Hawaii T.R. - 5/13/07 (LONG!!!)

May 28th, 2007, 03:19 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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Hawaii T.R. - 5/13/07 (LONG!!!)

On Friday, 5/11... we began our trip to Oahu via Delta Airlines. Our flight had an one hour layover in Salt Lake City. The flight from Atlanta was very smooth and scenic flying into SLC. We used miles to upgrade our coach tickets to first class. The ideal seats are 7E,F. More leg room than I've ever had on a plane. Our layover was great for stretching our legs. It gave us time to get off walk around and catch the flight at the very next gate. From SLC, we had about a six hour flight. This time we were in seats 5E,F. Again, great flight with no problems. When flying into HNL, the island was on our right. Great view of Waikiki and Pearl Harbor. We made a turn and headed back to HNL with Pearl now on our left. Great way to start our trip.

We deplaned with no problem and headed for baggage claim. While we waited for our luggage at the assigned area, we happened to look behind us and see the luggage was on the carousel behind us. We noticed before the majority, grabbed our luggage, and headed to the center to catch the shuttle to Alamo. We found that you have to flag down the shuttles to get them to stop. Even though we were in Hawaii, still among rude people...lol

We flagged down an Alamo shuttle and waited for it to pull towards us. Once it stopped, a party of about six came running and the man leading the pack jumped in front of us and got on the bus. He told his group to get on and get seats and that he would get the luggage. Well, we were not in a hurry to stand as we were in Hawaii and were just going to hang loose and have no worries! The shuttle driver looked at us and said he was sorry and we said no problem and caught the next shuttle to Alamo.

We stood in line to get our car using our Entertainer coupon. Received a "filthy" full-size car. They're turning them around so quickly, that they just did not do a job cleaning. We went back in to get a new car and was offered a convertible. We refused because of luggage. We were given a nice full-size with a sun/moon-roof. The car looked nice, but had a more worn interior than I'm used to with a rental car. It was ok. Total for the weekend was $54.48.

We were booked at the Princess Kuialani for a pre-cruise weekend stay. It took us approximately 45 min - 1 hour to get to the hotel. While the drive was pretty easy, the Friday afternoon traffic was horrible. This was the only time during our entire trip that we experienced traffic such as this on any of the islands.

Through research, we knew that the hotel did not have valet parking. So we pulled up to the hotel to drop off our luggage with a bellcap. We then parked at the lot behind the hotel for $15 a day. You enter the hotel from level one of the parking deck. The hotel has an open air lobby and is pretty nice. It's not a JW, but it is still nice. Something just seems to overcome you when you plant your feet in Hawaii, even for the third visit. It's just like no place I've ever been, even in overdeveloped Waikiki.

Check-in was a breeze. we recieved yellow plumeria leis when we checked in. Well, they were on the counter and you could help yourself. Kept our room smelling "Hawaii-licious" for our entire stay. We paid $98 for one night through Expedia and used points for the other weekend night. We were in room #1471 and had nice views from different parts of the lanai. To view the pictures, please visit trip advisor for my May review. The room was a decent size for two people. Not much room for luggage as the safe took up one side of the floor. So one large suitcase was in the closet, and the other against the wall. The room was very clean. This was partly a birthday trip. We originally was going to book something more upscale, but the room was more than adequate for the time we spent there. We would have wasted our money on a stay at a more expensive hotel. We were very pleased with our stay.

We settled in for a little bit and freshened up. We then set out on our evening walk for dinner at Nick's. Very nice scenic walk. Nick's is right across the street from Niketown. Our meal included mac nut crusted ono w/basil in a lemon butter sauce (garlic mashed potatoes); sauteed sea bass w/shrimp,mussels, & scallops; appetizer were AWESOME crab, shrimp, & scallop cakes; Nick's colada (lava flow w/ blue curacao) and Nick's fruit punch. Using our entertainer coupon our total was approx $80 including tip.

Day Two - Had the buffet breakfast at the hotel for 19.95. Good, but not worth the money. Would suggest going somewhere on the beach if you want to pay this much and enjoy the view while enjoying breakfast. We walked across the street to the Moana Surfrider and took pictures of the banyan tree and beach. Then returned to hotel and got our car.

We drove the island counterclockwise and stopped along the way to take pictures. Our stops included:
-Hanauma (sp?) Bay
-Kula (sp?) Ranch Store
-PCC to take pictures
-Turtle Bay resort
-Dole Pineapply Plantation

It was a hot day. For most of the drive, we had the windows up. Once we got to the north side, it was a bit cooler. We stopped at Giovanni's Shrimp truck for an order of shrimp scampi and a fruit smoothie. Awesome! Our meals are getting better and better. It was one dozen of large shrimp with rice. We split the entire meal as I knew we would stop other places. We took pictures a many locations. The drive was quite easy. Well, for the most part.

