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Mikey0368

Hawaii - Shore Excursions

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Can anyone give suggestions for shore excursions on Hawaii please?  We've got one or two ideas but would appreciate some pointers.

 

Honolulu, 7am - 11pm - We think we'll just have a wander round town ourselves and maybe take a tour bus.

 

Kauai, 8am - 5pm - No plans yet. Any suggestions welcome.

 

Maui, 7am - 6pm - We'll probably take an organised excursion here as there's a tender required and they'll make sure we're off and on in time if we book one of their tours. Otherwise we have no plans yet.

 

Hilo, 8am - 5pm - We were thinking of using these guys... http://www.ainatours.com/hilo-shore-excursions-cruise-ship-tours.htm

 

Should we consider a whale watching tour somewhere or are we likely to see plenty from the cruise ship anyway? And is there anything on any of the islands that we really shouldn't miss? Volcanoes and waterfalls are our thing!

 

Thanks.

 

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We were just in Hawaii on Princess in January. Since we'd never been to Hawaii before, we wanted to see as much as we could so we booked two shore excursions through the ship and two tours with robertshawaii.com. On their home page, if you click on "More", you'll get a drop down that includes cruise shore excursions.

 

In Honolulu, we used Roberts but chose not to take their "shore excursion". Since we'd be in port so late, we weren't concerned about being back to the ship on time. We took a taxi to a local hotel to be picked up for their "Stars and Stripes" tour which included Pearl Harbor and the battleship Missouri followed by a number of other highlights. At the end, our driver dropped us at the cruise port because he was driving right by it.

 

In Kauai, we took an all-day ship tour of the island with many stops - it gets the name "Garden Island" with good reason.

 

In Maui, we took a whale watching tour through the ship. Since it was a tender port, it was the easiest thing to do. The tender drops you right in the middle of Lahaina so there's also lots to be seen on foot.

 

In Hilo, we took another Roberts tour, this one to Volcanoes National Park as well as many other highlights of the island.

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Posted (edited)

IMHO if you are anchoring in Maui at Lahaina you could do everything yourself.  All the tours by boat or submarine operate out of Lahaina.  Granted there are other places on the island that do so, but they won't be significantly different that what is available there.  And Lahaina is a great town to walk around and have eats and drinks before or after.  We go to Maui almost every year and we always visit the place.  

 

As for timings.  You can easily take a look on the internet for cruises and tours from the companies providing such things and book something that fits inside your schedule.  Especially the snorkeling/whale watching/fishing tours.  There are multiple trips by each company each day and they stick to their schedules.   As nice a town as it is, it is designed to separate you from your money as quickly as possible then repeat 2.5 hours later with the next group. 

Boat booked excursions do offer peace of mind.  But it's a rare day that they are cheaper.

I live in Victoria, BC and cruisers pay approx. 99 US each to tour Butchart Gardens where for that price per person per couple you could take a cab there and back, entrance fee (33 cdn), and eat lunch and have 50 bucks US in their pockets.  But it is a long way from the ship so...peace of mind.

Edited by Aesop081

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1 hour ago, Mikey0368 said:

Can anyone give suggestions for shore excursions on Hawaii please?  We've got one or two ideas but would appreciate some pointers.

 

Honolulu, 7am - 11pm - We think we'll just have a wander round town ourselves and maybe take a tour bus.

On our first cruise to HI (before we'd moved there), we took the public bus (very inexpensive) and went to the AZ memorial. Our total cost at the time was around $7.00. After that, we used the bus for almost every visit and went to various tourist sites and beaches.

 

Kauai, 8am - 5pm - No plans yet. Any suggestions welcome.

We live on Kauai. The Hop On/Hop Off bus is a short walk from the port. You can also take the shuttle bus that makes a circle around Lihue with lots of stops for $1.00 (25 cents if you're a senior). Or rent a car. Most of the island is within a 45 minute drive...Princeville and Hanalei in one direction and Waimea in the other direction.

 

Should we consider a whale watching tour somewhere or are we likely to see plenty from the cruise ship anyway? And is there anything on any of the islands that we really shouldn't miss? Volcanoes and waterfalls are our thing! If it's whale watching season when you go, on Maui you can walk up to the booth for PacificWhale.org and get on a trip for less $ than an excursion.

Volcanoes mostly on the Big Island. Lots of waterfalls on Kauai, if you decide to drive yourself.

See above.

BTW: you probably won't see any whales from the ship. If you do, you're lucky. We've been on 6 or 7 HI cruises and never seen one from the ship.

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 It's important to know when you're going. Things like whale watching, for instance, are entirely dependent on season. Big wave surfing is exciting to see, too, but again, it only happens during the winter.

 

Jim

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, JF - retired RRT said:

See above.

BTW: you probably won't see any whales from the ship. If you do, you're lucky. We've been on 6 or 7 HI cruises and never seen one from the ship.

 

I've seen spouts from the ship but the whales are too smart to come near the ship (engine noises, tender movements, etc).  I've taken a whale watching that left from the ship.  That took off several minutes of tendering time.  

