Overall Rating: Excellent
|Departed From:||SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA|
|# of Nights:||14+ Nights|
|Overall Value:||Very Good|
Jackie & I, Started our adventure on 01 Jan 12, flew US Airways from Tampa to San Diego our embarkation port on 04 Jan 12. We stayed at the Manchester Hyatt in downtown San Diego just 2 miles from the port, The Hyatt put a great cruise package together for us.
The Hyatt is just about in the center of things to do in San Diego, Also would like to mention hotels in the area are the Embassy Suites, Holiday Inn, Hilton & Hampton all about 1 to 2 miles from the port with cruise packages.
Things to do in San Diego, San Diego Zoo near Balboa park, Seaport Village shopping and good restaurants, our hotel was located right at Seaport Village, The Gas-lamp District, local hang out. Horton Center another local hang out, Little Italy for all Italian, and Old Town for Mexican flare, also the hotels are close to the Baseball Stadium & Convention Center. Lets not forget Sea World located at Mission Beach area. And the USS Midway Museum all good things to do while waiting on your Cruise.............
We would also like to add how easy to get from the Airport to the Cruise Port, both are in sight of each other just 15 minutes away, San Diego also has a good transportation system in place, we did not rent a car, we used the local trolley system for $2.50 ea for all day
We highly recommend San Diego for a Cruise Port, You will not be disappointed, One thing on San Diego if you like seafood and good steaks, We recommend Antony's Fish Grotto 1360 N. Harbor Dr by the water front, Great view of the city and harbor.
We do not recommend a side trip to the Mexican Border, to much trouble going on,stay away :excl:
Wednesday 04 Jan, Embarkation day, HAL ROTTERDAM, Check in was really good, hardly any wait and efficient, and when we boarded the ship our stateroom was ready and in about a hour later our bags where placed in our stateroom, again HAL did not disappoint us Looking forward sailing on HAL again soon
We left on time and looked forward to the crossing over to Honolulu 5 days away.
09 Jan, Honolulu overnight, we just love being in Hawaii Just a beautiful place lots to see and do. If you never been check out the Cruises from California, From San Diego, Los Angele's and San Francisco.... All 14-15 Day cruise's
11 Jan, Maui, Whales everywhere, all you had to do is just sit and watch, we recommend doing a excursion here, and of course shopping, We anchored near Lahaina for the day a very nice city by the water and close to a beach :thumbup:
12 Jan, Hilo Hawaii, Big Island, yes do the excursion to the active Volcano's, Pele puts on a very good show, worth the time if you never been here :thumbup:
13 Jan, crossing the International Date Line, we loosed a day 14 Jan, and went straight to 15 Jan. confusion on a lot of the passenger's faces, a lot could not handle losing a day. all sea days while cruising to our next stop :laugh:
16 Jan, Fanning Island, this Island is a atoll very beautiful and no dock here, so tending for the day, Now we would like to mention this about Fanning Island..
The Island has no electric, no plumbing and no running water, bathroom is high tide in the lagoon, but the natives are the most friendly people you will ever meet very gifted in craft making and sea jewelry and they look forward to cruise ship visit's for supplies, They have a school here and believe in or not Norwegian Cruise Line's built the school, and than NCL stop cruising to Fanning Island, now the most important thing they need are books and school supplies and if you ever go, Please put a package together for the natives, they are very grateful people, We bought school supplies for the children.
Just be careful with the sanitation and bring your own water while visiting, worth the trip
17 Jan, 36 hour Tuesday, why we just crossed back over the International Date Line headed for French Polynesia and heading due South to our next stop 2 days away
19 Jan, Rarontonga Island, Cook Islands area, Tending is the order of the day, This is where Capt. Cook really comes in to life here, a lot of British History here, but controlled by French Rule and the French Language, now this Cook Islands are just 1 group of 5 groups of Islands that make up French Polynesia. We did a excursion here, we did the island circle tour lasted about 3.5 hours and showed us where Capt. Cook landed and some of the beautiful Bland Sand Beaches, This was a very impressing stop a must see Next day ,sea day to our next stop
21 Jan, Raiatea, Society Island Group, Hey we get to dock here first time since we left Hilo, Hawaii
What a fantastic little town here, walking distance to all shopping from the ship and walking distance to a beach, we just spent the day walking around, excursions are offered, but we wanted to experience the local life, our French is terrible, but did find locals who wanted to practice their English, which was very interesting and fun Again worth the stop
22 Jan, A finally Bora Bora, French Polynesia Island Group, this is the first place of 3 reason why we are hear, A very beautiful Island, is so green in vegetation and the sand on the beaches are so white it hurts your eyes to look at the beach when the sun hits the sand, We did a 3 hour tour hear around the Island what a tour some of the best scenery to look at and take a lot of pictures, We now know why honeymooners come hear and couples to rekindle their love for each other, A lot of the hotels have these hut's the stretch out over the water and spaced far apart from each other a perfect setting and some of the best sunset's you ever witness and the water here is so clear and blue and clean, you have to see this place for yourself, it's hard to explain, worth the trip, you bet, go see for yourself 's :thumbup::thumbup: also a tender day.
