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Cruise itinerary - review please?

Southlake, Texas
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Cruise itinerary - review please?

Aloha! My husband and I are taking the Pride of America for our 10th anniversary (treating it as a floating hotel so expectations set there ;) and just wanted to float our plans by the experts! ;) We are healthy, active, young 30s and while yes, we want to see the big highlights we hate the cheesy huge group canned touristy stuff.

Thurs Jan 15th - arrive 8am, 840am pickup at the pier to go to airport for Safari Helicopters Tour. Reserved the front two seats (commence diet now) and then they will drop us at car rental approx 1030am. Here's where my dilemma comes in. I had originally thought we would head straight to Waimea Canyon but reviews say go early early in the am (I'm guessing we would get there around 1130amish). I would do it the following morning except my plan was to return the car late Thursday (to save $, not have to deal with parking it, etc) and then Fri am tube the ditch with Kauai Backcountry (cabbing it there, lunch inc, then cab back to ship). Ship departs 2pm.

Had also thought about maybe hitting the Koloa Zips after Waimea on the first day assuming the timing worked out. Am I better off moving this around, paying a little more for parking and an extra day car rental and tubing on Thursday and whatever else and then just doing Waimea only on Friday and getting there early or what would you recommend.

I had thought about maybe doing Smith's luau but we are planning on doing the one at the PCC on Oahu our first day there (we could skip that and do village and HA! show only - maybe eat at Ted's in between ;). I know theres also the fern grotto but honestly barging it down the river with the masses isn't top of my list.

Thoughts? Recommendations? Thank you!

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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1. Re: Cruise itinerary - review please?

By the time you pay for cabs you're likely to have spent the same as you would have for a day's rental and parking.

United States
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2. Re: Cruise itinerary - review please?

Do you have a backup plan in case the weather doesn't cooperate?

washington
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for Maui
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3. Re: Cruise itinerary - review please?

My only caveat is to watch your planning for your second day. You need to be back on ship by 1 for the 2pm sail-away and I'm not sure that leaves enough time for Waimea Canyon. You might jump over to www.cruisecritic.com , TA's sister site, for more insight. Our second day we just hopped a free shuttle over to the shops and gorgeous beach by the Marriott. You can rent surfboards, bodyboards or SUP there.

California
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4. Re: Cruise itinerary - review please?

Keep the car.

A cab to Lihue where the tubing is (its fun but tame) will cost you as much as keeping the car.

My other thought is you are going to see the canyon from the air (you hope). I would head to the North Shore since your chances of being fogged in are pretty great since you won't be getting up there till after noon.

Or that first day get the car. Drive asap to canyon. Do helicopter the next morning but don't miss the North Shore this time of the year.

Kauai, Hawaii
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5. Re: Cruise itinerary - review please?

one luau is plenty for one hawaii vacation.....do that on another island.

also, be careful of cramming too much to far away on friday...give yourself some wiggle room......why ? All it takes in a vehicle accident on our roads, and depending on where it is, and the severity , that can add quite a bit of time to your driving, or the road totally closed down. Some places they can take a short alternate, others you are flat stuck. Our hwy is an ancient two lane road....one each direction.

As to viewing the canyon, mornings and afternoons can swap around as to visibility and clear skies....we always look up at the ridge and mountains before driving up there, and have a plan B. Jan is winter time, so just FYI so you do not waste a day driving up to cloud covered or rain in the canyon.

Saving money when on vacation......of course it is good to be sensible, but you have just traveled over half the U.S. contenent, and a great expanse of pacific ocean that may have cost lots of bags of shells, paid for a cruise on board NCL, and spending a few extra buck for a car or parking , well.....we believe in having a grand ol time on our vacations.

On the other hand, since the passengers board friday at 1:00 pm, that really whacks a day of going off and driving long distances. Dont forget stopping to fuel the car and get it turned back in to the rental car agency....whoever that might be.

We love the zip lining , and are hearing great things from the locals about Koloa Zip Lining.....but the tubing for us is pretty tame and with only a day and quarter on the island, we would not spend the hours tubbing, but that is ,of course up to the individual.

Now an idea for zip lining, that might also work for you and no need for a rental car.....actually there is a fun zip lining company . Base office is at Anchor Cove, and from the boat, you van over to Anchor Cove in their dedicated bus/van or walk depending on your druthers.

You are in the area, near the boat. Just Live zipling company then drives you in their van to the lush zip lining in the tree tops between lihue and poipu in the jungle. Cool stuff. And , of course bring you back. No rental car necessary, no cramming and going nuts. The name of the company is JUST LIVE and is only a two or three minute drive in the free continuous running Anchor Cove van...from the ship to Anchor Cove mall.

.

Then, lets say you have some free time, on friday, and you have honed an appetite, you can walk over next door to Dukes overlookng Kalapaki Beach, with loads of tropical atmosphere and have lunch and libations, stroll the beach and the shops at Anchor Cove and across the road at the Harbor Mall....and not be any rush, or chance of a highway problem. And you line up at Anchor Cove and get back to the ship in just a few minutes.

Now that I have totally messed up your plans......I will sign off, and let you all get your heads together and make your personal choices.

Edited: 24 July 2014, 02:14
Santa Rosa...
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6. Re: Cruise itinerary - review please?

A couple of people have said the cruising is tame. I'm going to be a little more blunt and say it's lame. Save your time and money on that one. It's not representative of the best of Kauai. For a person with just a quick cruise stop there are better ways to spend your time and money than floating slowly down an irrigation ditch. If you take that off the agenda that frees you up to better arrange the other items on your list. For far less money you could just keep the rental car and see something better than the ditch.

California
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7. Re: Cruise itinerary - review please?

I enjoyed the tubing, but it is indeed tame (not lame). Would it be something I jump through hoops to do? No. Is it something fun and different for someone who has been to Kauai mulitple times? Yes. I would rather do the ATV or zip first before I spent the money on tubing. In January that water will be cooooollllddddd.

Spring, Texas
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8. Re: Cruise itinerary - review please?

Hey Nikki - I chimed in over on your Oahu post, so I'll add my thoughts here too.

On our first day we rented a car and drove to the North Shore. Came back that afternoon, cleaned up and went to Smith's Family Luau. Book through Roberts and they provide transportation so you can have lots of Mai tais. The next morning we did an early helicopter tour on Blue Hawaiian and then enjoyed several hours on Kalapaki Beach. A high point was hula pie at Dukes. Yum!

I would not do the tubing. We have great tubing here in Texas! (We just got back from a long weekend in New Braunfels). I think I would skip the ziplining too. There are now 2 zip lines on Lake Travis, and one in Nacogdoches. We normally don't do things on vacation if it is something we can do within driving distance.

Southlake, Texas
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9. Re: Cruise itinerary - review please?

Lots of great insight. I actually had the idea to see if we could bump the helicopter ride to the second morning right after I posted but I think at first I planned it that way in case weather interfered on day one then we could try and do it the second morning vs not at all. Smart or overthinking it? :)

I am totally fine with paying for another day and parking the rental, it just didn't seem worth it when we were going to tube day 2 close to the pier but sounds like thats not our best option in January anyway so I will rebook so we have the car both days. Should I risk it and bump the helicopter ride or leave it? If I bump the helicopter ride we still aren't getting to the canyon in the am because by the time the ship docks, get rental car and drive there but sounds like mornings aren't a lock on clear weather anyway. Cant one of you pull out your crystal ball for me please?! :)

Southlake, Texas
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10. Re: Cruise itinerary - review please?

Also, didn't hear anyone chime in on the Smith's Family Luau - worth doing? Best one to do? Now we aren't doing the PCC luau and can't do OLL on Maui because we are doing Road to Hana so trying to find an awesome luau to include somewhere in our trip and Smith's was the next on my list. Thoughts? Tips? So here's cliff notes of questions:

Should we move helicopter tour to second morning and cross fingers on weather so we can do Waimea Canyon earlier the first day or leave it as is?

If you were us would you do Smith Family Luau as your one luau on this Hawaii trip?

Koloa Zips vs any other?

Zips vs ATVs?