Packing – 8 Day 7 Night Cruise Series: “My Must Haves”:

Yes, yes, I know, I have already written a extremely long blog post expounding in great detail about *all* of the things that one might need to pack for any length of cruise. And when I wrote it we were preparing for a 15-Night Hawaii cruise, so those were the parameters in which I was working, 15 days seemed like an eternity to be away–well for this country girl anyway.  Admittedly, there is a plethora of information in that one post and it might be a smidge over-whelming. 😉  All that said, since most of our cruises are 7 day adventures, in this new “Series” I want to show how I’m planning to downsize that extreme list and share how I am going to try like crazy to consolidate everything into one large suitcase.  In that other blog monstrosity, I covered “What’s In My Carry-On Bag”, tons of “Must Haves”, and I even included my “Packing Tips & Tricks”.  I thought it was time to break up the monotony of that long post into several separate, shorter, more succinct, and a bit easier to peruse through posts, especially since I’m going to be downsizing the amount of ‘stuff’ I take which will work well for a 8 day cruise–yes, I do count embarkation day as Day 1 and disembarkation day as Day 8–I’m talking Saturday to Saturday cruises here (or whatever other day of the week a cruise starts on and ends on exactly a week later).  For Hawaii, I took a small’ish’ Spinner suitcase ***just*** for my “Must Have” items.  Here is how that suitcase looked right before I closed it up:

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Whew–I took A LOT on that cruise…I will admit though, I did utilize every single item I took. BUT, my goal is to downsize a bit considering 8 days isn’t that long to be gone, so,  I have gathered the following items to take along with us on our next cruise which will be to Canada & New England on the gorgeous Regal Princess this Fall.   So let’s get started.

Disinfectant Wipes:

The very first thing that we do when we enter our Stateroom is to wipe down all surfaces, door knobs/handles, the telephone, the tv remote, the balcony railing, etc…

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Hand Soap:

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Bar Soap:

We do not care for the shower gel that they provide in pumps in the shower, so we bring our own favorite bar soap…

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Odor Eliminating Spray:

 I think the reason that I take this is obvious… *wink*…

(there are no exhaust fans in the bathrooms on a cruise ship)…

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I never use Tums off of a cruise, but I always use Tums while on a cruise…

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A Pop-Up Folding Laundry Hamper

This fits nicely into the Stateroom’s closet and collects all of the dirty laundry so that it is not spread all over the floor–Compact to pack too…

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Clothes Peg Clip Pins

I mostly use these to hang up my shower cap on one of the towel racks inside the shower, but, they could also come in handy to hang things up on their provided clothing line (that is located in the shower–you can pull it out from a receptacle on the shower wall and attach it to the other end of the shower–I’ll show you a picture below:

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Here is that clothesline:

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I always take my own hairdryer,  yes, Princess does provide a hairdryer in every room, but, for my hair which is fine but rather thick, well, it just doesn’t do the job in a timely fashion.  

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Here is the hair dryer Princess provides on all ships I’ve been on so far:

(I do hear that on the Royal and Regal, there is a hair dryer in the drawer at the desk, I’ll let y’all know when we get back from our cruise how that puppy works)

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Tide Pods and Downy Dryer Sheets:

Yes, I normally will do laundry onboard, yes, even on a 8-day cruise, so I throw a few pods and some dryer sheets into a zip-lock bag because they don’t take up much room or add much weight and I’d rather our clothes smell like I like them to smell rather than how they smell using the products that you can get on the ship…

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Here are the laundry rooms on board the Star Princess’ Dolphin deck, most of the laundry facilities on board are pretty much the same and are on several of the Stateroom decks (check your ship’s deck plans to find specific locations for laundry facilities).  On the Coral’s Dolphin Deck the washers and dryers were stacked, on the Star they weren’t.   You use your cruise card to purchase tokens, one color of token that will start the washer and dryer and if you choose to purchase their products, another color token can be used in the vending machines–See pictures below:

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Magnet Clips

The walls in the Staterooms are metal–I usually will hang up the day’s Patter or my Card Lanyard, etc…

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A Flashlight

Just in case we lose electricity, one never knows you know…

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Scissors

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Travel Illuminated Clock

I like to be able to see what time it is if I happen to wake up in the middle of the night…

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Sewing Kit

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Zip-Lock Bags

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We purchased these coffee, and in my case, tea thermos cups on board our last couple of cruises.  Chris is so sweet, every morning, he takes these cups and goes and gets me hot tea and himself a cup of coffee from the Horizon Court’s self serve counter.

