Tag Archives: Hawaii

Chile Earthquake & Tsunami impacts on Cruise Vacations

Current updates from the Cruise lines in regards to the 8.8 magnitude Earthquake in Chile and the Tsunami warnings that followed.   The best news is that the Hawaiian Islands and the NCL Pride of America which was due to be in Honolulu yesterday were not damaged.  The Pride of America and Naval Vessels stayed at sea because in the case of an approaching Tsunami, ships are safer out at sea.   If you are scheduled to sail on the Star Princess departing out of Valparaiso you’ll want to read below and stay in contact with your Travel Agent in case Princess has to change plans.   I will update the CruiseSource.us when I become aware of changes, so you can subscribe in the top right hand corner of the page. 

From NCL.com:

Info for Norwegian Sun & Pride of America Guests (updated)  

Miami   –    Feb 27, 2010   —   
Pride of America Guests
Pride of America will dock in Honolulu at approximately 3 pm HST. Guests embarking on today’s cruise should arrive at the pier between 7 and 9 pm HST. The ship will depart later this evening for its seven-day inter-island cruise. We appreciate our guests’ cooperation.

Norwegian Sun Guests
Norwegian Sun is in Montevideo, Uruguay today as scheduled. The ship will arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina tomorrow as scheduled and embark guests on the February 28, 2010 cruise. We are closely monitoring the situation in Chile and will keep guests updated as to any changes to the current scheduled itinerary.

From Princess.com:

Star Princess Sailings in South America

Star Princess is currently sailing in South America and is en route to Valparaiso, Chile, where the cruise is scheduled to conclude on Tuesday, March 2.

Voyage 9005: Arriving Valparaiso Tuesday, March 2

We have been in close communication with management onboard Star Princess and, where possible, our contacts in Chile. Based on the information we currently have obtained, we do not anticipate any changes to our arrival in Valparaiso on March 2. The ship’s call to Puerto Montt tomorrow is scheduled to proceed as planned. The authorities in Puerto Montt have confirmed that the port is open and fully operational. Officials have also advised that the city and surrounding area has suffered minimal damage and virtually all tours will operate as planned.

We are aware that the airport in Santiago is currently closed and appears to be closed through Monday, March 1. We are reviewing the impact of that closure and will provide updates as they become available.

Voyage 9006: Departing Valparaiso Tuesday, March 2

Star Princess is still scheduled to arrive on Tuesday in Valparaiso, Chile on Tuesday, March 2. Based on information that the Santiago airport will be closed for the next 72 hours, at this time we expect embarkation to commence as planned.

However, this is a very fluid situation and could change at any time. We encourage passengers to make any necessary adjustments to plan their flight to arrive in Valparaiso on Tuesday, March 2.

Pacific Tsunami Warnings

The Princess ships cruising in areas of the Pacific Ocean rim that have received tsunami warnings, are not adversely affected. As necessary we are making itinerary adjustments to ensure the safety of our passengers and crew. The location of our ships and their status is as follows:

Coral Princess is at sea, en route to Costa Rica and is unaffected.

Dawn Princess is in Auckland, New Zealand today, and has had to make operational adjustments.

Diamond Princess is at sea in Australia waters and is unaffected.

Golden Princess is in Ensenada, Mexico today and is unaffected.

Island Princess arrived at Huatulco, Mexico today but had to depart because of the sea surge.

Pacific Princess was slightly delayed arriving into Suva, Fiji, but is otherwise unaffected.

Sapphire Princess is turning around in Los Angeles today, but because the Port is currently closed embarkation will be delayed.

Sun Princess is at sea in New Zealand waters and will visit Fiordland National Park tomorrow as scheduled, however the time will be reduced.

