Reunions HOME 5th Year - 1964 10th Year - 1969 15th Year - 1974 20th Year - 1979 25th Year - 1984 30th Year - 1989 35th Year - 1994 40th Year - 1999 45th Year - 2004 50th Year - 2009 55th Year - 2014 57th Year - 2016 60th Year - 2019 Occ. Gatherings

Fifty-Seventh Year

California Coastal 
Reunion Cruise


Legend to the 57th Year Reunion Cruise Picture

In the front row, from left to right, the classmates/cruisers are:

Mike Dahl     Kathryn (Haller) Pfister      Joan (Adams) Casillas     Shirley (Maurer) Stenzel  
Margaret (Haller) Neves     Dianna Stewart     Groverlee Dahl

In the back row, from left to right:

Rosalee (Shifflet) Smith     Florence Hamman     Arnie Stewart     Ken Smith     Howard Hamman     Don Segur 
 Frank Stenzel     John Gately     Barbara (Moon) Gately     Maxine (Newton) Pryde     Don Pryde


Day One - Embarkation

The Gridley Union High School Graduation Class of 1959 has only missed one Five-Year reunion occasion since graduation, but everyone enjoyed the 50th and 55th so much, both involving a cruise, it was decided that  we would do another cruise for our 57th year. Mostly, it was considered to be done now, instead of waiting another three years, partially because more classmates are now retired and without so many scheduled events in their lives. Frankly, it was also partly because we are sadly losing some of our members due to age.

We started out our week by having all 16 classmates that were sailing to join Ken and Rosalee Smith at their home in Pleasanton. They could park their cars behind the house (off the street and with some security), and after a quick breakfast snack all 18 boarded two vans at the house and rode into the pier in San Francisco, reaching the ship by shortly after noon.  Rosalee is making lap quilts, walker caddies, tissue holders, coin purses, and small handbags for sunglasses, phones, or other essentials. She made one for each of the ladies that were cruising, in the school's 'fighting colors' of Blue & Gold.

Embarkation went well. We were into our cabins on the ship within half an hour of reaching the Cruise Terminal on Pier 27 on the Embarcadero in San Francisco.

The first night at dinner we celebrate Frank Stenzel's 75th  birthday, as well as his just announced decision to retire from marketing their Kiwi crops. Grove had composed a couple of songs and she printed them on little cards for us to sing. Very clever lady.

On Each Gallery:

Hover Your Cursor Over Each Small Image And You Will See A Note.
(In a [square bracket] is the name of the person that provided the image. If no name, it was provided by Smith)

Click On Each Small Image And You Will See A Larger Version.

Please send your images to add to each day's Gallery

Dolphin Deck - Mini Suite (with balcony)

This image was taken from the outside bulkhead (wall) of a Mini-Suite. There is a sliding door behind me and outside that door is a balcony that goes about 8 feet to the rail, and is as wide as this cabin. In the far right corner is the door into the cabin. Behind the far wall is a closet the full width of the wall, with a small dressing area in front of it, a set of covered shelves, and the head (bathroom), which contains a basin, a medicine chest, full-width mirror, toilet, and a tub and shower with a clothes drying line.

You can see the bed, made up as a double bed. It can also be made up as two single beds, and some cabins offer hanging beds to sleep four people. The beds are stowed away each morning by the cabin steward and dropped down while you are out to dinner. A full width mirror is behind the headboard on the left. Empty luggage slips under the bed(s). Under the desk lamp is a desk with mirror and drawers, and a built-in hair dryer. There is a night stand on both sides of the bed with three drawers each. In the right corner below the TV receiver (that faces the bed) is a counter with a built-in small refrigerator.

If you book an Inside cabin, there is a bulkhead where the desk lamp is sitting. There is no window, sliding door, or balcony. Only the Mini-suite has a tub with shower... the others all have a shower only. The rest of the cabin is similar, with some smaller than others.

If you book an Ocean View cabin, it is the same as the Inside cabin, but it has a large window in the outside bulkhead. Some may be offered as "Restricted View" as it may have a life boat or piece of machinery that blocks some of your view out that window.

If you book a "Balcony" cabin, it is the same as the Ocean View, but the sliding door is where the desk lamp is located and the balcony is from four to twelve feet out to the rail, depending upon the location on the ship.

As you can see, with this being a Mini-Suite cabin, there is an extra "sitting room" area that contains the couch you see on the left of the image, plus some extra shelves on the right. There is a second TV, which seems a bit excess, but maybe one for the kids and one for the parents? The couch makes into a bed, but it is only 2/3 of the couch... room for one adult or two cooperative kids.

There are Full-Suites that basically sleep up to four, with a separate bedroom from the sitting area. They also offer a small number of "Handicapped" cabins that have a skosh more room for a wheelchair, as well as a roll-in shower.


