Hawaii by Land & Sea – POA Cruise 5-14-2011

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#1
Sunny AZ
23,574 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
A Bit About Us.

Over a year of planning, reading Cruise Critic every day, searching out the very best places to see, the very best activities for our interests, plotting out Google maps for amazing itineraries and here I was…….two weeks before our dream vacation to Hawaii….in the hospital, recovering from my second surgery in a week after a sudden gall bladder attack and subsequent abdominal abscess. I had made it very clear to the doctor before my surgery that I WAS going to Hawaii in a very short time and he had assured me that a gall bladder surgery was routine and I would be up and at my normal activities in 4 days time. Did my insistence on keeping the surgery simple cause him to miss an infection already brewing from a leaky gall bladder? Or was it just a case of bad luck? I will never know. However, I did know that for about a week all my careful planning was about to go for naught as things went from bad to worse in the hospital. However, true to his word, my doctor had me up and heading for the plane on Wednesday morning, May 11 with instructions to take it easy and listen to my body when it needed to take a rest. I didn’t care. I was heading for my very first trip to Hawaii!

Since my youngest daughter graduated from college my husband Steve & I have been bitten by the cruise bug. This would be my 12th cruise and Steve’s 10th. We have cruised to the Caribbean & the Mexican Riviera mostly and I went with my daughter to Alaska on the Carnival Spirit last July. We have sailed mainly on Royal Caribbean and a couple of times on Princess and have loved every cruise. Lately we have chosen cruises for the itinerary primarily and the NCLA Pride of America offered the best itinerary for our needs. The overnights in Maui & Kauai were the main attractions for us. I was a bit concerned about the bad press the POA has received in the past, but encouraged by the better reviews as of late. We decide to approach this cruise with the attitude that the trip is all about seeing the islands and make the best of it. We decided to assure a wonderful experience by booking three nights pre-cruise at the Turtle Bay Resort on the north Shore of Oahu and one night post cruise at the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach in Waikiki. Joining us on the cruise would be my brother Bob & sister-in-law Cindy. Our age range is 48 – 61. Bob & Cindy are more active than us on a good day and my surgery would hold me back a bit, but we agreed to have a great time, even if it meant we were not always doing the same things. So now, let the vacation begin!



All packed and ready to go!
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Ginny


My Bucket List Cruises:
British Isles - Ireland Booked September 2018!
Italy & Greek Islands
Baltic
European River Cruise
Northeast/Canada Fall Colors
Alaska Cruisetour
Australia/Tahiti
Hawaii - again!


Happy Memories...
Big Red Boat 06/93 (Bahamas)~ Explorer of the Seas 06/05 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 04/06 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Monarch of the Seas 12/06 (Baja Mexico) ~ Monarch of the Seas 04/07 (Baja Mexico) ~ Golden Princess 01/08 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Explorer of the Seas 04/08 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Caribbean Princess 05/09 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Radiance of the Seas 09/09 (Cabo San Lucas) ~ Mariner of the Seas 05/10 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Carnival Spirit 07/10 (Alaska) ~ NCL Pride of America 05/11 (Hawaii)~ Allure of the Seas 04/13 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas B2B 05/14 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Oasis of the Seas 05/15 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 10/15 (Panama Canal) ~ Harmony of the Seas 10/16 (Transatlantic) ~ Freedom of he Seas 10/17 (Transatlantic)

Oasis of the Seas 2015 Pictorial Review
Jewel of the Seas Southern Caribbean B2B 2014 Pictorial Review

Allure of the Seas 2013 Pictorial Review!

Are you an Arizona Cruiser? Come join the fun! "Never Ending Circle of Friends"
#2
Sunny AZ
23,574 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Day 1 – Oahu & the Turtle Bay Resort

Our flight from Phoenix, AZ on Hawaiian Airlines was uneventful as far as flights go, despite the people in the seats in front of us who immediately put the seat backs in full recline mode as soon as the wheels of the airliner left ground. I was determined not to let that sour my mood and I pulled out a book to read. I never get a chance to read a good novel except while on vacation, so this was my signal that I could let the chains of everyday life let loose and just relax. Soon enough I was seeing the first signs of the islands from my window seat. As we approached Honolulu Airport we flew right over Pearl Harbor, where we would be the following day.



