Kauai Questions

Old Sep 1st, 2004, 05:05 AM
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Kauai Questions

Hi everyone. A few more questions about Kauai for the experts. First, can anyone offer their recommendations for best places to eat on the North Shore? I've seen other posts on this topic, but many of the restaurants listed are on the South Shore.

Second, has anyone taken one of the Na Pali Coast boat tours? Hubby and I realy want to see the coast, but I do have a tendency toward seasickness. Had one great experience with a sunset sail in Bermuda (calm waters on a catamaran, no seasickness). But got really sick last year on a regular sailboat in the caribbean (rough waters, boat was practically on its side). Is there a boat trip least likely to cause seasickness - power catamaran (Na Pali Catamaran), sailing catamaran (Captain Sundown), rubber rafts (Captian Zodiac) etc. I'm planning on trying the patch, but thought I'd find out how rough these trips really are. Any thoughts?
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 05:33 AM
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Though pricey $), here is a link to Cafe Hanalei(and other restaurants) where we enjoyed dinner on the terrace with inspiring views of Bali Hai and Hanalei Bay from the Princeville hotel: http://www.princeville.com/stay/pvdining.html#hanalei

In the adjacent Hanalei Bay Resort, we witnessed a similar awesome sunsetview and enjoyed good $)food as well in the simply furnished, open-air, "Bali Hai" Restaurant. We were also able to get a 50% off dinner coupon by attending an HBR timeshare presentation.

In Hanalei, we enjoyed Neide's mexican food (we took it out), as there is not much of a view there. Also in back of the Hanalei Dolphin Restaurant, at the Fish Market, you can buy great fresh fish and prepare yourself for much less.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 06:13 AM
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I have not been to Hanalei in two years but have been regularly over the years. I find many of the restaurants to be substandard on the North Shore. I prepare to take advantage of the incredible seafood and cook in my condo. Oahu is where you go for great food in my opinion. Unless you are looking for a quick burger you just don't have the competition on the North Shore. No significant competition or a great chef that I know of looking to clean up the restaurant market that I can see. Don't know why that is. There is certainly a space in the market for a good restaurant on the North Shore.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 07:09 AM
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Interesting comments. I knew there had to be a reason I hadn't read anything about the North Shore restaurants. I have heard good reviews on the Bali Hai restuarant, though. How far of a drive is it from the North Shore (Anini area) to the Poipu/south shore area? We would like to check out the Beach House Restaurant and maybe one other that has been mentioned. Is it about an hour drive?
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 07:59 AM
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Sarah:

Glad to report that the restaurants here on our north shore have improved since your last visit. We eat dinner out 3-4 times per week (I'm not lazy, I'm lucky!), usually north shore.

Can highly recommend Hanalei's Dolphin and Sushi Blues restaurants for fresh fish dinner; Hanalei Gourmet for "bar food" (fish tacos, handmade burgers, big salads, pasta). Zelo's isn't getting high marks from visitors or locals lately. Ditto for Postcards. Our "newest" restaurant (site of Charo's old place in Ha`ena) is still in the beta stage with the menu and service, but gets high marks for drinks & oceanfront views.

Cafe Hanalei at Princeville Hotel is still packed for Friday seafood and Sunday brunch buffets; the hotel's La Cascata is usually full for dinner; and the hotel's bar is popular for sunset -- for both visitors and locals (good pupu menu, including fresh sushi).

Hanalei Bar Resort has a new food & beverage manager, with major changes in the Bali Hai Restaurant menu coming soon. The bar (Happy Talk Lounge) offers a good pupu menu -- plus nightly entertainment.

New "kid" in the neighborhood is Sabella's -- long time restaurant family from San Francisco, with a menu that is primarily Italian seafood offerings.

At Princeville Center, CJs Steakhouse is packed every night -- best salad bar on the north shore, best prime rib on the island (IMHO), good steaks, great fresh fish...and sinful mud pie. 8-)

Kilauea has the pizza place and Lighthouse Bistro -- love the pizza; haven't been to Lighthouse Bistro for at least a year, so can't give a current review.

longtail:
Princeville to Po`ipu is slightly more than an hour. We drove down to Roy's for dinner last night (yum!), so that's the freshest review I can give today!
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 08:50 AM
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auntiemarie is CJ's steakhouse new (1-2 years)? is that in the complex where the foodland of Princeville is?

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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 09:25 AM
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My wife had the same concerns about a boat tour of the Na Pali coast, so we took a helicopter ride instead. Very dramatic views of the coast, and not a twinge of upset stomach.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 10:10 AM
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Auntiemaria:
Thanks for the extensive restaurant review. It's been most helpful! Any comments on Na Pali boat tours?
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 10:28 AM
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Hi, we took a boat tour from the south shore up to Na Pali last summer. It was a catamaran from Holoholo Charters. I can't tell you about sea sickness since neither I nor my boyfriend suffer from it but the ride was quite a wild one. The boat goes fairly fast and when it goes against the current it lifts up and crashes down repeatedly all the way to the coast. Once you arrive at the coast you have about half an hour to enjoy before you have to face the way back. I got so badly bumped the next day I was truly sore. I will never do that again. The only thing that made it worth the money was a couple of dolphins who got close to the boat and gave us a beatufiul show. We also did the helicopter tour and it was wonderful, that we would do again in a second. Hope this helps.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 10:51 AM
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Don't know when you are going but we took Captain Sundown from the north shore at the end of Sept. Water was very rough during the whole week. We enjoyed our sail but a couple of people, one man and one woman, on the boat had a really hard time and were sick mostly during the last half of the trip. I have to say that the crew really worked with them to keep them as comfortable as possible.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 01:13 PM
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Suzie:

