Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review by tipitina: Great cruise to Hawai'i on the Radiance of the Seas
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Great cruise to Hawai'i on the Radiance of the Seas
This was a 10 day cruise to Hawai'i. The first five days were spent at sea getting to Hawai'i from Vancouver. The seas were quite calm for the entire voyage. We thought maybe in the open ocean seas would be rough, but they were not. The days flew by. Lots of activities on the ship to entertain ourselves on the journey.
The weather started a bit cool in Vancouver, then naturally got warmer and warmer each day.
The Radiance is a beautiful ship. We had a mini-suite. Our cabin steward was excellent.
The food in the Windjammer was delicious as was the fare in the dining room. Although one night the chef overcooked the salmon, a rare misstep.
The captain was humorous and very informative. The cruise visited the big island of Hawai'i at Hilo and Kailua-Kona, passing by the Kilauea volcano at midnight in between the two cities. Then we went on to Maui for two days and finally to Honolulu, where we disembarked.
Kona and Maui were tenders which were More very well organized and efficient. At Hilo we rented a car from Hertz and visited the Tropical Botanical Garden and Akaka Falls. We decided to rent a car because the excursion did not offer enough time at either place. Hertz picks you up right at the pier and getting the car was easy. They then return you to the pier when you turn the car back in. The Gardens were spectacular, highly recommended. The drive is easy from Hilo. Akaka falls was also worth it. Not far up the road from the Gardens. It costs $5 to park at the Falls. We were going to explore downtown Hilo and eat on the way back but found it crowded and confusing and after driving around for a while decided to go back to the ship. At midnight the ship passed Kilauea, but unfortunately the volcano was apparently taking a nap because we saw almost nothing. No lava flowing, nothing. It is hit or miss whether you actually see something and we definitely missed. But we did buy a bookmark in a gift shop with a picture of what we could have seen:) At Kona we decided to just wander around town. It worked out fine. There are lots of shops and restaurants. If you like coffee, by all means try the Kona coffee, it is really delicious. We also very highly recommend the Kona Inn Restaurant. We had the most pleasant and delicious lunch sitting in the covered dining area outside with the Radiance in full view anchored off the coast.
On Maui, the boat tenders at Lahaina. We also rented a car the first day from Hertz. Not as convenient. You have to call for a ride there, although we walked and it was not too far from the pier. We drove up the west coastline until the map says rental cars are not allowed to go further. Very scenic. Then we went back down the coast the other way all the way to Wailea. Honestly this part was kind of a waste. There were some scenic stops, but it was a lot of tedious driving and hard to know where you are going. We swung back and made our way up to Ho'okipa Bay at the start of the road to Hana then went back to the ship. If we had it to do over we would have just booked the Adventure to Hana excursion through RC and not rented a car on Maui. We would have seen more and spent about the same amount of time and money without the tedium and confusion of driving in an unfamiliar place. (Next time:) The second day we took the RC excursion to the Iao Needle and Maui Tropical Plantation. Very nice. Recommendable.
The next morning the ship arrived in Oahu and docked at the pier in Honolulu. We opted to stay four more days on our own on Oahu. We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. A review of that part of the trip is on Trip Advisor if anyone is interested.
Overall, a wonderful trip. A great way to get a taste of Hawai'i without the jet lag of getting there. Less
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