WELCOME TO FANNING ISLAND
These are the dinner menus from Waterside for last evening.
Before dinner we had a pre-dinner drink at the Avenue Saloon with friends John and Linda. Keith ended up having a craft beer which was brought on-board in Hawaii. We understand that craft beer will be brought on-board in selected ports.
We met friends Jim & Judy at the Prego Italian Specialty Restaurant for dinner. We have known the two of them since World Cruise 2017. We met them early on that World Cruise as they sat at a table next to the one we were sitting at. Anne Marie would see them in the Laundry Room and this began the start of our friendship. We have sailed with them on several World Cruises and have enjoyed several dinners together on board the ship and at shoreside events.
We enjoyed a delicious dinner, great service, the overall ambiance of the dining venue and wonderful conversation.
We began the meal with Caesar Salad. Anne Marie had the Veal and Keith had the additional fish from Hawaii. It is called Fresh Hawaiian Walu. This is the first time he has had this fish and it now ranks alongside the Opah from Hawaii as the best fish Keith has ever eaten. He also asked for a double side order of grilled vegetables and Head Chef Albert created a beautiful and delicious side order for Keith
The evening entertainment was fantastic. It included two showings with Musical Humorist Bayne Bacon and two showings of Crystal Dance Stars starring the amazing dancers Beverly and Curtis.
We slept well as we continued sailing to Fanning Island. Captain Giske's forecast continued to be spot-on with respect to the sea swells. You know you are at sea with motion yet overall it has been fine for us. Keith was up first and back to the Fitness Center for his workout. We enjoyed coffee and breakfast in our room. We walked together inside the ship before we got ready to visit Fanning Island.
We are in the same "boat" (no pun attended) as many people when it comes to Fanning Island. We have never been to this island before.
The island is located 900 miles from Hawaii making it one of the closest land massed to Hawaii. It does not receive many cruise ships. Before Norwegian Cruise Line was able to offer seven day round trip Hawaii cruises without having to visit a foreign port to comply with the Jone Act they would offer cruises of Hawaii which included Fanning Island. The down-side to this is that it could not be done in seven days and longer cruises were less attractive for those looking for something with less overall days. Also, some cruisers have no interest in sea days. They were able to get around this issue through legislation sponsored by their late Senator Inouye by allowing NCL to sail a seven day round trip Hawaii cruise to and from Honolulu flagged with an American Flag and having an American Crew on-board their ship.
NCL stopped sailing to Fanning Island in 2007 which impacted the island economically. Three years later Holland America began making some stops at the island along with Seabourn which has helped the local economy and also allowed additional supplies to be delivered to the residents of the Island.
The island has a small population of 2,000 inhabitants. Their main diet is imported rice and tinned meats supplemented by local fish, coconut, pigs and chicken.
The official currency is the Australian Dollar.
Crystal Serenity was anchored off Paelau. Paelau is located on the western side of the atoll south of a passage into the lagoon. An atoll is a ring shaped reef, island or chain of islands formed of coral. Two-hundred people live in Paelau.
Keith took the first tender over to the Island. Once ashore he walked around the area. There were children near the tender dock singing. One local was posing for photos. There were some buildings including a school and government office. Several people were cracking coconuts and you could purchase coconut juice. There were some tables with various items being sold.
It was breezy near the tender pier and hot and somewhat humid at the buildings about a five minute walk from the pier. Bugs love Keith and he forgot to put on repellent spray ahead of time. He won't forget to use the spray going forward.
Keith made several donations to the locals to help the local economy as we are sure other guests did. The people were very friendly and those selling items were not pushy.
A few guests brought over items such as school supplies. You can see in the photo that they have basketball backboards but no rims.
While many people have not visited the island they have seen it as it served for many years as the closing shot for Gilligan's Island.
The tender bounced up and down for a good portion of the trip each way but thankfully the weather was nice so that Keith and others could visit the island.
First individual photo above of Security Officer Ajoy with one of the other officers. On the tender Keith kidded around with Ajoy saying he was going "undercover".
Second individual photos above of friend Jocelyn who was waiting for her husband Bob to return from his walk of the area. We first met Jocelyn and Bob at the 2007 World Cruise Gala as we were seated at the same table with them at the Gala event.
Back on the ship we enjoyed lunch at Marketplace enjoying salad entrees. We kept to our regular afternoon routine of Paddle Tennis for Keith, a long walk for Anne Marie, reading and writing and getting together with friends.
Looking forward to a fun evening on the ship.
Next two days are at sea.
Anne Marie & Keith
This is the daily Reflections Program for today.