Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sea Cruise

On Saturday, April 14th, we boarded the Sapphire Princess cruise ship for a 14 day cruise to the Hawaiian Islands.

We joined Brian and Betty.

Richard and Carolyn (Betty's cousin)

Carl's brother John, with Verdee, bid us a Bon-Voyage from the shore.
So nice of them so see us off. 

Here's our cabin. B200, front of the ship and very high up.

Please meet Rhob and Andrelyn, our two favorite bartenders.
We met so many great friends at the Crooner's Bar.
You could find us there every evening before dinner, and after dinner too.

Our first evening on the cruise, we found our seats at Crooners.

We chose late dining, with only the 6 of us at our table.

We had the same waiter and assistant every night. We were table #1.

Carolyn and Richard celebrated their wedding anniversary.

Monday was the first Formal Night, we had 3 formal nights on this cruise.
Our bartender, Andrelyn, signed Carl and I up for a bartender team contest. It was ladies against the men. We would watch as the bartender showed us how to make a certain drink, which contained at least 3 alcohols and multiple fruit juices, topped with champagne or coke, then fruit pieces. Then it was up to us to make the same drink. Whoever completed making the drink first won. Then they were sample tasted by a different bartender who decided on the final winner. There were 5 on each team, so we each got a chance to make a drink. I poured half of my drink all over the table, because I put in way too much of everything. Oh ya, at the same time, as we were mixing our drinks, we were getting shot by a high powered water gun.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!!!!

Carl's turn. He made the drink so fast, then shook it, then the cup got stuck on the metal shaker and he couldn't get it off. He did win his competition. That was a lot of fun. Everyone was around us at the pool shouting and cheering us on.
The overall competiton turned out to be a tie...Imagine that!

Ahhhhh, the Crooners Bar. I already miss it. I got addicted to those little munchies in the jar. I ate a whole jar of them every night with my Martini, or Margarita, or Vodka Tonic, or beer, etc.

This martini was a special concoction by Rhob, the cucumber martini.
I'm game for just about anything at this point.
It was smooth and mild, but very sticky from the sugar.

Meet "The Girls". Sandy (left) and Joyce. My good buddies and dancing partners. They are the "church ladies" from Orlando, Florida. They win for "best bling" on the cruise. They also win for the biggest partiers on the cruise. Always have huge smiles on their faces, and dressed to the nines. Love them.

Carl with his favorite dinner salad, the Cesar.

I just missed the sunrise, this is the closest I ever got to waking up before the sun.

On Thursday, April 19, we made it to Hilo, Hawaii. This is our first tour day.

The bus took us to the Mauna Loa macadamia nut plant and gift store.

Betty was on our tour, Brian was on a bus tour to the Volcano. We happened to see him at the nut stop, so Betty and Brian got a picture together.
Two busses passing in the day.... =)

Next stop was a Botanical Zoo??!!?? That meant they had animals and plants.
I love the bamboo.

All of the sudden we hear a loud scream like someone was being attacked.
It was this Peacock, hiding behind a plant.

The zoo part of the Botanical Zoo was limited. Here's the goat.

Carl is posing next to this plant so you can see the size of it.

Next stop... Akaka Falls. We hiked along a path to see a 400+ foot waterfall, through lush plants. It was lovely. Such a touristy thing to do.

Where we were docked in Hilo, we could see rowing teams practicing. Our tour guide told us that he practices rowing all around the harbor. Then he told us that there were many sharks, including great whites in this water. I say "No Way in Hell!"

We got back on the ship and dressed for the evening.

This is how the rear upper pool deck looks. There were plenty of pool lounge chairs for everyone. It was never really hot, so not many people were out.

The ship has a huge movie screen at the Neptune Pool, they call it Movies under the Stars. You watch a movie while lying on a lounge chair, and are given a nice plaid wool blanket when it's cold. They also have free popcorn! The latest movies are playing.

This is a full shot of the Crooner Bar. It's the smallest bar on the ship, but it's the best. I know the names of everyone seated around, but not the two ladies in front.

