Cruising the Trans-Pacific on “Radiance of the Seas”

EXPERIENCE

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Trans-pacific route

The best thing about cruising this route is, you get to visit many amazing islands along the way. Nothing is never the same.

Posted by

akamau

Trans-Pacific Cruise Route

Trans-Pacific cruise in brief

Cruising the Trans-Pacific route on Royal Caribbean Cruise Liner – Radiance of the Seas, offers the ultimate cruise experience. This cruise liner known for its light and airy ambiance, with floor-to-ceiling windows, a nine-storey central atrium, lifts facing the sea and vast expanses of wide, open space. You’ll never be short of a spectacular view aboard this ship.

The cruise offers an amazing mix of experience from visiting beautiful beaches, magnificent views to exquisite cuisine. You get to visit some of the most beautiful countries and exotic islands along the way on this incredible Radiance of the Seas. This vibrant cruise liner provides guests a collection of amenities with more than 15 restaurants and exciting day and nightly entertainments. What a perfect combination to discover paradise and cruise in luxurious style that will remain with you forever.

View of Radiance of the Seas cruise-liner
Radiance of the Seas cruise-liner

Why Go?

Feeling no stranger to cruising but this cruise was the longest I ever done. With the thought of visiting some of the beautiful and exotic islands in the world, was the easiest and friendliest way to see and experience these islands. These was definitely going to be my “holiday in paradise”. Taking time to cruise around these Islands has been on my priority-list for years and seeing the different islands were something exotic, enticing and filled with unexpected surprises that I was going to experience. I wanted to enjoy port stops in Picton and Wellington, where I wanted to experience Maori culture and Marlborough Sounds. Next was to visit French Polynesian Islands, where I would have the opportunity to visit some of the famous and exotic holiday destination in the world – Bora-Bora and Moorea. Then on to Hawaii, Honolulu where I wanted to embrace the spectacular canyons, cliffs and waterfalls. Finally, I would have the opportunity to see the famous Waikiki beach while I sit back with a refreshing beverage and taking photographs of amazing colours and incredible views that lies ahead.

Embarking on a world cruise stuffed with dreams and the reality was even better. Taking this cruise from Sydney, across the Tasman-sea, through Micronesia and the Americas still got shivers down my spine. It was going to be surreal for me that I was going on the cruise that was taking the high seas travel to another level. Dating back in time – traditional, world cruises were used exclusive domain of the wealthy. Today, it is accessible and affordable to suit all cruise travellers.

I board the cruise in Sydney, Australia which is the capital of New South Wales, Vast and populated with high-rise buildings and famous “Bondi” beach, it is a mega touristy destinations for millions of visitors that flood the city annually. As I finally, stepping inside the entrance of the cruise-ship, was more like entering into a sales shopping complex. The cruise crews have a point-of-sale bargaining power, with various departments from speciality restaurants, souvenirs to travel agents and more promoting and selling their products to entice the incoming passengers.

I settled in for an hour or so relaxing and observing everyone, while waiting for the announcement that all cabin-rooms were ready and available. It is normal that in most cruises, within thirty to sixty minutes or even more, it is chaotic as most of the passengers are rushing off in all directions. The hallways and lifts become over-crowded and rowdy as they try to figure out where to go. Having experienced that “mad-rush” in my past cruises, it was wise for me to sit and relax with a cup of tea while waiting for the mad-rush to cease. Finally, I made my way to my cabin and what a surprise it was – A big surprise that I didn’t saw it coming, a $100 voucher from my travel-agent.  

Voucher from my Travel Agent

After few minutes of making myself comfortable and familiar with the cabin, I ventured off to explore the ship further. Whenever, boarding a cruise-liner, it is wise to explore the ship randomly to make yourself familiar with few major areas includes: main dining and promenade areas, top deck, swimming pool area, main theatre and guest service centre, whilst the rest of the other areas can be known during the cruise. I made myself familiar with the ship quickly before we slowly depart Sydney cruise terminal as it began to get dark. What a thrill to be leaving at this time, as we saw the city lights began to appear in its glory and brighten the city, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. It was just spectacular and magical to see the city lights by night from my private balcony. Sydney is undoubtedly one of the major mega cities in Australia. It has the highest number of Australia’s population living there and a very popular destination for millions of visitors worldwide. It is one of the “must-visit” city for visitors to Australia.

