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My husband and I are looking at the 11-night Wind for our 10th anniversary next spring. Which ports are tender ports?
Let me sneak a second question in here. Is it necessary to take an excursion on Fanning Island to enjoy it?
Elation 8/98-Mexican Riveria; Mercury 5/99-Alaska repositioning; Paradise 11/01 - E. Carribean; Galaxy-7/02 E. Carribean; Carnival Victory-1/03 W. Carribean; Ryndam-11/03 Sea of Cortez; Volendam-10/04 Panama Canal
For the WIND cruise the tender ports will be Lahaina, Kona and Fanning Island. The rest of the ports should be docked.
We were on the STAR last Sept. and enjoyed Fanning Island very much. There are really no shore excursions there. It is much like a typical cruise line private island. There is a fun market set up right by the tender dock where the locals sell their wares. Most of the trinkets are made from shells...some fun jewelry type stuff. Be sure to bring lots of $1 dollar bills. They also sell some knives made from shark's teeth, which of course my husband had to have. NCL has a BBQ on the island. NCL also rents bikes which you can ride on the dirt roads around this fascinating little island. You can do this at your own pace and will get a glimpse of how the local folks live. We hooked up with a local gentleman who was offering free tours (of course we tipped him at the end) and he walked us around for about an hour and took us in homes and showed us the school and the church, etc. It IS hot on the island, so after the walking tour we were more than ready to jump into the clear blue water and enjoy a cold beverage on the beach.
We enjoyed Fanning Island so much that we are now booked on the 11-nt WIND cruise for this Sept. This year we may buy the special tender ticket that drops you off a a private pristine beach. There are no facilities or food at this beach, so we will probably spend some time there and then tender over to the main area for lunch and shopping.
We did the Napali Beach Getaway and it was the best $20 that we spent on the cruise. The beach was fantastic. Everyone there loved it. It may have been the highlight of the entire cruise. It was a pristine white sand beach with clean/clear water. You could walk out over 50 yards and the water would only still be at your knees. You could also walk the very long beach. They had an ample supply of loungers, chairs, umbrellas, floaters, and hammocks. There was plenty of shade as it looked like a "palm tree plantation". There were also beach toys (hobie cats, kayaks, bikes, etc.) for an additional charge. The ship did set up a small bar on the beach. Also the locals set up their shops along the path to the beach. NCL ran continuous tenders (i. e. every 20 to 30 minutes)from the Napali Beach to Fanning Island. The only downside was that there was no restrooms at on beach island. In addition for the $20 NCL also gave you a Fanning Island T-shirt.
The last tender from the Napali to Fanning was 2:30 PM and the last tender from Fanning to the ship was 3:30 PM. After a day at Napali we had about hour or so on Fanning Island. It was very hot, very humid, a little dirty, and had a lot of flies. The beach there was not nearly as nice as Napali. We walked around the main area on Fanning; had our passports stamped, bought a postcard/stamp at Johnnie's store, and looked over the shopping mall. Note on the shopping: there were probably 20 to 25 tables set up and each vendor had the same articles for the same price. Basically it was the sharks tooth knives and shell things (i.e. mostly necklaces). We missed the ships lunch buffet on Fanning; however, the comments that we heard were that it was crowded, flies were every where, and it was nothing special. We had a large breakfast on the ship and a couple oranges each (that we brought from the ship) for something to eat at the beach. Fanning is very primitive. They had basically no electricity, or water/sewer lines. It was very interesting to see how they live, but I'm not sure that I would have enjoyed spending the entire day there. Also, most of the locals spoke very little English. NCL did build a block building with flush toilets there for the passengers. They must also have had a generator to power their pump/compressor.
We too just returned from the May29-June9 Wind Hawaii cruise which tendered at Fanning Island. We enjoyed all the ports but for us Fanning was a highlight and not to be missed. We did not take the Napali beach excursion or the snorkeling exc. but stayed on Fanning. We took a tour with a local man who really made the island come alive for us. Though the tour was free we also tipped him a couple of dollars. On the interior of the island it was very hot and it was amazing to see how primitively the people live. I enjoyed talking with some of the children along the way (english is taught to children in school but most of the adults don't speak english unless they went to another island for high school or to work.) Anyway, the tour was enlightening, the locals singing and dancing the entire day were charming and full of smiles, the buffet was typical of cruise line private island (I've had the same in the carribean when on the Grand Princess)...hamburgers, hotdogs, and yes there were flies, and there were plenty of chairs and picnic tables to be found in the shade. After the market, and walking through the island the kids enjoyed playing in the water and I sat in the shade at waters edge with a wonderful tropical breeze blowing. The only suggestion I'd have for anyone who chooses to stay on Fanning for the day is take yourself a cheap inflatable raft/ring to float on. They don't supply mats on this beach and that would have made the day perfect since the water was so shallow and calm and is roped off so you can't float out into the ocean if you close your eyes for too long. However you choose to spend that day I'm sure it will be great!