Senior Travel: 82-day cruise summary

Greta at San Pedro after getting off the ship

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – December 21, 2018

by Tom P Blake

Senior Travel: 82-day cruise summary

Today’s eNewsletter is short. I want to wish you all Happy Holidays: Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.

This morning at 7 a.m., the Holland America Line ship ms Amsterdam docks in San Pedro, the port of Los Angeles. After 82 days cruising through Asia and the Pacific, it’s time to disembark and go home.

My partner Greta and I feel blessed to have been able to take this trip and are grateful to be home safely.

Thanks for your comments regarding the trip. If you’d like to read and see more photos than what have been posted here in the newsletters, I’ve written about every port we’ve been to on www.Travelafter55.com.

Our last two ports were Honolulu, Hawaii, and Lahaina Maui. Below is a short recap of our visit there.

Going forward, the newsletter will once again address dating and relationship issues for people 50-90. Please email me your comments, questions and observations.

Part 2 – Honolulu and Lahaina December 14 – 15 2018

Hawaii was the final stop of the cruise. On day one there, the ship docked at a pier near the Aloha Tower in the port of Honolulu. About 100 yards from the ship, there was a bus stop for local buses.


 Aloha Tower in distance at Honolulu port

For $2, a passenger can purchase an all-day pass, which is what Greta and I did.

Our first destination was the Ala Moana Shopping Center, which must be the largest shopping mall in the world. Shopping at a mall was not how we wanted to spend our day in Honolulu, but I felt I could find a replacement wrist band for my Fitbit, which had become detached a month prior from the Fitbit itself.

We tried the Target Store first, and then Macy’s. Both stores sell Fitbits, but replacement bands are too small of a purchase for them to carry in-store; they told us to order them online. That was it for shopping in Honolulu.

We boarded another bus and headed for Waikiki Beach. Our destination was to have lunch on the beach at Duke’s Honolulu restaurant located in the Outrigger Hotel. At 11:30 a.m., the restaurant was packed.


 Duke’s Honolulu sign when entering the restaurant from the beach

After lunch there, we strolled around Waikiki, enjoying the perfect weather. We saw the statue of Duke Kahanamoku, considered to be the father of surfing. Duke passed away in 1968.


Waikiki – statue of Duke Kahanamoku, father of surfing


Waikiki from Duke’s Honolulu restaurant


Hawaii on a beautiful day

A while later, we boarded another bus and enjoyed sightseeing in the downtown area. We saw a lot of Honolulu, while riding around with the locals. It was a perfect way for us to spend our day in Honolulu. We saw some sites we had not seen before on previous visits to Hawaii. By day’s end, the Fitbit—not on my wrist but in my pocket—registered 15,000 steps.

Day 2 in Hawaii – Lahaina, Maui

When visiting Lahaina, cruise ships must anchor a mile or so out in the ocean. Tender boats take passengers from the ship and back to the ship. Seas were pretty choppy that day, and our tender boat was delayed out in the water for at least a half hour, tossing and turning. Finally, we disembarked in the center of the quaint and beautiful city of Lahaina.

The first stop ashore: the Maui Tourist Office, which is just across the street from the Pioneer Inn and adjacent to the largest Banyan tree in the world. The tree was planted in 1873. The Tourist office welcomes visitors with a fresh bowl on yummy Hawaiian pineapple.


Pineapple at the Tourist Information Office


Largest Banyan tree in the world on the town square in Laihaina Maui

Greta and I opted to take a local bus, #28, from the Lahaina Cinema Complex, which serves as the bus station, to Napili Shores, where we had stayed years before with Ted and Mary Kay Bowersox who live in San Juan Capistrano. The cost: $4 per person for the entire day.

Our destination? Of course! Another restaurant with which we were familiar. The Gazebo restaurant, located on a bluff overlooking the ocean. It’s a classic in Napili Bay. Fortunately, for us, we arrived there at 1:40 p.m., 20 minutes before they stopped serving (it’s more of a breakfast hangout but does serve some lunch items). Our food server told us she had seen the ship pass by at 7 a.m. in the morning a mile or so off shore.


Gazebo Restaurant in Napili Shores in Maui

A while later, we enjoyed the hour-long bus ride back along the coast, and returned to the pier in Lahaina. The seas were bumpy and the ride back to the ship was a rocking and rolling one.

When Greta was stepping off the tender unto the ship’s platform, the tender crashed hard against the platform and then moved away from the platform. The gap was too wide to step across. I heard other passengers watching her gasp and shout. However, the ship’s crew members had a good hold on her, thank heavens, and she crossed over to the platform safely. For me, seeing that happen to her, was the scariest moment of our 82-day trip, and gratefully, she was OK.

Our short visit to Hawaii was blessed with beautiful sunshine. Local buses are the way to travel around the islands of Oahu and Maui.

And now, after five sea days of crossing the Pacific from Hawaii, we are back in Southern California. Hurrah!

Here is Greta with some of the luggage waiting for our Lyft driver to take us home to Dana Point from the San Pedro, the port of Los Angeles:

Greta at San Pedro after getting off the ship
Greta is happy to be home after 82 days of cruising

Author: tpblake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published four books. His primary topic is finding love after 50 and beyond, sometimes far beyond, for people 80 and older as well. He also blogs about travel at TravelAfter55.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: