I am cruising from San Diego to Hawaii in November. The cruise stops in Hilo, Kona, Honolulu, Nawiliwili and Lahaina. I would prefer to explore the Islands on my own rather than as part of an excursion arrange by the cruise. Is is possible to rent a car at each of these ports? Will the rental agency pick us up at the port? How long does the process take (I don't want to spend alot of precious time in a car rental office completing paperwork)? Does anyone have good sugestions as to which agency I should use?
As I recall, there were rental agencies in every port we disembarked at. But you save money if you do it in advance. Yes, I do believe they will have cars waiting for you at the port, and this is the USA so all the biggies are there. I would just look online for the best prices and call them to verify.
I must say, though, that we rented a car in Oahu and got lost, stuck in traffic, and didn't see anything good. Then when we returned some people we met drove us around, and it like to two completely different islands.
If you DO rent a car, pre-plan your route. The islands have small roads and LOTS of cars. You can easliy get lost or stuck in traffic and waste hours. Doing shore excursions is notr so bad by comparison, or hire a private driver.
Doing shore excursions is notr so bad by comparison, or hire a private driver.
Thanks for responding Paul This is actually my first cruise, and I am more of an explore-on-your-own-meet-the-locals, find the off-the-beaten-track kind of travel. My mom convinced me to go on this cruise and I'm excited but I am looking forward to doing my own thing. She swears that I will want to book another cruise before we even get back. I'll have a map and my route and destinations all planned out but I've found that sometimes, the best times occur when you have gotten off track and maybe even lost your way. The only thing that I am nervous about is my Mom's reaction if we do not make it back to the ship in time.
Well, you sound very confident and I am sure you will have fun, but I do suggest you listen to the person you hire the car from about a recommended route. In oahu, the best thing is to head around Diamond Head from Honolulu and stop at some of the scenic beaches along the way. Just a few miles around the bend you see some beautiful sights.
I am glad it is your first cruise, because it is NCL-America, which is a great way to see Hawaii, but not the best :cruise" experience due to their all-US crew requirement. To get the real cruise experience take another cruise after this, and go on a ship with the typical European staff. Then you will get the feel of a real cruise ship.
Still, you are going to have a blast. Hawaii is great. Which ship are you on?
We are actually cruising roundtrip from San Diego on Zaandam with Holland America. We have to stop in Mexico on the way back, I think so it is considered an international trip. I'll have 9 days at sea, not including the arival and departure days. I may get bored and spend all my money at the spa before we get to Hawaii.
Too late! We have a suite with a big veranda and I love to read so I have a list of books that I want to catch up on, it should be... relaxing. I'm looking forward to being taken care of instead of being the caretaker. It will also be nice to spend time just "chillin" with my mom. We don't get to do that often enough anymore.