Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hawaii Cruise Day 8 - Kauai, HI What a Wonderful Place

As we pulled into the harbor at Nawiliwili, it was warm out and the sun was shinning.  We had to make a decision regarding whether to head North towards towards the Napali Coast or West towards Waimea Canyon "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific".  

As the oldest island in the Hawaii Archipelago Kauai's features are very dramatic, and with the possibility of rain we headed out to try to maximize the great weather.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hawaii Cruise Day 7 - Honolulu, HI The Island of Oahu too much to see...

After a long exhausting day in Hilo, we quickly descended upon Honolulu.  Frankly this is the island where we were warned that there would be too much to see and not enough time to do it.  Of all the ports I had focused on Oahu with most of my planning.  What a beautiful morning, as we sailed into Honolulu the skies were clear and with 16 hours I felt we were going to nail that list..... How wrong I was

Monday, April 1, 2013

Hawaii Cruise Day 6 - Hilo, HI. Land at last

After four long days at sea (1.5 of them being fairly rough for most of the ship) we now approached Hilo, and on Deck 4 where disembarkation was to occur you could tell by the large crowd that gathered upwards of 35 mins before that people were anxious to get back on solid land.  One lesson learned here was it does not pay to lineup early as folks would take an elevator down 2 minutes before debarkation and cut the line.  On past cruises the stairs leading to deck four were roped off so traffic could flow in an orderly manner, it was not the case on the Golden Princess until our last port which was Ensenada.

A little about the Port of Hilo, for those of you who have not cruised to Hawaii the port is a commercial port and as such there is a lot of commercial traffic flowing up and down the single road that leads from the port to the "main" road leading out to elsewhere on the island of Hawaii. Most of the car rental agencies are located at the airport and due to volume of passengers were only taking the drivers with them on the shuttles.  If this happens to your party I would recommend you have them exit the port (stay within the pedestrian areas !) and take a right turn and walk down the road and say meet by the Nissan Dealership or some other building (depending on people's walking speed) as having to drive all the way back into the port can easily eat up one of your precious hours on the Big Island. Another challenge we experienced but most probably will not was the Merrie Monarch Festival, the world's Premier Hula Competition. Our Cruise Director told us there would be upwards of 20,000 people in town for the even and cabs (should you be travelling in that fashion) were going to be hard to get and if you managed to snag one you should probably negotiate a day rate.   

Our plan for today was to visit Volcanoes National Park, everything else was secondary to this, the Golden Princess docked at 9am and by the time we were all sorted out and on the road it was about 10:30am. and off we went !