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Honolulu, Oahu, Hawai’i

Sunday, Oct 8, 2017 – Honolulu, Oahu, Hawai’i, USA

Hawai’i Cruise 2017

I go to the Explorations Cafe this morning for a cappuccino, muesli, and blueberry cake, and then I disembark the ship early. I walk a few blocks to Kaka’ako Waterfront Park, however I really have to screw up my courage to walk through this park, since there are so many homeless people camped out. The shoreline is beautiful, and when I get to Panic Point, I’m rewarded with a beautiful view of the Honolulu boat basin, Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head in the distance (see above banner image). A local guy tells me the park will be closed this evening at 10PM by the city until further notice while they evict the squatters and clean up the park. I see the eviction signs as I leave the park and head back along Ala Moana Boulevard to the ship, which is only a few blocks away.

My lei floating in Honolulu harbour
My lei floating in Honolulu harbour

I have brunch in the Lido after returning to the ship, and then go for a swim in the Sea View Pool. I buy a dozen beer from the bar on my way back to my cabin, since they are selling some pretty good beer from Alaska 2 for 1, although at $6/bottle, it is still expensive! I toss the lei I received upon landing in Hilo into the harbour. It floats, which tradition tells us means I will return to Hawai’i some day – a pretty sure thing!

Melanzane Ripiene - eggplant roulade - Canaletto
Melanzane Ripiene – eggplant roulade – Canaletto

My friends and I have dinner at Canaletto Italian restaurant aboard ship this evening. I have the Melanzane Ripiene – eggplant roulade as a starter, and Banzino al Fiere – grilled Sea Bass as a main course.My friends share some antipasto and Mozzarella Bufala – buffalo mozzarella with salad for starters, and Costoletto alla Griglia – lamb cutlets and arugula salad. They also have a carafe of Montepulciano D’Abbruzzio.

After dinner, I go to see the main stage show : This is Hawaii – a show troupe from Maui. It is a pretty good modern song and dance showcase of the islands.

Monday, Oct 9, 2017 – Honolulu

Throne Room in the Iolani Palace, Honolulu, Hawaii
Throne Room in the Iolani Palace, Honolulu, Hawaii

This morning, we walk the few blocks to see the Iolani Palace, which is quite spectacular inside. Last time I cruised to Honolulu, the palace was closed because it was a Sunday, so I”m glad I have lots of time to see it this time. We also walk around in the vicinity, seeing the outside of the State Legislature, the Mission Houses and Kawaiahao Church.

We are beat by the time we return to the ship just before noon. The heat and humidity are building, so I am glad for the air conditioning aboard ship. I’m turning into quite the wimp! My friends and I have a beer before we go to the main dining room for dinner. It is Canadian Thanksgiving today, so we order turkey dinner and pumpkin pie along with our other Canadian table mates from Quadra Island, West Vancouver, and Brandon, Manitoba.

We don’t leave port until late this evening, bound for Maui.

Slide show of Honolulu (2010-2017)

