Archive for the ‘Hawaii Cruise’ Category

Last Bermudaful Day   Leave a comment

I am embarrassed that there isn’t much to report this day. We literally did nothing except watch the Norwegian Dawn sail in (our next vacation destination).

Continue to be unimpressed with food. Tried the conch fritter and calamari appetizer. While both were delicious, there were literally three tiny conch fritters in the basket and a couple quarter-sized calamari rings. Most of what I got was fried batter bits. DH had a very small piece of over-battered fish and a ton of chips.  

Dinner was not an improvement. Corn chowder made with very tough corn. It was pureed into a decidedly chunky consistency that took a lot of chewing.  Yuck. I saved room for the sticky toffee pudding. Probably my favorite dessert.  I should have known this would be the worst one I have ever had. Dry, served cold, and made with an astonishing amount of molasses.  Oh well. I tried. DH had the fish special. Although the flavor was good, it was over-cooked. 

Even though a lot of guests had left the resort on Saturday, the tiny bar was again overwhelmed. 

While I will be sad to leave Bermuda, I won’t be sad to leave the Grotto Bay Resort.  Ironically, because of its price and location, we will probably end up coming back!  But I won’t expect much! 

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Posted September 5, 2016 by cubechick in Hawaii Cruise

Escaping to Miami   Leave a comment

The first day of the ten day adventure begins. Believe it or not, with 30 cruises under my belt, I have never done a “back-to-back”, so I wasn’t sure what the process was.  A letter was delivered the night before letting us know that the room steward knew of the move and would handle the luggage.  The letter also instructed us to get our new cards from guest services in the morning. However, being that we were staying in the Haven, we knew the concierge would have our new key cards.

While I quickly repacked our bags (we hadn’t taken much out in the one night), DH went to the Haven to retrieve our new cards. He found out that our suite was already available, so we just brought our bags up ourselves. After breakfast in the Haven Restaurant, we unpacked. Awesome!

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The Haven Penthouse Suite is very small compared to the aft PH suites, but we sacrificed the size of the room to be in the Haven itself.

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The Haven Restaurant is small relative to the number of suites, so at 1:00pm we found ourselves with a 40 minute wait for lunch and extremely slow service. I was beginning to wonder if we’d finish before the lifeboat drill at 4:00!

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We have a friend staying in one of the deluxe owner’s suites and we watched sail away from there. Not much to see at night though!

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Dinner was at the Haven restaurant.  The food was good, but always missing an element. The steak and lobster had no starch with it (potato or rice, etc) and my four mushroom ravioli, though tasty had no sauce.

The rest of the night passed as many embarkation nights do with many cocktails and many laughs. 🙂

Posted November 8, 2015 by cubechick in Hawaii Cruise

Escaping for One Night   Leave a comment

Apologies for not posting live, but the Escape had terrible WiFi. However, I am back on land, so here we go!

We had friends on board who joined the ship in Hamburg, and others boarding for the one-nighter the day before we were to sail. We surprised them all by securing an invitation for ourselves and showing up a day early.

It was great to have an extra day to explore the Escape. We also stayed in a balcony cabin this one night, so we got to experience two cabins. The balcony on the Escape is the same as on the Breakaway and has the same issues. No drawers, limited storage, etc.  The cabin is narrow, so there isn’t much space between the foot of the bed and the wall, so having the bed by the balcony doors makes the room easier to maneuver.

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We didn’t spend much time here so it was okay. We just wandered around and checked out the ship and exulted in the fact that we get to stay on for ten more days!

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Can’t wait to move to our home away from home tomorrow and really explore!

Posted November 8, 2015 by cubechick in Hawaii Cruise

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Is Maui Really Just 17 Days Away???   Leave a comment

I have been so remiss!  I just looked at my last post and realized that it was two months ago!!!  I could have sworn that I had shared our trip planning in minute detail by now and any more posts would be so repetitive!  Ha!  Now I get to share what we’ve planned in one swoop!

First of all we decided to add a day.  I mean really.  How can you fly all the way to Maui from the East Coast and only spend five nights?  Now it’s six nights and we’ll still arrive home on Saturday morning with nearly two days to try to get back on East Coast time.  To keep things even, we added the night to the Four Seasons and the Wailea part of the trip.  🙂  Now we have three lovely nights in each location.

I have been pouring over Trip Advisor’s Maui Forum picking up several helpful tips.  A great one is to keep checking on your car rental prices.  Ours has dropped $160 for the week since I first booked!  Another is on a short trip like ours, to skip the road to Hana as it’s an all-day affair and takes up time that could be better spent elsewhere.  DH and I had already reached that conclusion ourselves.  🙂

Our itinerary isn’t as packed with activities as many others I have seen on the Forum, and that’s just how we like it.  I am not going all that way to Maui to run myself ragged!  Hopefully low-key won’t translate to boring as I do plan on writing up our trip!

The first day we know that we’ll just hit Wal-Mart as stated and pick up some provisions for the condo.  We’ll surely walk around the area, checking things out, and will definitely stop at Duke’s for that Mai-Tai!!

Day two and three will be spent going to Lahaina and driving north to the Nakalele Blowhole, with stops at Kapalua Bay and Honolua Bay along the way.  Which day we do what is up in the air.

There is a cliff-diving ceremony at sunset at Black Rock, so we plan on wandering that way while we’re in the area.  I am thinking the first night would be good as a tool to help us stay awake!

Day four we switch hotels and have decided to drive to the summit of Haleakala along the way.  It isn’t exactly on the way, but it makes sense to us to do it this way.

Days five and six are up in the air.  I do know that I want to go to the black sand beach that is on the south side.

