Eileen Levine


Eileen Levine

Happily married, retired travel agent and cruise specialist.

Oceans and Seas » Pacific » Philippine Sea November 20th 2012

After being on this ship for a little more than a fortnight we have formed a little group of friends. We gravitate together everyday and chat about all the fun activities we have done. So when our new friend, we will call him "Ken", because that is his name, heard about the hypnotist show, he wanted go and volunteer. So we said we would be his support team. We all met a half hour before the show at our normal perch and walked into the show room together. There were 21 chairs displayed on the stage and then the hypnotist walked out after a flamboyant introduction from our cruise director. He asked for volunteers and we were all very vocal in getting attention for Ken. Ken made his way on stage and the hypnotist approached me ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Pacific » Philippine Sea November 19th 2012

Apparently I have an accent and it is a thick one, I am told. So as we sail "across the Ditch" I thought I would share a few. Jumper/sweat shirt, bloke/gentleman, mate/friend, umbrella/brolly, brilliant/amazing, lift/elevator, alone/on your own, truck or car/boot, hood/bonnet, crazy/mad, Swim suit/ togs or bathing costume, I get it, I do NOT speak English. I speak American. I usually say "how ya' doin'?" Or "y'all" I am a "mom" not a "mum" and I inspire to be a "grandma" not a "nan". These are just so fun difference we have all be joking about while I have been onboard with our new friends. But hanging out with my new Aussie, Kiwi and British cousins, I have had to change some of my language to be understood. And I have had to completely cut ... read more

Oceans and Seas November 18th 2012

For the beginning summer Auckland is cold. Alan and I did not pack warm enough. So I am now the proud owner of a bright lime green "jumper", aka sweatshirt. For our excursion in Auckland we again went on a ships tour with about 30 of our shipmates. I have been on many excursions, but I cannot remember such a fun group. There was even a fellow with a little stuffed bunny that he carries around like my gnome. I suggested the bunny and the gnome have a ship board romance. Maybe... We were transported on coaches to the Gannet Colony . This is where thousands of gannets got to feed and perch. Lovely cliffs on black sand beaches. I always heard of the true black sand beaches, but this is the first time I saw ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Pacific » Philippine Sea November 17th 2012

What an amazing place. Worth the trip down all the way. The ocean is so beautiful here. The people are even more lovely. We chose a shore excursion that was going to give us many different things. First we boarded a nice motor coach and drove about an hour to Rototura. The drive was very nice with grazing sheep, cows and horses in rolling mountains that provided many snap shot opportunities. Once we arrived in city of Rotorua we boarded WWII amphibious water crafts, called "Ducks" and rode in those through the local parks. We also received duck calls so we could quack as we drove around. very annoying and fun. And then we splashed into two lakes. Our driver was entertaining and even played the mission impossible theme as we went onto the water. We ... read more

Oceans and Seas November 14th 2012

I am not into astrometry and know little about it. We booked this trip for the voyage and it so happens that it's title is Solar Eclipse Cruise. I just experienced an astonishing, amazing, epic natural celestial phenomena . Wow. A total eclipse of the sun. Our ships navigator worked very hard to make sure our position was in the optimum viewing location. And he did not disappoint. We had a beautiful clear view. Amazing. At the totality I never thought I would see what I did. It was like God was looking at us with his/her eyeball through a microscope. In fact that view is called the cornea. The next view you see after total coverage, (and just before) is what as known as the "diamond ring". I feel like I received a celestial diamond ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Pacific » Philippine Sea November 13th 2012

Suva, Fiji has a piece of my heart. Bula from Fiji. This is an amazing chunk of earth. The natives are very proud and loving people that instantly grabbed my heart. Today we were transported in the best island busses I have seen in a long while to the village of Navua, where we were all treated like family. We were escorted into the gathering house to witness a Kava Ceremony, also know as the yagona. The men and women were segregated from each other. They explained that is because they are a male dominated society. And made no apology for it even though some women were not to pleased with their claim. After the ceremony they provided us with entertainment that included them dancing and chanting. I find the further south we travel the native ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Pacific » Philippine Sea November 10th 2012

Pago Pago America Samoa Talofa- from Pago Pago. Pronounced Pango Pango. The "G" is pronounced with the "N" sound as well. November 9th, 2012is a rainy day on the island. Our ship arrived early in the morning to many waves from happy smiles from the locals with energetic music that made you want to dance. I found America Samoa a conflicted island with much potential. The inhabitants are either Catholic or Mormon LDS. But yet hold their island heritage and belief of their gods in their hearts. They can only marry with permission from their local chief. They wish for higher education but only have a community college with a 2 year Associate Degree. And with very limited enrollment. They praise their island to be pristine, but there is garbage every where. They don't have a ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Pacific » Philippine Sea November 9th 2012

Ship life Here we are a week into our 19 night voyage and everything is in full swing. Everybody has pretty much found their groove. This is why I think a seven night cruise is too short. It takes a few days to settle in. The passengers are now accustomed to the ship and where things are. People know one another now. I can walk from one end of the pool deck to the other and catch people waving and smiling to me. The crew now addresses me by "Miss Eileen" which I prefer, opposed to "Madame", which I loathe. I can walk up to most bars now and they know I am going to want my caffeine free diet coke. The crew's mantra is "let me take care of you". Giving me permission to be ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Pacific » Auckland Islands November 6th 2012

There is no question that people have strong political convictions. Even on holiday. And when there is a presidential election happening, those feelings get escalated. Not a good combination, especially when you are at sea for a five day run and alcohol is abundant. Things are getting very heated. I have tried to steer clear of those conversations but somehow I end up getting sucked in. I feel there is nothing more I can do except wait for the results. I have cast my vote and mailed it in, as my shipmates have. Even if you change your mind, your vote is cast, so arguing is a moot point. It is my impression that Americans are in the minority on this ship. The English, Kiwis and Aussies are very interested in our election and ask many ... read more

Oceans and Seas » Pacific » Auckland Islands November 5th 2012

Polliwog to Shellback One of the reason we decided to choose this cruise itinerary is because we will become "Shellbacks". When I was becoming certified as a cruise agent through CLIA I learned about it and said that, that was for me. So some of you maybe asking, "what is a Shellback"? A Shellback is a person that sails over the equator. There is a ceremony, "The Court of Neptune". It is held by every ship on the high seas whenever they cross the equator. One of the attributes I love most is, it does not matter where you rank, if you are but a Pollywog you must participate. From meek young ensign to admiral of the fleet. I have read about the different types of ceremonies. Some of the hard core naval ones consisted of ... read more

Tot: 0.062s; Tpl: 0.01s; cc: 6; qc: 86; dbt: 0.0232s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb