Someone to share info on going to Hawaii

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  #1  
Old 02-16-2015, 04:31 PM
sunny46 sunny46 is offline
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Default Someone to share info on going to Hawaii

Is there anyone out there that has been on a wonderful trip to Hawaii? We are planning to take one next year for our anniversary. Would like to know better to cruise from a Ca port or fly into, places to definitely see, etc. We would really appreciate any info. Please reply to : nclover46@yahoo.com
Thank you.
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Old 02-16-2015, 05:08 PM
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If the goal is to see a little of each island, then I would take a cruise. Island hopping is a royal pain in the neck. Too much packing and unpacking, too many take offs and landings. The biggest minus is you really don't get more than a superficial view of Hawaii, a place with tremendous history and culture.

If you want to know more of Hawaii itself, pick an island and stay on land. My favorite is Maui. You can make arrangements with the Rangers to spend a night in a cabin inside the volcano, but you do have to be reasonably healthy to get to the cabin either by hiking down or by mule. It is truly amazing! Ditto the observatory. I truly love the Seven Sisters.

I would not spend more than one day in Oahu. And then only to see the Arizona. just not an island I particularly like.

Another island I love is the Big Island, but I've never played tourist there -- friends own a ranch and I've just visited them. However, it is beautiful and seeing actual lava flow is fascinating.

No matter what you do, it is a beautiful state with much to see and do. Enjoy!
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  #3  
Old 02-16-2015, 11:36 PM
Miles42 Miles42 is offline
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I have done the cruise and feel I did not get a true picture of the islands. I would opt to stay on one island the next time if I ever get a next time.
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:22 AM
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I have spent time on Maui, Oahu, Kauai and Hawaii (the big island). As is the case with redwitch, Maui is my favorite island. I took a cruise once which visited several of the islands and was enjoyable. If I recall correctly it was on Norwegian Cruise Line and in order to visit a foreign port we went to Kiribati http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabuaeran (Fanning Island) which took a couple of days at sea each way.

You may want to find a timeshare or other rental if you decide to stay on Maui or Hawaii. That way you can buy groceries and eat some meals at home. Restaurant meals are expensive in the islands. Maui has a Costco not far from the airport. On Hawaii you may run into vog Big Island Vog Index and hear coqui frogs at night. Tiny coqui frog becomes a big problem in Hawaii - LA Times I once took a helicopter tour while in Kauai which was well worth the price. Visiting the lava flow on Hawaii where it flows across the highway is a unique experience. Visiting a coffee plantation might also be fun.
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:22 AM
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I've been to Oahu 3 times and Maui once and I prefer Oahu.
It depends on what your looking for. You need a car in Maui to
go anywhere including to get something to eat. You can walk around Oahu with access to lots of stores and restaurants. There are also tour groups that will take you to Pearl Harbor etc.
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Old 02-17-2015, 01:41 AM
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Ok we probably have an a slanted view as hubby was born and raised in Honolulu. So we usually go there. That said it is a city, and the traffic on Oahu has gotten really bad. Have no idea what there is to do there as we usually are visiting friends. We do like to drive around to the other side of the island as it is a pretty ride and there are still some little local market places where we can get manapua and shave ice like when we were young.

I think Maui is probably best for a view of what the islands were like years back. We do not camp in the cabins as mentioned because our idea of ruffing it is no room service. That said if you can ride a bike one of the tours were they drop you off up on top of the mountain and you coast all the way to the ocean is a lot of fun. But layer up as it is cold up on the mountain early in the morning and will be quite hot when you get about half way down. The drive out to Hana is long and windy with a ton of narrow bridges but the views can not be beat in my opinion and I love the waterfalls when you finally get there.

Kauai is the greenest and most tropical. There are some real pretty hikes as well as some of the nicest resorts if you have the cash. Also if you can afford the helicopter tours for an areal view of the waterfalls is really pretty.

I would not go to the big island as the vog (volcanic smog) can be really bad and the eruptions recently have made it very hard to breath.

Hope this helps a little.
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:04 AM
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We have had great success with renting a 1bdr condo in Maui using the site ****.com, Vacation Rentals By Owner. We have a 2 week trip setup for October and can't wait!
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  #8  
Old 03-11-2015, 10:53 AM
JerryLBell JerryLBell is offline
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The wife and I have been to Hawaii twice and loved both times. It's a bit of a drag getting there (10+ hours in planes and going across 5 times zones) but it's as close to paradise as we've found in the U.S. We left our house in Detroit at 5 AM to make the flight and got to our condo at midnight local time (5 AM Eastern time), making the first day a LONG one. But it's worth it!

