Hawaiian Cruise: Hilo – Waterfalls & More

I have to admit, that I was pretty excited to wake up on the morning we were to be in Hilo and look out our balcony door and see something *other* than an endlessly stretching ocean. 😉  We had greatly enjoyed our 5 sea days, but, I was more than ready to place my feet on solid ground for a little while.  Here was our view when we awoke that morning…


Before I get started telling you about our Hilo excursion, I want to let you know one thing that I neglected to mention in my other posts.  As you travel to and from the Hawaiian Islands, in our case from Vancouver, you will lose 3 hours going and then you’ll gain that 3 hours coming back.  In your first Princess Patter of the trip, you will have this nifty little cheat sheet (I hung this up on our wall along with our Itinerary) so that I’d have it to reference.

PP Time changes

Princess is very good at placing these little “clock” reminders on your bed on nights that you need to adjust your clocks and watches…


Okie dokie, now moving on with our morning on the day we arrived in Hilo.  There was a bit of business that needed to be conducted on this morning.  Because we had sailed out of a ‘foreign’ port and were entering the United States, we had to go to an Immigration Inspection…OH joy, joy! I know it is a necessity, but, I will admit, I was a wee bit frustrated that we, as Americans, had to go through this process.  I know, I know, it is a necessity and I’m grateful for the stringent USA rules…They help to keep us safe. 🙂  We had received a letter in our mailbox the day prior to docking in Hilo that required us to meet in the Princess Theatre at 7am and they simply took us row by row and scanned our cruise cards, took a look at our Passports, and then gave us this card (that we had to keep with us while in all Ports)…


Okie dokie…We were ready to embark on our day!! YaY!!  Let me show you the Princess Patter for the day we were in Hilo and then we’ll head off on our Waterfall excursion…

PP HIlo 1

PP HIlo 2

PP HIlo 3

PP HIlo 4

There are many excursions that you can take while in Hilo, and to be honest, we had reserved an all day excursion before we set sail.  Unfortunately, my stupid feet and ankles were so swollen that there was no way that I could have done all that we had had planned to do.  The first thing that we did to help my feet was my hubby insisted that I purchase these pretty pink shoes in one of the shops on board (before we docked of course) because my poor feet wouldn’t fit in the sneakers that I had brought along.  These shoes also came in black, dove gray, and a charcoal gray color…I’m such a girlie girl, and I knew that some of my outfits would match nicely and hopefully help me look ‘pretty in pink’. 😉



These shoes were admittedly pricy ($68 I believe), BUT, they were SO comfy cozy and perfect for me.  (My feet did finally shrink back down to normal after I drank a copious amount of water and kept tight shoes off of my feet–days later).  Here is the outfit that I paired with these cute shoes:


Here is an example of the excursion paperwork that you’ll get when you get on the ship, you’ll have plenty of time to go through it and read about all of the excursions available at, in this case, Hilo.  Some of the excursions fill up pretty quickly because a lot of people (like us) pre-reserve online via the Cruise Personalizer, but, trust me, there are still some available after you board the ship.


We were very lucky in that we were able to switch our excursion from an all-day event that would have really taxed my poor feet, to one that was a bit less strenuous and a 4 hour adventure.  Here is the excursion that we ended up taking, and it was lovely…


We simply went to the Shore Excursions office on board and they were so accommodating and wonderful–GREAT crew on the Star!! We even were refunded a bit of money because the excursion we chose to take was a bit less expensive than our original choice.

All righty, it was time for us to leave for our Excursion, so off we went (Cruise card, Passport, and Immigration card in hand), the first place that we saw when we got off of the ship was a big warehouse type building that had all of the different excursion guides standing there holding signs.  You showed your excursion ‘tickets’ (that I didn’t take a picture of) and you were pointed to your ‘holding area’. While we were waiting to depart on our adventure, we had a little bit of entertainment.  These 4 ladies were quite talented and welcomed us with a bit of ukulele music and hula flair. 🙂


Our little tour guide Jessica came to collect us and she led us out to our mode of transportation for the day, a 15 passenger van. 🙂


Jessica was a very sweet lady and she was full of information about Hilo and was filling our heads with all of that wonderful info as we started our tour…

Our first stop was at Onomea Bay, so pretty and calm…


Our next stop was Akaka Falls State Park.  We traversed about a mile down many steps and then back up many steps (they do have an easier/shorter trail to get to the Falls, but, I of course wanted to do the stairs–silly me…it was challenging with my bad knees, but, I soldiered on to the falls… Jessica told me that she didn’t believe me when I said I bad knees because I motored along pretty quickly…go me). 😉  The trail runs through a rainforest and was just breathtakingly gorgeous.

Here are some pictures that we took along the way to the Falls:




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Akaka Falls finally came into view…JUST beautiful!!


