Getting on when you are getting off. We sail July 10th. I have done a lot of reserch and suggest you do the same. Many boards are helpful here and on cuisecritic.com. Some of the NCL excursions have a hefty price, however we will be using them in all Tendor Ports so we are certain to be first off the ship.
PS Write a review when you return, good or bad. I wish more would have to help us...
My wife and I and three other couples just returned from our 10 day cruise on the Wind in Hawaii from 5/19 to 5/30. We booked tours at all of the ports except Fanning Island. We also booked a Pearl Harbor tour the morning of our cruise departure and an Oahu Island Grand Circle tour on the day of our return. We flew up a day early which allowed us to do the Pearl Harbor tour and our departing flight was late, which allowed us to do the Island tour. You may be interested in the cruise review that I posted in the Cruise reviews of this trip.
Specifically regarding your inquiry, our tours were as follows:
Hilo- Volacano National Park & Rainbow Falls
Lahaina- Haleakala Crater &
Hoko Nui Luau
Kauai- Waimea Canyon & Wailua River/Fern Grotto
Kono- Blue Hawaillian Helicoper (2 hr.)
The hellicoper tour was spectacular, but expensive. You do see flowing lava from about 500 ft. You could also do this from Hilo and not Kona. This cuts the flying time and also the price.
We least liked the Haleakala Crater tour. We could have rented a vehicle and done this ourselves for much less money.
The laua was very nice and held on the grounds of the Sheraton Hotel right on the beach. We had a beautiful sunset on our visit as well as a shower.
The Oahu Island tour was a nice way to end our trip, rather than sitting all day in the airport.
If you have any specific questions, please write me.
I'm gad you had a good time.
Question questions questions ... We don't get out much so we want to make sure we learn as much as we can before we go.
Looking back, what would you different?
What did you do on fanning Island? We wern't planning any excursions either. Did you talk to anyone that took any?
One complant I heard is that the NCL Wind didn't have a lot of deck areas in the shade. Did you have any problems finding seating on deck?
Here is what our group we will be doing. Did you hear any reviews on any of these?
Volcano National Park Odyssy
Kilauea Lava viewing adventure
Glass bottom boat
Kona cloud botanical walk
Kaanapali beach break
Hoku Nui Luau - Thanks for the review!!
Catch a wave
Maui tropical plantation & IAO valley tour
Scenic Hanali tour
Golf at Kauau Lagons
Kauai snorkle beach lunch
(I'm tired already )
I'm really looking forward to the shows on board ship. Any recommendations?
Which night was the formal dinner night? I assume it would be one of the night to or from Fanning island...
We were a group of eight, 4 couples. I regret that we did not do the 11 day cruise instead of the 10 day one, one extra port for about $50 per person. Also we flew up the day before the cruise, good thing since our plane had mechanical problems in LA and we did not get to Honolulu until 9:00 pm. I wish that we had flown up 2-3 days before the cruise so that we could have done more in Honolulu.
Regarding Fanning Island we walked around, shopped, (my wife bought a sea shell that weighed about 5 lbs.), bought stamps, watched the native shows, swam on the beach, and ate. NCL serves picnic style, hamburgers, snacks, desert, and drinks. The scenery was beautiful and the swimming was fine, but not much else is going on unless you are into native dances. We did not speak to anyone that did a tour here.
The Wind is not a huge ship. There are many deck chairs, but not so many deck tables, and few are covered. If you want shade outdoors, you will need to look for shadows. However we did not feel excessively hot on our cruise, and actually it was cooler than our climate in New Orleans.
We did the Volcano Nat. Park & Rainbow Falls tour which is 6 hrs. With this tour we got lunch at Volcano House within the park which was real nice. I would recommend this tour to you for just a little more money. We did not do any of the other tours that you listed except for the luau, which was great.
The shows are not the highlite of the cruise. We have sailed on other ships and have seen much better. Also because of the slow service in the dinning rooms, we missed several shows because we were late getting a seat after dinner. The showroom is basically flat, not stadium seating, which makes it hard to see if you are not near the front.
There was one formal night. I think it is the first night at sea heading to Fanning Island. Ofcourse the itenaries for the 10 and 11 day cruises are different so this may change depending on which one you are on. We would have liked two or three formal nights.
I would also recommend doing the LeBistro restuarant at least one of the nights. It costs a little extra, but was a fine dinning experience, and a little slow also. We did it so that the women could get the chocolate fondue, which is NCL's signature desert.
I hope this helps. If you have more questions please write.