Vacation 2005
Wednesday
, November 2nd, Day 5
Las Vegas to San Diego & the Cruise

Today I leave Las Vegas traveling to San Diego and the cruise to Hawaii. Below is the last picture taken in Las Vegas. It is a view out the window of my room which over looked the North Exit of the Luxor Hotel.

North Exit from My Room

Shortly after this was taken I checked out of the hotel using their automated checkout system on the room television set. It worked very well. About an hour after this picture was taken I was standing at the Taxi stand down where all the vehicles are clustered in the picture above. It just so happened that two very large auto shows/conventions were starting this day and taxis were really at a premium. It took something like 45 minutes to get one. It was a good thing that I started three and a half hours before my flight to get to the airport. The main airport terminal was less than ten minutes away which helped allot to. The taxi driver was very happy to not be going back to the convention centre. He had apparently been to it many times already today.

Once at the airport I did a curb side check in for America West flight HP 738 to San Diego. Once this was completed I took a tour of the terminal and the headed through security. Even after all this I still had over ninety minutes to spare. I used this time to make some cell phone calls to home, work and the church. My info said the flight was scheduled to leave at 11:42 A.M.. Sometime along the way it got changed to 11:32. I was there in more than enough time for either one so it was not a problem. Just at this time America West airlines was bought by US Airways and is now called that. It is too bad as America West's airplanes were a neat combination of colours not the sort of dark blue and silver of US Airways. They also had an upbeat atmosphere on their planes unlike some other airlines I have been on.

The plane was a 737 and arrived slightly late. It is amazing how fast they can turn these around. Before long we were taxing across the airport into a line of something like 12 planes waiting to take off. The wait wasn't too long and we were off for the 45 minute flight to San Diego. It was a fairly rough flight for its short length. The approach to San Diego International Airport at Lindbergh Field is reminiscent of the one to Hong Kong's old airport flying over the city and making some tight turns not too far above the rooftops. The airport is next to the harbour and I happened to be on the side facing it as the plane landed. The Statendam could be easily seen at the dock not too far away. The landing was completed and the plane proceeded to the gate and the passengers deplaned only a few minutes late.

Once in the terminal I was met by several Holland America representatives who directed me to the baggage carousels. The signs indicating which ones were for which flights were not working so it was a bit of a guessing game trying to figure out which one the baggage from my flight would come out on. It eventually did, the bags collected and after a brief wait about 10 people from various flights were loaded an a coach and driven the short distance to the ship. The trip took less than 10 minutes.

Once at the ship the check in procedure took about 30 minutes and then with minimum delay onto the ship. It takes some time to get settled in (actually several days). The ship sailed at 5:00 P.M. Here are some pictures taken just after the ship sailed.

Cabin on Arrival Submarine at Dock
These were the gifts from the travel agent.
There is what I think is an old Russian submarine docked at the pier next to where the Statendam was.
San Diego Skyline 1 Naval Air Station
A view looking south towards downtown San Diego.
On the island is a Navel Air Station.
San Diego Skyline 2 San Diego Skyline 3
More of downtown San Diego. The small boat is a Coast Guard boat with a machine gun mounted on it that followed the ship until it was out of the harbour. All of downtown San Diego with the Navel Air Station on the right side.
San Diego Pilot Boat at Ship Here is the pilot boat taking the San Diego Harbour Pilot of the ship as it left heading for Hawaii.

After these pictures were taken I went and had the first of 15 dinners on the ship. Then I went to bed.

For the next four days the ship crosses the Pacific Ocean heading in pretty much a straight line from San Diego to Hilo, Hawaii. More details to follow tomorrow.

Originally Created: January 23, 2006
Last Updated: March 15, 2006