SAN DIEGO

January 14, 2010 - San Diego, California, United States

Plain and simple: San Diego was perfect! Nic and I had been so anxious for our Mom’s visit that we anticipated everything! Porting in the United States is no easy task. The process tends to be a bit more…thorough. Add in the fact that it was an embarkation day, and the process lengthens. And it wasn’t just any embarkation! It was here, in San Diego, that the World Cruise guests arrived! Needless to say, Regent goes a bit above and beyond for these passengers, so there were a few road blocks in mine and Nic’s pre-planning.

Our Mom’s would be in San Diego from the 12th-14th. The first step we took was filling out the necessary paper work to obtain daily visitor’s passes, permitting them access on board the ship….CHECK! The next order of business was to talk to Claudia, the Second Purser, and get cleared for an “early-off” for the morning of the 13th. That way, as soon as U.S. Customs gave the “go” we’d be the first ones off the ship!...CHECK! Seeing as how it was an overnight in port, we next had to gain permission to sleep off ship….CHECK! Then, we were very excited to find out that we could accompany our Mom’s to the special show they had set-up the night of the 13th for the World Cruisers, featuring Jay Leno and the Beach Boys!...CHECK!

Everything was going smoothly. The only other thing we wanted to do was clear our schedules of any responsibilities for the time our Mom’s would be in town. That’s where issues crept in. As I mentioned above, Regent wants everything to be perfect for the World Cruise passengers. So perfect, in fact, that the San Diego Terminal was not “up to par” for them, therefore plans changed! We would be checking-in the passengers on board. And you know who would be in charge of that!? Yep! None other than your “Social Staff”!

Stress immediately struck! Checking-in 350 World Cruisers + 350 regular one-segment cruisers was not going to be an easy or quick task. I was worried that if they needed me for most of this process then I would hardly see my Mom at all! Fortunately, however, my fellow cast mates (who didn’t have any family in town) really stepped up and helped us out! They picked up extra shifts and worked long hours, allowing for Nic and I, and also Kelsey and Soren, to visit with our families who had traveled to see us off! THANK YOU SO MUCH TO ALL OF YOU!!! I OWE YOU!!!

With everything sorted out, Nic and I woke up at around 6:00am on the 13th so we could wave to our Mom’s as they watched the Voyager enter the port from their hotel. They were staying just across the street with a perfect view of the bay from their balcony. At around 8:45am, we got the clearance call from Claudia that we were able to disembark. Of course, we basically ran off the ship and across the street to the hotel as fast as we possibly could!

It was so great to see my Mom! I missed her so much! After the initial hugs and kisses we all sat around (Me, Mama, Nic, & Joyce) and caught up! We told them about our time in Cabo, showed them pictures, and watched all the videos we’ve captured that we haven’t been able to put online yet. And then, we told them the surprise about Jay Leno and the Beach Boys! It was perfect!

At around 11:30am, we all made our way to the ship! Nic and I had to work just two hours that day at check-in, so while we did that we showed our Mom’s to the Voyager Lounge where they sat and had a drink. After we were done, it was time for the tour! We showed them every part of the ship, including all crew areas and our cabin. They loved the ship. All my Mom kept talking about was how she can’t wait to come on vacation! And I can’t wait for that either, Mom!!

We ate a nice lunch on board at the Pool Grille and then headed back off ship to check out a bit of San Diego! We walked along the water to an area called the Sea Port where there were several shops and restaurants. I loved San Diego! It felt like a big city, but with a very chill vibe. I can easily see myself coming back here and spending more time. After a while we hailed a cab and went to the nearest Target. Nic and I figured we better stock up on the essentials, seeing as how we won’t be back in America until the middle of May. And that we did!

We headed back to the ship with the many groceries in hand while our Mom’s headed back to the hotel to get ready for the show! We re-joined them quickly, got ready ourselves, and made our way to the hotel’s restaurant/bar for a drink. It felt so nice to be able to have a real shower. It was great to have the space to actually wash without half the water spilling out while you fight the shower curtain off your body. Anyway, after the drink we walked back to the ship and found our seats for the show!