Day Two - At Sea

When a cruise ship needs to cover a longer distance it will often make a "Sea Day" out of the day, where they do not dock anywhere at all, all day long. Ships pay by the hour to be in a berth, so when they expect to make the next port, they will leisurely roll into a port at sunrise so the cruisers have the opportunity to be ashore shopping or off on excursions on land. Because excursions are often quite late returning to the ship, and the first seating for dinner can be as early as 1730 (5:30), that leaves little time to get gussied up for a 'formal' dinner. So on days that you have a sea day, you can expect them to have formal dining for dinner hour. For the full treatment, they have hair salons and spas on board as well. Trips like San Francisco to Hawai'i, you have five sea-days in a row, but they only have about three or four 'formal days' in the fifteen-day cruise.

They always have ship's photographers stationed... mostly in the central portion of the ship near the spiralled staircases. On Princess Ships that refer to that area as the Atrium (it is slowly changing to be called the Piazza). Most cruisers will sit for photos since they are dressed up all purty and stuff. Some of the following images were taken our second night, at the dinner table(s) (we had two next to each other). Some were taken on formal nights, some on other nights. I included one of Rosalee and me from the 'formal' sitting that we did. I'm hoping other cruisers will offer theirs to be included as well. We are also accepting images taken by other cruisers in our party. Pitchas... I want lots'a pitchas!




Day Three - Santa Barbara

Sunrise Over Santa Barbara

Several of our party got off in Santa Barbara. Joanie Casillas met with Linda (Koehler) Hughes for lunch. Linda sent her love to the class. She and David live in the area. Joanie had a great time ashore.

Santa Barbara does not have a dock that the Grand can tie up to, so we need to anchor in the bay and 'tender' in to their dock. There are several of the covered lifeboats that are a little larger with an ample engine so they can be used as 'tenders' or 'water taxi's' that carry about 160 people or more at a time. For those interested in 'gadgets' and 'gizzmos', it is interesting to watch them drop the tenders off the ship and then take them back onto the ship.




Day Four - Long Beach

Long Live The Queen


Day Five - San Diego



Crown Princess, Our Neighbor In San Diego (4 pictures... she ain't bent guys)


Day Six - Ensenada


About half of the group went off the ship in Ensenada. Mike & Grove, Howard & Florence, Peggy, Joanie, and Don Segur. Most of the others stayed on the ship. Rosalee and Ken found a table up on the Lido deck where they 'held court' and as people came by we had a series of good visits.

One thing Ken & Rosalee enjoy when cruising is meeting new friends and interesting people. On this trip they met a gentleman at breakfast that most likely was in some of the same classes that Ken was in when he went to Cal Poly in 1960-62, studying Architecture. Another gentleman and his wife were from Livermore, next door to Pleasanton, and he lived at the same housing complex and was a close fishing buddy to Ray Rychnovsky, a man that did a series of California History lectures on the Grand Princess when we sailed to Hawai'i in 2013 and friend to our nephew Ed Myers. The same man is a brother to the general manager of the hardware store in downtown Pleasanton.

We meet people from all over the globe, some are authors, some are inventors, some are instructors and professors, and some are war heroes. They all have wonderful stories. Just learning their life story is amazing in itself. We learned this trip that our classmates have also done amazing things. I wish I could spend a day with each one and write about their journeys.

The second 'formal' dining was on the sixth day. I said earlier that 'formal' dining nights usually are on 'at sea' days, but our last evening of a cruise is when we set our luggage out for handling before we pull into port the next morning. That makes it tough to change out of your formal wear in time to set out your luggage. So, they bend their own policy a little and our second formal evening was the day we were in Ensenada.

The last images of the gallery above were dinner that night, and those at the other table all came over to our table and thanked Rosalee and me for our part of the reunion. They gave us a wonderful card that was created by Groverlee, with a lovely original verse. They also included cash in the card. Far too generous, guys. Thank you very much. It really was our pleasure. We hope that we will get to do it again and again.

Day Seven - At Sea

When we are at sea for the day, the ship will often offer tours of the facilities. They are limited due to security and safety concerns as to where they can take visitors, and the engine room and the bridge are not usually included. The do offer tours of the theater, galley, and various other areas. Some of our bunch took in the tour of the galley.

They learned that the galley on this ship has seven designated sub-galleys to handle special items. They don't make their creme brulee in the same area as where they roast the turkeys it seems. One thing is obvious in the image above: Acres and acres of stainless steel. And you KNOW that it is clean. Food is very carefully regulated on a floating city like this. Any outbreak of anything can go through this captive group like wildfire.

