Yesterday, we finally sighted land! After an eventful crossing from Oakland (see previous post), it felt great to get off the ship in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii. We got off the ship around 3:00 pm and immediately caught a cab to Waikiki, Honolulu’s tourism and beach district, where we relaxed on the beach and swam in the crystal blue waters of Hawaii’s south shore. Waikiki beach is beautiful, lined with towering hotels, upscale shops, and restaurants. Diamondhead, a dormant volcano, dominates the skyline. We strolled along the oceanfront promenade and watched the sunset, which Hannah and I both found to be one of the most beautiful we have ever seen. As it got dark, we explored Honolulu’s vibrant nightlife, grabbing a quick dinner at a delicious Thai restaurant.
This morning, we got up early and made our way to Hanauma Bay Beach, considered one of the best beaches in the world. Hanauma Bay is surrounded by stunning scenery, and is protected by the state of Hawaii as a marine nature preserve. We rented snorkeling equipment and explored the bay’s beautiful coral reef, which is teeming with colorful tropical fish and other marine life. Afterwards, we relaxed on the beach and then made our way back to Honolulu. For lunch, we wandered off the beaten path to a small, authentic Hawaiian restaurant recommended to us by a cab driver. We enjoyed delicious Hawaiian dishes such as Lau Lau (pork wrapped in Taro leaves and cooked in a subterranean oven), and Poi (mashed taro root). After lunch, we walked back to Waikiki for some last-minute beach time before catching a cab back to the ship in time for our 8:00 departure.
Our first time in Hawaii was a wonderful experience. It truly is a tropical paradise.