Would appreciate any advice on excursions people have taken in Hawaii. What did you like or dislike? Will be going July 18th with 18 year old daughter. Most of them seem so expensive, wonder if can do better on our own...
I have never cruised in Hawaii but I have been there on land based vacation.. Don't take the expensive ship's excursions. My best advice to you is get GOOD guidebooks and rent a car. The roads are good on all the islands and there are so many things to see and do the hardest part will be deciding what to do. My personal recommendations:
Big Island: Volcano National Park, Pu'uo Honaunau (Place of Refuge) - lovely little museum with good snorkeling nearby.
Maui: Haleakala - go at mid morning (clouds have cleared and the views are spectacular)
Kaui: Waimea Canyon and Koke'e or the North Shore (Anini Beach is nice and usually uncrowded)
Most of the excursions thru the cruiselines are so expensive because everyone has to get their share of the take. If you'll go to bestofhawaii.com, and then to a page of choices and then to activities, it leads to another page listing Tom Barefoot's Cashback Tours. They've been around for many years and have the best prices anywhere, sometimes as much as 50% of the ship's prices. I don't think you can do it on your own any cheaper.