Pre-Trip Report Part I

The final countdown has begun. Our suitcase has been laying open in our bedroom floor for weeks now. Right now, besides holding our snorkel gears, the suitcase is acting as a “hanger” for our dirty clothes. Every night I tell myself (and Luke) to start packing since I hate waiting till the last minute, but every night, I (and Luke) find something I (and he) would rather be doing.

I thought I’d do a pre-trip report on each of the Hawaiian islands we will be sailing to. Not sure if I will be able to finish all 4 islands by the time we leave next Sunday, but at least whatever I do will help me organize my thoughts on what our activities will be on each island.

We leave IAD on Sunday 12/16 and if everything goes smoothly, we will land in HNL around 8pm. We’ve decided to take a cab (vs a shuttle) to our hotel, The Equus. By then, I imagine us dead tired and extremely jet-lagged that we will probably head straight to bed soon after we check in. The next morning is basically a “free” morning. We will have time to explore Waikiki before boarding the Pride of Hawaii around 1pm.

Our magnificent ship, courtesy of Google Image.

Our first port of call is the Big Island (more specifically, Hilo). We have a car reservation from Budget so immediately after we disembark, we will head straight to the Hilo airport to pick up our car. Fingers crossed that there won’t be any delays because I want as much time on the island as possible! There is so much to do.

A trip to the Big Island won’t be complete without visiting the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Right now, we are planning a drive the Crater Rim Drive, but won’t brave down the Chain of Craters Road. The chances of seeing molten lava are slim and there are other places we want to visit, so the plan is to skip it. Of course, things may change if the volcano is active that day. The drive from airport to HVNP is roughly 45 minutes. I hope we can see everything and be at our next destination after 4 hours.

HVNP, courtesy of Google Image.

Our next destination is to drive along the Hamakua Coast, a scenic coast of plunging waterfalls, with many outlooks and parks along the way. At the end of the drive is Waipio Valley. The drive will take 1.5 hours from Hilo to the end without stopping (one way), but it will be longer for us since we want to take in as much as we can, we will stop often to hike along the trails. I am not sure if we will have time to make it all the way to Waipio Valley. If not, it will just give us more reasons to come back again next time!

Waipio Valley from a distance, courtesy of Google Image.

Akaka Falls, one of the waterfalls along the Hamakua Coast, at Akaka Falls State Park, . Image from

Our ship departs for Maui that day in the evening, but we will be back to the Big Island a few days later (this time, on the other side of the Island, Kona). Next up: Maui.


  1. Wow, just about a week to go and then we'll be over there on the big island. Joyce has done all the planning while my lazy ass just nods and smiles whenever she talks about our plans. Just need to make sure we get our car quickly so we can drive around and do all the stuff she has planned! Zooom zooom!


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