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Posts posted by marion10

  1. We had planned to tour Volcanoes National Park with an audio guide- but due to the Shutdown - most of the Park was closed. We saw what we could. We drove to Rainbow Falls and Pe’epe’falls and stopped  at the Mauna Loa Macademia nut plant- the processing lines were closed because it was Sunday but the store with lots of samples was open and their small botanical gardens. Ice cream was delicious. We drove down Banyan drive and stopped at a small beach- we could see the ship from the beach. A really delightful day at very low cost. Then back to the ship.

  2. Turns out we didn’t need to worry about getting back to the ship - because we received word that we would be unable to tender to Kona and would be staying another day in Honolulu. We moved to another pier - closer to Aloha Tower. Because of the government shutdown we decided not to try Pearl Harbor. From the later pier- it was an easy walk into downtown Honolulu. We had a guidebook with us and did a self guided tour - the Anglican cathedral, State House , Palace (we did not go inside) , then walked back to the ship and spent some time at Aloha Tower. After lunch on the ship- we took a cab to Waikiki beach, walked around, had some shaved ice and explored some of the hotels , then Ubered back to the ship.

  3. On to Honolulu- our next port. I don’t remember which pier we were at but it was away from Aloha Tower - so a bit of a walk if you wanted to go there. We took the free shuttle to Hilo Hattie’s  at a downtown shopping mall- from there you could take the city bus to a variety of destinations- we rode up the North Shore but it was not a particularly scenic but we did get a chance to more of the island- we could have ridden further but wanted get back for the Luau we had later that night. We had booked Ka Moana Luau on Groupon which included transportation from the cruise port- we really enjoyed it- the Luau was outside at a Marine Park - so we got to see a few exhibits before dark. Food pretty decent - enjoyed the crafts beforehand- got to make leis and do some palm weaving. I was a little nervous about getting back to the ship on time but no worries,. Our driver was great and pointed out sights and talked about Hawaiian culture.



  4. Maui! Finally after 5 days we arrived in Hawaii- we had beautiful rainbows all around as we pulled into port. We docked in Kahului which is more industrial port- there really is not much to do within walking distance around port. We rented a car at Enterprise which was within walking distance of the port- maybe 1/3 of a mile. They also allow after hours drop off. It didn't take long to get our car. We had bought the Gypsy Audio guide for Maui for our iPhone and it was fantastic only $5 and works off your phone's GPS- no worry about cell coverage. We drove to Iao Valley State Park, then to a small park that had houses featuring the different cultures from Hawaii. We drove about an hour on the road to Hana. Stopped at a beach and saw turtles and had fresh coconut. Even though the government furlough was on - Haleakala National Park was open but no rangers and the visitor center was closed. Fortunately our audio guide has great narration and directions. We made it almost to the top, but were meeting friends in Kula for dinner. We drove to Kula which is a small town and got there early, so had time to visit a little glass blowing studio and chat with the artist. We weren't doing a Luau and couldn't really find anything else to do at night, so by 8:00 we had turned in the car and were back on the ship, content with our first Hawaiian day and the price- since we split the rental car with two couples and the guide was $5.00.

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  5. I was looking through my Funtimes but I couldn’t find anything about time change. As I remember there were two time changes each way- so going to Hawaii we went one hour a ahead and then later another hour. Reverse gong back. This is why I always have an analog watch! An easy way with your iPhone is to figure out a city in the time zone and set your iPhone for that city. So we used Juneau and Honolulu.

  6. Food 


    I’m not a big breakfast eater. We had room service for breakfast almost every day. My husband might pick up a little something at the buffet.


    I enjoyed Sea Day brunch or lunch in MDR- beats wandering around for a table and if you shared a table you usually had a great ocean view.


    Pizza very good but sometimes a long wait. Deli good but usually just one poor guy working and lines could be very long. Tried Ole Fashioned BBQ and it was tasty. My husband was happy with the Tandoor buffet because I don’t really care for Indian food so he doesn’t get it often at home.


    Mongolian Wok was okay- but long lines. Never tried the burritos.


    Our first elegant night was on Wednesday- the 5th cruise day. I did see one man in a tux. My husband wore a sport coat and tie. I wore a long black dress with a big scarf. The dress reverses to a print.



  7. So some evening shows were Viva Variety- we had Christopher Alan Graves, a hypnotist and a comedy juggler. Personally, the hypnotist creeped me out- but it was a good show. The rest were Playlist productions- which I have said all sort of blurred together. I found the production numbers only okay.


    There was also a running game of Clue that I did not participate in. I went to one Academy of Fun lecture (All About Food) which was okay.


    We spent some time in the Piano Bar with Eden- enjoyed that.


    There were dance lessons (including hula) that I did not go to.


    I went to a few crafts - they were really fun but they started at 8 am!


    During the sea days most of the upper decks were closed due to wind and many times the pools were closed as well although the hot tubs were open. Even with the roof closed it was pretty chilly around the main pool.


    There were also Dive in movies- I can summarize those in the next post.


    Because of the weather- I was really glad we had a balcony. It was sheltered enough that we could sit on it or prop the door open and just listen to the waves. We had a sofa in our room and we spent many happy relaxing hours reading or napping while listening to the sea.


    We had some stargazing sessions with our onboard naturalist- although some had to be cancelled because of the weather. My husband had an app on his phone Sky Guide that we used to look at the stars- so that is an idea you might want to think about for future cruises.


    Our trip was very special because we had the lunar eclipse- how wonderful to see that unobstructed- I will always remember that.




  8. As we got further away from shore the internet package we had purchased ( we did the medium rate one- not the premium and not the social. After connecting to the WIFi after an hour or so you could get your mail and maybe pull up a Facebook page. Also TV ( except for Carnival TV )stopped. Our monitor was small and grainy . Given the long sea days, I would have loved some in- demand movies, even at an extra charge.


    We went to the Studio VIP show. All the Playlist productions blurred together for me. The cast  had to know an amazing amount of material- but they did not wow me.


    After the show, we went down to the Punchliner comedy club. We found the 18+ shoes usually better than the PG shows. There really was impressive variety of comics on board.


  9. First day at Sea. We slept well. Beds a little soft. We went to the CruiseCritic Meet and Mingle which was in the Robusto bar which has a lot of little couches. Lee, the cruise director was there and maybe another activity person. No giveaways, no food. Not much mingling. Lee did make an effort to talk to everyone and answer questions.


    We also went to a Facebook group meetup which was a little livelier and a Facebook cabin crawl which was fun . Thanks to those who organized and the people who had a shot as their giveaway in the cabin crawl!


    Around lunch our steward told us the reason the refrigerator wasn’t working was it wasn’t plugged in! Problem solved.


    Sea day activities 

    Nancy Caruso was our onboard naturalist and really added a lot to our trip. I went to almost all of her lectures.


    There was also Glee Club which I sorta wish we had gone to. This would culminate in a show at the end of the cruise.


    Never went to any of the shopping activities or casino.


    i went to most of the evening shows and comedy shows. Will summarize later.


    Loved afternoon tea. Usually skipped dessert at lunch and went to tea.


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