Sailing takes me away to where I've always heard it could be...Ship couldn't leave...


Balcony view of our cabin.
With a party to attend at 9:30 am today, I wanted to be able to stay and enjoy ourselves without leaving early to upload today's post.  Thus, I'm rushing a bit.  We'll check back later for error corrections.

Consistency means a lot to us and to our much appreciated worldwide readership which last night grew well over 300,000 reads.  Perhaps, that's nothing compared to millions on other sites but, for us who aren't necessarily bogged down by these numbers, its astounding.  Thanks to all of our readers for the dedication to following along with us.


As for today's heading, this song has been running through my brain over the past few days.  The next few lines in this 1980's song continue with:

"Just a dream and the wind to carry me
And soon I will be free


Well it's not far back to sanity, at least it's not for me
And if the wind is right you can sail away and find serenity
Oh, the canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see
Believe me"



Our cabin, small but well equipped.
Ah, these words not only bring back memories from another era of my life when I was single at the time, owned a 26' Chris Craft cabin cruiser that I kept in a slip on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota, had two kids, owned a house and a business and life was a combination of raging responsibility and occasional carefree fun at age 32.

This song also holds true today for the joy and freedom we experience in our daily lives. We've already met and made friends with a lovely couple from Australia, Judy and Mal, whom we'll surely see again. And last night, at dinner we had an excellent time with Michael, Allison, Jenny, Jenny, (two named Jenny) and Ken, again all from Australia.

View of Honolulu.
The ship is supposed to be on it's way to Australia and the South Pacific where we'll live for the next almost two years.  However, last night there was an announcement regarding mechanical problems.  Here we are at 9 am Monday and we still haven't sailed away.  We're still in the harbor in Honolulu.

This morning the captain announced we'll be ready to sail by noon, 13 hours later than last night's schedule 11 pm departure.  We'd never experienced a late departure on a cruise ship.  Hopefully, its not a sign of things to come.


Tugboat.
Boarding the ship was painless.  We arrived at noon and within 30 minutes, our bags were whisked away (we kept our carry on with us on the cart).  By 4 pm when the bags hadn't yet arrived we grabbed our laptops and headed to the bar. 

Before it was time to dress for dinner, the bags were awaiting us outside of our cabin door.  I'd been wearing the same clothes for two full days and was anxious to unpack and freshen up to get ready for the evening. 


Lobby bar.
Two things are different on this cruise than on the 10 cruises over the past 27 months.  For one, this time Tom purchased the drink package for the first time at $57 per day, $1026 for the entire 18 night cruise. 

At the ship's prices of $10 to $12 a drink (in a small glass), economically it made more sense.  Tom is generally a lightweight drinker but why shouldn't he splurge a little and have all he wants? Besides that's part of the fun of the  venue; cruising, schmoozing and whooping!

Honolulu.
Luckily, this cruise ship doesn't require both of us to purchase a package or he wouldn't have done it.  That rule prohibits the "sharing" of one package. All I drink is water, iced tea, plain coffee and hot tea, definitely not worth a "package" when all of these are included in the fare.

What precipitated Tom's decision to purchase the drink package was the second item that's different on this cruise...we were able to purchase an unlimited wifi package for the entire cruise, suitable for two devices concurrently, for a grand total of $299! 

A barge and tugboat from our balcony.
A package such as this had never been available on any past cruises when we often paid well over $1000 for metered wifi, jumping off and on to avoid ringing up a bigger bill.  We'd sign up for two $400 packages, using every last minute.  Writing and posting alone would eat up most of that.

You may ask, why would we be online when we're on a cruise?  When we're not eating, participating in activities, going on tours, hanging out with others, attending parties, seminars and movies or reading books, our lives continue as always. 

A view looking up.
A cruise for us is not a vacation/holiday.  Its a continuation of our worldwide travels and daily lives that happens to be on a ship which we use for transportation when possible.  The tasks we continue to document and the searching for future locations continues regardless of where we are, on a ship or on land.  Tom enjoys Facebook, email and Ancestry.com.  I enjoy researching our travels and my other interests.

Plus, we particularly enjoy staying in touch with friends and family wherever we may be.  Yesterday while we were relaxing in the main lobby bar, I received a Skype call from my dear friend Chere.  I admit the signal was bad and will be worse out to sea but we had an opportunity for a few minute conversation to be resumed once we're on land.

Luckily, we can't be pressured into buying art aboard ship.  We don't own a wall!
As for the ship, Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Sea, is old and a bit worn in spots.  A toilet overflowed before we boarded and there was an awful stench in the hallway outside our door.  We addressed it with the maintenance department.  They explained that they've made the repairs but, the smell remains until the carpets are all cleaned this morning.  We shall see how that goes.

Otherwise, its not unlike the other ships on which we've sailed on in the past.  The cabin is small as always but has a full sized sofa and coffee table which makes us happy that we don't have to sit on the bed when we stop in to relax, unwind or watch the news. 

A short time later, the band began to play.



More on the ship later as we continue on and become more familiar.  We're content, excited to spend these 18 days and night aboard ship, see the sites and ports of call along the way and to interact with the many people we'll meet during the days and at dinner. 

The view from the main lobby area.
So far we haven't met any Americans.  This cruise ends in Sydney.  In speaking with many Australians, they arrived in Honolulu early for the beginning of their vacation, then taking the cruise back home.

Tom, shortly after signing up for unlimited drinks.  Check out his eyes!
Tomorrow, we'll be back with a reminder of the upcoming itinerary, more ship photos and perhaps people photos.

We hope our US friends and readers have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day especially in remembering the powerful message on this important holiday.

_____________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, May 25, 2014:

Gina, the property manager, brought us this gorgeous rose. For more details on our post from one year ago, please click here.



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