Hawaii – Day Two – Downtown Honolulu

After we returned from our Oahu tour and had some lunch, Alison and I walked to the Iolani Palace and were then planning to catch a taxi to Waikiki Beach afterwards.  One block before the palace there was a Christmas display with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus Hawaiian style.

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There were many more displays on this street and a security guard told us that the lights would be on at dark so we left for the palace to come back later.

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Queen Iolani Palace. We were not able to tour the inside as it closes at 5 but the grounds were open.

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Without searching for it, we saw the capital for the state of Hawaii when we walked around the back of the palace. The building is different from most capitals in the US in that it is much newer since Hawaii was made the 50th state in 1959.  The downstairs is open from front to back and the offices are on the sides and around the second floor.

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After wandering a bit more we headed back to the Christmas displays on King Street and there we stayed oohing and ahhing for a couple of hours.

HonoluluChristmas 29City Hall has a big open area on the bottom floor that was filled with themed Christmas trees and displays. Santa was there too with children on his lap making their wishes.

HonoluluChristmas 35HonoluluChristmas 36My pictures were not clear enough to show you all the pretty trees but this one was decorated with tropical flowers

HonoluluChristmas 31HonoluluChristmas 32Trolleys drove by regularly for the passengers to view the lights and displays. I don’t know if these were special or just normal Honolulu transportation.

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HonoluluChristmas 34P1020774P1020779P1020794Alison and I went across the street to listen to the carolers and look at this church.

P1020795We were standing outside the gate when a lady came and grabbed Alison’s arm and pulled her closer to the church.

P1020796She brought Alison to this lady who then said a prayer over us called the Queen’s Blessing. We both would have liked a few days in beautiful Honolulu before moving on to the other islands.

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.

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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?