Oahu photo galleries

Honolulu
52 photos
Bridged office tower
Bridged office tower
Aloha Tower after dark
Aloha Tower after dark
Maunalani Heights
Maunalani Heights
Diamond Head tunnel and the Moon above the crate rim
Diamond Head tunnel and the Moon above the crate rim
Diamond Head crater
Diamond Head crater
Beach, coral, snorkelers
Beach, coral, snorkelers
White succulent in seed
White succulent in seed
Koko Head shoreline
Koko Head shoreline
Approaching Honolulu harbour in the early morning
Approaching Honolulu harbour in the early morning
Alter and flags inside the church sanctuary
Alter and flags inside the church sanctuary
Mission Houses from S. King St.
Mission Houses from S. King St.
Hand water pump on the Mission Houses grounds
Hand water pump on the Mission Houses grounds
Kawaiahao Church and clock tower
Kawaiahao Church and clock tower
Alter and flags inside the church sanctuary
Alter and flags inside the church sanctuary
Paintings of Hawaiian royalty nside the church sanctuary
Paintings of Hawaiian royalty nside the church sanctuary
Kawaiaha'o Pool in front of Kawaiahao Church
Kawaiaha’o Pool in front of Kawaiahao Church
Kawaiaha'o Pool
Kawaiaha’o Pool
King Lunalilo monument
King Lunalilo monument
Royal crest of King Lunalilo
Royal crest of King Lunalilo
Fan Palms in the garden
Fan Palms in the garden
State Capitol Building
State Capitol Building
State of Hawaii bronze crest in front of the State Capitol Building
State of Hawaii bronze crest in front of the State Capitol Building
School kids crossing the street on a field trip
School kids crossing the street on a field trip
Royal Crest on the gate of the Iolani Palace
Royal Crest on the gate of the Iolani Palace
Iolani Palace Bandstand
Iolani Palace Bandstand
Front of the Iolani Palace
Front of the Iolani Palace
Aloha Tower
Aloha Tower
Luxury yacht Méduse
Luxury yacht Méduse
Nā Kūpuna Makamae Senior Center
Nā Kūpuna Makamae Senior Center
Body surfers, Waikiki and Diamond Head
Body surfers, Waikiki and Diamond Head
Body surfers, Waikiki and Diamond Head
Body surfers, Waikiki and Diamond Head
Point Panic Water Warriors memorial
Point Panic Water Warriors memorial
Sand Island with the reef behind
Sand Island with the reef behind
East side of the palace
East side of the palace
Lamps standard and front of the palace
Lamps standard and front of the palace
Grand staircase
Grand staircase
Etched glass panes in the outside doors depicting the Royal Hawaiian crest
Etched glass panes in the outside doors depicting the Royal Hawaiian crest
Dining room
Dining room
Crowns and settee and thrones in the throne room
Crowns and settee and thrones in the throne room
The grand staircase
The grand staircase
The King's bedroom
The King’s bedroom
An inlaid carved table in the King's bedroom
An inlaid carved table in the King’s bedroom
The King's library
The King’s library
The King's library
The King’s library
Bath, basin and toilet
Bath, basin and toilet
The music room
The music room
Roses in an ornate vase
Roses in an ornate vase
The palace kitchen
The palace kitchen
The Eurodam visible at the end of Punchbowl Road
The Eurodam visible at the end of Punchbowl Road
My lei floating on Honolulu Harbour
My lei floating on Honolulu Harbour
Honolulu and Waikiki shoreline lights with the Moon
Honolulu and Waikiki shoreline lights with the Moon
Honolulu and Waikiki shoreline lights with the Moon
Honolulu and Waikiki shoreline lights with the Moon
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Lombok, Indonesia

March 12, 2016 – Lombok, Indonesia

2016 – SE Asia and Total Solar Eclipse cruise

I had originally planned to stay aboard the ship in Lombok, however I booked the Fascinating Culture of Lombok shore excursion yesterday, in order to get off the ship and see some of this Indonesian island. The ship is anchored, and we use private tenders to get ashore today. These tenders are big and powerful, in order to cope with the currents and tides in the area.

When we arrive at the Nusa Tenggara Barat Province Museum, there is a local musical group using traditional instruments to greet us with music. The museum itself is modest, but there are interesting displays of artifacts from the area, including traditional Kris knives, drums, marriage costumes, and gold jewelry. We make a shopping stop at a pearl shop in the central city of Mataram. I stay outside and take photos and video of the traffic on the street.

Terraces and the artifical lake, Narmada Water Palace, Lombok, Indonesia
Terraces and the artifical lake, Narmada Water Palace, Lombok, Indonesia

Narmada Water Palace consists of a large artificial lake whose shape resembles Segara Anak in the caldera of the Rinjani Volcano. It was built in 1805 by the Raja of Mataram after he became too old to climb Rinjani to deposit offerings in the sacred lake there. Narmada’s temple, Pura Kalasa, is still used; the Balinese Pujawali celebration is held here annually.

There is holy water available to anyone, so several of our group partake. Personally, I would never trust such water, but our local guide insists it is pure spring water. There is also a public swimming pool on the same site.

Decorative temple gate, Lingsar temple, Lombok, Indonesia
Decorative temple gate, Lingsar temple, Lombok, Indonesia

Our second temple stop this morning is at the twin temples for both Hindus, Muslims and all others at Pura Lingsar. This is a large temple complex built in 1714, and is the place of worship for Wetu Telu Islam, and is open to all others. The second temple in the northern section is exclusively for Hindu worship, and features a fountain.

As we head north, the road rises over two small hills offering panoramic views of the sea. We have an Indonesian buffet lunch at the Sheraton Senggigi Resort.

Woman making a tall pot with a younger woman holding a baby, Banyu Mulek, Lombok, Indonesia
Woman making a tall pot with a younger woman holding a baby, Banyu Mulek, Lombok, Indonesia

In contrast, our final stop is in Banyu Mulek village, which is famous for handmade pottery. We are taken into the village on a traditional horse cart called a cidomo, to see the skilled villagers make clay into beautiful pottery. They seem to use rice straw to fire the clay instead of kilns.

