March 14 - alongside Aloha Tower Honolulu (composed yesterday - no internet to be able to post) I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t disappear into Waikiki Beach. It was around 4:30-ish when we were inching our way alongside Piers 10 and 11. Gangway was connected by 5:00 (our ETA) and we were cleared to go ashore shortly afterwards. I waited a few minutes . Internet has been down. Not sure when weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have service. The crossing to Honolulu was the roughest I can remember in my adult years. Very heavy swells - Symphony handles a sea well, but we were rolling and pitching. This morning, the cloud level was very low, rain was pouringÃ¢â‚¬Â¦and the ever-present swells still were there. Around 3:15pm, I looked out and we were abeam of Coco Head and Coco Crater. In the distance, I could see Ã¢â‚¬Å“the other sideÃ¢â‚¬Â of Diamond Head. We slowly rounded that landmark and cruised parallel then went ashore to the Aloha Tower Marketplace. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think I was there 10 minutes when it began to rain - I understand the weather here has been inclement for over two weeks. I scurried back to the ship. After showering and dressing for dinner, I decided to go topside to the Palm Court for a drink - I ordered a virgin frozen peach Daiquiri and silently toasted my friends. Tomorrow night, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m dining in Silk Road, their pan-Asian alternative restaurant. This was added since my last voyage on Symphony - the restaurant used to be Jade Garden. DÃƒÂ©cor is totally different now. There is no charge to dine in either of the alternative restaurants (Prego and Silk Road) - they suggest a gratuity of $7.00 per person. Tomorrow morning, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m hosting a private tour here that culminates in high tea at the famed Moana Hotel on Waikiki Beach. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m looking forward to it. I only hope it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t rain. I had to chuckle because I checked in by phone with the tour operator. The number is a local HawaiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢i area code. I learned I was speaking with Singapore!! If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re following our web cam for now, check the Bridge cam and the starboard and port cams. Ahead of us is downtown Honolulu. To starboard is the Aloha Tower Marketplace. To port, you may get to see the Superferry that transports people and cars between islands - and Pearl Harbor is that direction. =================== March 15 - alongside Honolulu It has been a great day today, thanks in part to Mother Nature cooperating. I arose at 5:00am in order to coordinate the tour - be sure the type of motor coach I requested was here on time (it was, at 7:30am). Ordered room service breakfast, and it was delivered to the minute that I asked for. After breakfast, I went out of the Terminal to check on that motor coach, Driver and Guide. All showed up as promised. Went back aboard to gather the group. Everyone was at the appointed meeting room on time, with their badges, etc. This is quite unusual - oftentimes one or two forgot something. Not this time. We proceeded to the bus together and off we went - sightseeing tour of some areas of the city, and then up to NuÃ¢â‚¬â„¢uanu Pali. It was a beautiful, clear, sunny day. I learned afterwards that there had been over 2 inches of rain yesterday, with a mudslide at the Pali. No evidence of it today - whew. We had a comfort stop at a souvenir store - surprisingly, they loved it and were gobbling up souvenirs! From there, we proceeded out to the shoreline near Coco Head, the famous Blow Hole, Hanauma Bay. We stopped a few minutes at the Blow Hole - and could see whales spouting and breaching offshore. From there, we continued on through some beautiful residential areas - and what did we see? A Duck vehicle on tour! :grin Around Diamond Head, along the Ala Wai Canal and over to Kalakaua Avenue to the Moana Hotel. This year, we were escorted to a private dining room overlooking the ocean instead of the open Verandah. I, personally, would have preferred the Verandah, but it didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t take away from the delightful event. We had private entertainment - ukulele player and very graceful hula dancer., The group loved it. We were given our choice of teas, brewed at table, had yummy sandwiches at each place, and a variety of pastries. A couple folks came and told me that they were vegetarians or could not eat fish or seafood - they were quickly accommodated with sandwiches they could eat. No one was eager to leave, but leave we did for more sightseeing around Honolulu - and finally back to Crystal Symphony. As the humidity was uncomfortably high for me, it felt good to get back to the air-conditioned comfort of our home for almost two more weeks. Lifeboat drill is going on now for the 150-so guests who joined us in Honolulu. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m headed into the shower now, and shall write more after dinner at Silk Road.