A Most Excellent Staycation
Eighteen Combined Class of '69 alumni are crusin' the islands.
The ultimate staycation.
Sail along as RHS'69 Reunion Committee chair Vincent Yim shows you the sights.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Kahalui, Maui - Sunday/Monday
Hilo, Big Island - Tuesday
Kona, Big Island - Wednesday
Nawiliwili, Kauai - Thursday
Docking back in Honolulu - Saturday
They must have known we were coming because the room steward messed with our covers.
It was two years in planning. It started for my golfing gang of 8 to golf on every island. Instead of the usual air fare, hotel, rent a car and meals planning I figure why not the NCL, Pride of America Cruise. For under $1,300…booze not include!
After a year, with no success, trying to get my golfing buddies on a date, the Akana's and I presented our Reunion Committee a cruise choice of Alaska, Napa Wine Cruise or Mexico or an inter-Island Cruise.
It was a no brainer with no air fare cost, so the Inter Island cruise was everyone's best choice.
60 days later we have 18 cruisers: Arthur & Josie Akana, Alan & Sandy Nishimoto, Donna & Bryan Miller, Harold Fujii, Wendy's friends Joanne Zornes, Kats Marshman & Marlene Kurihara, along with Bobby & Chris Imoto, Nellis Kunieda, Robin Yafuso, Joanne Chikuma and Wes Mukawa.
Sunday - we just arrived at Haru's sport bar and restaurant, in Makawao, Maui.The place is packed with her regulars. Haru and her husband built the Stopwatch from scratch, 22 years ago. We ordered our drinks and looking thru her menu.
We are waiting for the other half of our gang to show up. They went to the lavender farm and Maui Oceans Center.
Tonight we are invited to the KSSK poolside BBQ. Michael W. Perry will have candid taped interviews. They will run it during the week for their morning broadcast. So this week from 5:30 to 10:30 tune into 92.3 every morning.
Got to go now. To see the Sun God.
Monday - off to Lahaina with a stop along the way to look for whales.
Here's 9 of them.
Robin, Josie, Nellis, Joanne, Wendy, Sandy. walked into the Coach Store. They had to leave because they were running out of stock...50% off the 50% Sale price.
Chris totaling up her purchases...she spent $99. You need to spend $100 to get a free tote bag.
Is the bag really free?
Stopping on the road to...somewhere.
Sometimes you need to do something daring.
Cheat death, so to speak.
So we then decided to do just that by taking on the zip line near Akaka Falls.
First thing in the morning, we checked to see if anyone had upset Madam Pele in the past and since the answer was "no", we headed off to the Halemaumau Crater pit.
Halemaumau is home to Pele, goddess of fire and volcanoes and if you live in Hawaii - you believe that.
We drove up to the Volcano National Park, to get the life-time Senior National Park Pass for $10.00...from June on it will cost $80.00, one time charge.
We left in peace.
At 5:00 PM, we headed out to go to the top of Haleakala to view the sunset......like we neva seen a Hawaiian sunset.
When we got back on board after Zip Lining, we all took a nap and got dressed for dinner at Cagney's on the ship.
We all ordered steaks. Robin and Harold ordered surf and turf. I had a huge Porterhouse steak with pilaf rice, mushrooms and broccoli as sides....ate it all. Nellis ordered a Rib Eye steak, she was the last to finish and ate it all!
Desserts were delicious....no calories!
We had to finish dinner by 9:15 to position ourselves on the right side of the ship. The Captain went around the East side of the Big Island to go pass the lava flowing into the sea. He went slowly giving all a front row view of the evening orange flow and steam exploding upon hitting the water. 30 minutes of OOHs and AAHs. Madam Pele working to grow the Island.
Sorry my camera could not get a good enough shot!
Whew, long day. Time to party.
Every night when we come back to our cabin a new towel animal greets us.
Our steward rolls and folds them with our bath room towels : an elephant, a crab, a frog, a rabbit and who knows what is next?
The towel animals are multiplying. Our cabin is beginning to look like a zoo.
They're so cute we can't undo them so we are ready to start stealing towels from other passengers so we can shower.
It's 6 o'clock in the morning.
It's way too early to be up - but we are.
Since this is the KSSK Posse Cruise we thought we'd join the Micheal W. Perry radio show, live from the ship as it sits in Nawiliwili Harbor.
Fun start to another busy day.
After that, golfers Alan, Sandy, Joanne, Bobby, Wendy and Vincent went golfing at Wailua Golf Course.
The rest of the gang went to Waimea Canyon and then drove all the way to Hanalei, to a taro farm.
The ship left the harbor after noon and slowly putt-putted along the Na Pali coastline.
Afterward the ship headed back to Honolulu and reality.
"Four women walk into an empty bar..."
There is so, so much we could do with that line.
But we won't.
Here it is, just a few minutes after midnight.
Everyone else has pooped out, except for them.
The diehards, sitting at the ship's Pink Champagne Lounge - obviously determined to stay til it closes.
It's morning in Lihue town, Harold Fujii finally gets his Tip Top pancakes and oxtail soup.