On the way back to the ship, we are caught in a wedding parade (see banner photo above). The bride and groom walk down the main street, and all the villagers come out to see them. On Lombok, tradition dictates that the couple elope to get married, and then parade in their local community to let everyone know they are married.

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Malacca, Malaysia

Feb 28, 2016 – Malacca, Malaysia

2016 – SE Asia and Total Solar Eclipse cruise

Our ship anchors for the day offshore. Malacca is a city with an interesting history. It was originally colonized by the Portuguese, and then the Dutch came in and took over. Finally, the British ousted the Dutch, in the final wave of colonial rule before Malaysia gained independence in modern times.

Dutch Square, including bell tower and Christ Church, Malacca, Malaysia
Dutch Square, including bell tower and Christ Church, Malacca, Malaysia

We need to cover very little ground with our shore excursion today Walk the Dutch Trail, since the history of this small city is concentrated within a few blocks in the centre of the city. Malacca was once a spice centre for eastern and western traders, and boasts a colourful history forged by Malay Sultans and European colonial powers, which resulted in the formation of multi-cultural communities. Each of these historical eras left its own heritage and influence, as we walk back through time to discover the great empires of Malacca: the Malay Sultanate, the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British. Starting in Dutch Square, we see the Stadthuys, built as the official residence for the Dutch governors and their officers – an excellent example of Dutch period architecture. Christ Church, standing tall since 1753, is another contribution of the Dutch who defeated the Portuguese in 1641.

Two trishaws, Malacca, Malaysia
Two trishaws, Malacca, Malaysia

Seri Melaka, now known as the Governors Museum was the location of the head of state for this area from the Sultanate of Melaka’s time onward through the various colonial governors. Also on St Paul’s Hill are the ruins of St Paul’s Church, where Catholic missionary St Francis Xavier was briefly interred in 1553. The ruins of the Portuguese Fortress are visible as we descend the hill to tour the replica of the Malacca Sultan’s Palace. Finally, we head back to the pier by trishaw – gaudily-decorated bicycles with the back axel extended so there are two back wheels and a small seat with a canopy rigged up.

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Muscat

February 15, 2015 – Sunday – Khasab to Muscat

Dessert buffet at the City Seasons Hotel
Dessert buffet at the City Seasons Hotel

After our flight lands in Muscat, we meet our Omani guide Yacoob, who will be with us until we leave Oman. The bus takes us to the City Seasons Hotel in the city, where we have the afternoon to ourselves. I catch up on my travel journal and photos, and have a nap this afternoon. We have a sumptuous and extensive dinner buffet in the hotel, consisting of western, Indian, and Omani food. Table service is top notch, and the desserts are amazing! The Al-Zawawi Mosque is nearby and is beautifully lit at night, so several of us find a good vantage point to take photos.

February 16, 2015 – Monday – Muscat

This morning we visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque: a beautiful example of Islamic architecture with exquisite crystal chandeliers, stained glass windows, wonderful flower gardens, and a beautiful exterior design. Arriving early means we are ahead of the cruise ship tours, so it’s nice to have lots of room and few crowds for the first 45 minutes. The whole experience at the mosque is peaceful and sublime. I am most impressed with this Grand Mosque over the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan Mosque (Grand Mosque) which we saw in Abu Dhabi.

After leaving the Grand Mosque, we drive down to the harbour, which is the Mutrah area of Muscat – an attractive corniche of latticed buildings and mosques. The Sultan’s very impressive yacht pulls into the harbour while we are there. This souq is the same as all the others we have visited, so after a quick walk through, I sit in the shade waiting for the group to reassemble.

Al Alam Palace
Al Alam Palace

Our next stop is the nearby Sultan’s Al-Alam Palace, which has a beautiful plaza with flowers everywhere. The palace is very small…obviously for ceremonies only. We are not allowed inside, but we have fun taking photos of the grounds, the plaza, and Michele directs our guide Yaqoob (as our ever-willing model) to add some interest to the scenes by walking in front of the palace and along a colonnaded breezeway. Yaqoob (and our drivers) are always impeccably dressed in turbans (or hats) and robes.

