Has anyone taken the helicopter tours in Maui or Hilo? What were they like, good, bad, indifferent? Were they worth the money? Also, how about the Kiluaua Lava tour, was it any good? This will be our second trip to Hawaii and we want to do some of the things we didn't do last time.
The ship is in Honolulu for about 16 hrs and we wanted to go to the Polynesian Cultural Center but not with the ship. One of their packages includes transportation. Has anyone else done this? The ship excursions often include a lot of shopping which is something I could do on my own. My husband would rather have a root canal without Novacaine than go shopping.
On the lava tour - please read my article (currently on the front page) and look at my photos for Pride of Aloha. This is a very arduous hike, and it is very easy to twist your ankle. There is no path to speak of, just a jumble of hard, mangled rock. There aren't even markers to mark your way. Plus, you will be lucky to actually see flowing lava.
It is worth doing if you are in decently good shape, but if not, think twice.
Kuki is right; we did the helicopter tour in Kaui and it was fantastic! We also did the Polynesian Cultural Tour with the ship. I don't remember stopping at any stores prior to the tour. It's a nice experience, seeing the many cultures of the South Pacific. I hope you're lucky enough to sail from Kona to Hilo at night; seeing the lava flowing into the ocean was a special treat, and was free! Enjoy your cruise.