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Now, I know y’all are going to chuckle at me with this next item, but, I usually will take a small bottle of dawn with us so that I can wash up those cups each day–Yeah, my anal retentiveness rearing its ugly head…;) 

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And believe it or not all of that stuff (minus the cups and the hair dryer) fit inside this Vera Bradley Grand Cosmetic Bag and will fit into my one large suitcase (hopefully, the jury is still out on whether or not I can fit everything into one large suitcase; if necessary I will add one Vera Bradley Weekender Bag).

BTW–As an extra precaution, I will put any bottle that could potentially leak into ziplock bags before placing them in my Vera Bags.  Even though the Vera’s are lined and I doubt if leaks would escape, I don’t want to take the chance. 🙂

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Now to finish up this post, there are two other things that I always take with us…

 Small first-aid kit

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And

A grab bag with different OTC medications, these things can cost you a pretty penny if you go to buy them at the Sundries shop on board, so I just take a smattering of things, pain relievers, cold meds, anti-nausea meds (we’ve never been sea-sick, but, this girl likes to be prepared) That Vera Bradley bag is a Large Cosmetic Case:

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Well, that does it, I feel pretty good that I’ve been able to downsize the amount of items that I’m planning to take with us on our 8-day Canada and New England cruise.

I’m trying to wrap my mind around what other smaller more succinct posts to create, I do know that I will be doing these specific posts moving through the next several days/week:

  • What’s In My Carry-On
  • Tech’y’ Stuff
  • Packing Tips & Tricks

Beyond that, well, we’ll see what I come up with…haha. 🙂

Until next time, y’all take good care!! ❤

~Arlynn ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hawaiian Cruise: Picture Tour of the Star Princess

As I was perusing through my literally thousands of pictures that we took while on our wonderful cruise, and when I started to pull pictures out to be used in this blog post, I realized that I had way too many pictures and that this would end up to be a very confused and discombobulated post.  So “Ms Anal Retentive” herself  < ~~~~ me, decided to make collages out of ‘like’ pictures via a spiffy little app that I have on my iPhone.  I have literally spent this entire day making these collages, but, I’m thinking that y’all will appreciate my efforts once you start scrolling through this post. 🙂

First, I will show you this gorgeous ship, the Star Princess from a bit of a distance:

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She is a big, gorgeous girl to look at isn’t she?  I love the way that Skywalkers is situated on the back, I think that it really gives this ship a ton of character.

Now, let’s climb on this beauty and work our way from the bottom to the top. Here is a little map that will help us navigate (of course there are a few decks even higher than this sign depicts…I didn’t get a picture of that sign…lol).  🙂  Please know that as hard as I tried, I did not get pictures of every single venue, but, the hubby and I worked as a team and traversed around the ship a lot taking random pictures and did the best that we could.

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Deck 4:  Gala Deck–This is where we caught our Tender Boat:

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Deck 5:  Plaza Deck:

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I’ll go ahead and insert the collage of the Piazza here–It was breathtakingly gorgeous!

Image (10)The International Cafe…Yum, Yum!!

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Vines Shop:  The hubby got us a really good candy bar from here one day:

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The Internet Cafe:

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The Capri Dining Room:

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The only time we went in here was to attend one of their spiffy little sales that they often have going on on sea days:

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Deck 6: Fiesta Deck:

Grand Casino:

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Passenger Service Desk:

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Calypso Cove:

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And at the far end of Calypso Cove, you will find the Sundries shop:

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Essence:

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This is also the deck where they would set up tables for different special sales…

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Promenade Deck:

Princess Theater:

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Shore Excursions (the Princess Captain’s Circle & the Future Cruise offices were down this same hallway:

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Crown Grill (This was by far our favorite place to eat):

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Meridian Bay:

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Photo Gallery:

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Vista Lounge:

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Dolphin Deck:

Our Mini-Suite was on this deck, D620, if you would like to see a very detailed video tour, I created one on my YouTube channel, you can find it here.

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The walls in the Staterooms are metal, so it is always fun to bring some magnets with which to hang things:

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We used the Laundromat on this floor a couple of times while on board, you use your cruise card to purchase tokens ($3 a piece) which then can be used in the washers and dryers and also to purchase laundry soap and dryer sheets (I recommend you take your own laundry supplies though, much cheaper and they don’t take up too much room in your luggage) It is free to use of the iron and ironing boards :

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Deck 14-The Lido Deck:

Prego Pizza:

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Trident Grill:

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Neptune’s Reef & Pool and Movies Under the Stars:

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Sundaes:

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Calypso’s Reef & Pool:

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As you can see in the pictures ^^^above^^^ there is a terrace type thing that wraps around the indoor pool (one deck up).  They have chairs up there along with some ping-pong tables…very relaxing little place.

