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Terrible Kona excursion

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Illinois
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Terrible Kona excursion

Waterfall and Rainforest tour from NCL

Tour operator:

Kapohokine Adventures

PO Box 638 28-1177

Old Railroad Way

Pepeekeo, HI 96783

I would like to tell you about our experience on this tour that we took from NCL on 8/6/2008 cabin 10624. The description says: “Start with a relaxing drive along the Kona and Kohala coast, through historic Parker Ranch lands and the cattle town of Waimea.” In fact this “relaxing drive” was in a crowded van that all adults could barely fit or put their safety belts on. My husband almost fell off the bench as we drove on Saddle road. This road was VERY rough and hilly. I usually do get car sick, but my stomach was very queasy. I was so sick, I couldn’t eat the lunch. This was dangerous as I am diabetic.

We drove through the “tropical fruit and coffee plantation nestled along the Wailuku River.” This drive was also rough. The “farm-fresh cup of coffee brewed and roasted just for you” was in a metal three-car garage type of building.

At Akaka Falls it was raining. They did not have enough umbrellas so we had to share. We could not walk on the slick walk and try to hold the umbrella over the two of us. The description said “mild activity” There were numerous stairs that were uneven and very slick. One of the participants slipped and cut himself.

If we would have read that we were going over rough roads in a van that all of us were smashed into we would have never gone on this excursion!

Oklahoma City...
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for Oklahoma, Grove
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1. Re: Terrible Kona excursion

You posted this on the Honolulu forum, probably on purpose since that was where your cruise departed from, but I think it should also be posted on the Island of Hawaii, Big Island, forum, from where your 'Kona excursion' took place.

Just an FYI for future reference. When I see the word 'Adventure' associated with an excursion, it typically means a more active or difficult situation for those chosing it. It doesn't require a description in a brochure to explain that to me, in my humble opinion. Sorry you were disappointed.

san diego
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2. Re: Terrible Kona excursion

I'd also post this on the cruisecritic forum to inform others of the activity level of this excursion. From the sound of it, it seems that if you known the details of this particular excursion you would have passed on it.

Seattle
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3. Re: Terrible Kona excursion

Sorry for your bad experience. As a person who easily gets car-sick, I don't think I'd ever be willing to commit to a tour of this type of description myself. I would prefer to do something on my own, so I had better control over my circumstances.

Palm Springs...
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4. Re: Terrible Kona excursion

Sorry for your dissapointment...

Here in Hawaii we are a very rural island...you drove on some of our better and best hiways.. as we dont have interstates and freeways.

The tin shed is what we call a market or restauraunt here....it is what all the farms and plantations have to welcome guests... most have nothing but a table of fruit and a pay- honor system

This sunday I will speak to God about his use of mountains and rain. I however think I know the answer. This is the raw tropics...not disney

To all visitors...Hawaii except for Oahu and Maui is pretty rugged and rural... whe dont have highrises or super hiways or scenic parkways. We are a tropical, volcanic group of isolated islands..pretty rough around the edges.... But, a lot of people sort of like that.... Just please read carefuly what you are getting into. And an example I read some posters terrible review of a rural Hawaiian cottage that charges $35 a night..... What did he expect the ritz...for $35. ( I cant get a motel 6 in california for $35)....and this is Hawaii

Oregon
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5. Re: Terrible Kona excursion

This is good info for someone considering this tour. I am also one of those that would not go on an excursion unless I am the one driving. I would not ever go on Saddle Road on the big island even with the most experienced tour guide because I am not a fan of roller coaster rides either. A Google search just on "Saddle Road" should have been enough warning. Next cruise, you might want to get some good books and read up on the excursions in each destination before you sign up for them. I'm getting a little nauseous just reading about the road.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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6. Re: Terrible Kona excursion

Me too, Julauf.

I will not go on the Saddle unless I'm driving. I'm prone to carsickness as a passenger. (ginger tabs help!)

I have no idea why this excursion departs out of Kona and not Hilo, where the cruise also stops. Maybe the Botanical Gardens gets too much of the market share on the Hilo stops, that and the Volcano? There is no logistical reason for it.

Odd, I live in this area and don't know what they mean about the Wailuku River plantation. Did it have a name?

As for Akaka Falls, this is a place where most visitors to the island stop, but certainly it does rain. It's a RAIN FOREST.

No excuse for them, however for anyone reading, if you sign up for a rain forest tour it is always possible, even probable, that it will rain, and you might want to take a light poncho and a small umbrella. Umbrellas are not always practical when hiking, of course.

The easier approach to Akaka Falls is closed (for who knows how long), and the other way around can be a tiring walk although that is a plus for people who come here to hike.

I totally agree that excursion descriptions should do less of glossing over the bumps.

I went on a dinner cruise out of Kona where it was hard to eat because the boat was lurching and anything you didn't have a hand on was in peril of going over the side. I know that boat rides can be bumpy, but silly me, I figured they wouldn't try to serve dinner while the boat was moving if they weren't going to be on calm water at the time.

Similarly, the Saddle is not a RELAXING road for a crowded van ride by any stretch.

Seattle
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7. Re: Terrible Kona excursion

I don't want to sound like "piling on" to this poster, because it's good when people share their experiences.

BUT I thank the Hawaiian locals and experts for their thoughtful comments. I think some people go expecting that everyplace is the 'Polynesian Cultural Center' and it's not. Hawaiian is many places is wild and untamed. That's the beauty.

Also, if I were a diabetic I would not leave myself open to a situation like this (I would carry my own snacks). I do not think it is reasonably fair to blame the tour company because you were too carsick to eat the lunch they provided.

USA
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8. Re: Terrible Kona excursion

I'm putting together a cruise for my family on NCL and am looking forward to this excursion. We really didn't know what to do in Kona, as we have two days in both Kauai and Maui to snorkel and do water/beach things. The word rainforest is in the title, so I'm looking forward to the rain and I've just returned from a trip to Roatan off the coast of Honduras, so I guess with a little reality check on how the rest of the world views "rough roads" I'm pretty prepared for this! This site has been a great resource for putting together several trips, and I'll post my experience here when we're back.

9. Re: Terrible Kona excursion

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