Our Return to San Francisco

Published: September 6th 2017
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Cloudy - 58°F

Our alarm goes off at 7 and, although I can’t see outside of our inside stateroom or “tomb” as we call it, I can assume we are docked in San Francisco. There’s no detectable vessel movement or faint hint of engine vibration, signs that our ship is at rest. Unfortunately, a state of rest is reserved for the ship, not us. We have to be out of our room for the last time in just one hour. Our suitcases were sent out last night and all we have are the clothes we left out for today, toothbrushes, medicine, documents and other items to be hand-carried off. We’re ready to go by 7:45am and, after leaving a small gratuity for our stateroom steward, we’re off to the Lido for breakfast. While it’s pretty busy up there when we arrive, it soon starts to empty out as groups of passengers are called out by number and color to begin their exit from the Grand Princess.

We chose the latest possible exit time to leave, 10:30am. We finish our breakfast. Karen’s phone is beeping as messages, backed up from days of no cell connection, signal their arrival, one by one. My phone is basically silent since people seldom call or message me. Don’t feel bad. It’s OK. An elderly couple seated near us calls relatives to let them know that they’ve booked passage on the next sailing to Hawaii and will be staying on the ship.

With an hour and a half left to wait, Karen is getting anxious and urges me to go downstairs to our designated meet point, the Wheelhouse Bar. Why she wants to leave the sanctity of Deck 14 and travel to an area where all passengers are assembling I have no idea but she does. We go there and it’s packed. We wait for about 20 minutes for the opportunity just to sit down. A little before 10am, they make an announcement that all remaining passengers are free to exit the ship, 45 minutes earlier than scheduled. Everyone is rushing to the exits but the terminal at Pier 27 can only handle so many cruisers at one time. The ship just wants everyone off, sending the problem to the cruise terminal. I urge Karen to stay put and let all of those that want to go, go. One of the crew advises us that we can leave the ship now. OK but I remain seated.

At 10:10, the pressure from Karen for us to leave is too great and I cave. We traverse the decks, then down gangway like cattle herded to slaughter. Entering the terminal, it’s full of confused and disoriented passengers looking for their luggage, going the wrong way and stopping in the aisle ways, clogging everything up. I can’t help but think that had we waited awhile, we could have avoided this.

We find our luggage in “Pink 3”, just where it was supposed to be and managed to get outside to the pickup area with all of it and without the need for a porter. Now we need to wait for L & L Limo Service to pick us up. We’re off the ship earlier than expected so we wait about an hour. My brother, Larry and his wife Louann arrive, load our stuff and we’re on our way home. At our house, all seems OK. The pool is still clear and the yards clean. The pond is running slow but I’ll take care of that. All in all, things seem fine and Louann made us some beef stroganoff for our dinner later tonight.

In summary, our cruise to Hawaii was nice but different. At Karen’s request, I kept the excursions to a minimum. The helicopter was the most aggressive of our activities. Two of the ports we opted to do absolutely nothing. We did find that the makeup of the passengers was more elderly, a lot more elderly, than on past cruises, probably because of all the sea days dramatically slowing down the pace. While those sea days are relaxing for us on board, they fail to provide good blog material. Writers need excitement, good or bad, to make an interesting article easy to prepare. Lacking sensational events, it becomes more difficult to maintain interest. In any event, I’ve produced a record of our trip that we’ll make into a book and, in the meantime, I’ve attempted to provide some entertainment for all of my subscribers based on our activities. It was unfortunate that Travelpod, the app I used previously, closed their doors in June, forcing me to search for an alternative. So far, Travelblog has worked out alright although it requires more online internet time and I'm sure you've noticed some difference when viewing the results. Travelblog also made it possible to transfer all of my previous blogs to their site for all to see. If you would like to comment on any of my posts, you’ll find a place at the end of each entry to enter your name, email and comment. Just scroll down for more pictures and the comment section. No, it’s not too late.



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