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Hawaiian Islands - little time, many questions

Hawaiian Islands - little time, many questions

Feb 19th, 2007, 12:59 AM
  #1  
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Hawaiian Islands - little time, many questions

I have never been to Hawaii. My husband and I are taking a cruise ship there and back in April. Ports are:
Hilo
Honolulu - 2 days
Kona
Lahaina

Our main purpose is to visit Lahaina where my husband used to paint 30-odd years ago. With that in mind, we will miss most of the two days in Honolulu and fly to Maui. To relive his experiences as much as possible we will be staying right in Lahaina for one night. (Flights and room are booked.) We should be back in Honolulu about suppertime the next day and the ship leaves at 10:00 pm.

We are interested in local culture, flora, birds, aviation, scenery and beaches. I am not so much interested in visiting volcanoes or taking helicopter tours. I look forward to fresh pineapple, and great coffee! And a bit of shopping. I'm not sure we will take any of the ship's tours unless there is something that shouldn't be missed.

1. Beaches
In Hilo and Kona, is there a great beach nearby? If you had from morning until about 6:00 pm in Hilo and until 10:00 pm in Kona, how would you spend your time?

2. Maui
We will not have a car. During our three partial days there I would like to spend some time on a beach, probably Kaanapali. Anywhere in particular? Is there anything we should know about getting to Lahaina from Kapalua Airport and back? Does the Lahaina Broiler still exist?

3. Honolulu
Since we don't know what time we'll get off the ship, we're thinking of taking a taxi to the airport and the shuttle back when we return the next day. Does that make sense? If we have three hours before we have to get back on the ship, is there anything we should see in Honolulu? Does the sun set around 6:00 pm in Hawaii? If so, we would be out in the dark.

4. Coffee
Any particular brand or place to buy coffee to take home?
April is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 01:52 AM
  #2  
 
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which cruise line? I can answer some of the Honolulu questions for you as I work at pier 10/11.

In Kona, you'll find many independent coffee farmers/roasters and most are delicious. A brand you will see throughout the state is Lion Coffee-my cousin swears by it. in Honolulu, swing by Bad Ass Coffee; my friends and I love it and I know the are careful with the roasting.

don't you have to pay a penalty for not staying on the ship?
MelissaHI is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 05:21 AM
  #3  
 
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I'll attempt to answer #1. There are no great beaches near Hilo, IMO. You could visit Hawaii Tropical Botanic http://www.htbg.com/Gardens and Akaka Falls north of Hilo. You will need a car to do this.

The three best accessible beaches Kona side are probably actually in Kohala (north of Kailua-Kona)--from south to north--A-Bay, Hapuna and Mauna Kea. Again you would need a car to get to any of them.

If you are interested in Hawaiian culture, you could rent a car and visit Pu'uhonua o Honaunau (Place of Refuge), a national park--http://www.nps.gov/puho/. You could stop at Greenwell Coffee Farm on the way-http://www.greenwellfarms.com, to taste their coffee, have lunch at Ke'ei Cafe in Kainiliu or the Coffee Shack--if you go there, sit on the deck(great view of Kealakakua Bay).
martym is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 09:40 AM
  #4  
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MelissaHI,
It's Holland America. Have you heard of penalties with them? Our travel agent checked with the line and didn't mention any. He just said we might want to inform the cabin attendant that we'll be gone for a night.

Martym, thanks for all the suggestions! I am checking them out now.
April is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 10:10 AM
  #5  
 
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aaaaaaaaah the zaandam? Now that I'm thinking about it, there shouldn't be a penalty for leaving if the ship is in port and you are still leaving with the ship when it leaves Honolulu. sorry for the confusion, I was confused on your plan!

Michelle will be your port lecturer, she's great!

Your boat will dock in Honolulu at about 7 a.m. and there will be taxis outside the terminal. HNL is just 15 minutes away (that time of day will have traffic).

is this your one and only trip to Hawaii, never to return? seems a shame to miss Honolulu.
MelissaHI is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 10:25 PM
  #6  
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Yes, the Zaandam. You actually know the port lecturer? I understand your confusion - our plan is a little convoluted.

One and only trip? I would never say that. I wish we had more time on the islands. This will be like a sampler, without much of a sample of Honolulu unfortunately. Could we make it to the airport by 10:30 am if we left at 10:00? Is the dock right in Honolulu or is it some distance away?

Your suggestions are spot on, martym. Thanks.

One more question. I love stationery stores - regular kinds with paper clips and binders and specialty shops with greeting cards, special papers, stickers, etc. Are there any good ones in any of our stops?
April is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 11:29 PM
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April...I work at Aloha Tower Marketplace, Pier 10/11. I work with the port lecturers, the shipping agents....you will see an ad of my shopping mall in your in-cabin book!

Honolulu is a large city; yes, the port is right in Honolulu Harbor. are you looking to get on a 1030 flight, or just be at the airport by 1030? if just to be there, no problem. as I said, it takes about 15 minutes to the airport. however, you still have to check in & go through security and that will take time.

I was asking if this will be your only trip because....if your husband wants to relive his time on Maui, why not make that an entire trip for another time? rather than rush around and break up your cruise? if you did maui in a separate trip, it would be so much more relaxing (and less confusing!). a cruise is designed to be just that--a sampler; a relaxing way to take in multiple destinations for one price and having to lug the luggage just once! just my 2 cents, if it is at all possible to return but just to Maui.
MelissaHI is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 06:17 AM
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Honestly, I think it seems a little convoluted to take your 2 days from Honolulu/Oahu, to fly to Maui, when you are going there by ship a couple stops later. Won't you have time in Lahaina on that last day? Or is it about spending the night there?

