Although our time in Hawaii was over, Tom and I still had six days left in our cruise, in order to return to Vancouver. The voyage home was just as interesting as our time sailing to Hawaii. We still had concerts to go to, lectures on interesting subjects, good food, and books to read.
Tom and I bought internet minutes on the cruise ship so we could be in touch while we were at sea. We weren’t sure what the cell phone coverage would be like in Hawaii, or if it was even included in our plan. We bought 1,000 minutes, which was pricey but helpful. On the voyage to Hawaii we rationed the minutes and didn’t do any more online than absolutely necessary. Consequently we still had 800 minutes left for the return voyage. We were also able to use our cell phone hotspots while docked in Hawaii. The internet on the ship was slow but reliable and we did our best to use up all our minutes.
The voyage home was rougher than our trip to Hawaii had been. We ran into several squalls resulting in some good sized swells. Nothing dangerous, but it made walking around the ship more interesting. The heavy wind also made the ship lean. This was especially noticeable when we were walking on the Promenade Deck. We would walk along the ship, turn for the front and walk uphill. Then we would walk along the ship again, turn for the back and walk downhill.
The Promenade Deck was closed a couple of days because the wind, rain, and swells were so bad. The Captain didn’t want anyone falling overboard! One of these days I decided to go to the Fitness Center and walk on the treadmill. The Fitness Center was on the 9th floor at the front of the ship. So the room was going up and down and back and forth with the waves, and tilting from the wind. Staying on the treadmill was a challenge that required me holding on with both hands – something I never do on a treadmill!
The pools and hot-tubs were occasionally shut during the worst of the weather. The crew put nets over them. The pools were specially designed to keep from sloshing. They had a wide shelf around them, just at the height of the water. When the water sloshed from the ship movement, the shelf captured the brunt on the waves and kept the water contained in the pool.
The weather also cooled on the voyage back to Vancouver. When we left it was still summer temperatures and Hawaii was hot. But as the weather got wetter, it also got colder. By our last day onboard, I had to wear a jacket to walk on the Promenade Deck. People were still sitting outside – when it wasn’t raining – but they tended to be layered under blankets.
The magician onboard had two Pomeranians that helped him with his act. Every day I would see them at least once walking around the deck. They never had leashes on but didn’t go close to the edge of the ship. They used a tiny little raised bed of grass on the Promenade Deck for their toilet. When both of them stood on it, the grassy area was full.
Hawaii is three time zones behind Vancouver (six hours behind Eastern Time). Hawaii also does not observe Daylight Savings Time. In order to get us ready for the time difference, the Captain ordered the ship time to be changed every other day. By the time we got to Hawaii we had already had time to get used to the time change. On the way back to Vancouver we did the same thing.
I have a couple more things to say about life aboard ship. Two more posts on life aboard the ship and the voyage home. Stay tuned and keep reading!