Last week I had the awesome pleasure fo traveling to hawaii on holiday. I waited till the last minute to purchase my plane tickets and paid over $1,000 per ticket. My trip began on June2 28, 2018. I began packing for my trip two weeks before my departure. Running late for my flight with my overpacked bag, I arrived at the airport placed my luggage onto the scale and it was almost 80lbs. The employee added up the additional cost for over weight bags and it came up to over $300. This was in addition to my tickets. I had no time to take items out so I paid the additon $300 and headed to board my flight. We flew Delta Airlines. I chose Delta because I had re ently opened a American Express account and wanted to use the 1st bag free, priority board and skymiles perks.
We were able to board early and find our seats and get comfortable before the other passengers got onto the plane. The seat were comfortable and we got to watch free movies. The flight offered food and refreshments as well as a pillow and blanket. I was pleasantly impressed with the perks the Delta offered. Also with my American Express membership I get a discounted price on the sky club located at the airport. The sky lonngue offers travelers a quiet relaxing place to unwind while they are waiting for their flight. The offer free food, drinks and spirits for a fee.
Our 13 hour flight included a layover in Los Angles. From LAX we boarded our flight to Honolulu. Once in Honolulu we claimed our baggage and caught a shuttle to our hotel. Located close to the baggage claim you will see Roberts Hawaii airport shuttle. I recommend making reservations before you arrive unless your hotel has a shuttle from the airport. The cost was $32.00 from the airport to our hotel in Honolulu.
We stayed at the fabuolous Sheraton Wikiki.
The cabana pictured was $250 per day. Poolside cabanas were $55 per day or you could rent a beach chair for two at a cost of $55. Included in the cost for the hotel was a resort fee of $25 per day per person. Trust me it is well worth it. The resort fee included a
GoPro rental. I used my GoPro as i flowed in an inner tube out in the Pacific Ocean. Mind you I cant swim, so I purchased a inflatable tube for $10.
A free Hula lesson, pool towels, three pools, one with a water slid and much more were also included in the resort fee.
If your adventurous like me then you could have taken a surfing lesson for around $100, snorkeling for about $55, catamaran sail for $100 or more per person, a banana boat ride with strangers, paddle boarding in the Pacific, or a hike in mountains. If your not so adventurous then enjoy a day on the beach or go shopping
While exploring Honululu I found a hair braiding shop in a back alley.
We spent two days at the Sheraton Waikiki before boarding The Pride of America Norwegian cruise ship in Honolulu. I'm accustomed to Disney cruises and felt this cruise line was a major step down. The cabin room was decent but the buffet area and dining room was outdated. The food was a 2 on a scale of 10. Lets just say I did not look forward to breakfast, lunch nor dinner like I would on a Disney cruise. Disney has set the bar high and Norwegian's Pride of America did not even come close. It was just decent to me.
Our first port of call was Maui, Hawaii. We did a down hill bike ride. The temperature was perfect. Our tour company picked up us from the port and drove us through mountains to the top where will jumped on our bikes to begin our ride. The name of the tour company was Mountain Riders. If you ever visit Maui, this is an exhilarating experience, riding a bike down a two lane highway with cars zipping pass you in the opposite direction while your traveling 25 mph downhill.
Maui reminds me of the country. This picture was taken in the mountains. It was a perfect day for a bike ride.
I was required to sign a release form assuring the bike company that in the event of an injury or my death I would not sue. We biked down hill on a two lane road with active traffic. I stayed at the back of the pack because I didn't know what to expect. After the ride my hands ached really bad from applying pressure to the brakes on a constant basis.
Now as you know Oprah Winfrey owns a home in Maui and she was in town during our visit. I saw here on Instagram posting pictures out on her porch in Maui. I was unable to locate Oprah's home but we were in the area.
After morning of bike riding we returned to the ship and put our swimwear on for a photo shoot at a local Maui beach walking distance from port.
The next port was Hilo on the big island. In Hilo we embarked on a zip line adventure through the rain forest. The tour company picked us up from port and drove us off road through a remote rain forest in Hilo. The name of the company was Zip line through Paradise. Check them out if you ever visit Hilo. https://kapohokine.com
The weather was very rainy at first but stopped once our zip line adventure began. I was nervous to begin with but quickly caught the hang of it. We zip lined over the waterfall pictured.
