5-9-17 Tuesday (Lahaina/Maui)

Today we had an excursion.  Haleakala Crater – House of the Rising Sun.  First, I give you morning views from our balcony:

2017-05-09 155

2017-05-09 156

2017-05-09 157

Back to the excursion.  Basically, it was an old, old, old, non-active volcano crater where life has since respawned.  It was pretty but the drive there was too long.  Especially the switch back up the mountain bus drive.  The excursion took most of the day.  Unfortunately, we only had an hour left before we had to be back on the ship. Here’s some pics:

2017-05-09 166

2017-05-09 164

2017-05-09 165

There was a huge banyan tree in the port.  As a matter of fact, it’s the largest in the US.  If you’re lazy and don’t want to read all about it, then here’s a short blurb about it: 

The banyan tree in Lahaina, in Maui, Hawaii, United States, was planted on April 24, 1873, in Lahaina to mark the 50th anniversary of the arrival of first American Protestant mission. The banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis) known in Hawaiian as paniana, located in the Courthouse Square, which was renamed Banyan Tree Park covering 1.94 acres, is not only the largest in the state but also in the United States. The tree was a gift from missionaries in India. A mere 8 feet (2.4 m) when planted, it has grown to a height of about 60 feet (18 m) and has rooted into 16 major trunks, apart from the main trunk, with the canopy spread over an area of about 0.66 acres (0.27 ha).

Here’s the full info if you’d like:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banyan_tree_in_Lahaina

2017-05-09 169

Another shot of it from across the street.  It looks like several trees because they drop vines and reroot but it’s the same tree.  Of course, you would have known that if you had read the Wiki link.

2017-05-09 373

Celebrity is fairly upscale.  They had iced towels at the port for us to freshen up.  A nice touch.

2017-05-09 171

A shot of our ship as we approached it via the tender

2017-05-09 379

Back to the ship…

5-8-17 Monday (Honolulu/Oahu)

We started our morning with the breakfast buffet onboard.  The options were amazing.  Several egg stations to create custom omelets, Eggs Benedict, fried eggs, etc.  They had waffles and pancakes.  They had Australian and English breakfast favorites as well as Scottish, and some others.  There was so much to choose from. 

Once again, we didn’t snorkel again.  Most of that was because we were still touring the island and then we had a hard time finding parking.  Then it rained.  It just wasn’t meant to be.  Sigh.  No biggy. 

Finally. we made it to the Dole Planation.  We had the world-famous DoleWhip®.  The ® is a nice touch, right?    Oh, and the DoleWhip (Pineapple icecream) was delicious. 

2017-05-08 273

The restroom sign was pretty cool.  Here:

2017-05-08 152

We stopped by a Walmart (surprise!) for an underwater camera.  We planned to snorkel and I had forgotten the camera on the ship.  As I said in a previous post, we never got the chance to snorkel.  Any who, it’s graduation time and Hawaii has a ton of leis to commemorate the occasion.  The funny, and I mean funny, thing is the lei I found below.  It is… Spam with crackers.  Seriously.  Scroll down and enjoy:

 

 

 

 

 

a little more…

 

 

 

 

 

2017-05-08 151

You’re welcome.

We returned the rental and caught an Uber back to the ship.  We stopped off at the pool bar and had to cocktail first.

2017-05-08 153

2017-05-08 154

I have no idea what we drank.  It was probably good.  After cocktails, we showered and went to muster.  If you’ve cruised before then you know what it is.  If not:

A muster drill (also sometimes referred to as a lifeboat drill or a boat drill) is an exercise conducted by the crew of a ship prior to embarking on a voyage. The purpose of a muster drill is to prepare passengers for safe evacuation in the event of an emergency while on board the ship and to familiarize crew and passengers with escape routes. In a muster drill, passengers are educated on the use of life vests and escape routes from the ship. It is typically conducted approximately 30 minutes prior to the ship's scheduled departure time and all guests must remain silent during the drill so that everyone will be able to hear the safety announcements from the captain. To alert that the drill is in progress, a general emergency alarm is sounded and after the signal, the captain explains what the passengers need to do.

