26 Jan 2016
Yesterday afternoon it was good-bye San Francisco. In four days it will be good morning Honolulu.
Allyn wrote a couple friends who wanted to know what we do for so long on a ship. Here is the email she sent:
So today is a "Sea Day” and world travelers LOVE sea days.
At 9Am on sea days I am signed up for Pilates, meaning I wake up at 8AM!! Yippee!!
Today I am missing a 10:30 lecture on the Middle East, cuz I am writing you and organizing. But no worries, the lecture can be seen on the TV this afternoon.
Next, when Apple upgraded, it changed from iPhoto to Photo, a program I do NOT like. There is a 3 week class specifically to discuss the difference between the two programs that I will sign up for at 1:30.
Then at 2:15, there is a needlepoint class. You might think that is weird, however..long story coming..Janet loves her Rhodesian Ridgeback, a big beautiful dog. I love him too. SO last year, I took a pic of the dog, edited it and sent it to a company in order to have a silk screen made of the pic. Then I got a needlepoint company to send me the colored threads for the silk screen. I brought the project on the ship because my goal is to complete the present in 3 months.
Next, at 3:30, I am taking a memoir class, but the real reason I am taking the class is because I am writing a book about being a woman in a man’s world. I have the outline but I need help and I’m friends with the teacher so that will give me the added umph to get a writing schedule going!
Tonight is Formal Night, meaning everyone gets all dressed up Dinner is at 8:30 and then there is a singing troupe that is onboard with some fabulous singers and dancers. They are putting on a show at 10:30PM all about the Life and Times of Billy Joel so you can see, I’m pretty busy!
25 Jan 2016
For months we had debated cancelling our cruise this year because we are building our new home, but our flooded condo forced us to look for a new home for several months. So off we went.
Crystal brought the ship to San Francisco a day early and invited the full World Cruise passengers to a private day on board and a gala party in the evening.
They did it right and it was a blast seeing old friends and making new ones.
They actually had a one-off performance by San Francisco Opera headliners for the entertainment.
Allyn sported her new Valentino’s.
They seem ready to welcome the 700 other arriving passengers tomorrow.
16 Jan 2016
Cuba is the hot location. I haven’t been there yet, but feel a travel blog is lacking something with no mention of it.
My good friend Randi Simenhoff is not only an ultimate Cuba guru, but now she regularly is escorting people and groups there with customized itineraries.
Most readers of this blog know that often I cover Jewish sights. I was so naïve about Cuba that I didn’t even know they have a Jewish community there. It turns out they have been there for centuries, but most left during the Revolution. There still are about 1,500 Jewish Cuban residents, mostly in Havana. Randi is very close to many of them, as she started going there on missions to help those folks.
Check out this great article covering their major attractions. If you are interested in going there, give her a call. Mention my name please. I’m not sure what it will get you, but it can’t hurt.
19 Dec 2015
The background - Everybody knows that for great food, especially sushi and seafood, Roy’s is a must. Almost immediately upon arriving at our hotel I arranged with the concierge for two weeks of preplanned dinner reservations.
Although I planned on 7:00 PM for Roy’s, they only had availability at 7:45. No biggie at all; except I did not do my normal double check and we showed up at 7:00.
They said I was early; I said I thought they were wrong etc and the hostess said just wait a couple minutes and they would seat us right away. Very cool.
Then, out of curiosity, I looked up the original email and noticed the error was mine.
The drama – Against the counsel of my wife (also my attorney), I immediately go to the front desk and tell them I was 100% wrong, they were right and they should know that. However, of course, do not use that against me. She totally agreed, but violated her commitment, and then admitted it. That made me both sad and feel foolish. Worse yet, I had to listen to a short lecture from you know who.
The conclusion – Immediately I sought out the manager, who totally and genuinely agreed with me, also immediately gave us a prime window table, and bought our first round of drinks. We were hovered over all night and dinner was perfect.
18 Dec 2015
Allyn and I are back in Waikiki having a lovely few days prior to family arrival.
It is important to stake out our cabana, get good beach seats for the fam, and make proper dinner reservations.
Two dinners already deserve special mention. Ocean House is the only restaurant we book twice during the trip. I mean if you are heading to Waikiki, nothing beats a lovely meal right on the beach. Plus the food and service are tops.
Be sure to say hi to Ben Dowling, the manager. He always seems to be there taking good care of the guests.
Noi Thai Cuisine just opened here mid–October to great reviews. I just had to try it. The only issue was what to eat because so many items were reviewed as “the best ever” from different sources. It was the best Thai meal experience that we have ever had outside of Bangkok. They even served a wonderful Amuse Bouche and it’s "just" a Thai restaurant.