Our cruise to Hawaii included 2 days on the Island of Hawaii (otherwise known as the Big Island). We spent one day on the Hilo side of the island where Volcanoes National Park is located. Then we spent the second day on the sunny side of the island in Kona which is a cute beach town.
The Island of Hawaii is the newest of the Hawaiian Islands and the biggest of the Hawaiian Islands. It is still actively growing larger with the eruptions of the active Kilauea volcano. Because the island is so new, the island features large black volcanic rocks all around the island including both inland and on the shore. The Island of Hawaii is currently about twice as large as all the other Hawaiian islands combined and will continue to grow larger until it moves off of the hotspots under the ocean that create the volcanoes.
Our first day on the Island of Hawaii we visited Volcanoes National Park. The park is home to the active Kilauea volcano, which has been in a continuous eruption since 1983. The weather in the park varies between sunny and overcast and rainy and unfortunately we were there on a rainy foggy day and were unable to witness the eruptions. This was our biggest disappointment and one of the cons of visiting Hawaii by cruise because we did not have a second chance to see the volcano. If witnesses this incredible sight is on your bucket list, you may want to consider staying on the Island of Hawaii to wait for a day with good weather. However, we did get to see the statue of King Kamehameha.
Our second day we spent the day in Kona. This stunning beach town is a paradise for those looking to experience the beauty and culture of the Hawaiian Islands. The town is nestled along the west coast of the Big Island and is home to some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world. Kona offers an abundance of activities and attractions, from snorkeling and surfing to shopping, dining, and nightlife. We did a glass bottom boat tour and got to see various species of fish including the Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse which is a fish that is known as the dentist fish because it cleans the bodies and teeth of other fish including bigger fish where it swims into their open mouths to clean! We also strolled through Kona and through the Hulihee Palace to visit the restored home of Hawaiian royalty, explored the Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, where we experienced ancient Hawaiian culture and learned about the traditions of the Kona people and visited the Mokuaikaua Church, the first Christian church in Hawaii.
We wish that we had more time on the Island of Hawaii to see much more of the island. We were disappointed to have not seen the vibrant eruptions of Kilauea but we did enjoy the relaxing vibe of Kona.