When reaching Kauai on a cruise ship, don't just sit on the dock of the bay. Some of the best experiences to be had on Kauai or just a short drive from the Lihue cruise port, where you'll be docked while spending time on land. All of these things too see and do are just a few minutes from the port, but you'll need a shuttle or taxi to get you there. From history, to waterfall exploration and surf lessons, you'll find plenty to do while docked at Nawiliwili Harbor.
Fusing together history, dining and retail therapy is the Kilohana Plantation. A historic plantation mansion is home to galleries, a rum distillery, restaurants and a farm that feeds the restaurants. On site is the Kauai Plantation Railway, the newest attraction in the area. A historic train (the last on the island) weaves visitors around the plantation and through the orchards and gardens that grow produce served on site.
For some outdoor action try surfing lessons with the Kalapaki Beach Boys at Kalapaki Beach. Ride waves by the end of the day. Or, join Outfitters Kauai in a Wailua River Tour and kayaking exploration. Journey through the jungle to Secret Falls where you can swim in the fresh water pool.
Although all of these attractions are close to the harbor, you'll need a vehicle to reach them. Check with your ship about free shuttles in the area, or book a rental car just for the day which is usually pretty affordable.