We then stopped at Haleiwa Joe's for a light meal. My favorite drink while I was there was a mixture of pineapple, guava or passion fruit, and orange juice with Sprite. I had this with almost every meal and on occasion added rum. We split a grilled cajun ahi sandwich with wasabi ranch and watched the Suns vs Spurs in the bar. Of course a stop to that area would not be complete with out Matsumoto's shaved ice. My BF ordered a small with strawberry, pineapple, coconut, and ice cream. We skipped the beans. It was HUGE and was only $2. He loved it. To sweet for me. I had my mind set on Dole whip.

Well, we left there and headed to Dole. Arrived at 5:10 and they closed at 5:30. Just enough time! We left there and headed to Hilo Hattie in HNL. Unfortunately, we arrived at 6:20 and they closed at 6:00.

Four years ago I purchased some Koa wood jewelry from Hawaiian accessories in Ward Center. They now have a kiosk in the middle of Ala Moana mall. So we stopped and I purchased a few things. We then headed back to the hotel. The hotel has vendors there on Saturdays and weekends. I purchases some handmade bookmarks. They made them as we watched. Very nice. After resting for a bit, we headed back out and hit some of the street vendors. My favorite were the ones that will paint your name for $1 a letter or $20 (depending on the artist). Very unique gifts. The later it got, the hungrier we got, so we stopped at Hula Grill for our final meal. Headed to the bar and ordered from their pupus menu. We ordered corn & crabcakes and IMU ribs w/guava sauce. And of course my signature juice drink.

Day Three - Well, it's 5/13 and time to check out of the hotel. We woke to morning showers. We took our time getting ready that morning. Called for baggage assistance and they were there in five minutes. Easy check-out. Boyfriend went to get the car and the luggage was waiting for us at the front of the hotel. The day became very balmy after the rain. But we did not care, we are headed to Boots and Kimos! Took Pali hwy to the restaurant. Very easy drive. Stopped at Pali lookout along the way. Beautiful.

Arrived at Boots and Kimos for a late breakfast. Parked along the street with no problem. We were told there would be an hour wait before we would be seated. It was a nice day and we just sait outside while we waited. We were in our seats and had our food by the time the hour was up. We ordered original pancakes with mac nut sauce (ONO!), corned beef hash, breakfast with SPAM, and hawaiian smoked sausage. Absolutely best meal of the trip so far!!!!

After we finished, we took H3 toward Pearl Harbor. We stopped and took picture but did not do the tour. We then stopped for the last 30 minutes at Aloha Stadium. Found some cute pouches and t-shirts. It was really too late to see anything and the majority of the vendors were packed up or packing up. So we headed back to Alamo to return our car. Alamo has a location across the street from the Illkai hotel in Waikiki. We dropped the car off there and they shuttled us to the pier to begin our Cruise on Pride of Aloha!!!!

To be continued....
sk84fungirl is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 03:41 PM
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Hello from Detroit! I'm loving your trip post. Gotta know what Dole Whip is. It sounds good.

How many points did you need to upgrade to first class? I'm curious to know.
Mamaw is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 03:46 PM
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Great trip report so far. BUT I just gotta know, do you figure skate or do some other kind of skating?
SuzieTrue is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 04:04 PM
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Day Three - We've been dropped off at the pier by the Alamo shuttle. Seems like we are the only ones boarding the ship with the exception of the folks in the van with us. It's a little after 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. We make through the embarkation process in about 15 minutes. It was very smooth. We board the ship and find our room. We have an outside aft cabin on the fjord deck. The ship seems to have the identical make up of the NCL Sun except all of the rooms are smaller. We inspect our room to find cigarette butts on the balcony and some items lect on the lower shelf of the night stand. The number for the reception desk is busy, so we just decide to leave a note for our room attendant. The munster drill is at 5:30. It lasted about 20 minutes. When complete, we went back to our room to drop our life jackets. When we arrived, our room attendant was in the hallway as well as our luggage. WOW! We told her our observations and she assured us she would take care of it and apologized. We later found out that in an effor to turn the ships around on embarktion day, they bring in temp staff to help clean the rooms. Word is they are often looking for the tips that passengers leave and don't do a good job. Anyway, the bon voyage party began at 6:00. It was grilling at the pool. It was very good. Steaks, burgers, chicken, etc. They were out there cooking until 8:00. The food was always fresh. If you opt not to eat here, the dining room and buffet is open as well. We then went to check out the menus for the speciality restaurants. Upon review, it was nothing that we were interested in. As a result, we made no reservations.

