Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Aloha, and we're back.

We have now traveled to all 50 states!  And I am no longer a cruise virgin.  I know I surprised a lot of you when I announced our intention to fly to Hawaii and take a cruise, both things I pretty much said I wouldn't ever do, guess I'm getting soft, soft in the head, in my old age:-)

When I came up with the idea, I thought we had an opportunity that would not come up again, a perfect storm if you will, we and the motorhome were going to be in a place where we had the wonderful hospitality and the perfect place to park the coach with the added, oh so big benefit, of babysitters for Bert, with Kris and Sandy in Boise.  And our 41st anniversary wasn't far off, and it was about time I relented and did something Jan had her heart set on for a long time.

Our friends, John and Diane, who joined us, convinced us to go all the way and book a suite for the cruise.  That was fantastic, but I can assure you it ruins the thought of going cruising without a suite in the future.  I should mention that Jan and I have never ever taken a vacation like this before.  We have never been to a resort that pampers you and we certainly never experienced anything like this cruise.  We splurged first off by flying first class to and from Hawaii, which certainly spoiled us, but we had experienced that service many times in the past in my airline career, but the cruise experience was like no other.  It started by being whisked by the hordes of people trying to board, to our own VIP room with snacks and drinks while we checked in, then being escorted by a butler by all the throngs of people right to our private lounge for a champagne welcome and a special lunch in our special dining room.  Heady deal, let me tell you!  Then they let us know our suites were ready and our bags would arrive shortly.  We opened our door to a magnificent room with a huge balcony on the 12th deck far, far above the water to see our iced champagne and fruit waiting for us.  We then met our personal steward, butler, and concierge that would take excellent care of us during our cruise.  We were absolutely pampered for 7 days, ate breakfast and lunch in our private restaurant, and had gourmet dinners each night in specialty restaurants.  It was awesome and kind of obscene, but we got through it:-)

I have a bunch of photos to highlight our adventure.  We are now back to reality having some work done on the coach in Oregon.  We are having a desk/cabinet built for the corner of the slide where we removed the couch for storage and our printer as well as room for books and maps at Amazing Creations, and as of this very moment we are having some work done on our slide outs at Elite Repair and Remodel.  They discovered that part of our jamming problem was our slide topper awnings were mounted incorrectly and were interfering with the movement of the slides, and we found out the pedestal the bed sits on had broken and was causing the slide to wobble back and forth.  This wonderful facility is taking care of the problems.  They met us right at our appointment time and jumped right on us!  We had the awnings fixed in moments and now they are dealing with the broken pedestal with professional and friendly service.  I highly recommend them for all your motorhome repairs!

Now for the pics.  Oh, just a couple more comments.  No, I will probably never go on a cruise again, just not for me, although if you do, try to get a suite, you won't regret it.  We liked Hawaii, especially the fact that it is still the good old USA, no language barriers, same money, and same stuff for the most part.  Also everyone we ran into could not have been more friendly or accommodating.  It is beautiful and has lots of vegetation that was awesome and unlike anywhere else we have been, but we both feel the water in the Caribbean is superior, not the waves necessarily, but the beautiful blue and green water and sensational beaches.  So with our further ado.

Our view of Diamond Head from our hotel room in Waikiki

Dinner at an awesome local spot, South Shore Grill

Our suite on the ship

Our huge balcony!

Oh yeah!

Home away from home

Solving the world's problems even while on vacation!

Ready for our bike ride down Haleakala on Maui

A Silversword, a gorgeous plant that only grows on the volcano, Haleakala

Looking down into the volcano

At the summit, Jan, I, Diane, and John

Down the mountain we go!

Our lunch stop

View from lunch, look close you can see the boat

A few windsurfers

A tug helping us park

The pot of gold is right below our cabin

Harbor in Maui

Active volcano

The caldera

Chickens run wild on all the islands and are everywhere

The tender working in Kona

On the inside of a tender, 97 passengers, are you claustrophobic??

The "Pride of America" from shore in Kona

A wonderful lunch in Kona, our first taste of "Poke", an
Hawaii raw fish concoction.

This is "Poke Pie", chips on the bottom, then guacamole, then poke,
and finally seaweed salad.  Delish!

Sun going down as we head to sea

Sun coming up as we head into port

Coming into Kauai

Pretty narrow to say the least

An old sugar mill

Poke bowl with tuna

Another Hawaii meal, bottom left is Lau Lau, chicken cooked in banana leaves
for 5 hours, above it is rice, then to the right is Tako poke, poke made of
octopus, and finally below that is cucumber kimchee.  It was Great!

Lighthouse on Kauai

Surfs up

A huge lava tube near the beach

Looking sternward on the ship leaving port in Kauai

Really tight!

Cliffs on the north shore of Kauai, they are 4000' tall

Another shot

North shore of Oahu

Lunch truck visited by Guy Fieri and Jan and I on Oahu

Looks good, doesn't it?  It was.


Jan went in here.

A secluded beach on the back side of Diamond Head

Heading home

One of the many banyan trees

One of our nightly creatures left by our imaginative steward


Nancy said...

Sometimes first class is the way to go! Sounds like you had a wonderful trip and even, possibly enjoyed it. Ha! Visited the golf hall of fame yesterday, on to Summerdale tomorrow. Have had enough rain to last me for a long while!

Bill said...

It was definitely the way to go:-) We did have a good time, just not on the list of things to do again. A little rain huh?

Sandy Smith said...

Tell Bert that 2,4, & 6 went to steakville tonight.

Bill said...

It brought a tear to his eyes.