Tuesday February 5, 2019:
PORT 1: NAWWILWILI, KAUAI (HAWAII)
We had a great day on what was only our second Oceania excursion. Perhaps, the highlight of our entire trip so far was the one hour helicopter ride we took over the entire Island. The rest of the day was spent just driving around the Kauai which is just gorgeous. We had not been here before but had been to both Honolulu and then had our 30th Boies/Miller Christmas Trip a couple of years ago in Maui. Although we loved Maui, we liked the feel of Kauai more.
The ride In the helicopter was beyond spectacular. There were six passengers only us and a German couple from outside of Frankfurt who were on the cruise. The other two were people who were on their vacation and decided to take the ride. The only Oceania passengers on the our tour besides us and the aforementioned German couple were the family of five who have the cabins next to us. We had a very comfortable van with a competent guide. It is much better being in a small van than on a bus.
One thing that amazed me about the German man, a retired businessman, is that he had an amazing knowledge of the American music scene both in terms of the music itself but also the artists.
The helicopter was really nice. We always felt safe. Everything was very professionally done. The staff was very helpful in assisting us with things like putting our life jackets and getting us strapped in the helicopter. Our pilot was very experienced and very entertaining. We saw gorgeous scenery and more than a few whales. We really got a good look at a whole hunchback whale swimming just below the water.
When the pilot was not amusing us with his very entertaining banter such as “it is hard to tell my Wife I had a hard day at the office”, he played very entertaining music including Louis Armstrong singing “What A Wonderful World”. It is impossible to argue with that when flying around this gorgeous Island.
HOT TIP: The helicopter ride is not to be missed, but one can book that directly. There is no need to go through Oceania who tacks on a considerable additional expense, and the rest of the day is okay but the time and money can be better spent.
Our van driver was also into music. He played some very good Hawaiian music but seems to prefer the songs from the Elvis movie “Blue Hawaii”.
Both our pilot and our guide were Americans. Although they were not completely fluent in Hawaiian, they were, as far as we could tell, pretty damn good and very knowledgeable about the Hawaiian culture. The language seems difficult to pronounce and they both did very well.
The Island was spotless. Their “adopt a street” program really works.
There was one bridge so narrow that there could only be one way traffic. Without a light or a police office, the local drivers by custom know that about 6 to 8 cars go across and then it is the other side’s turn. In how many other places do you think that system would work?
Kauai does not have as many fancy hotels as Maui but there are a few more than suitable. We would not argue if we had to spend a week or so on this Island. Mark Zuckerberg just bought 700 acres of land here on which he is going to build a big house. We were told her could build up to 80 on the land but that is not his intent. There are a number of other celebrities who also have homes here.
We give our helicopter tour A+ and the rest of the day B-