We had booked the first three nights at Turtle Bay Resort after receiving recommendations from two different friends. This was a change for us as we were accustomed to Priceline Hotels, bottom rate, for our one night pre-cruise stays. I found the best rate with Blue Hawaii Resorts. Our room was to be a Ocean Front Deluxe with a regular lanai where we could sit and take in the ocean breeze and included a lei greeting at the airport. We wanted to unwind before the cruise so the North Shore and its relaxed atmosphere appealed to us.

We rented a car through Thrifty and were registered as Blue Chip Members. The office appeared to be disorganized when we were there and the Blue Chip line took longer than the regular line. Bob & Cindy flew in the next day and had the same experience. Once they got through the Blue Chip line they were told they could not do Blue Chip as Cindy had reserved the car under her name & Bob was to be the main driver. So back in line for them! The nice thing for us was that we reserved a mid size car and were upgraded to a Jeep Liberty.

Since we were arriving at 11:30 AM and our check in time was at 3:00 PM my Google Map itinerary had us heading out of Honolulu to the scenic eastern (windward) side of the island. But first we had to stop at Bailey’s Antiques and Aloha Shirts for Steve. Ever since seeing this place on the TC “No Reservations” Steve had to go there first. It was smaller than I expected but was crammed with Aloha Shirts, mostly if not all made in Hawaii. Now my husband is a Hawaiian shirt connoisseur. He has over 30 shirts at home. He also wants them engineered, which means the patterns have to match up. So, this can be a pricey collection! I collect Christmas ornaments & pictures on a cruise, so I am a cheap date compared to him. He found two shirts he had to have.



Now it was around 1 PM Hawaiian time and we were hungry. So we asked the lady at the store to recommend a nearby spot. I must say the place she sent us was great! It is called the Diamondhead Market & Grill. It was packed with locals. We both had Hui-Hui Chicken plates. Two small plates (which were huge to us) and drinks cost us about $16. Best deal we had the entire 11 days in Hawaii. It was delicious, too. We knew we were really in Hawaii at this point.

After lunch we headed to the Pali Highway to go across the island. Steve had taken my Google maps and put in every GPS coordinate and/or address on our itinerary into his trusty GPS before we left home, so we had no problem finding our first stop, the Pali Lookout. Here we saw our first of many island chickens. Parking is $3 and uses a funky little parking machine which only takes credit cards, so be aware. The views were gorgeous, despite the low clouds.





Our next stop was the Byodo-In Temple in the Valley of the Temples. What an amazing, peaceful place this is! After hitting the gong and taking off our shoes we entered the temple to see the large Budda that dominates the front area. The gardens are amazing. This temple is located in a large cemetery that is comprised of different areas for different faiths. I would recommend a stop here, if only for an hour.




#3
Sunny AZ
23,574 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Continuing On

We were now getting anxious to get to our resort, but we had a few more stops along the way. As the road north came closer to the ocean and the population became more spread out we felt as if we had entered a different world from the busy highways of Honolulu. This area was quaint and we began to fall in love with this side of the island. More chickens were seen along the road and every turn of the road gave way to breathtaking scenery. The speed limits had a frustrating habit of changing constantly from 45 mph to 35 mph and back again. Quite a change from the Phoenix area when people do not think twice about buzzing past you at 80 mph on our 65 mph freeways! That took a while to get used to. But we quickly fell into the mode of “island time” and we could feel our muscles relaxing the further north we drove. Scenic stops along the road included Chinaman’s Hat



And La’ie Point, where a tsunami once punched a hole in the land.



At 4 PM we turned into the beautiful Turtle Bay Resort. We knew as soon as we entered the gates we were in for a treat.



The friendly staff made us feel at home immediately. Our room was immaculate and luxurious. All of the rooms at Turtle Bay have an ocean view, but upgrading to an Ocean Front gave us a substantial lanai where we could sit and sip our morning coffee or eat a meal should we wish to do so. Turtle Bay has a “surf side” and a “snorkel side”. Our room faced the surf side of the resort and with our door open we could hear the sound of the surf as it gently came ashore. We knew we would not want to leave at that moment.





