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“GREAT TOUR, BUT SLIGHTLY MISLEADING...”

Discover Hawaii Tours
Ranked #22 of 332 Tours in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Leave those giant motor coaches to the herd. Savvy travelers join Discover Hawaii Tours on our small-group tours that include the Road to Hana, island sightseeing, eco tours, private tours and much more. Our huge selection of tours and our friendly, professional tour guides create an unforgettable experience of Hawaii that you'll love. We want you to feel at home in our islands, and it's our mission to provide the perfect tour for your Hawaiian vacation. We want you to love our tours so much that you’ll tell your friends! Since 1995, we’ve hand-selected the finest tour guides in the islands. Our guides are experts on Hawaiian history and culture, including Pearl Harbor and ancient Hawaiian folklore. When you choose Discover Hawaii Tours, your tour guide will be as memorable as the breathtaking sights around you.Discover Hawaii Tours is a locally owned and operated company with headquarters in Honolulu.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
268 reviews
175 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 404 helpful votes
“GREAT TOUR, BUT SLIGHTLY MISLEADING...”
Reviewed November 29, 2013

First of all this was really the only way we wanted to see the island, as I couldn't be bothered hiring a car namely because I drive for a for a living back home. So we went with our concierge's advice at the hotel who recommended this company and one of their tours the "Ultimate Island eco tour". Now on paper this looked really good, so off we went with our driver/guide Josh who just let me say is one top bloke and full of information, now according to the itinerary we should be seeing Pearl harbour (Thankfully we saw this ourselves earlier) , Hale'iwa , turtle beach (We were informed there were no turtles anyway) and this we all did from the window of the bus doing around 50mph ? never mind though we did stop at the Waimea falls park and went for a swim in the falls which was really cool, after this I got the impression that the tour was timed to the minute and there was no room for error, this I know from my experience down the years from driving back home.
After a while we began to slow down a little probably due to Josh being ahead of himself now, and don't get me wrong we were seeing a good part of the island and beginning to enjoy ourselves and yes we did get to walk on some beaches, even with a Tsunami warning sounding to everyone's amusement.? Josh was really amazing now with his knowledge of the island and his obvious curiosity with his "Worldly" passengers whom he was getting to know quite well, the trip down the island was brilliant to say the least, seeing the Japanese temple, Makapu'u lookout, and the stop for lunch out to the private island was simply breathtaking.
Inbetween stops Josh kept up his relentless friendliness with us all on board, no one sleeps on his watch, but he's a decent laddie who obviously loves what he's doing and it shows. Now at this point the bus broke down just before the end of our tour meaning the classic "Houston,We Have a Problem" sprung to mind, and as I had a bit of knowledge in dealing with heavy vehicles, I had a quick look and informed Josh at what I thought was wrong, and made the suggestion that we empty the bus and us guys push it back to safety. Unfortunately for me an Aussie guy picked up what I said and told Josh and promptly got the credit for it, ah well never mind at least you now know Josh.
To be fair the company had a replacement bus with us quite shortly and we resumed our tour, however we had to miss our beach swim and something else, but we did see the other things left such as Hanauma bay etc, and I even got to climb down to the beach cove where they filmed the
famous beach scene from here to eternity. But as I said earlier some of the wording with the tour is slightly misleading due to you driving past whilst seeing "Movie locations" etc and not actually visiting them, perhaps it could be worded better as I actually wanted to see Hale'iwa town not just a sign post flashing past, it might also be more feasible if they dropped some of the beaches instead and slowed things down a little more here.
As for Josh, well he's a top bloke and a credit to his company, and I even met him some days later at Hanauma bay where he was with another tour group, and he took the time to speak to us again (Hi, from Scotland Josh,,! ). Would I recommend this company absolutely, just beware of the wording folks for if you did this by the book it would take about two days to complete, so just enjoy it for what it is a rushed tour for the lazy, but a great way to see the Island if you're on a limited visit..!

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Bigb67Scotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DiscoverHawaiiTours, Manager at Discover Hawaii Tours, responded to this review, December 3, 2013
Aloha,

Thank you for taking the time to review your tour. We are always very happy to receive feedback regarding our guests experiences, and use the feedback we receive to improve our tours. We would like to address some of the comments you have made, in hopes to clarify some things for your, and our future guests.

You have stated that you joined us on the Ultimate Circle Island Eco-Adventure. While this is a tour that we offer, and one of our most popular tours, this tour does not stop at Pearl Harbor. It sounds like you were given incorrect information, and we will be sure to address this with the conceirge desks around Waikiki. Also, the opportunities to swim on this tour are limited to Waimea Falls; there is not a beach swim on this tour.

Many of the sites that are seen throughout the tour are from the comforts of our deluxe tour bus. In many cases, stopping is not possible. There are limits to where our bus can stop, due to parking restrictions and saftey concerns. If there is not a safe place to pull over and let our guests out, we do not stop. Guests safety is very important to us, and we will not put you at risk for injury or harm.