Harbour Bridge by Day
Sydney Harbour Bridge by Night
Opera House by Day
Opera House by Night

As we headed out into the open sea, venturing through Sydney’s famous heads, we cruised north along Australia’s east coast, navigating across the Tasman Sea for five nights on sea before reaching New Zealand waters to our first maiden call at Picton. This picturesque seaside town of Picton in the Marlborough Region of New Zealand’s South Island is the base for the service that links the main island of New Zealand and the heart of the Marlborough Sounds.

Picton Waterfront

From Picton, we headed to Wellington, capital of New Zealand. Wellington city, known as “Windy Wellington”. It is a compact city and compasses a waterfront promenade, sandy beaches, a working harbour and colourful timber houses on surrounding hills. 

View of Wellington city from Mt Victoria

After leaving Kiwi’s capital, we spent five nights on sea, crossing the International Dateline to reached the exotic island of Papeete, capital of Tahiti located in French Polynesian group of islands for two days. Tahiti enjoys an incredible tropical landscape mountains, including beautiful sandy beaches to relax on. What a thrilling place this is. Pristine waters and lagoons, haven for thousands of dolphins makes it a perfect open-sea aquarium. What a sight to see.

View of Papeete, Tahiti

From Papeete, we headed to Moorea, a tiny island, just few kilometres from the main island of Tahiti. Moorea, once a little sleepy island is now visited by many western tourists because of its pristine stunning scenery. With untouched wilderness and minimal tourism activity, makes it one of the hidden world to be explored.

Pristine Moorea

After a short over-night cruise on the sea, we reached our final group of Polynesian island destination of Bora-Bora. This tiny island located on the northwest of Tahiti is surrounded by sand-fringed motus (islets) and a turquoise lagoon protected by a coral reef. It is a popular luxury resort destination where some guest bungalows are perched over the water on stilts., making it one of the most beautiful, expensive and exotic holiday destination in the world. Setting foot on this, I felt that I was in a different world. So calm, quiet and undisturbed.

Relaxing in Bora Bora waters

Leaving the waters of French Polynesia, we cruised the famed North Pacific Ocean route to Honolulu, Oahu, capital of Hawaii. This island city is part of U.S. state and is the 50th and most recent state to joined the United States of American in August 21, 1959. Hawaii, famed for its stunning and beautiful beaches certainly lives up to its standard. It is truly an incredible place to be, as you enjoy the sun, sand and sea.

Radiance of the Seas Onboard Experiences

Dinning and Bars

All cruise-liners have different layout and features which makes it more attractive for the passengers to enjoy as they make it their home for weeks and even months. I began to explore more of this ship. Aboard this cruise-liner, the Main Dining Room has a stunning two-level restaurant which has a sophisticated ambiance and features a grand staircase. Here you can choose between an early or late sitting for dinner, or elect to take up Royal Caribbean’s flexible “My Time Dining” option.

For breakfast and lunch, you can sit anywhere you like in the Main Dining Room. Other complimentary dining venues include the ever-popular Windjammer Cafe – a buffet-style restaurant that is open at many times during the day. The cruise-liner also offers variety of favourites too, such as the Italian trattoria Giovanni’s Table, Japanese restaurant Izumi, Samba Grill – Brazilian style and the Chef’s Table private dining experience, in which five delectable courses are matched with the finest international wines. 

In all cruises, bars are major attractions for passengers to mingle with other travellers. Aboard this ship, there are variety style of bars. Bars include the Quill & Compass, a traditional English-style pub; the Colony Club, with self-levelling pool tables; the intimate and classy Champagne Bar; the Schooner Bar and many more.

Main Dining Room
Chef’s Table private dining

Activities

Like all mega cruises, there is no shortage of things to do aboard the Radiance of the Seas and there is something to do for everyone. If you’re up for some high adventure, the rock-climbing wall beckons. If golf is more your kind of sport, mini-golf course is there for when you feel like a game. For those who love shopping, fancy browsing through the latest fashion, jewellery, accessories or beauty products by premium designer brands. You can get your retail fix at the Royal Shops. If you want to cosy up with a good book, the quiet library has the feel of a classic English study. Whether you like action or your favourite activity is reclining on a deck chair by the pool, there is plenty to keep enthralled onboard.

