January 05, 2007

We've just left Hilo on the Big Island, and it's five days at sea until the Island Princess hits San Pedro. So far, the highlight of the cruise has either been the 17-year old girl on the Aloha deck who was reported missing on the ship at four a.m. Wednesday morning, causing a great consternation among the crew and waking up half the ship (it turns out she was bonking a passenger in another cabin, and her dad overreacted), or the two, count 'em, two, performances by the legendary ventriloquist act, Willie Tyler & Lester," who for some reason was plugging a new CD (how exactly would that work?)

As anyone who has ever been on a long cruise can tell you, the port days are the least interesting part of the voyage, since you're never at any locale for longer than ten hours. Once there, you either have to overspend on a cruise-sponsored tour, make your own arrangements (always an iffy proposition), or hope there's something to do near the port. On this trip, the Island Princess stopped in Kauai for the day, and I managed to spend my visit to one of the world's most breathtaking islands doing nothing more than walking to a nearby mini-mall and buying a newspaper. On the other stops, I was more lucky, visiting the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, with a side trip to the USS Missouri, and today hooking up with a friend of a cousin-in-law to tour the spectacular (and undeveloped) outskirts of Hilo, a town which doesn't appear to have changed much in the last fifty years.

So now the fun part begins, with five days with nothing to do but eat, get smashed and play bingo. I'll have pictures to post next week. Be seeing you.

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