We’re back with more details on NCL cruises from Hawaii to Alaska. This cruise was so long (16 days) that I took hundreds of photos. We want to save these memories for us and share them with all of you, sharing all the best photos and splitting the post into several. Segments where we share things we’ve seen and done. This time we will cover Kailua-Kona and Kauai on the Big Island of Hawaii. As we departed Honolulu on our cruise, our first stop was Kona and our next stop on day two was Kauai. We made her 4 port calls to the Hawaiian Islands, then 5 days out to sea and then to Alaska. It was a wonderful trip! We loved it and we are so happy we had the opportunity to go on this wonderful trip.
The pros and cons of a cruise is that you get to see a lot of different ports and destinations, but you only have a limited amount of time to see everything there is to see at each stop, so make the most of each short time. I tried to make use of it. Most calls are around 8 hours, not too long to see the whole island. We’ll give you detailed instructions on how to get around at each stop.
As mentioned earlier, Mark’s eldest daughter, Lindsay, lives in Hilo, Hawaii, where her family moved to Hilo almost two years ago in search of job opportunities. I think they enjoy living there and plan to stay there indefinitely. Enjoying the laid-back island life. They have four children, he’s 11 and he’s 9, and the youngest are his 3 and his 2. Of course, before we left, we let her know when we would be there, so the schedule was for her to pick us up in Kona and Hilo as well. We landed there on Friday of the week. Kona was her first stop about an hour and a half from her, where she and her children picked her up. It was such a wonderful day!
In Kona we had to use a tender boat to get off the boat, which was easy.
Before she arrived, we wandered around Kailua Village, meandering down the street to the meeting point.
The boat is anchored in the water and we took lots of pictures with it.
It’s a cute little village on the water with views like this. It’s my first visit to Hawaii and it’s so interesting to see all the things I’ve heard over the years.
Passing in front of this beautiful house, we realized it was the Hulihee Palace, a former royal villa built in 1838.
We enjoyed walking around this cute little town.
Hawaiian trees fascinated me so much that I kept taking pictures of their trunks. They were works of art.
Another shot of the NCL Spirit, a cruise ship anchored from shore.
Lindsay met us and we all drove to her favorite place in Kona, Lava Beach Park. I didn’t know the name of this beach park, but the first thing I noticed was black lava.
We found a place to land and the kids and Mark got into the water. I walked up to my knees and looked out at the tide pools.
It was my first experience on a Hawaiian beach and it was amazing. We had no idea that more beauty awaited us on each island.
I loved the tropical plants of the islands. Lindsey said Kona was dry, deserty and hot, but the other side of Hilo’s island where they live is wet and green, she said.
It was still really beautiful to look at.
Her little ones love water and want to go swimming. As you can imagine, Pop was very happy to see his children. It was a wonderful visit that day. After the beach, we went to have ice cream with the Hawaiian Shave she already knew.
Got some good snapshots of Mark, Lindsay and the kids. They are growing up so fast and we were able to have a really good visit with them.
The undulating beach is beautiful and picturesque.
I really liked the clarity of the water.
After having lunch in town, I had Hawaiian shave ice. Lucky for us, we have a great shave ice store in our little town of Acworth, so if you haven’t been yet, please stop by and tell Vincent we sent you. We got to know the owner from Hawaii and he brought a taste of Hawaii to Acworth. This was delicious too, but more expensive in Hawaii!
We returned to the ship that night and had dinner on board. Had a great day in Kona with my family!
This cruise business is a lot of fun.
We set sail that night and this sight greeted us the next morning when we arrived in Kauai early in the morning. We didn’t know what kind of reward it would be.
It was so much fun to step out onto the balcony early in the morning and watch the sun light up the morning sky.
If Kauai was right outside, this lush island.
The balcony was the perfect place to take it all in.
We hadn’t booked a tour to Kauai so decided to just fly around and see what happened. We took the free shuttle to a small town nearby and looked for some land tours. We were told that booking a taxi might be the best bet and another couple who were doing the same heard us talking about it. We introduced ourselves and met Rob and Samantha from Canada. In the end, we booked a taxi together, split the cost of a four-hour excursion, and settled on a fun drive around the island. We told the taxi driver that we wanted the best views and that Waimea Canyon was the top attraction.
FYI, we paid $170 per couple for our taxi trip. Not cheap, but I think we got to see a lot.
The great thing about booking a taxi for just 4 people is that you can stop along the way and get off easily to take pictures of the beautiful scenery. As I said earlier, he can’t see the whole island in one day, but we did our best and saw as much as we could and it was a very satisfying day for him.
The view was just amazing with green vegetation all around. Certainly unlike anything you’ve seen before.
I was surprised that many of the islands were so undeveloped that they were just lush tropics. This seems to be the situation on many islands with towns and villages and many tropical mountains and canyons.
It was such a beautiful sight, and it looked so far away.
Of course, I had to take advantage of the scenery and take pictures with a great backdrop.
Notice the different colors in the landscape.
It was an unusual waterfall. The red is basalt, a type of lava.
We climbed the mountain to the top and finally arrived at the Waimea Valley Lookout. It is said to be the Grand Canyon of Hawaii and it did not disappoint.
It was difficult to capture all the beauty and depth of this canyon from the viewing platform, but it was breathtaking.
Every color was amazing and totally different from anything I’ve seen before.
red, green, and colors in between.
A must stop on Kauai.
Stop nearby to see the waterfall from a distance.
The driver took us to all our favorite spots including the swinging bridge of Hanapepe.
The bridge spanned a small river and was so narrow that it was difficult to pass without being sucked into the river. We waited for the whole bus to come back before going up to the bridge.
He took us to the Kauai Coffee Company where we actually saw a working coffee plantation.
Trees love this tropical climate.
I had never seen coffee beans growing before, so it was my first experience.
Our next stop was Spouting Horn which was a real pleasant surprise. This is where the water flows in and out, sending jets of water high into the air. It looks even better on video, but you get the idea.
This place was also very scenic.
I tried to exploit high spouts and this was a good one. We had a great day on Kauai and really enjoyed the shared taxi ride with a couple we met. In the end, we met them for several dinners and chanced upon them off the ship, so we had conversations and shared with everyone what we had seen and done that day, making our journey more enjoyable. became even more fun.
It was nice to be back on the ship in the late afternoon and have time to rest before dinner. During the cruise, mostly on days at sea, I read one book and read another. We liked that we had some time to rest instead of being out all day.
Dressing up for dinner was fun, and I did color coordination tonight. Next, I will discuss her two other ports in Hawaii: Maui and Hilo. Both were fun stops, all different but with lots of beauty to see.
If you forgot to pack my stuff in the post for the 16 day cruise, make sure to check if you go on the cruise yourself. I ended up wearing the shoes and most of the clothes I brought, so packing went pretty well.
Also, check out our previous post about the NCL Spirit and the ship itself, including a tour of the ship and amenities.
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