We've only spent a little time in O'ahu and that was mostly in Honolulu, which is pretty much any big city anywhere with lots of people and traffic. That wasn't what we were into.

The first time we went, we rented a timeshare condo north of Lahaina for two weeks. That allowed us to eat breakfast and some lunches there and eat dinners out at night. That saved some money but mostly saved time (we HATE spending 3+ hours a day in restaurants). It also allowed us to buy some food at the local farmers market and eat it fresh. The corn on the cob was close to candy, the bananas were amazing and the pineapple is out of this world.

We are very activity-oriented, so we snorkeled every day, did boat trips to see whales (which visit in the winter), bicycled down the volcano, took a helicopter ride and a submarine ride, took in a luau, went bird-watching and shopped. There's a LOT to do in Maui as it is very tourist-oriented. If you plan on snorkeling, think of renting equipment (including dive masks with prescription lenses!) for several days from Maui Dive or other shops. Also, consider going to the aquarium near Maalea to acquaint yourself with the local species before going snorkeling. We like knowing what we're seeing. A lot of people recommend driving the "Hana Highway" from Kahalui (where the airport is) over to Hana. It's actually an exhausting drive with 600+ turns (many with blind corners you have to stop and honk before you go through to keep from hitting oncoming traffic) and 50+ single-lane bridges. Honestly, I'd recommend taking a helicopter ride over and a bus tour back. Leave the driving to someone else. Some folks recommend renting a 4-wheeler and taking the drive south from Wailea-Makena to Hana. That's just plain masochistic in my book. Those roads are (or were) awful.

The second time we went, we spent most of a week in Maui (in Wailea-Makena that time) and did a day-trip to Kauai. We're told that's where the locals go to get away from tourists. The highlight was supposed to be a boat ride up a river to see the "fern grotto" (a fern-covered waterfalls) except that the waterfalls was no more (all diverted to agriculture) and the ferns were long gone. Seeing the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" was pretty nice though. The island was all very pretty, but we didn't really enjoy it enough for the expense of the flights and all.

We have yet to make it to "the big island" of Hawai'i and would definitely do that in the future. We'd really like to see the island and the active volcano.

In all, our 2-week trip to Maui was the most fun, most relaxing, best vacation we've ever taken. Renting a fully-equipped timeshare condo was great, too. It really felt more like we'd moved there for a couple of weeks than were just visiting and staying in a hotel. I can't recommend Maui enough.
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:38 PM
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Hawaii is awesome. We have stayed on all of the islands many times. We go every 3 years. We love the busyness of Waikiki. Lots of great restaurants. Love to go to the North Shore.
The problem with cruising is, you are 4 nights on the ship when you could already be there enjoying the islands.
Look at a travel book on Hawaii or Google the islands and what to do. Choose the things you like to do. It also depends on if you are going to go to more than 1 island. Research the hotels / resorts. Lots of good ones on all of the islands.
When we go, we usually stay a week each on Oahu, The Big Island & Maui. We don't go to Kauai anymore. We find it boring but others love it there.
No matter what you choose, it'll be awesome.
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Old 03-11-2015, 02:29 PM
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I have been to each island several times. And I personally prefer Kauai and the big island. Oahu to busy, to much traffic, to commercial. Maui to much like a desert and also commercial. Not as much as Oahu but still quite busy. I go there to play golf, relax, and enjoy the great seafood, snorkeling, beaches, and local culture. For that I just love Kauai and the big island.

