1. Do any of you have any experience with Hawaii-Tour.com? Are they reputable, and do they do a good job? They sure are cheaper than the ships.
2. What is the best thing to do in Kuwai?
3. Same question for Maui.
just curious..when & where are you cruising? we are doing the islands in sept on vision. we want to see the napili coast by boat in kauai (have spent a week there before). not much else we want to do. on maui ( our favorite) we plan on heading north to kapalua for snorkeling at kapalua bay. it is the best! we always enjoy just hanging out in lahaina, too. have never been to oahu or the big island.
Don't know yet if we'll go or not. Probably will, eventually.cruisin2 wrote:
> Some questions:
> 1. Do any of you have any experience with Hawaii-Tour.com?
> Are they reputable, and do they do a good job? They sure are
> cheaper than the ships.
> 2. What is the best thing to do in Kuwai?
> 3. Same question for Maui.
We rented a car (about 6 mos. in advance) on each island when we planned for our April 2001 cruise. Van was waiting for us at the pier on each island.
It's easy to get around on the islands and if you are game - you can probably save more than on private or ship excursions. I enjoyed the freedom the car gave us - however, don't think hubby enjoyed the trip as much as I did because he did all of the driving. But then the only thing he really enjoyed at all (totally) on the cruise - was the ship.
With a guide book, some pre-planning and a car you can do your own excursions. Just a suggestion.
We used Alamo and were pleased. There are many, many agencies on the Islands - at least there were lots of car rental vans waiting at each pier.
We made our reservations direct with Alamo on each island rather than using 800 number of internet. Numbers are below - JIC - however, I've seen other posts that indicate lower rates are available. We averaged between $25 and $45 (lots of added taxes on rental cars in Hawaii) - and we did not go for small cars - but rather husband insisted on the larger. Think most were Buicks or something similar. Can't remember.
Also, as you make your plans, be sure to surf the net for publications to mailed to you free of charge (like the "go.com" site - and indicate each Island you'd like to receive info on). We were able to do most of our planning from these publications which we received before hand. (Was a great way to spend the winter months leading up to our April vacation!)
What is the best thing to do in Kuwai? If you don't take a Helicoptor flight over Volcano's National Park out of Hilo on the Big Island, don't miss a flight over Waimea Canyon on Kauai. It is just breathtaking. You will get to see it all.
for Maui? Take in a Luau if you have never done one. Also a drive to Halekala Crater is a great experience as well as a drive along the road to Hana.
As previously mentioned, this is one destination where I too would recommend renting your own car. You are in America. One agency can arrange for rentals on all of your islands if you wish. AAA (if you are a member) can provide a guide book and driving maps. You will get to experience so much more than on a tour. If you do rent a car I recommend :
Kauai, get up as early as possible and head to the very top of Waimea Canyon - do not stop at the pull offs until you reach the top. The earlier in the morning you reach the top the better chance of a beautiful view. Remember this is the Garden Isle and it rains a lot. Don't let this bother you. It is warm brief showers but clouds do roll in up the top of the mountains. The sun will shine in a few minutes. When you have absorbed the view of the Napali coast, head back down and stop at a few pull offs for more different spectacular views. On the way back to Lihue, go to Poipou to the Spouting Horn. There are sugar can fields, the Menahune Ditch is right down the road from the docks. Then you can drive to Kaapa or further to explore. If you have some free time and wish to take a walk from the dock, go to the Marriott nearby and see this beautiful property.
Maui, drive the road to Hana across its 52 one lane bridges. Take some roads to the left going towards the sea and venture to beautiful black sand beaches. Drive to the summit of Halekala Crater which is dormant. Take a Whale watch cruise if this is something you enjoy.
Big Island; Volcano's National Park is a must by air or land. Obviously you can explore more deeply on land but it takes quite a long time. I would think the drive is at least an hour from Hilo or 2 hours from Kona. Visit a black sand beach if you don't get to one on another island. Take note of the graffiti painted into the lava fields near Kona. A trip to Waipo Valley through the Parker rance is beautiful from Kona.
Oahu; Pearl Harbor, Polynisian Cultural Center, Diamond Head, there is another beautiful gardens and water falls area but you will need a car on the way to the Cultural Center. Allow plenty of time at the Cultural Center too especially if your ticket includes dinner and the show. It is a great way to learn about these many Polynisian cultures.
While you are researcing your cruise, pick up a Frommer's Guide on Hawaii for $75 a day. Not that you have to try to keep to a budget, but there are many hints of things to do and see including basic fees. You will also find some local restaurant recommendations that you won't want to miss for local culture. Dani's and the Japaneese Gardens in Kauai come to mind on Kauai. If you were driving by these are the type of places you would probably drive past. Take a chance and stop in for great food and local service and culture. You can also map out your plans for a day. Allow more time than you anticipate as the travel time will be much slower than back at home.
I'll be taking a cruise on the Summit to Hawaii in May and have arranged car rentals in each port. I decided on a Helicopter tour for Kauai, and thought the easiest and earliest booking might be through the ship (which has an 8AM slot). This would give me time to tour on my own afterwards. Any thoughts or comments?
I heard the helicopter rides in Kauai are amazing! Great Choice!!
If you make it to the Big Island, you gotta do one there. We flew with Tropical Helicopters. It was a great experience, and the pilot was awesome. And you can always call them direct.
Hope you have a great vacation.
In Kauai rent a car and drive up to airport at Port Allen and do a helicopter ride . The helicopters there have no doors so the scenery is right there. It is windy inside and chilly when they go to 4,000 over the mountains so take something warm. After return from helicopter continue drive up to canyon to look down at it at your leisure. On the way back look for the store that sells shaved ice. My wife really enjoyed it with some macadamian nut ice cream in the bottom. Reserve in advance and call when you get off the ship to see if they are flying. If it is raining, they won't fly and you will be cancelled.
The best macadamian nut ice cream is at the Nut Factory in Hilo on the way up to the volcano. I can still savor the flavor.....