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Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Ports of Call, Marseille, France

Aloha Everyone,

Port of Marseille is located in an industrial part of the city. The last time JJ and I visited this city was during our very first European trip — 48 years ago. Young and at the peak of our health with a limited travel budget, the two of us fondly recall walking Marseille looking for authentic couscous. I also remember that it was extremely grainy like eating bird seeds and not at all tasty.

This morning dense fog blanketed the port and beyond. Chilly and damp weather, not at all conducive to venturing out of our clean, comfortable environment, it was easy for us to remain onboard the Regal Princess where we are pampered.

J.J. and I are about the halfway point of our cruising/traveling. Ongoing war in Ukraine, recent senseless killings in different cities of Israel are horrifying.  ll of us must remain alert and mindful. J.J. and I are also ready to modify our current travel plans, including our extended stay in Turkey towards the end of May.

The good news is that, even by remaining on board, J.J. walked 3 miles while I did 8.2 miles or 21,069 steps today.  The ship was nearly empty.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, March 28, 2022

Port of Call, Malaga, Spain

Aloha Everyone,

Local shuttle bus service contracted by Princess Cruise is affordable and reliable. For €5 per person with unlimited usage for a day, one can go back and forth from the cruise ship to Old Town. Today’s ride took only 15 minutes to the center of the city.

Malaga, as with many Spanish touristic cities, is pedestrian friendly. Following directional markers pointing to main attractions, J.J. and I easily found the Cathedral, Alcazaba, Palacio Zea Salvaterra, and Castillo de Gibalfaro.

Málaga is another city where one can easily spend two weeks without venturing out to its beautiful countryside.

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Ports of Call, Barcelona

Aloha Everyone,

Rain or shine, Barcelona is always an exciting city to visit. Within 5 hours of our stay, we walked up and down the famous pedestrian street of Rambles.

There’s always something happening, and Saturday crowds were not deterred by chilly falling rain and very slippery pavements.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, March 25, 2022

Day 2, Palma de Mallorca

Aloha Everyone,

This is the capital city for the Island of Mallorca. Small and quaint, yet the city center surrounding Palacio de La Almudains and the massive Cathedral is bustling with shops and restaurants. The 5-star hotels are tucked away between narrow streets.

J.J. and I had a very busy day. We began by doing our laundry at 6:00 am. By 7:15 am, we had finished our breakfast and put away our clean clothes.

Took a Shuttlebus arranged by Princess Cruise to the center of Old Town to see Palacio de la Almudains, the Cathedral and several government buildings. Weekends are when locals come out to do their sightseeing. Some squares were filled with children on school excursions. They would sit on damp stone barricades enjoying snacks.

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Port of Call: Palma de Mallorca

Aloha Everyone,

Chilly and rainy day. Although the rain stopped by noon and pavements appeared dry, the two of us utilized today to do some reading, catch up with news including judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

Along with numerous people around the world, our prayers are with Ukraine and Ukrainian people to be victorious. It would be desirable if tangible benefits and workable solutions could derive from the ongoing meetings of NATO, EU and G7 in Brussel.

During my today’s walk on the corridors of Marina Deck 15, I photographed some of my favorite pictures that are hanging on the wall.

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Cancellations - Malaga & Cartagena

Aloha Everyone,

The Captain’s announcement came via intercom at 6:30 am. With sincere apologies, he shared with his passengers that due to high winds at 45-50 knots, he decided for safety reasons to bypass both Malaga and

Our next ports of call will be Palma de Mallorca where we will stay for two days. It is colder but Regal Princess is sufficiently steady, despite the strong waves, for me to do 5.2 miles walking. :-)

The two of us shared a dinner table with two other couples with strong Hawaii connections. One was involved in the acquisition of Honolulu Advertiser newspaper in early 2000. The couple loves Hawaii but moved to Canada to raise their children.

The second couple had gotten married in Maui and spoke of returning to the islands. 

The six of us shared information about the cost of living in Hawaii and discussed alternative cities and countries we are considering for our retirement years. As one of our friends commented, those whom we feel affinity are adventurous, courageous and incipient travelers of life.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Ports of Call: Cadiz, Spain

Aloha Everyone

Misty rain, wet pavement did nothing to deter ship’s passengers and crews from hitting the narrow winding streets of Cadiz.  With a map from the tourist information kiosk, the two of us proceeded towards the center of the Old Town.

J.J. and I stepped into one of the three pharmacies located on the same street. When we asked for a product, we were looking for, the pharmacist inputted the name in his device and inquired if we would accept another brand. Once we agreed, he again inputted the product name and out comes the medication from a shoot. Once we decided on quantity we need, the pharmacist repeated the process. Paying with cash was just as simple.  

The bill was inserted into another machine which calculated and gave our change.

At fresh food marketplace, we each looked at some of our favorite items.

We stopped at the Cathedral square and opted to return to the ship before rain returned. Talking with one of the ship’s crews, I learned that she didn’t get to see anything. The reason is because her 3 hours' time off was between 8:00 to 11:00 am, the time of day when most businesses are still closed in Spain.

Aloha -- Cathi