The weather in Hawaii is perfect for my skin, which gets very dry where we live. It was also perfect for relaxing in. Again, Hilo (Hawai'i), Honolulu (Oahu), Kaua'i, and Maui were our ports. The first two for us were rainy or overcast, so my first piece of advice is to be prepared for that during the winter. Still it didn't bring us down.
The best part of Hilo was taking the tour up to the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. If we had been able to stay longer we probably would have taken the trail down to Kilauea Iki Crater or examined the Thurston Lava Tube more carefully. I thought to bring our binoculars - good idea! We could see others walking down the trail and view the smoking areas of the main crater.
We also stopped at the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens and Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory. There were, of course, lots of beautiful flowers along with a photo of one of the most expensive orchids. They had little orchids to put in your hair (but the blossoms couldn't go back to mainland US on the ship). I pressed them on the ship and mailed them to us. We didn't get to see them making the chocolates at the factory, only boxing them. The most excitement came from seeing a mongoose while we were eating chocolate.
We really enjoyed the zoo in Honolulu, much more than the Waikiki Beach. We went to Waikiki for our honeymoon and it wasn't the fun in the sun kind of beach. Too many cigarette butts. The flowers and the animals at the zoo were much more fun. A & M really liked saying, "There's ANOTHER ABC store!" every two seconds.
It was while we were on Kauai that we finally went to Wal-Mart. Yes, Wal-Mart. It is my biggest tip for the trip. We were able to buy all the souveneirs there at a fraction of the price it would have been if we'd bought them anywhere else. And if we had made Wal-Mart our first stop, we'd have been able to stock up on water, snacks, Mauna Loa chocolates (don't buy them at the factory), and supplies (scrapbooking!). Later, we went to the beach. It was a small one in Lihue and perfect weather.
Our final stop in Hawai'i was Lahaina, Maui. The bad thing about this stop was the holiday. We were there on New Year's and a lot of things were closed. The best was the beach. Again it was a nice day, so we headed to Whaler's Village by bus. Another great beach. Some of the kids bought inner tubes in the shopping area and were having a grand time. The equipment rental was closed, but many borrowed the chairs already on the beach. The worse thing about the entire trip was the bus ride back to the port. We were shoved like sardines and the line onto the ship went down the street (we tendered in).
All in all, it was loads of fun!