We had dinner reservations at the resort’s golf club restaurant, Lei Lei’s at 7 PM, so after a rest we changed and went down to the lobby. The staff had a golf cart waiting to take us to the restaurant. Here we finally had our lei picture taken.



After a wonderful meal – we split a huge Caesar Salad and a Seafood Scampi - and a glass of wine the three hour time difference finally caught up with us and we were off to bed. After all, we have an early morning tomorrow. Pearl Harbor is our next stop.

You can see the rest of our Day 1 pictures here.

I am back to work for the first time since before my surgery tomorrow (ugh!) Twelve hours on my feet, so I will try to post Day 2 on Friday.
#4
Arizona
275 Posts
Joined May 2008
Oh yeah Ginny.....so glad that your first day was wonderful......and you look great in your picture.....can't wait to read your review.....I was starting to go through withdrawals without any reviews to read.......and your view from your room.....gorgeous...
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Shannon


Princess - 8/01 - Alaska
Disney Magic - 8/08 - Panama Canal
NCL - Pride of America - 02/12 - Hawaii

#5
The Big Island of Illinois, USA
1,194 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
A Big Mahalo for your posting....standing-by for more!

Chuck
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#6
122 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Ginny,

I too am from AZ. I live in Mesa. We are going on the POA in a little over 2 weeks and we can't wait. Just reading the beginning of your review has me so excited. I love the pics! Thank you for taking the time to start a review. I sure hope you feel better.

Cheri
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Baja Mexico-Royal Caribbean Feb 2000,"Golden Princess" Alaska-Princess June 2007,"Star" Mexican Riveria-NCL April 2009,"Dawn"9 day Southern Caribbean-NCL March 2010,"Pride of America" Hawaii-NCL June 2011,"Jewel" Alaska-NCL May 2013,"Jewel" Pacific Coast-NCL September 2015, "Explorer of the Seas" Best of BC- Royal Caribbean May 2016
#7
Lakewood, Washington
6,415 Posts
Joined May 2004
Hi, Ginny! Great review so far and your pictures are simply beautiful! I'm really getting excited for our cruise in September!
I love the very first picture you posted of your dogs -- are they both Chihuahuas? They are adorable! How big are they? We have an "oversized" Chihuahua, Boomer, who at 16 months weighs 16 pounds and is active as can be!
Can't wait to read and see more of your great cruise!
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~Sandy~


"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain."




Jewel to Alaska 5/07/2015 (H4 14512)
Jewel to Alaska 5/31/2014 (H4 14512)
Pearl to Alaska 9/15/2013 (S4 14006)
Pride of America, Hawaii 9/10/2011 (SB 12502)
Pearl to Alaska 5/30/2010 (A3 14006)
Star to Alaska 5/30/2009 (AB 11030)
Pearl to Alaska 5/25/2008 (AA 9004)
Pearl to Alaska 6/17/2007 (A2 15500)
Star to Alaska 5/28/2006 (AE 8170)
Star to Alaska 6/05/2005 (AF 11556)
Spirit to Alaska 7/03/2004 (BD 9032)
Sky to Alaska 9/13/2003 (BD 9215)
#8
Sunny AZ
23,574 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Mahalo to you all for the nice comments. I will try to keep up, although I am not sure I will be done by the time you leave, Cheri.

Sandy - yes the dogs are chihuahaus. The were rescues a few years back, so they may not be "purebred". They wanted to go, too! They learned the hula while we were gone.
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Ginny


My Bucket List Cruises:
British Isles - Ireland Booked September 2018!
Italy & Greek Islands
Baltic
European River Cruise
Northeast/Canada Fall Colors
Alaska Cruisetour
Australia/Tahiti
Hawaii - again!


