Friday, February 15, 2013

Off to Jamaica!

Photo thanks to the lovely LoveMorePhoto

Tomorrow morning we're off for a (very) delayed honeymoon to Ocho Rios, Jamaica.  We'll take tons of pictures, and even plan to take a video or two.  Look for a review when we get back-see you soon!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Out and About in Honolulu

Pearl Harbor

We booked a tour through NCL to see Pearl Harbor, and what an experience it is.  The harbor is breathtaking, and you truly get a sense of the history that occurred there.  Our tour lasted a few hours, and after being picked up from the ship we were off.  Pearl Harbor gets very busy, even early in the morning, so our tour time was about 2 hours after we arrived.  However, the only part of Pearl Harbor that you need a ticket for is the USS Arizona or the USS Bowfish, so we were able to walk around the rest of the memorial on our own.  Once your tour begins you are brought into a theater where you watch a 15 minute video on Pearl Harbor; it is an emotional, well-done video that touches on just how devastating the attack really was.  Following this you are brought by a small boat to the USS Arizona memorial, where you have about 25 minutes to walk around with your group.  It was fascinating to look down and see the ship, along with the entire wall of names for the soldiers who lost their life that day. 

Polynesian Adventure Tour Company

I feel as if I should write a little about the Polynesian Tour Company, because this is the major tour company used for excursions in Hawaii by NCL, although you can also book tours on your own.  Overall, and although I slightly expected it, I felt as if the tours were overpriced, and lasted much longer than they needed to.  Each tour we went on with the company included "shopping stops" where we were brought to an affiliate of the company and dropped off for 30-45 minutes; to me, this is unnecessary.  The tour drivers were also very upfront-on the Pearl Harbor tour we were actually told to "take care" of our driver.  I ended up enjoying things like the Road to Hana and the Feast at Lele much more than the tours booked through the cruise ship-I would highly suggest trying to arrange tours on your own.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Out and About in Hilo

Volcano National Park

We booked an excursion to see Volcano National Park through the ship, since we wanted a tour guide to brink us through the park-and for $80 a person it seemed the best value in terms of cost and efficiency.  I do think you would be able to see a lot more if you went on your own with a car, but I really did enjoy our time at the park.  Hilo is apparently the rainiest city in Hawaii, and it did not disappoint the day of our tour; thankfully we were able to purchase ponchos for $2, because we would have been drenched without them.  I would also suggest dressing in layers, because at parts of the park it was a bit chilly.  The tour started with a visit to Big Island Candy, which produces homemade chocolates and shortbread cookies.  After this, we proceeded to the actual park, which is about 30 miles outside of the town of Hilo.  While there, we got to see hot springs, craters, a lava tube, a lava field, and the devastation trail.  It was all remarkable, and in such contrast to the time we spent in Maui.  All in all a wonderful day. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013