Tuesday, July 9, 2024

June 23, 2024 – At Sea Morning – San Diego, CA – Sunny 87F

Distance from Cabo to San Diego, CA 766 Nautical Miles

Total Distance Sailed: 4552 Nautical Miles; 5235 Statute Miles

Beautiful outside – we are scheduled to arrive in San Diego around 12:30 PM.  Seas are smooth and the weather is "San Diego" perfect.

Rafael was able to squeeze in my final talk – “Forensics and History: The Search for the Unknown Titanic Child” pre-arrival at 10:30 AM. 

This still gave me enough time to get a nice breakfast up in the Marketplace.  My sour cream arrived per protocol (not by my usual waiter but his assistant).  I saw him heading for my table and told him that I was going to get something different this morning and asked him to save that for me for tomorrow.  No problem.  I noticed that they keep a special stash of sour cream for me in the yoghurt section.  Crystal service at its best.

I had my backup breakfast of pancakes and two fried eggs this morning – also very good.

My talk went OK – not a terrific turnout – pre-arrival time slots are never well attended.  I have stopped estimating the crowd as a large group of passengers are watching on their cabin TVs.  I had an easier time today as the ship’s motion was minimal.  I was still distracted by the computer screen which resulted in my favoring the left side of the audience.  I usually walk around the stage and speak to each segment of the audience.  The talk ran 50 minutes per the computer timer. 

We were going to take the post cruise/airport drop off excursion but it was cancelled due to a low demand.  A few days ago, Ellen was chatting with the librarian who told her to check with the desk because we were on a list for airport transfers.  We indeed were on that list and would be getting the appropriate luggage tags.

The ship docked next to the USS Midway Museum

and right in front of the Downtown Area of San Diego.  

We also could spend the day watching Southwest jets landing at SAN - at least, I could.

But, it was just a beautiful day today – sunny and warm (maybe a bit too warm) and we were going to spend it off the ship. 

After lunch (a final gazpacho, Impossible Burger and run through the Salad Bar), we picked up our passports (taken from us when we embarked) near the Deck 6 gangway and went to the terminal for a face to face meeting with CBP agents.  That went very quickly and we stayed off the ship. This gave me a chance to take an excellent picture of Serenity.

Our original plan was to walk to “Little Italy”, which was a few blocks from the port in the direction of SAN.  When we got to the end of the pier, however, we saw a bunch of pedi-bikes (the kind we see in Cabo).  The driver, Jax, said "Little Italy" was not worth visiting and he would take us to Seaport Village for $20.  It wasn’t far so $20 seemed a bit high; we were, once again, supporting local businesses (not sure San Diego needs any help).

Seaport Village (we may have visited here back in the dark ages) was a collection of shops and restaurants.  

It was very crowded today – it being Sunday – and hot enough for us to seek shade.  We got great views of the Bay, 

the iconic statue, "The Kiss" (which we have seen in Civitavecchia),

 and an interesting fountain and Ellen on the bench in the background.  

If you look carefully at the fountain from the bench, you can make out the Coronado Bridge leading to Coronado Island in the background.

After making the rounds, we started walking back to the ship. The walk back was lined with all sorts of vendors but no shade - so our walk was brisk. 

Along the way, we saw a monument to wartime sailors

and the victims of the Pearl Harbor attack.

The walk wasn’t far and it gave us a great look at the Midway.  It appears that jet ski jockeys like scooting around the battleship but, to me, they shouldn’t be allowed that close to the ship.

Based on the walk back, we probably did overpay the Pedi-bike driver. 

We were back on Serenity around 2 PM and relaxed in the cool AC of Palm Court.  A strawberry daiquiri helped with the cooling off process.

We got cleaned up and headed to the farewell dinner at Waterside– ribeye steaks for both of us.  Did we take advantage of the kosher food on board – absolutely, as it is part of the package.

Our bags had to be outside our room at 9:00 PM, an hour earlier than most ships, so we had to go to the Farewell Show in our travel duds.  Tonight’s show featured Stephani Parker (much better performance as it did not involve a 10 minute vamp or excess riffing), the

Latin Dance Duo (the woman I thought was a female Gent was actually part of this duo), 


Marvin (Crystal Cove Singer), Rick Gerber, the Magician, 

and James Fox. But the best number of night was a duet with Martina and Rafael on the trumpet doing a hauntingly beautiful version of “Hallelujah”. 

Back in the room at 10:00 PM – early day tomorrow.

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