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Old February 20th, 2010, 08:30 PM
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Default Shore Excursions in Hawaii?

I am so excited to FINALLY be going to Hawaii in April. I'd love to hear opinions on the best shore excursions. I'm especially interested in what to do in Kona.....
Also, has anyone done the Road to Hana? If so, your thoughts??
Thank you in advance for your help.
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Old February 20th, 2010, 08:38 PM
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Mary Lou,

Glad to hear you are heading to our 51st state. The best advice I can give is to do a car rental on the islands. You may have to take a short cab ride to the rental areas on Kauai but IIRC the rest of the islands have car rental areas near where you dock or tender.

The road to Hana is beautiful but it is a full days journey. A helicopter tour on Kauai and a drive up to Waimea Canyon are great to do.

On the big island you really need to visit Volcanoes National Park and see the lava flows and other sights.

Have a great time, grab a guide book to determine what you want to see and do the car rental.

Take care,
Mike
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Old February 20th, 2010, 08:58 PM
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Thanks, Mike! Volcanoes National Park is definitely on the list of "must-do's". The helicopter thing scares the bageebers out of me.....I know it would be awesome, but I'd miss it the whole ride because my eyes would be slammed shut and I'd probably be crying like a baby .
Hawaii is our 51st state?!?!? I thought it was the 57th? hmmmmm, better crack the books before I go!
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Old February 21st, 2010, 02:30 PM
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Hi MaryLou,
I was terrified about the helicopter ride, too. I am afraid of heights and claustrophobic...not a good combo. Left fingernail impressions in my hubby's hand! But, it was still worth doing....even he agreed. You just can't see anything like this any place else or anyway else, unless you spend days there and hike it. Even then, you could not see the whole thing. I won't do it again, but I am very glad I did it once. One way I dealt with it was by using my camera...looking through the view finder when I started freaking out distracted me and still let me see what I might be missing.
Marty
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Old February 21st, 2010, 08:29 PM
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You couldn't drag me on a helicopter, no matter how "beautiful" things are ! Marty, you've got more gut's than me!

State 49 was Alaska, state 50, Hawaii. (Statehood Dates )

We took the "overview" excursions through Princess and enjoyed them, but I understand that other's would enjoy something more exciting!
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 09:44 PM
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I ditto Volcanoes National Park and also Canyon....both were AMAZING!!! Make sure you try some macadamia nut ice cream, I never had anything again that tasted so yummy!
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 02:07 PM
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I thought Hawaii was our 57th state...

Anyway...

I did what I would modestly call a FANTASTIC photo gallery about the volcano on Hawaii from my Pride of Aloha trip in 2006. It is here:

http://infwww.cruisemates.com/gallery/view.php?id=2437

Let me say this - hiking over the volcano is extremely grueling and dangerous. The oxygen content of the air diminishes the deeper in you get (replaced by sulphar) and by the time you reach lava you may be gasping for air. I did, so I know.

I hiked for over 2 hours round trip and did not reach flowing lava, but I did see a hot hole (see my photo gallery). Here is the thing...

The lava landscape is constantly changing - and the terrain is very rough. I twisted my ankle and almost didnt make it back.

Depending on the conditions when you get there, I highly recommend you ask what you might see on a guided tour towards the lava flow. Chances are you canNOT reach lava flowing on foot, but if they say you can then go on a GUIDED tour or you may get lost. At the least you will see more in less time by not getting lost. There is no trail, the cold lava is like walking on hardened moltened glass.

Having said that - a helicopter is the ONLY sure way you will see tons of hot flowing lava up close up with your own two eyes. If I had it to do over again I would spend any amount to take a helicopter tour rather than take the hike. They will get you over the lava in a matter of minutes, while a walking tour will get you to a minor flow not worthy of comparison to where the biggest flows are breaking out.

I have taken two helicopter tours - in Bora Bora and in Alaska to a glacier. On the second one I told the pilot I get airsick and he kept it level, so I did not feel nauseated at all. if you say nothing these guys may give you a roller coaster ride, but just know that is not an inevitability.
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