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Filed under Hawaii, NCL Pride of America, South America

Celebrity Century 5nt. Cruise to Jamaica & Grand Cayman

I’m in the airport getting ready to head to Miami for the 8th time this year. Those of you who have been following along know I have had a blessed year. Jess and I cruised 7-nights around Hawaii on the Pride of America. I was one of the first on the Oasis of the Seas for a 2 night inaugural sailing. I’ve toured 4 Carnival ships including the Carnival Liberty and Carnival Freedom. And my personal favorite, I was the lead organizer of the 1st Annual Social Fresh Cruise which is the Premier Social Media Conference at Sea.

Today, I’ll be boarding the Celebrity Century for a 5-night cruise with stops in Jamaica and Grand Cayman. This will be my first Celebrity Cruise Line experience so I am very excited. In full disclosure, this is a work trip. I will be teaching a Social Media class to other Travel Professionals. So, I am not paying for the trip, but it is in not what I would consider free as I will hopefully be earning my keep.

While in Jamaica we will be doing the Dunn’s River Falls tour and in Grand Cayman we will be swimming with the Stingrays at Stingray Island. Grand Cayman is a new Island for me and I hear it is beautiful. I will be posting videos on the CruiseSource TV Channel on YouTube. Follow along to see the Celebrity Century for yourself. If the videos get you excited about trying the Celebrity Century for yourself, I have good news: In January and February 2010 you can sail on the 5 star Celebrity Century for 5-nights for only $295 per person.

Jumping on the plane now! Please forgive any grammar or typos I did not have time to edit. ~ Happy Sailing ~ Rich Tucker

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Filed under Caribbean, Conference Cruises, Miami, NCL Pride of America, Ship Reviews, Shore Excursions, Social Media

NCL Pride of America Hawaii Cruise Photos

I have uploaded the pictures from the NCL Pride of America Hawaii Cruise at my Flickr Account: http://flickr.com/cruisesource.

I still still have to put descriptions on a few of the photos. The beautiful scenery should be enough to get you excited about your upcoming Hawaii Cruise or about booking a Cruise on the Pride of America, today!

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Hawaii Cruise Day 7 – Kauai ATV Tour

We had an ATV Ranch Tour scheduled at 7:30 AM. We had directions and needed to get a Taxi from the NCL Pride of America. I recommend getting a rental car in Kauai. A taxi ride roundtrip from the for the ATV tour is getting close to the cost of a rental car, plus there is so many other sites to see on your own that a rental car is a great option on Kauai.

It was a 15 minute scenic drive and our taxi driver was entertaining us by telling us how excited he was about the Hawaii vs. Boise State Football game that he had tickets to. I have it on video and will post it with the other Hawaii Cruise Videos.

When we got to the Ranch, we were trained on how to safely ride the ATVs. At first, Jess was a little nervous due to the fact that the ATV weighed 5x as much she does and that we were heading toward some challenging terrain. Travel Advice: If you book this excursion, bring older shoes on the trip with you because they will most likely get muddy!

We learned the history of the Ranch, all of the movies filmed on the ranch, and what type of animals we would find on the Ranch. When we reached the first steep hill on the ATVs, Mike and the guys gave us an excellent demonstration on how to properly go down the steep hills with obstacles in the trail.

One of several photo opps on the ATV Tour

One of several photo opps on the ATV Tour

We stopped for refreshments and a photo opportunity at one of the lookouts. Later we came to a river where Indiana Jones was filmed and swung on a rope swing on the same tree that Indy swung in the movie.

Swinging across river Just like Indiana Jones Did

Swinging across river Just like Indiana Jone

The ATV tour lasted about 4 hours. The Helicopter Tour in Hilo of Volcanos and Waterfalls was an awesome experience especially since I’d never been in a Helicopter or seen an active Volcano. The Kauai Luau was a very entertaining show that is not to be missed. But the ATV Tour was my favorite because it got the adrenaline pumping. We were also in the middle of untouched nature with some of the most amazing views I have ever seen. It was an incredibly fun end to our Hawaii Cruise.

Travel Advice: Reserve this Excursion prior to going on your cruise, space is limited.

