I would like to know if anybody could please give me some ideas to which excursions to take. We are going on the Pride of Aloha on Feb 5th and we have 2 children that we are taking with us. They are 9 and 11. Thank you for your help...pdqmom[/b]
That's a loaded question due to the number of excursions available and the number of ports. My suggestion to you since you have a large group, look into renting a car at some of the ports and do your own tours. You will be surprized at how many of the excursions are primarily a bus ride to a park where you will see many of your shipmates who got there on their own or took an excusion that they purchased on the dock instead of from the ship.
It does take a bit more homework to be prepared. If you are a member (or know a member) of the AAA, get their "Travelbook" for Hawaii and check out their recommendations for each island.
You will find that the roads are nice and plainly marked. Also, you can do the trips at your pace instead of that of the group which could be faster or slower than you want. You can also eliminate some stops that may be superfluous such as a shopping mall stop which the bus driver gets a kick-back for.
We did this on our cruise mainly because my wife gets motion-sick on buses and it worked out great. You can get a rental car for about $50 per day with unlimited mileage (better rates if you have a premium membership). Reserving a car ahead of time will ensure that you lose as little time as possible when you arrive.
The independent tour operators are at the docks when you disembark. You can check out their prices and itineraries. We took one of these on Kuaii and it was very enjoyable. The benefit was that we did not have to do the research and the guide was very knowledgeable. The price was $45 per person for 4.5 hours. There were also taxis available for $50 per hour and could hold up to 4 passengers.