 

You didn't say which cruise you were on or what your interests were.  Honolulu is full of cultural places to visit.  Within walking distance of the ship:  Chinatown, City Hall, Kawaiaha'o Church, Mission Houses, Iolani Palace (not open daily), State Capitol (tours available weekdays while in session), King Kamehameha Statue, "Five-O" headquarters (lol), Kamaka ukulele factory, etc.  Rent a car, Oahu is an easy island to navigate.  

 

I will have my own private tour guide on Kauai.  Looking forward to sitting back and enjoying the sights.  ; )

 

Edited by cr8tiv1

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There's a Hawaii board here on Cruise Critic where you can find plenty of information on what to do in ports and how to do it.   On the "Forums" listing page, scroll down to Ports of Call, then click on Hawaii.   

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Thanks folks. It's a mid April cruise, which is towards the end of whale watching season I believe.

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On 3/9/2019 at 7:15 PM, Thrak said:

Here are a couple of suggestions:

Oahu (Honolulu) - Holokai Catamaran Sunset Cruise ($55 each) -- We loved this one.  https://www.sailholokai.com/

 

 

Kauai: (Nawiliwili) - Wings Over Kauai ($125 each) - loved this one as well - https://www.wingsoverkauai.com/

 

 

 

We did Wings Over Kauai the last time we were there and it was really great!

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We don’t book a lot of ship tours but were very glad we did in Hawaii. One on Oahu was fairly inexpensive to the Arizona Memorial (a bucket list item for me and a historic “must”) with plenty of time for the excellent museum there, plus a drive to the cemetery in Punchbowl;

 

...the other on Maui was the famous Road to Hana tour all day, tendering in after arrival and last tender back late afternoon. The waterfalls and coastal scenery were wonderful, and lunch was good at Hana Ranch. Very memorable, full day, one of the best cruise excursions ever.

 

We did see whales from the ship while eating breakfast in the Lido just after anchoring off Lahaina. 

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Thanks for all the replies.  We've been looking at this again in the last few days, specifically Kauai, and we think we'll do our own thing there. It looks like there's plenty to do within walking distance of the port. We might jump on the hop on hop off bus too.

 

We've booked the Hilo tour that I mentioned in my first post so things are starting to come together.

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3 hours ago, Mikey0368 said:

Thanks for all the replies.  We've been looking at this again in the last few days, specifically Kauai, and we think we'll do our own thing there. It looks like there's plenty to do within walking distance of the port. We might jump on the hop on hop off bus too.

 

We've booked the Hilo tour that I mentioned in my first post so things are starting to come together.

In Kauai we will be on our own with trying to find transportation. We booked the Smiths Family Laua which looks wonderful. 

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just recently returned from hawaii cruise. the best way to see the most is rent a car in each port . considerably cheaper than shore excursions by the cruise lines and you get to see what you want

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Does anyone have any information on how to get to  the shuttle bus in Kauai from the cruise port? The one that goes around the island for $1.00?

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On Kauai I strongly recommend Waimea Canyon, which is west of the port on the south side of the island.  Very colorful, somewhat like, but smaller than the Grand Canyon.  Poipu Beach, also on the south shore, is only about 1/2 hr from the port and is highly recommended (we're not beach people so haven't been there).

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On 6/2/2019 at 9:38 PM, oilsand said:

just recently returned from hawaii cruise. the best way to see the most is rent a car in each port . considerably cheaper than shore excursions by the cruise lines and you get to see what you want

I just reserved a car for our cruise next January. Maui $54.16, Kauai $43.28, Honolulu $55.23, Hilo $55.82.  

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Posted (edited)

The day before the cruise we will do the Pearl Harbor/CircleIslandTour

 https://www.pearlharbortours.com/tickets/pearl-harbor-oahu-circle-island-tour/  This is the same tour I took 50 years ago as a guest of Uncle Sam and I never forgot the stop on the far side at the Dole Pineapple Plantation rest stop....the drinks in the hollowed out pineapples were superb! 50 years later I'm going to treat my wife to one.....or two....or three.

 

On Maui we are doing the Best of Maui tour.

At Hilo we are booked to go on the Volcanoes National Park tour.

At Kona we are going on a self-guided, walking tour to the Kona Brewery then to one of the restaurants near the waterfront, shops in that area, etc.

At Nawiliwili we have booked the Luau Kalamuku and Plantation Train.

 

These are all handpicked POA  tour-type excursions that are not strenuous.....we are getting up in years and I'm 100% service related disabled so we are going to cover a lot of ground and let someone else do all the work.

Edited by rtread
typo

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16 hours ago, drjpreston said:

I just reserved a car for our cruise next January. Maui $54.16, Kauai $43.28, Honolulu $55.23, Hilo $55.82.  

 

 

considering this. Who did you rent from? Do they meet you at the pier for pickup and return?

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4 hours ago, diane.in.ny said:

 

 

considering this. Who did you rent from? Do they meet you at the pier for pickup and return?

Google discount car rental in Hawaii.  If you have a problem email me  drjpreston  @  juno dot com.

The only place where they will no longer pick you up is Honolulu.  You have to catch a ride to the airport.  Several options.  You can take a Taxi or Uber.  A good chance even share one with another cruise passenger.

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