cruising the islands

Aug 18th, 2008, 01:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 23
cruising the islands

I will be cruising to Kauai,Maui,Hil,Kona Oct.25th-Nov 1st. Wondering what NOT to miss at every stop. We will be spending the night at Kahului, Maui and Nawiliwil, Kauai. Any suggestions?
Wondering if the local tours would be better/cheaper than what the cruise line offers. Also, we have to fit in a luau!
bettyboop08 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2008, 02:55 PM
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Why not just rent a car? That's what we did at every port on our Hawaii cruise. Used our travel guides and saw what we wanted. Most of the rental car agencies have a pick up service at the ports. You might want to look at for your port info if you haven't been looking at guidebooks.
patandhank is offline  
Aug 18th, 2008, 05:23 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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Be careful with the luaus.

They tent to be over the top "touristy" nowadays with practically no authenticity and not very good food.

I would ask a local before signing up for one.
jtrandolph is offline  
Aug 18th, 2008, 05:33 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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If it's breathtaking scenery you're after ... in Kauai: one day I'd head to Waimea Canyon and Kalalau Lookout (these are near each other); the other day, I'd rent a car and head through Hanalei to Ke'e Beach on the North Shore. It's a beautiful drive to a gorgeous beach.

Then I'd refuse to get back on the ship and would stay in Kauai

Songdoc is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 12:02 AM
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Wouldn't you also be stopping on Oahu?
MelissaHI is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 02:07 PM
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I'd rent a car in Kauai and explore the island. It is absolutely beautiful. Drive North all the way to Ke'e beach and then work your way back stopping in Hanalei, the Kilaeua Lighthouse, Kapaa, Lydgate beach, etc.

Another great day trip is to Waimea all of the way to the end of the rodd for awesome view of the Na Pali Coast. Then you can stop in Hanapepe or go to Poipu.

The only challenge you might have with "local" tours is getting there if you don't have a car.

Below is what we enjoy when in Kauai:

Waimea Canyon all the way to the end of the road. Plan to go early in your trip and early in the morning just in case there are clouds. You can always go back on another day. Lunch at Waimea Brewing Co (

Polihale State Beach for great sunsets(

Drive north to Ke'e Beach and either snorkel or hike. Hit Tunnels for snorkeling. Lunch at Hanalei Dolphin ( or Bubba's Burger (

Wailua Falls (

Explore Kilohana Plantation ( have dinner at Gaylord's

Dinner at Duke's (

Explore the Marriott in Lihue, enjoy the beach and have lunch at Duke's Barefoot Bar or Kalapaki Beach Hut

Check out the swinging bridge in Hanapepe and ice Cream at Lappert's in Hanapepe

Spouting Horn to shop with the local vendors. Eat lunch at Puka Dog.

Explore Maha'ulepu beach and Poipu.

Visit the Kilauea Lighthouse and go to Kilauea bakery

Helicopter trip on island with Inter Island Helicopters out of Port Allen (the waterfall tour is awesome!)(

Sunset cruise or snorkel cruise with Kauai Sea Tours out of Port Allen (

Kayaking with Outfitters Kauai on the The Hidden Valley Falls Kayak Adventure (

ATV tour with Kipu Ranch Adventures (

Have a great trip.

beth_fitz is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 04:09 PM
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Posts: 92,297
Get a guidebook, rent a car.

Old Lahaina Luau is an excellent one (Maui).

suze is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 05:38 PM
Original Poster
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Posts: 23
Thanks all for your info. Looks like I have a lot of sites to check out! Many Thanks again.
bettyboop08 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 06:31 PM
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Posts: 613
If I recall correctly from my friends' cruising experience, you will have 1 1/2 days on Kauai, so doing the North Shore one day and a trip to Waimea Canyon the other 1/2 day, or wise versa, may be difficult to fit in because these are pretty much full day trips.

So, I would do the North Shore on the full day and a drive to Poipu Beach/Old Koloa Town/visit to the Grand Hyatt on the half day.

I would also try and fit in a meal, lunch or dinner, at one of the local divey places, which will be a nice break from cruise eating. I would recommend Hamura Saimin (a 15 minute walk/5 minute drive into Lihue from the port) or Kalapaki Beach Hut (right by the Marriott where your boat will dock) for a nice break from a routine.

I would not waste my time or money on a luau. Surely there will be a nice hula show with kids, fireeaters, etc. on your boat.

As for Maui, I would just rent a car and cruise around the island. A trip to Hana is a massive undertaking which will take a whole day, but you could do it. A drive to the summit of the Haleakala is only worth it for the sunrise, IMO. I think you would enjoy a leasurely drive with many stops and some time on the beach. Lovely.

Anna Roz
anna_roz is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 07:01 PM
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Here is an old thread with lots of info.

Your schedule will be different than the one on the thread, but the ports will be the same.

For more info, on that thread you can click on: brittany21
dusty56438 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 09:21 PM
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Posts: 5,158
Ah, OK, the only Hawaii cruise running Oct 25 - Nov 1 is NCL. Turnaround day is at Pier 2 in Honolulu.
MelissaHI is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2008, 06:53 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 22
Renting a car for the day at every cruise port in Hawaii is a great idea. BUT, it can be a "zoo" at the port's shuttle bus to the car rental lot. Try sending one person ahead, as soon as you dock.
paul20708 is offline  
Oct 24th, 2008, 01:34 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 9
It's pretty hard to get around the islands without a car, with the exception of Oahu, so I agree with the suggestion to rent a car.
Most of the port towns where a cruise will stop have walkable downtowns, but are also pretty cheesy and touristy. Again, I think renting a car is a good way to get away and see more of the islands.

My favorite is Maui, and these are some of my favorite things to do and eat there:

Some of my friends have also created lists of their top recommendations in Hawaii, including Oahu and Maui:

Hawaii is great, I am sure you will love it no matter what!
julieland is offline  
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