We headed back to our room and unpacked our luggage. The ship departed at 8:00. Becauase our room is on the starboard side, we could not see the Waikiki shoreline. As a result, we went to the sixth deck to view. After sailing out so far, the ship turned and you could see part of the shore from the starboard side and back of the ship. After unpacking, we were exhausted and called it a night by 10:00 p.m.

Our first port was Kauai. We were there for two days. Sailing in a sunrise was breathtaking and relaxing. Awesome view from the starboard side. We sail past a lighthouse and the Marriott hotel to our pier. We have nothing planned for this day besides Luau Kalamaku at 4:15. So we take our time and have breakfast in the dining room that morning. Arrived about 8:45, 15 minutes before it closed. Breakfast was good as we had nothing fancy. We went back to the room and then got off the ship and took the shuttle to Walmart. Went there for a few personal items. We then walked to Hilo Hattie where we found some awesome clearance deals. Arrived back at the ship early afternoon and had lunch at the buffet as the dining rooms are not open during this time. Watched the Cubs vs Mets game in the Longboard lounge. Took a rest, got up and prepared for the luau. Headed down at 4:00 for our 4:15 departure. Short bus ride to location. Believe it is Gaylords. Either way, it was really nice. It's outside in what seems like a garden, but is covered. The show was excellent and the food was good. We thought the desserts were very good. We arrived on the ship about 9:00 p.m. after the luau. Walked around for a little bit and headed to bed.

The next day we booked our own excursion with AirVentures. Donna picked us up from the ship, and Jim was our pilot. It was the best $99 we could have ever spent. Awesome, just awesome. Kauai by air, just awesome. Not as low as helicopters, but still awesome.

The shift departed at 1:00 and we neared the Napali coast about 3:30 p.m. Stunning from air and on the ship. The aerial view was actually better...IMO. Now on to Hilo.

We arrived in Hilo the next morning and participated in the Nani Mau Gardens/Akaka falls tour. It was a beautiful drive through Hilo. We stopped at the farmer's market for 20 minutes and purchased some jelly and other things. Brief but nice stop.

We then had about a 30 minute drive to Akaka falls. If you go there and are not much for stairs, do not take the long walk. To view the falls, you go up and or down stairs. It was kind of rough. Thank goodness I had water. Many of the older persons in the group had a tough time. The driver stopped in the town so they could get something to drink once we left the falls. They are nice to watch and quite beautiful. We then headed to Big Island Candies (yum) and Nani Mau gardens. Overall it was a good excursion. I would recommend for an easy day and nice drive. We opted for this over VNP.

sk84fungirl is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 04:06 PM
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Suzie, I like to rollerskate (4 wheels)...LOL
sk84fungirl is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 04:46 PM
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...About 9:30 p.m. the volcano came into view. What a powerful site. You first see reddish-orange clouds in the distance. As you get closer, you see the lava. While binoculars will help see it even clearer, you can see it without them. We were there on the 16th, I believe the same day lava entered the ocean at multiple locations. Just awesome. The view starts on starboard, 360 turn, then back to starboard.

After Hilo, we headed to the other side of the island...KONA! We again purchased a ship excursion, the Kona Bay Beach Blast. We had a ball! The ship tendered in Kona. We had to meet at 8:45 to catch our tender and then boarded our bus once we got to land. The tender holds about 120. It took about 10 minutes. We got on our bus for our 40 minute ride to a bay that starts with an 'A' (Analahoma (sp). Sorry, I realize I did not write the name down. It is the same beach as the Marriott and is across the street from the King's shops. Very nice area with condos. We were there for about 5 hours. The excursion included use of all of the equipment for snorkeling, kayaking, hydro bikes, etc as well as lunch. It was a really nice day. When we got back, we just walked around Kailua. Purchased 8 oz Kona coffee for 9.50. This was the best price I found. Once again, I don't remember the name. It was a very small little booth style store setup with nothing but coffee. It was across from where we tendered and half way between ABC and the restaurant on the corner across from the tender.

The line seemed to always be long for the tender back to the ship. However, it moved very quickly. The last tender leaves at 5:30. After a few minutes, we were back on the ship and exhausted. We had dinner and prepared for our last two days...MAUI.