23 Jan, Papeete, Tahiti French Polynesia. Overnight and we are docking, yea our 2nd reason for this trip. again picture perfect Island, and this biggest of all the French Polynesia Islands, two Island joined together Big Tahiti & little Tahiti, we did a 4 hour tour around the Island and stop at the very location where Capt. Bligh and the Bounty landed in anchored and we all now what happened after that voyage, The Island is jut like Bora Bora, now that's the Island. Papeete the city is not a pretty city, very dirty and very French speaking here so practice your French. Tahitian is the 2nd language but some have frowned upon? the Native Tahitian;s are trying very hard to speak in English and love to practice on us while visiting so be prepared.
Now after the sunset street vendors come down to where the ship is dock and set up a market to buy the crafted material also the famous truck vendors also are there with food trucks a local eating paradise so enjoy yourself and do try the local foods, really good and different. again worth the trip :thumbup: next stop just 35 miles away, two hour sailing time.
24 Jan, Cook's Bay, Moorea Island, from hear you can look back across and see Tahiti, that's how close the Islands are. Our 3rd reason for this trip and this Island did not at all disappoint us, We fell in love with Moorea and now we know why this is the best kept secret, we did a 3 hour tour around the Island lots of pictures here, after the tour we had plenty of time finally to go swimming in the clear blue water and the beach is in walking distance from the tendering dock and town and the Pacific water here a re some of the warmest water to jump in, we would fly back and check into a resort and just soak in the beauty surroundings and just forget about life for a while. worth the trip, yes you bet :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
hated to leave,
25 Jan, Rangiroa Island, yes a tender day again. Not much hear to do some excursions but mainly shopping and beach activities, a nice refreshing stop just to relax and enjoy, a great place to scuba dive and snorkeling, now the natives hear speak a very good English so no problems here, a very nice stop, yes :thumbup: next stop 2 sailing days away
27 Jan, Taiohae, Nuku Hiva Island. Our last stop of our cruise, and well worth the stop, Jackie & I again fell in love with this Island, reminded us of Moorea, This Island surprised us,:thumbup::thumbup: How quiet and gentle breeze and just south of the Equator so hot and I do mean hot in the French Polynesia and we are hear during their Summer. The natives hear like speaking English so again nothing to worry about, good beaches and water clean, clear and blue.
We both saved for this cruise for two years and we where not disappointed at all, We highly recommend this cruise so if you can take the time and go to French Polynesia, you will be glad you did. We did a lot of tending on this trip so beware of this, OK Our next stop San Diego 7 sailing days away :excl: And than Home Tampa
Total sailing 30 days and 10,000 miles later Total miles flying and sailing 18,025 miles
We would like to mention a few things to know before you go, very important
Currency (French Polynesian Franc) XPF Exchange Rate as of Jan 2012 $1.00usd = 94XPF
Now on the Cook Island, Please note. New Zealand Dollar or (Equivalent Cook Island Dollar) Has no International Value.
Cook Island Visitor Center www.cookislands.travel tele 689 97 00 fax 689 54 97 01
Credit Cards Accepted Just be careful when using your credit card on the exchange rate
Also, F.Y.I., If you never crossed the Equator before while sailing, to the Southern Hampshire, according to old sailing stories in the Eyes Of the Great Sea Ruler (Neptune) you best be knowing as a Pollywog, but once you cross over than you become known as a Shell backs, according to the Ancient Order of sea farers
This was Jackie first time crossing the International Date line & The Equator No longer a Pollywog
On a final note, we have a tone of information filed away on this cruise and if we can help out in anyway, Please contact us, We will be Gladly to help. Till our next cruise
John & Jackie