We showed up to our pickup location about a ten minutes earlier then they requested just in case we ran into any issues finding the pickup area. We were to meet a bus that was going to take us to the Aloha Tower Marketplace where we were to meet the Star of Honolulu. The bus showed up right on time and a representative from the Star of Honolulu came out to greet us. He asked if we we're the Barefoot party and we replied that we were. He checked our names off of his list, gave us each a boarding pass and directed us up the stairs of the bus. We made our way to our seats as the bus eased away from the curb and back into the traffic.
As we pulled up to the harbor of the Aloha Tower Marketplace we could immediately see the outline of the massive 232 foot, 4-deck cruise ship in the slip right next to the restaurants. As the bus pulled to a stop our guide gave us a couple of last minute instructions on where to get on the boat, as well as where to meet the bus at the end of the night. As soon as he was done we began making our way down the stairs of the bus and onto the sidewalk.
The representatives at the end of the boarding ramp instructed us where to find our dining cabin. Once we got on the boat and entered the cabin we met another hostess that showed us to our seats. Our salads were already on the table waiting for us. After we were seated our hostess asked if she could bring us any drinks. It was a cash bar on the boat, and after deliberating on the menu for a moment we decided to start out with a bottle of red wine. The service of our hostess (as well as the rest of the staff we interacted with on the boat) was great. We ordered our bottle, and it arrived before everyone else had even been finished being seated. We raised our glasses toasted to another wonderful night in Hawaii just as the boat began to pull away from the dock.
Soon after our toast our server arrived with our next course. The entree was a combination of crab and steak. My father and I rarely eat crab so we had a good time working out the finer points of cracking the shells. As we dined on our surf and turf plates the sun began to make its' way closer to the horizon. After we were done with our plates we decided to fill our cups and make our way to the upper viewing deck where we could get a better view of the sunset.
After making our way to the top of the stairs we found out that there was much more to the view then just the sun going down. The cityscape of Honolulu, the mountain of Diamondhead above and the ocean below were all illuminated by the rich red and orange light of the sun as it lowered down onto the horizon. We enjoyed the views and sipped on our drinks as we waited for the sun to complete its' journey behind the horizon. We hoped that we would see the "green flash" as the sun went down, but some low cloud cover on the horizon kept us from being so lucky. After the sunset was over we made our way back down to the dining cabin to see the evening show.
The dancers entertained the dinner cabin with a beautiful polynesian show. As the show progressed on the audience became more and more a part of it until eventually everyone was up out of their seats dancing around the cabin. In fact, I was quite astounded at how well the crew of the Star of Honolulu was at getting everyone to get up and get out of their chair and join the dancing.....it was great!
Before we made our way back into the port they made a last call for drinks and soon after we were back in town getting on the buses that were waiting to take us back home. As we loaded on I looked around the coach at the faces of the others who had also just gotten off of the dinner cruise. Everyone in the crowed looked one of two ways. Either like they were about to fall asleep, or like they were not going to stop smiling for the rest of the night.
The Royal Kona Resort Luau is located in the heart of Kona town in-between Ali'i Drive and the ocean. When we pulled up to the check in I could hear the waves crashing against the rocks at the edge of the luau grounds, we were given leis and made our way to the bar to sample their specialty drinks.
Sailing is something that has always interested me. It's ability to tap into a renewable energy resource that has the ability to take you around the world brings with it a certain allure.
I was standing on the porch of our vacation rental watching the sunset when I reached into my pocket for my schedule so I could check and see what I had planned for the following day.
Sharks are one of nature's most revered predators. Since the beginning of time man has waged a battle with these creatures for undisputed rights to the top slot at the summit of the food chain.
The Waipio Valley on the Big Island is estimated to have once been the home to a city of over 50,000 Hawaiians. The amount of history and beauty that exists in this place is unbelievable and if you have enough time to make it up here on your visit to the Big Island, you should.
Kualoa Ranch is one of the premiere attractions on the island of Oahu. It is a 4000 acre working cattle ranch that was established in 1850. Stretching from the mouth of Kaneohe Bay to the adjacent Kaaawa Valley, its' beauty has not gone unnoticed.
It was a typical bright sunny day in South Maui as we headed down to Makena to go for a sunset sail with Kai Kanani Catamaran. As we walked along the grassy path to the beach we saw the beautiful catamaran coming towards the shore.
The Twogood Kayaks van pulled up to pick us up in front of our hotel in Waikiki. The van driver go out of the van, introduced himself, then opened the door and invited us in.
Swimming with the dolphins in the wild is something that can be easily arranged by Tom Barefoot's Tours for anyone vacationing on the Big Island.