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Old November 18th, 2011, 01:30 PM
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Default shopping for Hawaii shore tours

We are on going back to Hawaii on the Carnival Spirit in April, and i cannot wait! It seems like winter has gotten here way to early this year! To keep my excitement high, I have started to shop for our shore tours. The first one I have decided on is for Port Hilo and i thought i would share what I found. This year Im looking for great tours at a bargin. We've paid the ship prices before for tours, and it always seems like if we would have shopped around and asked other for advice, we would have saved around 50% on most of these tour. I have been researching the Volcanoe tours for the past 3 days, and while I know we want to see the volcano, we also want to see more of this port than just the volcanos. Carnival has a few different tours that we considered, but they don't offer a tour that combines waterfalls and other stuff with the volcnaoes. We looked as a few private tour operators and all i kept finding was tours that started too early in the day and alot were too long and didnt finish up until really late at night. The one we decided on looks great, and i am really excited. It is $70 each, they are picking us up at the cruise ship at 11am and we are going to volcanoes, waterfalls, gardens, a black sand beach and a few other places. Hawaii Volcano Tours, Volcano Excursions in Hilo Hawaii - Big Island Volcano National Park This is a 5 hour tour and they told me the maximinum number of people that will be in our group is 14 people plus our tour guide. I did so much research, and while it was fun, i wanted to pass on what i learned. I found them on trip advisor and they have really good reviews too. Big Island Volcano and Waterfalls Tours - Hilo - Reviews of Big Island Volcano and Waterfalls Tours - TripAdvisor . If anyone find any great tour ideas for the other ports, please share them!!!
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Old November 18th, 2011, 02:40 PM
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Since Hawaii is U.S. state, we rented cars in Hilo and Maui. But, in spite of my being claustrophobic and afraid of heights, I loved the helicopter tour of the Nepali coast. Did that through the ship, as it sells out. In Honolulu, we just used the local tour trolley. Wish I could go again!
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Old November 25th, 2011, 10:28 AM
lhp lhp is offline
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Originally Posted by colorcrazie View Post
Since Hawaii is U.S. state, we rented cars in Hilo and Maui. But, in spite of my being claustrophobic and afraid of heights, I loved the helicopter tour of the Nepali coast. Did that through the ship, as it sells out. In Honolulu, we just used the local tour trolley. Wish I could go again!
Marty

Thanks for the input....we are on this cruise as well.

We have already booked the helicopter tour through the ship for hubby and MIL.

We usually don't book excursions because our son with Autism has difficulty with them....but since the inlaws are coming....MIL and Hubby will be doing stuff together .... while DJ, FIL and I just hang out (FIL is 80 and is limited to what he can do).

We have Hilo and Honolulu covered.....now we just have to find a snorkel tour for one port, a zip line tour for another port and one port to just rent a car for the day....
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Old November 26th, 2011, 09:59 AM
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If you have the time in Honolulu, the Polynesian culture center is an outstanding trip. I agree that booking through the cruiseline is considerably more, but you're probably aware that it guarantees that they will wait for your tour to return. Twice (once in Barbados our tour bus had a flat tire with no spare-and a HUGE traffic jam in Panama) our tours got in after the ship was due to leave--in both cases the ships waited. On the other hand, we once had a couple at our table "miss the boat" when they booked a tour on their own, they had to pay to fly to the next port. Just something to keep in mind. Here is a video I found showing this.

Returning late to the ship
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Old November 27th, 2011, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by linalcaplan View Post
If you have the time in Honolulu, the Polynesian culture center is an outstanding trip. I agree that booking through the cruiseline is considerably more, but you're probably aware that it guarantees that they will wait for your tour to return. Twice (once in Barbados our tour bus had a flat tire with no spare-and a HUGE traffic jam in Panama) our tours got in after the ship was due to leave--in both cases the ships waited. On the other hand, we once had a couple at our table "miss the boat" when they booked a tour on their own, they had to pay to fly to the next port. Just something to keep in mind. Here is a video I found showing this.

Returning late to the ship
Another reason we booked the helicopter through the ship is IF the ship did not reach Hilo on the first day (medical emergency, weather, mechanical failure)...the independent helicopter docks you your refund (which is 50% of the cost ...several hundred dollars each)

This way, we don't have to worry....
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COMPLETES THE FLEET

If it is Carnival and it floats....we have sailed it!

Hubby ... DIAMOND (every ship except the Carnivale)
Me ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale)
20 year old son ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale...he is the only DOUBLE Milestone under the age of 21)
24 year old son ... DIAMOND
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