Saturday, March 9, 2024

Back to San Francisco

After 16 days with stops in Kauai, Oahu, Kona, Hilo and Ensenada we returned to San Francisco.

Click the picture below to see a photo album with some of the best photos from this trip. The album has a summary slide show or you can click any photo in the album and scroll through the pictures manually. The manual review displays a description for each picture. For more detailed information including date and location, click   ⓘ   or   ⋮    during the manual review.

Click this link to see more pictures in the Back to San Francisco photo album.

Thursday, March 7, 2024


After five days at sea we reached Ensenada Mexico. Hawaii cruises from San Francisco have to visit at least one foreign port before returning to San Francisco. In most cases that is Ensenada.

We'd been to Ensenada before and had considered not even getting off the ship. But Elizabeth found what turned out to be an excellent beer tasting tour. We lucked out even more by being the only two people on this tour, so we had a private tour for the price of a group tour. One other perk we ended up having was having pretty much the entire tasting area to ourselves since our tour started before many of the places we went to even opened. I hadn't realized how vibrant the craft beer culture is in Ensenada. They even have a beer festival once a year.

Our first stop was at Cardera and Bruer Tasting Room. Although it normally doesn't open until 1pm we were there around 11am. This tasting room is actually for two breweries, Cardera and Bruer. Their beers have won many awards and they were excellent. They were also brewing some barrel aged beers for the upcoming beer fest, but we weren't able to taste those.

Our second stop was at Chikilla craft beer. They also had an excellent selection of beers including one they don't normally serve, which was made from distilled beer. They used a beer that didn't quite turn out as they wanted, so they distilled it. Talk about turning lemons into lemonade!

The beer mugs you see in the picture above are owned by regular customers. For a small price you can have your own beer mug. And of course, you get a discount if you own one. According to the website they have "18 regular beers, 14 seasonal beers and more than 10 special beers." Although the first stop had slightly better beers, if you're going to one place I'd definitely recommend this place! The first beer tasting room did probably have almost as many different beers since it was two colocated breweries, but the second stop had the advantage of being colocated with a sushi restaurant.

Our third stop was actually at a deli to taste the beer of another brewer, Wendlandt Brewing, which doesn't open until 5pm, after our ship leaves. Regardless, we still tasted a Wendlandt beer at the deli and Elizabeth was able to get a cheese and meat plate to tide her over.

Click this link or one of the pictures above to see more pictures in the Ensenada photo album.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Hilo Hawaii

We hadn't booked any excursions for Hilo so we decided to walk 1.5 miles to Liliʻuokalani Gardens, with a stop at Coconut Island. On the way there we saw a turtle swimming in Reeds Bay near the shore.

Coconut Island is a small island park accessible via a short pedestrian bridge from Liliʻuokalani Gardens. If you look closely in the picture below you can see our ship in the distance.

Liliʻuokalani Gardens is a 24 acre park with scenic Japanese gardens.

We also visited Hilo Brewing Company but didn't take any pictures. Unfortunately when we were there they had been experiencing some equipment failures and didn't have any of their beers available. They did have four guest beers which were actually pretty good. They also had a separate area that sold some food. The tacos sold there were excellent!

A word of warning. Although Hilo Brewing was only a 1.5 mile walk from Liliʻuokalani Gardens, once you get away from the shoreline Hilo isn't a very walkable city due to the lack of sidewalks, narrow streets and sometimes heavy traffic. We took a Lyft from there back to the ship and if we had it to do over again, I think we would have taken one from Liliʻuokalani Gardens to the brewing company instead of walking.

Click this link or one of the pictures above to see more pictures in the Hilo photo album