Hawaii 2007:
Day 1 - Honolulu


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Hawaii 2007: [Day 1 - Honolulu, Oahu] [Day 2 - Hilo, Big Island] [Day 3 - Kahului, Maui] [Day 4 - Kahului, Maui] [Day 5 - Kona, Big Island] [Day 6 - Nawiliwili, Kauai] [Day 7 - Nawiliwili, Kauai] [Day 8 - Honolulu] [Day 9 - Honolulu]

Saturday, July 28: We arrived in Honolulu in the early afternoon. Since living in Honolulu briefly in 1983, this was Debbie's fifth visit, but the approach to the airport over Pearl Harbor with Diamond Head in the distance never loses its thrill.
This was Jill's first visit to Hawaii, so she got the coveted window seat for the arrival.
We had several goals for our trip. Goal number one: to give Jill the full Hawaiian experience. We started meeting that goal immediately upon arrival -- a professional lei greeting at the airport. (Tom and Debbie had been greeted with leis on a previous trip by our friend Peter.)
We also booked a limo ride to the pier through the same company. It was a surprise for Tom and Jill. Tom is wearing a traditional lei for men made with ti leaves formed into a rope and left open.
In no time, we were checked into cabin 12506 on Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America cruise ship. It's a penthouse suite on Deck 12 forward on the port (left) side of the ship. We prefer being on the starboard side, but this was one of the last cabins of this size still available when we booked the cruise five months earlier. However, this is definitely the side you want to be on for this itinerary! All family suites were already sold out. Penthouse Suite sounds pretty impressive, but there are 18 of them on the ship and four higher classes of cabins above this.
Don't get us wrong -- it was an amazing cabin. The balcony was twice as wide as a typical balcony so we had a great view of the Honolulu harbor in the afternoon before we set sail.
Let us take you on a tour. On the right side of the cabin was a sofa that converted to a double bed at night, and a large sliding glass door that opened onto the deck.
Here's a better view for you.
On the left side of the cabin was a king size bed and a large window. We didn't think to open the curtains all the way, but the window is actually quite large.
Don't let NCL's description of this cabin as having a separate bedroom fool you, because it's a lie. As you can see, it's all one big room. You can pull a curtain down the middle of the room and pretend that it's two rooms, but it's still just one room with a curtain in the middle.
Here's the bathroom to the left ...
... and the bathroom to the right. The height of the shower is almost exactly six feet tall.
This is the walk-in closet. It's actually more of a walk-through closet with a vanity on one side. For the size of the cabin, there wasn't as much storage as we'd expected, but we found the walk-in closet to be very useful when traveling with a teenage girl.
Finally, here's the bar and desk area. We were also surprised that there weren't complimentary bathrobes to wear. Perhaps we've been spoiled by Celebrity and Holland America, and we should just get over it.
We had ordered a welcome fruit and champagne basket for our arrival, and we found two plates of fruit and a plate of hors d'oeuvres. We think one of the plates of fruit may have been standard with the cabin, and perhaps these were too.
Just before leaving Indianapolis, we had discovered that we left Tom's suitcase at home, so our first order of business was to get back off the ship and do some clothes shopping at Aloha Tower Marketplace.
The ship was not located next to the Aloha Tower as we had seen in some photographs, but instead was a 10-minute walk away.
Fortunately, the scenery along the way is gorgeous, even though we were near the heart of downtown Honolulu.
We loaded up on men's clothing at Honolua Surf Company and Pipe Dreams Surf Co. as quickly as we could.
With several day's worth of clothing, we headed back to the ship, passing beautiful flowers and trees along the way.
We stopped to admire the water. Even in a busy commercial waterfront, the tropical fish and sea anemones were everywhere.
Back on board, we grabbed dinner from the Aloha Cafe, the casual dining buffet open most hours. The food was good but the layout of the buffet causes pure chaos. Note the lack of trays on our table. Seriously, NCL does not provide trays, so you have to go back into the chaos more than once if you want to carry a second plate or a second beverage. We got good at shoving our silverware in our pockets, carrying two 8-ounce beverages in our hands, and balancing our plates on top.
Out with the bad thoughts, and in with the good. The view of the full moon over Diamond Head from our table made it all worth it.
Back on our deck, we had a lovely view of Aloha Tower and a rainstorm in the distance.
At 8:00 PM sharp, we set sail and Jill headed off to the teen center to make new friends.

The lights of Waikiki twinkled in the distance as we sailed by. Our port-side cabin made this view possible.

Day 2 >


Hawaii 2007: [Day 1 - Honolulu, Oahu] [Day 2 - Hilo, Big Island] [Day 3 - Kahului, Maui] [Day 4 - Kahului, Maui] [Day 5 - Kona, Big Island] [Day 6 - Nawiliwili, Kauai] [Day 7 - Nawiliwili, Kauai] [Day 8 - Honolulu] [Day 9 - Honolulu]

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