Happy Memories...
Big Red Boat 06/93 (Bahamas)~ Explorer of the Seas 06/05 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 04/06 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Monarch of the Seas 12/06 (Baja Mexico) ~ Monarch of the Seas 04/07 (Baja Mexico) ~ Golden Princess 01/08 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Explorer of the Seas 04/08 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Caribbean Princess 05/09 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Radiance of the Seas 09/09 (Cabo San Lucas) ~ Mariner of the Seas 05/10 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Carnival Spirit 07/10 (Alaska) ~ NCL Pride of America 05/11 (Hawaii)~ Allure of the Seas 04/13 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas B2B 05/14 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Oasis of the Seas 05/15 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 10/15 (Panama Canal) ~ Harmony of the Seas 10/16 (Transatlantic) ~ Freedom of he Seas 10/17 (Transatlantic)

Oasis of the Seas 2015 Pictorial Review
Jewel of the Seas Southern Caribbean B2B 2014 Pictorial Review

Allure of the Seas 2013 Pictorial Review!

Are you an Arizona Cruiser? Come join the fun! "Never Ending Circle of Friends"
#9
Arizona
12,547 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by qoap24
Ginny,

I too am from AZ. I live in Mesa. We are going on the POA in a little over 2 weeks and we can't wait. Just reading the beginning of your review has me so excited. I love the pics! Thank you for taking the time to start a review. I sure hope you feel better.

Cheri
Cheri: You should join Ginny & I on the Arizona Cruisers threads (see my signature). Lots of AZ cruisers there & Ginny and I have become good friends along with several others.

I'm going on my 2nd Hawaii cruise in July and excited to hear Ginny's review. Standing by patiently Ginny. Keep it coming when you are able. Welcome home!
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LISA
(Carnival Platinum VIFP)


ARIZONA CRUISERS...NEVER ENDING CIRCLE OF FRIENDS! COME JOIN IN


My Cruise Countdown
| I'm sailing to the Bahamas on 02/19/2017 aboard the Carnival Sunshine!
Cruise Number 20
#10
Arizona
12,547 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Loved your pictures Ginny. Turtle Bay looks like a winner. Really nice room.

I also like the Byodo-In temple. Very nice. How far of a drive is it from Waikiki area? Not sure if we can swing it or not on our Oahu post cruise stay but I might like to try.
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LISA
(Carnival Platinum VIFP)


ARIZONA CRUISERS...NEVER ENDING CIRCLE OF FRIENDS! COME JOIN IN


My Cruise Countdown
| I'm sailing to the Bahamas on 02/19/2017 aboard the Carnival Sunshine!
Cruise Number 20
#11
NSW Australia
1,192 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Oh goody, another review! It is great to read what everyone does on their trips! Can't believe you have been and are home again!
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Pacific Sky - South Pacific 2001.Pacific Sun - South Pacific 2005.Pacific Sun - South Pacific 2006.Amalegro - European River Cruise - 2008.Sun Princess - New Zealand - 2010.Pride of America - Hawaii - March/April 2011 - B2B cruises.Radiance of the Seas - Weekender - Nov 2011.P&O Arcadia - Sydney to Singapore - March 2012 .Dawn Princess weekender May 2012. Voyager of the Seas Tasmanian Discovery Jan 2013.Sun Princess Easter Cruise 2013.P&O Pacific Dawn- Papua New Guinea -Nov 2013. Celebrity Solstice 3-nighter Jan 2014. Voyager of the Seas-Singapore to Tokyo-April 2014. Voyager OTS New Zealand Dec 2015. P&O Arcadia - UK and Iceland August 2016. Ovation of the Seas Dec 2016


Coming up:

Diamond Princess - March 2017
#12
Heart of Texas
2,333 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
I love reading reviews and yours is fabulous....I look forward to the rest of it!! Love the pictures too!!!! Where is Baileys Antiques and Aloha shirts located? Would love to stop there for my DH's shirts.
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2006 Pride of America, 2007 Pride of America, 2008 Pride of America, 2009 Star Alaska, 2010 Jewel, 2011 Carnival Triumph, 2012 Pride of America, 2013 Epic, 2014 Pearl, 2015 Med Epic, 2016 Getaway, 2017 Escape, 2018 Getaway, 2019 Dawn
#13
Lakewood, Washington
6,415 Posts
Joined May 2004
Originally posted by Sunny AZ Girl
Mahalo to you all for the nice comments. I will try to keep up, although I am not sure I will be done by the time you leave, Cheri.

Sandy - yes the dogs are chihuahaus. The were rescues a few years back, so they may not be "purebred". They wanted to go, too! They learned the hula while we were gone.
Well, they are both darling! What are their names?
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~Sandy~


"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain."