That cake that they did is just a nice example of the work that the chefs and galley workers can do. The presentation  of their meals is always top notch, whether it is a formal night or not. Even the buffets take pains to display their food very nicely.

On this night, they ran one show twice, and then a third show was at ten pm, and was the crew talent show. It is always cute, with non-entertainer staff performing. The images are showing a portion of our group when they had finished dinner and had watched the second showing of the first show. We were waiting for the second and final show, so Grove was performing for us. It is tough to get enough seats for this band of buddies, so we just kept our seats.

Just before the crew show started, a young fellow handed out balloons, supposedly to be used in an act of the show. It was not long before they started getting blown up. Of course, they did not sit still in our laps. By then more people were filling the theater. Within a few minutes it was chaos. Balloons were flying all over the theater. It was quite a show. I'm not sure who cleaned up the place. Good thing it was the last show of the cruise and they could start cleaning the ship for the next cruise that night.

You can see several views of the theater on the Grand Princess. This is the Princess Theater, the name given to the theater on most or all of the Princess fleet. There are many stages or venues on the ship. Entertainment is important to Princess. This is their largest and fanciest venue. It is as high as two deck levels. And what can you do with the 'pointy end' of a ship? It receives the brunt of a rough sea, so cabins are better a little further back. But a theater is usually fanned out for the audience anyway, so put the stage forward and fan out the seats as the ship gets wider.

Rosalee and I did a tour of this particular Princess theater some years ago on a previous cruise, and it was very informative. We talked with performers and technicians. One performer told how his college friend was performing on Broadway, and when they visited together the New Yorker told the nautical thespian how his Broadway theater 'home' had installed two new fancy computer controlled lights that make theater productions really shine. At a quarter million dollars a piece, there cannot be too many of those hanging overhead. "Does your little boat have one of those?" he asked. The Princess employee told him "Yes. We hung a dozen of them on the Grand last year. They sure are nice lights." LOL

Singers, dancers, musicians, etc. are hired, trained and rehearsed in California, where they learn the new acts, and then they are sent to a ship as a group, replacing a previous group, who take off some family time, then learn new material, and leave as a group for a different ship. Chefs work the same way. Even cabin stewards are hired for a 9-month run and then are given two months off, returning to work on a different ship, or the same if they have an opening. They all work long hours and work very hard. The cabin steward is the first person we make friends with. They can make or break your cruise so quickly.



Day Eight - Disembarkation

Sunday Morning On The Bay   
.                                                     San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge and Yerba Buena Island                                       [Gately]

Thank you Barbara. A beautiful picture of our precious bay.

We are given a set of luggage tags the day before disembarkation that are a particular color and printed with a number. We were Yellow/08. Looking on our sheet told us that we queue up in the Explorer's Lounge, deck 7. We need to vacate our cabin by 0800 so they can start cleaning and preparing for the next bunch coming on board in just a few hours for the next cruise. Don Pryde set it up so that all of us were given the same color/number tags so that we would be called off at the same time. That would allow us to call the shuttle to arrive when we were coming outside the Cruise Terminal building.

The only slip-up was that Don and Maxine are so experienced at traveling that they have no luggage... just a couple of carry-on bags. That saves a lot of hassle. That means they did not have a luggage tag and they did not have a 'waiting area' assignment. Being Elite level Princess cruisers, they were invited to wait in other areas of the ship, but they did not receive the call for "Yellow/08", so they did not leave the ship when we did.

When we were all outside (without the Pryde's), I had cell phone numbers and cabin numbers for everyone... except Don Pryde's, so we could not call them. Mike found their cell number and so they were contacted and they disembarked.

We then called for our shuttle vans and they were just minutes away, parked. We piled in and made our way back to Pleasanton.

We had seven cars in the back of the house, so I drove them out to the front while the plumbing was tested multiple times and goodbyes were said.

Thank you all, for a wonderful week. Let's do it again, soon. Hawai'i in 2019?


Welcome Home  
Taken by Groverlee Dahl


Grove took this image with her phone, after we had crossed under the Golden Gate Bridge, as we were coming into the San Francisco Bay. With the moon high, it was the clearest view we have ever had of the bridge during a cruise. It is usually so foggy that you can only see the large lights  on the bridge.

Grove indicated it looked as if it had been painted, with the graininess of the image. A beautifully done image, Grove. Thank you for sharing with us.


I want to thank all of you that sent in images and letters. They are what makes this website report what it is. We will always take more if you have any to share with us. We would love to see them.           



Letters From Cruisers

Before The Cruise:



Loved ones and friends can be taken from us in a heartbeat as many of us have experienced.    It may be time to take a break from the world and enjoy the journey of life....refuse to let age hold us back nor let our minds grow old.  We should nurture our curiosity, reconnect with old friends and, meet new people.

