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Sunday, December 11, 2016

MY GRAND OCEAN DESTINY: Day #1: Honolulu Departure

It was a simple cab ride to Pier 2, and check-in was a breeze.  I brought my walking cane, and, noticing my "handicap," a staff member asked me to go to a line just for people like us.  It was very short.   I got an 11th level cabin with a balcony, and, considering what I'm paying, I'm almost flabbergasted.  The cane cost me $2 in Bangkok, so I have every to believe I'll lose it along the way.

I quickly signed up for the specialty restaurants:
  • Tonight:        Cagney's Steakhouse
  • Monday:       La Cucina
  • Wednesday:  Jefferson Bistro
  • Thursday:     Luau on Kauai
  • Friday:          Teppanyaki
This is like 15 Craigside.  They serve three meals/day, and if you miss any one, you've wasted money.  These specialty restaurants have a surcharge, so this is like missing a free meal.

There was the obligatory lifeboat drill, where your eardrums are shattered by the shrill of the seven shorts and one long.  Interestingly enough, you did not need to bring your life vest from your room.  As someone noticed that I had a cane, they excused me early.  I quickly went to stand in line to sign up for the land tours, for I heard they quickly filled up.  I was the first one there, and, already, two tours I wanted were not available.  However, I got just about what I would want anyway:
  • Sunday:         Haleakala Crater
  • Monday:        I
  • Tuesday:        Volcano and Rainbow Falls
  • Wednesday:
  • Thursday:       Discover Kauai with Luau
  • Friday:            Director's Cut, where they take you to movie film sites
They don't allow you to bring your own alcohol drinks on board.  They X-ray your checked luggage and in-person routine is even more careful that at airports.  If they see anything like a wine or whiskey bottle, they hold your bag and call you in to open it.  After some delay, I finally got my suitcase.  I had placed here and there those small bottles of liquor, my thinking being that they wouldn't bother with the small stuff.  It worked!  I can now have seven different drinks at sunset.  Just before departure a Hibiki whiskey on rocks with Honolulu in the background:


Ah, the internet.  There are various plans and I signed up for their unlimited plan at $30/day.  Expensive, but all you out there, I'm doing this for you so you can vicariously enjoy My GOD, which if you've forgotten, stands for My Grand Ocean Destiny.

I signed up for their wine option.  There are three levels:  about $25/bottle, a mid-level range and $40/bottle.  You had to purchase four bottles in each range.  Mine were a Robert Mondavi Chardonnay, Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, Norwegian Cruise line Heritage and a Coppola Red.  Essentially, you pick the bottle at any bar or restaurant, and if you can't finish it, store it in your room refrigerator, or a "cellar."  I brought the Chardonnay and Meritage for storage so I could also have them at sunset.

I took the Meritage to Cagney's Steak House, where I had a Caesar Salad with Parmesan Truffles Fries, followed by a 20 ounce Porterhouse with sautéed spinach:


The show for the evening was a Frankie Valli impersonation and standup comics, and by the time I could come all the seats looked taken, so rather than wait for the Broadway Cabaret performance, I nearly completed this posting.  Tomorrow, Haleakala.

I should mention that I packed in around three minutes at home, so forgot to bring a jacket.  It is really cold up on that mountain.  So, here were my purchases on the ship.  You know things are expensive on board.  The sweater turned out not to be so bad, but that Aloha Shirt!!!  I washed them in my room.  You can only barely see the hairdryer to the right of the sweater, but, if not for that device, this outer wear would not have been available this morning.


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