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2015 Voyage- Around the World Pacific Princess

2015 Voyage- Around the World Pacific Princess

We launch on January 23, 2015 out of San Pedro harbor in Los Angeles.  We always feel rushed to get out the door but once we are on the boat with our feet up it’s all good.  After two long voyages on Holland Americas’s Amsterdam, we decided to try Princess for a change, and are going on the Pacific Princess World Voyage.  In this case though, it is an “almost round the world trip” since we plan to abandon ship in Ft Lauderdale in late April, to hustle back to Dallas, hopefully in time for the birth of Chandler and Jeff’s first baby.  Feel free to follow our progress this time on this page!

Day One minus 1 – Dallas to Los Angeles

On our last trip, Barbara Martin was concerned that we were going out the same day we sailed. I told her not to worry, we had done it dozens of times and never missed a sailing. Due to aircraft problems, we almost missed it.  This year we are going a day early and staying in a […]

Day One – Los Angeles boarding the Pacific Princess

The transition from the hotel was easy – eight pieces of luggage and the two of us. The Crown Plaza, San Pedro, proved to be an excellent pre-cruise hotel – good food and drinks – very reasonable prices, a huge room and a shuttle to the ship. We boarded with a minimum of waiting, found […]

Another Day at Sea, enroute to Honolulu

To some, five days at sea, with no ports and no land in sight might be boring. To me, it is the perfect way to start a long cruise – relaxing, exploring the ship, electronically disconnecting, and adjusting to life at sea. Nothing but sea and sky, for thousands of miles. While we do have […]

Day 7 – Honolulu

About 6:30 in the morning, before the sun was up, we sailed between O’ahu and Moloka’I, and began to see the lights of Honolulu, with Diamondhead standing in dark contrast to the city lights. By the time we were nearing the port, the sun was just beginning to rise, affording us this view. On almost […]

Day 8,9,10 Sailing from Honolulu

As we sailed from Honolulu, we had a really nice dinner on the back deck with the lights of Honolulu receding in the background. We have a five day sail to Samoa, including crossing the International Date Line, which eliminates February 2. On previous cruises, since we were usually in a small inside cabin, I […]

Days 11 & 12 – The International Date Line and the Equator

While we have crossed the date line several times (it still confuses me) and the Equator several times, this is the first time we crossed them both at the same time – lost a day and went from the northern hemisphere to the southern at the same time. All ships hold a ceremony when crossing […]

Day 13 – Samoa

Thursday, February 5, at 6:30 am we began to catch sight of Samoa, under the most spectacular of full moons. By the time we reached the harbor at Apia, the capital of Samoa, the sun was up affording us a view of Samoa’s capital building, flanked by a hotel on the right, and the Immaculate […]

Day 17 – Bay of Islands, New Zealand

While we have been to New Zealand before, this is our first visit to the Bay of Islands, in the far north of the country. The bay is named for the 100 + islands which dot the sea inside the bay, and is perhaps the most historic place in the country. It was in this […]

Day 18 – Auckland, New Zealand

This is our second visit to Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city – 1.5 million of their 4.5 million citizens live in this beautiful city on the country’s north island. Many times on a long cruise we are at the pier before we wake up and it is always interesting to see the locale for the […]

Day 22 – Sydney Day 1

This is our third visit to this wonderful city, and we always look forward to returning. Since this is Valentine’s Day, and our ship is the “Love Boat” (the original Pacific Princess was the ship used in the TV series), plus the fact that this is the 50th anniversary for Princess Cruise Lines, the ship […]

Day 23 – Sydney Day 2

Having visited all of the highlights of Sydney, we decided to use the second day of our Hop-on ticket, looking at the fascinating architecture of the city – both buildings and landmarks. At some point, as Sydney grew and developed, the city decided to preserve many of its historic buildings as “trust” buildings. When a […]

Day 27 – Cairns, Australia

Cairns (pronounced “cans” locally) is a three-day sail north of Sydney – roughly the distance from New York to Miami, and about ¾ of the way up the eastern coast of Australia. Cairns is the capital of the State of Queensland, has a population of 150,000 and is the major center for activities on the […]

