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PLEASE HELP...1st time in Hawaii (via Princess Cruises)

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PLEASE HELP...1st time in Hawaii (via Princess Cruises)

Greetings! Our cruise ports in Hilo, Honolulu, Nawiliwili and Lahaina. I will make individual posts for the other ports but can somebody please give me the top 5 things to see for a first timer in Honolulu. I am traveling with my hubby, 3 kids(ages 6,6,3) and my MIL.

I'm thinking we really need to rent a car...I read discounthawaiicarrental.com is a good place to rent from?

We would love to do a luau, and I've read some must-dos include PCC, drive along North Shore, Waikiki Beach...

Any advice is very much appreciated:)

Thanks in advance!

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1. Re: PLEASE HELP...1st time in Hawaii (via Princess Cruises)

When will you be in Honolulu and for how many nights? If you do rent a car, you will have many more options (recommended). What is your budget? Do you really like your MIL (Never mind, just kidding on that one!)

The activities you mentioned are good ones, although I'm personally not a big fan of the commercial luaus. - Will MIL babysit for a night or two??

The real issue imho is the keikis. They will like the beach, for sure I think. They will probably like the acquarium too. Malasadas will make them smile as will shave ice. If you "market" it properly, I'm betting they will also like a breakfast "party" of apple bananas and nice ripe papayas!

How about a catamaran ride? Great fun!

Maui, Hawaii
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2. Re: PLEASE HELP...1st time in Hawaii (via Princess Cruises)

Luaus are usually in the evening.

I would take everyone to the Iolani Palace. It is the only palace in the United States. It is in downtown Honolulu and is pretty close to your dock.

I would go to the beach by the zoo and eat lunch at the beach concession.

Perth, Australia
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3. Re: PLEASE HELP...1st time in Hawaii (via Princess Cruises)

Are you leaving Hawaii and cruising elsewhere, or getting off in Honolulu for a few days...?

If the latter is the case, then you'll have a wonderful time - especially if you book a hotel for about 5 nights. Usually cruises to the other islands stay only one day.

Let us know if you are departing the ship ... we can give you more to see and do.

Destination Expert
for Maui
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4. Re: PLEASE HELP...1st time in Hawaii (via Princess Cruises)

Yes get a car rented and yes discounthawaii is great....hop over to www.cruisecritic.com for great info on your specific sailing. You can even go to the "roll call" boards to meet folks from your cruise before you go as well as read about what others have enjoyed.

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5. Re: PLEASE HELP...1st time in Hawaii (via Princess Cruises)

We are cruising to 4 ports...Hilo (9am-6pm), Honolulu (7am-11pm), Hilo(8am-5pm), and Lahaina (7am-6pm).

I don't have any problem if we need to rent a car at each port if there is a lot to see.

I have read the luau at Old Lahaina Luau is very good, would you agree?

Basically....we want to do a luau, check out the beaches, visit the volcano on the big island( this is the main reason we are doing this trip, my twin boys are in love with volcanoes....and they LOVE cruising:), visit the falls(Akaka or Rainbow, or both?), go to the Polynesian Cultural Centre....so far this is what I have come up with.

Maybe we should visit a plantation?...the aquarium sounds fun too!

We are not a hiking kind of bunch, but love getting in the car and exploring...

Your input is soooo valued, thank you for taking the time to help me get this all figured out and make the most of our time on the islands!

We just decided yesterday that we were going to do Hawaii, and our cruise leaves April 13th....so not much time to get organized.

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6. Re: PLEASE HELP...1st time in Hawaii (via Princess Cruises)

I was coming to post, save your luau for Maui, and do the Old Lahaina Luau. It's a wonderful evening. Incredibly gorgeous setting, excellent music and dance, decent buffet of traditional Hawaiian food.

I think with a family, having a rental car on each island will give you the most freedom.


Arroyo Grande...
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7. Re: PLEASE HELP...1st time in Hawaii (via Princess Cruises)

Sorry! The only port you will be in long enough for a luau (evening event) is Honolulu. Take a look at the ship's excursions and see what they offer.

Your kids aren't old enough to appreciate Iolani Palace ... yet. Some other time, for sure.

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8. Re: PLEASE HELP...1st time in Hawaii (via Princess Cruises)

Since the ship is only in Honolulu for one day, I would put Pearl Harbor at the top of the list, especially now that tickets can be reserved in advance. To me, a visit to Honolulu makes a visit to Pearl Harbor, IMHO!

Then, plan the rest around what time you can get tickets to visit the USS Arizona Memorial!

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: PLEASE HELP...1st time in Hawaii (via Princess Cruises)

Your time in Lahaina won't let you do the luau there. Maybe only at Honolulu.

The PCC will take 1.5hr to drive there and back. It is very good, but it is better for another time when you can spend most of the day from about noon to night, to include the night show.

Do rent a car. Choose among some of the top attractions:

Downtown Honolulu, some within walking distance to port, King K stature, Iolani Palace, State legislature, even Chinatown a bit to west. Or even skip this and head right to Pearl Harbour.

Pearl Harbour (west of port), Arizona Memorial and maybe include USS Missori and Bowfin submarine

Drive to Pali Lookout (drive toward N/E), nice highway and then great view from top.

Maybe to Kaneohe, Kailua Beach, then through southeast small circle of Oahu.

Waikiki (east of port), Diamond Head; Eat dinner with view to Waikiki beach. Or to International Market Place to watch free evening show. Lots to see at Waikiki Beach area.

If you really want a luau, that's a different story than enjoying Waikiki for the night.

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10. Re: PLEASE HELP...1st time in Hawaii (via Princess Cruises)


Plans literally just changed in the past hour...we are no longer cruising the Islands, instead we will be doing a land trip with 4 days on Maui, 4 days on Hawaii, and 2 days on Oahu.

Thank you for all your input, I will definitely be using your suggestions for our new itinerary.

And if anybody would like to add in some more valuable info, that would be fantastic!

Again...thank you! thank you! thank you!