Manuela sails to Hawaii and Tahiti again

Manuela
Cruise Director
Manuela
Cruise Director
Joined: July 31st, 2006, 1:29 am

April 13th, 2018, 4:26 am #1

Hawaii, Samoa, and Tahiti - Take 2

We were scheduled to sail at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, but disembarkation from the previous cruise took so long that we didn't board until 3:30. We learned later that every non US passenger was finger printed and all their luggage inspected.  Most of us had arrived at the terminal between 11 and 12. There was no food available, only water.
Night was falling when we finally sailed.
The ship is carrying 3000 passenger from 29 countries.
We were too tired to unpack, but did go to the Welcome Aboard show.

First full day at sea
After breakfast, we attended a Cruise Critic Meet and Greet. There were over 200 members.
We got our unpacking done after lunch.
Before dinner we went to see a magician. After dinner, a singer put on quite a good show. We made a stop at the piano bar for a few songs and called it a night.

Second sea day
There was another Cruise Critic event this morning, a Cabin Crawl. One cabin was totally decorated as a Tiki Hut. It's always interesting to see people come up with clever storage for things other than clothing.
This evening's entertainment was by a comedian.
Piano bar for a night cap.

Third sea day
We enrolled in a beginner's ukulele class.
The Captain hosted the Welcome Aboard party. There was plenty of champagne flowing.
The main show was by a singer who thought she was the diva she was imitating.
There are several duos playing in different lounges around the ship. Some of the musicians from the ship's orchestra also occasionally play jazz.
Back to the piano bar.

Fourth sea day
Our ukulele class met again today. We are happy that this is a simple instrument.
There is also a hula dance class..
Several lectures on the upcoming islands are offered.
Tonight's show was a combination of singing, dancing, and magic. It didn't work very well. The magic got lost in the middle of all that was happening on the stage.
The captain keeps us very well informed about what to expect. The weather has been great and the sailing very smooth.

Hilo
We planned to go to the top of the tallest mountain on Earth, Mauna Kea, but when we reached the visitors center, we found out that the road to the summit was closed due to ice. We were only 8 miles away. We went to a Japanese garden and to a black sand beach instead.
In the evening, an a capella group put on a very nice show. This was followed by a Hawaiian deck party.

Honolulu
We went to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, on Waikiki Beach and had some food and Mai Tais with a view of Diamond Head.
In the evening, a local folkloric group came aboard to sing and dance to traditional Hawaiian music.

Maui
This morning we enjoyed watching whales put on a great display.
A very funny ventriloquist entertained us tonight. We end most evenings at the piano bar.

Kauai
The rainiest place on Earth was under a flood watch. We stayed on the ship.
On board, King Kamehameha Day was celebrated with lots of music and dance.
Later, another comedian kept us laughing. 
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Manuela
Cruise Director
Manuela
Cruise Director
Joined: July 31st, 2006, 1:29 am

April 14th, 2018, 3:24 am #2

Fifth sea day
Back to relaxing sea days of staying in the shade and watching the ocean.
Tonight's main show was by a husband and wife team. She sang, he played the saxophone.

Sixth sea day
There was a Cruise Critic lunch today. A section of the dining room was reserved for us. It's always fun to talk to other cruisers about, what else, cruising. We ran into someone with over 200 cruises. I guess I'll never catch up to them.
We had another ukulele class.
This evening's show was by the ship's singers and dancers.

Seventh sea day
Another special day, Crossing the Equator. King Neptune presided over the judgement of those Pollywogs who dared to enter his realm. They were sentenced to kiss a fish and were smeared with all kinds of foods, such as spaghetti in tomato sauce. They were then declared to be Shellbacks and allowed to continue their voyage.
The Pop Choir put on a concert in the afternoon. The professional evening entertainers were a comedian and a hypnotist.

Eighth sea day
Some of the students from the hula dance class and the ukulele class put on a joint show.
At night the ventriloquist and the husband and wife team returned.

