Another Five Sea Days: Hawaii to Mexico

Trip Start Oct 14, 2013
Trip End Apr 13, 2014

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Where I stayed
Holland America MS Veendam

Flag of Mexico  , Baja California,
Sunday, December 1, 2013

November 27 to December 1

We had a fantastic five days in Hawaii visiting five ports on four different islands. But then it was time to sail back to the mainland. During our sail to Hawaii the Pacific Ocean was quite calm but the way back was another story. The captain gave us an update every noon hour and we heard 'strong breeze' to 'fresh gale' most days. Along with the wind came high waves. But Greg and I were kept very busy with the activities on board and did not mind the rocking of the boat too much. We attended more presentations from Kainoa about Hawaii, cowboys, leis, and pineapples. We attended other presentations given by guest lecturers about the history of Hawaii and later in the cruise, the history of Mexico.

We also went on a tour of the galley. The Veendam chefs prepare food for about 1200 passengers and 540 crew members every day. Every week they use 10,200 lbs of meat and seafood, 13,500 eggs, and 200 gallons of ice cream, just to name a few of the many grocery items. Our tour took us through the galley just before lunch time and it was very quiet, not anything like the environment you see on the Food Network Master Chefs.

I also went on the Florist's Tour. The florist took us around the ship to the various large flower arrangements, identifying the flowers he used and explaining how he arranged them. He told us that in every port he receives two crates of flowers. He never knows in advance what the crates will contain. Sometimes, like our cruise with the long sea days, it is a challenge for him to have fresh arrangements for the duration of the cruise. He also puts 450 small vases of flowers around the ship. He does a great job.

Greg and I also attended more culinary presentations. The most memorable was the presentation done by Kainoa of spam musubi. It is sort of like sushi made with spam and rice. He said that the people of Guam eat the most spam per person, and that Hawaiian's are next. He also said that he thought everyone ate a lot of spam until he lived in New York and his mother sent him a care package containing a couple cans of spam. His roommate asked him if his family was poor! Greg and I tried the musubi. I don’t think we will be making it anytime soon.

On our last sea day there was a 'Float Your Boat' competition. Teams entered the competition earlier in the cruise and made a boat from materials they found on the ship. The imagination and creativity was incredible, and it was fun trying to identify the various components of the boats. There were pieces of leis, toothpicks, bar coasters, menus, corks, garbage bags, and other assorted bits that we recognized. The winners were a team from Canada, yahoo!

Every night we went to the show room for the evening entertainment. There were singers, dancers, a comedian, a pianist, and violinists. Thankfully I avoided becoming part of the entertainment.

Next stop, Ensenada.
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Susan on

Hi Greg and Karen

Your vivid descriptions and photos of Hawaii sure brought back many pleasant memories for me! It is certainly an incredible place with so many interesting things too see and do and I can tell you are having a great time!

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