Ingrid and I decided that we wanted to celebrate our retirement by taking a trip to Australia. And instead of flying the 25 plus hours one way we decided to take a slow boat down. We also decided that we would like to take one of the re-positioning ships from the Alaska cruises. This meant a late September departure. We really only had 2 ships to choose from and both were from the Holland America Line. We were happy with that because we thoroughly enjoyed our previous Holland America trip. The decision now was which ship. We decided on the Oosterdam over the Veendam because it was going to more exotic islands and because their balconies offered us plexiglass instead of a solid wall...this might have changed but I couldn't find out that it had. Our trip started a little rough as we had to spend an extra night in Seattle to wait out the remnants of a Pacific storm. Fortunately we did because once we entered into the Pacific Ocean the next night we got into some rough seas. We then head down the coast to Los Angeles. This port was a necessary evil because we had to pick up roughly 700 additional passengers there who now have been waiting for an additional day. We ended up hiking around the port (San Pedro) on a beautiful sunny day. It was alright but the initial port was suppose to be Long Beach and we had arranged to do some biking there. Not sure why the location was changed but it happened several months prior so it wasn't as if we didn't get lots of notification. After LA we spent 5 days sailing to Hawaii...Pacific Ocean is a deep (5000 + metres average) and a very lonely place (not a ship or a whale or a dolphin to see just some flying fish).
We arrived in Hawaii to a new port of call Lahaina, Maui. The other port (Hilo) had to be cancelled because we were running a day late. We ended up tendering into Lahaina. This was a very pretty port. The only complaint we had here was that a group that was with a private tour company got to tender in before the rest of us. This made for a long wait until we got into port. We spent the balance of morning walking around until our tour (through Holland America) was ready to go. This was a wonderful tour across the island to a walk in the rain forest and up to a couple of small waterfalls. We got to go for a couple of refreshing swims. Definitely high on my approval list.
The next day we arrived in Honolulu. Our visit there was cut in half (down from 2 days originally) because of the late start. Honolulu is a pretty city if you like big cities. We don't but because of the missed day we missed our private tour into the countryside. (still trying to get my money back) Ingrid and I hiked to Waikiki Beach and the to Diamond Head. Both were very pretty and must see but both were extremely busy. The swim at Waikiki was refreshing but it took us forever to find a spot for our towels. Also, too many homeless people in Honolulu which made us extra cautious when we walked. They didn't bother us but just made us very aware of our surroundings.