Tuesday – Hilo, HawaiiAll day Tuesday is spent in the port of Hilo which is on the northeastern side of the big island of Hawaii. This port is rather lack-luster to be completely honest. Port is about seven miles from the town of Hilo and requires at least a taxi or bus to reach. A friend and I did make the trek on foot one Tuesday morning, only to spent almost two hours walking with just enough time to explore the local outdoor market (a total tourists trap) and a sports bar named Coquis that did admittedly have really great burgers and drafts. Tuesday is also a good day to get your laundry done on board, as there are about five machines for every two hundred employees, so finding a free machine with time to monitor it is sometimes a rare opportunity.The main highlight for Tuesday night is passing by Kīlauea and seeing the active volcano. Tourists and employees alike line the ship’s decks to see the liquid fire flowing into the Pacific Ocean. The windows in the crew bar are a perfect location to have an after-work brew while enjoying the show. And by the way, wine and beer costs just $1.50 in the crew bar so even if you’re not able to enjoy the off-ship bars very often there is a sufficient stock of cheap alcohol aboard to make plenty of bad decisions.
Wednesday – Kona, HawaiiAs the cruise hits mid-week and its fourth destination of the itinerary you reach Kona, also located on the big island of Hawaii. Kona is especially known for growing unique crops of coffee in lava fields that add specific nutrients to the coffee blend resulting in unique flavors.Unlike most other ports Kona is too shallow for the ship to park right at the dock, so it anchors further out and smaller boats called tenders make runs back and forth to shore. Each Wednesday the first tender at 7:00 is reserved for crew who have the morning off and wish to make their away around the coastal town.