Part of our plans are to rent an apartment there for a year and spend 3 months on one end and 3 on the other and skip the middle 6 months. Still much cheaper than any other way to spend 6 months there.
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Old 03-11-2015, 03:03 PM
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We have been to Oahu, Hawaii (Big Island), Maui, Kauai too many times to count. We started out loving Oahu ~ just a fun place to go to for the beach & crazy Waikiki. We've seen a lot on the island & would suggest a rental car for a day or two to see more of the island than Waikiki. We still love Oahu however for only a couple of days or a stopover on the way to an outer island. We have been to Maui over 20 times, very pretty, very nice but getting way too commercial. It's gotten way too touristy for us. For the past 5 years we've been going to the Big Island. Very friendly, more casual than Maui, a real hawaiian feel! Plenty to see and do, the different sides of the island is very different. We always rented a condo on the water and our only complaint was that the waves were too loud with the door open! Don't we wish we had that problem every day! Kauai is 'roll up the streets by 5p' and absolutely gorgeous! Very green and lush...people are super friendly. I would suggest the Poipu area as it is a bit dryer than the other side. As far as a cruise, if this is a 'one time trip', I would do the cruise from Honolulu ~ not from Cali! You will waste too much time cruising back and forth from CA to HI! If you have any specific questions, please PM me and I would be more than happy to answer any questions that I can. If I don't know, I will let you know.
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Old 03-11-2015, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcaligirl View Post
We have been to Oahu, Hawaii (Big Island), Maui, Kauai too many times to count. We started out loving Oahu ~ just a fun place to go to for the beach & crazy Waikiki. We've seen a lot on the island & would suggest a rental car for a day or two to see more of the island than Waikiki. We still love Oahu however for only a couple of days or a stopover on the way to an outer island. We have been to Maui over 20 times, very pretty, very nice but getting way too commercial. It's gotten way too touristy for us. For the past 5 years we've been going to the Big Island. Very friendly, more casual than Maui, a real hawaiian feel! Plenty to see and do, the different sides of the island is very different. We always rented a condo on the water and our only complaint was that the waves were too loud with the door open! Don't we wish we had that problem every day! Kauai is 'roll up the streets by 5p' and absolutely gorgeous! Very green and lush...people are super friendly. I would suggest the Poipu area as it is a bit dryer than the other side. As far as a cruise, if this is a 'one time trip', I would do the cruise from Honolulu ~ not from Cali! You will waste too much time cruising back and forth from CA to HI! If you have any specific questions, please PM me and I would be more than happy to answer any questions that I can. If I don't know, I will let you know.
We also love the Big Island. We stay at a resort in Waikoloa. I love it up in that area !
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Old 03-11-2015, 03:08 PM
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I would not do a cruise if you really want to see Hawaii. We flew and stayed in Oahu for 6 nights and then spent 4 nights in Kauai and 4 in Maui. Finished it off on the big island with 2 nights in Kona and 1 in Hilo. It was many years ago but I would do it the same way again. Cruising is great but you only get a small sampling of each place. It really depends on what experience you are looking for. Whatever you decide enjoy !
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Old 03-11-2015, 03:44 PM
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I recommend you fly to Honolulu and take the 7 day Norwegian cruise ha visit island ports with numerous side trips at each port
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:13 PM
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We have visited Hawaii numerous times and also took a RT cruise from San Diego to 5 islands and returned. Here are my comments and observations.

You dont say how long you are going for but if it is for 10 days I would relax and take in no more than 2 islands. Fly into Ohau and visit Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, stroll the beaches iof Waikiki, Visit the Polinesian Cultural Village, rent a car and drive through Paulley Pass and visit the North Shore and finally snorkel in Hamanan (sp) Bay. This will easily take 3-4 days to enjoy yourslef, relax and enjoy a Mai Tai. Then I would fly to Maui again relax and enjoy what is offered in the Lahania Area. You will rent a car here so visit the Volcano (do some hiking), or ride the bikes down the mountain. Take a ride to Hana (day trip in itself) , go to a Luau, places to parasail or snorkel are abundant.....but stay and enojy each location 4 days. If you have 2 full weeks then you can consider a 3rd island but you get tired of packing and meeting up at the airport. Kauai or Hawaii are the other 2 to visit but these locations are much laid back. We once rented a B&B in the Village of Volcano on the island of Hawaii and it is in the middle of a rain forest.....Beautiful. We were there when the lava was flowing on the surace and you could get right up to it. Yes the smell is powerful but to see what Lava can do or to see it flow into the ocean will always be a memory not to forget. AS for return flights, its best if you can get flights back to the mainland from Maui Kauai or Hawaii and not have to return back to Ohau...otherwise it would be a very long day.

On our last trip to Hawaii we left via cruise ship from San Diego and visited 5 islands. That was fine but you must enjoy sea days for 5 -6 days EACH way is alot of down time but relaxing. If your a cruiser its fine but I would not recommend this for a first time cruise. Short visits at each island brought back alot of memories for we have already been to all these islands and knew where we wanted to go and what to see. My recommendation for the first time visitor is to allow more time for yourselves on each island...and relax!

WARNING: If you take a cruise to Hawaii from Cailfornia.....I would definitely NOT recommend any ship that starts or ends in Mexico and then they bus you to San Diego (or vice versa). A stop will be required but you really dont wants to get off in mexico....not the way to finish a nice trip.

Last edited by 784caroline; 03-12-2015 at 08:22 AM.
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