Sunday, February 9, 2014

Cruise Report - Using Real Life

Wow. Hubby and I went on a shorter version of this cruise five years ago. Interesting what a change in the length of the cruise and the weather can do to the overall vacation experience.

We made it to our snorkeling excursion this time.
Last time:
  • Fifteen-day cruise
  • More kids
  • More middle-aged people
  • Better weather
  • Except for a squall on Kona that prevented us from going on a snorkeling excursion, it was a dream vacation.
This time:
  • Eighteen-day cruise
  • Three kids (seriously--three)
  • We were some of the younger passengers--funny since our cruise was to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.
  • Rougher weather
We hadn't even been out a day when there was an accident on the stairs. Now, it takes time to get your sea legs, so it could have been that. I understand that a woman lost her balance and fell against another woman. The second woman ended up breaking a leg and sustaining a head injury, including bleeding from her ear.

They determined that they needed to turn around and connect with the Coast Guard helicopter so the woman could be transported. One of the ship's four doctors (he had the most trauma experience) accompanied her. Unfortunately, her husband wasn't able to come with her because the helicopter was too full.

Doctor or husband. What a choice. Her husband stayed with the ship and had to sail five more days before being able to fly home to be with his wife.

The seas had some good-sized swells anyway, and then the captain was trying to make up lost time so we didn't lose more than one day in Hawaii. We were traveling at almost top speed some of the time. Even the day before we got to Hawaii, we were still bouncing off the walls--literally.

I loved it. Fortunately, hubby and I don't get sea sick.

We arrived in Hawaii a day late. The cruise line did an incredible job of rescheduling the entire itinerary. They didn't just have to see how many port stops they could save but to try and provide the best experience while we were there--like not being in port at the same time as another cruise ship with twice as many passengers. That would have been an incredible press on the local excursion and car rental places.

There were complaints, of course. But, as the captain said, the woman's life was more important than our vacations.

The final stop, Maui, was a bust because of the weather. It's a tender port, meaning that they use the tenders (life boats--those orange boats in the picture to the left) to get passengers to shore. Um. No. Not with five or six foot swells that were bashing the tenders against the ship.

Because of the change in the itinerary, we got to see my daughter and her family. Kaua'i was supposed to be the last stop and it ended up being the second. We managed to see them before they went on their own cruise. And talk about drama! Their ship--finally--way late because of fog. Now, they're having to scramble to catch flights home. 

Moral of the story: anything can happen. Just take a deep breath and enjoy the journey!

We came across this place on Oahu by accident. Friendly, isn't it?
At the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu
Part of the procession of Polynesian cultures at the PCC. This group is from New Zealand.

The snorkeling excursion wasn't even supposed to be for whale watching, but holy cow! We saw two males doing battle over a female. There were also tons of dolphins. And check out how blue that water was:

Lighthouse on Kaua'i
 At Hilo, we visited the Hawaiian Botanical Gardens. It's an amazing place with a wonderful history--and it's all been done privately. You can see pictures of some of the beautiful flowers on my Pinterest page here.
These huge beauties were hanging from a tree.

Cannonball Tree
So, what about you?
Have you ever had some interesting things happen while on vacation?
Have you ever used any of your experiences in your writing?

I'll lead out because I have. In fact, at lot of Lyn's experiences on her  Hawaii days in A Change of Plans were inspired by my own on that first cruise we took five years ago. 


  1. Having lived on Guam for two years, I think the tropics are highly overrated, BUT I would love to visit the botanical gardens.

    1. Haha I've been to Guam too. "In God we trust; on Guam we rust." Hawaii is much cooler than the Philippines which are right on the equator. Hawaii is the only set of Polynesian islands north of the equator and has a more temperate climate.

  2. I haven't had a chance to travel much the last several years, but prior to that I went on a couple of cruises, too. SMALL cruise ships (technically designated MV for motorized vehicle)--only 80 passengers. When the big cruise ships went past, we looked like the tender. :)
    My cruises were up to Alaska and along part of the western Canadian coast. Experiences? A ton--walking on glaciers, having tribal dances performed for us (and being invited to participate in the last one, whales, zodiac expeditions, grizzly bears), lots more. A few have made their way into my writing in a small way. Probably more will over time.

  3. Welcome back! It certainly sounds like an eventful cruise. Glad you had a good time, despite the troubles and the rough seas!

    1. I now, right? Maybe that's why I like to read adventure books so much. lol

  4. Now that was a wild adventure. Yes, that woman's life was more important. Sounds like the cruise liner went out of their way to make it up to you guys. Cool you saw whales and your daughter.
    Now, ready to write another story?

    1. Editing, yes. Torn Canvas starts at the pirate attack.

  5. Your cruise sounded wonderful even with the day's delay. I would love to go on a cruise - sea or river. Glad you saw your daughter.

    1. I love cruising. Someday, I hope to take a European river cruise.

  6. Look on the bright weren't hit with the illness that has plagued other cruises lately. :D

    1. You've got that right! We saw that on the news onboard, and every day the captain reminded people to wash their hands--frequently!

  7. Replies
    1. I'm just glad we didn't come back to snow.

  8. Sounds like a good trip overall, nice how they quickly tried to get things back on track.

    1. Yes. I hate to think how many complaints they received though.

  9. Really gorgeous photos. Welcome back!

  10. Even with the little accident, it sounds and looks like a great time.

  11. I don't mind choppy seas, after the first day, but 18 days? Did you eat yourself to death? I find after about 5 days I don't even want to look at food, except I'm starving because it's always available. Hawaii must have been wonderful!

  12. Glad you surrendered to the adventure of it all and had a good time:) I love Hawaii and have been going there since I was a kid. Now I get to take my little boy there later this year:)

  13. ooh, such delightful and exotic pictures!

  14. Oh wow, I am really needing a tropical vacation right now after seeing your pictures! It's been a year since I was in Hawaii, I need to go back:) I'm glad you had such a great time!!!

  15. I go on vacation once a decade, so I'll have to live vicariously through you. ;) Glad you had a good time!

  16. Thanks for sharing the pics. I really want to visit Hawaii one day.


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