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This was a very fun tour. If you have never been to Hawaii like me, it allows you to see more than you could possibly on your own. The stops were not long but if you want to see as much as you can, you have to stick to the timeline. Volcanoes National Park was my favorite. The only downside was that I thought that we would see the operations at the macadamia nut factory and Kona Coffee but it was just a gift shop. It was still interesting anyhow. Also, the samples were abundant! I would recommend that if you are flying in from another Island to make sure that you can get in bed early the night before. I accidentally scheduled this tour after spending the whole previous day at the Polynesian Culteral Center and did not get back to our motel in Waikiki until 10 PM. Then we had to be at the bus stop at 3:30 am for this tour on the big island!
Our tour guide was awesome and full of interesting facts. His sense of humor was priceless. Also, be prepared, there will always be someone who is late getting back to the bus. That got on my nerves and I wanted to just leave them BUT that was all factored in by the tour guide and we didn't miss a thing. Hooray!
Our drivers name was Fred. From the minute we boarded his bus, he made us feel comfortable and was very organized in his thoughts an communication. He is a 21 year Coast Guard retiree and was organized in his timing of the trip, the answering of questions, the knowledge of the Hawaiian island of Oahu and it's history and culture, etc., etc. There was not a single question that he was asked that he couldn't answer. He was very polite, orderly, kept us on time in getting to our destinations and making sure that our breaks were timely. I would highly recommend Fred for your guide.
We flew over from Oahu so had to leave the North Shore at 3am. Got to the airport at 4 and was met by an agent from Polynesian Adventures. She gave us our tickets and got us to the counter. Our flight landed at 5:45am but no one was there to meet us. A call was made to the Polynesian office where we were informed that they don't pick up that early but would send someone in 15 min. hmmm? Aside from that the trip was fantastic!. Tommy our guide and bus driver was knowledgeable, funny and talked for 12 hours God bless him He drove that big bus like a pro!! Give that guy a raise :.The big island is so different from Oahu we were awestruck. A few recommendations if you are flying over take an empty water bottle as there is no place to buy water except lunch, which is on you . Also if you are a coffee person bring an empty container as you can refill it at your first stop free. I think a cooler on the bus with water would be a good addition that Polynesian could implement especially considering the cost of the tour All in all this is a tour that I highly recommend even if you are staying on the big island. Tommy got us to the airport in plenty of time for our flight home walked in the door at 9:30 pm exhausted but so glad we did this.
excellent trip wish we could stay longer
Tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and highly entertaining. This tour does have a very early start from Oahu (3 am pickup) so expect to be completely wiped out by the time your plane returns. We had the 8 pm flight as was totally sleeping in the airport by the end. Another gotcha.. 2 pina colado drinks at the big island airport will run you $30 so beware.
Excellent tour. Wonderful sights, high recommendable!!!!
Very enjoyable day. Excellent tour guides.Well organised. Visited so many interresting places, like the black sands with sun bathing turtles,well worth the money.
Everything was so organized to the letter!!! Drivers were prompt, friendly and very knowlegeable about their state. It was very enjoyable, at times we wished for more time but on the flip side we did need to catch our flight back so time limit was understood. Had a blast and looking forward to a return visit.
Jennifer M USA
This is a very long, but very worthwhile trip from Honolulu. Not only is the scenery spectacular, but the tour is designed to show the variety of the scenery, from barren lava flows, to active volcanoes, lush forest, waterfalls and lava tubes. We also saw turtles coming ashore at the black sand beach. The trip also gave insights into the economy with stops at a Kona coffee plantation and later at a Macadamia nut cooperative, as well as insights into the importance of cattle ranching The guide was extremely informative about the history,
geology and agriculture of the island.
This tour was well-worth our time, even though it started at 4:00 a.m. with a pick-up to the airport for the flight to the Big Island and didn't finish until we were back to our hotel at 10:45 p.m. An hour or two less would have been great. Tommy, our tour guide on The Big Island was amazingly knowledgeable and friendly. Thoroughly trustworthy and professional. In some ways, Rainbow Falls and the Black Sand Beach were more impressive than Volcano National Park, where we had hoped to get closer to the actual volcanoes. We were still very happy to see it all, though. The one thing that we didn't like was when we were approaching a sales place, like the shortbread cookie company, or the macademia factory. Suddenly our tour bus became a QVC-type hard-sell promotion for the 20 minutes before each stop where we were highly encouraged to buy, buy, buy. Tone it down, ok?? It was a turn-off to sit-through this sort of non-stop advertising each time we came to a place to buy coffee, nuts, or cookies. That said, the tour of the entire island's major tourist sites is outstanding and still to be recommended.
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