Arrived in Maui on Friday morning. Exited the ship with ease and headed to the pier for our alamo shuttle. After about 5 minutes, the shuttle arrived and we were picking up our Mustang convertible using an Entertainer coupon. The car was nice, but upholstery again looked worn. We headed straight to Haleakala and arrived about 10:30. We were concerned that it might be raining as there were a lot of clouds. Began to think that we should head to the Iao Valley as there were hardly no clouds in that direction. Once we entered the park, it was not long before the clouds cleared. Definitely worth the drive. The temp was in the 50's and windy. Awesome views. Neither of us had eaten anything and were very lightheaded. A mistake we will not make again. We came down and headed to Paia. Had lunch at Paia fishmarket. Ordered the fried shrimp appetizer, fish tacos, and a grilled fish burger. We walked back to our car in the Paia customer parking lot. On the way back, we stopped at Anthony's. At Anthony's I bought some Roselani Mac Nut Brickle ice cream. Yum, Yum, Yum! We left there and headed over to Wailea. Stopped at Hilo Hattie in Kihei and Shops of Wailea. We then went to Walmart in Kahului. I was there two years ago and found my best souvenirs there. Knew I would find my best deals on some common things there. We got back to the ship about 6:00 and parked at a fishing area right next to the pier. At the time, there were plenty of parking spaces. When we headed out the next morning, people were parked everywhere. Even against the fences that indicated no parking. It seemed to be the norm and noone was towed. Friday night on the ship is surf and turf. Lobster tails and prime rib. The lobster was awesome. Our prime rib was too well-done. The dining room moved fast that night as many were likely still off the ship.

The final day we got in our car and headed to the swap meet. Lots of vendors in a tight space near the pier across from McDonalds and next to the Kuhuli post office. The cost is 50 cents. We look for unique things at the swap meet and found just that. Purchased some hand painted tapa bookmarks, a silk painting of Iao valley by Melissa Verbena, and some $1 bracelets. All in all a good visit. We then made the drive over to Lahaina. Drove around a bit and parked on Front street in front of Dairy Queen. It was ideal as one of my favorite stores is Lahaina Bath and Body right across the street. We walked for a while and had lunch at Cheeseburger in Paradise. Ordered Hamburger and onion rings and split them. Very good. Walked around a bit more and then headed to Whalers Village in Kannapali. It was so hot we did not spend too much time as I was feeling overheated. Grabbed some water and decided to head back to Kahalui. Stopped at KMart for luggage and returned the car to Alamo. It took some time for the pier shuttle to come and we were back on the ship. Had our final meal in the dining room and finished our packing.

On Sunday, we decided to take our time as all passengers needed to leave the ship by 9:45 that morning. We woke late and got ready. We did not leave our room until 9:45. By that time, the majority of the folks were gone. Disembarkation was a breeze. The National Car shuttle picked us up and we picked up our car in Waikiki and kept it until 4:00. During this time we went to Ward Center, Nordstrom Rack, and Aloha Tower. At Aloha Tower, valet parking is $3 as long as one of the stores validate. I got off and went looking for MelissaHI, but could not find her )-:

We used our entertainer coupon to have lunch at Do Hos. Had pizza, wings, and fish and chips. Not impressed with the food. Just OK.

While on the ship, we visited a few of the lounges and shows. We were so tired that we just decided to relax.

Know that I do not have a curise preference besides getting a good deal. There was nothing that would cause us not take this cruise again. The two islands that I would like to spend more time on are Big Island and Kauai. Three or four days on each would do just fine. we'll wee what happens in two years!

sk84fungirl is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 04:52 PM
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Posts: 411

I believe it was 30K to upgrade. When you calculate the cost per mile, it was more cost effective to purchase the tickets and upgrade on Delta out of Atlanta.

Dole whip is what I can best describe as a pineapple sorbet-soft serve. It is very yummy, smooth, and light. The Dole Plantation looks completely different than it did 4 years ago. Completely remodeled. We were hoping to do the tour but arrived too late. Found out that the plantation closed earlier this year and they no longer produce pineapples. Apparantly, Maui produces the most pineapples.
sk84fungirl is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 05:06 PM
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Please tell me I posted this under the Hawaii forum!!!! I can't find it at all unless I search under my name.

Let me know.

sk84fungirl is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 05:24 PM
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Where is Giovanni's Shrimp truck located? Near Turtle Bay? My daughter is leaving for Oahu on Wednesday and wants to know where the best shrimp truck is - this one sounds pretty good!
Postal is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 05:50 PM
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We passed on Giovanni’s and ate at “Holy Smokes” instead. The owner was a super friendly guy and convinced us to try his food. DH had hot and spicy plate of shrimp 1# for $14 and I got short rib plate which was $11. Since he only had ˝ order of ribs left, he gave me a teriyaki steak too. Meals came with corn on cob, rice and salad; they were very tasty.

DebitNM is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 12:20 PM
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Giovanni's is in Kahuku. I believe that is the north shore.
sk84fungirl is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 12:35 PM
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Sorry about that. I was in LA!
MelissaHI is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 04:54 PM
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Waving at Melissa.

No worries.

We had and awesome time!

I'll be back in two years. Or less if I find a can't pass deal
sk84fungirl is offline  

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