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Hawaii Cruise – Kauai Luau

When we got back to the ship in Kona, I had received a Tweet from a twitter friend who fully recommended the Kauai Luau. Immediately after reading the Tweet, the bartender started telling us that the Luau in Kauai was not to be missed. I sometimes believe in things happen for a reason..so with the timiing of these two events we could not miss the Kauai Luau. So we went down to the shore excursion desk and bought 2 tickets to the Luau. By the way, you can go to the same exact Luau in a separate shuttle for $30 less per person if you book it ahead of time through Shoretrips.

As recommended by the bartender and on twitter, you can’t cruise Hawaii and not go to the Kauai Luau. It was cool to see the Discovery Channel at the Luau taping. I heard some in the crowd suggest that the performers were on their “A” game because of the Discovery Channel taping. I have watched videos of their performances for other cruises. They bring their “A” game every night. Many people that I talked to, especially families with kids and teenagers, this was their favorite excursion. The food is OK, the open bar is good(very important note: it shuts down when the show starts), and the show is excellent!

The Kauai ATV Ranch Tour that I will write about in my next post was our favorite excursion. But the Luau was a close second!

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Filed under Hawaii, NCL Pride of America, Norwegian Cruise Line, Shore Excursions, Travel Reviews

Hawaii Cruise Day 6 – Kauai

Nawiliwili Harbor in front of Marriott

Nawiliwili Harbor in front of Marriott

The NCL Pride of America concludes with a day and a half at the beautiful Island of Kauai. Recognized as the landscape in several major movies such as Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, etc. 80% of Kuaui is uninhabited, so her natural beauty goes mostly untouched.

When we arrived in Nawiliwili Harbor, there were low level clouds and the water in the harbor was a deep brownish-red. We learned that this area of Kauai had not received much rainfall in the last three weeks and the tropical depression brought in some needed rain. Unfortunately for us, this muddied the water from all of the water flowing down the mountainous Island.

A free shuttle to Anchor Cove Shopping area or a 15 minute walk to the shopping center got us to the beach in front of the Kauai Marriott at Nawiliwili Harbor. This is the closest beach to where the Pride of America docks. At the Marriott, we found 3 professional sand volleyball nets set up at the beach. Almost all of the couples and singles on the beach were good volleyball players. Volleyball is one of my favorite sports, so I had to jump in a few games. For a couple of hours, Jess layed out in the sun and watched me play. When it came time to leave Jess jumped in the bay water. Due to all of the run off from the tropical storm rain, she said the water was pretty gross. The Marriott guests said that this was the first day that they had seen the beach water brown. If you or someone in your family loves volleyball, the Marriott has a great set up!

Next Post: The much recommended Kauai Luau

Photo taken by my Samsung Instinct Phone

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Hawaii Cruise Day 5 – Kona

We did not have plans for Kona. We were lured in by the Beach Shack to go to Turtle Bay to snorkel with Sea Turtles and tropical fish. We paid $10 per person for shuttle to Turtle Bay and $10 for the Snorkel Gear. We were not the only people lured to Turtle by the heavy marketing by the pier. Turtle Bay was packed with people. We found a spot on the beach headed out to snorkel in the bay with hundreds of other people. We were not expecting to see much because of so many other snorkelers. To our surprise, there were tons of different kinds of fish. Jess cut her foot on the coral and had to head back in to get a bandaid. I continued snorkeling and found myself alone in about 2 ft. of water with a giant sea turtle. For ten minutes, it felt like the sea turtle and I were the only two in the bay. I was not paying attention and got washed up on to some coral. Luckily, I did not get cut and was able to make it back in without stepping on too much of the fragile coral.
We headed back after an a couple of hours to do some shopping in Kona. I am glad we made it to Turtle Bay because it would be a travesty to come to Hawaii and not go snorkeling once while there.

It is 6 PM on our last day of the cruise as I post this article. I have many more posts, videos, pics, reviews and advice coming from this trip. Make sure you subscribe to ensure you do not miss any of them!

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Filed under Hawaii, NCL Pride of America, Shore Excursions