Four of us will be going on a Hawaii cruise this September, 2011. Anyone have any do or don't recommendations for Hawaii excursions? We're interested in sightseeing, snorkeling, photography, beaches, but nothing too strenuous. The wife and her sister have both had recent surgeries this year, and off-road/bumpy excursions are out.
RCI Radiance of the Seas - Sept 16 2011 - Hawaii
RCI Brilliance of the Seas - Oct 08 2008 - Med/Greek Isles
RCCL Adventure of the Seas - Sept 23 2007 – E. Caribbean
Carnival Fantasy - January 15 2006 - Bahamas
Carnival Destiny - July 3 2005 – S. Caribbean
RCI Adventure of the Seas - Oct 10 2004 – E. Caribbean
RCI Navigator of the Seas - Nov 29 2003 – W. Caribbean
They have a long and short tour of the volcano state park on the big Isle. We did the short mainly because we didn't want to feel rushed. The long is supposed to be a bit more strenuous, but on that one you are supposed to be able to get near the lava flows.
We did the Fern Grotto river cruise / Luau on the second stop at Hilo. Nothing too strenuous there, and some possible photo ops.
On Waikiki and Maui we did our own exploring via taxi, revisiting places we had been before. Relaxing days, great beaches. For casual beach/shopping days, no excursions are necessary there. You can get to many good beach spots, rent chairs, umbrellas, snorkel gear, etcetera.
We used Hawaii Cruise Excursions and Tours Guide for Tours on the Islands of Oahu, Maui Big Island and Kauai Hawaii for our cruise in January 2011 and would use them again. Good selection of tours and some cheap prices. I don't know what your itinerary is, but for the Big Island, you have to go to the volcanoes. We took this tour and it was great. Our cruise ships tour was on buses, but this tour was in a van with our own guide. Kai was so friendly and we had a great day. I defnitely recommend going on a smaller tour for the volcanoes. For Oahu, you need to see the major sites, and go to a beach. There are beautiful beaches on Oahu. Waimea Bay Beach is gorgous and so is Kailua Beach. Of course Waikiki is great, but there are some more beautful beaches that are less crowded. Maui is the Road to Hana or Molokini crater for snorkeling. Depends on what you are into. We went to Molokini crater as we are divers and it was on my bucket list. Kauai is beautiful, we did a helicopter flight. It was an hour and a bit expensive, but it we wanted to do one helicopter flight. We used Kauai Helicopter Tours - Service with a Smile & Impeccable Safety Record | Safari Helicopters and they were great. Have a great vacation! We are about to start planning our winter cruise, haven't decided where yet, but might go back to Hawaii!
My wife & I will cruise to Hawaii in Nov 2012 aboard the Celebrity Century. This will be our 1st visit to Hawaii. I have been researching and reading some of the blogs and have determined there is simply too much to do and not enough time. Of course I realized this before I ever decided on the cruise, but wanted to get a taste of the main islands to decide whether to fly-in for another vacation at another time and where to stay for a better experience.
The excursion options offered by Celebrity just don't thrill me. I have checked many on-line companies and find that they may have interesting excursions but just don't time-up well.
Does anyone know if there are excursion companies set-up at the cruise ports so that you can book when you get off the ship? Can any of you experienced cruisers out there help me with suggestions for the "just can't miss things to do" in our ports-We would really, REALLY appreciate it!
Our itinerary follows:
Sun; 11/25/12; 7:00am-midnight: Honolulu (We would like to do Pearl Harbor and the main landmark sites: Diamond Head, North Shore, China Mans Hat, etc, but are open to any recommendations)
Mon; 11/26/12; 8:00am-midnight: Lahaina, Maui (We would like to do the Road to Hana or at least a portion of it and snorkel Molokini Crater, but again will be glad to get other ideas/recommendations)
Tue; 11/27/12; 8:00am-6:00pm: Kailua Kona (The only thing I have found is a catamaran snorkel trip - I really need some suggestions here PLEASE)
Wed; 11/28/12; 7:00am-4:00pm; Hilo (Definitely want to do the volcano, Akaka Falls, any other suggestions PLEASE)
Joe: The one I can definitely recommend is Hawaii Movie Tours on the island of Kauai. They take you by comfortable air conditioned bus to see sites where movies have been made as well as movie stars homes (incredible beach views at Bette Middler's home on the beach at Hanalei Bay). Lots of movies have been made on this island.
CruiseTimer: for MAUI, I have done both the road to Hana and the Molokini snorkel. First, I would recommend you check with parks and wildlife to see if there has been a lack if rain. If so, the "7 Sacred Pools" will likely be dry or low and mosquito ridden. This is what happened to us when we got to the end of the "Road to Hana." Also, there is a hike required to the 7 Sacred Pools and you WILL need some hiking shoes. Pack your lunch lightly because you will be hauling it up a steep hike. That being said, I think the pools would be beautiful if full of water but lots of people go so know that you will be sharing..However, the actual drive up the road provides nothing but stunning views of the island the entire time. You will want to get out of the car and take pics a lot. However, there is not much to do/see except the view during the drive to Hana..nothing. The drive takes quite some time and to try to do the Road to Hana AND the Molokini snorkel in one day (even though u have til midnight) will be asking a lot. The road is single lane and dangerous to navigate during the day..much less at night. ALL of this being said...If it were me..Knowing what I know..Having done both...I would choose the Molokini snorkel first - solely because I have snorkeled ALL over the place (Caribbean and Hawaiian islands) and that was the most beautiful snorkel I have ever had..the fish the most colorful & gorgeous, the water the most pristine, sighting of rare monk seals playing, turtles, whales and funniest of all..Being chased briefly by a Hawaiian Barracuda. I would do the snorkel and then spend the rest of the day at a southern beach (Makena area or further south). There is a snorkel tour for Molokini that leaves from Big Makena beach (I've been on it several times - good tour, good captain who has been doing it many yrs). I've been to Maui 4 times and driven all over the island several times. Good luck; hope you have a blast!!
Snorklr45: Thanks for the quick response and info! I had wondered if anyone would actually respond and am very glad you did. Sounds like Molokini is definitely worth it. Are you sure that I could just wait til I get to Makena to book or should I try to book on-line ahead of time? Would I have any trouble finding him (do you know the name?), if he's booked-up are there others, how expensive?
Do you happen to know if I can book excursions at/near the ports we will be visiting? On other cruises we've been on in the Caribbean, most often there are companies available to do this as soon as you disembark. I have always been comfortable researching & booking on-line ahead of our previous cruises, but for whatever reason I just don't on this one. There just don't seem to be a lot of great excursion options or at least ones that don't have timing issues. They generally seem to be targeted for hotel-based vacationers. They leave too early, arrive too late, only pickup/dropoff at hotels, aren't really what I am interested in doing, etc. As you can probably tell-I'm getting a bit exasperated & frustrated at this point.