It was so great! Jay Leno was hilarious!! It felt so good to hear my Mom laughing and enjoying herself. It made me happy that I was able to do something special for her! And then after Jay Leno, the Beach Boys came out and played. I have to admit, I wasn’t as impressed with them as Jay, but it was still enjoyable, and what a great opportunity!

Jay Leno 2Jay Leno 3Beach Boys 3

We ended the evening by going back to the hotel’s restaurant/bar and getting appetizers! After all, we hadn’t eaten since the pool grille. It was so nice to just sit and chat with my Mom. We were able to catch up on everything! We then headed back to the room, where we ordered some pizza and ended the night.

The next morning we woke up and lounged around for a bit, continuing to just relax and enjoy visiting. We walked around San Diego some more and met Nic and Joyce (who had set off a bit earlier to run some errands) for lunch at Panera Bread. It was delicious! I was craving some Panera and figured now was the time to go for it! After lunch we made our way to the hotel to get our things together. We had to be back on board by 1:30pm.

It was so sad to have to say goodbye to my Mom…again! However, I’m happy to say that even though the visit was short, I felt that we had a really great time and it was very fulfilling! I am so fortunate to have been able to even see my Mom before I head out of the country. I kissed my Mom and hugged her tight as I said goodbye and watched her hail a taxi for the airport.

I headed back onto the ship, a bit emotional, only to get a care package from my sister. Inside was anything and everything I could’ve asked for. She thought of everything, from candy to an electric toothbrush. She also included inside, a picture of her, my Mom, and my brother from Christmas. Needless to say, this didn’t help my emotional state. After calling my Mom to make sure she got the airport alright and to let her know I already missed her, I called my sister to say thank you for the most perfect and thoughtful care package ever!

Mom, Jamie, & Brian: I love you all so much and miss you more than any of you can ever realize! I think about you everyday of this adventure and am anxiously waiting for when you are all here, right next to me, experiencing it with me! I love you! Thank you, Mama, for the plain and simple perfect time in San Diego!

Me & MamaMama & Me

Love,

Erich

P.S. No different from any other cruise so far, I’ve met some truly wonderfully people on this last (16-day) voyage!

David & Gail: We met them on their second evening on board. It was in the Horizon Lounge for a social hour. They were a really friendly, down-to-earth couple from Boise, Idaho. Gail was hilarious and Dave was super nice. They both had lost their spouses and were introduced to one another by their daughters. We had dinner with them one evening and were laughing the entire time! We were even able to call and congratulate them when Boise State won their bowl game! Needless to say, they were thrilled.

Bill & Caroline: They were a couple that Nic had met during the ship wide Block Party. They invited him and me to dinner instantly. We really hit it off with them. The first time we dined with them we had a soft shell crab as an appetizer. Well after we raved about how delicious they were, Bill set up another dinner date where we arranged for us to have a huge platter of soft shell crabs as our entrée. They live in Virginia and are the sweetest people in the world. They’ve invited us to their home whenever we’d like! And we may just take them up on that offer!

Sheila: Sheila was a solo traveler that was actually on for two segments, this past one, and the New Year’s Eve voyage (26 days). She was planning the vacation with her husband, but he unfortunately passed away this past August. Sheila decided to still come on board, and I was so happy she did! She is a really fantastic, intriguing, and inspiring woman! She’s truly a jack-of-all-trades. We would have the most interesting conversations about her work as an actress, model, author, and everything in between. While on board, she even founded a new talent of hers…cartooning. We had dinner with her a few times and really miss her being around. Who knows, though! She may be back on as the Voyager’s Resident Cartoonist!

 


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3 Comments

MAMA:
January 23, 2010
I must say this was one of my favorite ports too! It held the best treasure, YOU. Ilove you and am so glad to have the time we had in San Diego! Now, on to bigger and more beautiful places for you.
Mom:
January 24, 2010
San Diego was really a great and so glad it all came together perfectly! I couldn't have asked for a better hotel-mate than your Mom. She is truly an awesome woman and she makes me feel like I'm back home in Pittsburgh just talking to her!!
Jamie:
January 25, 2010
wish i could have been there! it sounds like you have a fantastic time. glad you liked the care package. miss you brother. xo
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