrow" some of your amazing pictures from the Canyon...it looked absolutely breathtaking....I'm still kicking myself for messing up these excursions...

I'm sorry we never really got to meet...I did see you at your group Palo lunch (didn't know at the time it was you) . We were there with Linda's group and found out that the private room was double booked...so we were all kinda standing around....hopefully we will cruise together someday soon....and you will have another jewellry making class because they were beautiful.
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:21 PM   #220
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Loved reliving Kauai through your eyes. We went the same route as you in a rental car but in the opposite direction.
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Old 07-21-2012, 09:24 AM   #221
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Corrina,

Thanks so much for the beautiful review and story telling, I enjoyed it a great deal. The pictures were beautiful. I had no idea that Jurassic Park was filmed there but the pictures showed it clearly.

Thanks again for all the information.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:45 AM   #222
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Another wonderful update, thank you so much! I continue to be surprised at all the different landscapes. The canyon was just magnificent. I didn't know Jurassic Park was filmed there either, very neat. Thank you for all the history and trivia you share, it's all very fascinating. Glad you were finally able to get the plumeria lotion you wanted.
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Old 07-21-2012, 05:50 PM   #223
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Corrina

I've loved reading your trip report....you guys packed so much into your trip...we found that the days just flew by and before we knew it the cruise was almost over....

I'm sorry you weren't able to do your tubing excursion in Kauai but the excursion you did take is the one I wanted but unfortunately I got the Wailua River and the Waimea Canyon mixed up and I ended up booking the (very disappointing) Wailua River/Kilohana Plantation excursion. I hope you don't mind if I "borrow" some of your amazing pictures from the Canyon...it looked absolutely breathtaking....I'm still kicking myself for messing up these excursions...

I'm sorry we never really got to meet...I did see you at your group Palo lunch (didn't know at the time it was you) . We were there with Linda's group and found out that the private room was double booked...so we were all kinda standing around....hopefully we will cruise together someday soon....and you will have another jewellry making class because they were beautiful.
Feel free to borrow any photos you want. I am sorry that your excursion was less than magical.

This was actually the second cruise that we both did. Our very first cruise was the five nighter on the Magic in 2008. It is a shame that we never got to meet properly. I am sure there will be future cruises were we will have that opportunity and if it is a longer cruise, the jewellery making kits will come.

I am still not over the mess up with the Palo Private Dining Room. Stephanie even had this printed.in her cruise documents and still Palo had no record of this. This is unforgivable.

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Loved reliving Kauai through your eyes. We went the same route as you in a rental car but in the opposite direction.
Did you still get to Waimea Canyon in the morning? I have heard that in the afternoon visibility is often badly affected by clouds.

Corinna
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:27 PM   #224
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Feel free to borrow any photos you want. I am sorry that your excursion was less than magical.

This was actually the second cruise that we both did. Our very first cruise was the five nighter on the Magic in 2008. It is a shame that we never got to meet properly. I am sure there will be future cruises were we will have that opportunity and if it is a longer cruise, the jewellery making kits will come.

I am still not over the mess up with the Palo Private Dining Room. Stephanie even had this printed.in her cruise documents and still Palo had no record of this. This is unforgivable.

Corinna
My goodness cruising together twice and we haven't formally met...that's terrible...yes, the mess up with Palo's was so not like Disney. It all worked out in the end...our group had fun in the main dining room...
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03/10 - WDW - POP Century - Elaine's Birthday Trip 12/09 - WDW - POP Century 09/09 - WDW - POP Century "Free Dining"

08/09 - WDW - Port Orleans French Quarter "Mom's Birthday Trip" 05/09 - WDW - POP Century 03/09 - WDW - POP Century
02/09-Disney Magic-Birthday Cruise
02/09-WDW-POP Century 09/08-WDW-POP Century 09/08-Disney Magic-Special 5 Night
08/08 - WDW - POP Century
12/07 - WDW - POR 09/07 - WDW - POP Century 05/07 - WDW - POP Century
Rang in 2007 onboard the Disney WONDER 12/06 - WDW - offsite (MH) 11/06 - WDW - Coronado Springs
09/06 - Disney Wonder - 11 Day Southern Caribbean 03/06 - Disney Magic - 7 Day Western Caribbean 03/06 - WDW - offsite (MH)
10/05 - WDW - offsite (MH)
05/05 - DL - Grand Californian 05/05 - Disney Magic - Maiden Panama Canal Crossing
12/04 - WDW - Port Orleans French Quarter 11/04 - Disney Wonder - 4 day 10/01 - WDW - Wilderness Lodge
09/00 - WDW - Port Orleans French Quarter 09/99 - WDW - Caribbean Beach 06/98 - WDW - offsite
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:02 PM   #225
dolphingirl47
I will post my goodies once I am back
I have always been too worried to use the pillowcase
 
