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puddles99

Cruisin' Like a Hawaiian - Pride of America 05.04.2013 Review

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Chapter 6: Volcanoes & Waterfalls (continued)

 

We stumbled happily back to our cabin in time for the volcano-flow sail by which was stunning. The Captain darkened the ship which enabled steady-handed photography. The flow could be seen from forward, starboard, and (I'd imagine) aft balconies and public areas. We stayed on our balcony.

 

Clearly I needed a higher power telephoto lens, higher aperture, and / or a steadier hand - but here's a sample of the best shots I got . . .

 

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Chapter 6: Volcanoes & Waterfalls (continued)

 

We stumbled happily back to our cabin in time for the volcano-flow sail by which was stunning. The Captain darkened the ship which enabled steady-handed photography. The flow could be seen from forward, starboard, and (I'd imagine) aft balconies and public areas. We stayed on our balcony.

 

I'm so jealous of you getting to see this. We went in January 2012 after the big earthquake in Japan. At the time due to that earthquake, the lava wasn't flowing and could only be seen if you took a helicopter tour. From what I was told, we didn't even circle around that side of the island. :(

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Loving your review and photos.. looking forward to more!! :D:cool:

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Great review, enjoying the photos too.

 

Can 100% verify that not everyone who owns a small dog is wealthy... We had a very small dog and unfortunately didn't have a big bank balance! ;)

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Molokini is tops on our list of must-do's while on Maui. We're doing the ship-sponsored snorkel, too. Do you remember about what time you made it back to the ship? We're doing it the 2nd day and I was just wondering if we'd have time to do something else. I was thinking we'd probably just head back to the ship for the balance of the afternoon and let the kids swim, etc...

 

Thanks!

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Enjoying your review! Great details. We will be on the 8/24 sailing for our 30th anniversary. We will be renting a car in all ports except Kona.

 

Something that was told to me, we did and it was the BEST! Decide what you would like to see in each port and program it into your GPS ahead of time. It was great, just hit favorites and away we went. Also, make sure you join Thrifty Blue Chip or any other car rental program, saved so much time getting the car. We were out and about while others were still waiting in line. Just a little FYI:)

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Chapter 6: Volcanoes & Waterfalls (continued)

 

We stumbled happily back to our cabin in time for the volcano-flow sail by which was stunning. The Captain darkened the ship which enabled steady-handed photography. The flow could be seen from forward, starboard, and (I'd imagine) aft balconies and public areas. We stayed on our balcony.

 

Clearly I needed a higher power telephoto lens, higher aperture, and / or a steadier hand - but here's a sample of the best shots I got . . .

 

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Great review.............brings back so many memories! Lava was not flowing when we were there last year............:(

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Molokini is tops on our list of must-do's while on Maui. We're doing the ship-sponsored snorkel, too. Do you remember about what time you made it back to the ship? We're doing it the 2nd day and I was just wondering if we'd have time to do something else. I was thinking we'd probably just head back to the ship for the balance of the afternoon and let the kids swim, etc...

 

Thanks!

 

If you drove over on your own, you'd likely have time for something else, but not through the ship excursion. We got back on board around 2:30 (with not much time to spare before our 3pm spa appointments). We may have been delayed by the emergency, but I'm not sure. The excursion includes a light breakfast (fruit & breads) & lunch (hot dogs, grilled chicken, salads) on the boat and a "souvenir" stop at the Pacific Whale Foundation's gift shop before they return you to the ship. The snorkeling at Molokini was phenomenal and I honestly MUST return someday!