Meanwhile at another table we have another Ox Tail soup and something else that defies description.
Most of us slept in and went to breakfast after 9:00. By the time we finished eating KSSK's Sweetie Paccaro and Chief Radio Engineer Dale Machado came by and had fun taking to them for over 30 minute.
Then 20 minutes later Karen Keawe came and sat by us to talk story. She is just as funny in person.
We have the whole dining room to ourselves as they are setting up for lunch.
Maybe we stay put and wait for the food. Same table for breakfast and now lunch.
Hard life living on a cruise ship.
This is what was waiting for us in the cabin this afternoon.
I promised Wendy it wouldn't bite.
We dock back in Honolulu bright and early Saturday morning.
It's been a great time and we didn't want to get off the ship.
We had no choice.
Here we have...RHS'69 Reunion Committee chair Vincent Yim...
...and Kalani'69er Robert (Bobby) Imoto.
It appears these pictures were taken before they rode the zip line based on the "it's gonna be nothing" look on their faces.
On the other hand Alan Nishimoto is living the dream. We think.
Sunday night - the KSSK Posse Bar-B-Q. All the food and drinks were hosted by Non-Stop Travel and KSSK. Owner Gene Miyake of Non-Stop was there. Michael Perry, Sweetie Pacarro and Karen Keawe entertained us.
That's Micheal W. Perry at the top and Karen Keawe sitting in front of him.
First night on the ship somewhere between Oahu and Maui.
What to do? We're hanging out at the Pink champagne Bar.
Taylor Kundolf plays a mean piano.
Every night the ship has 4 shows at the Hollywood Showroom and Mardi Gras. If you want to see all the shows you had to go upstairs and/or downstairs every hour. Every night one of the shows were musicals of the 50s, 60s 70s or 80s. Frankie Vali, The Beatles, Beach Boys, ABBA, Yeah-Don Ho, all Oldies but Goodies!
The last show was for dancing. You slept well after a full day of cruising.
Morning. We are now moored offshore of Kona.
We spent the morning touring all over Waimea.
Then we headed Southeast to Manago Hotel for their world-famous pork chops.
Everybody then tore off in different directions.
The Nishimoto's and Yim's golfed at Kona Country Club. After golf lunch at the Kona Bowling alley for their Ono Oxtail Soup.
Harold Fujii led the group to feed their inner cowboy.
We also stopped off at Kalalau Lookout. Here you can stand 4-thousand feet above the ocean and look into Kalalau Valley and parts of the Na Pali coast.
The cruisers met to discuss the selection of excursions while on each island. We decided to go direct and not thru the cruise ship. The saving's were big. Josie Akana reserved two mini-vans for each island.
By the second meeting everyone registered on the ship's website to pre-check. The site walks us thru to get familiar with what will be available on the ship and on each island.
A great program, especially for first-timers.
Sandy Nishimoto made a daily schedule of what each of us had signed up for and which van to take. Wendy made the list of everyone's cabin assignments and other information. At each meeting, it was pot-luck with everyone's favorites, including Arthur's beef stew and lasagna.
The best part was the adventure of cruising the islands had already started.
The week went by in a flash. After looking back at a wonderful time with our friends, it was not a rest and relax vacation. We all maxed out every moment on board as well as on shore, day and night on every Island. We did everything we planned to do and more in the short time touring the Islands.
Both NCL Pride of America, Non-Stop Travel with KSSK gave us a great value with the staff, cabins, daily entertainment, the food and then some.
The big bonuses were the Captain rerouting the ship to pass in front of the lava flow and getting the ship to Kauai 2 hours early.
Then leaving Kauai at 2:00 PM was in question until we arrive along the length of the Na Pali Coast, a life-long memory of how beautiful the Islands are. I can see why the rest of the world wants to come to the Islands. We played hard to see what we have in our backyard...so lucky we live here.
The Nishimoto's and the Yim's taxi pooled to Pier 2. The taxi fare: $18 and the best part is it took 12 minutes to get to our home of the next 8 days.
Check-in was a breeze because the recommended boarding time was after 2:30 pm --- and we arrived at 11:30 AM.
We were on board by noon and made all our dining reservations, toured the ship and had lunch at the Aloha Cafe buffet.
All of us have a standing reservation at the Liberty Dining Room each night so we can sit together and share our adventures and war stories.
Here we are in Lahaina…trying to decide what we will do.
The ladies, of course, picked shopping and some of the guys were "volunteered" to come along and carry things.
Josie Akana showing everyone up with her zip line form.
Then we have Donna Miller, who is a tiny bundle of dynamite.
She's so "light" she stopped before the end of the zip line and someone had to go pull her in.
It's real early Saturday morning - maybe around 1 o'clock.
The ship is headed back to Honolulu. What to do?
When in doubt - eat.
The diehards are at the ship's 24-hour Cadillac restaurant.
You eat a LOT on a cruise.
Honolulu - Saturday
Nawiliwili, Kauai and off Na Pali coast - Friday