Oh, and just so you know, the muster drill is even more boring than that definition above.

Our cruise came with perks.   One of the free perks we chose was a free classic drink package (alcohol package).  Unfortunately, we experienced a lot of push back and package differences from one bar to another this evening which made for unwanted vacation stress.  We went to Customer Service and were joined by another couple, Steve and Karen, who had the same issue.  We all met with the bar manager.  Eventually, we were upgraded to the Premium package for free.  This covered more expensive alcohols.  Long story short, the package we picked changed since we booked and the changes were poorly communicated throughout the fleet/bars which created the inconsistencies.  Apparently, many people were affected and had already complained about it.  We joined Steve and Karen for premium cocktails to celebrate our “victory”.  We enjoyed their company several more times throughout the cruise.

 

Depart at 10pm

5-7-17 Sunday (Honolulu/Oahu – The Cruise Begins)

As you can see by the title, today we board our ship.  First a quick trip to Leonard’s Bakery.  This was a stop on our Shaka GPS tour. We had cinnamon malasadas (donut without a hole) that were tasty.  Every order is freshly made to order so we had to wait for our chow.

2017-05-07 128

Leonard's Bakery on Oahu is not a local secret spot anymore.  A once quiet bakery sitting midway up Kapahulu Avenue, is now featured in many tourist guide books, and has become an Oahu attraction itself!  All the attention and fame goes to these little special Portuguese style donuts called malasadas! 

We owe a little thanks to the DoRego family that migrated from Portugal to Maui for an opportunity to work in the sugar cane fields in 1882.  But it wasn’t until 1952, when their grandson Leonard & wife moved to Honolulu, and opened the doors to their own bakery in 1952.

Soon after opening their doors, Leonard’s mother suggested making a traditional treat for “Strove Tuesday”.  Today these traditional malasada treats have become a staple phenomenon that we’ve come to love…and the rest is history!

We checked into the ship.  Unfortunately, there is absolutely no overnight parking at the port..  This was really annoying.  We put some quarters in the meter, unpacked a little and headed to the ship’s buffet lunch.  Here’s our cabin for 10 days.  We’ll be here overnight.

2017-05-07 130

Hawaii Celebrity 5-7-17 Itinerary (2)

The buffet food was amazing.  Pasta bar, Mexican, Indian, carving station, paninis, pork shops, etc, etc.  

After lunch, we exited the ship and continued more of our driving tour.  This was a different tour – The South End of the island.

South Shore Oahu

Nu’Uanu Pali was probably the most breathtaking view.

2017-05-07 139

2017-05-07 140

2017-05-07 141

2017-05-07 142

2017-05-07 144

2017-05-07 145

2017-05-07 146

It was a great day.  We were in Hawaii.  What’s not to love?

Jim parked the car while I sat in front of the port with stuff that would be too difficult to lug during a 15 minute walk.  The closest overnight parking garage was still quite the hike.  Back onto the ship to shower and have dinner.

5-6-17 Saturday (Honolulu)

Another day at the hotel.  No cruise ship yet, remember?  Oy.  What’s the matter with you? 

2017-05-06 085Above: Hotel room balcony with last nights luau lei. 

It was about 9am Hawaii time but 3pm, NC time and Jim and I were both hungry for a burger.  Cheeseburger in Paradise, a US chain, had a breakfast burger (egg atop a burger) on the menu so why couldn’t they do a regular burger?  They did.  Unfortunately, the burgers were flavorless and we left feeling cheated of our burger craving.   Oh well. 

We had reservations to see Pearl Harbor (Arizona Memorial) and only had a couple of hours to kill so we did more of our driving tour. 