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Horizon Court Buffet:

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The Self-Serve Coffee/Tea Station, there is one on each side of the Horizon Buffet:

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The Crab Shack is also held on this floor, they close down one side of the Horizon Buffet in order to accommodate the Shack…SO, SO good, highly recommend!!Image 2 (4)

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And then a couple more Decks higher is Skywalkers Nightclub:

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Unfortunately, we did not get any pictures of the Sanctuary, the Fitness Center, the Wedding Chapel, the Youth/Teen Center, or a couple of the Main Dining Rooms along with other places that I probably don’t even realize exist..haha. 🙂  BUT, again, we did our best. 🙂  It truly is a lovely ship, (a bit of maintenance is needed in places, but, that is to be expected on a ship this size and one that is ‘at sea’ as much as this one is–I’m not complaining, just stating a fact); the crew works extremely hard each and every day to keep it sparkling clean and in great shape! 🙂  Speaking of the crew…they were absolutely wonderful, everyone ALWAYS had a smile on their face, everyone ALWAYS had a nice greeting or a put forth a sweet “Have a nice morning/day/evening”, I never saw one of them in a bad mood or being grumpy…ever!

I have one more Blog entry that will end this Series and in that I will talk about Disembarkation, possibly some final thoughts, although, I’ve pretty much said all I need to say, and our trip home (including a video of our pups when we walked back into the house).  For those of you who don’t know, we have a Golden Retriever named Gracie, and two Newfoundland dogs names Sophie and Samson (brown).  Here is a picture that I took of them yesterday…

And…Here is a link to my final post in this Hawaiian Cruise Series:

Hawaiian Cruise: Disembarkation, Final Thoughts, & Home Sweet Home

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Boy oh boy do we ever love our pups. 🙂

SO, until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

~Arlynn ❤

OH one more thing…Here is a link to my very first post in this Hawaiian Cruise Series — And as in this one, there is a link at the end of each post that will take you to the next one in line–in chronological order. 🙂

And ***one*** more thing…haha…I promise just one more. 😉  Here is a video that I created for my YouTube Travel Channel (Arlynn’s Travels) of the Star Princess picture tour:

Hawaiian Cruise: Maui – Tendering & A Bit of Shopping

I was awakened on the morning that we arrived in Maui with the oh so soothing (not) sound of the little “Tender” boats being lowered down into the water.  As y’all know, our room was situated toward the aft of the ship, port side, and they chose to lower the Tenders right under our room down to be utilized to transport folks to shore.  Of course, I didn’t mind being woken up, after all, we were in Maui!  I will admit though, a wave of sadness came over me for a few minutes when I remembered that we were at our last port of call.  I wasn’t going to think about that right then though, I’d think about that tomorrow when we were bob-bob-bobbing along heading back to Vancouver. That morning, I needed to get up and get ready for our day. 🙂

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The stupid saga of my feet continues, grrrrr, we again had to cancel a day long excursion that we had had planned because my feet just weren’t recovering very well, stupid feet!

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Honestly, we didn’t mind too, too much.  Taking a little ride on a Tender boat, walking around town, shopping a bit, and having a nice lunch by the sea sounded really pretty perfect to us–we had been go-go-going for the last 3 days. We were content to have a bit of a more relaxing day planned. 🙂

***(BTW–My feet recovered completely after this day because the hubby pretty much wouldn’t let me stand, propped my feet up on a chair, and made me drink a copious amount of water for our 1st day back ‘at sea’..AND that did the trick, I haven’t had a problem since…thank goodness)***

Okay, so my outfit for the day…

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Yes, I did wear those flip-flops, the next best thing to those pretty pink shoes. 🙂

And here is the Princess Patter for that day:

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In the Patter there were instructions as to how one was to go about disembarking, we simply needed to head down to the Capri Dining room when we were ready to leave the ship, they’d give us a “Tender Ticket”, and we’d wait for our number to be called.  All in all, it was a very smooth operation–not surprising because Princess has this stuff down pat.  So off to the Capri Dining room we trekked…

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And we were handed our Tender Ticket:

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And then we sat down to wait:

