5/5/19 – Sunday
You think we’ve been getting up early for our exercises, THIS morning we were up on a top deck at 6 am to watch the sunrise over Honolulu Bay. Our Polynesian Ambassadors celebrated a traditional “Welcome to Hawaii, Oli Aloha” as we admired and took photos:
After breakfast our group was called to see the US Customs and Border Protection group. All they needed was for us US citizens to show our ship key card and Passports, then we walked off the ship.
We caught a free Hilo Hattie shuttle to the Ala Moana Shopping Center (which included a food court and entertainment) where I found a lovely Kukui Nut (real) necklace and Mu’u Mu’u dress (thin and light) at an ABC Store. These stores are all over the Hawaiian Islands, providing all the basics a tourist might need at very reasonable prices, for Hawaii. Now that I was happy we walked a short distance to Ala Moana Beach Park at the back end of the shopping center.
It took a total of 1.5 hours for us to reach the ship from Ala Moana, walking. Here are some sights we enjoyed as we made our way back:
As we arrived at the ship we wondered where to enter the terminal we’d left. We came to find out that the ship wouldn’t allow arrivals until 1:30 pm. Since it was 11:30 am, we walked to ‘Iolani Palace and the Justice Center (seen at beginning footage of Hawaii Five O TV series which John watches). They’re just a few blocks away.
Near ‘Iolani Palace John and I started across an unprotected (no lights) crosswalk just as another couple started across from the other side. I looked to my right, noting that there were parked cars along that curb, so I kept looking only to see a car speeding toward me. I stopped instantly and backed up. He couldn’t stop until he was in the middle of the crosswalk. He would have hit me if I hadn’t gotten back in time. He (older Asian man) looked just as shocked as I. That sure got my heart pumping. I think he didn’t see John and I because of those parked cars, but did see the other couple and thought he’d get through that crosswalk before that couple made it far enough that he’d have to stop. Can you imagine the logistics of getting hit by a car in the midst of a cruise? Later, on our ship, I ran into Rosalie and shared my story. She had a similar situation in Honolulu, where she’d just gotten out of a cab, turned around and felt something come up against the back of her legs so she tried to move ahead of “it”. It turned out to be the cab, backing up into her! She’s in her 80’s. She said couldn’t sleep that night.
Onward to the Aloha Center Marketplace (close to the ship’s terminal), where you see the Aloha Tower. It was visible in my original Honolulu Bay photos too. Besides taking photos, we called our sons back in Spokane since US cell phone calls from Hawaii don’t carry any extra charges. They were doing just fine.
Around 1 pm we went to the terminal only to see there was a really long line. Oh well. Then got talking to others around us. Many were angry because most of us had gotten off just to visit Honolulu and normally we could just show our ship key card to get on. This time we had to go through all the rigmarole that you have when initially embarking on a cruise ship, including the security people checking your things and body. They were having a very difficult time getting items through the security belt. Remember that Ken and Gail (tablemates) were getting off altogether here. Many others (500?) got off as well and so about that many were getting on now, as this was a new trip for them. THAT’S why all the check in business. The good thing is this incident helped me realize that lots of people fly to Hawaii (a pleasant daytime trip), spend their week or more there, then take a cruise back to the US (or Vancouver, BC) to avoid that long 5 hour nighttime flight back. Sounds like a great idea to me. SO I’m okay with the struggle getting back on the ship because I learned a good tip.
After lunch I watched “On The Basis Of Sex”, a movie about Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Supreme Court Justice). It was excellent, so amazing what she accomplished, the struggles she overcame for her family, her husband and women’s rights. Well worth watching. John spent that time in the hot tub because he thought it was the documentary “RBG” that we’d both seen on our flight to Australia. Granted, that movie wasn’t as enjoyable as this one. For dinner I wore my new Hawaiian Mu’u Mu’u and Kukui nut necklace, as well as my own made Kukui nut bracelet. Fun! Our evening entertainment was a show by “Aloha Polynesians”. Lovely.
As we were going back to our cabin for the night we decided to check out the tours the ship had available for our next stop, Kuaui. We saw “Fern Grotto Shore Excursion” and remembered how much our cousin Judy enjoyed that tour when we all were there in 2015. So we did something highly unusual for us, we spontaneously signed up for that tour!