Fort Jalali and the harbour
Fort Jalali and the harbour

Later, we also see the Portuguese-built Mirani and Jalali forts at either end of the harbour, which the Palace is also located on. Jalali was a prison and is now a museum of Omani heritage. Mirani fort guarded the harbour entrance. Neither fort is open to the public, so we take a few photos of the beautiful harbour setting with the forts on either side and then return to our hotel. We indulge in another sumptuous and extensive dinner buffet in the hotel.

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Venice

September 7, 2014 – Sunday – Austria to Venice, Italy

Rick Steves Best of Europe in 21 Days tour

After parking in the Tronchetto parking area of Venice, we get our bags off the bus and take the Vaporetto (water bus) to the Academia area. Jennifer previously warned us that an historical regatta was happening along the Grand Canal, which means some bridges and portions of the canal are closed to traffic. We schlepp our bags through the crowds, but when we reach the Academia Bridge, it is jammed solid with a crowd and is complete chaos. At this point we can no longer roll our bags as we squeeze through the crowds. It takes us about 20 minutes to carefully cross to the other side and regroup before continuing the rather stressful walk to our hotel.

Canal intersection with patios and homes above in Venice
Canal intersection with patios and homes above

The Hotel Serenissima is located just four blocks from St. Marks Square, and it’s not much further to the Rialto Bridge area. My room is the tiniest hotel room I have ever stayed in, however it has a bathroom and a single bed, and is comfortable and quiet, since it faces the inner courtyard instead of the street.

We don’t have much time, but I manage to get cleaned up before we go out for a group dinner at Trattoria alla Madonna. The food and service is very good. The dinner includes salad, main course, wine, dessert, and some entertainment from a trio that wandered in from the street. They make out like bandits from all the tips our group give them!

Gondola ride on the Grand Canal at night in Venice
Gondola ride on the Grand Canal at night in Venice

Another highlight of the tour comes next: a night time gondola ride through the canals, complete with a singer and accordion player! Our guide Jennifer arranges this extra cost activity for those of us who want to go, so we share in the (reasonable) cost, and end up in four gondolas. It is great to experience this with the group. It is a beautiful night, the Moon is full over the Grand Canal, and the city is alive with people as we glide by listening to our musicians. Jennifer even serves us Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine) before we start the gondola ride!

September 8, 2014 – Monday – Venice

After breakfast at the hotel this morning, we go on an early morning guided walk with a local guide. We see Marco Polo family’s square, then go to the Venice Hospital area, where we have a break. The hospital looks like a church to me. The walk continues wandering through Venice, and we eventually come to a little shop on a canal, which sells Venetian masks. Our guide takes the whole group inside to see how the Moroccan owner makes the masks. I’m not interested, although the rest of the group seem to enjoy it.

Gold decorated wall and ceiling murals in St. Marks Cathedral
Gold decorated wall and ceiling murals in St. Marks Cathedral

Our last stop on the tour is the famous St. Marks Cathedral on St. Marks Square (Piazza San Marco), where our guides leave us. Timing is important, since at 11:30AM, the lights illuminating the ceiling inside the church are turned on. This is new for the cathedral and well worth planning for, since the ceiling comes alive with the extra light, and photography of the ceiling detail is much more rewarding. I decide to pay extra to see the famous golden horses, which are upstairs in the museum part of the church. This turns out very well, since I also have access to the balcony over the main entrance, which gives an unobstructed view of the flooded St. Marks Square, the Doges Palace, and the nearby islands and canals. I skip touring the Doges Palace, since I saw it last time I was here in 2006.

I get my shoes soaked as I try to dodge the water in the square on my way back to the hotel. After a nap in my room, I go out walking around the Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal, take some photos, and just enjoy my free time in Venice. I join a couple in the tour group for dinner at a nice outdoor restaurant with a great view of a canal near the Rialto Bridge. Now that the cruise ship passengers have left Venice, the place is civilized again!

September 9, 2014 – Tuesday – Venice to Florence

We don’t encounter any problems taking the Vaporetto back to the Tronchetto parking area of Venice this morning, since the Regatta is over – things are back to normal.