Fitness and Well-Being

Once onboard the cruise, it is not all about food and drinks but you will find myriad ways to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit aboard this cruise-liner with Vitality Spa and Fitness. Located on Deck 11, the Vitality Fitness Centre features the very latest exercise equipment as well as a variety of fitness classes including yoga and Tai Chi. For well-being of a different kind, you can go to Vitality on Deck 11 where you can treat yourself to a choice of over 100 treatments including massages, wraps, facials and hair and nail treatments. For walking and jogging, there is a track that loops around the sports deck if you feel like taking in the fresh air, and is divided in half so that runners and walkers can exercise at their own pace.

Shows and Nightlife

Aboard the cruise, there is endless list of shows and nightlife just get better as the cruise goes on. Yes, you have the choice of: Movies by the pool? Blackjack in the Casino Royale? Dinner and a show? There is plenty of evening entertainment aboard the cruise, all designed to help you have the most incredible holiday. In the ritzy Casino Royale, live out the dream of a Monte Carlo lifestyle as you sip champagne and play the game of chance on any one of the slot machines and tables. If Broadway-style shows are your thing, settle into the three-storey Main Theatre and prepare to be wowed by world-class entertainers. Outdoors, the huge poolside movie screen shows new releases day and night.

With the endless list fun activities from live shows and music to comedies and fun games will never get you bored once onboard. It is the cruising way of life on sea. From what you see and experience is the whole package of wonderful memories you will take home. The finally outdoor party on the top deck certainly will send you away packing with amazing cruise experience. What a fun, what a thrill it is and what a way to end your cruise. 

Party Time on board

Offshore attraction

While on cruise, the offshore attractions are endless on every island destination visited. As cruise-liners are aware of every islands major attractions, they offer variety of official excursions on what there to see and do in every port visited. To gain a better experience of each port of call, the best option is to do both official and non-official guided tours. This means that it can be cheaper and do things in your own phase.

ABOUT ME


ic.golina

Papua New Guinean living in Cairns, Australia. Weekend getaway adventurer and Free-Independent-Traveller (FIT). Lover of unique and exotic travel experiences with a touch of luxury. Follow me to my travel world, brining you closer to your destination.

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Cruising the Caribbean Islands on “Allure of the Seas”

You’re not just paying for the trip, You’re paying for an experience and a lifetime of memories

Every experience is worth it. It is irreplaceable

By i.c Golina


Photo credit

MS Allure of the Seas is an Oasis-class cruise ship owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International.

After many years of deciding where to go on a cruise,  I finally decided to take my first cruise around the Caribbean Islands. One of my many childhood dreams was to visit the Caribbean Islands one day. This was going to be one of the moment in life that I was going to treasure for the rest of my life. This wasn’t a simple decision-making process. I had a lot of planning and organising before finalising everything, including: airfares, cruise fares, accommodations, travel insurances, taxes and entry green-card to USA. This was going to be a trip of a life time where nothing was going to go wrong my way. Instead of taking a direct flight to America from Australia to join the cruise of a life time, I decided to take a long route to my destination. 

My journey began as it unfolds from the city of Cairns, Australia to the Caribbean Islands. I flew out of Cairns domestic to Brisbane domestic airport with Qantas. On arrival in Brisbane, I then caught a transfer shuttle bus to Brisbane international terminal lounge for London bound. If your Qantas member or customer for each route, they provide free shuttle to the Brisbane International terminal. The flight from Brisbane to London almost took 23 hours of flight with stop-over in Bangkok. I was fortunate to travel on business class which made the long flight very comfortable from start to finish. For those travellers, not travelling on business class, it can be uncomfortable and can cause few health problems, especially when your sitting on one particular position for a long period of time. It is highly recommended that you take time to do few stretch exercise during the flight. The crew staff are aware of that and the seats in front of you have laminated A4 size paper which details all the exercise instructions, including safety instructions incase of emergency. When travelling in business class, you have the luxury of everything from comfortable sleepers to choice of menus to endless entertainment. However, most international flights always cater good meals during the flight. For anyone who has any dietary requirements for various reasons, you can request in advance and can be arranged prior to your departure. The onboard flights have entertainments from magazines to movies that may interest you.