Day 31 – Darwin, Australia

As we sailed into Darwin in heavy rain, it appeared this would be the first time that weather would hinder us – we are apparently between two typhoons, and while not in their direct path, they have stirred up the seas and rains around us. We passed through pretty heavy seas yesterday and last night, […]

Day 36 – Nation of Brunei, Abode of Peace (official name)

                Our second visit to Brunei and our first of two stops, on this cruise, on the island of Borneo. Borneo is either the 3rd or 4th largest island in the world, depending on how you classify Australia (continent or island), and is truly a place of mystery […]

Day 37 – Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Kota Kinabalu is just a couple hundred miles from Brunei by sea, but is culturally a world away. While Muslims make up a majority of the population, there are also many Christians, Buddhists, and others in this capital city of the Malaysian state of Sabah (formerly North Borneo). The people are Malay, Chinese, Philippine, and […]

Day 40 – First Day in Hong Kong

Those of you who have followed are travels are probably well aware how much we like Hong Kong and always circle it on the calendar – it is one of the most fun places one can visit – Hong Kong has it all; pier location, high-end shopping, low-end shopping, sights to see, things to do, […]

Day 40 – Hong Kong Nights

Most places we stop on a cruise are “one day” ports – in by 7 am out by 5pm. An overnight stay, of which there are 5 on this world cruise, affords the opportunity for different kinds of activities – maybe a nice dinner out or a show. In this case, because of the New […]

Day 41 – Second Day in Hong Kong

We hoped for better weather for Day 2 in Hong Kong but were disappointed. Undaunted, we left the ship and took the Star Ferry across to Central with plans to ride the Hop–On around to the town of Aberdeen to take the Sampan ride which is offered as part of our ticket. We sailed through […]

Day 43 – Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam

Our third visit to Viet Nam, and our second visit to the port of Phu My, which is a container port, used for access to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), since the Saigon River is not navigable for ships of our size. While we are considered a small ship (at 30,000 tons, compared to over […]

Day 45 – Bangkok, Thailand

This is our first time to visit Bangkok – we have been to Phuket, Thailand before, over on the Andaman Sea, but never to the capital, Bangkok, which is located at the top of the Gulf of Thailand. Thailand shares the Indo-China Peninsula with Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Malaysia. Unlike its neighbors, Thailand was […]

Day 48 – Singapore

The Malay Peninsula extends down from Indochina some 700 or 800 miles. At the tip of the peninsula, about 100 miles south of Kuala Lumpur, separated from Malaysia by a river, lies the city-state of Singapore. The Republic of Singapore is about the size of DFW in area with about twice the population. Singapore was founded […]

Day 53 – Cochin, India

Scheduled to arrive in Cochin, India, on March 18th, the ship celebrated St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th, with green everything. Plus the Maître de, Oscar from Italy, who joins Sally and the knitting crew every day to work on his needlepoint, was decked out in the spirit, and served green champagne after dinner (note […]

Day 56 – Mumbai, India

We scheduled something a bit different for our stop in Mumbai since we have been here before and seen most of the highlights such as Elephanta Island, Dhobi Ghat (the laundry), India Gate, and the Taj Hotel. The ship we took in 2012, the Amsterdam, is in port and is also on her World Cruise, […]

Day 59 – Muscat, Oman

Today we moved into the domain of the Arabs – not just a change in sites and scenery but a huge culture change. From the free-wheeling Indians to the austerity and rigidity of the Arabia. From humidity to desert. And from Hindi to Islam. As we sailed into the capital city, Muscat, we were presented […]

Day 60 – Dubai, U.A.E

I suppose that this account of our travels needs to be more than just a collection of photographs and a narrative of fun tours. Not all that happens on a long trip, with 600 hundred people (mostly elderly) is joyous – life’s troubles and tragedies come along on the voyage. Today, we lost one of […]

