Cunard Line’s MS Queen Elizabeth Stops in Honolulu on Her Maiden Around the World Voyage

Queen Elizabeth in Honolulu

Cunard Line‘s newest cruise ship bearing the name “Elizabeth” sailed into Honolulu Harbor yesterday morning with barely a notice from the general public or the media. This was the new Queen Elizabeth’s first visit to the islands on her maiden voyage around the world.

The 965 ft. long liner berthed at Pier 10 for 12 hours yesterday.

Queen Elizabeth weighs more than 90,000 tons and has the capacity to carry up to 2,547 passengers. She has a contingent of 996 crew members.

Queen Elizabeth was launched in January 2010 and put into service October 2010. She is on her first around the world voyage. Yesterday she came into Honolulu Harbor just slightly after 6:45 am and set sail for Apia, Western Samoa at 6:00 pm last night.

The new Queen shares the same design as her sister ship, Queen Victoria, which is set to arrive in Honolulu, tomorrow (February 6).

The new Queen Elizabeth succeeded the Queen Elizabeth II which sailed into Honolulu for the last time in March of 2008. That liner had a long service history since becoming operational in 1969. She was retired in late 2008 and is now sitting in a shipyard in the country of Dubai facing an uncertain future.

Queen Elizabeth in Honolulu

The new Queen Elizabeth sails into Honolulu Harbor under the very early morning sunlight.

QE2 in Honolulu

The Queen Elizabeth II in Honolulu during her last stopover in March 2008.

Additional Links

Cunard Line Queen Elizabeth site
Cunard Line Queen Elizabeth Webcam

The Sapphire Princess

The Sapphire Princess

Princess Cruises Sapphire Princess stopped in to Honolulu Harbor yesterday during the first of its 7 port calls to Hawaii this year. The Sapphire Princess is a regular visitor to Honolulu, sailing into the islands during the winter months. During the summer this ship cruises in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest coast.

The Sapphire Princess was built in Japan in 2004. She is 951 feet long, is 18 decks high and can carry up to 2,670 passengers and 1,000 crew. She was berthed at Honolulu Harbor’s Pier 2. She next returns on March 4.

Sapphire Princess & Queen Elizabeth
The Sapphire Princess tied up at Honolulu Harbor’s Pier 2 while Cunard Line’s new Queen Elizabeth enters the harbor channel.

Honolulu Port Call for MS Zaandam

MS Zaandam 1-30-2011

Holland America Line MS Zaandam made a port call to Honolulu Harbor this morning. I was down at Kaka’ako Waterfront Park waiting for her arrival at 6:30 this morning. She was scheduled to arrive at 7 am. She came in a little later than that, all the better since the day was just starting and the lighting conditions were improving.

The MS Zaandam is 777 ft. long, weighs 61,396 tons and is 10 stories high. She has a carrying capacity of more than 1400 passengers. The ship was launched in the year 2000 and is a regular visitor to the islands along with her sister ship, MS Rotterdam.

MS Zaandam sailed in from Nawiliwili Harbor on Kauai and is scheduled to leave at 11:00 tonight for Lahaina, Maui. She was tied up at Pier 10.

MS Zaandam 1-30-2011
Just outside Honolulu Harbor near Pier 1.

Holland America's Zaandam
Tied up at Hilo Harbor, October 14, 2010. All photos by Mel.

Hawaii Broadcast Media Update – January 9, 2011.

Off the Map Set to Debut January 12

Cast of ABC TV's Off the Map - Photo by ABC TV

ABC TV’s newest medical show “Off the Map” is set to debut this coming Wednesday night, January 12 at 9:00 pm (Hawaii Time) on KITV Channel 4. The series stars Jonathan Castellanos as Charlie, Valerie Cruz as Zitajalehrena Alvarez (Zee), Caroline Dhavernas as Lily Brenner, Jason Winston George as Otis Cole, Zach Gilford as Tommy Fuller, Mamie Gummer as Mina Minard, Martin Henderson as Dr. Ben Keeton, and Rachelle Lefevre as Dr. Ryan Clark. The series is set in a South American jungle but filmed in Hawaii.

The network and producers took over the Diamond Head studios in Kahala as their base of operations after ABC’s “LOST” wrapped Hawaii production last year. “Off the Map” looks like it will be a “Grey’s Anatomy” set in the jungle. The series is produced by the same people who do “Grey’s” for ABC.