“… On a cruise, you can be with all these people or you can be with yourself. You can find tranquility, you can find party, you can find new friends… Guy Fieri “

Finally, we landed in Heathrow airport in London where I spent a week there visiting friends before taking an 8 hour flight to New York. After spending 7 days in New York, I finally boarded my flight to Miami which only took 2.5 hours flight time. Miami is the main hub for all mega cruise-liners that cruise around the Caribbean Islands. For anyone travelling to these places for the first time, it is a mad rush and it can be very confusing and stressful. You have to be prepared for this kind of “airport chaotic syndrome”. Even though, I have been through this rush many times before, I still find it confusing.

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Mega Cruise-liners in dock

The whole process of going in and out of the international or domestic terminals are in total mayhem to maniac. It is the process of going through the airport checking system which is torturous and daunting. I feel like, I am standing in a guarded que in a detention centre roll-call, waiting for my turn to be stripped and searched before proceeding to the next. After taking my luggage from the carousel, I made my way out of the terminal where I jumped onto the waiting taxi to the hotel. Most airports are flooded with taxis and other transport services are readily available and endless. You can either choose to get a taxi, van or private limousine which are all accessible within the airport entrance. Like many other places around the world, tipping has become part of the culture in America – that any person providing service to you, you have to give a tip.

Tipping—which originated in the taverns of 17th Century England, where drinkers would slip money to the waiter “to insure promptitude” or T.I.P for short. Tipping in the United States began just after the American Civil War in the late 1800′s. The wealthy Americans traveling abroad to Europe witnessed tipping and brought the aristocratic custom back with them to prove their elevated education and class.

The next day, I caught a mini bus with other cruise-goers to the cruise terminal. Like, any other check-in systems, I had to go through security checks, passports and luggages. Just before you board, your picture is taken and then given a cruise-card. On the card, it has your name, stateroom number and deck level. It also, has your all personal details including your picture but it will only appear on their computer screen, once the card is scanned. Finally, I was onboard the Allure of the Seas cruise liner. This cruise liner was massive and gigantic. It carries around 5000 passengers and almost 3000 crews. To be on this for the first time, I was totally amazed and mesmerised by everything as I step inside the entrance.

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Allure of the Seas cruise-liner

I then headed up to my room and unpack my luggage which were already there outside my room. I made my way back down to the main foyer again for the emergency drill. The emergency drill in every cruise-ship is very important incase of an emergency. After the drill, I went back to my room to refresh myself before exploring this gigantic floating city. My state room was on deck level 15. I had to use lifts/elevators to access all levels. The room was spacious and enough for 2 people but I had the privilege to have it alone. The sliding doors of my room opened straight out to my own private balcony and onto the open waters. It was so comforting with the cool breeze from the ocean made me relaxed in bed without having to step out. For anyone going on a cruise, it is worth it to pay extra to have a bigger room with private balcony. Below is the big room with private balcony that I had to myself.

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My room on the cruiseship

Our cruise began in Fort Lauderdale, a city just north of Miami. It is a very popular tourist destination because of its sunshine most year around. It is very similar climate – warm temperature year-round in Cairns. It is also the major hub for most of the gigantic cruise-liners that leaves for the Caribbean seas.

As we started to sail outwards to the open ocean, everything seems so tiny and peaceful. Looking at the coastline and the city of Fort Lauderdale, it reminded me of how beautiful and unique each place is, comparing to coastlines in Cairns, Australia. The weather was a little overcast, windy and slightly rough. I usually get sea-sick and was very worried about it, thinking how I was going to handle this cruise journey. As we slowly made our way out of the port, most of the passengers made their way to the open top deck level to have a glimpse of the city of Fort Lauderdale and wave to the people below us as we leave.

