11 Hawaii 2007
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The SSQQ 2007 Cruise to Hawaii


May 26 to June 02, 2007

Aboard Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America

Cruise organized by Marla Archer
Story written by Rick Archer


This is the story of the SSQQ 2007 Cruise to Hawaii.  Hawaii is considered the Jewel of the Pacific Ocean for a good reason - there is so much to see that you could spend a lifetime here and still miss seeing something.  Every day meant another exasperating choice between several excursions.  So many places; so little time!

We literally went slightly crazy having to choose one exotic destination over another.  Would it be a trip to explore a lush rain forest or an expedition to witness breathtaking waterfalls?  Or would it be a chance to view orchid-scented botanical gardens or visit the many stunning beaches?  Should we hike atop the lunar landscape of Hawaii’s lava fields or do we visit Akaka Falls and Kahuna Falls instead? 

Of course there were no bad choices.  Every island had many spectacular places to visit that left us stunned with the beauty.  Yet each wonderful view left us wondering what we had missed.  The entire group left with one thought in mind - one of these days we need to get back to Hawaii to see all the things we missed on this trip! 

About the 2007 Hawaii Trip

The 2007 Hawaii Trip was our 11th SSQQ Cruise Trip.  Starting in 2004, Marla began to organize two cruise trips a year, a Destination Cruise and a Dance Cruise.  Every one of our Destination Trips have been wonderful, but if you force me to pick the best of the best, this Hawaii Trip was Numero Uno.

Although Hawaii is one of the most famous vacation destinations in the world, I had never been here before.  I am now a believer. With a beauty unmatched anywhere else in the United States, a trip to Hawaii should be on every person's must-see short list. 

You can't quite believe the beauty of Hawaii from the pictures alone.  Hawaii has it all - beaches, jungles, waterfalls, river and ocean adventures, plus volcanoes and mountains too.  

Our trip was aboard
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America, a U.S.-flagged vessel staffed by American officers and crew.  It is a fairly new ship with a maiden voyage back in June 2005.  The Pride of America was a pretty ship.  It featured a ship-wide decor based on famous American locations and themesEvery dinner was a history lesson as the dining room was decorated with pictures of famous leaders and moments in US History.   

Marla had sold the trip based on how easy it was to see all the islands using a cruise ship.  Marla was correct.  Seeing Hawaii by cruise became a very economical way to visit the islands. Our ship functioned as a floating hotel.  It was not only cheaper per night than most hotel rooms, but the savings in transportation from one island to the next was quite a value as well. 

I had only two regrets on this trip.  One regret I have already mentioned - my frustration at not being able to see it all!   I suppose my other regret was that there was no 'Core Group' on this trip.  Instead there were several sub-groups of people who stuck together and more or less went their own way.  It isn't easy being pack leader without a pack.  But after Marla pointed out how much fun everyone was having, I was able to put my own 'group agenda' in my back pocket and go with the flow. 

There was one more thing that irritated me.  For us city slickers, Honolulu offered all the traffic you could ever imagine to keep us reminded of home.  Nor were the traffic problems limited just to Honolulu.  For example, anyone who took the mythical "Road to Hana" can attest to long lines of cars following some turtle moving at 20 miles per hour with practically no passing lanes. Despite the obvious wealth of these islands brought on by a steady stream of visitors, it was surprising to see the highway infrastructure lagging so far behind the growth in tourism.

But these are just quibbles.  Hawaii is a Paradise indeed.

Before we start the Cruise writeup, let me confess that I had an unbelievable case of Writer's Block when it came to summarizing this trip.  It wasn't that I had trouble finding things to say; in truth there was simply TOO MUCH to write about! 

In addition I was inundated with so many great pictures!   For starters, I personally took 900 pictures.  And I was certainly not the only person with a camera.  So many people were kind enough to share!  I received contributions from Ken Ripper and Deborah Kainer, Jim and Denise Duncan, Steve Gabino, Marsha Gennusa, Keith Rein, Lin Mills, Andy Regnier, Gerald and Virginia McEathron, Nancy Schweinle, Mike Shannon, Mary Jane Covington,  Mara Rivas, Patty Pennington,  Peggy McElroy, Penney and Sorrell Warren, and Leroy Ginzel.  In all I was sent nearly 300 additional pictures.  Almost all of these pictures were wonderful!  

Plus I bought a dozen books filled with more stories and wonderful pictures of Hawaii.  The thought of doing justice to all these stories and all these pictures was just so overwhelming that I just kept putting it off till I had a block of free time.  Then it seemed like every time I sat down to start, something more pressing would come along.  So now you know why it took over six months to finally get up the courage to begin.  Finally in November 2007 I sat down and got one page done.  Then in June of 2008 I got another page done.  By the time I finish, the Hawaiian Islands might be under water from global warming.

I hope you enjoy the story.  
Rick Archer

Story One: Honolulu & Oahu

Green Sand Beach, Big Island

Pride of America

Rainbow, Molokai

Would you like to see more pictures of Hawaii?
Hawaii Photographs 01 Hawaii Photographs 02 Hawaii Photographs 03

Story One: Honolulu & Oahu

Hawaii Home Hawaii Photographs Who Went? Day One Oahu Day Two Big Island Day Three Maui
Day Four Maui Day Five Big Island Day Six Kauai Day Seven Kauai 2007 Hawaii Cruise Photographs
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