Sunday, May 12, 2024

32 Day Pacific Island Cruise to Tahiti - How It All Began...

It all started with a phone call.  Jack called his sister to find out how her latest cruise went and while they were talking, one thing led to another and he began asking her about their next one and just how expensive it was, etc.  They were going to Tahiti, a 32 day cruise out of Los Angeles in April.  He turned to me and said, "so, Marie, do you want to go to Tahiti for your birthday?"  I responded with "you know I've always wanted to go to Tahiti, sure."  A couple of sentences later, and before we knew it we were sitting with our friend who is a cruise travel agent making the arrangements!  Oh my gosh, we were joining his sister and brother-in-law for a 32 Day Pacific Island Cruise to Tahiti! Wow, and Happy Birthday to me!

We had just a little over a month to shop, plan, pack and prepare for the trip, which was probably the best thing - not much time to really let it all sink in.  I had meetings to attend and prepare the staff for while I would be away as well, as we wouldn't have any WiFi.  I could get texts while on land, but nothing else.  I contacted my sister and asked her if she and her daughter would like to house-sit and get away from Washington for a month, she jumped at the idea, so that was taken care of. Next was to review the various tours offered and make reservations on the ones we really wanted.  

We have friends and a cousin in Honolulu (our first stop), so we quickly contacted them to see if we could meet up with them.  Our friends, usually come to the mainland to vacation and we always try to hook up, but the last few years, every time we are traveling on the eastern states they are on the western, and visa versa, our timing has been awful, same when we are traveling to the islands, they are here!  Well, guess what?  Because of the scheduled eclipse, they were going to be in TX when we were going to be there! Dang.  However, we did luck out with his cousin, and made arrangements to meet up with him, yea!

Two days before we left, my sister and niece arrived and we were able to spend a little time together.  Enjoyed showing them around and teaching my niece how to drive our golf cart!  It's always a fun thing when you haven't driven one before.  ;-)  Before we knew it, we were off to the airport!  

Arriving in LAX was a breeze...but then the "fun" began.  Oh my.  When I started in my career, it was working for a company that arranged all the free time that conventioneers had - starting when they arrived at the airport, transferring them to their hotels.  So, I KNOW airport transfers and how they SHOULD be done - and this WASN'T it.  What a disaster.  1. Two Princess Cruises were being transported.  No signs saying which line was for which ship.  Only the guests telling each other (no communication from the transport company).  2.  We all stood in line for over 3 hours (no communication from the transport company).  3.  After 3 hours they finally started checking off names of people who had signed up for the transport, so those who had not (the couple behind us hadn't), and didn't realize it, had to leave at that point and find a cab.  4.  They finally began loading us on busses, but again no communication from the transport company.  5. Upon arrival to the port they unloaded us, but didn't tell us where to go, or what to do with our luggage - some left it for them to handle, some took it, some knew where to go, some of us just wandered around until we found the right tent (again, no communication from the transport company).  We finally figured out that THEY would handle the luggage and get it to the ship - no thanks to their communication.  6. Four hours later, we arrived aboard the ship from LAX that was 30 min. away.  Crazy.  Horrible.  Unnecessary. 

From that moment forward, the trip was smooth sailing...

When we arrived in Honolulu, we had arranged to meet up with Jack's cousin Patrick for an early evening visit with drinks and dinner.  He drove us around to a couple of his favorite sites to view the island first.  We had been here before visiting our friends, but this particular spot can be super windy and when we were here the last time, Jack was nearly blown away and I have a fun picture of that!  This time it was lovely.  It also is the spot where my most favorite tree it.  ;-)  

Nu'uanu Pali with my favorite tree

From there we went to a fun "local" restaurant for wonderful drinks and a great meal.  It was super to be able to catch up with Patrick as it had been over a year or more since we had seen him and a lot has happened since then.  A new job, and new lady, a new life, all going great, life is good!  Yea! 

Harbor outside the restaurant, our cousin Patrick at Restaurant 604, view of downtown Hononlulu as we pulled into port

Our next stop was to Maui.  We've been many times and the ship was offering a super discount on massages, so we opted to stay on board and I got a full-body 90 minute massage instead!  mmmm Great way to start a vacation...

Now, we were out to sea for a week.  So glad we had a balcony room.  Loved that we could sit outside when we wanted - and that it was covered too, so when it did rain, it didn't matter!  It was also on the side where we pulled into port, so we always got to see that action every time.  Very cool.  Best cabin ever. 

Our room, Captain on the Bridge, view of Maui, Kathy found a "hidden duck", and enjoying the view from our balcony

...more to come as we continue with our South Pacific Adventure,  Marie

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