Sunday, December 20, 2015

Hawaii Cruise - San Francisco to Hawaii - and back again

Hello peeps.  I promised a post about my cruise to Hawaii.  I'll be breaking it down over several different posts as there's so much to talk about!

We left San Francisco on Wednesday, November 25.  It was absolutely beautiful sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset.
Here's a photo of the San Francisco coast.
San Francisco is by far one of my favorite cities.  Unfortunately we didn't have time to do any sightseeing before the ship left the port.

The itinerary for this trip included some wonderful ports in Hawaii.
Hilo, Honolulu, Kawaii and Maui.  In Hilo we were going to visit the Volcano National Park and a city tour.  That probably meant a stop at Hilo Hatties, which I was looking forward to.

After five days at sea we were approximately 20 miles off the coast of Hilo and a fire started in the engine room.  They described it as a fire in an electrical box area.  It was about 5:00 a.m. and we heard an alarm and announcement.  We lost power in our cabin.  No drill was required as the fire was quickly put out.  Unfortunately it affected one of the four propulsion engines on the ship.  Hilo would not allow us to port there. 
Hello and Goodbye Hilo
We slowly limped along to Honolulu, our next stop on the itinerary.  
Hello Honolulu
With three tug boats we were helped into port and lined up properly.  Those little tugboats are truly amazing!   The tugboats help the ships in every port so this wasn't because of the fire.

Hello Mr. Tugboat

A barge pulled up next to the ship and they worked on the wiring and engine.  The Captain kept us up to date on the status of the repairs, etc.  Finally, the next morning the Coast Guard gave us the go ahead to set sail.  The fourth engine was still not at full propulsion so that meant the ship would be cruising along at a slower pace, hence the decision to skip Nawiliwili, Kauai and Lahaina, Maui and head straight to Ensenada, Mexico.  This had to be done because the ship has to port in a foreign country before returning to the US.  We arrived in San Francisco the date and time that we were scheduled to (Thursday, December 10).

You can read a USA Today article here.

Out of the fifteen day cruise we were literally off the ship the one day in Honolulu and a few hours in Ensenada!  

Princess Cruises has been very generous with its passengers on this cruise.  They refunded the cost of the cruise (not the taxes, insurance, transfers and gratuities), gave each passenger a $200 credit on the cruise and 50% off your next cruise.  Passengers were also given the option to disembark in Honolulu and Princess would pay for their airline tickets to San Francisco.  From what I heard an estimated 400 - 500 people took advantage of that.  So far I've been partially reimbursed for the cruise and have sent Princess an email asking the appropriate questions.  We booked our next cruise in June to Alaska.

In Honolulu we went to the Pearl Harbor Memorial, out to the USS Arizona, to the National Cemetery (Punch Bowl) and an Overlook.  I will make that a separate post.

So there you have it, a brief summary of what turned out to be a very relaxing time on a ship crossing the Pacific Ocean (both ways)!

As a pirate would say, Arrrgghhh



Nan G said...

How exciting a cruise to Hawaii! How awful a fire, busted engine and no ports of call....:( So glad you're okay though. And managed to enjoy (I hope) the sailing part which it turns out was the entire cruise. Brave woman to book another cruise. Happy Holdays to you! Hugs from Nan and the Girls

Craftychris said...

Ooh, shame the cruise wasn't as expected but at least it was relaxing apart from the drama! It's good you will be able to take advantage of the reimbursement etc. and take another cruise to make up for it! Lovely photos xxx

Helen said...

oh my! What bad luck - but hope the next one will be uneventful, and exciting. Helen