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January 24, 2020
All Aboard! (Russell)

Russell was up this morning at 5:00 am. Gail was up at 7:30. Regent was willing to bring our additional luggage to the ship, but we had to be ready for them to enter our room by 8:00.

On the plus side, the Ritz-Carlton gave us a free breakfast this morning. Even better, Regent performed boarding registration right there in the hotel, so we wouldn’t have to wait in line with the other (non-world cruise) passengers at the pier.

We left the hotel at 11:30 and were aboard the ship by noon.

Looking out at the Oakland-Bay Bridge

When Gail first researched Regent Cruises, she learned that you can invite guests aboard if you submit a request months in advance. So we arranged for our sons Cameron and Joss, Russell’s sister Joanne and brother-in-law Matt to come aboard. They all took a half-day off of work and drove up to San Francisco’s Pier 35. We had time to have lunch and give everyone a tour of the ship. When we finally said our “good-byes” at 3:00, we realized we were really leaving our home.

Lunch with the family at La Veranda

Our ship weighed anchor and set sail shortly before 6:00. There was supposed to be a “Bon Voyage Sunset Sailaway,” but it was so cold and windy that barely anyone was out on deck. A fog rolled in just before we passed under the Golden Gate Bridge, and we couldn’t see a thing in the dark.

San Francisco’s skyline at night

If you look closely, there's a Golden Gate Bridge somewhere in all that fog!

We have learned from previous cruises that a “turnaround day” is the best time to visit a specialty restaurant, as most passengers are busy unpacking and recovering from jet lag. So we made dinner reservations at Chartreuse, the French restaurant on every Regent ship. We requested a “sharing table” and had a lovely conversation with two other couples.

The evening’s entertainment was a show that introduced the ship’s entertainers. There was hardly anyone in the theater as the singers and dancers performed a medley of ABBA songs. We understand that every evening’s entertainment will run from 9:30-10:30 pm, which is simply too late for many of the passengers.

The evening was supposed to end with a “Welcome Dance Night” afterwards, but again there was almost no one in the Horizon Lounge. Gail shared a late-night drink with some Brits. (Our bartender son Joss has supplied Gail with a list of specialty drinks to try over the course of the cruise.) Russell – who doesn’t drink – retired to our cabin.

Our cruise will start with four consecutive “at sea” days before we reach our first port of Honolulu, Hawaii. The forecast tomorrow is for 10-12 foot waves.

It wouldn’t be a world cruise without Happy the Hedgehog!

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