Not sure of sunset time for April; it was around 6:00-6:15 last month (Jan) when we were on Waikiki.
suze is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 11:58 AM
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Here is a quick map of Honolulu Harbor and its relation to the airport:
http://aaccessmaps.com/show/map/honolulucenter.html
MelissaHI is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 12:37 PM
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I like Bad Ass Coffee myself, had it in the south Kona region. I'm a coffee semi-snob. ;-)
trippinkpj is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 07:03 PM
  #11  
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MelissaHI and Suze,
There is method in our madness. Of course we would rather fly to Hawaii and spend more time on land. However, for medical reasons, my husband no longer takes long, high-altitude flights. (Short interisland hops are okay.) Going to Maui together was something we thought we would never get to experience together. In fact, since he nearly died a few years back, every trip we are able to take together is a bonus. After that event, he got on to writing his life story, and reading about his days spent painting as a member of the Lahaina Art Society made me want to see and experience the area through his eyes.

We had never considered going to Hawaii until we saw this round-trip cruise out of Vancouver advertised. Suddenly it was a possibility. Lahaina really is the point of this trip. Everything else is gravy. The cruise is just the means to get us there.

Yes, the ship does stop at Lahaina on the last day, but it is anchored offshore. If, for any reason, the tenders were unable to take passengers ashore, then we would have spent all that time and money only to miss out on our objective.

We are used to travelling in an unorthodox manner. We see the jaunt to Maui as an adventure! And it will be a trip down memory lane for my husband. It's not exactly about spending the night there, Suze, but we did manage to book a room in his old hotel, perhaps the very same (although now updated) room.

I hope this answers some of your questions.

MelissaHI, thanks for the map. What is in the marketplace? I believe our flight out of Honolulu leaves at 11:45 but I will have to check on that. I will look for your ad.

Trippinkpj, that's two votes for Bad Ass Coffee. Thanks.
April is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 10:18 PM
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You can email me at naupaka at hotmail.com and I will email you coupons from my work address. You can get a preview of the marketplace here:
www.alohatower.com.

Enjoy!

aaah, I thought there might be a reason you were taking such an unorthodox route.....
MelissaHI is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 11:10 PM
  #13  
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Yes, I just thought people wouldn't be interested in all the whys and wherefores.

Oh boy, coupons. I will email you from Hotmail in a moment. Appreciate your input.
April is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 08:12 AM
  #14  
 
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I don't drink coffee, but all of my friends who have visited Maui with me have voted Bad Ass as well.

Bad Ass West Maui (Lahaina)
Pioneer Inn, 671 Front Street
(Near the Lahaina boat harbor and Banyan Tree)


As for stationary stores, there's one at Ward Center in Honolulu (not too far from Ala Moana Shopping Center). It's called Paper Roses. I've never been there in person, but I did order my wedding invitations from them, seems like the have a pretty decent store.

Have dinner at Duke's or Hula Grill in Waikiki. Good food and right on the beach. Save room for Hula Pie at Duke's or the Ice Cream Sandwich at Hula Grill (not your grocery store variety treat!). They are attached to the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach hotel.
bggirl is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 08:17 AM
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Hi April! There's a Bad Ass coupon in the coupon sheet I sent you, but it's only good for the Aloha Tower Marketplace store. I need to report that they are sold out of the Brazilian coffee that they brought in for Mardi Gras. For now, anyway!
MelissaHI is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 09:41 AM
  #16  
 
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As far as your stops on the Big Island, here are my suggestions:

KONA: If you're active, kayaking on Kealakekua Bay is fun and gorgeous. We rented from Kona Boys -- they're very thorough in explaining how to respect the bay, which is a plus. If that's not your thing, you could visit Place of Refuge, wander the grounds, and go snorkeling -- the entry there is pretty gentle by Kona coast standards

HILO: Skip the beach and go to Volcanoes National Park. You can lounge on the beach on any island, but HVNP is something you can't see elsewhere. Kilauea is still an active volcano, and it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Well, no it's not. I'd happily go back MANY times
karameli is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 04:14 PM
  #17  
 
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VERY interesting story, thanks for sharing the details with us. I love Lahaina, it has just such a special "feel" to it that's hard to put into words. I wish you both all the best for your trip, truly. Enjoy!
suze is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 08:12 PM
  #18  
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bggirl, thanks for the tips. We may very well have to find a place to eat if we don't get back to the ship in time for our dinner seating, although I don't know how far Waikiki is from the ship dock. I hope to get to that stationery store.

MelissaHI, but won't we want Hawaiian coffee?

Karameli,
Love your name. I'm fairly active but unfortunately am not much of a water person (don't even swim), except for wading into it on gorgeous sandy beaches. I did go parasailing once but I think of that as more of an air thing rather than a water one.

It turns out that friends have been to the Place of Refuge - I remember the photos now - and they said it is the one place they wouldn't miss. So I think that is now set in stone in our plans. I'm just not sure how we should get there - by ship tour, off-ship tour, or rent a car which I suppose we would have to reserve well in advance.

Okay I will check out Volcanoes National Park.

Will be back with more questions.

Thanks, Suze.
April is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2007, 11:50 PM
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haha! April, now that you have seen my website, you know that there are many good places to eat before boarding. You can go to Chai's Island Bistro and enjoy pan-pacific cuisine with our celebrity chef and famous local entertainment. Or Gordon Biersch, or Tower Grill. The options are endless. and yes, you can go to Bad Ass until 9 p.m. "All Aboard" is not till 6 or 7.
MelissaHI is offline  
Feb 24th, 2007, 02:10 AM
  #20  
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"All aboard" is at 6:00 or 7:00 even if the ship doesn't leave until 10:00 pm?
April is offline  

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