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It wasn’t long before our number was called (about 30 minutes), we were directed to go down a couple of decks (via stairs of course) to where we’d be loaded onto our sweet little **rocking** Tender boat…We saw this on our way:

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Here the pictures will stop for a few minutes…That little Tender was rocking and rolling let me tell you…LOL…I took a look at it and then I looked at my hubby and grabbed onto him for dear life. It was going to be interesting getting ole “not so steady on her swollen, fat feet, bad knees, Arlynn” onto that ever moving Tender boat…

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But, by the grace of all that is holy and with the help of the hubby and every Princess person’s hand that I could grab, I managed to step right onto that Tender.  It was then that I saw the hubby climbing the LADDER to go up onto the top deck…OH JOY JOY…Okay, I was determined and I managed to climb right up (slowly) and pretty much fell right onto the little bench seat and proceeded to slide my rear to where it needed to sit. Whew, that was a little harrowing, but, dag nab it, I did IT!! Woohoo!!!

It was a lovely little ride to shore, and because I had managed to haul my ever so cumbersome self up that ladder, my vantage point was awesome.  My favorite part was being able to see the Star Princess from the outside up close!

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The view heading to shore was nothing to sneeze at either….

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It was much less wavy when we pulled into the dock and I was able to climb right on off of that Tender with ease…The first thing that happened was that my hubby bought me a beautiful Lei…OMGosh, it smelled delightful!! AND the lady who made the Lei sweetly gave me a flower for my hair…BUT, it blew away within about 10 seconds of it being seeded not so securely into my hair (she had secured the flower onto a toothpick…now how in the world was I supposed to stick that in my hair and have it stay put with the gale force winds that were warmly blowing)? **Just asking…Silly of me I know…*** 😉 ANYway, here is that pretty Lei:

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Windy?  Yeppers, VERY windy! lol…

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The hubby and I set off to do a bit of exploring and shopping, really nothing too astronomically interesting to tell you about that.  We did see this school sign, it made me think of our daughter the teacher whose attitude is this almost every day of her life. 🙂

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We were successful at buying some gifts for our girls on this day, we found some Vans shoes for a pretty decent price and they were really cute! We got the cupcake ones for one of our daughters…

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And these spiffy tropical ones for the other daughter:

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We also got each girl some pretty jewelry a necklace for one and earrings and a bracelet for the other. 🙂 My hubby treated me to some pretty jewelry too, he got me this pretty Plumeria flower necklace:

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And then this necklace, earrings, and bracelet; a white plumeria flower just like the pink one up there…

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After we had shopped for a little while, we stopped into a lovely, open and airy restaurant named Koa’s.  It sat right on the ocean and upon entering, we, of course, climbed the ***stairs*** to the top outdoor deck.  By this point, ***stairs*** and I were ‘one’. 😉

Here is the Menu for Koa’s:

And this was my lunch…OH goodness was it good, fattening yes, but delicious!  That pasta salad was to die for!

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This was our view in one direction…

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And check out what was over my head in the background …I actually moved to the other side of the table after I took this silly selfie so that I could look out over the water…

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After lunch, we started to head back toward where we would catch the Tender boat that would take us back to the Star…I clicked off a few pictures along the way…

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Check out these two ladies…I would have LOVED to do that, but there was a line…Next time!IMG_1546

AND the gorgeous palm trees, blue sky, and puffy white clouds…Exactly how I’ve always pictured Hawaii…12963565_10208803542236321_5271623714236508519_n

Getting a Tender ride back to the ship was as easy as could be, we just walked right up and climbed on (literally, because we climbed to the upper deck again…haha…BUT, I was able to take this little video—Well part of the video is of them lowering the Tender down in the morning, but then the rest of it is of our little ride back…

I’m such a goober, I was taking selfies right and left, but, how many times are you sitting on a Tender boat with a HUGE cruise ship in the background?

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We were back to the ship…AND maneuvering OFF of that Tender was NO easier than the harrowing trip was ONTO the Tender…LOL…I’m lucky I’m alive to tell the tale…<~~~ Just kidding of course, but, it was really rocky and I again grabbed onto my hubby, any available Princess person, strangers, poles, the roof of the Tender… once I got DOWN the devil ladder, and well, I’m betting y’all can picture it. 😉  I was happy to have my feet back on that solid ship <~~~ Uh huh, that made good sense…LOL…Relative to the Tender, that big ship was like the Rock of Gibraltar! 😉

The rest of the day/evening was spent r-e-l-a-x-i-n-g and hanging out on our balcony watching the Tenders come and go—Scintillating entertainment huh?  Well, maybe not, but, we were happy to just sit and bask in the sunlight that Maui was providing on this gorgeous day in April 2016.