2017-05-06 094

2017-05-06 087

2017-05-06 092

2017-05-06 096

2017-05-06 344

2017-05-06 106

2017-05-06 107

2017-05-06 108

2017-05-06 109

2017-05-06 110

2017-05-06 112

2017-05-06 115

2017-05-06 123

2017-05-06 124

The Pearl Harbor (Arizona Memorial)  was sad… as expected… it’s a memorial, remember?  Oil still leaks out of the ship.  In fact, visitors sometimes refer to the constant oil coating on the water as “tears of the Arizona” or “black tears.”

“Is it true that oil still leaks from the USS Arizona?

Yes. Currently, the ship leaks 2-9 quarts each day.
The USS Arizona held approximately 1.5 million gallons (5.7 million liters) of “Bunker-C” oil. The ship burned for 2½ days, leaving an unspecified amount of oil on board. Oil has been observed leaking from the ship since the 1940's; however, little action was taken until environmental concerns were expressed.

Since 1998, the National Park Service Submerged Resources Center (SRC) and the USS Arizona Memorial have been conducting research directed at understanding the nature and rate of natural processes affecting the deterioration of the USS Arizona, as well as monitoring hull conditions and oil release rates. Oil release observed during the 1980's Arizona documentation project originated from a hatch on the starboard (right) side of barbette number three, and later from a hatch on the starboard side of barbette number four. Consequently, when oil release monitoring began in 1998, those hatches were a primary focus.

During fieldwork from 1998 to the present, gradually increasing amounts of oil have been observed releasing from forward of the memorial; however, comprehensive measurement of oil release forward of the memorial in the upper deck galley was not completed until June 2006. Measured release rates have gradually increased each year in direct proportion to the number of locations monitored: in 1998, 1.0 quart (0.95 liters) was measured from one location; in 2003, 2.1 quarts (2.0 liters) were measured from two locations; in 2004, 2.3 quarts (2.2 liters) were measured from two locations; in 2006, 9.5 quarts (9.0 liters) were measured from eight locations. The 2006 oil release measurements are the most comprehensive completed to date – increase in oil release over previous years is in part explained by more release locations being successfully measured then previously.

Although observed rates of oil coming to the surface has gradually increased over the past several years, there is no indication of an increase in the amount of oil released from the primary oil containment spaces in the ship’s lower decks. The increase in oil release rates vary considerably with differing wind, tide, and harbor conditions. Although the exact amount cannot be determined, the USS Arizona contains an estimated 500,000 gallons (liters) of Bunker-C fuel within its hull.”

2017-05-06 351

Next, we did some of the South Shore driving tour. 

South Shore Oahu

We made it to Hanauma Bay but unfortunately, they were closing soon.  Snorkelers are required to watch a video about protecting the reefs.  Once watched, it’s recorded that you did so for a year.  We did so anticipating time to come back but that sadly never happened.

 

2017-05-06 353

2017-05-06 356

2017-05-06 354

Jim spotted a something or another run nearby.  It was a critter.  We didn’t know what it was.  A passerby heard our question and told us it was mongoose!  We watched for more.

2017-05-06 358

2017-05-06 357

“The mongooses found in Hawai’i are native to India and were originally introduced to Hawai’i Island in 1883 by the sugar industry to control rats in sugarcane fields on Maui, Moloka’i and O’ahu. This attempt was misguided, because while rodents make up a large portion of the mongooses’ diet, the their substantial negative impact on other desirable birds, insects, and animals outweighs their minor impact on rat. Mongoose are now widespread on all of the main Hawaiian islands except for Lanaʻi and Kauaʻi, where there are no known populations. Mongooses can live in both wet and dry conditions including gardens, grasslands, and forests.”

2017-05-06 367

2017-05-06 359

2017-05-06 360

2017-05-06 361

2017-05-06 362

2017-05-06 363

2017-05-06 364

2017-05-06 365

2017-05-06 366

We stopped at Konos in Kailua for dinner. 

Konos

By the way, every time we saw people surfing we were reminded of the Brady Bunch Hawaii episode with the tiki.  Here’s that familiar tone: