Did the helicopter ride over the volcano. It was worth every cent I paid HAL and as we were unable to see any volcanic activity from the ocean that night [scenic cruising was let down by the weather] I'm so glad I did it. The waterfall component was diappointing, especially after Iguazu last year!
The highlight of this port, for me, was a manicure at a place with a wonderful view of the Zaandam at anchor. An onboard manicure was at least $45 ++ and I paid $15.I am really over the spa services on ships with their constant hints about tipping and buying products.
I browsed along the waterfront at the various buildings and churches and then got the Walmart shuttle from the pier. Half the ship seemed to be at Walmart, stocking up on sodas etc. or the necessities for the ship building competition.
If you live in Australia, got to Surfers or Byron Bay.Don't bother coming all the way to Hawaii. I did a lot of shopping at the Ala Moana centre, having first being subjected to the Diver Dan jewellery ordeal. Had I realised I would have skipped the free shuttle and taken a taxi.
The next day I followed some fellow cruisers and got "The Bus". $2.50, no change, but air conditioned and very, very good. Some people were going all the way to the other side of the island using this bus network.
HAL needs to improve the port information available. I realise they have a vested interest in pushing their shore excursions. I asked the cruise guide for directions to Sees Candies and ended up at a mall way out on the green trolley line! Just as well I wanted to do the trolley ride out to Diamond Head via Waikiki or I would have been really cross when I found a Sees at Ala Moana.
There seemed to be a lack of local knowledge available.
This looked a pretty place but I made the mistake of doing the excursion to Waimea Canyon. Fantastic scenery once we got there, but it involved nearly 5 hours with a driver/guide who did not shut up for a minute and roared at some passengers who stood up to take a photo. I did get some little souvenirs at Mariko's, a half hour toilet stop. Very clean.
Very basic tour conditions here! No aircon and very rough seating on the bus. Tour was a good oversight of the island, a pretty place. Our guide had a lovely voice, but I do not want to learn, or be force fed a Samoan song.I found the stop at the late governor's mansion bizarre.His widow came out to greet everyone and let the hordes rampage through her home. Very odd.