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Waving goodbye to onlookers
Crowds on the top deck level 17 watching as we sailed out
Crowd gathering at the top deck as we leave Ft Lauderdale

As we headed out further into more wide and open sea, I made my way inside as there was nothing to see except the deep blue ocean as far as I could see. I began to explore various areas of the cruise-liner, starting from the bottom deck which is the main promenade area of the cruise-ship.  On board this cruise-liner, it had everything. It had  a huge shopping complex bars, cafes, few souvenir shops, restaurants, swimming pools, gym, playing courts and various entertainment areas and the list is endless. Many times, I thought to myself I was walking through a huge shopping complex in the main street of downtown Manhattan. It was just surreal.

Once your onboard, everything becomes cashless transactions. The use of cash and credit cards becomes invalid throughout the entire cruise, unless your gambling. The cruise-card replaces your cash and credit card to purchase everything onboard.  In every cruise-travels, all meals are inclusive. You can eat much as you like in all restaurants only, except if your dining in a speciality restaurant where you pay for all your meals and drinks prior. However, all drinks are not included, except water, juice and percolated coffee/tea in dining areas only. 

The flow of drinks becomes endless as waiters comes with all drinks from mocktail to cocktails. If your drinker, the bars are everywhere and they become part of your friends throughout the entire cruise. The drinks are always inviting and it is wise to keep count of all your dockets and monitor your spending on drinks. The bill is sent to you at the end of the cruise and you might be surprised when you see it. However, you can monitor your spending on the tv screen in your rooms. 

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Waiter serving assorted drinks
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Elegant bar at the very top of the cruiseliner

Onboard the cruise ship, the entertainment is endless. There is something for everybody to do from adrenaline pumping to mind and body relaxation. If your feeling energetic and adventurous, you can try rock-climbing or even do surfing at the very top deck level of the cruise ship. If that is not style of activity, you can simply sit and relax watching live performances at the aquatic centre or live shows at the main theatre. If your traveling with children, you can take them to the kids fun and games activity deck level.

If these activities are not your favourite past-time during the cruise, you may just want to relax at the swimming pool, solarium centre or listen to live easy and slow music at various cafes and bars. If your feeling lucky, try the casino onboard. If you simply feel like going for a easy and casual walk, trying the shopping malls or replica design of Central Park onboard and pretend that your in New York Central Park

After leaving the shores of Ft Lauderdale, USA and headed into the open sea in the Caribbean seas for 2 nights, we arrived at our first port of call – Labadee in Haiti. Labadee is a port located on the northern coast of Haiti within the arrondissement of Cap-Haïtien in the Nord department. Labadee is completely tourist-oriented town because of its sun and pristine sandy beaches. 


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After exploring this tiny island of Labadee, we headed to our second port of call – Falmouth in Jamaica. Falmouth, a town in Jamaica is the capital city of Jamaica’s Trelawny Parish. It’s a busy cruise-ship port that lies between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay on the island’s north shore. The city is characterized by its Georgian architecture, concentrated in the Falmouth Historic District. To the south, the 18th-century Good Hope Estate was originally a sugar plantation. East, near Ocho Rios, Dunn’s River Falls cascades over limestone rocks.


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Finally, after spending a day in Falmouth, we then cruise to tiny island of Cozumel in Mexico. Cozumel is a Caribbean island just off the Yucatan Peninsula in southeastern Mexico. It is mostly undeveloped Mexican island in the Caribbean Sea and is very popular cruise ship port of call. Cozumel has great beaches, nice people, and safe streets, with prices comparable to other Mexican tourist destinations.


Mexico

Cozumel is the final place that we visited while traveling through the Caribbean islands. From there, we sailed back to Ft Lauderdale where we began our unbelievable cruise. It was undoubtedly a relaxing holiday for me. I found that cruising is the only way to go for relaxation without having to pack and unpack. I was quite surprised and relieved that sea-sickness wasn’t an issue throughout the whole cruise.

This cruise around the Caribbean islands, not only shows me the beach and sun destinations but various exotic islands, which are simply “Paradise in the Caribbean”. It gives you the opportunity to go out and explore these islands with each have their own unique lifestyles. It certainly gave me time to blend in with the locals in each of the islands.

