This excursion was not how it was presented. I understand that they tour company had to come up with another sight since the Volcanoes National Park was closed, but the majority of this excursion was spent in a full sized charter bus driving. We maybe spent only 20 minutes at each stop. The first stop was the Mauna Loa factory to get lunch/snacks, it was 9:30 in the morning. We then went to the Black Sand Beach, then to the Orchid Farms, then to the Rainbow Falls. I was unable to see any rainbows the main reason I wanted to go on this excursion since it had started raining. We then went to a statue and the final stop was a candy/cookie store, so the bus driver could get a cup of coffee. The passengers were standing outside waiting for the driver to finish his coffee. This driver also refused to engage with any of the passengers. He apparently had the history of Hilo memorized and would not deviate from his script. He also talked down to the passengers. I would not recommend this excursion to anyone. I was very disappointed and felt like I wasted my time.
James did a fantastic job narrating our excursion and truly made a difference! The excursion itself consisted of a number of stops. Rainbow Falls, macadamia nut factory, Volcanoes National Park the crater, heat vents, lava field, and lava tube, orchid farm and candy factory. Each stop provided it's own unique experience and gave us a chance to see the area while James narrated along the way. Each stop provided the right amount to time to see/experience the location without being rushed which made the day go really fast. We would have missed the interesting information James shared if we would have tried to see these sights by ourselves.
The trip overview does not tell the whole story. While we were aware that no food was provided by the tour, what we did not realize was that we needed to bring food/lunch with us. There were no stops for food from the start of the tour until 2:30 p.m. This meant that we did not have anything substantial to eat since breakfast at 8:30 a.m. The result was my wife becoming ill with a migraine!! As well, the tour was done in reverse of what is listed on the website and also started with a lengthy stop at a candy factory that was not listed in the itinerary. Our tour guide, Hank, while knowledgable of the Big Island, talked non-stop the whole time we were on the bus. Unfortunately about 70 of this related to his personal life and was unrelated to the tour itinerary. We would have enjoyed some time just to look at the scenery and reflect on the beauty of the Island and to have access to food other than candy. People need to be aware that there is no opportunity for food on this tour, until near the end, unless they bring their own. This is most definitely a health issue, particularly for people who need to eat at regular times. This ruined our day, of what should have been an enjoyable and informative outing.
This was a good way to cover several sights in one day. Our guide Sun was informative and attentive to the group's needs and he has a great sense of humor. I had thought that we'd be in a small group on a van, but the tour was by full size motor coach, so the experience was not as useful as it might have been. We did see all the places that were promised and we had a very nice time.
We had booked the Hilo Shore Excursion to Volcanoes National Park and Rainbow Falls ahead of our cruise.
When we got off the ship we were greeted by Roberts Hawaii and their wonderful driver Derek.
He was more than a bus driver. Through out the whole day he was humorous and shared his knowledge of the Big Island, Hawaii.
Derek made many stops along the way and even fit in a few extras. There was appropriate time to see everything.
This was a superb excursion and we would highly recommend it!! If your lucky too, you may even get Derek Bus 688.
He certainly made our trip, thumbs up to him!
This was a great tour and I would highly recommend it. If I could give it 10 stars I would! Our tour consisted of touring Volcanoes National Park which included the museum, a walk through lava tube, walking onto a lava field and the steam vents, Rainbow Falls, the Moana Loa Macadamia Nut Processing facility, Big Island Candies, a tea garden in downtown Hilo as well as downtown Hilo. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. He kept everyone involved on the bus. He told us about the history of Hilo, including the Tsunami from the 1940's and the volcano eruption that could be seen from Hilo because the eruption shot the length of 2 Empire State Buildings into the air in the 1980's. After visiting the museum and returning to the bus, we found our guide as well as another guide sitting on the half wall playing a ukulele and singing. They were great. As we approached the volcano, he advised us that we may or may not see lava and explained why, to our amazement, we saw the lava bubbling pretty clearly. He got us back to our ship exactly when he said he would, which was plenty of time for our departure.