For those of you going to Hawaii, I have some information about tours and shopping which might be helpful.
On Kauai, we visited Waimea Canyon, which is like a smaller Grand Canyon but with beautiful greenery. It was spectacular! The tour also included a visit to a blowhole along the coast. The ship docked there.
On Maui, where we stayed overnight, we visited Iao Valley and the Maui Tropical Plantation. Iao Valley State park has fantastic scenery , and the Tropical Plantation ahs a little tram ride through fields where all types of flowers and plants are grown. There are dozens of shops where you can book your own tours or Luau's there for a lot less than the ship's tours. You do have to tender into this port. This also may be the best place for shopping with hundreds of shops and Whaler's Village.
At Kona, on the big island, we took a simple hour long glass bottom boat ride which was very relaxing. You also have to tender into this port. There is one of the world's biggest Banyon trees near the dock covering a whole city block.
At Hilo, where the Iron Man Triathalon is staged, we took a tour to Volcanoes where you can walk around steam vents where lava flowed just a few years ago. This tour also took in the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut factory. The ship also docked there.
There is a free shuttle ride to Hilo Hattie's at every port and they give you a free shell Lei each time you visit. Hattie's has the largest collection of Hawaii clothes, but you can get better prices at the ABC shops at most the ports and also at Walmart. You can also get free shuttle rides to Walmart at Kauai and Kona. Kona coffee is not cheap, but Walmart does have
the best prices. That is where the residents buy their coffee. The best prices for macadamia
nuts, particularly in large quantities, is at the factory near Hilo. Walmart and the ABC stores are also well stocked.
The helicopter tours from Hilo were already fully booked before we got on the ship. On the side of the island, the lava is presently glowing hot but is not flowing into the ocean. We saw no whales or dolphin, although a few people on the ship managed to see a couple.