Here is the last Tender returning to the ship:

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The sun went down over the western sky and our Hawaiian Islands experience had come to a conclusion.  The cruise was far from over, but, we had seen all we were going to see of the Islands…Kinda sad really, but, I do feel as if we will return again…Lord willing anyway. 🙂  Many thanks to the gorgeous Hilo and her waterfalls, to Honolulu for allowing us to pay our respects to all of our brave, fallen soldiers, to Kauai for her beautiful crater and gorgeous views, and to Maui for finishing off our experience with a calm, very sweet, warm, sunny day.  Hawaii will never be forgotten and we will hold all of the memories that we made while visiting her close to our hearts and ever in our minds.  ❤

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I’m not quite done with this blog series yet…Next up, I’ll take you on a tour of the Star Princess–Via pictures of course.  I’ll show you how we enjoyed “The Crab Shack” & “The Crown Grill”, and..wait for it…THE LAUNDRY ROOM  <~~~ exciting stuff! 😉 I’ll also share with you some of the gifts that I brought home for my family, among other things I’m sure. 🙂  Then in my last entry in this series, I will give you a short synopsis of my all-over thoughts about this cruise.

Here is a sneak peek at the tour and link:

Hawaiian Cruise: Picture Tour of the Star Princess

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Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

~Arlynn ❤

***One more thing. 🙂  Here is a video that I created of our day in Maui after I had finished writing my Hawaii Blog—I also have a YouTube Travel Channel (Arlynn’s Travels):

Hawaiian Cruise – Kauai: Spouting Horn & Waimea Canyon

Our 3rd port of call was Kauai, I was really looking forward to this day as I had the 2 previous days because each day of this cruise had been an adventure and I was looking forward to whatever might come our way on this day.  The hubby was out doing his morning walk and taking pictures of the sunrise while I pulled myself together for the day’s activities (“pulling myself together” takes a little longer these days, so the hubby busied himself each morning as I primped…haha…;) ).  Anyway, this is what I saw when I opened the drapes of our mini-suite that morning:

IMG_1423And here is the outfit that I chose to wear on this day.  Now, remember, I had purchased those fancy pink shoes…IMG_1695

And I wanted to wear them on this day because I knew that we had a good bit of walking ahead of us, so this is the outfit I chose.  I’ll lament further on those orange pants a little later. :

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The very first thing that I noticed about Kauai was that it was windy as all get out when I went out on the balcony to try to take a selfie…Note those orange pants don’t look too bad…Y-E-T…;)  The hubby ended up taking this picture…or tried to take this picture…I gave up after a while…lol…

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ANYways, enough about those silly pants for the moment…

Little did I know that while I was pulling myself together, my hubby had caught some gorgeous pictures of us coming into port and of a lovely rainbow!

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And check out this gorgeous sunrise, the prettiest one we’d seen up to this point:1V4A4112

Here is the Princess Patter for that day (Nawiliwili is the name of the Port *in* Kauai*…

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Here is a description of the excursion that we had planned:

Kauai - Waimea Canyon Description

We disembarked the Star Princess and met our mode of transportation for the day, this motor coach:

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Our bus driver was the nicest fella, quite full of information (and of himself…he was a hoot).  We started our 2 hour drive to Waimea Canyon with him narrating the entire way–He was full of stories and jokes.  Kauai was a gorgeous island and I was thrilled to be hearing about all of the old stories about its beginnings and its people as we meandered around and through lovely little towns.  Again, Princess does a phenomenal job when choosing these excursion guides/bus drivers/narrators…They are all excellent.  I know some people feel that they can save a plethora of money by NOT using Princess to book their excursions, but, honestly, it is worth it to us to go ahead and use them, especially on this trip, this was our first time doing this particular cruise and we truly would have had no earthly idea of where to begin to choose off the ship excursions if it weren’t for Princess’ guidance.  Shoot, even when we’re in Alaska (we’ve cruised there 4 times) we still use Princess…most of the time.

So, our first stop on the way to Waimea Canyon was here at Spouting Horn (and for a potty break if needed).  What was the first sign I saw when I got off of the bus?  This…LOL:

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Really? Feral cats and chickens?  Well I didn’t see any cats, but there were a couple of roosters strutting around…haha.

