The final day at sea entry is a set of odds and ends of bits and pieces of observations, ideas, and notes that didn’t really fall into any particular area, so it ends up in a single posting here…
1) Small Ship Simplification — The smaller ship concept has won us over, and though everything is a bit smaller than we are used to, overall any compromises are minimal and the reduction in passengers makes nearly all aspects of cruising that much more enjoyable (smaller lines in the buffet, less crowding, easy tendering to ports, etc.)
2) Sunburn Submission — We brought two tubes of SPF70 sunblock, and with multiple re-applications, and careful due diligence, it was a lost battle. The burns were immediate, intense, and lasting with a substantial peel following. We’re both thankful for the 5 days at sea between Tahiti and Hawaii to be able to let the healing begin before the next sun-based onslaught.
3) Princess Dining Menu Rotation — I recognize that we have sailed with Princess twice in the last 6 months, but I think that it is time for an update in the menus and available options. Even if it is a minor update, with a change of only one to two dishes a day, it would be welcome as the repetition is now to the point where I can almost identify the menu for the day before we sit down to eat.
4) Blue Books Rock — We know we have recommended these books before. We have raved about the fact that it seems they simply cannot go wrong, and we continue to believe without a shadow of a doubt that if you are EVER on the Hawaiian islands, you will be making the best possible investment in your travel enjoyment with the purchase of a blue book for the island or islands you may be visiting. Between excellent dining recommendations, secret visiting spots that no one would ever find for you otherwise, it is a constant companion on any Hawaii trip for us.
5) Seeing the Volcano in the Dark — For some strange reason, the Captain seemed to believe that there would be a benefit to the passengers with the transit of the Royal Princess to the South of the Big Island to specifically identify that we would be passing the Volcano between 7:30 and 8:15pm. So much so, that the Dining room MOVED the first sitting dinner to an earlier time to allow all passengers to engage with “The Volcano” between 7:30pm and 8:15pm as the ship passed by this location. At 7:30pm, and again at 7:45pm, 8:00pm, and 8:15pm a quick look out of the window showed nothing but pitch black darkness. Did we miss something? Apparently, the visible volcano was a very short duration, tiny amber colored speck, deep in the distance. Better than nothing, we guess.