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 27,963

Day 14

This was the first of 5 sea days and it was tempting to just stay in bed when Mickey called. Graham headed to his exercise class and I decided that I would get our laundry done. I figured that I would have the best chance to get a machine without a major wait that early in the morning. I thought I was in luck. I got to the laundry room on deck 2 and there were two empty washing machines, which is just what I needed. I swiped my Key To The World card at the machine that dispenses small boxes of detergent, but nothing came out. So I had to go up to Guest Services to sort this out. They checked that the card had been debited, which it had, and then got me a packet of detergent from the back. By the time I got back to the laundry room, the machines had been used by somebody else. Fortunately I had put all my laundry in my suitcase so it was easy to take it up to deck 7, where the biggest laundry room is. There were two washing machines waiting for me. I needed another packet of detergent for the second load and fortunately the detergent machine in this laundry room worked.

Once the machines had been switched on, I had about 30 minutes to kill. There is not a great deal of space in the laundry room and there were plenty of people around. I decided to put the time to good use and do a Fish Extender run for those doing all groups. I had made cuff links with red and black Mickey heads for the men and hair pins with Plumeria flowers for the women and girls. This was actually kind of a lucky accident. I had ordered Fimo Plumeria flowers for bag charms that I made for all the women participating in the Fish Extender exchange. Some of them did not have a hole in them. I was close to throw them out, but I really liked the colours of them. When I bought the supplies for the glass tile pendants, I spotted some hair pin blanks and the idea was born. I had to get a few more flowers to have enough for everybody, but I was really pleased with the result. For the boys I had run out of ideas for homemade gifts. As I had only two of them, I got them a Union Jack Vinylmation each.















When I had finished my Fish Extender run, my washing machines were nearly finished. So I waited until the machines were done. I was quite surprised that there were two dryers were available. I put my clothes in the dryers and then headed up to deck 9. By then I was ready for something to eat and drink. I got myself a Mocha and some of the Chocolate Brioche at the Cove Cafe. When I had finished my food, I took the rest of the coffee out. Graham was in the pool. So I say down on the wooden surround of the pool and dangled my feet in the water. It was a beautiful morning and this was a nice way of spending half an hour or so. Once I had finished my coffee, I decided I had better check on my laundry. The dryers still had about 10 minutes to run. I stayed put. I learned at that point that laundry room conversations can be highly educational. There was one woman there that was very vocal about what a terrible time she was having and how she hated everything about this cruise. Already at that stage I kind of wondered if she was doing the same cruise that I was doing. Still, I can appreciate that cruising is not for everybody and considering that we had a couple of rougher days getting to Hawaii, I can understand that some people may have struggled and that this may have impacted their enjoyment of the cruise. I was actually surprised that there were quite a few first time cruisers on board. I thought that was very brave considering the length of the cruise and the itinerary. However, she then proceeded to tell everybody how awful the ports had been. At that stage my mind was made up. We were definitely in a parallel universe. Some of the other people who were around, tried to engage with her. I decided that sometimes it is better not to say anything. I was glad when my dryers were finished. I know that they replaced all the machines during the last dry dock and they seem to have done a great job with this. I had assumed that I would need a second dryer cycle, but everything but two heavier things were completely dry and those two were not far off. I put all the dry things in the suitcase and put the damp things over my arm and headed back to the cabin. I hung up the damp things in the bathroom, sorted the dry stuff and put most of it away. I left a laundry bag with my second evening gown that needed cleaning and then I headed up to the atrium.

This day turned out to be a bit of a character fest. I suppose I had withdrawal symptoms as there was not a great deal by way of character interaction during the port days. The first event was the Princess Gathering. This normally pulls serious crowds so I kept an open mind. If the line had been too long, I would have passed on this. I am not overly keen on the princesses at the best of times and actually feel a little uncomfortable around some of them. However, the line was actually quite short and I had a photo CD to fill, so I jumped in. It was a lot of fun watching the kids, some of which had never met the princesses before. Some of those interactions just made my heart melt. Very soon it was my turn. The princesses that were out that morning were Snow White, Ariel, Cinderella, Belle and Tiana. You only got in line once and then you just were passed from princess to princess. Tiana was my favourite princess of the lot. Normally I like Ariel, too, but she was a little intimidating this cruise. I had a nice interaction with Belle, too.





















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