Didn't spend a lot of time here. Stayed at the Hilton Waikiki Beach. Good hotel. Had oceanfront room, this hotel is not right on the beach and there are other building you see in between your room and the ocean but it was still nice. Waikiki beach is one of the most overrated places I've ever been. The beach is very small, crowded. Not sure why this place is so popular. Duke's restaurant right down the street however at the Outrigger hotel is amazing. We ate there twice. The north shore was fun, we got to watch part of a surfing competition and then the traffic was horrendous so we left and didn't make it to sunset beach which was on our list.
Of course Pearl Harbor is a must but be advised you have to get there early or make your reservation to get to go out to the Arizona memorial. We decided to go to North Shore first and Pearl Harbor in the afternoon. Probably not the best decision. When you get to Pearl Harbor you have to decide what you want to do, I just thought you could walk around at your own leisure and you have to buy tickets for specific things. Keep in mind you have to take a bus over to the Island where everything really is (except the visitor center and a few other things) so you have to take a shuttle. We did the Missouri tour, so you board the ship and you can get an audio tour or guided tour. We didn't have much time so we just walked around on our own and took pictures. Will have to go back to do more at Pearl Harbor so my advise would be to book your tickets online and go early to do what you want.
Loved Maui, did the Road to Hana on our own the first day. Rented a Jeep which I would recommend, not a car as the road is bumpy. We did the entire loop around. I didn't find the 2nd half to be any worse than the first. I grew up in WV on windy, not so good roads so maybe that's why it didn't' bother me. Part of the 2nd half is bumpy and not paved but it's not that bad. Make sure you get the CD to put in your car for the drive, lots of information about things to see, etc. We bought the CD at a Shell station not far from the cruise terminal. I can't think of the name of the intersection where it was but you can find it on here on other reviews (that's where i found out about it)
It was a long day, spent almost 8 hours traveling that day (not all driving) but it was worth it.
2nd day we went to the other side of the island which I'm guessing is where most people go to stay when they visit Hawaii. Passed through a little town that was really cool, right along the ocean. Great shopping, restaurants, etc. We don't do excursions because we like to do our own thing, that's how we found this area. We found a great beach and spent the afternoon snorkeling and it was wonderful. It's in the main resort area, there is public parking and it's on North Kaanapali Beach. There is another Duke's restaurant there, and this beach is right behind it. near the corner of the Honoapiilani Highway and the Lower Honoapiilani Road. Look up the address for Duke's in Maui and you will find this place. WE just happened upon it after stopping at a couple other beach parks and not really being that impressed with the beaches there. So don't just settle, keep driving around if you have a car and find an amazing beach because they are there :)
Seeing the Volcano and big waterfalls was amazing. Rained and overcast all day. We rented a car (don't rent convertible or jeep) because after talking to lots of people, it just rains all the time there. After seeing the volcano and waterfalls we didn't really feel like doing much else. Headed back to ship early. Was worth seeing the waterfalls and volcano but definitely don't need to go back here anytime soon. The drive is only 45 minutes to the Volcano and the waterfalls are very close to town/car rental so take your time and explore if you like but you can see all there is to see it seems on this stop in a day.
Nice little port town however we were upset when we woke up that morning it was still very overcast and cloudy. We were told Kona had beautiful weather year round and we were looking forward to it after spending a very rainy gloomy day in Hilo. We tried to make the best of it and it even sprinkled rain a few times but we went to Kahalu'u Beach park via taxi (you have to call for taxi's if you get outside the main pier area but they come rather quickly if you use Kona Cab Service) Everyone kept telling us there was a trolley that took you around but we only saw it once at the end of the day so I'm not sure how reliable it is. We decided to walk through town and catch a cab at the edge of town, we waited for a while on the trolley or cab but none came so we just called them from then on.
The beach park was a great place to swim/snorkel. Not the best snorkeling we did but there were green sea turtles everywhere which made it worth it. Very shallow water here. We also heard that Kaa Beach park on the other side of town was beautiful and we were going to go but the weather just wasn't cooperating so we went to a bar close to the pier and had some drinks in the afternoon before taking the tender back to ship.
Rented a car here as well for both days. First day went driving over to the other side of island to spend the day on the beach. It was a nice drive and we went all the way to the end, stopping along the way at some beaches and enjoying the scenery. It lives up to its name the Garden Isle. Very beautiful here. You pass thorugh a small town on the way to the end of the road wish some shopping restaurants. We ask our waitress for a good beach and she sent us through a residential area to a beach park with a very large, very pretty beach where we spent a couple hours.
2nd day, drove the opposite side of the island to the canyon. Glad we did, it was beautiful but probably wouldn't need to do it again. Maybe by air next time. We were going to do a helicopter tour but decided to just drive around instead.