Of course during this time I am sure plenty of snorkeling will occur (especially in the morning before the winds pick up) and plenty of pineapple will be consumed.  Oh and Mai-Tai’s.  Duke’s has been my favorite forever, but I’ve heard that Monkeypod Kitchen makes a mean Mai-Tai, so I will have to have to do a comparison!

Aloha!

Posted August 19, 2015 by cubechick in Hawaii Cruise

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!   Leave a comment

Santa was kind to the Cubechick family. I hope he was good to all of yours as well. ☺

In a mere six weeks or so I will head to London for my ninth visit to that great city.

In exactly three months DH and I will begin our 11-day southern Caribbean cruise, so expect the posts to ramp up shortly!

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year!

Posted December 26, 2014 by cubechick in Hawaii Cruise

Ka’a’awa Valley   Leave a comment

Ka'a'awa Valley by cubechick
Ka’a’awa Valley, a photo by cubechick on Flickr.

Posted May 15, 2011 by cubechick in Hawaii Cruise

Three days on Oahu   Leave a comment

Day Three

After a quick and cheap breakfast at the nearby Burger King (gotta do something to keep costs down a little!) we went to the tour entrance of our hotel to wait for our next adventure to begin.  We’d booked a mountain biking tour of the Kaaawa Valley through Bike Hawaii.  Due to our schedule, we’d originally booked a private tour, but a few other folks expressed interest in touring this same day.  John, who runs Bike Hawaii, cleared it with us first, but we were happy to have company…especially as this reduced the cost of the tour for us!  This guide was also late picking us up, but this time we didn’t panic since we were getting the sense of how island time worked.  😉

Sure enough, about 15 minutes late, the van pulled up to hotel.  There was no mistaking that the van was for anyone but us as there were a half dozen mountain bikes mounted to the roof of the van!  We stopped at one more hotel to pick up another rider, then off we went to the ranch.  Last night I had looked over our stops on the circle tour versus the description of our ride and had concluded that we were heading to the Kauloa ranch, which had been the lunch stop of our circle tour.  Sure enough, as we approached the ranch, I began to recognize places we’d visited the day before.  The rest of our group was meeting us at the ranch as they were staying at the Turtle Bay Resort, just north of the ranch.  They were a family with a teenaged son and a daughter of about nine.  The college student we’d picked up in Waikiki and DH and myself finished off the group. Our guide quickly got to the business of off-loading the bicycles and setting us up with helmets, bottles of water, and bags of trail mix.  DH and I also brought bottles of Gatorade and some power bars both of which we’d be grateful for.

The ride began with approximately a two-mile ride to the Kaaawa Valley floor.  We started by following a dirt road, but quickly had to veer from that easier path, as there were riders on horseback that we needed to avoid.    The trail went from double to single track and quickly became too challenging for the young girl.  Our guide had to double back and talk her and her mother out of quitting the ride.  It wouldn’t be much longer before we’d reach the valley floor and the sites of such movies as Jurassic Park, Godzilla, Windtalkers, Lost, etc.  Once we were done exploring the valley, the two of them opted to stay behind, explore the valley on their own, and meet up with us in a couple of hours at a shelter.

Their staying behind turned out to be a good move, as they would never have handled the muddy single track that waited.  Not to mention the assent up one side of the valley then the other.  The college kid who was with us had never mountain biked and if he hadn’t been in very good shape, he too would have fallen behind.  As it was he took three headers during the course of the more technical portion of the ride.  The website for this ride stated that they could easily find trails to accommodate all experience levels.  I don’t know if this is true or not, only that our guide certainly did not opt to do so.  Ultimately the ride was more challenging than I expected, but DH and I enjoyed ourselves thoroughly, as did the dad and son who had some experience riding.  When we arrived back to the van for lunch, we viewed being covered in red Hawaiian mud as a badge of honor (they’d had a some serious rain in the valley the day before).   Lunch was my only real disappointment in the day.  We were offered a half a sandwich each and a bag of chips.  After all of that riding I could have eaten two sandwiches!  The lack of food made us very glad that we’d brought our own snacks!

After a much needed shower, we were ready for our last dinner in Waikiki at Roy’s.  Roy’s was the number one rated restaurant in Honolulu on Trip Advisor.  I knew this was not going to be a cheap meal, but hoped it would be worth it.  Roy’s is located in the Embassy Suites, on the other end of Waikiki from the Marriott.  Still, that made it only a 20-minute walk.

The menu at Roy’s is extensive, with half the menu being classics and the other half being specialty items of this location.  After having our head’s swim with all of the choices, we opted for the three-course tasting menu with wine pairings.  At $65 per person we felt this wasn’t a bad value.   The appetizer was three items, including a delicious short rib and a spring roll that DH and I agree was the best we’d ever tasted.  DH had a short rib entrée that was simply amazing.  I’d read so much about Roy’s chocolate soufflé that I simply had to try that for dessert.  It was molten, melty, chocolate yum paired with a lovely dessert wine.  Fantastic.   I was also able to complete a mission of mine at Roys…having a pineapple martini made with Malibu rum…yummy, yummy, yummy.

I had meant to stop at Lulu’s and check out the band my friend recommended, but we needed to pack.  It’s nice to find that packing isn’t terribly depressing when your next stop is a cruise ship!  Also, despite three days in Hawaii we still hadn’t completely adjusted to island time and were still going to bed fairly early.  Early to bed does mean early to rise, but in this instance we didn’t mind.  The next morning, throwing open the drapes, and stepping out onto our balcony, we were able to see the Pride of America sailing into port.  The next part of our adventure was about to begin!

Posted May 15, 2011 by cubechick in Hawaii Cruise

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