We are still booked on the Wind to Hawaii in late May. ( I say still because we are awaiting a response from NCL and may change if the response is not favourable). Does anyone have any ideas/suggestions for shore excursions? The NCL website does not allow me to access any info on these. It doesn't even show the Wind as going there yet.
Thanks in advance and looking forward to more updated reviews on this ship.
Don't know your likes or dislikes, but can suggest tours I took off the Wind which we enjoyed.
Maui- We took a Cata meran sail /snorkel cruise to Lanai. Nice sailing and great snorkelling. We also took a half day tour to Iao Valley and Maui plantation. On your own you can do snorkelling at Molokini , Old Lahaina Luau , Maui Ocean Center amoung other things.
Kuai. We took an all day tour that did Waimea Canyon, toured most of the islands sites
and thought it was quite worthwhile.
Kona- We did a zodiac snorkel tour that went to Cook's Bay . Great snorkelling and the boat ride was thrilling.
Hilo - we did an all day "eco" tour that did orchid farm, Lava tree state park, snorkelling at a lava inlet and coral garden and a swim in a natural hot pool. Great fun.
If you stay in Honolulu I suggest, Pearl Harbor and Battle Ship Missouri. Huanama Bay,
beaches on the north shore, Polynesian Cultural Center (requires an entire day and evening).
Have fun, this is a great way to "taste " Hawaii for the first time..
Thanks Papabill. Your suggestions and comments are extremely helpful. I love to snorkel so will definitely go with at least one of those tours. Can they be booked on the ship or do we book them on land?
When were you on the Wind? How was the cruise? I have read some very conflicting messages and wanted some recent info from someone with recent experience. We are booked for May 29/04 and are considering cancelling if we don't hear some more positive reviews as our money is too hard earned to throw away.
In Maui. Kuai, Hilo,and Kona , wherever i said "we did" they were ships tours. Wherever
I suggest something else it was either something we did on our own or something we did two weeks ago when we were in Hawaii for a land based vacation.
My trip on the Wind was a few years ago. I don't know what you are hearing or reading but there is nothing wrong with this ship as far as I am aware. A lot of folks book the Norwegian ships and don't understand or get the best advantage of the freestyle dining options. There are certainly newer ships currently doing Hawaii, and before long there will be other new ones. For a smaller ship, the Wind has nice ammenities , is laid out nicely, rooms are reasonable size and comfortable and we found the staff to be quite attentive. They brought some Hawaiian entertainment onboard and it was in my mind an excellent cruise for the money. The way I looked at it, we could have sailed on the Mayflower and it would have been a great cruise. After all, the cruise was to Hawaii.
I'll try to keep your perspective in mind. It sure seems like you'd have a good time anywhere. I usually feel that if I'm not cooking or cleaning, it's a holiday and I'm going to enjoy it. My concern is that this is a complete surprise for my husband's birthday and he's had no input at all in the decision making. I want it to be great but I can't afford to spend much more. We're flying on points so that is also a concern. But as you say, we're going to Hawaii, how can it not be great?
Here are some suggestions involving the spending of little or no money.
In Oahu, you can go to Waikaki beach for no money at all and go shopping across the street at the vendors in the International Market Place for inexpensive souvenirs. You can take a bus to Huanama Bay for about a dollar each way. You can even circle the island on a bus and if you don't get off the cost will only be a dollar.
In Maui, look into free shuttle buses provided by Hilo Hatie's in Lahaina. You can take the bus to Lahaina, spend time checking out the town's shops, galleries , historic sites etc. Do some shopping at Hilo Hatties and go to one of the public beaches at either end of town and take a later shuttle back to the ship from Hilo Hatties Hilo Hatties is a large Hawaiin clothing and souvenir shop, there is one in each port. If the ship's dock in
Lihuii instead of tendering in to Lahaina they run shuttle buses to get people there
(it is about 25 miles).
In Kona, there is a great public beach just a few miles down the coast from the town.
Not a lot of beaches as this coast is very volcanic. It should be an inexpensive cab ride to the beach. There is good swimming and snorkelling there. I do not remember the beaches name, but just about anyone can tell you how to get to it.
Hope some of these suggestions are helpful as well.
Anne, I'm going to give you the key to the mint. I believe you said that you like to snorkel and I assume you would prefer to do it from a boat or catamaran for the least amount of money. There is a site called bestofhawaii.com leading to a page of choices, where if you click onto activities, it leads to another page listing Tom Barefoot's Cashback Tours, which if clicked on, displays a page listing the 4 major islands across the center. Clicking on each one displays a list of activities on the right side of the screen. By clicking on any one that interests you, many excursions will be displayed, many which aren't even listed on the ships choices and at up to half the price of the ships excursions, many with complimentary food and alcoholic beverages which you'd be hard pressed to find on the ships choices. This company has been in business since the mid-seventies. Take a look at it and I guarantee you will not believe your eyes when you make the comparison. For example, would you believe unlimited complimentary food, Maita'is, beer and champagne on a catamaran cruise for $40? How about the Maita'i catamaran cruise with unlimited complimentary Maita'is for $27. Ckeck out the site and have twice the fun for half the price. You eliminate having to pay the cruiseline for the use of their computers. Also, I don't know if you know it, but beginning about June, a brand new ship called the Pride of America will be doing the 7 day Hawaiian cruise. The only thing that I would caution against is if a particular excursion ends within a couple of hours before the ship sails, you'd be better off booking on the ship or booking an earlier excursion. I say that because if anything causes an excursion to run late, the ship will only wait for their own excursions. But that's no problem if you just don't book outside excursions for the afternoon of days that the ship is scheduled to depart that port. Good luck.