Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hawaii day 6

We got up early, met our table mates then we all scattered to find our fav

breakfast foods in the maze of food stands here,there and everywhere with

wall to wall people and then we gathered with our various platters. Later i

went to a talk by the cruise director Stu who answered audience questions

mostly re life onboard a cruiseship. It was quite interesting; i liked the guy

and i learned all kinds of random misc. including the facts of the Jones Act

which actually originated in Vancouver. Part of the Jones act involves the

reason of why Alaska cruises that originate in the U.S. always stop in

Canada and ditto a cruise starting in Canada usually or always ends in the

U.S. or at least visits a port there. Another part of the Jones Act is a law

which results in the people who miss the boat when they get off at a port

of call are fined $300 each. It's mainly because it's costly for the dock

agent who who is responsible to find out what happened to those who

didn't return to the ship in case an accident or criminal activity etc. has

occured. He knows the names and faces and has the picture of them and

knows what they were wearing when they left the ship and he usually begins

his search by first checking to see if any of the local tour buses are still out

and if not he then looks in the bars where i guess they could be passed out in a

corner and if not he calls the hospitals and jails and anything else he can think

 of.When he finds them he helps with the arrangements to get them to the next

port to rejoin their ship and this is on their own dime. This of course applies

to only those who didn't book a tour with the cruiseline; those who did will have

up to 3 hours to return before the ship will leave without them. He told of a

family of 6 who left the ship in an Alaskan port and made their own tour

arrangements on the dock. They boarded a bus that held mostly passengers

from a different ship. That ship wasn't departing for several hours after theirs

and needless to say that family was very very late returning and their ship long

gone by the time they got back. Each one was stung for the fine inc. the

children then flown to the next port to rejoin their cruise. Stu answered

questions re the leftover food and i had often wondered about that because it's

astounding.He talked about staff accommodations, which i also found

particularily interesting and salaries, tipping etc. as well as personal stuff and

his life. He dropped a few names who had cruised the Spirit in the last year;

Kid Rock, Lyle Lovett, and other celebrities inc. members of the Grand Old Opry.

As of today we have travelled over 2500 miles and i forget if that's

nautical or land miles or which is more or less and tomorrow we'll be

tendering to Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, one of my fav islands. Since

we've been several times in the past and have been to Volcano, the

botanical gardens and coffee and macadamia nut farms there's no need for us

to spend money on such a tour; we've seen it all before self guided by rental

car. So, this time we'll take a late tender and visit Kona town at our leisure.

Tendering happens when the ship drops it's anchor offshore for some reason

such as the dock is too small or not deep enough or maybe so busy there's no

space so they stay out in the bay and use the lifeboats to shuttle people ashore

and back. While it is cool to see your ship from the shore it's usually a lengthy

time consuming process when you have to tender although those with tours made

through their cruiseline have priority getting on the earliest tenders.

 An aside about The Big Island; i think they keep up with the use of the Hawaiian

Warrior signs on the roadside better than the others and a full circle drive of

the island is possible in one day with stops at all or most of the points of interest

by watching for the signs of a pointing warrior. However two days would be better

to be able to spend more time at these stops and three days for sure if you're into

checking out the hotels and the fancy grounds and attractions at some of them.

I'd recomend highly a visit to the Hilton Waikola and a swim with the dolphins.

Disney is also on the Big Island now too.Golfers will of course need a few weeks.
Won at Bingo again;shared $750. With another person i and think some people

are pissed, like as if once you win you shouldn't play anymore or maybe you

can play to contribute to the pot but please don't win? I saw the looks and heard

the whispering but can't help it, paid the $20. for a random card just like everyone

else. I will be playing for the Snowball every night, it's now at $4800. and growing

by $400. until it's won. If i get lucky, no it's not fixed , i've never won a ship bingo

before this cruise.
Slots were so tight didn't play 'em much today but i'll try to be there on the

occasion when they loosen up (I am convinced it's done by manipulating the

electricity affecting all the machines on any given panel of their choice) i've

observed this phenomena at casinos everywhere; when one machine is winning

the others nearby will often loosen up too, but of course that section might be

off the grid just before or after yours. My tip is to play as fast as you can when

you hear a machine winning nearby because it might last for just mere seconds

before they cut the power back to normal.

Our table mates Jake and Myrt were chosen to play a game onstage; something

like the old newly wed game from tv land. It was fun and they were funny,

married for 55 years. They played a couple who were married for 25 years and

another couple married just 6 days. They were all good sports and each won a bottle

of champagne. A really good comedian had us all in stitches juggling, knife throwing,

strait jacket escape artist, lots of quick wit and funny one liners, he had a super fast

wit and was very funny.

 Dinner tonight was mushroom soup, fruit plates, pasta dishes and more. I had

oysters Rockerfeller(wish I didn't) and my main course was roast turkey

while Bob was content with shrimp and fries. Chocolate extravaganza was going

on later, but because of crowds and long lineups, we went to the show

instead hence no fabulous chocolate cakes,cookies,bars, pies etc. to show.

Hot chocolate and leftover chocolatey deserts at midnight pretty much finished me off.

Clocks go ahead again today, weather is really starting to look and feel like Hawaii, yayy!

Looking forward to seeing Kona once again.

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