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Jun102014

Tour/Activity

Paradise Cove Luau

Waikiki, Oahu

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

I'd recommend this luau as the Deluxe package provided us with front row seating (at a long table), $24 loaded debit card for drinks or merchandise, free family photo and lunch tote bag. Not to mention the table served dinner (not a buffet line) and luau show (dinner and post-dinner shows). All of this on the beach with activites to do prior to the dinner (about 2 hours free time).

Jun092014

Tour/Activity

Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona and Circle Island Day Trip

Waikiki, Oahu

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This is a great tour of Oahu island and sites including the famous Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial. We had a small bus with a small group so easy to travel. Our driver Ben started with early morning pickups and changed the tour based on traffic patterns to visit the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout first in the morning instead of at the end of the day. Great decision as no one was at the lookout and we have the place to ourselves to view Oahu from the top of a mountain. We then visited the highlight of the tour at the USS Arizona Memorial. I recommend adding the audio tour to your visit so you can hear commentary aout the war and the events at Pearl Harbor while you look at the artifacts (and read many plaques). Go to the souvenier shop last on your tour as you do not want to miss any of the muesems or the time on the memerial. We visited a Macadamia Nut Farm shop for coffee/nut tastings and stopped at this amazing replica Japanese Byodo-In Temple. I've been to this temple in Japan and it appears very similar so many great photo ops at the temple, gardens, massive koa,peacocks. We stopped at a Ranch where Jurasic Park was filmed to eat lunch (buffet or menu on your own). For lunch we preferred the menu items which were good. Three opportunities to eat lunch is the Arizona Memorial, Ranch, and Dole stops. We visited the North Shore Sunset Beach where we had great Hawaiian Ice and viewed the beaches and surf. Last stop was the Dole Plantation which had great Dole Whip (ice cream) with pineapple topping (yummy). Mostly a tourist stop to see pineapples and buy food and gifts. Highly recommend this tour as you see the majority of Oahu without driving.

Jun072014

Tour/Activity

Kealakekua Bay Deluxe Snorkel Cruise

Kona, Hawaii

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Best snorkel company and trip we have ever had. We've snorkeled all over the world and this company is the best and most organized. The crew are professional and take care of you including any lessons on snorkeling. We started the day by trolling a fishing line that caught a large ono (we think) but could not reel it onto the boat. After fishing on the way to the Bay we had breakfast of juices, coffee, muffins, egg/sausage quiche, fresh fruit (better food than hotel breakfasts). The boat had 2 slides and diving platforms which people used while at the Bay. It was not too crowded at the Bay when we arrived about 10:15am so we enjoyed snorkeling around and taking photos. At 11:00am they served lunch of cheeseburgers, gardenburgers, hot dogs, pasta salad, kettle chips, and soft drinks, juice - very good and fresh food! Thenback into the water for more snorkeling and sliding/jumping into the water from the boat. They played music and checked on all of the passengers during the stay at the Bay. The ride back to the dock was faster than the morning fishing trip to the Bay. The boat bar is opened for purchasing drinks on the return trip. I'd recommend this morning trip as it has GREAT breakfast and lunch included as well as the fishing (afternoon is only a snack and it is much hotter and crowded at te Bay). I cannot say enough that this is the best boat, organized, food and crew or snorkeling!

Jun062014

Tour/Activity

Volcano Helicopter Tour and Private Paradise Landing

Kona, Hawaii

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Our pilot Danny provided instructions early in the morning for our trip. We had 6 people on the trip (3 in my party) tha had never flown in a helicopter. Danny has military background in piloting that showed when he flew us around the island. Danny flew us with precision and precise positioning to see the island of Hawaii including mountains (volcanos), gulleys, cliffs, beaches, lava flows, and landmarks. He keep the trip focused on areas that you cannot see by car so it was a more unique and valuable sightseeing experience. We spent about 90 minutes flying from Kona airport over the South Kona Forest Reserve to the Kilauea volcano. We flew over the Volcanoes National Park and hovered above flowing lava within the volcano. Danny flew us in several directions above the lava so both sides of the helicopter could view/take pictures of the lava. He changed directions many times on this trip to allow both sides to get gret views. We then flew up the coast from Hilo (rainforest) and over massive cliffs. He hovered over the ocean so we could view the cliffs and awsome views of the island. We flew up some gulleys on the north part of the island where we landed on top of a mountain. We walked to a house built in 1950s secluded in the forest (privately owned) that you cannot reach unless by helicopter. Nice hike and rest stop of about an hour. Then back to the tour of the western coast of Hawaii for about 30 minutes flying over Parker Ranch, Kohalo Coast, and beaches while viewing Mauna Kea. The entire trip you view the old lava flows throughout the island with brown, black and multicolored lava dried up for years flowing to the sea. I HIGHLY recommend this specific tour and tour company. Best views of the island that you can experience and worth every penny. I also recommend paying extra for a window seat for better photo ops and face forward seating if you get motion illness.

