My parents and I had a great time at the Luau. There were 1100 people there, but they get you in relatively fast and the line for dinner is not too bad. There is a two hour wait from arrival to dinner, but they have various interesting activities going on. We did the cheapest option and still got a shell lai when we arrived. They seat you according to which lai you are wearing (hence price paid) so you don't really have an option of where you are sitting. You still have a good view of the stage from anywhere in the seating area and the show was good. If you wait to get your drinks until most of the crowd has arrived the line can be pretty long.
We were not staying at a hotel so drove to the airport ourselves, but one of the guides had already checked us in and made sure we got our boarding passes. On the big island we were met by our guide, James, and the tour bus. It is a very busy day, but you see a lot! The macademia nut factory and orchid center are enjoyable. The guide was very knowledgable about the island as a whole and all the places we visited. We did not go to the Volcano House as it was closed due to the sulfur emissions. There was no lava flow accessible to us since we were informed you can only see it by helicopter so don't have high expectations on that front. Lunch was at the lava cafe, which was pretty good. It was a bit rainy so the tour finished early, since we did not stay in some places too long (by choice), so James took us to a local mall for dinner before our flight, which was considerate. If you want to get an idea of the big island and hit all the highlights this is the tour to pick.
Our guide Greg, was a bit late picking us up, but as we drove through Wakiki and Oahu he talked about the history and various other interesting tid bits. The hike is not really a hike it is more like a walk through some of the Harold Lyon arboretum. If you like plants and flowers, you will lean a great deal from this tour and it's not too hard of a tour. The day we went, it was sunny and beautiful so we did not see any rainbows. Also, it says the guide provides rain gear, but they do not anymore. After the arboretum, he drove us to a view point on top of Mt. Tanatulus, which allows you to see all the way from Diamond Head to Pearl Harbor. It is a pretty spectacular view.
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