Cruisin'

Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The ten best things about our FABULOUS HAWAIIAN CRUISE:

10. Feeling smug, in a socially conscious (but hopefully not offensive) sort of way. The Pride of America is a U.S. flagged ship. Among other things, this means that the crew's employment is governed by U.S. employment law, and thus somewhat protected from the exploitation so common in the cruising industry. As a result, the staff was predominantly young, friendly and happy to be there. Based only on the crew and uniformed Merchant Marine officers on this vessel, it also appears that NCL has a "put your money where your mouth is" commitment to diversity in its work force, including a female chief engineer. Word.


9. Haleakala Caldera on Maui. Like the Grand Canyon, it simply doesn't seem quite real to the naked eye, let alone in a photograph. But I can assure you - simply awesome.


8. Tubing down the sugar cane irrigation ditches of Kauai. Because we're twelve, evidently. Seriously - this was a BLAST, as many of the waterways went through man-made tunnels and we were equipped with helmets including waterproof lights.


7. Catamaran sail and snorkeling on Hawai'i*.Where we saw an abundance of wild life, including several pods of spinner dolphins. I dislike zoos and aquariums pretty intensely, but seeing animals in their natural habitat is a treasure.


6. Visiting the Heroes of the Pacific Memorial. The Pearl Harbor Memorial, Including the USS ARIZONA memorial and the USS MISSOURI, are now part of a larger Navy/National Park exhibit called The Heroes of the Pacific. As a Navy veteran, visiting this site was intensely moving for me. Although we're separated by generations and gender, the service members who died on December 7, 1941 are my brothers in arms, and I ache for their loss. 


5. The lava fields of Kilauea. Life will find a way. Oh, yes, it will. I had visited the Volcanoes National Park in the late 1980's but it's changed considerably - especially since most of what I saw the last time is now under a lava flow. Including the old visitor's center.


4. Being at sea again. I haven't thought about it much over the last fifteen years, but there's nothing quite like watching the sun come up (or go down) at sea. Nothing. Although I have to admit that sailing as a guest of Norwegian Cruise Line was surely a different experience than sailing as, you know, a Navy Chief standing watch as a CICWO. 


3. The view.This was taken from the window of our cabin. I just kept thinking that these are the real "Cliffs of Insanity."


2. Not having to worry about our budget. We over budgeted pretty significantly, mostly because the trip took longer for us to book than we had planned. But having money left over at the end (which will act as the starting point for our next cruise) is pretty sweet. We're planning on a trip to the Mediterranean, to include Greece, Alexandria and Turkey. All y'all are welcome to join us. 

1. Sharing it all with my Smart Man. We should try and go on vacation together a little more often, I think.


The ten worst things about our FABULOUS HAWAIIAN CRUISE: 


Are you high? Hawai'i. Cruise. No work. Soft serve ice cream on demand. Lovely people. Delicious food. Tasty tropical beverages. What's to complain about?**

__________
*Hawai'i as in the "Big Island," not the state.

**Unfortunately, people did find things to complain about. Grouchy motherfuckers. It's a cruise, dude - lighten up. 

11 comments:

Anne C. said...

I'm so glad* you had a wonderful time, hon. You really deserve it. :)

* No really, I am glad. I'm not jealous at all. Really!

;)

Phiala said...

I think it's very well deserved, but I'm jealous anyway. :)

Nathan said...

What Anne said.

(But with a double dose of "not jealous at all".)

Tom said...

Hot Chick + Smart Man + Hawaiian Cruise = Massive WIN!

mom in northern said...

I expect to hear ALL at B.T.B on Friday...

mom in northern said...

PS...I have more yarn for you too.

Thordr said...

any chance you made it out to the lava falls or up to the observatory?

Janiece said...

thordr, we went to Volcanoes National Park, but missed the observatory. Too much to do, not enough time...

Thordr said...

I understand, I spent 18 days on the big island, and still only did a fraction of what I wanted to. You could spend a week to ten days with a rental car (jeep for the observatory) and hit a lot of the stuff daytripped from a condo. Only drawback is the food wont be so good.

Stacey said...

I'm so glad that you had a good time and yes, you two should vacation more. We highly recommend even the 2 day kind where you get out of the house for a local vacation.
Can't wait to see you and hear all about your trip.

beatrice in Paris said...

Dolphins! One day I'm going to swim with some... and not in an aquariam.