Hawaii

Ten years ago when I first discovered dance cruising I went a bit crazy. Ballroom dancing is partner dancing, and as many dancers may agree, without a regular partner, opportunities for social dancing can be limited.

 I was casually surfing the web, looking for dance camps and other opportunities for dance, when  I came across Dancers at Sea, who were advertising a cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver. With some trepidation I joined the group for this West Coast Cruise -Dancing and Wine, enjoyed dancing every night, made some new friends ... and was hooked on dance cruising.

Embarcation in Honolulu as efficient and fast. Since most passengers were continuing on from the previous leg of the cruise,  only about a quarter of the total guest complement were embacing.

In under 30  minutes I was inspecting my cabin, my suitcase was already delivered and I had met the two stewards responsible for my cabin. Unlike on all my previous verandah cabins on other ships there is a full bath. As I discovered the next morning the shower was hot with great water power and the water didn’t spray all over the floor!

Arriving at the Beachhouse restaurant we waited a few minutes to be shown to our patio table. While waiting I enjoyed the view over the garden pub to the sea beyond. We were seated on the Beachhouse verandah overlooking the bandstand in the garden area below. This evening we enjoyed a perfect view to the west so that we could actually watch the sun dip below the horizon. I watched for the perfect green flash but did not see it. Perhaps I was too focused on taking a picture.

While dining out in Honolulu (Fine Food in Honolulu : a Sampler) I found myself confused on menu items such as hamachi, kampachi, and kanpachi which all seemed to be terms for yellowtail. Always wanting to improve my vocabulary I turned to the web to clarify these terms. I found the clearest explanation in a blog post Yellowtales in The Edible Ocean blog written by  fishmonger, MJ Gimbar.  

We had booked a transfer from The Intercontinental Resort to the cruise ship pier with the Princess Cruises representative at the hotel. There were advantages to doing this. Firstly, although the recommendation for normal check-in time is after 2 Pm for speedier processing, our transfer was scheduled for 11 am and we could check in as early as 11:30 am. That gave us lots of time to get settled and still have the afternoon to explore the market and pier-side area of Papeete.

A dream vacation, ballroom dancing , sometimes rock-and-rolling, my way across the Pacific Ocean with my favorite group of dancers and dance hosts on the Pacific Princess.  

Our South Pacific Cruise is rapidly coming to an end  and this is the part that most of us had been waiting for; visiting the beautiful islands of French Polynesia that sit like exquisite jewels in the warm blue and green waters of the Pacific Ocean.

We departed from Hilo shortly after 4:30 pm on Thursday afternoon  and set course in a southerly direction across the Pacific Ocean towards Christmas Island. The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of all the oceans and covers two-thirds of the earth's surface. Compared to the distance between our various ports in Hawaii, an average of 100 nautical miles apart, the distance to Christmas Island from Hilo is 1088  nautical miles so it was no wonder that when we awoke early as usual and went up on deck, there was only the ocean to see all around us.

The opportunity to join Wendy and the Dancers at Sea on a South Pacific Cruise from Honolulu to Tahiti came up unexpectedly while I was on the Labor Weekend Getaway Dance Cruise. A test of my developing capacity for spontaneity - something I have really been working hard to achieve - I needed to decide on the spot whether to take up an unexpected vacancy that had arisen - the only problem  was that the cruise was scheduled to start a mere two weeks after I returned to Vancouver from New York (New York, New York 2009).