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Great review.............brings back so many memories! Lava was not flowing when we were there last year............:(

 

Bummer! I'm so glad we got to see it glow - it's just one of those wonders of nature that you can't really imagine until you see it for yourself. I guess you'll have to make a return trip! ;)

Edited by puddles99

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If you drove over on your own, you'd likely have time for something else, but not through the ship excursion. We got back on board around 2:30 (with not much time to spare before our 3pm spa appointments). We may have been delayed by the emergency, but I'm not sure. The excursion includes a light breakfast (fruit & breads) & lunch (hot dogs, grilled chicken, salads) on the boat and a "souvenir" stop at the Pacific Whale Foundation's gift shop before they return you to the ship. The snorkeling at Molokini was phenomenal and I honestly MUST return someday!
Thanks!:)

 

Well, now I'm even more excited, if that's possible! Our 13 year old daughter asked if we could snorkel, so I thought, why not Molokini? And when I found out the POA books through PWF, I was sold.

 

Sounds like we'll just head back to the ship and relax for the rest of the afternoon. I think we'll need it!

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Chapter 6: Volcanoes & Waterfalls (continued)

 

We stumbled happily back to our cabin in time for the volcano-flow sail by which was stunning. The Captain darkened the ship which enabled steady-handed photography. The flow could be seen from forward, starboard, and (I'd imagine) aft balconies and public areas. We stayed on our balcony.

 

Clearly I needed a higher power telephoto lens, higher aperture, and / or a steadier hand - but here's a sample of the best shots I got . . .

 

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Great pics! I bought a Cannon DSLR before our trip and didnt come close!

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Enjoying your review. I'll be on the POA 6/15 can not wait. Do you have any Dallies you could post?

 

Absolutely! Do you have a preference between downloadable PDFs vs pictures? I can do either. :)

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Great pics! I bought a Cannon DSLR before our trip and didnt come close!

 

Bummer! You're welcome to copy these & if you want the full resolution ones, I can send them via email.

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Chapter 7: Kona & Kealakekua Bay

 

I decided early on that we had to snorkel in Kealakekua Bay, the bigger challenge was determining which excursion to go with. We also decided to stick with our “no rental cars” plan which ruled out a lot of options in this port. In the end, we focused on the Captain Zodiac experience and I looked at the pricing through NCL, Roberts Hawaii, and directly through Captain Zodiac.

 

Not surprisingly, direct was cheapest but Captain Zodiac has a strict “no refund” policy, even if the ship should encounter rough seas that precluded tendering. While this issue is rare, I didn’t want to risk several hundred dollars, especially once I received the following email when I inquired about the policy:

“When you book online your tour in not cancelable within 48 hours of the tour. It is your responsibility to get to the check in.

 

Should your ship not dock, you would still be responsible for the ticket as it’s not our cancelation.

 

If this concerns you the solution is simple, book thru the cruise ship, if they cancel they will refund your ticket. That bit extra you pay is for that security, priority tendering, peace of mind.”

 

Since Roberts pricing was nearly identical to booking through NCL, I decided to just book through the ship and roll with it.

 

After a room service breakfast we went to our meeting location & went ashore on the first tender. It wasn't long before we were climbing aboard a raft for our adventure. To put it simply - it was awesome. We loved the raft ride, Captain Jack was a treasure trove of information about the island, and the snorkeling was stellar. We saw spinner dolphins, many different species of fish, & DH saw a Moray eel that he nicknamed “Buddy” (don’t ask). Hopefully you can see Buddy in the center of the last pic in this post!

 

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Chapter 7: Kona & Kealakekua Bay (continued)

 

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Do you see Pele's face?

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We both agreed that this and the Molokini snorkel are two excursions we would absolutely have to do again someday!

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Chapter 7: Kona & Kealakekua Bay (continued)

 

Upon our return to the dock, we asked a local for directions to the Brewing Company & after a short walk found ourselves pouring over a menu full of delicious options. We each ordered a 4-beer sampler and we shared the Macademia pesto focaccia as an appetizer (Yum!). DH had a BBQ chicken sandwich and I had the Hawaiian Luau (hold the onions) pizza. Everything was very good.

 

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We got a tip from our waitress about where to get some locally grown, family-farmed coffee and set off to find it. We were about to turn back for fear we'd messed up the directions when we finally spied the shop - Donkey Balls Outlet. Go ahead and laugh, I did! But the coffee (they had free samples) and sweets were delicious and we stocked up with all kinds of goodies to bring home to family & friends.

