Day 1: Boarding
On our first full day in Hawai'i, we left our hotel, ordered a taxi (which ended up being a limo??) and made our way to the docks. Cruise ship rooms aren't ready immediately after boarding, so we set off to do a little exploring of the ship. We quickly found the bar, ordered a couple of Mai Tais, and settled in to a game of giant checkers.
Day 2: Maui
We docked in Kahului, and boarded a bus that would take us up the East Maui Volcano, or Haleakalā. A couple hours and a beautiful ride later, and we arrived at the peak and looked out over the crater that is the National Park. Fun Fact: The name Haleakalā derives from the legend that the demigod Maui imprisoned the Sun there in order to lengthen the day.
Day 3: Hilo + Volcanoes National Park
One of my goals is to get to as many of our national parks as possible, and we managed to fit in two more on this trip! Day 3 was one of my favorites; Volcanoes NP is one of the coolest I've seen. You can view the Kiluaea Crater, then make your way through an underground lava tube, see all sorts of steam vents, and then drive through miles of open lava fields down to the ocean and see the Sea Arch. And in true Hawai'ian fashion, it rained for half the day, but we each still ended up a bit sunburned!
On the way back to the ship, we made a brief stop for a photo op at Rainbow Falls, a gorgeous waterfall that flows over a lava cave said to be the home of Hina, an ancient Hawai'ian goddess.
Day 4: Kona
Day 4 was a chill day, much welcomed after traipsing all over Volcanoes NP the day before. Kona is located on the western side of the Big Island, and doesn't have a harbor deep enough for a cruise ship to dock. So the liner anchored out from shore a ways, and if we wanted to go ashore we were ferried in on none other than our own lifeboats! That's one way to make sure they're functioning properly.
My dad and I explored the main street of the town, collecting souvenirs and enjoying the grounds of the Hulihe'e Palace, former home to Hawai'ian royalty. A beautiful day!
Day 5: Kaua'i
On Day 5, we took a tour of the island of Kaua'i, nicknamed The Garden Island. Highlights of the day included a stop at the Kaua'i Coffee Company (can you say Happy Kacie?), a visit to Waimea Canyon, AKA the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, and a luau to end out the day. Kaua'i is one of the lesser populated of the islands, and therefore is home to a lot of untouched nature. It's many people's favorite island for this reason!
Day 6: Nā Pali Coast
Day 6 of our trip was our family-scheduled beach day on Kaua'i, but unfortunately the weather had other ideas. 65 degrees and overcast is no one's ideal day at the beach, so we turned it into an overcast and chilly pool deck party! This was the day that the most reading, dancing, and drinking mimosas was done, a good day indeed. The evening began with a sail around to the Nā Pali Coast on the northwestern side of Kaua'i, a wonder only visible from the sea or air. Most inhabitants of the island have never even seen it! After the gorgeous sail up the coast, the ship turned and started its return back to Oahu. Jenni and I headed up on deck to take a few portraits, and the wind was both friend and foe to us.
Day 7: Disembark + Waikiki Beach
And so our cruise has come to an end (and speaking as someone who is very prone to motion sickness, even with medicine, I wasn't that upset about it), but we still had a couple of days to spend in Honolulu! We finally got our beach day, and ended the evening with a beautiful sunset sail out of Waikiki Beach.
Day 8: LOST Tour
So my family may have somewhat small obsession with the ABC show LOST. Airing from 2004-2010, for me, it was the first show that I watched from start to finish as it aired, and it definitely left an impact (may or may not be re-watching it --again-- as I write this). The very large majority of the show was filmed on Oahu, and there are actually tours that you can take around the island to see many of the filming locations. Of course, my family being the nerds that we are, we booked one. This was probably my favorite day of the trip :)
Day 9: Pearl Harbor
Our last full day in Hawai'i included a stop at Pearl Harbor to remember those lost on December 7th, 1941.