While visiting the ‘gayborhood’ of Fort Lauderdale we decided to try out a day pass at one of the gay guest houses and Pineapple Point came highly recommended. Rated number one by TripAdvisor for gay accommodation in Fort Lauderdale, this luxury resort was certainly a relaxing and unique day out during our vacation and the staff couldn’t have made us feel more welcome. As a day visitor you don’t feel like the poor cousin, you are treated just like an honoured house guest and have full access to all facilities. Massage therapists are on site but day visitors need to book in advance to guarantee an appointment. Unfortunately your day pass does expire at 5pm, just before the happy hour happens for the regular guests at 6pm.
We certainly felt like novices arriving for our first visit to Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Unfortunately, we did not stay in one of the many gay guest houses in the area, but we did strike it lucky arriving in Beach Pride Week, the third week of February. The weather was dry and comfortable, at around 24 degrees and the sea temperature was warm and inviting, though some of the locals didn’t agree. Many don’t swim until the water temperature reaches a distinct ‘summer simmer’. Our first few days were very relaxed, lazing and gazing on golden Sebastian Beach, Fort Lauderdale’s best known gay beach and recently voted (2019) the best gay beach in the world. Our friends who live in this fabulous area, kindly accompanied us on our first foray into the venues of Wilton Drive, the ‘happening’ strip of Wilton Manors, the gayest precinct we have ever seen.
It has taken us twenty five years to return to Honolulu, the tropical Hawaiian capital located on the island of Oahu. There have been some big changes, but it is surprisingly familiar and the welcoming ‘Aloha’ charm never changes. Here are some of our impressions for the second time round.
Black volcanic lava covered the landscape as we flew into Kona, the largest and newest of the Hawaiian islands. Kona is so young in geological terms that very little of the lava has weathered and the landscape is stark, black, barren and unforgiving. Whether its beaches, water sports, marvelling at the volcano or dining watching a magical Kona sunset the Big Island of Hawaii is packed with things to do. Ironically, this severe, rugged wilderness protects some of the most precious, enigmatic jewels of the Hawaiian islands and keeps us yearning to return and discover more.
Flying into Maui from the Big Island on a ten seater, single engine Mokulele Airlines plane was a little bumpy and scary at times. However, the views were magnificent and blissfully distracting as we flew low and closely hugged the coast, leaving behind the Big Island with its turquoise waters and rugged black volcanic landscapes. As we neared the island of Maui the lush, emerald green, mountainous terrain appeared rimmed with small tourist towns clinging to its radiant coastline.
We made it one of our missions while on board this 'floating Goliath' to understand more about the Save The Waves Program and how Celebrity Solstice undertakes its environmental responsibilities as the leader of the fleet. We went straight to the most experienced man in this area and found out some astonishing facts.