From a personal perspective: Life on the cruise is a complete different lifestyle of holidays. Every day when you wake up, everything is just a step away all located in one area and floating with you. Cruising around the Caribbean islands not only taught me to experience the beauty of the exotic island beaches and the sun but to see and understand the realities of how people live on this tiny islands which are over-populated . I wonder, what it was like before tourism came to change or altered their way of life. Whether that change is for better or worse?

Cruising the Hawaiian Islands on “Pride of America”

EXPERIENCE

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HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

The best thing about cruising Hawaiian islands is, you get to discover the best of exotic and incredible places. 

Posted by

akamau

Hawaiian Islands cruise in brief

Cruising the Hawaiian Islands on Novergian Cruise Liner – Pride of America, offers the ultimate holiday cruise. The cruise offers an amazing mix of experience from visiting beautiful beaches, magnificent views to exquisite cuisine. You get to visit the four major islands of Maui, Hawaii (also known as “The Big Island”), Kauai and Oahu on this incredible Pride of America. This vibrant cruise liner newly refurbished in 2016 provides guests a collection of amenities with more than 15 restaurants and exciting nightly entertainments. What a perfect combination to discover paradise and cruise in luxurious style that will remain with you forever.

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Why Go?

Having visited Hawaii twice before, this beautiful island is one of the most beautiful destination I thoroughly enjoy but I never took time to explore the Hawaiian islands that are so unique. With the thought of flying to each island was not on my list of travel itinerary. The process of going through each airport security systems, disembarking and embarking on each flights, checking-in and out of each hotels, packing and unpacking luggages on each destination would have been definitely my “holiday in Hell” – Cruising was the only option and the friendliest way to see the Hawaiian Islands. Taking time to cruise around the Hawaiian Islands has been on my priority-list for sometime and seeing the different islands were something exotic, enticing and filled with unexpected surprises that one has to experience. Embarking on a cruise from Honolulu meant, I could learn about the Hawaiian culture through the eyes of native ambassadors on board the ship. I wanted to enjoy port stops in Kahului, Maui, where I wanted to explore Lao Valley and the old whaling town of Lahaina. Next was to visit Hilo and Kona, where I would have the opportunity to visit Volcanoes National Park and fly over the active volcano in Kona. Then on to Nawiliwili, Kauai where I wanted to embrace the spectacular canyons, cliffs and waterfalls the “Garden Island” is well-known for. Finally, I would have the opportunity to see the breathtaking Na Pali coast while I sit back with a refreshing beverage and taking photographs of amazing colours and incredible views that lies ahead.

The cruise began in Honolulu, Oahu which is the capital of Hawaii. A vast and populated with high-rise buildings and white sandy beautiful beaches, it is a mega touristy destinations for millions of visitors that flood the island annually.

Just within 10 minutes taxi ride from the hotel located just metres away from Waikiki beach was the Honolulu cruise terminal. I checked in early hours of the morning as required for security clearance and have to be onboard 2 hours before sailing. With no major delays at the cruise-terminal as I was boarding and cruising in American waters only, within minutes I found myself inside this mega cruise-liner. As I stepped inside, I was totally immersed in the colour, culture and flavours of Hawaii – “Aloha Spirit”. With no hesitation, I just indulged myself in Aloha mood and was already in so much fun and without a doubt, this was a perfect start to my magical cruise. 

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As the cruise departs Honolulu in the early hours of late afternoon, you get to enjoy the views of Honolulu as the cruise-liner slowly leave the shores, into the open sea. Relaxing at the top-deck as we cruised away, and enjoying the magnificent views of the foreshore creates a picture perfect backdrop. The thought of visiting different Hawaiian Islands and getting close to lush rainforest, magnificent waterfalls, embracing the soaring cliffs of the Napali Coast and flying over Kilauea Volcano, the most active volcano in the world gave me a sight of relief. I was going to have a great time on the cruise and the adventure that was waiting for me ahead.