 

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After returning to the ship, we decided to take our balcony hot tub for a test run and it was extremely relaxing. However, I couldn't stop giggling because the jets blew air into my suit and I looked like the Michelin Man floating in the hot tub. LOL!

 

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Edited by puddles99
Caught a typo - but I'm sure there's more!

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Chapter 7: Kona & Kealakekua Bay (continued)

 

We had heard here & aboard that fresh lobsters would be brought aboard in Kona and DH wanted one so we headed back to Jefferson's for the third time! This time we both had the mushroom soup, DH had the lobster, I had the filet, and we had creme brûlée & some kind of chocolate dessert (I can’t for the life of me remember what it was called).

 

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PDF would be awesome.

 

No problem - I'll try to get that done tomorrow and will post a link :)

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Chapter 8: Ziplines, Luaus, & Helicopters

 

On Thursday morning, we arrived in Kauai for two days of adventure! We started bright & early with the Kauai Canopy Zip Line Adventure booked through NCL. A van from Kauai Backcountry Adventures met ten brave-faced adventurers at the pier. Only two in our group had zip lined before. We were geared up at their office and then transferred to a funky off-roading vehicle (I can't remember what it was called) to head out.

 

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We received instruction during the ride and additional information when we reached the top of the mountain. Our first line was the "bunny slope" to make sure we all had the hang of things and then off we went down a series of six more lines - including the longest in all of Kauai - for a total of nearly a mile of zipping down to a secluded swimming hole. It rocked. I'm totally zip lining anywhere and everywhere I can from this point on! LOL

 

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Chapter 8: Ziplines, Luaus, & Helicopters (continued)

 

After an amazing morning, we returned to the ship for lunch, a shower, and some down time - including about an hour of wandering the shops near the harbor - before meeting our Roberts Hawaii bus for the Smith Family Luau.

 

We had originally booked the Kilohana Manor House / Kalamaku Luau through NCL but after reading how crowded it gets, we switched to Smith Family. The food at Smith Family was quite good and the grounds were beautiful. We also thoroughly enjoyed the music, singing, and informal dancing during dinner. The dinner seating was also FAR more comfortable than at Germaine’s. Oh and this luau is not only "all you can eat" but also "all you can drink" with a "two drink per trip to the bar" limit, but no consumption limit.

 

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Chapter 8: Ziplines, Luaus, & Helicopters (continued)

 

After dinner, we moved to the amphitheater for the show. Here, the seats were horrible metal benches. The show was nice, but the lighting & effects (combined with the “no flash” rule) made photography difficult and let’s be honest - I could not stop fidgeting.

 

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Comparing Germaine’s and Smith Family head to head, we would give the food vote to Smith Family and the show / ambiance vote to Germaine’s.

Edited by puddles99

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Chapter 8: Ziplines, Luaus, & Helicopters (continued)

 

After an amazing evening and a good night’s sleep, we were ready for the grand finale of our cruise - the Jurassic Falls Landing Adventure through Island Helicopters (http://www.islandhelicopters.com/). As I mentioned earlier, this flight has strict weight restrictions and we were quite proud of ourselves for losing the weight and taking this amazing trip. When we arrived at the airport (they provide a free shuttle service from the port), we realized that we had to weigh in with all of our “gear” including cameras, etc. and I had a moment of doubt but all of our hard work had paid off and we were good to go for the adventure of a lifetime!

 

The Jurassic Falls Landing Adventure includes a full circle island tour (weather permitting) and an exclusive landing at the impressive 400-foot tall Manawaiopuna Falls which are more famously known as "Jurassic Falls" because of their featured role in the movie Jurassic Park. These falls sit on private land and Island Helicopters is the only commercial company with landing rights. Because the owners of the property want to guard against the introduction of new plant & insect species, we wore hospital booties over our shoes until we reboarded the helicopter for the remainder of our tour.

 

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