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Hawaiin ports

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Hi  It's been about eight years since I did an Hawaiian cruise so I think the situation may have changed.  In Honolulu we did undertake an independent island tour which was half the price of the ship's excursion.  We went to the volcanic area and had a few stops along the way and went to a beach to see sea turtles.  However, the number of tour operators was limited compared to that in the Caribbean so if you wish to take advantage of these trips depart the ship early but I accept that there may be many more tour operators offering these trips now.  Alternatively, there's a good public bus service which will take you to Pearl Harbour (queues can be long to get on the guided tour of the site so again get there early). Maui  (tender port) was the most under developed island and my favourite the main town was pleasant just to wander about but a trip in the heart of the island showed the natural beauty of this paradise.  At the other islands we went to the beaches and just chilled out (hired paddle boards, it much easier than surfing) and had lunch in the many and reasonably priced beach front cafes.  I can't comment on the night life on islands as we had no overnight stays.

Edited by Land Ahoy
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We cruised around the Hawaiian islands in 2002, so these comments are woefully out of date.  Furthermore, we had booked a pre-cruise hotel stay in Honolulu, and managed to explore Oahu independently.  We did not book ship's excursions on other Hawaiian islands, so I cannot comment upon organised shore excursions.  However, the following details might provide a few pointers.

When we reached one port, we found that our options were very limited.  (I think the port was probably Nawiliwili on Kauai Island, although I might be mistaken).  There were no taxis at the harbor and we had missed the free bus to the shopping center in Lihue (the only town of any size).  Consequently, we walked almost three miles up the hill to Lihue, where we discovered there was little to do, apart from visiting Hilo Hattie's souvenir shop.  We hadn't travelled all the way to Hawaii to purchase t-shirts etc., so we caught the bus back to the ship.

We met a delightful American couple in Hilo Hatties (they subsequently became good friends), so when the ship reached Hawaii Island (the Big Island), we shared their rental car and visited the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  The National Park, with the Kīlauea and Mauna Loa active volcanoes, is a "must see".

I would research each island carefully because although ship's excursions are usually be overpriced, they might be the best option.  You could also consider car hire.

Edited by BobTroll
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