Once again we were up early this morning, around 7.30am, and we went out onto the balcony to a bright and sunny morning, the air tropical and sultry. We didn’t have any excursions booked today, preferring instead to explore on our own.
We went up to the Ocean View Café and enjoyed a hearty breakfast once again. I really am going to have to diet once we get home! ☹ Then we went out on deck and watched as the first of the tenders made their way ashore, as the Celebrity Eclipse had now dropped anchor off Lahaina, in the island of Maui.
Altogether, there are eight main islands which make up Hawai’i, the 50th state of the USA. They are: Hawaii (the Big Island), Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau and Kahoolawe.
We had to go and collect a ticket for the liberty boat ashore, and wait until our group number was called, but first of all they were giving priority to those groups which had booked an excursion. We therefore had time to do the 9.30am trivia quiz, which we won once again! I don’t think we’ve won as many quizzes on any other cruise, ever! 😊
Around 10.30 we went down to Deck 2 and boarded the liberty boat to take us ashore. The ride across took about 20 minutes. We found ourselves at a pleasant little landing dock, complete with the usual souvenir stalls and one area where three older local ladies were dancing a slow hula and singing to a Hawai’ian guitar.
We crossed the road and walked along to the sea front, looking at the small pleasure boats bobbing gently, and listening to the happy seaside sounds. There was a row of huts all along the shore, and every other one seemed to be advertising charter fishing trips or boat rides or other excursions. As the Pacific rolled gently onto the sand, we could see the Celebrity Eclipse in the near distance, turning slowly on her anchor. It was a delightful scene.
We spent some time walking along, looking in shop windows, some of which had their Christmas decorations up already! It was hard to believe that Christmas is only next month; especially in the 28˚C tropical heat and sunshine.
The shops thinned out and we came to a small beach, what the locals call a ‘baby beach’. There was a stretch of golden sand fringed by trees, and several surfers and swimmers had taken to the water. Of course, I had to kick off my sandals, roll up my cropped jeans, and go in for a ‘plodge’. It was lovely, and I wished we’d brought towels and our cossies.
We stood and gazed at the mesmeric sight of the waves rolling in, receding, rolling in, receding, and watched people of all ages enjoying themselves on this late Sunday morning. A whole family had arrived and had erected a couple of gazebos, unfolded some portable chairs and were settling down. Two kids, about 11-12, were hanging a large banner proclaiming “Happy Birthday” to some nearby mesh fencing, while the adults carried cool boxes and lined up surfboards and inflatables on the sand. It was a happy family scene, everyone getting ready for a birthday beach party, and the children taking to the water on their inflatables and kickboards. I couldn’t resist taking a photo! 😊
After rinsing the sand off my feet and legs the best I could, we took a gentle walk back along the shore until we came to the main drag once again. We then decided to go and have a freezing cold beer, as the sun was very hot. We found a bar/restaurant that seemed to be doing a roaring trade so we went in, perched on a couple of bar stools, and ordered a pint of the local beer each.
A guy on an adjacent stool, hearing our English accents, asked whereabouts we were from and how we were enjoying Hawaii. We spent some time passing pleasantries whilst enjoying our cold beers, then decided to go and queue for the liberty boat, as it was now around 1.30pm.
Back on board the Eclipse we partook of a light lunch, then returned to 8166 four our swimsuits, as the pool looked very inviting and the decks were not crowded, as many people were still ashore. We therefore went to the pool deck and bagged a couple of sun loungers before taking to the water, which was colder than I expected, but OK once you got used to it.
We swam a few leisurely lengths before wrapping ourselves in the large pool towels provided, then returning to our sun loungers via the Pool Bar. I enjoyed an Aperol Spritz while Trevor had a cold bottle of Samuel Adams. I couldn’t sit out too long in the hot sunshine (without sun protection) so I moved to a table and chair in the shade, where I had another drink. It was great just passing the time doing what we wanted, when we wanted, and not having to live our life by the clock.
Around three o’clock we returned to our stateroom to get dried off and into our clothes in time for the trivia quiz at 3.30pm. Not many teams were doing the quiz, although we had a full team, but we didn’t win this time, only missing out by a point. 😊
Back in our stateroom we enjoyed a half-hour power nap before sitting on the balcony for a while, enjoying the sunshine. Then we got showered and changed, and just relaxed until it was time to go to dinner at 5.45pm. I still think that is way too early to go to dinner, but the second sitting on this ship is at 8.15pm, and I actually find that a little too late to give your dinner time to get down. Tonight, I wore a pink floral knee-length dress and my Irregular Choice “Hono Lulu” hula-girl-heeled shoes. 😊
As we arrived in the Moonlight Sonata restaurant the increased vibrations coming up through the floor told us that the Eclipse was on the move once again. We enjoyed the usual scrumptious meal; there are always so many delicious dishes to choose from it is difficult to decide what to have. Some of our table-mates did actually order more than one starter or dessert if they wanted.
After dinner we decided to go along to the Entertainment Court to watch the “Yes/No Challenge”. This is a game in which rapid-fire questions are asked and the participant has to avoid using the words “yes” or “no” in their answer. It’s much harder than it sounds! As we were making our way there, I was stopped once again many times by people looking at my shoes, and even photographing them – no-one had ever seen anything like them. 😊
We watched the Yes/No game from the upper mezzanine floor before going into the Quasar Lounge where the quiz had already started, so we didn’t join in, just had a drink while speaking with the friendly Indonesian barman, Eka. Then we went into the Eclipse Theatre to get a front-row seat for tonight’s show, which was called “Amade” and was based around the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The show was excellent and was very different – an imaginative display based on different arrangements of Mozart’s music. The costumes were also superb. So far we’ve enjoyed really unusual and very entertaining shows by a very talented cast, which even features acrobats and aerialists.
After the show we returned to the Quasar where it was karaoke time once again. There was a really rowdy crowd of people at the bar who had clearly already enjoyed a few drinks tonight. Many people were coming over and looking at my shoes once again, photographing them from all angles. Even several men (many of whom were clearly gay) came over, and everyone was asking what brand it was and writing down the URL www.irregularchoice.com. I should really be on commission from IC! 😊
One of the rowdy American women at the bar asked me to get up and sing It’s A Sin by the Pet Shop Boys again, so I did so. Not that she took a blind bit of notice of my singing, however, as I could hear her shouts, shrieks and laughing over my singing. One of her crowd, a gay woman called Linda, started being quite rude: when she asked where I was from and I said “England”, she said that the English were “stuffy” and “think they are better than everyone else.” I refused to bite or get into an argument with her. Afterwards, she got drunker and drunker until she was my and Trevor’s best friend, and she dragged me up to do Kiki Dee’s part in Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. We were both really pleased when she left.
It was around 11.45pm when we returned to stateroom 8166, after getting a last drink from Eka. We took our drinks back to the cabin, opened the balcony doors where the air was pleasantly sultry, and enjoyed our drinks sitting outside in the warm darkness, winding down at the end of another interesting day.