After visiting Victoria BC, the girls reunion trip moved to Hawaii for some well-deserved sun, beach, and relaxation. Before I get into the details of the trip there are a few notes I want to make about Hawaii for all the geography enthusiasts out there. Before going to Hawaii I didn’t realize how many islands the state was composed of (5!!). Contrary to what I first thought, the island called Hawaii (also referred to as the big island) and namesake of the state is not where Honolulu is located. Oahu is the island upon which Honolulu is situated and the Hawaii island is where the active volcano lies. Here is a map of the Hawaiian islands:
My two girlfriends and I stayed in the Waikiki Beach area for a week at the Aqua Waikiki Wave. As first timers in Hawaii we fell in love at first sight. The south pacific sun, the infamous Waikiki beach, the interesting landscapes and attractions. Oh and of course the good shopping and delicious restaurants! Waikiki Beach is the place to be in Oahu and a great starting place to any Hawaiian holiday. With everything in walking distance there is no need for a car! Here are some of the highlights from our week in Waikiki:
Waikiki Beach – Best part of the beach is near the Westin Hotel
One of the most popular things to do in Waikiki is to hike up Diamond Head Monument. It takes approximately 30 minutes to walk up to the top. Note: path is not all paved so proper shoes are recommended (we learned this the hard way as we hiked up in our flip flops and at the hottest part of the day – noon!!!)
Breathtaking views from Diamond Head – Looking over Waikiki Beach
Look at the colour of the water!!
Main street -Waikiki
Out and about in Waikiki
Check out all these surfboards!!
When in Hawaii…see a luau! We went to Germaine’s Luau one night (approximately $70) and includes a buffet and show. Pictured above is the pig roast ceremony.
Germaine’s Luau – dancers!
The Celebrity Millennium Ship
As a first time cruiser I was more than impressed with my first cruise experience. The cruise I went on was a 5 day cruise on the Celebrity Millennium ship (see review of ship) and it stopped in Roatan, Honduras and Cozumel, Mexico. It was such a luxurious experience having a room attendant, pool butler, dinner server, and unlimited food and entertainment! It was relaxing when you wanted yet also they had activities pretty much every hour (jewellery showcases, pool activities, karaoke, movie theatres, buffets, mariachi bands). The food was excellent with the highlights being the nightly 3 course dinner, the waffle/pancake bar in the morning, and the ice cream bar in the afternoon. The alcoholic drinks on board were also very good and we took advantage of the 2 for 1 special by the pool. The entertainment staff was so much fun as well. The nightly dance shows in the theatre were very well done and the later evening activities in the disco were great entertainment, especially seeing the captain and senior officers interact with the audience! I loved my experience with Celebrity and I can’t wait to book my next cruise!
Our veranda room on the 9th floor
Breakfast on the patio
The Pool Area on the upper deck
Enjoying the balcony
In Cozumel Mexico we mostly did some shopping on the main street. All taxis will take you for free to The Forum which is an expensive jewellery area where I tried on a 50 000 dollar ring (brand: Hearts on Fire) and saw Ivanka Trump’s new jewellery line! We stopped for lunch at a cute Mexican restaurant called Poncho’s Backyard for chips, salsa, and guacamole. There are other less expensive silver jewelry shops along the street as well where I picked up a cute turquoise ring. Senor Frogs is another hot spot in the area for drinks and partying. The Senor Frog located closer to the port was more tame though but still had a lively atmosphere and the signature huge drinks if you want to experience it. Next time I would definitely check out the beach in Cozumel which I’ve heard is beautiful.
First sight of Cozumel from the Port
Lunch at Pancho’s Backyard in Cozumel
While Docked in Cozumel a mariachi band + dancers came on board to give us some Mexican flavour
In Honduras we went to the Tabyana beach on a day trip organized through Celebrity. Transportation, lunch and a beach chair were provided. The beach was gorgeous with clear blue waters and a nice beach to walk along. This area is known for snorkeling and many people were in the water looking for sea life. There are lots of restaurants and resorts all along the beach which you can go to for lunch or a drink. It was a very relaxing and wonderful day! I would definitely like to spend more time here next time.
I can’t wait to sail the seas again with Celebrity Cruises, especially now that i’m part of the Captain’s Club!
See you on deck!
Wave Hello to Miami Beach!
Pre-cruise and post-cruise we stayed in South Beach to do a bit of sightseeing. Pre-cruise we stayed at the Greenview Hotel (near Lincoln and Washington) which was a central location to all the action. Post-cruise we stayed at the Indian Creek Hotel which was charming art-deco hotel but a little further from the action. We enjoyed walking down to Ocean Drive which is lined with hotels, bars, restaurants and directly located across from the beach! The main streets with shops, architecture, and interesting things to see are: Ocean Drive (from 5th to 15th st), Collins Ave and Washington ave from 5th to 17th, and Lincoln Road Mall which is a pedestrian mall with restaurants and shops. The main attraction is definitely the beach! With turquoise waters and white sand the beach is the perfect place to spend the day or afternoon. At night, Ocean Drive is the best place for a drink and people watching. I recommend the Waldorf for drinks and dessert and a great spot to watch all the happenings of lively South Beach.
Walking along Collins Ave in front of some of the art deco style hotels
Art Deco Hotels on Ocean Drive
Checking out the Kardashian Store – Dash Miami – 815 Washington Ave
Getting around South Beach
Getting around South Beach was easy as key lime pie. From the airport we took the Miami flyer bus (Route 150). This bus runs every half hour and you can catch it just outside Concourse E, near the international arrivals area. It only costs 2.35 (exact change required). It took about 25 minutes to get to South Beach and dropped us off a block away from our hotel. We also took this bus on the way back to the airport and experienced the same ease and convenience. While in South Beach if you don’t want to walk around all day and night in your Louboutin heels, the S or L bus lines take you anywhere in the main vicinity of South Beach and only costs you $2 each way. However, mostly you can get around South Beach on foot as everything is centrally located.
The funky life guard stands on the beach
All view of the restaurants on Ocean Drive. Cute diner booths on the street!
Drinks on Ocean Drive