Hawaii trip reports

looking for advice for Hawaii. We are trying to stay at around $100 per port for each tour.

For Maui, we are thinking the volcano tour looks good, but not sure if it is on a motorcoach bus. would prefer to go with a small group if possible. anyone done the one the ship offers? Princess Cruise Maui Tour. What is better for Maui, an island type tour or a snorkeling tour. Can't really make up our minds on this one.

For Honolulu we are going to do an island tour. My favorite so far is Oahu Island Tour It hits most of the hot spots we want to see and its $100 each which fits our budget

For Big Island we have already booked Volcano National Park, Waterfalls and Gardens. We paid $70. the similar tour from the ship is $150

Undecided for Kauai. Every tour seems expensive. We are considerint Kayakin Tour or an island tour, if we can find a good rate. Anyone have recommendations for Kauai?


Active Member
For Honolulu, I would strongly recommend that you include Pearl Harbor in your sight seeing. It is a beautiful place that is very moving, and a huge part of American history. If you do decide to do that, you can either do it via a ship's tour, or on your own. If you go on your own, get there early, because only certain number of tickets are available per day, and are for specific times, and they tend to get gobbled up early. Not only do you get to take a short boat ride out to the Memorial itself, but the is a very interesting short film about the attack, and there is a lot to see on the grounds.
We did it on a shop's tour that included a city tour.

On Kauai, there is a nice beach just a few blocks from the pier, on Kalapaka Bay. You can get to it by walking, or you can take a free (except for a tip to the driver) shuttle that picks you up right on the pier. The beach is in front of a lovely hotel, and there is a casual restaurant named Duke's that has inside or outside dining. We usually do this instead of taking a tour. A beach day is a good thing to do in Hawai, and lunching outdoors with a view of the beach is very pleasant.
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Trivia Specialist
It sounds very much like your trip to Haleakala (the volcano) will be on a bus with a large group of people! I love Maui and have visited on land vacations many times. My favourite part of the isand is what they call Upcountry. Your tour will pass very quickly through this area that I believe deserves much more time. Have you considered renting a car on Maui for just the day. You can easily drive yourself up to the summit of Haleakala and then stop and enjoy a number of different places on your way back down to sea level....and the bonus is that you can do it on your own time not on the schedule of a bus which may have you wasting a whole bunch of time as you wait for stragglers to rejoin your group.

Here is a short list of just some of the wonders that you can visit on an Upcountry tour!

1. Haleakala National Park and summit
2. Makawao ... a wonderful little "cowboy" town filled with interesting shops, galleries and eateries
3. Hui Noeau Visual Arts Centre
4. Enchanting Floral Gardens
5. Kula Botanical Gardens
6. Alii Kula Lavender
7. Ulupalakua Ranch and Tedeschi Winery
8. Surfing Goat Dairy ... and they have the very best cheese as well as the sweet goats!!!
9. Kula Lodge Marketplace and the Curtis Wilson Cost Gallery
10.Polipoli Springs Recreation area (4 wheel drive country)

Interesting and/or fun places to eat if you're there at lunch/dinner time

1. Polli's Mexican Restaurant (Makawao)
2. Kula Lodge open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
3. Hali'imaile General Store
4. Casanova's Italian restaurant and deli in Paia
5. Mama's Fish House (Paia)
6. Paia Fish Market...they have (IMO) the very best ono burgers!

These are just a few of the possibilities for a "do it yourself" trip Upcountry. You will not have the time to do all of them but you will see and do a whole lot more on your own than you will on a "tour".

Enjoy your trip to these beautiful islands. Aloha!


Forever Remembered
Beryl has given you excellent information. I, too, second her comments about Upcountry.

I would like to add one suggestion to Haleakala tours. If your health permits, many enjoy taking a shuttle type bus up to the summit of Haleakala and then ride a bike down. There's quite a choice of bike tours.

I also highly recommend visiting Pearl Harbor on Oahu - and, yes, it's advisable to get there early, whether on your own or on a ship's tour.
Thanks for the advice!
We have Hilo booked and we booked the Oahu tour Oahu Island Tour - Best of Oahu
I am definitely going to rethink Maui though. I really want to make a wise choice and not wind up in a big group tour.
The beach day in Kauai sounds great, but isn't Kauia something we should be seeing while we are there, it just seems like Kauai is really pretty and im no sure if we will be missing out by just heading to the beach.