WELCOME TO HONOLULU - WE SEE LAND
Jonathan...Thank you for letting us know about the Face Book photo with Anne Marie in one of the photos.
Caryn... Thank you very much. We will be sure to give your regards to More and to Kai. Yesterday was a great day for Paddle Tennis.
We began last evening with a visit to the Avenue Saloon for a pre-dinner drink with dear friends John & Linda. We met John and Linda on our first World Cruise in 2007 and since that time we have been on several World Cruises with them.
As this is a Food & Wine Cruise which also includes a mixologist, they were having a Whiskey tasting at the venue next to the Avenue Saloon. There have been several other themed events including wine tasting with more planned for this first segment of the World Cruise.
Dinner was back at Waterside. This is the dinner menu.
When we first looked at the dinner menu earlier in the day at we were not thrilled with the choices. However, once we were seated and spoke with Senior Waiter Claudia our concerns went away. Claudia recommended the appetizer and entrée for Keith to have and we selected an appetizer for Anne Marie which we you can get any day and we were very pleased with our choices.
We began dinner with Shrimp Cocktail for Anne Marie and a Deconstructed Hamachi Taco for Keith. This meant that the Taco was not one whole piece. It had a soft shell, and the fish was not cooked. This is a recipe of Celebrity Chef Jon Ashton. Jon is from Liverpool and will be on for two months. He stopped by our table and Keith immediately picked up on his Liverpool Accent. We have seen him around the ship. We believe his experience will be shared as part of a TV series he is filming which will take place on the ship and in a few locations in port.
Our next course was a Chopped Salad entrée which we had as a Salad Appetizer.
Keith had the Pan Fried Branzino and Anne Marie had Grilled Angus Fillet Steak for her entrée
We slept well last evening as we continued sailing to the first of two stops at Hawaii; Honolulu. As Captain Giske had forecasted, the sea swells continued to be the same as they have been the past two days.
We kept to the same early morning routine of exercise for both of us and breakfast as we got ready to see Oahu. After five plus days at sea it was nice to see and touch land.
We have visited this island three times since last May. This included our visit when we sailed Crystal Symphony last May and our recent visit on Serenity during the Holiday cruise. Last May we took a private tour arranged with Crystal Cruises which focused on Pearl Harbor where the horrific attack took place by Japanese Forces on December 7, 1941. More recently, we walked around the downtown area of Honolulu.
Each time we arrive to Honolulu we think of the darkness of that horrific day and how our country responded to it.
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.
We think about the many sacrifices that the generation of that day made for our freedom and for the freedom of so many around the world. As Tom Brokaw wrote, we believe they are "The Greatest Generation".
As we proceeded ashore we received a lei greeting. The lei is a symbol of hospitality, love, respect and Aloha.
We arranged a private tour for today. Our tour guide was Kirk. He has lived in Hawaii for thirteen years and when not working as a tour guides is an avid kayaker, hiker, and cyclist. He moved to Oahu to be close to his sister who moved to be here thirty years ago.
Since most of our touring has focused on the horrific act of Pearl Harbor, we decided to take a tour to visit the North Shore of the Island with a couple of stops at the end near Honolulu.
The tour included:
Scenic drive from the ship to the North Shore.
Laniakea (turtle beach). Although we didn't see any turtles we enjoyed spectacular views.
Pu'Uo Mahuka Heiau also known as the Hill Of Escape where we saw the ruins from a sacrificial temple.
We took in the view of Waimea Valley where we saw the state trees which are the Kai tree. They are not natural to Hawaii. Kirk showed us the Kukui Candle Nut which is on the lei's that Kirk gave to us.
Next stop was Turtle Bay where we ate at Lei Lei. Earlier in the day Kirk asked us where we wanted to eat and we wanted a place where we could have a salad entree. He said that about 50% of the people opt for a food truck and the other 50% a restaurant. We both had Seafood Cobb Salad with grilled Ahi Tuna and Shrimp. For those wanting spicy shrimp from a food truck his go-to truck is Giovanni's Shrimp Truck.
We proceeded to Kua Loa Regional Park where we could view Chinaman's Hat which is a small island. We saw people in Kayak's paddling out to the island. It is a very nice place to sit on the beach, go in the water, picnic and enjoy the views.
Our last stop was Pu'u Ualaka'a State Park which provided panoramic views of all of Waikiki.
At the end of the tour Kirk was kind enough to take us to Walmart and to wait for us and take us back home to Crystal Serenity. After Kirk dropped us off at the terminal we recognized one of the two security guards from the Holiday cruise. She was the woman who for years wanted to sail Crystal and was on part of the Crystal Symphony cruise we took last May. Instead of going Los Angeles to Vancouver she boarded in Honolulu. She loved it.
Oahu offers the best of both worlds. There is the city of Honolulu, the military presence and its history and the beauty of areas including the North Shore. It is paradise.
We enjoyed a terrific day in Oahu and we look forward to a wonderful time on-board Serenity this evening.
Anne Marie & Keith
Today's Reflections Daily Program Follows.