The Grand Hawaiian Adventure. A trip report with Patters, Menus, Elvis, and ...

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54 Posts
Joined Sep 2016
We have reserved a rental car for Hilo. Besides going to see volcanos, would love to get recommendations for places to see. I love Kona side and would love to go there but now realize we probably will not have enough time since we are only in port 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and even less time by the time we pick up car and then allow time to return it and get back to ship. Thanks in advance.
Western PA
1,269 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by brt49
First time to Hawaii. We have a rental reserved in all ports. Looking for recommendations for things to do, places to eat and maybe get a good local beer.


If this is your first time to Hawaii, you may not want to rent a car and try to do things on your own the first time out. It is hard to recommend things to do, without knowing what type of activities you like, or what you want to see there.

You may want to start with the Princess excursion booklet to see what they offer. They will be offering things that can be done within the allotted time in port. That is not to say you have to book excursions with them, but it will give you a starting point for the popular things to do. You could always book independent tours going to the same places if certain things interest you.

The first few land based trips I did to Hawaii had structured tours to many of the sights on all the islands. That laid the groundwork for exploring on our own for later trips. Just know, that visiting by cruise ship will only give you a small taste of the islands.

I don't think I would ever rent a car on Oahu. It is so easy to get around on the BUS, and you do not have to deal with parking.

Make Duke's one of your stops for a place to eat and drink, and try the Hula Pie. As far as local beers, it is hard to tell what is local anymore. Kona Brewing has several, but they brew a lot of it here on the mainland. In fact, I think you can get one of them at BJ's Brewhouse north of the Ross Park Mall ( I see you are from Pittsburgh).

Anyhow, enjoy your planning and your trip. And Go Pens. Here is hoping for a 3 Peat.




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Mark
Grand Princess - April-May, 2017 -Hawaii Review with photos
Celebrity Summit - January, 2017 Review with photos
Oasis of the Seas - November, 2015 Review with photos
Coral Princess - April 2014 -Panama Canal Review with photos
Allure of the Seas - March, 2013
Voyager of the Seas - March, 2012
Grandeur of the Seas - September, 2010
Serenade of the Seas – May, 2010
Independence of the Seas - March, 2009
Serenade of the Seas – Nov, 2007
First Cruise – SS Norway – Aug, 1980
Several between on Carnival, Princess, RCI

Future cruises
Serenade of the Seas – Jan, 2018
Allure of the Seas - March, 2018
Pittsburgh, PA
391 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Originally posted by h20skibum
If this is your first time to Hawaii, you may not want to rent a car and try to do things on your own the first time out. It is hard to recommend things to do, without knowing what type of activities you like, or what you want to see there.

You may want to start with the Princess excursion booklet to see what they offer. They will be offering things that can be done within the allotted time in port. That is not to say you have to book excursions with them, but it will give you a starting point for the popular things to do. You could always book independent tours going to the same places if certain things interest you.

The first few land based trips I did to Hawaii had structured tours to many of the sights on all the islands. That laid the groundwork for exploring on our own for later trips. Just know, that visiting by cruise ship will only give you a small taste of the islands.

I don't think I would ever rent a car on Oahu. It is so easy to get around on the BUS, and you do not have to deal with parking.

Make Duke's one of your stops for a place to eat and drink, and try the Hula Pie. As far as local beers, it is hard to tell what is local anymore. Kona Brewing has several, but they brew a lot of it here on the mainland. In fact, I think you can get one of them at BJ's Brewhouse north of the Ross Park Mall ( I see you are from Pittsburgh).

Anyhow, enjoy your planning and your trip. And Go Pens. Here is hoping for a 3 Peat.




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Thanks for the tips! I have a client that lives on Oahu and she gave us a very detailed run down of places to go given our limited time. I figure we have six months to build an itinerary, so the more tips and recommendations the better.

Oh, and Let's go Pens!! I think the last day of the season is our last day on the cruise.
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Western PA
1,269 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by Darita
We have reserved a rental car for Hilo. Besides going to see volcanos, would love to get recommendations for places to see. I love Kona side and would love to go there but now realize we probably will not have enough time since we are only in port 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and even less time by the time we pick up car and then allow time to return it and get back to ship. Thanks in advance.


If you are planning on going to Volcanoes National Park, and to possibly view a current lava flow, that may not leave much time for other things. Once you allot time to get off the ship and pick up a rental, and time to return the rental and reboard the ship, that will take a couple hours off your time ashore.

It has been years since we were to Punaluu Black Sand Beach, but it was a beautiful beach. You might even see some of the green sea turtles there. It is not too far from Volcanoes National Park, but I am not sure if any of the recent lava flows closed any routes to there.

Enjoy exploring the island.


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Mark
Grand Princess - April-May, 2017 -Hawaii Review with photos
Celebrity Summit - January, 2017 Review with photos
Oasis of the Seas - November, 2015 Review with photos
Coral Princess - April 2014 -Panama Canal Review with photos
Allure of the Seas - March, 2013
Voyager of the Seas - March, 2012
Grandeur of the Seas - September, 2010
Serenade of the Seas – May, 2010
Independence of the Seas - March, 2009
Serenade of the Seas – Nov, 2007
First Cruise – SS Norway – Aug, 1980
Several between on Carnival, Princess, RCI

Future cruises
Serenade of the Seas – Jan, 2018
Allure of the Seas - March, 2018
54 Posts
Joined Sep 2016
Thanks for info. We will be in Hilo on Dec 23. I did Princess tour my 1st time to Hilo & it was to Volcano Nat'l Park and botanical gardens. The gardens were beautiful but not sure if my husband would enjoy it. This is his 1st time to Hawaii so I want to make this special for him. All he knows is he wants to rent a convertible and drive around the island. I wish Kona was closer but at least he can drive around with the top down, if it does not rain. I will check about the beach you mentioned. Thanks.
Mount Pleasant SC & Jefferson NC
11 Posts
Joined Oct 2017
Hi Mark,
You did a terrific travelogue and the information provided on your previous trips to the islands were very helpful and informative. This is my second trip to the islands having traveled there on our honeymoon in '74.

