Let's Get "Lei'd"

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A relaxing sea day turned into a very busy and fun day onboard. This morning we got together at the Waterfall Pool, for the Team Moose vs. Team Pamda Tug-o-War. Recruitment among CruiseMates at poolside was hot and heavy as both teams tried to gain an advantage. Team Moose won with a mighty last pull that caused Team Pamda to release the rope, rather than go for a dip in the pool. Team Moose gained a slight advantage by tying the end of the rope to a railing. We were accused of cheating, but we thought of it as a strategy assuring our victory.

The CruiseMates gang purchased two horses at the ship's auction, and we met in the afternoon to decorate them (the horses, that is). We split the group
evenly to provide support for both horses, and to create a friendly rivalry within the group. The owners are proudly parading the horses around the ship to build support, and the Owner's Derby will be held on our final sea day.

Tonight at 11 p.m. many of our CruiseMates gang gathered for some unorthodox onboard activities, including a competition for the Ugliest Aloha Shirt, an Antler Decorating Contest and the Mermaid Trivia finals. (For those of you unfamiliar with the Kuki tradition, toy moose antlers usually follow me onto a ship and wind up on the heads of people I run into.) We were treated to many amazingly ugly shirts, and even more amazingly creative antler decorating. The CruiseMates followers showed great inventiveness with their creations.

We saw antlers with lights, and dolls, and a wide variety of paraphernalia attached. Remarkably, we challenged everyone to wear those ugly shirts and decorated antlers to dinner, and to public areas throughout the ship that evening--and with complete disregard for personal humiliation, many CruiseMates did so. Rather than being humiliated, however, those who participated in the "Kukiness" were really the hit of the ship among passengers and crew.

The crew of the Summit, to a man (pardon me--to a person), has been simply phenomenal! They have accepted and assisted our group antics with open arms and big smiles, demonstrating a warm sense of humor. Everyone seems delighted to see our group having such a good time.

Tuesday morning the weather reminded me of my home in Calgary, Alberta: COLD (in the 50s). The outside decks were fairly empty, and the crew pulled out the blankets--which will soon get a lot of use while the ship is running its Alaska itinerary. Heat and sunshine would have been a nice treat, but we went ahead with our team miniature golf and treasure hunt this afternoon.

We had set up a "course" that ran throughout the ship, and gave the teams hint sheets to lead them to the hole locations, as well as a hint as to what item would be found at each hole. The teams were told not to touch the golf balls with their hands once the game began. They had to move them through the ship, up elevators, and down stairs by using the putters supplied.

Once again the Summit's crew was most helpful, allowing us to set up plastic glasses as "golf holes" in some pretty strange locations. For example, one was set up at under the breads along the buffet in the Waterfall cafe, another under the roulette wheel in the casino. The guest relations staff was particularly helpful in playing a role, with a "hole" located in front of their desk. At this hole the "golfers" were instructed to ask the guest relations "Are you Kuki?" in order to receive the treasure hunt item for this "hole".

What the players didn't know was that we had asked the guest relations staff to give them a hard time when they showed up. They played the part so well that some of our golfers asked to speak with their supervisors before they were told it was all part of the game.

All the participants ended up having a blast with this game! It was hilarious watching them putting their way through many places you'd never expect to see people golfing. Watching the looks on some of the our fellow passengers' faces, and hearing the golfers relate their stories of encounters afterwards, gave us all some great laughs.

Later in the afternoon Mrs. Kuki and I hosted a cocktail party in our cabin, timed to let us to enter the CruiseMates regularly scheduled chat. We had planned to have the party on the huge balcony of our CAT 3 stern cabin, but due to the weather, everyone was pretty much inside. It got a little friendly, but by now no one seemed to mind.

Tonight was our third informal night; the suggested dress code, which most passengers followed closely at the beginning of the cruise, was now beginning to deteriorate. Frankly, with three formal nights, the three informal (I believe semi-formal is a better description) seemed to be a bit much for most people. The general consensus from most passengers was that they would prefer three formal nights, only one semi-formal, and the rest casual.

The cruise is winding down to our last two full days, but we have lots of action planned yet. Tomorrow morning we'll be judging the cabin door and balcony decorating contests, and tomorrow afternoon, with the permission of the Captain, we'll be attempting to fly kites off the stern.

Though there are some concerns about such an activity, the Captain has agreed to let us try this. Our kiting "experts" will test a couple of kites in the air first, to see how they react to the ship's speed and movement. If all goes well, we'll add more in an attempt to set the world's record for the number of kites flown off a ship. Hopefully the weather will be better and we won't have to search for parkas to wear while flying our kites. Since this is a Hawaii cruise, we don't have any with us.

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