We had a great tour guide who was very knowledgeable about the island and the route along the way. We stopped at the Mauna Loa factory (a big disappointment-mostly a store and not very wheelchair accessible) and then the Dole plantation (again a disappointment as it is pretty much a store with Dole merchandise, no exhibits or cultural information at all but completely accessible). The view from the visitors center was excellent even though it rained off an on throughout the day.
Garfield, our tour guide, was an excellent host and driver. The drive along the north beach was especially beautiful. It was a little disappointing not to stop at the LDS Temple to take pictures as the tour description indicated. The Polynesian Cultural Center was beautiful. We saw a few shows and they were wonderful. The staff were very helpful. PCC was very wheelchair accessible.
We arrived back to the dock with plenty of time before the ship left so we walked around the Aloha center (pretty much empty).
A pretty disappointing tour. The canyon is pretty overrated, not much to see, even after pushing the wheelchair up[ the long, steep pathway. The stops along the way included an overlook in the middle of the coffee fields, a souvenir shop, and a res stop along the beach.
After returning to the ship we had plenty of time to take the free shuttle to hilo Hatties to purchase some Hawaiian clothing. We noticed a number of shipmates also taking other free shuttles that Walmart and k-Mart provided, along with the local bus system. There is very little to see or do at the dock.
This was the port we were mostly concerned about since it was tendered. The policy of Princess is that if the weather is too rough, Princess will not tender wheelchair guests, so we were reluctant to reserve an excursion that might be cancelled with no resource or refund. The night before we read the tender would not allow wheelchair on board but the next morning they did allow collapsible wheelchairs on. The tender crew were very awkward in where they seated us, requiring a disabled passenger to stand in order for them to affix the boarding ramp as we got to the dock in the city. The trip on the way back was uneventful.
Lahaina is a charming city with plenty of shops and restaurants. We were able to find a nice whale watching excursion which was priced much less than Princess was offering. Not only were their whales, dolphins and flying fish observed, but the while boat was wheelchair accessible. Kudos to the Pacific Whale Foundation for a memorable trip! This is a company we will definitely do business with again if given the opportunity.