Today I’m sharing the second half of NCL’s Hawaii cruise with stops in Maui and Hilo. We hope you enjoyed our vacation as we reflect on everything we saw and did on his 16 day NCL cruise from Hawaii to Alaska. There are still a lot of things I want to tell you, but today is the end of Hawaii. We wanted to document this trip for us and share it with you. We had never been to Hawaii or Alaska, so it was nice to cross those two states off our travel to-do list. We have decided that we are more Hawaiian than Alaskan and we definitely want to go back to Hawaii someday and see more of the islands.
Our next destination in Hawaii was Maui. I had heard a lot of good things about Maui and it was beautiful, but I’m sure we only scratched the surface of what there is to see on this island. Again, cruises give you the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, of what the destination has to offer. You can then decide where to return and spend more time exploring.
As with Kauai, we hadn’t booked a tour on a cruise ship or anything like that, so we decided to take this stop as well and figure out what to do once we got off the ship. This plan didn’t work as well as Kauai, but a couple was found to share the cost. At this stop, Maui, we did the same and got off the boat, listening to the conversations around us as people tried to decide what to do. In the end, a couple from MS and a mother and daughter (mother had a walker) were going to share a taxi for sightseeing on Maui, so we all shared a taxi and got on Maui. I looked around. It was a bit difficult to please everyone with her 6 instead of 4, which wasn’t bad, but not as ideal as our first trip with strangers.
We told the taxi driver what we wanted to see, just the highlights of Maui in about a 3-4 hour window, and he took us to the hotspots he knew. We first stopped at Maui His Tropical Plantation and Millhouse, Plantation Fruit Tour, and restaurant on site. After looking around a bit, we all decided that taking this tour would consume a lot of time in a taxi, so we decided to take a taxi and see as much as possible in the limited time we had. bottom.
The weather that day was a little foggy, but the farm looked beautiful.
Tram tours are available and there is also a restaurant, Mill House, on site.
It was so much fun walking around and looking at the beautiful plants and mountains in the background.
It was a quintessential Hawaiian landscape, exactly what I imagined the islands to look like.
There are so many birds around the island and it’s amazing to see them everywhere.
The next stop on your taxi tour is the cute and quaint town of Lahaina. I stayed there for about 30 minutes, but it was a very cute town.
It was nice to see local arts and crafts showcased here.
The highlight of Lahaina was the giant banyan tree in the middle of town which was such a beautiful sight.
I am fascinated by these trees all over the island. Banyan tree is a wonderful tree!
We enjoyed walking around this pretty town a bit and taking in everything.
The gelato looked so delicious I should have tried it!
On the way back to the ship we stopped again and talked about humpback whales. We got to see humpback whales when we visited Alaska.
Enjoy even more spectacular views of Hawaii.
Our day in Maui ended at a local beach where sea turtles were resting on the sand. They were beautiful to look at.
Dinner time for another night on board.
The next day we docked in the port of Hilo. This is where Mark’s daughter Lindsey lives with her family. She is very close to the cruise port so we met her as soon as we got off the ship.
It was another wonderful day in Hawaii. This stop had a private tour guide.
We ended up seeing where they lived and she packed up the car for the day’s outing and got all four kids ready to go. She also stopped by her favorite convenience store to purchase snacks and a Hawaiian delicacy known as musubi (pronounced musabi). Have you heard about it? This was new to me, but apparently Hawaii’s fondness for spam dates back to World War II, when soldiers were fed pot meat, and the Hawaiians adopted it. It seems that the name of rustic sushi is good. It’s just rice and spam wrapped in a seaweed skin and molded into a small loaf shape. As you can see, boys love it! Here is Jackson on the left and JJ on the right, the oldest of the nine siblings.
I had never heard of musubi before, but Lindsey told us about it. She said she and her kids love it. I wanted to try a bite, so I did. It was ok, but not to my liking. Mark ate a whole piece and loved it. I like both young people.
Our first stop of the day was up the mountain to Kilauea Volcano. It’s a national park, so I had no idea what it would be like, but it’s very interesting. They monitor the volcano daily for dangerous eruptions. According to research, the volcano last erupted into a lava lake between September 2021 and December 2022. They don’t feel much danger living under a volcano, as the area under the volcano is constantly monitored. I think that would make me a little nervous. Driving into the park, there was smoke coming out of holes in the ground here and there, and it was very surreal to see it directly.
This pit outside the parking lot was fenced off to keep people from falling.
And it’s amazing how big the volcano’s crater actually is.
The smoke rising from the ground was very mesmerizing.
It was my first time to come so close to a volcano, and I learned a lot.
My photos can’t even adequately express how deep and wide the volcano’s crater really is.
Lindsey said it would be great to see it at night as it glows red with heat. Maybe next trip!
Our next stop was Rainbow Falls in Hilo. It was a beautiful waterfall, so we went outside and walked up to it.
There is a walkway to get to a good lookout. This is how I imagined Hawaii to be, with waterfalls everywhere and lush greenery.
It was great!
Onekahakaha Beach Park
We also went to a nice beach area where she took the kids and they called it a swimming pool. It has a swimming pool-like atmosphere with crystal clear water and rocks around it, making it a great place to swim.
There were also stone steps leading up to the surface of the water.
You can see the stairs on the right here, but they were on either side of the rock wall.
All black rocks are lava.
The water was very clear and not too cold.
I brought water shoes just for this and they were very helpful in Hilo.
We had over an hour of fun here at the beach park and Mark played soccer with the boys in the water.
They all love water.
Pop and his boys.
This little cutie is Ryan, 3 years old.
And the youngest is 2-year-old Justice Jr. They are so cute and they all love water.
Kealoha Beach Park
We had to get back to the ship so Lindsey took us to another beach park very close to the first one before we got back. She said if you think the first picture is beautiful, wait till you see this one! She was right! Really great.
We drove there and had time to just get out of the car and walk around for about 15 minutes. I took as many pictures as I could and it was beautiful from every angle.
It was a Friday and it wasn’t too busy. There were also people there with chairs, blankets and picnics and it was the perfect place to spend the day.
A paradise in tropical Hawaii.
If we had more time, I think we would be able to see a lot of marine life here. we saw a turtle I just noticed the thong in the photo above, should have been cut off! Ha! That’s not who we know.
It was just too beautiful to get over the color of the water.
Will definitely come back to this place again.
Everyone was pointing at sea turtles.
There were many shade trees to keep out the sun.
A real paradise!
Rails and steps were also incorporated here.
These are some of the beaches we visited. We also said goodbye to Hawaii, but it was a lot of fun!
We definitely want to go back to Hawaii someday. With so many places to see, I have to budget and plan more trips.
I am so glad that I was able to do this trip. Being able to see Hawaii and Alaska in one long trip was truly a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
I had the best time on all my excursions in Hawaii, especially the two days with my family. It was really special for Mark to also meet his daughter and grandchildren. He made my heart happy!
That’s it for Hawaii, but I’ll be back with at least two more posts about things I’ve seen and done in Alaska. We took a lot of pictures there too! When it comes to landscape diversity, Hawaii and Alaska couldn’t be more different.
If you missed my first post, catch up here:
16 day cruise packing
Cruising on the NCL Spirit
Kona Harbor and Kauai Harbor
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