Pago Pago, American Samoa
Hot, hot, hot, and very humid.
We took a three hour tour on one of their cute tiny busses. At least there was a breeze while we were moving.
We drove through several villages and on the last one we had a presentation. There were a couple of dances and a demonstration on how to layer hot rocks, food, more hot rocks, and lots of banana leaves in the oven. All the cooking is done by the men!!! We got to taste a few foods, my favorite being young coconut. It is very soft and yummy. We were also given some ava/kava. It tasted better than I expected.
Back to the ship for a shower and a cold drink in an air conditioned lounge.
The evening found us enjoying a singer and then the piano bar.
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Manuela
Cruise Director
Manuela
Cruise Director
Joined: July 31st, 2006, 1:29 am

April 20th, 2018, 3:11 am #3

Ninth sea day 
More destination talks. A lot of information about volcanoes, hot spots, moving plates, local customs, traditional foods, and more.
Tonight's shows were comedy and a harmonica player. Comedy won, followed by the piano bar.

Tenth sea day
More talks. They are repeated on tv throughout the day, so we try to catch them while getting ready in our room.
Tonight, a vocalist and a pair of acrobats were the evening's main entertainers.
There are many styles of music going on all afternoon and evening in a variety of venues, from small lounges to the main theater.

Bora Bora - day 1
We are getting adventurous in our old age. We did a helmet dive. Fifteen feet under beautiful, clear water with lots of colorful fish. An amazing half hour.
A local folkloric dance troupe came aboard and put on a great dhow.

Bora Bora - day 2
This was the best shore excursion I have ever been on! I had read about it on Cruise Critic and it was as wonderful as described there.
Four outrigger canoes, each carrying 12 people, took us to several locations. Some shallow, some deeper water, where you could swim and snorkel with sharks and string rays, or just watch  from the boat. We also went to a coral garden. The next stop was on a motu for lunch. The tables are in the water and you also sit in the water. Great way to keep cool.
Lunch was quite a feast including suckling pig, chicken, fish, bread fruit, taro root, poi, plantains, and lots more. Beer and champagne kept flowing. At the end we enjoyed a fire dance before returning to the ship.
Tonight ended with a deck party.

Tahiti
Papeete is a big city, not what you think of when you think of French Polynesia.
There weren't any excursions that interested us, so we decided to make it souvenir day. We walked around shopping in the heat. Not fun, but you can't go home empty handed.
We were treated to a Tahitian folkloric show. Great drumming and dancing.

Moorea
We took another boat tour with swimming, snorkeling, and lunch on a motu. Nice, but nothing like the one in Bora Bora.
Tonight, the ship's singers and dancers are back in a production show.
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Manuela
Cruise Director
Manuela
Cruise Director
Joined: July 31st, 2006, 1:29 am

April 25th, 2018, 8:52 pm #4

Sea days, sea days, sea days
Time to rest up from all those excursions.
New entertainers joined the ship in Tahiti. Singers, dancers, musicians, comedians, lecturers ...
Cooking demonstrations
Galley visit
Passenger talent show
Crew talent show
Question and answer session with the captain and the cruise director
Packing :(
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Manuela
Cruise Director
Manuela
Cruise Director
Joined: July 31st, 2006, 1:29 am

May 27th, 2018, 8:30 am #5

Hawaii:

Hawaii-Mauna Kea-tallest mountain in the world
Oahu-Honolulu-Waikiki
Maui-whale watching
Maui-Lahaina-at anchor
Kauai-rain
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Manuela
Cruise Director
Manuela
Cruise Director
Joined: July 31st, 2006, 1:29 am

May 27th, 2018, 8:33 am #6

Crossing the Equator - King Neptune and Queen Double D 😀
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Manuela
Cruise Director
Manuela
Cruise Director
Joined: July 31st, 2006, 1:29 am

May 27th, 2018, 8:36 am #7

Samoa
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Manuela
Cruise Director
Manuela
Cruise Director
Joined: July 31st, 2006, 1:29 am

May 27th, 2018, 8:37 am #8

Bora Bora Helmet Dive
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Manuela
Cruise Director
Manuela
Cruise Director
Joined: July 31st, 2006, 1:29 am

May 27th, 2018, 8:42 am #9

Bora Bora - Patrick's Tour - swimming with sharks and rays - picnic on a motu
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Manuela
Cruise Director
Manuela
Cruise Director
Joined: July 31st, 2006, 1:29 am

May 27th, 2018, 8:47 am #10

Tahiti - busy port - sunset behind Moorea - local dancers
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