We're going in June and were looking at Captain Sundown as one of our options (from the North Shore), along with Na Pali Catamaran. Does the boat stay close to shore, or is it in rougher waters? Would you do the trip again? I'm interested to hear about your experience.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 02:39 PM
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sarah:
CJ's Steakhouse is the former home of Chuck's Steak House -- now owned by the former manager (Jeff) and his silent partner. Extensive renovations last year painted out all that dark wood, re-upholstered all the furniture, added lots of bamboo and tropical decorations.
They kept what was "the best of Chuck's" (prime rib, those huge lobster tails, the salad bar, and the mud pie), and added new items like spring rolls and more pupus.

Re: Na Pali boat trips
Seasickness hits most folks when the boat drops anchor for snorkeling -- and the danged thing bobs up and down and up and down like a cork. Bonine (a chewable, non-prescription tablet) is a miracle, and can be taken just minutes before the boat departs. That slamming up and down through the waves can be bone-jarring (which is why most boat companies issue warnings to those with back/neck conditions, and pregnant women). But our waters in June/July/August are usually smoothe.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 03:52 PM
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In line with what auntiemaria has stated, I only get seasick when a boat is at anchor and bobbing on the water, I don't get seasick when boats are moving in choppy water. Hence I have taken the zodiac trips with no ill effects, I just can't sit in the boat at anchor.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 04:56 PM
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We took the Holoholo tour to the Na Pali coast and Nihau last year. It was a long trip ( 7 hours ). We had gorgeous weather and calm seas most of the day. The snorkeling off Nihau was spectacular. Some of the clearest water I have ever seen. The trip back was a nightmare though. The seas were rough and we were going against the wind, so it was wild! It was fun for about 5 minutes. This went on for about an hour and a half. I tossed my cookies (literally...they give you chocolate chip cookies as a snack) just as we entered the port and slowed down. It was an unfortunate end to an other wise fabulous day.
-Bill
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 10:00 PM
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We actually loved our trip. It starts out on Hanalei Bay with a really fun paddle to the catamaran in an outrigger. They put all your stuff in waterproof bags and you paddle out. Once everyone is aboard they motor out of the bay with Bali Hai at your back. The crew points out and describes all the beaches as you go by while beginning breakfast service.

The trip down the Na Pali coast is so beautiful. Unlike the trips from the south there is no wait to see the breathtaking coast. The one great thing is that there are only about 16 guests on board. The boat is fairly close to the coastline but not like a small motorized craft would be. Besides the north shore departure one of the reasons we selected Captain Sundown was because they actually sail. The crew was great. I never felt quesy even though the water was rough enough to get us wet. I do pretty much always get car sick so I don't know what the difference was. I would do this again in a minute.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 06:25 AM
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Thanks for the information on the boat trips. If we decide to do this, we'll probably opt for either Na Pali Catamaran or Captain Sundown. Both sound great and are close to where we will be staying. As an alternative to the boat tour and seasickness, we've also thought about the helipcopter tours of the coast. Has anyone ever been on one of these and are they worth the $$ - $200+ per person? Seems like a lot for a 1-hour ride. Would love some input on this as an alternative.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 06:29 AM
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Here is a link to a post about some less $) alternatives:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34515836
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 07:41 AM
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All of your questions can be answered in "The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook - Kauai Revealed" by Andrew Doughty & Harriett Friedman. This book is dead-on accurate on all of their recommendations. We used this book on our trip to Kauai and bought one as a gift for some friends who went there the following year. You can pick it up at any bookstore or online. (I know it's not a Fodor's book and I'm a big fan of Fodor's, but this Kauai guidebook is a must have! The authors live in Hawaii and write similar guidebooks for each island). I am also prone to seasickness and recommend taking Dramamine before a boat trip! Have a great trip and The Beach House is a fabulous restaurant!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 11:34 AM
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Hi again: As I mentioned before, we did the helicopter tour with Air Kaua'i. It was our first helicopter trip so we were a little worried but the pilot was very concerned and made sure we didn't experience any turbulence. For most of the trip he played music and only interrupted occasionally to announce upcoming sights. We flew very close to the cliffs, so close I felt I could reach out and touch them. We scheduled the helicopter tour for the day before we left, by that time we were in love with the cliffs after having seen them from the Waimea Canyon area first and later from the boat, so it was very moving to see them up close. Then we flew into the crater with the waterfalls and it was so achingly beautiful... It was an amazing experience, worth every penny of the $175/pp we paid.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 02:25 PM
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Thanks everyone! Well, the helicopter trip really sounds wonderful. I'm thinking that might be a better way to go for us. Seems like less chance of motion sickness as long as the pilot doesn't take a sudden nose dive to view the scenery. It's pretty expensive, but if we take only one tour on Kauai, this might be the way to go. Thanks for everyone's patience with my questions - you've been most helpful in helping hubby and I to plan our dream trip. Can't wait!!!
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