I am sailing the Wind in May on the 11 night Hawaiian cruise. If any of you have been on this cruise, I could use a little help.
1) I've visited Maui and Kauai many times and would prefer to rent a car and spend the day at my favorite beaches, rather than to take a shore excursion. Is it best to make my reservations now, or wait until I'm in port and just see what I can find?
2) Are there rental car facilities in Lahaina and Nawiliwili within walking distance of the port? If so, does anyone remember which companies?
3) I will arrive in Honolulu at 6 am on the day the cruise departs, but obviously can't board that early. I'll be tired and not terribly interested in doing a lot of walking or taking a tour. Any suggestions for spending a relaxing day? I can't seem to find much information on renting a hotel room for the day.
4) Does anyone know the price range for drinks on the Wind?
5) I prefer to pack light. Does anyone remember what laundry services cost on the Wind?
Don't worry, you didn't post in the wrong place. I created a shortcut in the Ports of Call forum as your posting also covers ports of call related questions. The shortcut means that anybody clicking on the thread in the Ports of Call forum will be taken to your original posting in the NCL Corporation forum.
This might result in more and better answers to your question.
<<1) I've visited Maui and Kauai many times and would prefer to rent a car and spend the day at my favorite beaches, rather than to take a shore excursion. Is it best to make my reservations now, or wait until I'm in port and just see what I can find?>>
I would make them in advance. That way the car rental company will be there to meet you and take you to their facility. In Kauai, the cars are located at the airport a few miles away. Ditto for Maui. I believe Dollar rean a car has a rep meeting the ship, but rental are at a premium.
<<2) Are there rental car facilities in Lahaina and Nawiliwili within walking distance of the port? If so, does anyone remember which companies?>>
No on both cases. However, there are local tour operators (visitor Info Centers, wink, wink) that can arrange them in Lahaina. At Nawiliwili, you would have to walk into the strip mall by the Marriott.
<<3) I will arrive in Honolulu at 6 am on the day the cruise departs, but obviously can't board that early. I'll be tired and not terribly interested in doing a lot of walking or taking a tour. Any suggestions for spending a relaxing day? I can't seem to find much information on renting a hotel room for the day.>>
I would take a taxi to the Royal Hawaiian or Moana Hotel, check my bags with the bellman and hit the beach.
<<4) Does anyone know the price range for drinks on the Wind?>>
Not cheap, but not too expensive either (except wine by the glass) They will not allow you to bring any on board wither in your checked bags or carry ons. There is always a "drink of the day" that is reasonably priced.
<<5) I prefer to pack light. Does anyone remember what laundry services cost on the Wind?>>
It is about the same as your local dry cleaners. There was no self service laundry on board when I last sailed her. I always take some biodegradable soap and wash stuff in the bathroom.
Please write a review when you return I am very interested in doing a cruise to Hawaii. I would like to hear your opinions of the Cruise and also the ship as there aren't a lot of ships to choose from. Have a nice trip.
My husband and I were on the 11-day Wind in September. We had a lovely time. We rented a car in Kuhalui, and wished we had rented one for our next day's stop in Lahaina.... I made reservations before sailing, but found that the rental companies all had vans at the dock to take you to the airport for rentals. I don't know if anyone waiting until the day of arrival had problems with availability. Do be prepared for gasoline sticker shock. The car rental facilities are all at the airport in Kuhalui - -so if you want a car in Lahaina, it's quite a ride to pick it up and then to shuttle back to the ship when you're done. Be sure to budget the time for that. If you don't rent a car in Lahaina, there are shuttle buses that can be picked up at the little mall that will take you to the resort areas for beach access.
We did ship sponsered shore excursions in Hilo and Kauai - but saw many fellow passengers in rental cars at our stops. I would recommend rentals in both places.
I ended up sending underthings and shorts out to the ships laundry about day 7 - - - not that I didn't have enough clothes with us (I overpacked as usual), but I just couldn't stand my dirty laundry bag - - the laundry bill was $40.00. Reasonable enough for me, and saved me the hassle of washing in the sink and hanging stuff all over the cabin...
We only ate in the main dining room once for lunch - did dinner mostly in the Italian restaurant on deck 11 - - only twice in the secondary main dining room, never in Le Bistro, although I heard it was good. The food was very good. Freestyle dining causes a very rushed staff - - constant busing and resetting of tables to keep the lines moving. The Terraces and La Trattoria seemed to handle this much better than the big dining room. We never felt rushed by the staff to quickly clear the table, but you are aware of the motion around you.
I found the cocktails and beer to be moderately priced - - daily special cocktails ran around $3.96 - $4.95. Beers around $3.50 - $5.00. I've spent that at home in restaurants. If you plan on taking advantage of the free ice tea and water - - I suggest bringing a plastic glass/cup - there is only 6 oz cups are the drink stations.
Enjoy your trip - - it will great. If you do get a car in Maui, plan a trip to IAO state park - and on the way, you will pass a city park with Chinese, Japanese and Korean gardens - - it was a surprising treat.
We did this cruise in August 2004 and rented cars through Budget at each port. There was always a van there to take us to the airport to pick up the car.
Good luck with the food - it was absolutely horrible. We ate in LeBistro 4 times during our cruise - it was great. The rest of the food was marginal at best, and I don't consider myself very critical. We usually enjoy our trips no matter what. We've been on 12 cruises the Wind was the first and last NCL cruise for us.