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Big thanks to all the Hawaiian who helped

Cruise Arizona

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We had a great visit in Hawaii.


Kauai - Loved the scenery, but when we got to the waimea canyon viewing area it was shrouded in clouds. We did get to see Ft. Elizabeth, the Cook Statue, and then Menehune Ditch. Afternoon was sunny and we spent it at Pouipu Beach. Snorkeled and swam.


Honolulu - Took a few wrong turns on the freeway but eventually found our way to the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. Wait for tickets was 1 hour. No problem for our family, we did longer lines than that at Disney World. Once we got our tickets we thought about going to the swap meet, but it was kinds of rainy, so we decided to just stick aroud and have lunch and tour the Bowfin, Gift Shop and other museums. The Arizona Memorial experience was worth the wait. My 9 year old son is really into history so he really appreciated what it all meant. This was his favorite part of the 14 day trip.


After he AZ, the weather looked nice enought to try the Diamond Head hike. Not too much trouble finding our way there. Hike was fun for the kids. View was incredible. We could see all of Waikiki and even the cruise ship. Really beautiful. After we got back down we treated ourselves to our first Hawaiian Shaved Ice. Delicious.


As we drove back into two, there was a 5 minute rainstorm followed by a beautiful double rainbow. We were able to see the King Kamehameha Statue and Iolani Palace (Just the exterior)


Back on the ship we were treated to a 30 minute hula performance by Halua Hula Olana. I believe that this is the same hula group featured on the Discovery Channel, Discovery HD, and Travel Channel. The girls were all 7-14, and in contrast to other Hula Schools I've heard about performing on cruise ship, these girls were all dressed very modestly in white cotton shirts and smocked clothe skirts. They were fabulous. I loved the "Hawaiian Rollarcoater Ride" as well as the traditional Hulas.


Hilo - We spend the whole day at Volcanoes National Park and enjoyed the crater rim tour and the Thurston Lava Tube Hike. That night the ship went past the Lava entering the sea. This was spectacular. I was suprised at how much we could really see.


Kona - We chartered a combo deep sea fishing/snorkle combo. This was my daughters highlight. Traveling along the coast on the small boat was relaxing. We loved he snorkeling Haelekua Bay and I think we saw all the fish in Hawaii.


Lahaina - Well we had planned to go to the beach by the Sheraton and snorkel, but it was rather overcast and a little cook, so DS, DD and DH chose to stay onboard the ship. The view from the ship were very nice, and since they kids kind of needed a day of rest this was fine with me. I took advantage of the opportunity to go shopping. Lahaina was great for shopping. I got my standard t-shirts from the ABC store, as well as a book on the fish. I also made my way to the Cannery Mall and to Hilo Hatties. How I wish we were on the Itenerary that over nights in Lahaina. I would have loved to do the Old Lahaina Lua.


I loved the Islands and would do this cruise again in a heartbeat. Next time I'd just go do the other things I didn't get to do on this trip.


Thanks for all of the helpful advice you gvave me in planning the trip.

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Yea, thanks for your review. I have a couple questions if you don't mind...


In Poipu, where did you spend your time snorkeling, and how was it?


In your opinion, how long (timewise) at HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK to see most things?


Did you rent cars the ports? Kona? Kauai? Who from and how was your experience?

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ndjollymon: IMO, Cruise Arizona's original post sums up how long it takes to see a good portion of VNP: All day.


Truly, it's not like you are going to a little crater, looking over the edge, and then saying, "well, that was nice." VNP is quite large. (In fact, Cruise Arizona didn't even mention going down Chain of Craters Road.) There's a good Visitors' Center, separate museum, Volcano House (historic hotel w/ all kinds of interesting things), Crater Rim Drive, Chain of Craters Road (that's the one that goes down to the lava fields).


VNP is worth the whole day. Please, do not plan on spending an hour there so you can "do" more in your day. Either decide to give VNP the time it needs or plan something else. (If your ship is in port for a long day, you can certainly plan on small activities late in the day before heading back to the ship (such as the nut factory or Tsunami Park).



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beachchick...thanks for the heads up. We plan on spending the entire day at HVNP. My reasoning for asking about 'time to see most things' is this:

We want to do some trail hiking while at HVNP, but would also like to see the major sites/attractions (Lava Tube, overlooks, etc)


Have any suggestions for hikes in the park that are nice, but aren't overly long? I see there are many trails to choose from. May have to just decide when I get there.

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ndjollymon: I'm so glad to hear that you've planned to spend the day. You should have plenty of time to do hiking and still do the Thurston tube, etc.


Several of the hikes are quite long. There's one that goes around the whole crater rim, but I'm sure that's not what you are looking to do. As I recall though, you can pick up this trail at several places and just do part of it. We walked the Earthquake Trail portion (about 1 mile, maybe a tad more, r/t).


For a short hike, you can stop at Halema'uma'u crater. (I highly, highly recommend this one.) There is a long trail that you can take through the floor of this crater within a crater, but it's something like 6 miles long or more. However, you can just hike down the first portion to the overlooks. That is really worth it. The colors and patterns are spectacular. (You will see many offerings of flowers and other things to Pele as you walk this little trail. If you are so inclined, you may leave an offering and ask her for a blessing. We did it--and she blessed us with our one and only perfect weather day on the BI during our last trip for our adventure to the summit of Mauna Kea. There's a wooden cross along the way, and we hung our "first night in Hawaii" leis on it. DH got an amazing sunset picture of them. I'm convinced we were graced by a gift from Madam Pele.)


As with Halema'uma'u, there is a trail across the floor of Kilauea Iki. There are still warm spots from time to time (or at least, so we've heard). It's about 4 or 5 miles, so again pretty long. However, there are two overlooks; one has a short, but pretty hike to it.


I think the Devastation Trail was about 1 mile, but we didn't do all of it.


I know we did more short hikes, but can't really come up with specifics on them. Try the website nps.gov/havo/trails.htm, which has more details on all the various trails. It probably would be best to decide which ones you want to do when you get there because it gives you flexibility. But do please take the short (upper) portion of the Halema'uma'u trail. It's wonderful.



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Thanks for all the tips. We'll squeeze in some hikes for sure. I'm going to bring my handheld GPS to find my way around Hawaii, and for trails.


I'm guessing at the park itself, trails are well marked and established? I like to use GPS to track how far I've gone, and how long it takes to get back. (and to prevent getting lost, or find alternate routes) Makes a handy aid all around.

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I was having a blonde moment and couldn't find my origianl post, so I posted another thankyou and review, and the lo, and behold, I saw my origianl post.


VCNP, all day for cruisers, because the day is so short. We did eat at a wonderful Hawaiian plate lunch place in a strip mall in Hilo. I had LauLau. I loved it.


The only thing that we didn't see in Hawaii was any Waterfalls. We'll just have to do that next time.


On Poipu, we found a public parking spot near a resort and had lunch, hamburges, nachos, french fires and drinks for 4 for $72. (We planned on this being about the price), but we walked a few coves over to the public beach wher the kiddie pond and coral island were located. We probably could have gotten lunch there for less, but no big deal. The fish were abundant in this area. Many older kids were enjoying surfing and boggie boarding in the more open part of the beach.

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