We know from past cruise experiences that a one day port stop anywhere doesn't really give any kind of a true picture of a place. This seemed especially true to us on our day in Kauai. Back in the spring of 2008, Mo and I spent 8 idyllic days on the island of Kauai. I have yet to figure out how to post a link with blogsy, so if you are interested, search the archives for "Kauai" from March 2008.
We knew from experience that the best way to see Kaui was with a rental car and decided that since we had already seen the island, we would just hang around Nawiliwili Harbor, check out the local beach nearby, and visit the town of Lihue on foot or by free shuttle. As the ship docked, the free shuttles appeared, Hilo Hattie's, Walmart, K Mart, all want your shopping dollars and are more than willing to take you to town.
The walk to Nawiliwili park looked simple, and the only beach in this part of the island was just beyond the park. It was a simple little beach, but the air was still chilly and the winds were stirring up the water too much for any decent snorkeling.
Instead we decided to walk up the hill the 2.5 miles to Walmart, hoping to maybe find a shave ice or something interesting along the way. The walk up the hill from the harbor wasn't too difficult except for the very narrow road, no sidewalk, and heavy traffic. By the time we got to Lihue proper, we were quite happy to find sidewalks.
Lihue is a real town when you reach the top of the hill. Down below near the cruise dock, the Anchor Cove shops are a little bit touristy, but up in town it is very straightforward. Car dealers, grocery stores, and the post office. Hilo Hattie's is about the only interesting place we found, but everything in there is so very expensive that we just drank our free sample of juice, took our free shell lei, and walked over to Walmart.
Walmart had a great selection of Hawaiian shirts and dresses for about half the price, but the quality was about half as well. We didn't buy anything, but made good use of the Hilo Hattie shuttle to return to the ship. We had time to snorkel a bit, but the wavy beach didn't look all that inviting some settled in for some gorgeous sun time on our very own deck with some gin rummy, the card kind.
The really beautiful parts of Kauai are on the north shore near Hanalei, the broad beaches are on the south shore at Poipu and the shave ice is far away on the west side at Queen's beach. We love Kauai, but know that in just one day you can't even come close to experiencing the beauties of the island. We also realized that even though we were here for more than a week, we avoided Lihue and never once drove down the hill to Nawiliwili harbor.
Nawiliwili is a very small, tight harbor built long before cruise ships were so big. Up on deck for the sail away was great, with good music and plenty of entertainment watching the captain negotiating our huge ship out of the tiny harbor.
We enjoyed dinner again in our dining room with orange roughy for Mo, not particularly great, but my pork roast in fig onion saute was delightful. Overall it was a pleasant day, but certainly not a memorable one. After dinner we went to a snow so forgettable that neither of us can remember what it was!
Our sailing routes through the islands are interesting. We are going back and forth from one island to the other and doing a lot of backtracking, crossing our previous routes repeatedly. Tomorrow we will arrive early in Maui the only port where we will need to tender to shore.