I actually went on a tour that a group I was traveling with arranged and it was very nice. I did speak with other travelers who took Carnival sponsored tours and were very pleased with them. We tendered and the sea was rough. The cruise director, Stu, made numerous announcements about the time involved and the use of "patience." Actually, everyone was. Patient. How weird is that??? Numbers were given for tenders so things went very smoothly. When I was able to get off, the tender dropped about 3 feet and I had to wait for it to "bob" back up. There were like 4 gorgeous (!!!!!) crew, 2 on tender and 2 on ship, to help you on and get you seated!!! Quite pleasant, thank you very much. Maybe I am not suppose to say this, but Carnival does have the most gorgeous security guards............
The tour was through Mary Lou's and the guides name was Ken and he was so laid back and knowledgeable. Enjoyed this tour very much.
On this island a group of us had hired a local Photography guide to take us to specific locations for taking photographs. What a fantastic experience! I was crawling out on boulders and taking pictures and never even thinking I was getting old and not so quick on my feet. Had a fantastic time. Lunch was at a local restaurant specializing in pepper sauce chicken that was absolutely delicious. Service size way to big though!
Did the Road to Hana. This is a looooooooooooooooooong tour!!!! It is gorgeous and beautiful scenery, but if you have the time and the ability to arrange it, I'd rent a car for the day and bag going with a tour group. We had established stops and if I was driving there were so many other interesting places I would rather have stopped. My first plan when I booked this cruise was to rent a car and drive but I bowed to the will of the group and just joined a tour. Tour was great and being with fellow travelers was great, but if I had to do it over, I'd book the car and fine 2 or 3 other travelers to split it with me and just go on my own. It really is quite doable. If you can drive in Ireland, you could drive this with eyes closed.
The meal was fantastic though. If you are doing this tour through Valley Isle Tours, your lunch may be in a garden so if you are allergic to bees or flowers, be sure you have the appropriate medication with you. I was stung by a bee within the first 10 minutes and eaten alive by mosquitoes. My fault. I forgot mosquitoe repellent even thought it is posted a hundred times to bring it!!!
My best memory of Honolulu is it was hot as you know what with 100% humidity. We did a Circle Island Tour through VIP tours after getting off of the ship and we went to the North shore of the island and if I ever go back, that's where I'll go. It was stunning. I stayed one extra night after the cruise and went to the zoo and it is a peaceful area about 2 blocks from the beach.