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This was a lovely little lookout type place, the water was so blue and just gorgeous, the grass was green and lush, we definitely felt like we were in the tropics:

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And here is Spouting Horn:

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Wow, that was pretty neat, I really enjoyed our little stop there.  It was time to climb back on the bus and head on up (literally…WAY up) to Waimea Canyon…

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There were two ways that could be utilized to get up the the Canyon’s lookout, one was a set of stairs that yes, I traversed, and also there was a large winding pathway/ramp type thing that those with physical problems could use…Here is a picture of that pathway, as you can kind of see, it winds its way back and forth so as to reduce the pitch of the climb.

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As you probably read in the description of this excursion ^^^up there^^^, we were getting ready to gaze upon what Mark Twain had dubbed “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”.  It was an amazingly gorgeously, ridiculously stupendous place.  I think the pictures will speak for themselves, so I’ll hush now and just show you the beauty that *is* Waimea Canyon:

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To give you a sense of the sheer size of this canyon, the white blip in the picture below is a helicopter! 🙂  Goodness gracious!1V4A4211

Another couple was nice enough to take this picture of the hubby and I:

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YES, it was e-x-t-r-e-m-i-l-y windy! lol

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AND those stupid orange pants that I had on had now expanded to a VERY large size…What in the world?!  They stretched out SO much…I needed SUSPENDERS…NO kidding, I really needed suspenders!!! Sheesh…I was a mess for myself!  I know I’m a big girl, but, I do NOT fill up those pants in this picture!! I’m lucky I didn’t get picked up by that wind and whisked away down into that canyon…Well, if that had happened, those pants would have served as a parachute and I would have landed safe and sound on the bottom. 😉  (A girl has to laugh at herself once in a while…lol):

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Okay, enough of my ranting and raving about those stupid pants…LOL…We headed back down to our motor coach.  They had a fruit stand set up beside the parking lot with fresh pineapple and candies and all sorts of yummy snacks and more of that fruity canned juice that we had had in Hilo:

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And there was another rooster here and he was strutting himself around all over the place…;)

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Here is our motor coach driver blowing into his conch shell giving us our 5 minute warning–it was time to get ourselves back to the bus…I’ll tell you, he really was a funny fellow.

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And back to the ship we traveled being entertained the entire way (2 hours).

Check out what was waiting for us right before we climbed back onto the ship–The Princess folks did this every single day…Those cloths were damp and scented…ahhhhh, did they ever feel good!!

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The hubby and I were very hungry and we headed to the Buffet for something to eat…I changed my outfit though, I’d had enough of those stupid parachute pants!! Here was my outfit for the evening hours…Notice my feet were getting better though because I’d worn those spiffy pink shoes. 🙂

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After we got back to our room, we kind of hung out in there for the rest of the evening…Well, we really hung out out on our balcony because sail-away was kinda fun to watch.  The dock workers unhitched us…And the side thrusters started to do their job…

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As I’ve mentioned ohhhh once or twice in this entry, it was really windy on this day and I guess it was so windy that we needed a little assistance from a tug boat to get us out of the harbor.  I had such a good time watching this little (relatively speaking) tug boat protect us from hitting the dock–as far as I know though, it never had to touch us, it was just there as a back-up if needed.

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Our room must have been right at the pivot point because the tug boat stayed right below our room for quite some time as we made our way out of the harbor…

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Once we got out far enough, the tug boat left us and we fended for ourselves to maneuver around and through those buoys…

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We skirted the shoreline for a while on our way out of this cove and we came to this point.  I saw this golf green right on the edge of a cliff…Haha…My 80 year old Dad is an avid golfer and has had 8 holes in one in his lifetime–he is a “scratch” golfer (doesn’t carry a handicap for you non-golfers out there).  I know he would have loved to play *this* golf course…and particularly this hole…he loves a challenge. 🙂

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Check out where the Pin is…Goodness!

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Our day in Kauai had come to an end and as the hubby and I sat out on our balcony and enjoyed the warm tropical breezes while watching the sun set, we lamented once again at how lucky and blessed we felt to be able to do this awesomely beautiful cruise.  We felt so relaxed and were just loving being right there at that moment in time….Memories were being made that we’d hold in our minds and hearts forever. ❤

We were steaming toward Maui, and of course, that is what I’ll be writing about next.  Here is a sneak peek and link:

Hawaiian Cruise: Maui – Tendering & A Bit of Shopping

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OH one more thing…I am going to insert some links in here just in case anyone might want to look back on my earlier posts that I’ve written about this cruise.  I’ll also include a link to my video (very detailed) that I took and narrated of our Mini-Suite (D620 on the Star Princess).