If you have had any thoughts about joining us, on the cruise, please don't procrastinate. Give yourself the opportunity to know others better and others to better know you.  I can think of no greater compliment.  Looking forward to seeing you in April.

Don Segur 



After The Cruise:


The Carnival Ship to Catalina and Mexico for the 50th, the Carnival Ship to Alaska for the 55th, or the Princess Ship down the California Coast to Mexico for the 57th---all great ships, BUT the best ship by far has been the friendSHIPS kindled by past 1959 Bulldog Seniors and their chosen roommates! 

Taking advantage of Rosalee and Kenny’s magnificent hospitality, we all met at Pleasanton.  While Ken parked all our cars in his back yard, we all munched on a pre-cruise breakfast buffet.  We agreed that Rosalee outdid herself with cookies, pastries, fruit, hot breakfast sandwiches, juices, and coffee; it could hardly be labeled the “little snack” that Ken promised. Besides that, Rosalee had made fabric treats for the ladies: choice of phone, coin or passport carriers in Gridley Bulldog Blue and Gold. 

The two big vans came and we all piled in for the ride to the wharf.  We were greeted by beautiful weather in the city and a pristine Grand Princess.

Before long, we were taking pictures from the deck, grazing at the buffet and enjoying the sights, sounds (music and dancing) on the decks.  Excitement and “goosebumps” grew as we inched out from the pier, and slowly made our way by Alcatraz, with views of “The City” along the Embarcadero and out under the Golden Gate Bridge.  Breathtaking! 

For the first few days… out to sea and down to Santa Barbara and Long Beach, the Pacific uncharacteristically earned her peaceful name.  It was so smooth we saw not a single whitecap!  Folks enjoyed trolley rides in Santa Barbara and visits to the mission, the lovely courthouse and pristine beach and marina. 

In San Diego there were more city tours.  A group of us took in the zoo. We all made it to our favorites: Michael-- the reptile house, Ken –the birds, Shirley—the giraffes, Rosalee—the elephants, Frank—the apes, Grove—the polar bears, and ALL OF US—The Pandas!  The California Condor and Indian Rhino were also a big draw.  Recently their near extinction has been turned around, much with the help of the zoo there.  It was a great day in San Diego and like the other coast towns we visited, the weather couldn’t have been better. 

Our taste of Mexico in Ensenada included:  a folklorico for the Stewarts, a trip out to the Blowhole for the Gately’s and margaritas and pina coladas for some at Papas and Beer… a fitting remembrance of our time with Ernie at our first cruise seven years ago.  We got an R-rated “treat” along with our time there (I’m sure Ernie was shaking his head in disbelief as we were... you’ll have to hear from the others for that one!... but Michael took pictures on Peggy’s camera. I’m sure that won’t be one that she sends to Ken!) 

Every night we had great food and moved around the two side-by-side tables, visiting with classmates.  The menus and waiters were quite amazing as all cruises seem to have.  I had Creme Brulee every night but one, and Diana managed to try the Chocolate Chef (Mr. Love’s) nightly concoction.  I don’t know how to spell what he is, but his desserts were beyond decadent!  Lobster, shrimp, steak and more... OH MY! Believe me, diets took a big hit! 

Whatever you might like whether it’s great dancing and singing extravaganzas, art auctions, gambling, swimming, hot-tubbing, deck walking, reading, sleeping, or eating, there are always these things to do onboard AND MORE! Remember you are doing it all with a cabin steward to do all the cleaning, the chef and staff to do all the cooking and cleaning, and an orchestra and entertainment staff that make your stay five star! You can also manage four to seven days of this with a price less than that many nights at the Gridley Inn and the six meals a day at McDonalds. 

The classmates meet every night for dinner and are off on their own during the day, sometimes finding classmates with similar interests at the different venues.  The only things missing were more classmates!  We all missed Eva and Nancy who were unable to join us at the last minute because of a medical emergency.  We met for a prayer for Eva’s surgery on Wednesday and a toast every night to them and those others who were not able to make it this time (Sergers, Dins, Hugheses, Dockerys, etc.).   

We hope for more to join us in the next reunion and a possible new cruise in years ahead.  We guarantee great food, great entertainment, and plenty of laughs.






Wow!, what a great time sharing old pleasures with my classmates.  Meeting with you again, after so many years, made me realize how much my life has changed and how much I value the friends that gave me such good memories. This cruise proved, to me, that it is good fortune to make friends and a blessing to keep them!     THANKS TO THE FOLKS THAT WORKED SO HARD TO MAKE THIS REUNION  SUCH A SUCCESS!.................Are you ready for the next one?  I am..

                                                                      Don Segur




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