Hawaii – Day Two – Oahu Tour

The tour was called Natural Highlights of Oahu and covered the southeast part of the island.  Our tour guide said that Honolulu is second after Los Angeles for the worst traffic in the US and yes it was congested and slow going to get past Waikiki and out of the city limits which covers quite a distance. Our first stop was inside the crater of Diamond Head.  I would have liked to have enough time to walk up on the rim or at least walk one of the paths. As it was I didn’t think the scenery was interesting enough to take a picture.  The most interesting scenes were all the bright yellow fire trucks, ambulances and helicopters taking care of people who had heat exhaustion. The guide said that is a common occurrence when people over exert themselves by walking up to the rim. Good thing we didn’t have enough time for me to try it.

OahuTour 5We caught glimpses of the beach in Waikiki as we drove through and it sure looked inviting with the light sand and pretty water

OahuTour 6Our tour guide stopped at several overlooks

OahuTour 7There are many chicken running loose on the island and we were told these are “feral chickens” and that they are mean and will win a fight with the also “feral cats.”

OahuTour 8OahuTour 9Remember the movie with Charlton Heston and Deborah Kerr called On The Beach? It was filmed here.  There are many shows and movies filmed in Hawaii and we saw signs that Hawaii 50 would be filming in the area the following day.

OahuTour 11The Monk Seals blend right in with the rocks

OahuTour 12This guy was sitting peacefully just watching the waves until these big ones hit and he jumped up and became pretty wary after that

OahuTour 15

Hanauma BayOahuTour 16I was looking at this scene when suddenly one military helicopter after another came out from behind the big rock.  It reminded me of a movie scene but I can’t remember which one.

OahuTour 17We had the beach side of the bus and Allison had the mountain side. If you remember, Allison was on the Australia cruise in September and we sat at the same table in the dining room. Now she and her sister-in-law are coincidentally in the room next to us. Allison is a cruising maniac. This is her 6th just this year.  We talked to one lady who had gone on this very Hawaii cruise 12-15 times! There are so many people that cruise for the sake of cruising instead of the destination.  This particular cruise has a passenger population of very large people. By large I mean obese times 3 or more.  I can understand why cruising is a good way to travel for the mobility impaired.  I would bet there are a few hundred people in either wheel chairs, scooters, walkers, or with canes on the ship.

OahuTour 19OahuTour 20OahuTour 22OahuTour 23The Pali Lookout in the Koolau Mountains.

After the tour was over we returned to the ship for a quick mid-afternoon meal.  Then Allison and I struck out walking on our own and did not return to well after dark.  Steve had cut his gum the day before while eating an apple and the bleeding would not stop so he went to bed with a compress.  Allison, who is a nurse, told Steve that putting pressure on his gum was the only way to stop the bleeding. Steve is on a high dose of blood thinners and every once in a while a minor cut gets rather serious.

One more hour and the ship will leave for Kona on the big island of Hawaii.  I will have plenty of time to write about the rest of our visit to Hawaii before we arrive in Long Beach on Sunday.  Until then, Aloha!

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?