Appreciate your information on the lack of a transfer at the conclusion of your tour. When cruising domestically I usually handle my own arrangements. I noted that you utilized Super Shuttle back to SFO. Have never used this company but I have them booked round trip when I arrive for my cruise in November 13, '17. I have always found on cruises that most travelers are in a rush to board and equally harried to disembark. Because my flight leaves late afternoon on disembarkation day I plan to do as I have on most cruises, have a leisurely breakfast (last opportunity to be pampered) and take my time leaving the ship. I have a Super Shuttle scheduled for pick up at 11AM. Once again, thank you for the detailed report. Please thank DW for being so patient!
Northern CA
307 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Originally posted by h20skibum
A Christmas cruise to the islands sounds fantastic. Will you have any problems with shortened venues for Christmas Eve in Honolulu, or Christmas Day in Nawiliwili?


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So far nothing said about shortening anything on those 2 days. We will be going to pearl harbor and punch bowl and that's Christmas eve. Kauai will be Christmas day, we have a car so will do our own thing.
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Jack and Judy


Disney Big Red Boat Bahamas 10/91

Regal Princess Caribbean 3/94
American Hawaiian SS Independence 1/95
Carnival Elation Caribbean 3/98

Carnival Inspiration Caribbean 6/01
Dawn Princess Mexico 1/07
Dawn Princess Alaska 9/07
Star Princess S Pacific 9/09
Coral Princess Panama Canal 5/11
Star Princess Alaska 7/28/14
Grand Princess Mexico 1/9/16


Northern CA
307 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
I see you fly into Pittsburgh airport, are you anywhere close to Moon Twp?
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Jack and Judy


Disney Big Red Boat Bahamas 10/91

Regal Princess Caribbean 3/94
American Hawaiian SS Independence 1/95
Carnival Elation Caribbean 3/98

Carnival Inspiration Caribbean 6/01
Dawn Princess Mexico 1/07
Dawn Princess Alaska 9/07
Star Princess S Pacific 9/09
Coral Princess Panama Canal 5/11
Star Princess Alaska 7/28/14
Grand Princess Mexico 1/9/16


Pittsburgh, PA
391 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Originally posted by stargazer4135
I see you fly into Pittsburgh airport, are you anywhere close to Moon Twp?
I live in Squirrel Hill.

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Western PA
1,269 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by tbird2252
Hi Mark,
You did a terrific travelogue and the information provided on your previous trips to the islands were very helpful and informative. This is my second trip to the islands having traveled there on our honeymoon in '74.

Appreciate your information on the lack of a transfer at the conclusion of your tour. When cruising domestically I usually handle my own arrangements. I noted that you utilized Super Shuttle back to SFO. Have never used this company but I have them booked round trip when I arrive for my cruise in November 13, '17. I have always found on cruises that most travelers are in a rush to board and equally harried to disembark. Because my flight leaves late afternoon on disembarkation day I plan to do as I have on most cruises, have a leisurely breakfast (last opportunity to be pampered) and take my time leaving the ship. I have a Super Shuttle scheduled for pick up at 11AM. Once again, thank you for the detailed report. Please thank DW for being so patient!


Well, you are less than a month away from your cruise. If your last trip was in 74, you will notice a lot of changes since then. However, those changes are mainly in "man-made" things, and prices. The beauty of the islands still remains.

Enjoy your cruise.


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Mark
Grand Princess - April-May, 2017 -Hawaii Review with photos
Celebrity Summit - January, 2017 Review with photos
Oasis of the Seas - November, 2015 Review with photos
Coral Princess - April 2014 -Panama Canal Review with photos
Allure of the Seas - March, 2013
Voyager of the Seas - March, 2012
Grandeur of the Seas - September, 2010
Serenade of the Seas – May, 2010
Independence of the Seas - March, 2009
Serenade of the Seas – Nov, 2007
First Cruise – SS Norway – Aug, 1980
Several between on Carnival, Princess, RCI

Future cruises
Serenade of the Seas – Jan, 2018
Allure of the Seas - March, 2018
Western PA
1,269 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by stargazer4135
I see you fly into Pittsburgh airport, are you anywhere close to Moon Twp?
Originally posted by brt49
I live in Squirrel Hill.
No, we live about an hour north of the airport. We are also within an easy drive to the Cleveland airport, so sometimes we fly Frontier from there when we can get a cheap, direct flight to San Francisco. We can put up with their non-reclining seats for the 4-1/2 hour direct flight. Too bad Frontier doesn't offer one from Pittsburgh. We actually had scored a oneway from Cleveland this year for the two of us for only $150 total.



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Mark
Grand Princess - April-May, 2017 -Hawaii Review with photos
Celebrity Summit - January, 2017 Review with photos
Oasis of the Seas - November, 2015 Review with photos
Coral Princess - April 2014 -Panama Canal Review with photos
Allure of the Seas - March, 2013
Voyager of the Seas - March, 2012
Grandeur of the Seas - September, 2010
Serenade of the Seas – May, 2010
Independence of the Seas - March, 2009
Serenade of the Seas – Nov, 2007
First Cruise – SS Norway – Aug, 1980
Several between on Carnival, Princess, RCI

Future cruises
Serenade of the Seas – Jan, 2018
Allure of the Seas - March, 2018