Journey to Paradise: Kauai

Trip Start Aug 09, 2008
Trip End Aug 23, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Friday, August 15, 2008

We like to go to Lazy J for breakfast. We just loved that steak and egg. The place was not crowded. We were not rushing. It was relaxing. We took our time eating our breakfast because the ship is not leaving until the following day. We already know the routine to hand in our ship's card and government issued photo ID to the security to swipe as we leave and come back to the ship. DS stepped to the side and slowed down as he was putting back his card to his card holder and this man pushed him to the walkway. I thought he must be late for excursion. Then I saw the rest of his family following behind. I mentioned this to DH and he got angry and told the man that what he did was rude. A lady must have been the man's wife talked to him and then approached us and told us that he does not speak English. I told her that it does not give him the excuse to push my son away. He could have at least step to the middle where the walkway was but it was more convenient for him to push my son so that he does not have to make extra steps. We did not let that incident ruin our day.

 We rented a car from Thrifty. As we left the pier the driver showed us where we can park the car overnight. It is located to the left side up the hill on a small shopping center. From reading the cruise critic board I know we have to come back to this place as soon as we get the car rental to pay for the parking permit. We may not get a space if we do it at the end of the day. The space is limited. The fee is now $15.00 and they have a big sign that says, "Cruise Ship Passengers Overnight Parking".
Our first stopped was the Wailua Falls lookout. There were only a few people when we arrived. We took some pictures then we stopped by the Wailua River lookout where we had our first encounter of the Kauai roosters. We took pictures of them too to send to Lolo Ben who likes roosters. He'll be thrilled to see it and he will be thrilled even more if he learns that they just roamed around freely in Kauai. We also stopped at the Opaeka'a Falls lookout where there were more roosters. When you crossed the street there is another Wailua River lookout. I like the view of the Wailua River from here.
On our way to the North Shore we were caught in traffic. We were completely standstill for about twenty minutes, due to bridge work. We missed the turn in Princeville because we did not recognize it. We thought it was the entrance to Princeville Hotel. In a way, it was, and also to a lot of condominiums in the area. We stopped at the Hanalei lookout and took our postcard perfect shot.
The parking to Queen's Bath is very limited. If you park all the way forward towards the fence, you may not be able to come out if someone park behind you and is not there when you're ready to leave. Luckily, there was a car that was leaving and a car of college girls that was just getting ready to park. We negotiated and told them we won't be staying long. So they agreed to park towards the wall and we parked behind them.  We followed the trail which is to the right of the parking lot. The trail was steep down to the side of a bluff. If it's raining, I will not dare going down this trail because it will be muddy, slippery and dangerous. We passed by a small waterfalls to the right. As the trail opens up at the bottom of the bluff we made a left and walked along the lava rocks with an awesome shoreline views until we saw the beautiful, natural ocean pool known as Queen's Bath (named after Queen Emma, mother of Prince Albert, the wife of King Kamehameha IV). The kids can't wait to swim. The place was awesome.We snorkeled too. There were schools of fishes there. They came closer to us as if they want to play with us. We stayed a little more than an hour. We were a bit apprehensive when we did not see the college girls where they were swimming. It was easy to recognize them because they had a pink raft with them. Can you imagine rushing climbing up the steep bluff? Not me. I sent DH with DD2 ahead as DS, DD1 and I took our time walking, taking more pictures and posing here and there.
We stopped by Haena Beach State Park and had lunch. There was a lunch truck there and they also sell shaved ice. We had our first taste of shaved ice. After lunch we started to explore the cave across the street but decided against it. We went to Ke'e Beach instead. We had fun swimming and snorkeling. On the way back, we stopped by the Princeville Hotel to see the amazing view of the ocean and mountains from their grounds.
Since it was still early, we decided to go to Spouting Horn. This place is different from any other blowhole in Hawaii because it has another hole that emits a whooshing sound followed by a low moan sounding like a horn. The view from the guard rail was interesting enough. There was a family of three who walked down close to the blowholes even though there were signs that prohibits it.

We went to see Po'ipu Beach and watched the surfers at sunset.

At the check in area before going back to the ship, it was disorganized. As we checked in there was a person checking our government issued photo ID and the ship's card then showed us which line to go to. We stayed in line and when it was our turn the person told us to go to the other line because we have backpacks and it has to be x-rayed. They should have at least a sign so that we don't waste our time. Now we have to go to the end of the other line and in doing so we passed by the ID checker. She asked us if we're going out again. I told her we're going to the other line because we have backpacks and it has to go to the x-ray machine (you should know about this so that you give the right directions to the people who are coming in). As I walked through the upright post it alarmed. I had no metal on me. The lady said it could be my watch. So I took it off and I was able to walked through the upright post without alarming. Just made we wonder. Been wearing the same watch all week and I had no problem with the alarm even at the airport.

