We're leaving on the 21 for Hawaii on the Island Princess and I'm wondering if anyone has taken a cab to Kahalu'u Park for snorkeling and what it might have cost. I think it's about 8-10 miles for Kona but not sure how far from where we're docking.
We'd rather skip a tour which gives you little actual time to snorkel and do it on our own.
What about car rental in Kona or Hilo? Have you done it? Good or bad experience? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
I don't think it is more than a 10 minute cab ride to Kahalu'u Park - so I can't imagine it would be costly. Renting a car in Kona often means you have to go North to the airport to pick up the car and traffic between the dock (right in Kona) and the airport can be really heavy and cost you a lot of time. I would take the cab - the only thing I am not sure of is getting a cab for the return trip. However, there is a good size hotel right next door to Kahalu'u Beach Park, so I don't think you would hae any trouble getting someone at the hotel to call a cab for you. We just returned from the 9/21 sailing and one other thing I would remind you of - Kona is a tender port and if there is another cruise ship in port that day (as there was for us) it can take quite a wait to get off the tender and to get back on one, so give yourself lots of leeway time wise.
Thanks for the info, it's much appreciated. I thought it was just a matter of a few miles so I'd say the cab would be the way to go. Thanks for the heads up on the tendering situation and allowing time for both ways.
Do you have any advice for the rest of the islands. We're renting a vehicle in Hilo because the tours we thought we'd be interested in are sold out so for less than $40 we'll rent a car and do our own thing. Maybe we'll even find another couple that want to share in the cost and tour with us. I hear there's really only 1 main road so I don't think we can get lost. At least I hope not.
Yes, we did cruise there and back from Los Angeles (San Pedro). Living in Glendale, CA (noticed you live in Glendale, AZ) we enjoyed not having to deal with airports and airlines. The first night and day at sea was rough. I had been told can often be the case leaving Los Angeles - although we sailed from L.A. south thru the Panama Canal last year and did not have that issue at all. A number of people were not feeling very well. We were a group of 9 and only 2 of us really had any seasickness. I had Sea Bands that I used (pressure points on the wrists) and they worked beautifully. The weather was also a little cool (although sunny) for the first day and a half and the last day coming back in. It wasn't exactly sitting out by the pool type of weather, but the Island Princess has a covered pool - so that was great.
In Hilo - I think renting a car is probably a good idea although as soon as you get off the ship there are lots of vans and drivers lined up waiting to provide you with a personal tour - if you can get someone to share with you it would probably be less stressful and you would see a whole lot more than driving yourself. They have beautiful botanical gardens around Hilo, and the Macadamia Nut orchards and factory, also great waterfalls within an easy drive - or you can go the other direction to the volcano - but that trip (although very interesting will probably take most of your day).
We go to the islands every other year - we have seen most everything so if you have any other questions, let me know.