Jewel to Alaska 5/07/2015 (H4 14512)
Jewel to Alaska 5/31/2014 (H4 14512)
Pearl to Alaska 9/15/2013 (S4 14006)
Pride of America, Hawaii 9/10/2011 (SB 12502)
Pearl to Alaska 5/30/2010 (A3 14006)
Star to Alaska 5/30/2009 (AB 11030)
Pearl to Alaska 5/25/2008 (AA 9004)
Pearl to Alaska 6/17/2007 (A2 15500)
Star to Alaska 5/28/2006 (AE 8170)
Star to Alaska 6/05/2005 (AF 11556)
Spirit to Alaska 7/03/2004 (BD 9032)
Sky to Alaska 9/13/2003 (BD 9215)
#14
Alabama Gulf Coast
263 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Ginny,

Thanks so much for starting your review. We will be on POA in Dec and can hardly wait for our cruise. I have been a silent follower for several months reading everything I can get my hands on about Hawaii. I am sure I will have lots of questions to ask you as there will be 7 in our group with ages from 60 to 81. I am trying to find tours and excursions that will not be too active for my mom and I since we both have bad knees. We would like to see as much as we can without walking ourselves to death. I am hoping you will be able to give us tips and recomend tours that might be suitable for us. Also I would love to hear about the must see places since this might be the only time we make it to Hawaii.

Can't wait to read more...love your pictures also.

Thanks,

Sheila
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Carnival Conquest Western Carribean 11/2005
Carnival Fantasy Western Carribean 04/2008
Carnival Victory Canada/New Enland 09/2008
Sapphire Princess Alaska 05/2010
Norwegian Pride of America Hawaii 12/2011
Disney Dream Eastern Carribean 03/2012
#16
Texas
1,621 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Ginny - I've been looking forward to your report and am enjoying it like I knew I would. Your pictures are beautiful. I too am waiting patiently for the next installment.

Did you watch "Cougar Town" last night? The group went to Hawaii and stayed at Turtle Bay.

Donna
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Freedom of the Seas ~ August 2018
Empress of the Seas ~ September 2017
Liberty of the Seas ~ April 2017
Valor ~ February 2017
Liberty of the Seas ~ May 2016
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Navigator of the Seas ~ August 2015
Navigator of the Seas ~ May 2014
Triumph ~ January 2014
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#17
Sunny AZ
23,574 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by AZ Karaoke Girl
Loved your pictures Ginny. Turtle Bay looks like a winner. Really nice room.

I also like the Byodo-In temple. Very nice. How far of a drive is it from Waikiki area? Not sure if we can swing it or not on our Oahu post cruise stay but I might like to try.
Turtle Bay was fantastic. Truly, I could have stayed there much longer.....if my vacation time and budget would hold out.

I believe the Byodo Temple would be about 1/2 hour from Waikiki. Not long at all. It is just off the end of the H-3.

Originally posted by Raison
Oh goody, another review! It is great to read what everyone does on their trips! Can't believe you have been and are home again!
I can't believe we're home already, too. I just got home from work and I would love to just be transported on a magic carpet to the sounds of waves and alohas . Oh well, back to reality.

Originally posted by TSUmom
I love reading reviews and yours is fabulous....I look forward to the rest of it!! Love the pictures too!!!! Where is Baileys Antiques and Aloha shirts located? Would love to stop there for my DH's shirts.
Thank you for the nice comments. Bailey's is located in Honolulu not far from Diamondhead. Here is their website.
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Ginny


My Bucket List Cruises:
British Isles - Ireland Booked September 2018!
Italy & Greek Islands
Baltic
European River Cruise
Northeast/Canada Fall Colors
Alaska Cruisetour
Australia/Tahiti
Hawaii - again!


