We are back from our Cruise to Hawaii with friends. These are the same folks we did the Panama Canal trip with in 2010. Earlier in the year we all decided we wanted to do another trip together and this trip worked for all of us. It is a fifteen day trip out of Los Angeles with stops at four islands.
Leaving Los Angeles on Star Princess.
For the first few days the weather was cold and the seas were choppy so we confined ourselves to indoor activities. Believe me, there plenty of activities to keep us busy.
Our first stop was in Hilo on the big island of Hawaii. Thomas had rented a car so five of us drove to Volcano National Park and down the Chain of Craters Road to see the Sea Arch created when lava flowed into the ocean and wave action carved out the arch.
We also could see the large plume of steam caused by lava flowing into the ocean but it was about 4 miles away. You could hike to the lava but it was an 8 mile round trip over very rough terrain. Not possible for us because of time constraints.
Plume of steam where lava is flowing into ocean.
We then drove back to see the Kilauea Crater and saw lava shooting up from a rift in the cauldera floor. We found out that a large section of the caldera wall had collapsed that morning causing the rift in the floor. As many times a I have been to Kilauea, I had never seen lava shooting up here. Pretty impressive.
Our next stop was Honolulu where we took a free local bus supposedly to the Ala Moana shopping center but it stopped at a jewelry shop first. We were a captive audience for a short time. We eventually did get to the shopping center where we had lunch and then returned to the ship.
Sunset in Honolulu.
We then stopped in Kauai where we took a local shuttle to the Marriott Beach Club where we spent a few hours on the beach. We have stayed here with friends years ago and whenever we are here we spend some time on the beach. It is free after all.
Beach at Kauai with ship in background.
Our last stop was in Maui. Here the ship had to anchor out and we had to take a ships tender in to the port. We rented a cab and had it take us to Whalers Village in Kaanapala which is about a 15 minute drive up the coast. It is where all the big hotels a located. We found a spot on the beach to people watch for a few hours then joined our friend Cay who was having lunch at a beach restaurant. Clyda and I had a lunch of Poke Tacos and guacamole. Very good! Poke is raw tuna soaked in lime juice which cooks the tuna.
After lunch we took a local bus back to the cruise dock and returned to the ship.
Our trip back to the California coast was uneventful but a little choppy. We did stop in Ensenada, MX for a day. Again we took a free local bus into town, not expecting much but from there did take a tour to a local blowhole where ocean water is forced up through a narrow opening and sprays high in the air. We had a free margarita and fish tacos for lunch then shopped our way back to the bus fending off local vendors as we went up the street.
Blowhole in Ensanada, MX.
This is the first time we have gotten off the ship in Ensenada and if we do another cruise with a stop there we will certainly repeat the experience.
We have had a couple of fairly large rain storms over the weekend with about 5.5 to 6 inches of rain so far. Very nice but we need more to fill our lakes and reservoirs.
We are now catching up on Dr appointments. Clyda for her upcoming knee replacement – replacement on Feb 23rd and me with 2 appointments this week also. If all goes well we will leave for Quartzsite, AZ on Friday and make it a 2 day trip with an overnight stop in Boron.