View of Honolulu

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Onboard Experience

Aloha! Come aboard this mega cruise-liner and the best way to island hop Hawaii. From the moment you step into the Capitol Atrium, with its soaring Tiffany-style glass dome and grand staircase, you’ll know this is a spectacular cruise ship. Cruise paradise in style, with 16 dining choices and 12 bars and lounges, excellent family accommodation, spacious suites and lots of private balconies. It is perfect for whale watching, witnessing Kilauea Volcano or taking in the dramatic views of the Na Pali Coast.

Yes, there is so much to do while you’re at sea. The variety of activities they offer onboard for guests to experience and enjoy are endless. You get to choose what you enjoy from live entertainment, shopping, gambling to island-spired activities or do nothing at all and relaxed by the pool-side while enjoying the endless ocean views. All these activities and entertainments are all inclusive apart from beverages and specialised restaurants. Yes cruises are all about eating and drinking.

While onboard, apart from making myself familiar with the ship’s layout as my first priority, I casually explored various areas during the cruise. To make the cruise journey more enjoyable, I prefer to join every activities, this certainly help me discover a whole new world of fun activities and meeting people from all walks of life. All passengers are able to choose which activities to attend from the cruise-program which are delivered to rooms daily or on tv programs.

Apart from attending all onboard attractions and activities at no cost but when it comes to tasting some of the cuisines onboard, I prefer to dine in A’ la-carte and specialised restaurants rather than dining at smorgasbord restaurants.

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Offshore attractions

While on cruise, the offshore attractions are endless on every island destination visited. As cruise-liners are aware of every islands major attractions, they offer variety of official excursions on what there to see and do in every port visited. To gain a better experience of each port of call, the best option is to do both official and non-official guided tours. This means that it can be cheaper and do things in your own phase.

 Kahului: Maui

The first port of call to begin our island cruise was Kahului in the island of Maui. Kahului is the largest town and commercial centre of the island of Maui in Hawaii. While on this island, I took a private and non-official off-shore tour – “Road to Hana”. 

Road to Hana

This road is famous for its curve and bending narrow roads, lush tropical rainforest, incredible jaw-dropping cliffs, tumbling waterfalls, lave cliffs and rugged northern coastline. Though, we set back and enjoyed the ride with incredibly breathtaking views, I was totally wide awake and nervous throughout the whole tour. Navigating through very sharp bends and curves and along very narrow road and jaw-dropping cliffs made it very uneasy, frightening and terrifying experience. 

This tour is not recommended for those people who are prone to motion sickness or suffer from back problems. It is unbelievably very windy and some part of the road is unpaved and is totally dangerous during wet season.

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Hilo: Hawaii – The Big Island

The second island to visit was Hawaii in Hilo, known as the Big Island. This island is the largest settlement and census-designated place in Hawaii County. The town overlooks Hilo Bay, at the base of two shield volcanoes; Mauna Loa – an active volcano and Mauna Kea – a dormant volcano. Much of the island is at some risk from lava flows from Mauna Loa and tourism is less noticeable here in Hilo but there is plenty to do. However, it has its share of some of the world’s most extravagant and spectacular natural beauty and attractions.

Taking an all-day official off-shore excursion, meant that I was insured and the cruise-ship won’t leave if there was a delay on the tour. Our guide was a local resident who has lived most of his entire life on the island and been operating his private tours for 20 years. With someone with that tourism background, I knew I was going to get what I wanted to see and experience.

Hilo: Garden and Waterfall

Our first visit within 10-15 minutes drive was the botanical garden and the waterfall. Here was the chance to see this breathtaking view of the Rainbow Falls and unique plants which are native to the island. Been a keen gardener back home, to me this was the place where I would have love to spend most of my time exploring this pristine natural gardens.

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 Hilo: Kilauea Volcano

On our second site to visit was Kilauea volcano . We headed up the windy road to the top of the mountain. The view on the top was incredibly breathtaking, at the same time we could see the vast destruction that the volcano has done over the years and can see how mother nature can be cruel in its own way. It is still an active volcano today and the volcano continues to take centre stage with its eruptive performances. Accepting the natural phenomenal that it occurs, it is mind bubbling and I was amazed how this vast land has been filled with hot lava and ashes completely destroying the biodiversity and the ecosystem.

