Saturday 01.26.19 - Honolulu, Hawaii

Details from the Princess Cruise Lines: Day 7 - 26, January 2019 Dress Code: Smart Casual Arrival: 7:00 AM All Aboard: 10:30 PM Honolulu Shore Excursions Home to nearly half a million people, Honolulu is Hawaii's state capital and only major city. The city of Honolulu and the island of Oahu offer a wealth of historic, cultural and scenic attractions. Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head are two of the city's enduring symbols. Pearl Harbor, site of the USS Arizona Memorial and the "Punchbowl," are haunting reminders of the tragic events of December 7, 1941, when the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor forced America into World War II. Honolulu is also home to the historic Iolani Palace, the official residence of Hawaii's last royals. Beyond the city lie tropical rain forests, the Pali Lookout and the North Shore known for its surfing beaches. A draw card to visitors of all ages, from all corners of the globe, Honolulu's appeal ranges from it's magnificent beaches, countless well-stocked shops, tempting restaurants and a multitude of historic, cultural and scenic attractions.

I started off the day with a quick trip to the breakfast buffet to grab a pastry & a few pics of the port from the dining area.

I found it odd how we walked off the ship into a warehouse type area before we arrived at the pier. This was the first time I had ever experienced this. I was told that this was how sea travel was originally done. This would also explain how the terminal was painted.

Originally we had booked a tour to visit the Pearl Harbor memorial site. When we found out the USS Arizona would be closed, due to repairs, we cancelled. Instead, we hired a wonderful local guide Marie via Blue Hawaii Photo Tours. She took us to nine different areas on the island of Oahu.

Our first stop was a visit to Leonard's Bakery Malasadamobile™ for a couple of delicious malasadas.  Sweet decadent fried dough, these Portuguese donuts are a thing of beauty! We ordered an original plain sugar coated and another called Li Hing that was covered in sweet & sour sugar. 

Our second place was Hanauma Bay state parkwhere we fed chickens & saw some spectacular beaches.

Third was the Halona blowhole & From Here to Eternity Cove. I was disappointed that I wasn't able to capture a decent picture of the blow hole.

For our fourth stop, we pulled off the side of the road near Rabbit Island for more photos.

Fifth was Frankie's Nursery. Here we tried a juice mix of honey creme pineapple and guava juices.  Plus, we sampled some jack fruit and honey cream pineapple.  The farmer of the nursery is the only place that makes honey cream pineapple.  I am an avid lover of pineapple and was excited to try this, the name alone sounds tasty!  Well this is sweeter, but best of all no acidity!  I really wished we could have taken some home.

The sixth stop was the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park Mortuary to see the Byodo-In Temple. Here, we struck the gong (it's supposed to bring good luck and long health), walked around the temple, saw the koi and black swan, went to the gift shop and bought a souvenir shot glass.  This is a great place to visit and stay the day; so serene and peaceful.  We really enjoyed strolling around admiring the beauty here.

Number seven was lunch at a local food truck park, this place was huge with so many trucks that we focused on one area to select. We told Marie that we love eating local so she suggested a few trucks offered regional specialties.  We couldn't pick just one truck, so we got a plate from several to sample.

(7A) Da Bald Guy - Garlic Shrimp, macaroni salad, rice & Pepsi.  We loved that the shrimp was peeled and served over the rice so that some of the garlic seasonings went into the rice.  Great garlic flavors but not overly so. The mac salad was creamy, cold, and light.  Definitely, a must have for garlic lovers!

(7B) The Juice Factory - Pineapple Shrimp, vinegar coleslaw, rice, & Pineapple Orange soda.  The pineapple shrimp had to be peeled, but the sauce was sweet with chunks of pineapples. Combining shrimp with pineapple is always a win!  The coleslaw was refreshing with a light apple cider vinegar dressing.

(7C) Uluwehi’s Kava Bar & Grill - Kalua pork, rice & cold corn.  This place has soy sauce that I added to the rice, sriracha that I placed on the side, plus other sauces and salt and pepper. The only issue was it took so long to get our dish, the other two places had our orders out long before this one.  The pork was great, it looked like cabbage cooked with it. Really moist and tender the sriracha paired well. The corn was a nice side.  They did have a local singer performing.

(7D) Will Will’s Shave Ice Haven - Ling Hing Mui, Haupia, Lychee & Ling Hing Mui powder, and ice cream in the base.  I didn't know which flavor was which, but they all went well together.  I enjoyed the powder as it added a slight sour note to the sweet dish.  The sizes are huge so having one and sharing with others is the go-to.

Number eight was another photo stop. This time, Shark's Cove near Pupukea, Hawaii. 

Our final stop, number nine was Green World Coffee. We sampled coffee, iced coffee, and iced tea. I'm not a coffee drinker, so this stop was all about Shelly. She says, "The coffee was good, I liked the rainbow which used blonde, dark, and medium roast beans. The macadamia nut coffee was my favorite, but I didn't buy any because I wasn't sure if it would do well sitting for 3 months. I did buy some pineapple lip balm, tea tree soap, macadamia nuts, chocolate sea salt, and chocolate covered pineapple. Great stop to see the coffee plants, sample coffee and tea, many local crafts for sale, and they have a cafe with a large hot or cold coffee selections to buy." 

Marie was an outstanding guide. Throughout the tour she taught us how to better use our camera, plus gave us a lot of historical information about the islands and its people. She offers many different tours and I would definitely use her agai when on the island.  
When we arrived back at ship, we took a nap before meeting our friends for dinner in the main dining room.

Shelly & I both started with the dim sum sampler. I'm here to tell ya, dim sum good food. I honestly can't tell you what the filling was, but it has pleasant flavor.  It was nice change to have some Asian food.  The sampler offered a mix of steamed & fried dim sums along with a tasty dip.
Dim Sum Sampler
Fried Potsticker, Steamed Dumplings and Char Siew, Sweet Soy Sauce
My next course was some perfectly fried tempura shrimp. Not oily or greasy, just great crispy fried shrimp.
Tiger Prawns Tempura
Asian Sprouts & Ginger Teriyaki Dip
While I was enjoying my shrimp, my wife had a cup of hot & sour soup. She says, "Surprisingly, this actually had some heat to it.  A broth soup with spice and sour, with plenty of veggies."
Hot & Sour Soup with Tofu, Oyster Mushrooms
For our entrees, we both chose the sweet & sour pork. It was a crunchy batter as opposed to a tempura that is usually used.  The sauce had pineapples, bell peppers, onions, and another vegetable I'm not sure what all they used. It was alright. I think sweet & sour chicken with fried rice would have been a better option. 
Home-Style Cuisine: Sweet & Sour Pork
with Bell Pepper and Pineapple & Steamed Rice
At least we had dessert to look forward too.

None of the options really excited me, so I chose the safe & comforting chocolate ice cream.

Shelly went the sugar free route with a slice of coconut cake. She says, "Oh my, this was really good.  I like the subtle sweetness which let's the coconut shine."
Sugar-Free Coconut Cake
raspberry sauce
After we finished dinner, we returned to our cabin to get ready for another fun day ashore. The next port will be my wife's favorite island: Maui, Hawaii. 

If you are interesting in seeing all the photos we took, I have posted them here.


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