Here goes:

Hawaii Cruise Wardrobe Choices

Hawaii: Packing, Traveling, Dinner With Dear Friends, & Embarkation

Hawaiian Cruise: First Day On Board & 10 Sea Days

Hawaiian Cruise: Hilo – Waterfalls & More

Hawaiian Cruise – Honolulu: Arizona Memorial & Mighty Mo

And here is a link to that Stateroom Tour of Mini-Suite D620 on the Star Princess

Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

~Arlynn ❤

***One more thing. 🙂  Here is a video that I created of our day in Kauai after I had finished writing my Hawaii Blog—I also have a YouTube Travel Channel (Arlynn’s Travels):

Hawaii: Packing, Traveling, Dinner With Dear Friends, & Embarkation

What? It was finally time to pack?!! Really?!  I was doing the happy dance at that prospect, I had been planning, gathering, and organizing for months and months readying us for this wonderful 15-night Hawaiian cruise through the Princess Cruise line. 🙂

So let’s not waste any more time with me chatting aimlessly away, let me show you quickly what my packing looked like.  As I mentioned in my “What’s In My Carry On, My Must Have’s, & Packing Tips and Tricks” blog entry, I had all of those spiffy packing cubes and a packing envelope to utilize, and utilize them I did to the fullest capacity.  I was able to take twice as many outfits than I usually take and they came in completely handy considering that we were embarking on an ‘ever weather changing’ type of cruise.

Here is our Itinerary:

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As you can see, we cruised out of Vancouver, B.C. and we had 5 sea days on the front and back ends of this cruise, so I knew I’d need some warmer clothing to cover what I figured would be cooler days.  I’d also obviously need warmer clothing once we got to the more tropical (gorgeous) climate in Hawaii.

So here is how I got everything packed up–You can take a look at my “Hawaii Cruise Wardrobe Choices” to see exactly what I packed.

I started with my tops, I packed them into the “Eagle Creek Packing Folder“:

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I fit a plethora of tops in that envelope, I know I had over 20 of them in there, along with a light-weight knit blazer.  I was thrilled!!

Next, I utilized one of the large packing cubes for all of my slacks and capris:

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I utilized the other packing cubes for all of my unmentionables, socks, and pjs…Here is what my large suitcase looked like, it all fit beautifully!

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I then packed up my smaller suitcase with all of my Must Haves using great care to wrap some of the breakable items in bubble wrap and/or paper towels to pad everything nicely…Have y’all seen how those airport folks toss your luggage around? Yeah, I didn’t want to have my perfume broken or a bottle of fingernail polish shattered, so I did take some time to make sure everything was nicely and succinctly packed. 🙂

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So, I was all ready to roll!  Our flight was at 7am the next morning and we had to leave our house at about 3:15am in order to get to the airport, get parked, go through security, and well, y’all know the drill.  Our daughter Christin came over to our house and moved in…bless her heart, she took great care of our home and our dogs while we were away.  She and I sat up and chatted until it was time for me to jump into the shower at about 2am…I was SO excited, I could not sleep…thankfully, my hubby was able to snooze a bit before we left for the airport.

Okay, so it was *finally* time to leave our house and head to the airport; I was completely ready, but, I had to say my last goodbye to these three sweet pups…When they look at you like this, it makes it really hard to walk out:

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BUT, I managed to muster up the strength to leave these sweet things and so the hubby and I headed out for our grand adventure…BUT, wait, we had to drive through a bit of snow when we were on our way to the airport…Snow? In April?!  UGH I guess stranger things have happened, but, not many around these parts..haha…

So, we finally made it to the airport, through security, and we were waiting to board our flight…and, I remembered I hadn’t taken a picture of my outfit–one thing that I’ve promised y’all I would do…SO, what did I do, I went and found a full-length mirror in the bathroom at the airport and took this…LOL…I can hear y’all chuckling right now. 😉 A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do you know?! 😉

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That was my traveling outfit…I’m so glad I had that light jacket on because it was freezing on the plane and it was quite chilly when we got to Vancouver.  I also dressed a little nicer than I might have otherwise done because we were going to be meeting my dear friend Liz and her hubby for dinner that evening and I knew this outfit would carry over to that event nicely. 🙂

Thankfully, our flights–we had two, we had a bit of a layover in Denver–were uneventful, everything was on time, and the weather was perfect for flying.  Gosh those rocky mountains were just gorgeous too…