Day 65 – 66   At Sea Along the Coast of Yemen

As if the pirates weren’t enough to worry about, it looks like fighting is cranking up in Yemen just as we pass the southern shore on our way to the Red Sea. On board the ship there is a TV channel which shows a map of our current location. It is strange to see a […]

Day 68 – Aqaba, Jordon

At the top of the Red Sea, the sea is split by the Sinai Peninsula, with the Gulf of Aqaba being the right fork, and the Gulf of Suez being the left fork. At the top of the Gulf of Aqaba, lies the Jordanian city of Aqaba – immediately to the west of Aqaba, lies […]

Day 70 – Suez Canal

As we left Aqaba, Jordan, we were held up waiting for 5 passengers who were still ashore. Normally, the ship will only wait for passengers if they are part of a ship sponsored tour, which these folks were not, but they had gone over to Israel, on their own, and after returning to ship in […]

Day 73 – Valetta, Malta

You have heard of Maltese dogs, Maltese Falcons, the Knights of Malta, and Maltese Crosses – but where is Malta and what is it? Malta is a small island country (about 20 miles long), south of Italy, about sixty miles from Sicily. Malta is an independent nation and a member of the European Union. The […]

Day 74 – Messina, Sicily

This is the second of the two ports which were added to replace our canceled stop in Egypt, and is the second of our string of 7 ports in 7 days. Messina is at the northeast corner of the island of Sicily just a few miles from the tip of the boot of Italy. During […]

Days 75 & 76 – Sorrento and Rome, Italy – “Sick Days”

Well, I have been hit by some sort of bug – laid low by a bad sore throat. As we pulled into the port of Sorrento, I surrendered to the medical department and went to sick bay. Just like an appointment ashore, I had to fill out a multipage medical questionnaire (I never can remember […]

Day 77 – Portofino, Italy

We approached the tiny port of Portofino at dawn today and began to position the ship for the use of the lifeboats as tenders to take us ashore. The Captain determined that the designated area for us to anchor had too much swell to allow safe operation of the tenders, so he proposed that the […]

Day 78 – Nice, France

Nice is NICE!! Really, nice. Since we have a relatively small ship, we were able to dock right in the small harbor of Nice. As much as I would categorize our last port, Genoa, as a gritty working seaport, Nice is on the other end of the spectrum – it just exudes an atmosphere of […]

Day 79 Barcelona Day 1

Having been to Barcelona several times, we knew we would enjoy the visit, but were skeptical that we would find anything new and different to see and do. Normally, on previous visits, our ship has been tied up on a long pier which required a fairly long shuttle ride into the city – this time […]

Day 80 Barcelona Day 2

We started our second day bright and early (9 am is early in Barcelona) by jumping on the bus and proceeding to the stop for the tram ride to the top of Mt. Juic. We were in line when it opened and hopped into a car for the ride to the top. I must confess […]

Day 82 – Cadiz, Spain

During the night we passed through the straits of Gibraltar and in the morning were docked at the port of Cadiz. On our previous visit here, we stayed in town and explored the “old town” of Cadiz. On this visit we decided to take advantage of one of the ship’s tours, a trip to the […]

Day 84 Madeira, Portugal

Madeira is in a group of islands about 500 or 600 miles west of Morocco.   This beautiful place was discovered and claimed by the Portuguese in the 1400s.  It was uninhabited, and was quickly settled by the Portuguese and due to its climate and soil, well suited to grow almost anything; it prospered, quickly becoming […]

Day 91 – Bermuda

Our last port before home – can it be nearing the end? Bermuda is such a wonderful, civilized place to visit with beautiful beaches, beautiful people and a great history. We were supposed to tie up in downtown Hamilton, but due to high winds which made it to too dangerous to navigate the narrow channel, […]

Epilogue–2015 World Cruise

At the end of each of these long voyages I seem to go through the same series of mental observations and questions.  As we come into port, there are no activities to distract and it is a good time to contemplate the journey. 1.  It will be good to get back to the world of […]