Day 8 Symphony - Honolulu
We enjoyed a nice evening on board Symphony. We began our evening at the Avenue Saloon for a pre-dinner drink. These are the dinner menus from Waterside.
We dined at Churrascaria which is the new Brazilian Restaurant. This is the diner menu.
The restaurant utilizes a portion of the space in Marketplace where breakfast and lunch buffets are served. There is a combination of items that are offered buffet including salads, hot vegetables, fruits and desserts.
For those of you who have dined on land at restaurants such as Fogo de Chao it is very similar but there are some differences. The biggest difference is the extraordinary waitstaff team from the Head Waiter, to the waiters and assistant waiters to the sommeliers. They were very helpful, enthusiastic and passionate. We loved it. Thanks to the advice of others we paced ourselves so we did not overeat.
We were escorted to our table by the waiter who would be taking care of us the entire evening. He along with one other waiter explained everything about the restaurant to us and answered questions. Throughout the evening one or two waiter came by frequently as did an assistant and the sommelier.
We began with a salad. There was a good range of choices many of which you will find at the lunch buffet. A couple of different rolls/sticks are on the table. We loved the cheese roll. Later in the meal the waiter asked us if we wanted more and while tempting we said no thank you.
We returned a second time for warm vegetables. This included mushrooms, a potato (Keith), grilled vegetables and one or two other items. If you select a potato one member of the waitstaff removed it from a dish that kept them hot and another person cut it open. The were on the small size which is perfect.
The waiter had also asked us if we were interested in one of two different vegetables. Anne Marie selected the mashed potatoes and Keith selected spinach in cream sauce. These dishes were at the table when we returned. They were on the larger side so we had a portion of them.
We went back up for some warm vegetables such as mushrooms, potato, grilled vegetables and one or two other items.
We were ready to begin trying out some of the entree items that a gaucho waiter served. He would cut an item or push it towards the bottom and you would remove them with the tongs that were provided at your place setting.
In the photo section you will see the special card you use to indicate if you want more food or want to stop. If you need a break you could turn the card over to stop and turn it back to go if you want additional items.
From there different entree items arrived. We tried to limit ourselves to one or two pieces of any item and we tried some of the items and passed on others.
We both had the shrimp. Very tasty. We both had the steak and it was medium rare and also a hit for us. Keith had one piece of chicken and Anne Marie had just a portion of it. Keith tried on lamb chop and it was also delicious. Since Anne Marie skipped several of these items she tried two more shrimp.
We passed on other items such as pork wrapped in bacon, short ribs and the sausage. We did not want to overeat and felt that we tried the items that we would prefer.
The final course was dessert and fruit. Anne Marie chose one small piece of dessert. Think it was banana cake and gave Keith a portion to try. It was delicious. We also had some fruit.
This is a restaurant that we would visit one or possibly two times during a single voyage depending on its length. One could visit to have a light dinner such as having salad, vegetables and one entree which might be nice for a second visit. It is a nice venue to dine alone, dine with one other person or dine with a group. We saw one table with ten people sitting together.
The show last night was outstanding. It was performed by the wonderful pianist Philip Wojciechowski. He is always amazing and this was the case last night and this was a new performance by him. He leaves the ship today and we are thankful he was on this voyage.
We enjoyed breakfast in our room and then got ready for our visit to Honolulu.
After arriving to the Aloha Tower Market Place in Honolulu, we took a private tour booked with Crystal Cruises that we had pre-arranged a couple of months ago.
On past trips we visited the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and the Arizona Memorial to honor the men and women who lost their lives on that horrific day. The day following the attack President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered a famous address to Members of the House and Senate and the nation. He began his talk with those words we have read and heard countless times.
“Yesterday, December 7th 1941 a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attached by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
Instead of visiting the Visitor Center and Arizona memorial, we visited several memorials and two military bases.
The tour guide Steve was outstanding. He was in the military for twenty four years and his area of expertise is history. He also gave talks for five year on the USS Missouri which we have visited twice before. He gave us information on Pearl Harbor that we were not aware of even though we have read many books on Pear Harbor and taken many tours.
Our tour included:
Ford Island to see the memorials of the USS Utah & USS Oklahoma.
Visits to Pearl Harbor Military Base and Hickam Air Force Bases.
Tour of Punchbowl National Memorial. While we have driven through there we have never stopped there and walking the area was very special. Many people were there visiting loved ones with flowers.
We also visited the Iolani Palace.
We enjoyed lunch at the Natsunoya Tea House. Natsunoya means Tea House. Its location is on the slopes of Alewa Heights. Only two tea houses remain in Honolulu. This Tea House only opens up for special events such as Birthday, Graduations, etc.
This tea house relates to Pearl Harbor as a spy from the Japanese Consulate sent a coded message to Tokyo in the months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He arrived in February of that year. He would go to the Tea House a few times a week. From above he would view the timing of all of the vessels that entered and left the harbor. He couldn't make notes for fear he would get caught. He had an amazing memory and would then go to the Japanese Embassy to write down all that he saw. He had to remember the numbers and positions of over 100 vessels. He would act like he was getting drunk to spend many hours there even though he didn't drink the alcohol. Normally the telescope is located down stairs but they placed it upstairs in the room in which he observed the vessels.
The food was amazing. Enough food for four people so we couldn't eat it all.
Tomorrow is Anne Marie's birthday so there was even a gift for her and when the tour operator met us she had a gift for Anne Marie.
We love studying history and believe that history is important as it can help predict the future.
Anne Marie & Keith