Akaka Falls drops 422 feet!! WOW!!!  I was mesmerized and again reminded how small we are…It was majestically gorgeous.  We were allowed to view the falls for quite a little while and everyone took pictures and selfies and sat in a little gazebo type thing before making the trek back to the van.  Yes, my knees were aching a bit, but, it was well worth the little hike…and it was good exercise for me too. 🙂

Once we got back out to the van, Jessica provided us with nice cool rags and a snack.  She had this wonderful tasting juice (along with other choices)…gosh, I really enjoyed drinking that down, so refreshing. 🙂


After we were finished our snack and drink, we piled back into the van and our next stop was Rainbow Falls:DSCN0818



The walk to Rainbow Falls was much less strenuous, pretty much, it sits right next to the parking lot.  There is a set of steps that you can go up and look down on the top of the Falls…The hubby did that, I chose not to traverse up more stairs. 🙂



While I was sauntering around and viewing Rainbow Falls–so so pretty…I came across Hawaii’s State flower…The yellow Hibiscuses


It was now time to depart Rainbow Falls, at this point, I said to myself that I was really glad that we didn’t do the all-day excursion…I was pretty bushed honestly, but I was a happy, happy lady because I was seeing HAWAII!!! WHAT? I was so lucky. 🙂

Jessica took us back to ‘town’, and gave us the opportunity to sample some local Macadamia Nuts that are made right there on the Island…And we bought a bag of them as well. 🙂


We were then given time to walk around town a bit and do some shopping and exploring.



I thought this was just the prettiest Christmas ornament…


Here is the Farmer’s Market…Unfortunately, we were there on a Sunday and not all of the venders set up their wares on Sundays…Most of what was out on our day was food…But, it was interesting to see.


One of the most beautiful sites that we saw on Hilo was the Banyan trees…They are huge and gorgeous and EVERYwhere on Hilo. Also, a lot of the Banyan trees have been planted by famous people such as Amelia Earhart and Babe Ruth.


Back up for a second to Akaka Falls, I give a bit of commentary about the Banyan trees and you can also see some more of those lovely steps that lead to those Falls. 🙂

We also saw a little piggy running by…lol…I definitely chucked at that site. 😉


The only other critter we saw was this little fella…


It was time to load back into the Van and head back to the ship…I clicked off one last picture before heading back…


Here is a picture of the ship from the Van…


And when we got back to our ship, I was able to click off this picture…How pretty is the Star Princess?  I’d say very, very pretty. 🙂


We greatly enjoyed our day in Hilo, we learned all about the “Big Island”, we saw a gorgeous waterfall while walking through a lush rain forest.  We saw a Rainbow as we gazed upon another set of waterfalls, and we ‘felt’ Hilo and it’s folk (sweet as can be) as we did a little exploring and shopping on our own.  All in all, a wonderful day!!

We got back to the ship and I sat out on our balcony for a while before we headed off to dinner at the buffet…This was my view:


It was time to sail away from this beautiful place, the sunset that evening did not disappoint…



Aloha Hilo, I hope to gaze upon you once again one day…

Our next stop was Honolulu, here is a sneak peek and link:

Hawaiian Cruise – Honolulu: Arizona Memorial & Mighty Mo


Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

~Arlynn ❤

One more thing. 🙂  Here is a video that I created of our day in Hilo after I had finished writing my Hawaii Blog—I also have a YouTube Travel Channel (Arlynn’s Travels):

10 thoughts on “Hawaiian Cruise: Hilo – Waterfalls & More

  1. Tiffany

    Glad you had a great time in Hilo and saw the waterfalls. Smart move taking the longer walking path while at Akaka Falls; that way you get to see both falls. Most people take the short path and miss the other fall. Was the lady in the parking lot selling sugar cane and coconuts? So refreshing after that hike to Akaka Falls to have fresh coconut water. Hilo is such a fun funky town with great shops. We lived in Waikoloa for 9 months and would drive to Hilo often. Hilo is the only town on the island with a “mall” and is worth the drive. hahahahaha I’m loving reading your blog. Aloha, Tiffany

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Tiffany! 🙂

      We sure didn’t see the lady selling sugar cane and coconut water…I guess she wasn’t there that day–I wonder if she might stay at home on the weekends as we were there on a Sunday mid-morning. 🙂 We did see those other Falls too, I need to check for a picture of those and add them to this blog if I can find one…thanks so much for the reminder!!! It is so neat to hear what you did when you lived there…such a small world sometimes huh? 🙂 ❤ Honolulu is next btw…I'll be writing it in the next couple of days (it took me almost 4 hours to do this one…I'm way too anal retentive). 🙂 Thanks so much for your comments!


  2. Claire

    Thanks for the Hilo tour. We never did anything in Hilo other than go to the Mall. I guess I have to go back to actually see Hilo ;-). Where are the chickens?! Looking forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

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