Hawaii UnCruise – Ocean Cleanup Event

Pulling debris from the ovean.(Blog by Keith and Sandra Merwin)

On Tuesday as the Safari Explorer transited from Lanai toward the island of Maui through the National Humpback Marine Sanctuary everyone was watching for humpback whales. While we did see humpback whales that will be the topic of another blog post. What else we found that day is our current subject.  Continue reading Hawaii UnCruise – Ocean Cleanup Event

Walt Disney World – Ohana Dinner Feast Review

Ohana signThe Ohana at Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort is a table service restaurant located on the second floor facing the Seven Seas Lagoon. All the food at Walt Disney World is expensive so is it worth while to splurge with table service? On our last visit (more here) we decided to celebrate a birthday with dinner at Ohana. We looked at several other restaurants but the menu and atmosphere interested us. We did make a reservation. None were available online for the dates we were on property so I called and talked to an agent. They found us a table and while the 8:30 p.m. time was later than we normally eat it worked out fine. Continue reading Walt Disney World – Ohana Dinner Feast Review

Hawaii UnCruise – Lanai

Bridge of the Safari Explorer
Keith talking to the Captain on the bridge.

After leaving Molokai we sailed for the island of Lanai. The distance between the two islands is only about 20 miles, so this wasn’t a long transit. One of the very different things about cruising with Safari Explorer is the open door policy on the bridge. If you go to the bridge and the door is open then cruisers are welcome at go on the bridge and talk to the crew there, look at the charts to see where we are going  and use the binoculars to scan for whales or other wildlife. If the door is closed, the crew needs to concentrate and you should come by again later. This is very different than other Cruise ships where the bridge is off limits at all times. We visited the bridge often and enjoyed visiting with the crew. Continue reading Hawaii UnCruise – Lanai

Walt Disney World – the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness

Fort Wilderness at Walt Disney WorldWe love trying out different Disney Resorts. Staying on property is always fun and offers great benefits like free parking and Extra Magic Hours (Each day of the week, resort guests can enter a park one hour earlier or stay in a park up to two hours later than normal park operating hours.) As Florida Resident Annual Passholders we are often able to get special discounts on rooms. For this trip of three nights we chose the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness. Continue reading Walt Disney World – the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness

When do I need a Passport?

passportIt seems so confusing, but it is not.  I will cover the Passport Card in a separate Post but in general, you need a Valid Passport if:

  • you are flying into or out of the United States of America
  • you traveling into or out of the U.S. by land border-crossings or ports-of-entry by sea from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda

However, there is an Exemption if you are cruising from a U.S. Port and returning to the same U.S. Port.  Other paperwork can be used instead. Continue reading When do I need a Passport?

Hawaii – Uncruise – Night Snorkel with Manta Ray

(Blog by Sandra Merwin)

One of the best excursions UnCruise included was a night time snorkel with Manta Rays off the coast of Maui.

Night SnorkelThey provided full wet suites for this one because of the length of time we were going to be in the water and that the water was a little cooler after dark. After a light dinner our guide for the dive, Ian, came aboard and talked to us about Manta Rays. Manta Rays eat plankton, tiny little organisms floating in the ocean. This dive is done at night because lights are used to attract Night Snorkel with Manta Raysthe plankton, which attracts the Manta Ray. The Manta Rays swim up and barrel roll with their mouth open to scoop up the plankton in order to eat.  The Reef Manta Ray we saw are black and white with wing spans of 9 feet – 14 feet.  Manta Rays are uniquely identified by the markings on the belly of the Ray. Very much like the Fluke coloration of a Humpback whale uniquely identifies a specific whale.  In order to view the Manta Rays feeding, a surf board is outfitted with rope loops for each person to hold on to while they have snorkel gear and the surf board is pulled along by the guide.

Manta Ray doing a barrel rollWhile we were snorkeling the guide was able to identify 8 different Manta Rays by coloration.  The largest Manta Ray is “Big Bertha” who has a wing span of 14 feet.  Normally the guide says she does not barrel roll to feed.  While we were there viewing Big Bertha did come out and barrel roll to feed for us.  The guide saw about 2 – 3 other Manta Rays which did not display their coloration so they were not identified by name.

Hawaii UnCruise – Molokai Island

Mokulele AirOur cruise started from Molokai, which required we fly from Honolulu where we had arrived the day before. We flew over on Mokulele Airlines,  in a 9-passenger Cessna Grand Caravan.  The flight was short, comfortable and had truly beautiful views. Once on Molokai, Uncruise Adventures picked us up at the airport and took us to Hotel Molokai to gather all the passengers before we went on our first expedition then boarded the ship. Continue reading Hawaii UnCruise – Molokai Island

Hawaii Cruise – No an UnCruise

According to the cruise industry the average cruise ship today is over 950 feet long and accommodate about 2,900 people. Using the industry standard of two people per cabin that is 1,450 cabins. Now picture a cruise ship that is 145 feet long with 18 cabins and 36 passengers. That is UnCruise Adventures’ Safari Explorer.

UnCruise Safari Explorer
UnCruise Safari Explorer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Hawaii Cruise – No an UnCruise

Hawaii Cruise – Cabin B14

Cabin doorWelcome to cabin B14

We spent a week in cabin B14 on UnCruise Adventures’ Safari Explorer. The category for this cabin is “Master” and it is the standard sized Double cabin on board. Nine or half of the cabins are this category. Let’s take a look at the cabin. (Click on the pictures if you want to see a larger version. Then use the back button to continue reading.) Continue reading Hawaii Cruise – Cabin B14