Looking for shore excursion inspiration

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#1
9 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Booked on the Dec 19, 2018 Hawaii cruise on the Emerald. For all you seasoned Hawaii cruisers, I would love your advice on which you feel are the best excursions for Kauai, Maui, and big island and why! Oahu we are going to Aulani as we are DVC members and will enjoy the resort for the day! We are a group of 7 in three cabins with different wants, so any info on any excursion would be appreciated. Bonus points for tips on private vendors!!!
#2
DURHAM, NC, USA
955 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Kauai - go flightseeing! Absolutely awesome.
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#5
Manitoba Canada
462 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Rent a car in Hilo and drive up to the crater and then on to the black sand beach where you may see the turtles laying their eggs.

Renting a car in Hilo is extremely easy - shuttles pick you up at the port and take you to the airport which is a 5 minute drive. Driving is very easy on the big island.

Enjoy your trip. It is one of our favorite cruises and have done it 3 times.
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#6
1,198 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by m2agk
Booked on the Dec 19, 2018 Hawaii cruise on the Emerald. For all you seasoned Hawaii cruisers, I would love your advice on which you feel are the best excursions for Kauai, Maui, and big island and why! Oahu we are going to Aulani as we are DVC members and will enjoy the resort for the day! We are a group of 7 in three cabins with different wants, so any info on any excursion would be appreciated. Bonus points for tips on private vendors!!!
how do you get wristbands for the day at aulani without having a hotel stay? or have you booked a room for a night?

big island- volcano national park if you have never been. or flumin Kohala was fun but does not give a lot of culture/scenery. manta ray swim if you have a late night departure.
#7
USA
649 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
In Kauai, last May, I went on the botanical gardens excursion. It’s part of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. I booked it onboard after an excursion I booked pre-cruise was cancelled. There were approximately 25 booked and they divided us into two small groups. We were on a comfortable mini-bus to the gardens. A light lunch was served. It was very beautiful and the docent walked us around the gardens and provided commentary. So happy I signed on to this, it ended up being one of the highlights of my trip.
#9
Lihue HI & Calimesa CA
6,508 Posts
Joined May 2013
Originally posted by SteelMagnolia9
In Kauai, last May, I went on the botanical gardens excursion. It’s part of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. I booked it onboard after an excursion I booked pre-cruise was cancelled. There were approximately 25 booked and they divided us into two small groups. We were on a comfortable mini-bus to the gardens. A light lunch was served. It was very beautiful and the docent walked us around the gardens and provided commentary. So happy I signed on to this, it ended up being one of the highlights of my trip.
#11
5,170 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by RLK33853
Rent a car in Hilo and drive up to the crater and then on to the black sand beach where you may see the turtles laying their eggs.

Renting a car in Hilo is extremely easy - shuttles pick you up at the port and take you to the airport which is a 5 minute drive. Driving is very easy on the big island.

Enjoy your trip. It is one of our favorite cruises and have done it 3 times.
If you rent a car, join Thrifty's loyalty program (free) because you can go to the front of the line at the rental location.
#13
Northern California
3,500 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Doors off helicopter over the volcano on the Big Island! We did this a few years back, and it was spectacular. It was a small helicopter, only two seats in the back. So, hubby and I each had a door-less door to stick our heads out of and goggle at the scenery. We did this through Paradise Helicopters, https://paradisecopters.com/. If you do it, you should wear warm clothing. I nearly froze before we got over the lava fields where it was nice and warm.
#15
9 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Originally posted by tamsocal
how do you get wristbands for the day at aulani without having a hotel stay? or have you booked a room for a night?

big island- volcano national park if you have never been. or flumin Kohala was fun but does not give a lot of culture/scenery. manta ray swim if you have a late night departure.

Yes, we are DVC members. We will book two nights actually, so we have a "late check in." This way we have the room available when we get there.