The ship docked in Nawiliwili at 8 am in the morning. We had spent a month on Kauai in 2010 and had pretty much covered all of the island while we were there so we did not feel the need to do any tours or go anywhere. We enjoyed a nice warm day that included a leisurely walk into town and a bit of shopping. The next two days were spent on Maui, at Lahaina. We had plans to go to Cirque Polynesia and rent a car for a drive around the island as Maui is an island we have not seen anything of except Lahaina. But, in our usual lazy fashion we did neither. We walked all over town, found a barber to get our very shaggy hair cut (which, in my case, took the fellow over an hour and a half because he spent so much time talking about every possible thing that he disliked in Canada – he was a displaced Canadian from Toronto; a victim of police brutality he said. I did not ask for any details). After the long, arduous session at the salon we wandered back to the ship and stayed there until the ship set sail for the Big Island on May 5.
We have also visited the island of Hawai’i several times and have driven all over the island on one trip or another. But the ship offered a tour to a seahorse farm and we thought that would be fun so we signed up. We were driven to the OceanRider Sea Horse Farm and spent over an hour learning all about the techniques and research being done to raise sea horses for the pet trade so they will not be depleted in the wild. The company has been working for 13 years to create breeding programs and commerical markets for their farm-raised sea horses. It was very interesting and something new. This is a baby sea horse. We were not supposed to photograph them and I had forgotten and snapped this pic before John reminded me.They loved to link tails and float around. When our tour was over we did a walk along Ali’i Drive in downtown Kailua-Kona and then went back to the ship. The last port of call in Hawai’i was Hilo, on the other side of the Big Island. Kailua-Kona is on the dry side, Hilo is on the wet side. It is rare to have a rain-less day in Hilo but we were blessed with one. The Hilo side has the quickest access to Volcanoes National Park so many of the guests were off to see the calderas and and the active lava flow of Mt. Kileau which is adding a few feet to the island every year. The volcano has been erupting continuously since 1983.
All we did in Hilo was walk into town, which was much further from the port than we remember. It took us over an hour and a half, but we did walk around the Banyan Park and the Japanese Gardens on the way. There is not much to Hilo except a long street of tourist shops. We only bought some ice cream before walking back to the ship.
This 13-day cruise was, for us, a leisurely ride home. We did not feel it was necessary, nor were we inclined, to do very much. The islands of Hawai’i were familiar territory, and our next five days we spent at sea.
We arrived in Seattle on May 12 and were picked up at the terminal by one of John’s American cousins. We spent the day visiting relatives. Back on the ship that evening we packed our luggage in preparation for disembarking the next day in Vancouver. A one-hour flight brought us to Kelowna and an hour later we were home. And so, another wonderful adventure concluded.
(I am currently sorting photos to put in a blog about our 62-day Grand Mediterranean/Black Sea Cruise in 2012. Stay tuned.)