Next morning, Friday April 20th, we arrive in Honolulu Harbor.
I caught some of the sunrise towards Diamond head.

A rainbow is going right into the Carnival Cruise Ship, parked near us. 

The Honolulu skyline.
Today we are on a bus tour to the Polynesian Cultural Center on the North side of the Island of Oahu. We stopped at Pali lookout, looking down at Honolulu. There are some fierce winds that blow directly up this cliff, strong enough to blow you over.

The Nuuanu Pali Lookout ("Cool Height Cliff")overlooking the 985 foot cliffs of the Koolau Mountain Range, is one of the best views on O'ahu. It was here in 1795 that King Kamehameha and his warriors defeated the O'ahu armies by sending them over these steep, forested cliffs and claiming his victory and uniting the Hawaiian Islands. The breathtaking sight and the gruesome history of the battle fought here is enough to cause a chill to run up your spine. Add to that the incredible winds that often pass through the Pali and you may be swept off your feet! (taken from a website)

 A gold statue of King Kamehameha in front of Aliiolani Hale in downtown Honolulu.

Next stop, the Dole Pineapple Plantation/Tourist Trap Store.
There was way more store than pineapples growing.

Not too far away from New Zealand.

Pineapples of different types were grown in a garden for us to see.

This strange pineapple looks a lot like Carl.

This little fatty pineapple looks like me.

I love this tree! The colors in the trunk are amazing.

We arrive at the Polynesian Cultural Center around 11:30 and go in directly to lunch. 

The cultural center was created by the Mormon's as a place to employee students attending the Brigham Young University in Oahu. Such smart people.

The Cultural Center is made up of villages representing the different island cultures in the Pacific. Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti, Aoreatoa (New Zealand), Marquesas and Tongo. Each tribe tells about life on their islands and they perform their local dances.

This is North Shore from the bus window.

We were docked in Waikiki until 11 PM, so after our bus tour, we got dressed and took a cab to Waikiki Beach and had dinner at Benihana Japanese Restaurant. After dinner, I forced Carl to walk, in the rain to the beach so that I could step foot on Waikiki Beach sand. The town was buzzing with people out for the Friday evening.

When we returned to the ship, there was a large sail-away party going on at the pool. People were dancing, doing a conga line and having a very fun time. I stayed around to watch all that, then we took off for Kauai. 

This is the Carnival Cruise Ship heading off just before us.

Self photo from our balcony, with Nawiliwili Kauai behind me, on Saturday morning.

Another bus tour to stop at a beach on our way to the Wailua river cruise to the Fern Grotto. A kayak race was getting ready to start here.

Very lush green plants along the river cruise.

This is the Fern Grotto.

Sharing Songs and Legends of the Wailua River Valley is a Family Tradition In 1946, Walter Smith, Sr. and his wife, Emily, started our family business with a small rowboat and a borrowed outboard motor. Four generations later, we continue Grandpa’s tradition of sharing our love of Kauai and its rich cultural heritage.
We had Grandpa on our tour.
The family entertained us with music and dancing.

Betty and Carolyn.

Looking down at the river, after the cruise.

Brian and Richard decided to golf in Kauai. The four of us ate gourment pizza on the ship after we returned from the tour.

We arrived on Sunday morning in Lahaina Maui Harbor early. You can usually see a rainbow in Maui, this one was in the cloud.

Here's Lahaina, waiting for me and Betty, stores stocked with souviners.

We were transported to the island by tender, which was a Princess life boat. It held around 100 people. We were delivered to the island in a very organized manner.

It's my blog, so I can put up as many pictures of myself as I like.
On the tender.

We were greeted by the local senior center dancers and musicians. They were so cute.

We're ready to hit the shops! and find the Shave Ice/Ice Cream.

The guys caught the tender at 7 am for a Molokini snorkel trip. Unfortunately, the waters were too rough, so they had a nice boat trip and a $100 sandwich.

We met up with them for lunch and Mai Tai's at Kimo's. Love that place.

The Sapphire Princess in Lahaina Harbor.

You can see how far we came in on the tender.

Love Lahaina!

ABC Stores, E-Z Stores, Maui Tees.....

Every Sunday is the local craft fair under the Banyon Tree. I bought a necklace and bracelet. Betty also got a treasure there. Everything is handmade.

Carving a tail.

Just contributing to the local economy, doing our part.

The Pioneer Inn is sad that we're leaving Lahaina without stopping for a drink.

Our ship as we approach from the tender.

Aloha Maui, so sad to leave you.

Don't jump Carl, we'll return soon.

A rainbow over my head.

Our last stop and now we will be at sea for 5 days.

Sail Away evening with our group.

The seas were really wild on the way back.

Monday - Ice Carving on deck.

Monday night was our 2nd Formal Night. This is at the Captain's cocktail party, were we got some free drinks. Carl and I are with Joyce and Sandy.

The shiney girls.

This must be Tuesday's sunset.

Rhob makes a really great margarita, with Grand Marnier on top. I had to drink it really fast so it wouldn't melt down and waste the top pour. Andrelyn in the back smiling.
I probably won for most variety of drinks during that cruise.

The happy cruisers. Cheers!

Tonight is Disco Night at Skywalkers. I didn't get back to the room until after 12 am.
These are my dancing buddies.

We had a couple of sunny days on the return trip so I layed out by the pools and read. I actually finished 2 books on this cruise, something I never do.

It must be Thursday here, our last Formal Night. My formal attire looks just like my regular clothes. I'm just not a formal type person.

My favorite painting in the art gallery. I'm going to copy it.

Going to miss this bar and our friends.

Back row, Carl, Joyce, Brian, Rhob, Ralph, Billie.
Front row, Me, Sandy (purple) and Betty.

Ralph from Villa Park somehow got behind the bar. Billie.. you need to watch him.

William, Laurie and Heather, all from the LA area.

The girls with Elliot the bar manager for all bars.

Rhob and Andrelyn - I hope to cruise again with them someday.

Learned to drink a martini on the cruise.

The group from England.

Lobster Night!

Baked Alaska, too!

Almost to Ensenada on Friday morning.

I stayed onboard and watched the Ukelele concert by the passenger band.

I'll celebrate Mexico by drinking a Margarita.

Sea Lion pile at the dock in Ensenada.

Viva La Raza! I'll stay on the ship and look out, thank you.

Now, changing to a Margarita Gold Martini.

Last evening on the ship, so sad. Let's do it again.

I also took video of this cruise and will put something together on Youtube. This blog has taken a whole day to create. I know it's long and if you're reading this, good on you for sticking with someone else's trip.
I highly recommend taking a cruise, especially a Princess Cruise.


The Zoomy's... said...

Woohoo!! What a post Kathy!! What an amazing trip and a long post like that gets a long comment like this...

Looks like our kinda holiday... lots of drinking and good times!! Some amazing scenery!! The ship looks fabulous, and what a cool idea having the big movie screen (one of the RV parks we stayed at in the US had one over their pool for summer, fab idea!). Don't you just love when your margarita is bigger than you glass, hopefully not too much brain freeze drinking that beauty!! Isn't it great meeting new people and having a blast with them, the two 'shiny' ladies look like fun!!

Lots of laughs reading that and you and Carl are looking great!!

Take care

Betty Tracy said...

Great blog. Fun trip. Good friends. Cheers!

Shannon Olson said...

Great blog!!! looks like you had a great time. I love seeing all the rainbows and all the fun you guys had.

Phill Whetstone said...

Looks like a good time for all. That's a pretty wild group you have there , might have to bring a spare liver to hang with you guys !!

Phill Whetstone said...

BTW , I'm in Maui and the cops are still look'in for you guys !!!

Lacey Donatelli said...

Looks like an amazing time. I wanna hang with the church ladies haha!

Leah Sandberg said...

Wow, what a trip! Think I'd like that Crooners Bar too, and the sampling of every alcoholic drink ever created by man (or woman). Can't wait to see you video!