Hawaii – Day Two – Cruising Into Honolulu

Our tour on Maui leaves at 10:15 this morning which gives me time for a short post.  Today’s tour will be very long as our ship is changing to a port on the other side of the island and we have to drive back across the island.  It is supposed to be very windy and rainy today so perhaps we are going to the calmer side.  The east and north sides of the Hawaiian lslands receive most of the rain and are therefore very green compared to the western and southern sides. Honolulu is on the southern side of Oahu, hence it has better weather than other areas.

ApproachingOahu 1No one else was on deck 3 looking at the views as we approached Honolulu on the island of Oahu.  The day was beautiful and good thing because it was a full one with much to see.

ApproachingOahu 2Downtown Honolulu is on the left and Waikiki with the tall hotels is on the right.  I was in Wakiki in 1969 and it has of course grown so much.  My brother arrived on the aircraft carrier Hornet on my birthday in July that year. He showed me and my (then) husband around the ship, even going into the sleeping quarters.  The Hornet was the carrier that picked up the astronauts later that month when they splashed into the Pacific Ocean after the first moon landing.  We saw the mock/practice capsule and also the silver trailer that the astronauts were quarantined in for 21 days.  That was the high point of my week.   My  ex-husband was in the military stationed in Vietnam at the time.  Married soldiers were allowed a week of Rest and Recreation (R&R) to meet their wives and families in Hawaii.  We stayed in the Ilikai Hotel right on the beach but our room faced the mountains. Our room had a balcony and full kitchen and living room area, all for $28 a night.  I am afraid to look at what today’s price might be. My ex was such a stick in the mud that not once did he even walk out the back door to see the ocean.  22 years old and all he wanted to do was play Scrabble so we never saw another thing except for Pearl Harbor.

ApproachingOahu 3

ApproachingOahu 4The pier where our ship will dock for 14 hours is on the right. This is such a convenient location to walk to downtown, catch a bus to Waikiki, rent a car, or whatever.  

P1020612I took this picture before we docked for the first time in Hawaii. Steve later shaved off his mustache and beard.  When we board the ship at every port our Sail and Sign card is scanned and a picture of each person pops up.  Security has commented on Steve having shaved each and every time we have re-boarded and one joked that he wasn’t going to let Steve on.

Oh wow, as I write this an announcement just came over the speaker that we are not going to Maui today but instead will go to Kona on the big island of Hawaii which was going to be tomorrow’s scheduled stop.  We will go to Maui tomorrow.  These changes have to be wreaking havoc on all the tour companies on each island, and especially this change, because it is at the last minute.  I am pretty sure the tour busses and vans are all sitting at the dock in Maui right now learning that we aren’t going to arrive today.  Our stop in Maui today was to be a long one going until late tonight and there are many tours scheduled for the passengers. Lahaina, Maui is a port where we must take the lifeboats to shore and with the wind and waves, the boats would be tossed around too much.  I for one, appreciate that they are making all these changes in order that we get to see everything as planned with the best weather conditions possible.  

The trip back to the mainland should be interesting because we were originally scheduled to make a stop in Ensenada, Mexico from 3 to 8 pm. That was changed to 8 to 11 pm and all shore excursions were cancelled. I doubt there are many people that will get off the ship at 8 at night and wouldn’t be surprised if that port is not cancelled.

11:30  Change #??  When the Captain makes an announcement we know something serious is up.  Here is the latest:  The stop in Maui has been totally cancelled. We are spending the night, on the boat of course, in Kona and will be here tomorrow also which means there are no excursions today and we’ll just take our scheduled one tomorrow since this is where we were going to be with change #2. The Captain said we will receive a $200 shipboard credit per person.  You will remember that HollandAmerica Cruises gave us a glass of champagne the end of October when our Tasmania and Milford Sound cruise stops were cancelled. Carnival didn’t have to give us anything because they are not liable for weather related cancellations or changed port calls. They have gone way above and beyond the call of duty. Of course there are the grumblers. Steve went to the front desk to get quarters for the washing machine and people were giving the customer service people a hard time. Stupid whiners. Do they think the Captain can change the weather?

 

 

 

Hawaii – Day One

The five days in Hawaii is on a more compressed schedule after arriving late on the first day.  Thankfully, we are not missing any stops or shore excursions but times and dates keep changing daily.  I knew we would be busy here and it has been extremely hectic. We are on the run from the moment we wake up until falling into bed.  We will be docking in Kauai very shortly and have an early tour scheduled and since we are already leaving Hawaii the day after tomorrow I need to get a move on to let you all know what we are doing and seeing.  (Note: It is now evening and we are back from Kauai which turned out to be a very long day. The ship is leaving in 25 minutes and if I’m lucky, this post will GO!) It is starting to look like I won’t get everything written and uploaded until we get back to the mainland.

I need to answer a comment about our four day roller coaster ride.  No, we didn’t wear life jackets but had to be careful walking on the ship as there were regular drops to the bottom of a wave where we got that sinking feeling in our stomachs and our feet felt like there were weights on them.  It did make for good sleeping but I had a queasy stomach every afternoon.  There were no storms, just big rolling waves with no choppiness.

Those of you that have read my website for a long time know that I love botanical gardens and especially tropical ones.  I selected our shore excursions many months ago prior to leaving for Australia.  After visiting several in the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand I regretted having booked yet another.  Well, the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens on the island of Hilo is the tropical gardens that tops them all.  There may be better ones somewhere but this one is #1 on our list. 

HawaiiTropicalGarden 8Supposedly the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens is the only one on the ocean.

HawaiiTropicalGarden 1Much of the vegetation was new to us

HawaiiTropicalGarden 2HawaiiTropicalGarden 3HawaiiTropicalGarden 4HawaiiTropicalGarden 5HawaiiTropicalGarden 6HawaiiTropicalGarden 7The foliage overhead was so thick that we rarely saw much sky.  These are Monkey Pad trees.

HawaiiTropicalGarden 9HawaiiTropicalGarden 10HawaiiTropicalGarden 11You can see how tall the growth is when compared to the people walking in front of us.

HawaiiTropicalGarden 12HawaiiTropicalGarden 13HawaiiTropicalGarden 14The parrots were very vocal when people talked to them.

HawaiiTropicalGarden 15HawaiiTropicalGarden 16The botanical garden is in a valley much lower than the entrance visitor center.  The first part has a pretty long and steep ramp.  About the time that we were due back in the parking lot, golf carts were sent to pick up the people who could not make the walk back up.

HawaiiTropicalGarden 17The visit to Hilo was pretty rush-rush since we didn’t arrive until 3 pm. By the time we got back to the ship it was dark and rainy and we quickly left for Honolulu.

Hello Hilo

The Captain had to change the order of scheduled stops and we are just now arriving in Hilo. There have been roller coaster swells the past 4 days that slowed the ship down.
Time to get ready to go on shore. My sweet daughter added 6 GBs to our joint Verizon account so I should be able to upload pictures while down here.

Cruising Again

We are in Long Beach on the Carnival Miracle and will soon leave for Hawaii. I have a regular post written but it would not send no matter how many times I tried. This little shortie from my phone will have to do.
Will arrive in Hawaii Thursday and then visit 5 islands. Love being back on fun Carnival after that stodgy and stuffy Holland cruise to New Zealand.