Jun042014

Tour/Activity

Big Island Grand Circle Island Tour

Kona, Hawaii

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Great tour of the Big Island without you driving and looking for the landmark stops. Our driver John took care of us for the 12 hour trip. John educated us as well as showed us everything around the island. The tour includes stops in the morning at a Kona Coffee store, black sand beach, Kailua Town for lunch (on your own but food was good) then on to the Volcano National Park and Jagger Museum. We saw smoke but no lava flows from the viewing area but walked through a lava tube (like a cave). We went to Hilo for a stop at a macadamia packaging place for snacks. We went to falls in Hilo then a long drive along the east and north coasts back to Kona area. Greatest way to spend one day viewing the entire island. We had a rental car but wanted this tour early on our visit to get a bearings on the areas to view. Highly recommend this tour.

May312014

Tour/Activity

San Francisco Super Saver: City Tour plus Muir Woods and Sausalito Day Trip

San Francisco, California

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Great day tour of San Francisco area including Sausalito and Muir Woods. Morning starts in SF traveling over the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods. Fun walking amongst the tall redwoods and flowing streams in the muir forest. You have enough time to walk to the back of the trails and turn onto a return trail back to the parking lot with stops to photo. Then to Sausalito for about a 90 minute stop for lunch. Recommend quick lunch at Fish n' Chips or Burger place to save time for shopping. Travel through Golden Gate Park to Lands End for views of the GG Bridge and ocean/beaches.Back through SF city for sights of the town incuding different neighborhoods. Went to Twin Peaks on a mountain top overlooking all of the SF area. Saw SF, GG Bridge, Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, and everything surrounding. Stopped at City Hall for a quick stop. Overal a good tour to take especially if you have not been to SF a lot or first time.

Jun282013

Tour/Activity

Private Salvador Dali Day Trip to Figueres and the Costa Brava from Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

We had Lydia as our tour guide and she was very knowledgeable of the history of Spain and Dali. On the ride to the Dali Muesem we learn a lot about Spain, Barcelona and Dali. We fealt prepared and exicted to see the Dali exhibits. Lydia walked us through the muesem and explained the most important items in the exhibit. It was very informative and beautiful to see. Then we ate lunch in Cadaques where we had awesome sea bass recommended by Lydia. We went to the Casa Museu Dali Port Lligat to see the house where Dali lived which was really cool. Then went to Cap de Creus lighthouse which we enjoyed to see views that are unbelieveable. Overall we'd highly recommend this private tour and ask for Lydia to get the best guide!

Jun272013

Tour/Activity

Barcelona GPS-Guided GoCar Tour

Barcelona, Spain

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

We thought the GoCar was a cool idea but the traffic of Barcelona and driving in the city was tough to deal with on our trip. We had 2 cars more like small motorcycles with a fiberglass body and two seats. We got lost as well as separated in about 15 minutes of leaving the store. But it was fun to find your way around and we eventually got back onto the route. I would recommend this to anyone that can follow directions, drive in crazy traffic and understand the merging rules of the city.

Jun272013

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Barcelona Sagrada Familia Tour

Barcelona, Spain

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

The tour was good and the tour guide was knowledgeable about the Familia history. The skip the line helped reduce entry time and also allowed for a tour guide during the visit. We enjoyed the building and the amazing views. We'd recommend this tour to anyone.

Jun262013

Tour/Activity

Barcelona in One Day Sightseeing Tour

Barcelona, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This tour is actually two separate tours - morning and afternoon (time for lunch break between the tours). Both tour guides were knowledgeable and ensured the tour was informative as well as enjoyable. We liked the different Guadi buildings and Park Guell. We'd highly recommend this tour if you want to see the more interesting parts of Barcelona in one day.

Jun232013

Tour/Activity

Madrid Small-Group Walking Tour including Royal Palace

Madrid, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Carmine was our tour guide. We were lucky to have only 3 of us in her group walking tour (so private tour). She was very knowledgable about Madrid and history. She walked us through the Royal Palace and explained the many rooms and the Armory. It helped to have someone explain the rooms and history of the Palace instead of the audio tour (I did that audio tour last year and it was not exciting). We enjoyed walking the streets and hearing about the history of the area. Carmine recommended a good paella restaurant in Madrid which we ate dinner. Highly recommend this tour as well as Carmine!

Jun222013

Tour/Activity

Madrid Airport Private Arrival Transfer

Madrid, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

The driver was at the arrival area with my name sign so easy to find him. He was professional and even told us some good information about Madrid. I would highly recommend this airport transportation option as it is better then a taxi.

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