  • Link: Off the Map at ABC TV

  • Hawaii Five-0

    While it’s kind of old news, CBS TV’s Hawaii Five-0 which airs locally Monday nights on KGMB TV Channel 9 at 9pm is the most successful new show of the 2010 – 2011 TV season. The show has been a constant Top 10 hit winning its time slot many times since its debut in September, beating its ABC TV rival “Castle” in recent weeks. On January 5 the program won the Peoples’ Choice Award for “Favorite New TV Drama”. Cast member Scott Caan who plays Danny Willaims was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film.

    Hawaii Five-0 is a hot discussion topic on our affiliated message boards at Join in the conversation today.

  • Link: Hawaii Five-0 on CBS

  • Michael Medved to Broadcast from Hawaii

    Michael Medved

    Talk show host Michael Medved will be doing a live radio broadcast of his nationally syndicated show from Honolulu this coming week at the upcoming Smart Business Hawaii conference which will be held on January 12 starting at 7:00 am at the Ala Moana Hotel. Medved’s program is syndicated through the Salem Radio Network and airs locally on KHNR 690 AM Monday through Friday from 12:Noon to 3:00 pm. Medved will be the keynote speaker at the SBH conference. For more details on the conference go to this link:

  • Smart Business Hawaii Conference
  • Michael Medved Show
  • KHNR Hawaii’s Intelligent Talk

  • Old KGMB TV Tower Going Down

    The 432 foot high KGMB TV tower on Kapiolani Blvd. and Makaloa Street is going down. Work crews are slowly dismantling the landmark red and white tower that was once the transmitter for KGMB TV’s analog signal. The property on which the former TV studios of KGMB sits will be converted into a shopping complex. KGMB merged their operations with KHNL and KFVE in late 2009. KGMB broadcasts its digital signal from a new tower located in the Palehua mountains in West Oahu.

  • KGMB’s Iconic Tower Coming Down

  • Around the Radio Dial

    For those people who still listen to the radio, some quick notes and updates here:

    1. Salem Hawaii’s format change of KHUI 99.5 FM from adult standards to Christian Talk was the subject of some discussion board buzz at our Hawaii Threads affiliate site. Most people there were disappointed to see the adult standards format go. A spokesperson from Salem informed me that this was done to migrate listeners of the AM talk format to the FM side. Erika Engle‘s report also noted that Salem “decided to use KHUI’s 100,000-watt FM signal to expand the reach of its core format, Christian teaching and talk…”

    KGU AM may be changing their call sign and format sometime next month.

    After updating the Hawaii Radio & Television Guide Oahu Radio Dial listings I noted that in addition to the changes at KGU, additional changes were recently made to KHCM 97.5 which altered their country music format to play more contemporary hits instead of classic country. They now use the slogan “Hawaii’s Hot Country”.

    KUMU AM 1500 changed its call sign and format late last year to KHKA and dumped music in favor of more ESPN sports / talk programming. This occurred after the station was sold to the same firm thta runs KKEA 1420 AM. Both stations are programmed for ESPN sports talk with KKEA still carrying University of Hawaii sports broadcasts.

    While on the Big Island late last year, I noted that KHBC 92.7 FM and its affiliate KIPA 1060 AM had left the airwaves.  A news report stated that the stations went into bankrupcty last year and are presently for sale. KHBC / KIPA was the home for longtime Hilo radio personality Melvin “Mynah Bird” Medeiros. The stations closure led to his retirement after more than 40 years on the air in Hilo.

    Recently About the Hawaii Radio & Television Guide

    As publisher and editor of this blog and the main Hawaii Radio & Television Guide website, I plan to do more posting and updates to the dial lists in the coming weeks. Starting this week the dial lists are also being duplicated to this blog site. I am looking into getting the blog its own domain name and expanding it a little more.

    If you are a Hawaii or ex-Hawaii radio or TV person and would like some place to blog, contact me. I can set this blog up so that more than one person (you) can contribute as a volunteer columnist for this blog.

    In the meantime subscribe to this blog and bookmark our main site. You can also join our Twitter stream too.

    — Melvin Ah Ching, Editor & Publisher

    Dad: 1927 – 2010

    Melvin Ah Ching Sr.

    Husband, Father, Fireman, Community Leader, Movie Star

    My Dad Melvin Ah Ching Sr. came from humble beginnings, born in the plantation village of Ookala, Hawaii to proud parents Sei Tong and Mary Pawela Ah Ching on Sunday, October 9, 1927.

    For the first years of his life, he grew up in Ookala’s “pake” camp, part of the sugar plantation industry and culture that dominated Hawaii through much of the 20th century. Dad attended Ookala Elementary School before attending and graduating from Laupahoehoe High School.

