Hi wcbeitz, welcome to Cruise-Chat! Congratulations on your up-coming cruise, Hawaii is awesome! We could probably help you a little easier if we knew your ports of call. I assume Oahu would be one, there you need to see the Arizona, Punch Bowl, Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay. Maui might be another one, Haleakala is beautiful. The big island, the tour to the volcano and Wiamea Falls is great. These are just a few suggestions. Please let us know which ports you'll be visiting and we'll do our best to help. Best wishes!
If you're in Maui for the whole day, I would suggest renting a car - that's what we did. We explored the island, hit a beach with the locals in a little town, found a botanical garden on some road going from here to there, found a great place to have lunch in another little town, went to IO State Park and found a lovely oriental garden on the way . . . you get the picture... If you're docking in Kahalui, there will be shuttles waiting at the pier to take you to the car rental places at the airport; if your docking in Lahaina, I think you'll need to pre-reserve your car so that the shuttle can meet you there to take you to the airport. Either way - it was a great way to spend the day on Maui.
We are starting in Oahu, then Maui for an overnite, then Big Island, both ports, then Kauai.
We are going to do a tour of some sort for each port, just trying to get an idea of what is the best thing for each spot.
Looking at Molokini for Maui, and I found a Luau that I booked for that night on Maui. Then for the big island, we are probably going to go to the volcanoes from Hilo and I think swim with the Dolphins for Kona. For Kauai, there is an airplane ride or an island tour that also has a riverboat ride to fern grotto....
I think I'm on the right track, but any feedback would be really helpful.
I booked the luau online with Island Marketing...anyone use these guys? I have looked at a few more of their tours, but haven't booked anything else yet.
I definitely think you're on the right track. I have not used Island Marketing, so cannot comment on their tours. The dolphins, just be sure you book the swim and not the experience. The swim you actually get to swim and be pulled by the dolphin. The experience you do not. It is a truly amazing experience, one that I will never forget. They are so powerful, yet so gentle. Incredibly intelligent and definitely a must do. I'd highly recommend a helicopter tour, if they offer one, for Kauai or Maui. Since you've booked the Luau on Maui, maybe check into the helicopter in Kauai. They are both such picturesque islands.
The Arizona is definitely worth the time. The tour we took offered the Arizona and the Punch bowl plus the government house and Hanauma Bay. We didn't have enough time at Hanauma for me, so went back at a later time and spent the full day there.
Be sure to get some Kona coffee while you're there. Wiamea Falls are beautiful, too.
I am looking at an airplane tour for Kauai...anyone done the airplane? My entire family can go on an airplane together for a lot less money than the helicopter tours. do you still get a good view of everything?
I've not heard of an airplane tour and can understand why you would want to do that. We took the helicopter ride and it was fabulous. I think it can go places where a plane cannot. We went into the NaPali (not sure of spelling) canyon area and we were able to tour the ravines, absolutely thrilling experience. Overall that was the highlight of the whole cruise. We rented cars on Maui, Hawaii and Oahu. I booked them prior to departure but the main companies are represented at the pier so you could just get a rental when you get there. A note, in the overnight stay in Maui there is no place to leave the rental car overnight near the pier. We ended up using the car for only one day.