B. J. and I had spent a fabulous week on the amazing Hawaiian isle of Oahu. We had made two wonderful visits to Pearl Harbor, dined in the officer’s club at Hickam Field, swooned in the glow of Waikiki under a full moon, feasted at a fundelicious Hawaiian luau while beholding the big blue-green surf roll in from the Pacific, scaled famous Diamond Head and relished some of the finest food in some of the best restaurants in the world.
However, it was time to move into the second week of our two-week Hawaii vacation—a weeklong cruise to all the islands that make up the State of Hawaii.
Early in the morning, B. J. and I boarded the giant Norwegian Lines cruise ship, The Pride of Hawaii in scenic Honolulu Harbor. Gleaming in the early morning sun, the 93,000-ton leviathan, in spite of its great size, was beautiful; it was more like a picture than a reality. It was real, though, and we were there.
The Pride of Hawaii embodies all the state-of-the-art paraphernalia that make it an ultra modern ocean liner. It is artfully painted and decorated in the gaudy colors so famous in Hawaii.
The Pride of Hawaii would not depart port until 4:00pm. B. J. and I would have time to settle into our stateroom, explore the vessel, have our first lunch on board, delve into the ship further, and be topside to see and photograph the harbor as we sailed out of port for a delightful week on the Pacific. A number of intriguing stops in the Hawaiian Isles was on our agenda.
Among our stops, would be the magic island of Maui. From its heavenly beaches to its scenic natural wonders, there are plenty of reasons why Maui has been voted “Best Island” by readers of Conde Nast Traveler for many years.
The second largest Hawaiian island has a smaller population than one would expect, making Maui popular with visitors who are looking for sophisticated diversions and amenities in the small towns and airy resorts spread throughout the island.
Maui is the hideaway of the stars. Secluded luxurious resorts nestle in the jungle, mountains, and along glamorous beaches. Immaculate golf courses adorn the island. The most common modes of transportation in the ritzy resort area are chauffeur driven limousines, Ferraris, Porsches and golf carts. Professional chefs from all over the world prepare food in fine restaurants and private retreats to pamper whatever discriminating tastes may arise.
Normally, the secluded resort area of Maui is off-limits to tourists; nevertheless, our tour lucked up and was given the VIP treatment. For a day, Maui would belong to B. J. and me. We would savor some of the fêted fare on this notable island.
The natives of Hawaii love showy dress. Therefore, tourists tend to don apparel that is glitzy in the Hawaiian fashion. B. J. and I were no different. We went with tradition and sparkled on Maui.
We were in high spirits as we boarded the tour bus that would carry us throughout Maui. We had already become acquainted with a number of exciting fellow travelers and we were having fun with them. There was a tingle in the air.
We were promised that on the scenic road to Hana, our vacation would become unforgettable. We would lose count of the waterfalls along the road as the driver maneuvered the hairpin turns on the Hana highway. Before the day was over it would become easy to understand why Maui is called “The Magic Isle.”
We would discover our own reasons to love Maui as we strolled the seaside streets of Lahaima and the lovely beaches of Kaanapali and feel the spirit of Haleakala National Park.
The Haleakala National Park is awesome. This special place vibrates with stories of ancient and modern Hawaiian culture and protects the bond between the land and its people. The park also cares for endangered species, some of which exist nowhere else. We would renew our spirit amid stark volcanic landscapes and sub-tropical rain forests with an unforgettable hike through the backcountry.
At the end of the day back on board the Pride of Hawaii as we enjoyed our evening meal, we talked about our experiences on Maui. The Magic Isle would remain forever etched in our memories.
It is no wonder why thousands of humpback whales migrate to Maui’s warm waters year after year. One visit to Maui and you might just join them.
Looks like you guys had a great time in Maui. Good to see other folks from Baxley venturing out to the islands. Next time you are there I recommend taking a snorkeling and whale watch tour to Molokini Crater. I can get you a good discount aboard the snorkel boat Pride of Maui.
I also recommend the Sunrise/Sunset at Haleakala, Feast at Lele, sunset dinner cruise, and of course just exploring the island in general.