Venice
64 photos
Fincantieri ship building facility
Fincantieri ship building facility
Frecciarsento high speed train in the rail yard at Mestre
Frecciarsento high speed train in the rail yard at Mestre
Five cruise ships docked
Five cruise ships docked
Tronchetto people mover train bridge
Tronchetto people mover train bridge
Tronchetto people mover train station
Tronchetto people mover train station
The causeway and the Tronchetto
The causeway and the Tronchetto
Tronchetto vaporetto terminal
Tronchetto vaporetto terminal
Crowds on the Academia bridge waiting for the regatta on the Grand Canal
Crowds on the Academia bridge waiting for the regatta on the Grand Canal
Group having dinner
Group having dinner
Musical trio entertaining the group after dinner
Musical trio entertaining the group after dinner
Venetian canal at night and an almost Full Moon
Venetian canal at night and an almost Full Moon
Jennifer opening Prosecco to serve us before our Gondola ride
Jennifer opening Prosecco to serve us before our Gondola ride
Jennifer opening Prosecco to serve us before our Gondola ride
Jennifer opening Prosecco to serve us before our Gondola ride
Our gondolas await us
Our gondolas await us
Our tour group aboard one gondola
Our tour group aboard one gondola
Jim and Sandy celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in Venice
Jim and Sandy celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in Venice
Gondolas on a canal at night
Gondolas on a canal at night
Singer and accordian player on our gondola
Singer and accordian player on our gondola
Gondoliier and gondola on a canal at night
Gondoliier and gondola on a canal at night
Gondolas passing on a canal at night
Gondolas passing on a canal at night
Our group in a gondola passing under a bridge on a canal at night
Our group in a gondola passing under a bridge on a canal at night
Building's balcony and ornate room fscing the Grand Canal lit up at night
Building’s balcony and ornate room fscing the Grand Canal lit up at night
Jim and Sandy on thh Grande Canal with our gondolier
Jim and Sandy on thh Grande Canal with our gondolier
Our group in gondolas on the Grand Canal at night
Our group in gondolas on the Grand Canal at night
Our group in gondolas on the Grand Canal at night with the Full Moon
Our group in gondolas on the Grand Canal at night with the Full Moon
Our group in gondolas on the Grand Canal at night with the Full Moon
Our group in gondolas on the Grand Canal at night with the Full Moon
Our singer serenades us on the Grand Canal
Our singer serenades us on the Grand Canal
The Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal at night
The Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal at night
The Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal at night
The Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal at night
Our singer and accordian player serenade us on a small canal
Our singer and accordian player serenade us on a small canal
A bridge over a canal with the Full Moon behind
A bridge over a canal with the Full Moon behind
Freight boats in front of the Rialto Bridge
Freight boats in front of the Rialto Bridge
Marzipan confections in a shop window
Marzipan confections in a shop window
Freight boat in a canal
Freight boat in a canal
Mask-making presentation
Mask-making presentation
Gondola with ornate seats
Gondola with ornate seats
Wig and dress in the Atelier Marega mask shop window
Wig and dress in the Atelier Marega mask shop window
Canal intersection with patios and homes above
Canal intersection with patios and homes above
Brass door knocker
Brass door knocker
Masks hanging from a shop ceiling
Masks hanging from a shop ceiling
Bridge of Sighs behind the Doge's Palace
Bridge of Sighs behind the Doge’s Palace
Ornate roofline of the cathedral
Ornate roofline of the cathedral
Crowds in St. Mark's Square avoiding the flooding
Crowds in St. Mark’s Square avoiding the flooding
St Mark's Campanile tower
St Mark’s Campanile tower
The columns of San Marco and San Todaro and the crowds in front of the Doge's Palace
The columns of San Marco and San Todaro and the crowds in front of the Doge’s Palace
Torre dell'Orologio clock tower
Torre dell’Orologio clock tower
Ornate facade of the cathedral
Ornate facade of the cathedral
Crowds in St. Mark's Square avoiding the flooding
Crowds in St. Mark’s Square avoiding the flooding
The front balcony above the cathedral entrance
The front balcony above the cathedral entrance
Stairway to the museum
Stairway to the museum
The horses of St. Mark's Cathedral
The horses of St. Mark’s Cathedral
The gold decorated sanctuary from the balcony
The gold decorated sanctuary from the balcony
Gold leaf ceiling decorations
Gold leaf ceiling decorations
Gold decorated wall and ceiling murals
Gold decorated wall and ceiling murals
Gold decorated ceiling
Gold decorated ceiling
Gold decorated wall and ceiling murals
Gold decorated wall and ceiling murals
Candelabra in the sanctuary
Candelabra in the sanctuary
Gold decorated screen
Gold decorated screen
Gold decorated wall and ceiling murals
Gold decorated wall and ceiling murals
Gold decorated ceiling murals
Gold decorated ceiling murals
San Marco Square flooded by a Full Moon tide
San Marco Square flooded by a Full Moon tide
People dining beside the Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge
People dining beside the Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge
San Giacomo di Rialto and its large 15th century clock above the entrance
San Giacomo di Rialto and its large 15th century clock above the entrance
Masks in a shop window
Masks in a shop window
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Oahu, Hawaii

2014 Hawai’i-French Polynesia cruise

February 20, 2014 – Thursday – The North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii

We arrive in Honolulu harbour on time this morning. The early morning approach offers some superb views of Diamond Head and the south shore of Waikiki and Honolulu before we slip into our dock at Pier 2.

Byodo-In Temple and pond
Byodo-In Temple and pond

I am on an excursion today, our first of two days in Honolulu. The Explore and Taste Oahu’s North Shore tour is a 6.5 hour all day affair run by Roberts Hawaii, which visits the tranquil Byodu Temple after we travel over the H3 freeway through the Koolau Mountains to Kaneohe. The temple is quite beautiful and tranquil despite the groups from the numerous tour buses wandering the grounds.

We then stop at Chinaman’s Hat Rock, which is a rock sticking out of Kaneohe Bay. We drive by the Crouching Lion restaurant (now closed), which my friends and I stopped at for lunch the last time I visited Oahu. Our stop at Malaekahana State Recreation Area offers a great view of the ocean and a spectacular beach, not often visited by tourists or locals. (It looks like Malaekahana is now operating as a campground and retreat.) As we pass the Polynesian Cultural Center, our guide explains how the students study at the Brigham Young University and the adjacent Latter Day Saints temple in Laie, and also work at the Polynesian Cultural Center to pay for their education.

Fumis Kahuku Shrimp
Fumis Kahuku Shrimp

Our destination for lunch is just up the road: Fumis Kahuku Shrimp (Yelp reviews), where we have a pre-ordered lunch of shrimp, cod, or chicken. Most people order the shrimp, which is a large portion that comes in a Styrofoam plate along with some salad and rice and a soft drink. I find the Lemon Pepper Shrimp to be very tasty. There is a washbasin to get the grease off after the meal is finished. Shave Ice can be purchased for dessert, for those so inclined. This is very casual dining, but the food is very good! The James Campbell Wildlife Refuge is visible out by the coastline from here, and the shrimp ponds where the shrimp are raised are right beside this roadside stop.

2014 Oahu North Shore photos map
Oahu North Shore photos map

We carry on to see Sunset Beach for a quick 10-minute stop, then pass by Tunnel Beach, both of which are world-famous for surfing (see banner image above). There are lots of surfers riding the waves.

Waimea Bay Beach Park is the next stop to see the turtles in the bay feeding on the algae. We spot one turtle. We then turn away from the coastline, driving through the little town of Haeliwa, and make our final stop at the Dole Plantation. This is the typical tourist trap if ever I saw one, but thankfully it is only a 20-minute stop before we carry on back to Honolulu over the H2 and H1 freeways, passing Pearl Harbor along the way.

The ship stays at the dock overnight, so we sleep aboard.

February 21, 2014 – Friday – Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Honolulu walking map
Honolulu walking map

I don’t have any excursions booked for today, so I get up and have a leisurely breakfast in the Rotterdam Dining Room. I go ashore from Pier 2, walking a few blocks up South Street as far as the Mission Houses, the Kawaiaha’o Church, and then cross South King Street to see the State Capital and Iolani Palace.

Mission Houses
Mission Houses

I return to the Mission Houses for their tour of the inside, paying the $10 admission. It was very interesting hearing how the missionaries from Boston sailed around Cape Horn, to live and work in Hawaii. They supported themselves by printing and selling (or bartering) books and documents. They gave the Hawaiians their written language, introduced them to western music melody, and of course as missionaries, converted many of them to Christianity. I don’t have time to go into the Iolani Palace before it closes, so I return to the ship to freshen up and have some lunch.

I spend the afternoon aboard ship, swimming in the Ocean View Pool and generally relaxing. I am also taking advantage of the roaming package I purchased from Rogers, my cellular provider in Canada. The roaming package includes 15 minutes for voice calls, and also includes 200Mb of data. Since I have high speed LTE connectivity here, I can ignore the ship’s slow and expensive satellite Internet connection, and get a few things done online. I also call Harper’s Car Rentals to change my arrangements on the Big Island of Hawaii to a one-day rental with no drop off in Kona, which they happily do for me.

Collection of photos of this visit and my previous visit to the Honolulu area in 2010.