Days 45–50 March 14-19 Sailing north from Rarotonga toward Christmas Island
After dropping off almost half our passengers we sailed north toward Christmas Island. The Captain announced that because we bypassed French Polynesia, the plan was spend 2 days on each of the Hawaiian Islands. Sounds good. Shortly after this he announced that our stop in Christmas Island had been cancelled. The next day we were advised that all cruise lines had ceased operation, worldwide and our cruise would end in Hilo, Hawaii. We immediately began making plans to go from Hilo to Kona (better place) and stay there a few days planning, then do a tour of the Hawaiian Islands – trying desperately to make lemonade out of the lemons we were being handed. We reserved a rent car and made hotel reservations at the Sheraton Kona Surf in Kona, and began to lay out our itinerary – Dan and Zaga never having been to Hawaii, we planned to cover the state.
Meanwhile, activities continued on the ship. As we crossed the Equator the traditional shipboard ceremony for all those crew members crossing for the first time was held. This ceremony, intended to turn the first timers, “polywogs”, into seasoned mariners, “shellbacks”, has been held on every ship we have sailed on which crossed the equator. The polywogs are brought forward a few at a time to stand before King Neptune and his Queen. They must dance for the Sea Witch (a dummy with an orange wig) to attempt to escape their punishment – none escaped. They are then covered with shaving cream, head to toe, and brought before the ships officers for a “thumbs up” “thumbs down” verdict. Thumbs down they are thrown into the pool. Thumbs up they are spared, and sit on the side of the pool – personally, covered with shaving cream, I would prefer a thumbs down. Because we weren’t able to pick up provisions in Tahiti, one part of the ceremony was left out – the part where they kiss the fish ( a huge fish from the larder).
And so we sail on!