The scenery was unbelievable. Lush green forest. Beautiful fruit trees. I was surprised I never saw any snakes In Hawaii you will notice that there are roasters every where. They help to control the rat population. Also wild pigs come out at night and eat fruit that has fallen from the trees.
Later on that night after dinner we went to the top of the deck of the cruise ship. We cruised past an active volcano. It was amazing. You could see the fissures sprouting from the ground.
Kauai was my favorite island of all. It was so beautiful there. We spent two days on the island. I rented a car and drove around the island. A cruise employee told me about discounthawaiicarrental.com I booked an appointment online and the shuttle picked me up from the cruise port. It was a 10 minute ride to Thrifty car rental. The rental cost about $45 for one full day. Not bad!
While exploring I found a roadside coffee truck and ordered my favorite coffee drink, a cold brew with half and half. Sunrise coffee was the name of the coffee truck. They are located at 3-3601 Kuhio Hwy. Kapaia, HI 96746 I highly recommend it.
After my coffee treat we traveled a few miles up the road to find a hidden waterfall used in the film Jurassic Park called Opaekaa falls. We stood and admired the falls for about 15 minutes and were on our way.
Next we traveled for about 45 minutes to find Kilauea Point National wildlife refuge for birds
The wildlife refuge costed $5 and was free for children 15 and under and had limited free parking. Don't forget your camera. The scenery was breath taking.
After visiting the wildlife refuge will traveled through the mountains to find a small town that looked like a hidden treasure. The town was located near Kapaa. Excursions nearby included horse back riding thru the mountains, zip lining, water activities, ATV off road adventures, surfing, bike rides, kayaking, helicopter rides and plenty of breath taking waterfalls.
I loved the island of Kauai so much i will be purchasing property there soon. My property will be a vacation rental for 11 months and I will enjoy it for the entire month of September.
On the south side of the island I noticed there were a lot of homeless people with tents pitched at the beach. The waves were rough and the beaches were not clean. I enjoy doing impromptu photo shoots on the beach, however I didn't feel comfortable doing one on the south side beaches.
The next day we ventured to the north side of the island of Kauai. It was completely different from the south. It was more family oriented and cleaner. The waves were also a lot calmer than the south. There were picnic tables and lots of water activies to keep the family entertained.
I was sorry to leave my favorite island Kauai. My future home should I say.
Later that night we marveled at the Na Pali coast while we dined on a four course meal. It was beyond breathtaking.
The cruise ended on Saturday morning. We had breafast and exited the ship' around 9:00 am. Our flight did not depart until 9:00 that night, so I rented a car for the day and we traveled to Pearl Harbor. My daughter was excited to view and get aboard the actual submarine. We wore headphones that provided a narrative story as we walked on a self guided tour.
I truly enjoyed my time traveling to all the islands in Hawaii. I plan to make this a yearly trip until I purchase a property on the island of Kauai. The least expensive way to see all of the islands would be to do the Pride of America Norwegian cruise. The cruise will run you about $1200 per person during peak months and maybe less during non peak season. This price includes a cabin with a window. Balcony cabins will be pricier. Be prepared to pay up to $150 per person for each excursion that you do. You will save money by renting a car and traveling the island yourself. Most of the excursions do include a lunch. If you rent a car lunch will be on you. During my stay on Kauai I was able to park my car close to the port for $20 a night. Altogether the rental including gas, rental and parking I paid about $80.
All in all you can expect to spend around $10,000 for a family of four on a 7 day vacation to the Hawaiian islands. This price includes airfare, hotel, rentals, excursions, entertainment and food. I would recommend finding an airline and sticking with them to collect travel mileage and rewards. I personally fly Delta because I receive priority boarding on flights, the refreshments are decent, I get rewards for using my American Express sky-miles card, the seats are comfortable, my first bag is free, I take advantage of the sky lounge and movies and entertainment via the TV screen on the back of your seat are free.