Happy Memories...
Big Red Boat 06/93 (Bahamas)~ Explorer of the Seas 06/05 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 04/06 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Monarch of the Seas 12/06 (Baja Mexico) ~ Monarch of the Seas 04/07 (Baja Mexico) ~ Golden Princess 01/08 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Explorer of the Seas 04/08 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Caribbean Princess 05/09 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Radiance of the Seas 09/09 (Cabo San Lucas) ~ Mariner of the Seas 05/10 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Carnival Spirit 07/10 (Alaska) ~ NCL Pride of America 05/11 (Hawaii)~ Allure of the Seas 04/13 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas B2B 05/14 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Oasis of the Seas 05/15 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 10/15 (Panama Canal) ~ Harmony of the Seas 10/16 (Transatlantic) ~ Freedom of he Seas 10/17 (Transatlantic)

Oasis of the Seas 2015 Pictorial Review
Jewel of the Seas Southern Caribbean B2B 2014 Pictorial Review

Allure of the Seas 2013 Pictorial Review!

Are you an Arizona Cruiser? Come join the fun! "Never Ending Circle of Friends"
#18
Sunny AZ
23,574 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by brunolvr
Well, they are both darling! What are their names?
Tex (with the mask) and Daisy.

Originally posted by ohsoblessed
Ginny,

Thanks so much for starting your review. We will be on POA in Dec and can hardly wait for our cruise. I have been a silent follower for several months reading everything I can get my hands on about Hawaii. I am sure I will have lots of questions to ask you as there will be 7 in our group with ages from 60 to 81. I am trying to find tours and excursions that will not be too active for my mom and I since we both have bad knees. We would like to see as much as we can without walking ourselves to death. I am hoping you will be able to give us tips and recomend tours that might be suitable for us. Also I would love to hear about the must see places since this might be the only time we make it to Hawaii.

Can't wait to read more...love your pictures also.

Thanks,

Sheila
I will be commenting on how someone with mobility issues sees some of the commonly accepted areas. Stay tuned!

Originally posted by kwbound
Ginny - I've been looking forward to your report and am enjoying it like I knew I would. Your pictures are beautiful. I too am waiting patiently for the next installment.

Did you watch "Cougar Town" last night? The group went to Hawaii and stayed at Turtle Bay.

Donna
Now I would have liked to have seen that! No, I missed it. There are some nice looking young men working there. I wonder how it was for them?
#19
Arizona
275 Posts
Joined May 2008
Originally posted by kwbound
Ginny - I've been looking forward to your report and am enjoying it like I knew I would. Your pictures are beautiful. I too am waiting patiently for the next installment.

Did you watch "Cougar Town" last night? The group went to Hawaii and stayed at Turtle Bay.

Donna

I saw a part of Cougar Town last night and noticed right away that they were at Turtle Bay....thought that was so ironic that I had just read Ginny's review and then saw it on tv.....I may be changing my resort....we have two days on Oahu before our cruise in February.....

Hope your first day back at work wasn't too tough for you......sitting patiently.....waiting to read more....and I do believe that we will work Byodo into our trip after seeing your photos and reading your review about it....
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Shannon


Princess - 8/01 - Alaska
Disney Magic - 8/08 - Panama Canal
NCL - Pride of America - 02/12 - Hawaii

#20
Sunny AZ
23,574 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Arrival at the Park

Today I had planned to return to Honolulu and visit Pearl Harbor. This was to be a day of national pride and remembrance. Our fathers had served in the armed forces. We both were post war babies and had grown up hearing stories about the war on both fronts. WWII movies were shown on TV late nights throughout our teen years. In addition, Steve is a bit of a history buff and is very interested in all things WWII. So, the focus for today was not to be rushed, but to enjoy a little piece of our nation’s story.

I knew from my research that this day would have to have an early start to assure a place on the tender to the Arizona Memorial, so I planned it for our first morning in Oahu, figuring that the time change would make it easier to get going early. Just as I had thought, we were up early and ready to go by 6:15. Our maps told us it would be an hour drive to Pearl Harbor by either route, so we chose to drive back down the windward coast so we could experience the H3 highway, a modern engineering marvel through the mountains via an elaborate combination of tunnels and bridges spanning deep valleys. Just as we were leaving the resort we were treated to a beautiful sunrise.


