Kailua-Kona, Big Island of Hawai’i

2023 Vancouver-Hawai’i Cruise

Oct 16, 2023 – a day in Kailua and the Kona Coast on the Big Island of Hawai’i, USA

I am up at 7AM and have my usual light breakfast in the Grand Dutch Cafe: fruit parfait, blueberry muffin and a cappuccino. The ship anchors in the bay, drops some tenders into the water, and is soon ready to transfer passengers to shore after the ship is cleared by the port authorities.

I wait until just after 9AM to go down to Deck 1, where we are immediately loaded onto a tender. I have VIP service with my 4-Star Mariner status, so I don’t have to get a tender ticket or wait around to be called. Once I’m ashore, I walk the short distance to the Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel and wait in the lobby for my friend to pick me up. She is running late, so I hang out in the hotel to stay out of the heat and away from the noise. There are many artifacts on display in the hotel, including the impressive Mahoe, Kai Opua Canoe Club’s 40-foot koa canoe. The Ironman competitors are also leaving the hotel this Monday morning after competing over the weekend, so the people watching is great.

My friend arrives, and we are off to Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park (Place of Refuge). It is great to retreat from the crazy tourist strip, driving through the Captain Cook coffee farms to soak in the good mana at Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau, which is probably my favourite place in the world. In past visits, when I stayed at B&Bs in the Captain Cook area of the Big Island, I would come down here to just hang out for hours. There is a Hawaiian man weaving baskets in the Canoe Hālau A-frame, and there is a beautifully made wooden Kōnane Papamū under the palms for playing kōnane (Hawaiian checkers). A Green Sea turtle (honu) blesses us as it swims in Keonae’ele Cove just before we leave. The bonus today is that admission is waived!

We stop at a mall at Keauhou to have some fish tacos at Tropics Taphouse, which is a sports bar in the mall. My friend drops me off at the hotel, and I walk back to the tender dock, where I board the next tender with no waiting. I’m back in my cool stateroom by 3PM, freshen up and then take my notebook down to the Grand Dutch Cafe to have a cappuccino and big chocolate chip cookie, which revives me nicely.

I watch the crew hoist the tender boats aboard from the Promenade Deck, and then return to my stateroom to dress for dinner in the main dining room. I have corn and crab fritters to start, spaghetti aioli entree, and a banana crisp for dessert. I don’t go for my usual martini nightcap this evening and skip the magician show, preferring to work on my photos and journal stay in my stateroom.

Starting tomorrow, we will be docked in Honolulu for two days with an overnight at the dock. I go online to buy a ticket to the Bishop Museum for tomorrow, since it was back in the 1980s when I last saw the museum exhibits.

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