Tom and Diana's Hawaii Trip
December 24, 2010 - January 2, 2011
On Friday December 24, 2010 we flew from ABQ to PHX on US Airways Express then
changed planes to US Airways (B757) and flew to Kahului, HI and then changed
to Hawaiian Airlines and flew on to Honolulu arriving at 6:30 PM December 24.
The first night in Hawaii we spent the night in Marriott Waikiki Beach hotel. This hotel acted as the collection point for most of the passengers. The next morning we had until noon to walk around the Waikiki area. We dined on the fine Hawaiian cuisine of McDonald's, visited various places such as the International market and walked through beautiful gardens. The weather was warm and sunny. We arrived back at our hotel and at noon we boarded the bus for our short ride to the ship the "Pride of America" in the Honolulu, Hawaii harbor. The ship was our hotel for the next 7 days. As we registered we took a few pictures exploring of our trans island vehicle.. The registration process was simple but all 2,400 passengers where processed so it took awhile. Most important was the issuance of a ID card. This card would be needed each and every time we left or returned to the ship along with a picture ID (drivers license or the like).
We then set off on the 7 day cruise of the Hawaiian Islands.
That evening we departed the port on Honolulu and arrived at the port of Kahului (Maui), Hawaii December 26, the next morning. Once docked in Kahului we could see the airport we had landed at two days before. We stayed at this port for two days and did two excursions Molokini Crater Snorkel Sunday, December 26 and Haleakala Crater at Sunrise on Monday December 27th.
A few of the pictures in the early morning and when we where off ship.
After two days on Maui we departed in the evening via ship for an overnight cruise to Hilo Hawaii. As we arriving in Hilo they prepared the boats to take us ashore. Once ashore we took the Circle of Fire helicopter tour.
As we departed Tuesday evening December 28 from Hilo we cruised by the Valcanoes National Park at night where we could see the active lava flows. We arrived in Kona, Hawaii after the overnight cruise. As the ship anchored in the harbor we used the life boats/tender to go ashore. Now it was an interesting process to go from the ship to these bobbing little boats. I estimated the boat moved more than 2 feet up and down as we where stepping across...Once on shore we took a hike to the Secret Waterfalls of Kohala. (a very beautiful hike).
We then departed Wednesday evening December 29 for Hawiliwili (Kauai), Hawaii. While in Kauai we did the Mt. Kainleale 4X4 excursion then we had some time to travel into the local shopping and beach areas before attending the Luau.
On Friday December 31 we had he morning on shore so we did a 3 hour Kayak Trip up the Hanalei River. At 1:30 PM we departed Kauai and first sailed by the Na Pali coast and then passed by the port of Honolulu at midnight to watch the fireworks display and then docking early morning at the port of Honolulu.
Once docked we took our bags and loaded them on a bus for a day long Grand Circle Tour of the island of Oahu. The bus then dropped us off at the Honolulu airport in the evening where we boarded the plane at 11:45 PM for the mainland arriving ABQ via PHX at 11:30 A.M.,Sunday January 2, 2011.
This was our first week long cruise. I had taken a short cruise to the Bahamas and to Mexico long ago and Diana and I where on an overnight cruise from Melbourne to Devonport, Tasmania in 2007.
Our cabin # 9648 with balcony was on Deck 9. The accommodations where very nice with adequate space of us and our belongings. I felt the bed could use a little tender loving care as it was slightly tiled from center to outside edge.
Our dinning accommodations where "Free Style" which means we did not have assigned tables and could eat in any of the restaurants. On past cruises I had been assigned table mates and we never seemed to hit it off.
Sugar Cane is no longer grown for export as the current labor force and economics make in unprofitable.
The same is the case for Pineapples. Pineapples are now only grown in Hawaii for use within the islands.
Skyline: This is one of the two "main" restaurants aboard the Pride of America. True to its name, the Skyline is designed with a 1930s Art Deco skyscraper theme (think Empire State Building and Chrysler Building). There are no interior columns in this large room - they've morphed into skyscrapers! Cuisine is traditional and continental with all-American favorites in abundance, too. We had a number dinners at this location.
Liberty: (We choose this restaurant for our Two Year Wedding Anniversary Celebration) This "main" restaurant gives justice to all the Founding Fathers. Paintings depicting important historical moments in American history line the walls of this Early American Colonial and Federal Period-themed dining venue. As with the Skyline restaurant, Liberty focuses on hearty traditional favorites, including fish, chicken, turkey, roast beef, potatoes, and hot apple pie!. (This restaurant required proper attire). Both the Skyline and Liberty served the same types of food but the Liberty required less casual attire. We had a number dinners at this location.
Aloha Café: This indoor/outdoor buffet/bistro-style restaurant is just around the corner from the South Beach Pool so the mood was always casual. Hawaiian artifacts, outrigger canoes and Polynesian wood carvings decorate the spacious 50th State-themed eatery. We had all of our breakfast meals at this location.
Jefferson's Bistro: (We choose this restaurant for our New Year Eve's Celebration) This is a la carte restaurant which makes a proud salute to Thomas Jefferson who, before he was president, was the US Ambassador to France. Hence, the French connection here at this elegantly-styled restaurant that serves both classic and nouvelle cuisine. The decor is inspired by Monticello, Jefferson's hilltop Virginia home. (Speciality Restaurant - $10 per person)