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We landed at the Vancouver, B.C. airport at around 1:30pm (losing 3 hours as we traveled across the USA) and then Princess took over. 🙂  I love using Princess transfers because even through they might be a bit pricey, using them takes the worry out of how you are going to get from point A to point B.  So we gathered our luggage and then made our way to customs–pretty painless process, and then we found our Princess rep right there waiting for us, she took us straight to a taxi and handed the driver a voucher to show him where he was to take us and that also served as his payment.  IMG_1260

We did tip him when he got us to our destination, the Four Seasons Hotel (accommodations also arranged through Princess):

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Our room was lovely and very well appointed:

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The hotel’s ‘bell-hop’ for lack of a better word delivered our suitcases almost immediately:

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And here was our view:

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It was time for us to head out to meet Liz and her hubby for dinner, they were staying at a hotel down the street (bless their hearts, they had taken one of the B.C. Ferries over to Vancouver from their home in Victoria and stayed the night there JUST so that we could spend some time together—how sweet was *that*?!!). 🙂

WAIT:  Before I continue on, Liz took this picture of our cruise ship the Star Princess before they left their home on Vancouver Island (Victoria). Yes, she *can* see the cruise ships come and go from her back deck…how awesome is that?!!

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Okay, to continue on, the hubby and I decided to walk on over to their hotel. 🙂  It was SO good to see Liz again, I just hugged and hugged her. 🙂

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And we sat and chatted for quite a long time before heading to a lovely Italian restaurant for dinner:

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Then off to dinner we went we dined at Al Porto and boy was it ever delicious!

After dinner the hubby and I went back to our hotel and fell straight to sleep…As I mentioned earlier, we had lost 3 hours flying across to that coast and we were pretty bushed. 🙂

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When we awoke the next morning, we were excited, first because we were meeting Liz and her hubby for breakfast at our hotel, and second,  we’d then be off to our cruise ship to embark on our Hawaiian journey…Here is my outfit for this day’s adventures:

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1V4A3527We had a lovely time with our now VERY dear friends at breakfast.  It was so nice to be able to spend some good quality time chatting and enjoying one-another’s company.  My hubby and I are very blessed and lucky to have them in our lives…<3

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It was time to say goodbye to Liz and her hubby…OH the bittersweet feeling I felt, and yes, I was a bawling baby when they were driving away and Liz’zy was blowing us kisses…

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I know we will see them again…hopefully sooner than later!!!

***Thank you for coming over to Vancouver Liz, I loved seeing you, hugging you, and getting to spend time with you–you are very special to me!! MWAH!!

Before long it was time for us to meet our motor coach (another Princess transfer) out in front of our hotel:

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While we were at breakfast, the Princess folks had come and collected our luggage and they had secured our bags along with all of the others’ bags that would be transferred from the hotel to the ship that was moored up at Canada Place not too far away. 🙂

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Princess is so efficient and organized…honestly, they leave nothing to chance and take such good care of you. 🙂

We were off to find our cruise ship now, here was our first glimpse of the Star Princess, I took this from the motor coach:

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The embarkation process was pretty painless, although we were among the very first travelers on board the ship, so we had to wait in a holding area for about 1/2 hour before we were able to board:

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Here we are in line waiting to take our first step onto the ship:

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The very first place we went was to our Stateroom, Mini-Suite D620–I’ve created a video tour of our room, here is the link if you’d like to take a look-see…I tried to be very thorough in my description. 🙂  Here are some pictures:

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And here I am standing on our nice-sized balcony (that yes, is open to above, there is no covering over it–which is fine with us). 🙂

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And it was time to set-sail toward Hawaii–We’d be “at sea” for the next 5 days and I will admit that I wasn’t quite sure what we’d be doing for 5 days at sea (not to mention the 5 at sea days returning…haha), but, I think you’ll see as we move through my blog posts that Princess definitely fills up the hours nicely. 🙂

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Here is a video of us leaving Canada Place and I also give a quick Stateroom Tour of MiniSuite D620:

I have a much more intricate room tour here:

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Bye bye land, we would not see one iota of land for the next 5 days…

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I cannot tell you how excited I was to finally be on that cruise ship and on our way to the beautiful Hawaiian islands. 🙂  For my next entry, I will describe those sea days. 🙂

Sneak Peek and link:

Hawaiian Cruise: First Day On Board & 10 Sea Days

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Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

~Arlynn ❤