Hawaii/South Pacific: Nuku Hiva

March 26, 2022

On embarkation day, we were approached by some staff from the Pinnacle dining room touting their special dinners – Rudi Sel de Mer, the Pinnacle Gala, and the Sommelier Dinner. Typically, we do not go to these extra upsell dinners. However, the Pinnacle Gala was to be held on the night of our anniversary. Since we had spent the last two years celebrating our anniversary at home on the back deck in sweatpants and t-shirts, we thought “Why Not?”

Chuck was worried that he would be under-dressed since he did not bring a tux or suit and tie. However, the invitation said “gala attire.” His collared long-sleeve shirt and dress slacks were fine. Yes, there were men in tuxes and suits, but there were others dressed the same as Chuck. I didn’t have a long gown or a cocktail dress. I just wore a knee-length dress.

We shared a table with two sisters – one from upper New York state and one from Arizona, and a gentleman from California traveling solo. We had a lively conversation.

They served champagne cocktails and appetizers in the Ocean Bar prior to our being seated. Once we were seated, we were treated to a six-course meal – caviar and tuna tartare appetizer, tempura squash salad – these two courses were paired with Prosecco.

Next was lobster tail and halibut paired with Chablis. Then, an iced cucumber concoction to cleanse the palette. Next, was filet mignon paired with Cabernet Sauvignon.

The last course was dessert – small glass of orange sherbet mixed with cola, two round biscotti cookies, and a white square that I thought was cake but turned out to be a marshmallow. I liked all the courses except the dessert. It was weird. Everyone just kept poking at the marshmallow, not sure what to do with it. Dunk it in the ice cream soda? Eat it between the two cookies? Slice it? We all just left it sitting there.

They took a photo of us after the dinner which was included in the overall price as was the wine.

The dinner was not over until 9:30. We had an early excursion in the morning so we called it a night. We got back to the room and found that our room stewards had made us swan towel animals and a heart made of flower petals with a note wishing us a happy anniversary. Such a sweet gesture and totally unexpected.

We were up at 6:00 with breakfast delivered at 7:00. Just wasn’t sure how this day was going to shape up. I had signed up for an independent island tour with a company that another couple had found. Eventually, there were 8 of us who had signed up.

However, the original couple cancelled the cruise so one of the other 8 members contacted the tour provider and he was still willing to do the tour. The last email I had received indicated that the tour started at 9:00. However, one of the tour members said she heard 8:30.

We got our tender tickets and got on the first available tender when our number was called.

We would just get over there and hope for the best. Just like yesterday, the tiny dock could only hold one tender at a time so our tender kept going around in circles. I was glad I had taken a Bonine.

I thought worst case scenario, since we hadn’t paid any money for the tour yet, we could just walk around if we missed the tour or the tour operator didn’t show up.

We got there and a guy was holding up a big sign that had our names on it. Yay! Small victories! There were 14 people on the tour. We left the dock in two open-air trucks – 8 in one truck and 6 in the other. I was glad the seats were padded and had seat belts which is not always the case with these trucks.

We stopped at several places along the road for photos and information about Nuku Hiva and the Marquesas islands in general. Nuku Hiva is the island that Survivor was filmed on in 2008 and our guide was hired by them to be their site locator. He said it was an interesting experience.

Weird to see random horses and cows tied up along the road. I couldn’t see any houses but the animals did not look malnourished, so someone had to be looking after them. There were also large pigs and some chickens running loose. One chicken did not make it across the road.

There were some pretty flowers all over the island.

Lots of birds but the only one I got a picture of was the Imperial Pigeon. He is as large as a crow and can make sounds like pigeons and crows. He is endemic to the Marquesas.

It was a four-hour tour and very informative. The only negative was that riding in the open-air truck, you get whiffs of diesel fuel which kind of made me nauseous.

Once we returned, we looked around the craft market. I thought everything was expensive. I believe they would have sold more if more items had been priced between $10 and $20 instead of $50 – $100.

We were back on board the ship by 1:00 and decided to spend the rest of the afternoon by the pool.

We talked to people who had gone over to Tahuata the other day. They said there was not much to see or do. Beaches too rocky to swim or snorkel. The carvings were nice. There was a nice church. One man offered to give you a tattoo the ancient way – using fish bones and ink made from plants, etc. Didn’t think he had any takers. I was glad we made the decision to stay on the ship. I liked Nuku Hiva today.

Travel Trivia

Taiohae, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia

Nuku Hiva pronounced:  “New-coo-ee-vah”

Nuku Hiva is the largest of the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia.

Herman Melville wrote his book Typee based on his experiences in the Taipivai valley in the eastern part of Nuku Hiva.

Robert Louis Stevenson’s first landfall on his voyage on the Casco was at Hatihe’u, on the north side of the island, in 1888.

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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