Sunday, October 26, 2008

Back in San Diego

We are back in San Diego, waiting to disembark from the ship. The seas were incredibly calm on our return trip from Hawaii, which was apparently a large difference from the cruise that preceded ours, where they had 25 foot swells to deal with. These large ships have stabilizers that can be deployed like airplane wings from under the ship, and that helps, but there isn't much you can do with swells that big. Luckily, we didn't have to deal with that. The last couple of days have been filled with eating and sleeping and overall relaxation. We haven't eaten as much in the dining room this cruise as we have in others. We found that the main buffet area has similar food to the dining room most nights, without requiring us to get dressed up. They also have a Mongolian grill area where you pick the raw ingredients and cook it for you, and a pizza bar, both of which were nice. We did eat at the specialty restaurants on the ship a couple of times: Portofino and Chops Grille. They were both very good, and had top notch food.

Here is a night shot of Honolulu, as we depart for Kona:

On our way out from Kona, the dolphins gave us a show, jumping around and basically causing ruckus on the ship. At around 11 PM on Monday, the ship swung by the south end of the island and we were able to see the lava flowing from the top of a volcano down into the ocean. It was very cool, but hard to photograph.

Our golfing skills came into use a couple of days ago. One of the activities was a "long drive" challenge, using the simulator on the ship. Julie and I both won our respective gender divisions, and came away with some sweet white elephant "gifts". Luckily, Robert wasn't there to write my name down.

Here's a picture of a cake decorating demonstration, which was quite entertaining:

Today we are just waiting to disembark, and then we will spend time in San Diego, leaving for Minneapolis very early tomorrow morning. We should be back in Stevens Point around 7-7:30 tomorrow.

It's going to be hard to leave the ship. Here's a shot of the "Centrum", which is the 8 story lobby in the middle of the ship.

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