True to form I had every detail of this trip planned, right down to where we would stop for breakfast in the morning. Not wanting to be delayed with a lengthy resort or restaurant meal I found a McDonald’s in La’ie, near the Polynesian Cultural Center. It was an unusual looking McDonald’s as it had previously been a tiki hut, converted to a restaurant. It certainly had a Hawaiian look from the outside, plus the menu featured some unusual items, not included in the familiar fast food fare found back home. The website said it opened at 5:30 AM, so it would work for us, right? This is where I first discovered the meaning of “island time”. We arrived promptly at 6:30 AM to find the restaurant closed and two local workmen leaning on their truck outside. We asked them if they knew when it would open and the response was “Oh, they should open soon. One person who works here just came in. There were some good waves this morning so the other person is probably surfing!” We waited a few minutes and with no sign of progress we continued on, hoping to find an alternative along the way. Luckily, just before we turned onto the H3 another McDonald’s appeared. This one did not employ surfers. We were able to grab some coffee and a couple of Egg McMuffins and continue on our way. I was not really in the mood for Spam & Eggs anyway.

We arrived at Pearl Harbor and found parking easily. We immediately saw several guards patrolling the lots on bicycles. One stopped and talked to us for a few minutes. It was overcast and we were wondering if we should wear our sunglasses. The friendly guard suggested that we do, as it normally starts out cloudy, but clears up as the day goes on. This was good advice. Later, I would wish I had also applies sunscreen at that time as this was the only day I got sunburned!

Knowing that no bags of any kind are allowed into the Pearl Harbor area I had left my purse at the resort and only brought my camera. At the last second before leaving I had also thrown my drivers license in my pocket in case I needed to drive. Luckily I had done that as a picture ID is required to board the shuttle to Ford Island where the Missouri is located. I had not known that in advance. Steve had a small camera bag for his small camera, but my camera bag is larger, so it was left in the car trunk. The guard told us that Steve’s small bag would be allowed in and it was, although they did open and inspect it upon entering the park.

As we were walking in we marveled at how uncrowded the place appeared to be and we noted the time at 7:55 AM. Just as we entered the park we saw two large tour buses pull in, so we figured our timing was perfect. There was no line for AZ Memorial tickets and we picked ours up quickly. Our tour time was 8:45, so we had 50 minutes to spare. We decide to walk around and get our bearings during that time. There are many outdoor exhibits so keeping occupied was not a problem.

We headed over to the Bowfin Memorial. Here we were impressed by the tribute to the many submarines that were lost during the war. Each one had a memorial with the names of the sailors who died when the ship was lost. Sadly, only a few of the memorials listed the crew as being saved.




During this time we stopped in the gift shop at the Bowfin, where Steve found another Aloha Shirt to add to his collection. This one commemorated Pearl Harbor and was engineered to his satisfaction. We also purchased Bowfin Tour tickets at the gift shop. Be aware that you can purchase Bowfin & Missouri combination tickets at the main ticket booth for a small discount. We did not realize that and so we made an extra contribution to the park.
By now it was time to head over to the theater where we would wait to see the movie about Pearl Harbor before heading over to the Memorial.




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Ginny


My Bucket List Cruises:
British Isles - Ireland Booked September 2018!
Italy & Greek Islands
Baltic
European River Cruise
Northeast/Canada Fall Colors
Alaska Cruisetour
Australia/Tahiti
Hawaii - again!


Happy Memories...
Big Red Boat 06/93 (Bahamas)~ Explorer of the Seas 06/05 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 04/06 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Monarch of the Seas 12/06 (Baja Mexico) ~ Monarch of the Seas 04/07 (Baja Mexico) ~ Golden Princess 01/08 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Explorer of the Seas 04/08 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Caribbean Princess 05/09 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Radiance of the Seas 09/09 (Cabo San Lucas) ~ Mariner of the Seas 05/10 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Carnival Spirit 07/10 (Alaska) ~ NCL Pride of America 05/11 (Hawaii)~ Allure of the Seas 04/13 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas B2B 05/14 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Oasis of the Seas 05/15 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 10/15 (Panama Canal) ~ Harmony of the Seas 10/16 (Transatlantic) ~ Freedom of he Seas 10/17 (Transatlantic)

Oasis of the Seas 2015 Pictorial Review
Jewel of the Seas Southern Caribbean B2B 2014 Pictorial Review

Allure of the Seas 2013 Pictorial Review!

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