Sunday, January 19, 2020

Day 8 (Jan 18, 2020) – Crystal Symphony – San Diego to Guam – Fifth Day at Sea (Arriving in Honolulu in the Evening)

Overnight, the seas were acting up again with lots of rolling. Bob felt ok, but not 100%. Sigh. It was still about 70 degrees F outside, but the deck was very wet everywhere (sea spray or just plain rain, we weren't sure).

Our plan was to get up at around 6am and do our usual 60+ minute walk (4 miles) and then get ready for breakfast. If you happen to be on Crystal when you are having a birthday, then Crystal treats you to a "special birthday breakfast". You can have it in your room or the dining room - we chose the dining room. We had previously arranged with one of the head waiters that we wanted it to be this morning at around 9am (figuring that we'd skip lunch after). Although we've been on Crystal over a dozen times, we had yet to travel on either of our birthdays. So, it was a new treat and experience.

The rolling of the ship was pretty severe at night and when you'd wake up, it was kind of hard to fall back asleep as the ship would roll you the other way. But we managed to get a somewhat decent sleep. Interestingly, we chatted with several crew members and every one mentioned that the rolling was quite bad and they had a hard time sleeping. Since it was still rolling when we got up, Julie was worried that the walking would be a bit unsteady and she didn't want to chance it. Bob toughed it out and went for 35 minutes and 2.1 miles. It was kind of weird, sometimes you'd start walking and then you are running as the ship pushes you one way or other times, it was like climbing a small hill. 

After that, we got ready and headed down to the Waterside restaurant for the special breakfast at about 8:30 or so. When we got there, the head waiter said hello Mrs. Kessler, we are ready for you (given that we've never met him, it was cool that he knew who she was). The food was totally over the top. There were essentially a cold and hot course. They served us an empty plate to start (with lots of joking about how it was going to be a very LIGHT breakfast), and then brought us an amazing presentation of four different "cold" elements for each of us. It included: a small bagel with wasabi cream cheese and smoked salmon; a small berliner, a small waffle cone with strawberries and cottage cheese, and a chocolate mousse with raspberries and granola. They were incredible. By the way, the OJ on the ship is all fresh squeezed, so it's amazing and nearly always on our breakfast choice list.

Next up was the hot plate. It included a petite filet mignon, a small monte cristo sandwich, an omelette like egg thing in a roll, and in the center of the table was a small bit of creamed spinach and a cup with caviar, chopped boiled eggs, and sour cream. It felt like it was a ton of food, but it wasn't really as the portions were all small. It was a truly great breakfast.

After that, our routine stayed fairly the same. We attended the first two lectures and then watched the third live in our stateroom::
  • Dr. Richard Turnbull -  “Hawaii and Popular Culture."
  • Tom Faranda - "The Next Ten Years - CHANGE AND MAYHEM."
  • Dr. Khalid Sheikh -  "Want to Lose Weight?" - Definitely needed after the "Birthday Breakfast"
After the talk, we went to the Starlight and kept doing computer work. We also listened in on the questions for Team Trivia (we did ok with 10/15 right).

Our original plan was to skip lunch after the birthday breakfast, but instead because the portions were small and perfect, we felt that lunch was warranted. Note - just because they had tacos on the menu didn't bias our decision at all (and for those of you that don't know Bob - he LOVES Mexican food). Yeah RIGHT, no bias at all!!!  Anyway, we had a light lunch.

In case you are wondering, Dr. Sheikh is a cardiologist and his approach in the talk was that weight loss is truly all about insulin. It's not about calories in and calories out (exercise). He eventually got to saying that because of how we have changed how we eat, we are doing things that makes insulin deal with the higher blood sugar levels for longer and longer periods of time (for example, on average people, snack 15 times a day - which is pretty incredible).  Anyway, he eventually said that intermittent fasting is the best way to do weight loss (including a recent study - (in the last month) where the study participants ate normally for 10 hours and fasted for 14. They ended up consuming about 10% fewer calories per day, but lost 7 pounds in 12 weeks and kept the weight off after 6 months.

After the afternoon talk, Bob went out and did another 31 minutes of walking while we were sailing into Honolulu. The views were great. Eventually by about 4pm we were fully docked at Pier 10 by the Aloha Tower.

The southern coast of Oahu, Diamond Head in the middle.

Iconic view of Waikiki and Diamond Head (from the ship)

Aloha tower 
Docking, you can see the NCL Pride of America in distance.

Captain on the side bridge supervising the docking
We decided to go for cocktails at 5:30pm and dinner at 6:30pm. We went up to the Silk Bar on deck 11 and sat by the window to look at the amazing view of Honolulu.

Dinner was again in Waterside. Julie and Bob both had Charred Beef Salad with  Papaya-Mango Slaw, Chili Snow, Cilantro Oil and an appetizer portion of Penne Rigate “Con Asparagi E Proscuitto with Fresh Tomato Sauce, Cream, Green Asparagus,
Prosciutto, and Parmesan Cheese. For her entree, Julie had Broiled Dover Sole “Meuniere” with Glazed Miniature Vegetable Sticks, Parsley New Potatoes, and Melted Lemon Butter. Bob had Grilled Black Angus Filet Mignon with Hand-cut Steak Fries, Grilled Vegetables, and Sauce Béarnaise.

We both opted for dessert, Julie had Forest Berry and White Chocolate Almond Trifle while Bob had Cherry Garcia ice cream.

After dinner, we went to the Aloha Polynesia show with  local music, dance & costumes
from all the Polynesian Islands. We actually thought it was kind of meh, as we have visited so many of the Polynesian islands where we saw the REAL dancers do the REAL dances. This felt very touristy. The room was totally packed though as they had only one show at 9:15pm.

Today, Bob walked 15,281 steps and 7.2 miles.

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