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My wife and I decided to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary by taking a tour to Hawaii with Trafalgar. We chose the Hawaiian Explorer tour because we liked the fact that it covered the three islands that we were most interested in, and it ended with three nights in Maui with free time.
Upon arrival at the Honolulu International Airport airport after an 8.5 hour nonstop flight from George Bush Intercontinental Airport, we were promptly greeted by our Trafalgar representative with a fresh flower lei. We noticed that the quality of the leis that we received were far better than others arriving with other operators. Some even received with plastic leis! After an easy transfer to The Marriott in Waikiki, we were greeted by our tour director Reggie. He advised that he had already checked us in and gave us our room keys. After a few hours of relaxing/strolling on Waikiki Beach, we met the rest of the travelers at the Welcome Reception.
The next day was a full day of exploring. We started out with a visit to Pearl Harbor. This was a very moving visit to see all of the names of the military personnel that were lost on that sad day in 1941. The Memorial sits just above, the USS Arizona which you can clearly still see, as the top of the vessel is just at water level. After lunch we moved on to see the Iolani Palace and the statue of King Kamehameha, or AKA “Kamehameha The Great”. As aHawaiian hero he established the Kingdom of Hawaii. This gold-robed statue is in the front of the Iolani Palace. We spent the last night on Oahu island enjoying new friends sharing a seafood feast at Duke’s Waikiki.
The following morning we took a short flight to Big Island. We landed in Hilo, and drove to the world’s largest volcano, Mauna Loa, and the most active, Kilauea. We had a delicious lunch atop of Mauna Loa with a great view overlooking the huge crater. We had the opportunity to walk through a lava tube and stroll though a beautiful fern forest. We then travelled to our home for the next two nights, The Sheraton Kona. On our free day, we ventured out and explored some local food and took advantage of low priced shopping. Mostly all of the souvenirs purchased on our trip was done here. This was a tip by Reggie. There is a trolley that runs up and down the coast for next to nothing that we took advantage of to get around. Everything from beautiful beaches, restaurants, shopping, and breathtaking views was in Kona.
Saving the best for last, we boarded our last internal flight to Maui, the Magic Isle! This is where we would be able to relax by the gorgeous beach and soak up some sun! Our hotel , The Westin once again had the most amazing views! This hotel on Kaanapali Beach was beachfront and beautifully landscaped. This is where we were really able to take all of the tour thus far in. We reminisced the highlights of our trip while sipping on ice cold drinks from the beach bar. We experienced great snorkeling, fantastic cuisine, and top notch service. On the last night, we attended a Luau. this was the perfect way to end our amazing trip to the Hawaiian Islands!