Thank you for your understanding and help when your tour bus experience technical difficulties. We employ a team of top-rate mechanics who keep our fleet moving and perform routine maintenance. Even with the daily upkeep, things are still bound to happen, and we really appreciate when our guests are understanding, and espcially when they are able to lend a hand!

We are happy to hear that Josh was to your liking. Our tour guides are the best in the business, and we take great pride in the fact that they are so well recognized.

Again, thank you for taking the time to review your tour. We hope that you enjoyed yor trip to Hawaii and hope to see you in Hawaii again!

Mahalo,
Discover Hawaii Tours
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Wellington, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
628 reviews
185 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
“Arizona and Missouri, great”
Reviewed November 28, 2013

Did the Discover Hawaii half day tour of PH and downtown Honolulu.
Very early start but glad of it as the day was so hot. By the time we arrived at PH to book theatre time we already had to wait 2 hours.
The museums were informative and recounted life and events at the time really well.
The short trip to the USS Arizona memorial was reverent and poignant. Not a lot of time out there, but it was time used for quiet reflection anyhow.
Had our own tour guide, Ernie, for the "mighty Mo" tour who was fantastic. He brought the events to life and made the time fascinating and educational. He had a great sense of humour as well. Could have spent more time exploring the ship.
Don't expect much from the on site snack shop. Limited choice and expensive. Hard for those of us who missed breakfast due to the 6am start.
Discover Hawaii tours did an ok job but they were a little disorganised and confused about who was in the group and who hadn't paid... Our guide got sick and was substituted so maybe that was the reason.
The Honolulu tour was rushed and all out of the bus window. Would have been good to stop a while at Punchbowl to experience the atmosphere.
All in all a good experience and would recommend the tour company for the same tour.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ah62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DiscoverHawaiiTours, Manager at Discover Hawaii Tours, responded to this review, December 3, 2013
Aloha,

Thank you for taking the time to review your tour. We are very grateful and appreciative when our valued guests take the time to share their tour experience with us.

Visiting Pearl Harbor is a very moving experience that all visitors should experience. We appreciate that you have recognized that the confusion was due to your tour guide falling ill and having to leave the tour. Things can get a little sticky from time to time, and it's a big help to us when our guests are flexible and understanding.

To address your comments on the driving tour of Downtown Honolulu: this portion of the tour is a driving tour only, with a stop at the King Kamehameha the Great Statue when time permits. The streets of Honolulu are famous for congetsion and having very little parking. We are only able to park at the statue because there is designated parking for tour buses. Inside the Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific, tour buses are not allowed to stop. We are able to drive through very slowly and to pull over upon exiting to take in the view. We have included this on the tour because it is an important part of World War II and the United States Military. We highly suggest that guests return on their own to visit the cemetery.

Also, we are aware of the food situation at Pearl Harbor and are currently pursuing options for our guests to be able to enjoy a fresh meal during our visits to Pearl Harbor.

Again, thank you for taking the time to reivew your tour, and for choosing Discover Hawaii Tours. We really appreciate your business and hope that you will return to Hawaii soon.

Mahalo,
Discover Hawaii Tours
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Auntie Terry was fantastic!”
Reviewed November 26, 2013 via mobile

Took the half day trip to the USS Arizona. Her anecdotes and insights were interesting and funny. Can't get that renting a car. Thanks!

Helpful?
1 Thank Brian W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
1 review
“Awesome Day”
Reviewed November 23, 2013

This was my 1st overseas trip and my friends and I went on the Pearl Harbour Island circle tour. Our guide was Kapena and he was incredible. His knowledge of Hawaiian history/culture is extensive having grown up there. His stories were informative and very entertaining. I enjoyed the day so much I wish I could do it again. The time spent at the attractions/locations was very adequate and we were given so many fantastic photo opportunities. I intend to go back to Hawaii again in the coming years and wouldn't hesitate to do this tour again and if I got Kapena again well I'd know that it was going to be an awesome day. He's such an asset to this company and they should be proud to have an employee like him.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jackie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“WHAT A TRIP!!!”
Reviewed November 22, 2013

On referral from a friend, my husband booked the Road to Hana Tour with Discover Hawaii Tours and were pleasantly surprised how much we enjoyed it. One of the best things was our guide/driver Bjorn who has an incredible amount knowledge about Hawaii. He made our day special with tidbits of information and photos of different things, gave us candied ginger in case anyone had issues on the winding road, sugar cane to try, and I just can remember everything. I was greeted in the morning with a flower for my hair....so sweet!! I think everyone should take this tour, at least once...you wont regret it. Beautiful sights, sheer drop offs that will take your breath away, and the 'back side' of Maui that is so very different. If you dont go there, you'll miss the winery where you can taste pineapple wine!!! Thank you Bjorn for making our trip a memorable one!!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Reb721
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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