Back in our room, we saw our VIP luggage tags on top of the table with a gift from our butler, a box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts. The concierge called to see if we want to make a dinner reservation. (We did not make a reservation because we don't know what time we will be back). We told James that we don't want to go to the main dining area and wait because we want to see the show. We went to Aloha instead. It turned out to be a good decision. There were lots of food selections and the food was amazingly good. We should have been there for dinner instead of Skyline (except on lobster night) and Liberty. After dinner we watched the Pride of America Crew Show.
We ordered a 6:30AM room service and it arrived at 6:45AM. We are particular about our time because we are aware of what time the ship departs and we know the amount of time we need for our excursion. Today the ship leaves at 2 PM. We need to be on board at least by 1:30PM. The ship will not wait on us if we are late. But it is ok for the crew to be late with their services?
We had a quick breakfast and took the rest with us. The Suite Service Breakfast Order menu has a wide selection. Sometimes we order outside the menu. We just write it on the order form. Like they don't offer frosted flakes and we know that they have it because they served it at Lazy J for breakfast so we write frosted flakes and then we write hard boiled eggs because we don't like the scrambled or the plain or Swiss cheese omelette.
DH went ahead and picked up the car from the parking lot then picked us up at the pier. Then we headed to Waimea Canyon.  We took the Waimea Canyon Drive (550). We plan to proceed all the way up and then stop at the lookouts on the way down. I know that the last lookout was the most breathtaking one and we don't want to miss it. The view on the way up was spectacular and I wanted to stop to take pictures but DH kept reminding me about the plan to go all the way up first. As we reached the Waimea Canyon Lookout, I can't resist and told DH that we need to stop here and he obliged. The view was pretty but too much sun and clouds are not good for photo shoot. We spent a little longer here talking with the fellow cruise passengers about the dissatisfactions we had about the services rendered in Pride of America.
We stopped at  Pu'u Hinahina Look out past mile marker 13 then to Kalalau Look out at mile marker 18. Where we  met a local who was giving a private tour to two Asian women. She was showing us the Ni'ihau Island which is hardly visible through the clouds. She told us that Ni'ihau is also known as the Forbidden Island because only the true blooded Hawaiian lives there. There's no phone or electricity there. We also asked about the lookout after Kalalau. She said that Kalalau Lookout is the last official lookout of Waimea Canyon. It's a good thing we followed the Blue book. Otherwise, we would have missed the wonderful, totally breathtaking view of the Kalalau Valley. I don't know how long we stayed here and how many pictures we took (Thank goodness for digital camera). We just couldn't get enough of this place. DD1 wants to hike the trail but we told her we can't because we don't have enough time. It would have been nice.
On the way back, we stopped at Pu'u Ka Pele Lookout and took pictures of the Waipo'o Falls. We stopped at the picnic table and finished our breakfast. We took the 552 route for a different view. In the town we bought red dirt shirts for the girls. DS only wants baseball cap which they don't have. (He collects baseball cap from the places that we visited). Then we went to Jojo's for shaved ice. The ladies in the shirts store recommended No. 2. It is a rainbow shaved ice with macadamia nut ice cream. That was sooooo good. While we were at Jojo's, DH went to the shrimp truck and bought garlic shrimp. They recommended the coconut shrimp but DH appetite is for the garlic shrimp. I tasted it. It was ok but nothing compared to Giovanni's in Oahu.
We saw a red dirt shirts outlet in Poi'pu. We pulled over and while we went inside DH stayed in the car and ate his garlic shrimp. I bought a red dirt baseball cap for DS and a shirt for DH. We returned our car rental and the shuttle dropped us off the pier. We had plenty of time to spare. After we washed up we went to Lazy J for lunch. It was so good. DH said if he'd known it was this good he would have returned to the ship for lunch everyday. Yeah, right!
The Na Pali Coast sail-by was totally awesome. We watched it from our balcony. DS took plenty of pictures. He did not stop until he ran out of memory card. It's a good thing we had a spare.
We had a dinner reservation at East Meets West. It's our dinner celebration for DS 13th birthday. His actual birthday is on Thursday. We couldn't decide on which appetizer to order. Our waiter, Denis Turner was kind enough to arranged each appetizer in a platter and served it to us like a sampler. The food was ok. The staff together with our waiter came to our table with a birthday cake and sang, "Happy Birthday" to DS. We ate so much today that we had no room for the cake. They boxed the cake for us and we dropped it in our room, took DD1 and DD2 to Kid's Crew and went to Hollywood theater to watch, "Some Enchanted Evening" by Broadway  All-Stars singing songs from Broadway's greatest musicals. It's just singing, no actions or drama. It was boring. I almost fall asleep.
After the show we picked up the kids from Kid's Crew. The kids were given a t-shirt that they painted and took it with them on their way out. They also received a Kid's crew drinking cup and a Hawaii themed coloring book.
I don't feel like packing tonight. But I have to. DH and the kids helped. Everybody was in slow motion; can't believe that the cruise was finally over. Not sure what time I finished packing but all four luggages where outside our stateroom ready to be picked up by the crew so that we won't be dragging them to the pier the next day.
We did not like the services of the Pride of America. If we were in an inside stateroom or balcony it would have been different. 
 Being able to visit the four islands of Hawaii was quite an adventure that we surely will cherish. Who can imagine, visiting a red sand beach and a green sand beach? We were able to see a dormant and active volcano.  We will be staying for another week in Ko'Olina. Visiting the extinct volcano is on our agenda.
FYI: Queen's Bath is only accessible during the summer months when the surf is low. Do not go there if the surf is high. It is extremely dangerous. Swells, or surges of high waves can unexpectedly wash up over the rocks.
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starlagurl on

Those photos...
are incredible! Especially the underwater ones, I love them.

Louise Brown
TravelPod Community Manager

bakasyonista on

Re: Those photos...
Thank you!

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