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Hilo: Macadamia Factory

Finally, we ended our tour with a visit to the Macadamia factory. Hawaii is renowned for its leading producers of Macadamia nuts in the world. Here you, get to have a first-hand educational tour of how the plants are first taken care of in the nursery to its final consumption by human beings. The process involved behind the scene is profoundly labour-intensive and how we don’t realised the time and work involved. Yes, a teacher may teach, a doctor may help patients, a lawyer may fight for justice and pilots may fly aeroplanes but the farmer feeds them all.

Kona: Hawaii – The Big Island

Still on the Big Island, we had an over-night cruise to our third port of call – Kona. Kona is a moku or district on the Big Island of Hawaii. Famous for its Ironman World Champion Triathlon held there and active volcano that is still spitting out lava. Kona offers the quintessential Hawaiian experience. Sunny, warm weather and crystal blue waters entice visitors to partake in a variety of surfside fun, snorkel, kayaking trips and many more fun and adventure activities. Here, I decided to take a helicopter flight to see the eye of the active volcano. It was evident that volcano eruption has caused the lava to flow through this massive hectares and hectares of land, causing vast destructions throughout this entire land, once abundance with plant life, towns and villages.

Helicopter Flight over Volcano

It was time to take a helicopter flight to see the eye of the volcano and the vast destruction from above. Launching off from the heliport, located in the heart of barred land, surrounded by black lava rocks resulting from the volcano eruption over the years. The aerial perspective got me above some of the most dangerous terrain around the volcano. Seeing the eye of the volcano and the sea of lava that goes for miles and miles from above was most impressive and beautiful in a terrifying way. Luckily, it was a perfect day with the smoothest air and best visibility. Taking this flight was the best way to see the best view of the volcano and the experience was beyond, something that will last with me forever.

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Nawailiwili: Kauai

The final port to visit was Nawailiwili located on the island of Kauai. Named after the Wiliwilli trees, this town has the most picturesque harbour. This port of Kauai is the gateway to what I believe to be the Hawaiis undisputed and most beautiful island. Known as the Garden Island, the name truly defines the islands phenomenal natural nature, from the dramatic mountains of Kokee to the cool rainforest of Haena.

Helicopter flight over “Garden Island”

Taking this scenic flight and sightseeing the major facets of Kauai in a two-hour helicopter flight took me to the most remote, beautiful and majestic areas of the island. With headphones supplied, you can communicate directly with the pilot to answer any questions during the flight. Taking this flight narrated by the pilot added a unique experience as you marvelled and mesmerised everything below while enjoying the whole experience on air. This was by far the best experience you’ll ever had. It is the most efficient and unforgettable way to see all the nature she offers. The flight takes you through some of the most terrifying, yet most beautiful and incredibly breathtaking waterfalls and terrains. The views on air were unbelievably amazing and every direction captures the scenery of long dropping waterfalls, incredible Na Pali coastline, landscapes and lush tropical botanic kingdom. Yes, there is so much that can only be seen from above.

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Onboard cabins

In every cruise-liners, onboard cabin room prices and sizes range from the bottom level to the top of the deck are part of cruising experience. From my personal option, I prefer to have rooms with own private balcony. This definitely gives me a unique and different cruise experience. It is a perfect way to sit back and enjoy the breathtaking views, fresh ocean breeze and famous Hawaiian sunsets from private balcony. This gave me pleasure and great way to relax onboard as we sail along towards our next island of destination. In having a cabin without a balcony is like wandering around in an aquarium. Cabin rooms are cleaned on daily basis during the cruise and they are very artistic in their folding skills.

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Embracing the islands

This cruise not gave me the incredible experience of a lifetime but a great opportunity to see some of the most amazing cascading waterfalls, active volcanos, white sand beaches, history and cultural sites and pristine and unspoilt nature on this mix island adventure and carefree cruising. Each of the islands are unique and have its history with modern blend with traditional Hawaiian culture in the most wonderful way, giving each island an unique charm for its visitors that sure to stay with them forever.

ABOUT ME


ic.golina

Papua New Guinean living in Cairns, Australia. Weekend getaway adventurer and Free-Independent-Traveller (FIT). Lover of unique and exotic travel experiences with a touch of luxury. Follow me to my travel world, brining you closer to your destination.

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