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Old March 4th, 2011, 03:05 AM
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Sapphire Princess - March 3
This morning, as the Sapphire sailed into Hilo she was accompanied by a pod of Humpback whales swimming close enough to the ship to been by the naked eye. Unfortunately they were not visible from by bed, with my eyes closed, so I missed it.

A helicopter tour, flying over the volcano, is probably one the best things to do during a visit to Hilo. We’ve done that previously, so as posted earlier today, we did Hilo Hatties and WalMart.

Hanging around outside of those stores, and talking to fellow passengers can be a very interesting pastime. Princess has many long time repeat passengers who are amongst the most loyal brand ambassadors of any line. I talked to several of them today. In their eyes Princess can do no wrong, no matter what the topic, and I got told so several times today.

However, what is very true on ships, is that every person onboard can have a different experience, and view things differently. I would never presume to tell someone what they think and feel is any less true than what I’m thinking and feeling. Of course it’s possible we’re all right, because no two experiences and expectations are the same.

Today, I also made a point of talking to some other members of our CruiseMates group who I ran into during the course of the day, and none pointed to any service issues, even those seated near to us in the dining room. And then of course, to top off the discussions of the day, tonight we had a wonderful dinner service, and the evening’s menu was superb.

The entertainment this evening were repeat performances of the acts from last night, with the comedy/musician moving to the Explorers Lounge, and the ventriloquist moving to the Princess Theater. As we’d seen both, and the casino is closed tonight, a few of us decided to come relax on our balcony until the 9:15 P.M. Deck Party that’s scheduled. It was a perfect night, and relaxing on the balcony enjoying nice conversation, combined with anticipation of our early arrival in Honolulu, removed any motivation to go up for the Deck Party.

I also have very good news to report on our ill cruisemate. He made a full recovery from his “gastro issue” and was released from his in cabin restriction this morning in time to make the tour he booked.

An interesting tidbit he explained at dinner, that gave us a few good laughs. I described some of the actions that were taken yesterday, when he first reported the problem. What we learned today was that he was also supplied with free laundry for all their belongings.

So, if you don’t mind spending 24 hrs. restricted to your cabin in exchange for having all your clothing laundered free, just report a gastrointestinal issue.

On a more serious, and sadder note, a passenger was taken from the ship by ambulance today. Of course nothing was said, but whoever the person is, we certainly feel bad, and wish them and their family the very best. I’m just glad it wasn’t a more serious incident requiring medical evacuation necessary before reaching land. I do hope the passenger had travel insurance.
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