Day four found us arriving to the Big Island. We arrived in Hilo, which is the wet side of the island, although the day we were there it was sunny and gorgeous. The morning was amazing! As we pulled closer to the port we found ourselves in a bay filled with whales! They were tail lobbing, breaching and so close to the boat in some instances you could hear them breathe as they pushed air out of their blow holes…magic.
We had breakfast again in Cagney’s. I had the crab cakes Benedict and it was really good. I also tried the Muesli, with fresh fruit on top and that was very good as well.
Due to the fact we’d been to Hilo a handful of times, and this trip was more about being on a cruise, we elected to stay on board with the exception of taking the shuttle into town to grab a few things at the store. As I was journaling about our day I heard a woman talk about the botanical gardens. I was so bummed we missed them! Her description sounded like they are really amazing (note: since the time of this trip we have returned to Hilo and did go to the botanical gardens. Definitely worth a trip if you’re not up to seeing the volcano).
Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a bit about Volcanoes National Park. If you have never been, it’s a must see. It was established back in 1916 and is one of the most fascinating experiences we’ve had, as we were lucky enough years ago to watch the lava flow at dusk and into the night. At the time the stream of lava was dropping into the sea and sending up plumes of steam. If you’re lucky enough to see this, it’ll be a sight you won’t soon forget.
The park actually encompasses two active volcanoes: Kilauea (which is one of the most active in all the world) and Mauna Loa (which is the world’s most massive subaerial volcano). The area gives visitors an opportunity to view dramatic volcanic landscapes and glimpse rare flora and fauna. It was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1987 as well as an International Biosphere Reserve in 1980. We really enjoyed exploring the lava tubes! You can find more information on this spectacular place at the National Park Service Site.
After we were done, Jed ran ahead to trivia. Regrettably, I missed it due to waiting for our to-go desserts. Jed had banana cream pie and I had a brownie sundae. The sundae was good, however, I would have rather done trivia. After the sundae I felt compelled to hit the gym and did just under five miles while watching The Hobbit 2! It really helps that they have individual TV’s on each machine.
That night we were invited to dine at one of the specialty restaurants and enjoy a bottle of wine. We chose Cagney’s, as our memories of dinner at Cagney’s on the NCL Jade were very positive. It was superb. They have a fabulous chopped salad and an amazing filet. It’s very impressive, especially considering the fact you’re on a ship!
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