    In 1945 Dad was an enlistee to the United States Army where he served for three years near the end of World War II and beyond. Dad trained on the mainland for the invasion of Tokyo, but was lucky to never be sent there. After being stationed at Ft. Hood, Ft. Ord and Camp Beal in California, Dad was shipped off to the Philippines where he would spend most of his Army years.

    By 1949 Dad transferred to the Hawaii National Guard where he served locally until gaining civilian employment at the Hawaii County Fire Department in Hilo starting in 1952. Through his long fire fighting career, Dad was part of the Honokaa Fire Station through most of the 1950s and 60s before accepting a transfer in 1967 to the Kamuela Volunteer Fire Station to become the first full time fireman in that community. It is there after fighting numerous fires, saving many lives and property, and being promoted to captain, that Dad ended his career with retirement in 1976.

    While employed in the Fire Department Dad met a young, attractive lady who he first saw dancing the hula at a party. In 1955 he wed my Mom, the former LaVerne Healani Kealoha whom he stayed married to until the end of his time. Mom and Dad had 4 children: Melvin Jr., Esther (deceased), Sandra, and Randal. He was the best Dad — often a tough disciplinarian, principled, hard working, humorous, and fun. He took us to many places on the Big Island of Hawaii, as well as on vacations to Honolulu, Maui, Kauai and the mainland. He loved attending parades and public gatherings of all sorts. He encouraged us to get a good education, and seek career opportunities that could better enhance our lives.

    Dad was a pillar of the Honokaa – Hamakua community. He was an active member of the Hamakua Lions Club, Hawaiian Civic Club of Hamakua, Honokaa Businessman’s Association, Honokaa Senior Citizens Center, Democrat Party of Honokaa, Hawaii County Retired Firman’s Association, Honokaa ILWU Pension Club, served on the Board of Directors of the Brantley Center in Honokaa, and the Hawaii County Nutrition Program. Dad was visible at many community functions often helping these various organizations selling food, setting up events, directing traffic, and delivering meals and stuff to the needy and the elderly.

    After retirement from the Fire Department, Dad stayed very active running the MSR Ranch up at Nie Nie, being employed at Wackenhut Security at the Kohala Ranch Community Association, dabbled in some investments and even thought about driving for a taxi cab company and purchasing the Honokaa Peoples’ Theater. While employed at the Fire Department, Dad also became co-owner for a few years of Dairy Queen in Honokaa, owned, managed and developed a five unit residential apartment complex in town before selling that to the Kaneshiro family.

    Near the twilight of his life, Dad continued to seek new and interesting opportunities. One day opportunity seeked him out. In 2008 Dad was cast in a small, non-speaking part for the Japanese movie, Honokaa Boy. When the movie came out in 2009 he got his 30 seconds of everlasting fame by simply giving “the shaka sign” to one of the cast members. For that he got paid $100 a day and got his name added to the end credits of the movie. I was very proud to see Dad in that movie and his name included on the ending crawl with the dozens who appeared and worked on the film. Surely this could have been the start of a new career.

    Movie star or not, Dad will be remembered for his resilience, zest for life, meeting and taking on new challenges, helping many others, and being the best father and husband anyone could have. We’ll all miss you. Aloha.

    J.J.'s Country Market - Honokaa


    Melvin Ah Ching Sr.

    Posted On December 16th, 2010 – Honolulu Star-Advertiser

    Nov. 29, 2010: Melvin “Mel” Ah Ching Sr., 83, of Honokaa, Hawaii, a retired Hawaii County fire captain and an Army veteran who served in World War II, died in Hilo Medical Center. He was born in Ookala, Hawaii. He is survived by wife LaVerne K.; sons Melvin Jr. and Randal; daughter Sandra; brother Herbert; sisters Florence Calabio, Sylvia Kuanoni and Patricia Parker; and a grandchild. Private services.

    Melvin “Mel” Ah Ching Sr.

    Published: Sunday, December 12, 2010 8:41 AM HST
    Hawaii Tribune Herald

    Melvin “Mel” Ah Ching Sr., 83, of Honokaa died Nov. 29 at Hilo Medical Center. Born in Ookala, he was a retired county fire captain, World War II U.S. Army veteran and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Honokaa Ward. Services held. Survived by wife, LaVerne Kealoha Ah Ching of Honokaa; sons, Melvin Ah Ching Jr. of Honolulu and Randal Ah Ching of Las Vegas; daughter, Sandra (Patrick Prieto) Ah Ching of Honokaa; brother, Herbert Ah Ching of Hilo; sisters, Florence Calabio of Kona (Big Island), Sylvia Kuanoni and Patricia Parker of Hilo; one grandchild; numerous nieces and nephews. Arrangements by Dodo Mortuary.