Final, Final Blog(I Promise)

Apr. 29. Saturday, 11:30am. Today is El’s birthday. A good day to start the final blog. We will both be doing this blog. I will start off by saying, “life is much easier on the Pacific Princess”! (Other than the SHOWER!!!). Many people have asked us if we were anxious to get back home. For me, I could have stayed longer but was happy to return. Either way was ok with me.
5:00pm. BeforeI forget, we went out for a birthday lunch with friends today. The restaurant was on an island on the intracoastal waterway (in Florida, we’re not back to NH yet). A small twelve passenger ferryboat took us to the island (about a fifteen minute ride). After lunch, on the way back, a large dolphin followed us, jumping our wake for about a mile. His nose, sometimes, was no more than a couple of feet from the back our boat. He (Captain said his name was “Bully”) must have jumped dozens of times, sometimes almost into the boat. Unbelievable!!! What a thrill!!!
Back to the blog. Another question was, “what was the storm like?”. Pretty hairy. Quite a lot of seasickness. We were told to secure anything that could fall or break in our room. Some things still fell during the night. Crash!!! Some people rolled out of their beds onto the floor. Huge swells were traveling one way and angry waves were going in the opposite direction. The wind was blowing the tops off the whitecaps. You could hear the wind howling through the balcony slider door. I could hear creaking and groaning all night. I finally had to wake Ellen up to stop it!! Sorry!! My bad!! I couldn’t help myself!! Personally, I thought the whole affair was kind of fun. I didn’t worry or feel scared at any time. Kind of like a rollercoaster ride, if you like that sort of thing! I have been more anxious, at times, crossing the “Broads” on Winnipesaukee.
Apr. 30. Sunday, 4:00pm. Another question was, “would you do it again?”. If it wasn’t for the money and if some of the ports were different. Yes!! Some places were too crowded and not clean. A lot of trash and bad air quality. Another question frequently asked was, “what were your favorite ports and what were your favorite excursions.” My favorite excursions were: #1. Desert dune ride and Bedouin camp in Dubai: #2. Panama Canal transit (not really an excursion); #3. Lost city of Petra; #4. Oracle in Bermuda; #5. Phuket boat ride (James Bond Island, village and beautiful mosque on stilts); #6. Blue City in Morocco. My favorite ports were Bora Bora, Hamilton, Bay of Islands, Rhodes, Sibenik and Hvar, Croatia. Ellen’ favorite excursions were: #1. Dune ride/camel ride in Dubai; #2. Petra; #3. Algarve Coast cliffs in Portugal; #4. Sidney Bridge climb; #5. Boat ride in the Bay of Islands in NZ; #6. Phuket,Thailand boat ride. Her favorite ports were Bora Bora, Sibenik Croatia, Chania Crete(Greece), Bay of Islands, Portimao Portugal, Sydney, and Hamilton.
May 1. Monday, 3:20pm. We would like to finish up with some reflections about the cruise.
Most surprising: (J) English road signs and stores in every country.
(E) We were able to play and teach PBall when they told us there was
no place to play. I learned to appreciate and love History.
Most shocking: (J & E) Air quality in India and many countries so trashy (especially
plastic bags. Many dirty waterways.
Most educational: (J) Enrichment lectures and, of course, all the places we saw.
(E) Lectures on alternatives to western
Most moving: (J) Lectures on Vietnam and harmony choir (by passengers)
(E) Choir; sunrises/sunsets; full moons over the ocean; appreciation by
our PBall students.
Most frustrating: (J) That damn SHOWER CURTAIN.
(E) All the time changes; haggling for a better deal when you buy
something in town (no prices on items).
Most relaxing: (J) Playing the ukulele; happy hour on our balcony
(E) Mirror like seas; all the many shades of color of the oceans and seas.
Most interesting: (J) The many stories from tablemates at dinner.
(E) Seeing all the varied cultures and traditions of other people.
Most disappointing: (J) The television system in our room.
(E) Not being able to hear family and friends’ voices more frequently.
Best of all: (J) FOOD (especially smoked salmon); our bed; tablemates; pickleball; and,
of course, Ellen!
(E) Making new friends (passengers and crew); the fabulous entertainment;
enrichment lectures; and, of course, John!
Well, that’s about it. Signing off! The end!!! Cruisers, John and Ellen
Photo is of “Bully” the dolphin.