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Home > Member Reviews > OhJinkies's Port Reviews of Maui, Maui, Hilo, Kauai, Kauai

OhJinkies's Port Reviews of Maui, Maui, Hilo, Kauai, Kauai
Pride of America cruise in May 2014
Member Name: OhJinkies
Cruise Date: May 2014
Embarkation: Honolulu
Destination: Hawaii
Member Review: OhJinkies's Pride of America Review
Maui
Road to Hana Rating: Not Rated
I chose this company after reading a lot of reviews. This was a small group (12 passenger) tour that did the full Road to Hana, including the rough roads. But we saw some spectacular scenery, did some wine tasting, etc. It was a long day, but worth it. I think my favorite stop was Waianapanapa State Park, which had a beautiful black sand beach and cool little sea cave.


Haleakala Crater Rating: Not Rated
After a lot of consideration, I booked the “Exclusive Haleakala Sunrise tour” through NCL. The 3:30 a.m. departure time and frigid mountaintop temps were a little off-putting, but I knew this would be a special experience. This is a small van tour and includes breakfast. I had to pack some warm clothes – a fleece pullover, scarf, warm socks, and lined gloves. We arrived at the 9K level pre-dawn, seized a position right against the railing, and watched the show begin. I was VERY fortunate – temps were in the 50s, which is downright balmy for Haleakala, and winds were calm. Skies were clear above the lower clouds, and they slowly became illuminated as the sun crept up. It was spectacular. After the sunrise, we ascended to the 10K level and walked around a bit and took photos. We then traveled back down and had breakfast at the Kula Lodge, which has breathtaking views and a beautiful garden out back. We took time to tour the garden and our guide pointed out the various plants. We also had time to browse the nearby gift shop.


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Maui
Road to Hana Rating: Not Rated
I chose this company after reading a lot of reviews. This was a small group (12 passenger) tour that did the full Road to Hana, including the rough roads. But we saw some spectacular scenery, did some wine tasting, etc. It was a long day, but worth it. I think my favorite stop was Waianapanapa State Park, which had a beautiful black sand beach and cool little sea cave.


Haleakala Crater Rating: Not Rated
After a lot of consideration, I booked the “Exclusive Haleakala Sunrise tour” through NCL. The 3:30 a.m. departure time and frigid mountaintop temps were a little off-putting, but I knew this would be a special experience. This is a small van tour and includes breakfast. I had to pack some warm clothes – a fleece pullover, scarf, warm socks, and lined gloves. We arrived at the 9K level pre-dawn, seized a position right against the railing, and watched the show begin. I was VERY fortunate – temps were in the 50s, which is downright balmy for Haleakala, and winds were calm. Skies were clear above the lower clouds, and they slowly became illuminated as the sun crept up. It was spectacular. After the sunrise, we ascended to the 10K level and walked around a bit and took photos. We then traveled back down and had breakfast at the Kula Lodge, which has breathtaking views and a beautiful garden out back. We took time to tour the garden and our guide pointed out the various plants. We also had time to browse the nearby gift shop.


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Hilo
Volcano National Park & Hilo Waterfall Tour Rating: Not Rated

Some of my fellow roll call members had booked a Volcanoes National Park tour with Big Island Aina Tours and it was wonderful. There were maybe six of us in a van, and after a brief stop at Rainbow Falls and the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory to pick up a sandwich for lunch, we spent the majority of the day in the park. We walked on the lava fields, walked through Thurston’s Lava Tube, visited the steam vents, traveled down Chain of Craters road and saw the sea arch, and had a scenic picnic on the oceanside cliff. We viewed the Kilauea Caldera and the Kilauea Iki Crater, and wrapped up the day with a visit to an orchid garden/store. The pacing was great and it was much more beautiful than I could have imagined!




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Kauai
Waimea Canyon Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
This is the only “big bus” tour that I took. The format was okay, but the guide talked nonstop -- I tend to tune it out after a while. The day started out gray and misty, and unfortunately just got worse. We stopped to see the Spouting Horn blowhole, which was pretty cool. We stopped at a large gift shop, for a combo restroom/coffee/shopping break. When we finally arrived at the canyon, the clouds and rain pretty much obliterated the view. I did take some nice atmospheric photos and shots of the close-up foliage but it was pretty much a wash. But I had taken the "Heaven and Earth Quest" on the previous day, so this day was more of a “bonus day,” and I was okay with it.


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Kauai
Waimea Canyon Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
This is the only “big bus” tour that I took. The format was okay, but the guide talked nonstop -- I tend to tune it out after a while. The day started out gray and misty, and unfortunately just got worse. We stopped to see the Spouting Horn blowhole, which was pretty cool. We stopped at a large gift shop, for a combo restroom/coffee/shopping break. When we finally arrived at the canyon, the clouds and rain pretty much obliterated the view. I did take some nice atmospheric photos and shots of the close-up foliage but it was pretty much a wash. But I had taken the "Heaven and Earth Quest" on the previous day, so this day was more of a “bonus day,” and I was okay with it.


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