In Search of Aloha Part II

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I remember the first day of our cruise on March 31st. We boarded the Oosterdam with Susan’s 87-year-old father, Howard, and his wife, Nancy. We were filled with excitement and anticipation. San Diego harbor was overcast with sporadic but mild rain; temperature was in the middle sixties. Since we had cruised before, we were given the opportunity to have lunch in the luxurious Vista Dining Room, rather than having to deal with the crowds competing for food at the buffet on the Lido deck.

I had shrimp cocktail, a salad, and a fresh, fish entrée. I topped it off with my first exotic drink of the day, some kind of Cuban concoction with rum, Sprite, and fresh mint leaves. After lunch, we left to get settled into our cabin. Of course we participated in the life boat drill and then reconvened in my in-laws deluxe veranda to have some wine and cheese for a sail away party. All of us joked, laughed, and made a toast to a wonderful cruise with hopefully calm seas.

I also recall that unfortunately, we had choppy seas for the first two nights. The second night was kind of scary with the ship rocking back and forth so bad you couldn’t walk straight down the halls without stumbling around like a bunch of drunken sailors. I didn’t get sea sick but Susan did, and so did a lot of the passengers.

However, the rest of the trip to the islands was smooth sailing, filled with tropical sunshine. Many quiet moments were spent sunbathing on brown, padded, deck chairs, hypnotized by star-sapphire-colored waters and the omnipresent, soothing sounds of infinite, ocean waves.

Can you imagine what it was like to see land after five days of cruising? Susan and I had just completed our morning walk-about on deck ten, known as the Observation Deck. (It was one of our favorite things to do.) I noticed that people were scurrying to the front of the ship, with their cameras and iphones. In the distance we spotted the green mountains of Hilo covered by a slight mist curtain. We stood in awe as the ship slowly closed in on the lush land, made its way through the gently rippling harbor, and safely moored at a long, cement dock.

Even though the weather was partly cloudy, we lavished in the tropical warmth, and it did feel good to take our own excursion to Hilo Hattie’s with Howard and Nancy. We picked up the leis there along with some traditional souvenirs. We returned to the ship early to rest by the pool, dip in the Jacuzzi, and look at the swaying palm trees on the shoreline.

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Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

yup, it was wonderful to see land after 3 days on the sea for us. Made us realize how land struck we are...lol

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