After a busy day in Hilo, the cancellation of our tour today might be a blessing in disguise. We were scheduled to do Fantastic Race Kona which takes you on a race against other teams with puzzles at various sites. After feeling the temperature and the air quality, I was thankful not to be running around. Veronica and I are very competitive and would’ve gone full out I’m sure.
Our new day was much more relaxating. Kona is a tender port so we took the short ride into town around 8:30 to have breakfast. I was thinking a Kona coffee and maybe a pastry but we passed a sign for açaí bowls and other vegan delights. We had been both wanting to try an açaí bowl in Hawaii so the choice was made. The Barefoot Zone had a large menu with vegan, vegetarian and other options as well. We both chose the Half and Half bowl with had both açaí and pitaya mixed together. They were topped with apple banana, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, coconut, granola, honey and bee pollen. So refreshing on a sticky day. I had been missing a breakfast like this so it hit the spot.
We strolled around the streets and found some Kona coffee to try. Veronica had an iced coffee while I chose hot. We purchased some to bring home for gifts. We browsed some shops and decided to walk to the Kona Brewing Company. We started to walk and decided to turn around. The heat was getting intense as well as the fog. The air was so thick and heavy. It was stifling. Back to the oasis of the Crystal Symphony and air conditioning that is called the Crystal Breeze!
We relaxed in the cabin for bit. I did some writing while Veronica watched a movie. We decided to have lunch on the lido deck. I went into the Marketplace and continued my plant based meal with a huge salad. However, since I didn’t get my beer ashore, I decided to get a wonderful Belgian beer, La Fin Du Monde which translates to “the end of the world.” With the fog creating a spooky atmosphere, I thought it appropriate. It’s a great beer but it is a sipper for me at 9% alcohol content. Veronica had another hot dog with some sweet potato fries. It must be a sign that Crystal has a decent hot dog that she chose the option two days in a row!
After lunch, I decided to get some more walking done while Veronica went back to the room. When I returned, I asked if she wanted to hit the pool with me and maybe have a “pool nap.” She opted for a cabin nap instead. I went up to the pool. The pool was barely refreshing but helped a little. I ordered a drink of the day which was an elderflower tonic, basically a G&T with some elderflower.
I read my book and sipped my drink but couldn’t last more than 30 pages. It was so hot. I was in desperate need of a shower so back to the cabin.
Tonight was our second Black Tie Optional night so we took a little more time to prepare for dinner. After I finished dressing, I went to Starlite Club for a drink and to watch some dancing. I was spotted by the hosts and did have one dance even though I wasn’t sure how my shoes would be. Waiting for Veronica, I had a delightful chat with two passengers in the Hillsdale College group. We saw these women waiting to board in San Francisco and I had been admiring them during the cruise. Why? They are identical twins and have dressed exactly the same every time I have seen them even their workout attire is matching! I will not share their age but I thought they were much younger. The comedian poked fun at the Doublemint girls so that is how I learned their names, Glenda and Lenda. I assume that is the spelling as it is how they pronounce it. I noticed they were drinking different cocktails so that is how we started chatting. That is one of the few differences they have, cocktails and men. They are quite the cruisers but this is their first Crystal cruise and they loved it.
After a fun conversation, it was off to Waterside to see our favorite waiter, Viktor. Tonight I chose the Lobster, scallops and mushroom strudel for a starter followed by the Vegetable Salad Nicoise. For my main course, the Pacific Fish Curry. It was the first night that I ordered all Crystal Classics. The all inclusive white wine was a Chablis which I am not too familiar with but I do know a Cruise Critic member who enjoys this variety so I tried it. Very nice. Veronica started with the Opakapaka Snapper Ceviche and the French Onion Soup. She chose the Modern cuisine for her main of Pan Fried King Fish. We both enjoyed all the selections. For dessert, it was a Pistachio-Chocolate Delice for Veronica and mixed berries for myself. After seeing Viktor’s face, I said, “OK. Bring me some of your Grandmother’s homemade cookies as well.” If you have never ordered this, a big selection of small cookies are brought to the table for you to select. A perfect small bite if you are not a big dessert fan.
We walked around for bit before the show. We were standing by a window and noticed a man motioning us over to his table. They were a younger couple I had not previously seen. He asked if I was the “writer of the blog.” They introduced themselves and told us they boarded in Oahu. His wife said this was their first cruise ever and she had been reading my blog before they left. She said it was helpful to her in preparing for the cruise. We chatted for a bit about cruising. I think they chose a wonderful first cruise!
Tonight’s show was Andrea Burns, “Award Winning Vocalist” which is part of the Broadway at sea shows. She had a great voice but we did duck out early. We sat all the way in the back so it was very discrete. If Veronica wanted to stay, I would have but I am not the biggest Broadway fan so when she whispered to leave, I followed. I did hear the song selection turned more modern at the end and it had good reviews from passengers.
Veronica wanted to go finish IT in the cabin. I’m not a fan of clowns as some might know so I chose to go dancing instead. I ended up staying until the last song of the evening enjoying the dance hosts company. We had spoken earlier to DJ Danya who would be hosting karaoke in the Avenue Saloon later. I peeked in and my new friends from earlier called my name.
Then, Priscilla my favorite server called me in as well. She told me I missed her singing and that she sang Aerosmith’s “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” Whoa. That sounded legit. Both my new cruise critic friends and Priscilla kept asking for me to sing. Dancing...yes. Singing...no. I gave in and performed a song with many difficult lyrics to learn, Tequila. I realized that it was 12:30 and we move the clocks forward tonight. I’d better return to the cabin as I have a demanding sea day tomorrow.
We love to travel and experience new places and cultures.