My wife and I were staying in Kailua on the west side of the big island when we experienced the quake.
I had just finished showering and started getting dressed when the quake hit around 7:07 AM. The condo shook violently but I couldn't help notice that we did not experience much side-to-side motion. My wife and I are very experienced with earthquakes since we are both Southern Californians so we were not scared. The condo survived the quake very nicely receiving no damage nor us with any injuries.
I told my wife that we need to get to higher ground fairly quickly in case of a tsunami since we did not know where the epicenter of the quake was. My wife got dressed while I brought the car around. We were up the hill within 10 minutes only to meet about a dozen other couples (all Southern Californias too) seeking high ground for the same reason. We were all commenting that there were no Kama'ainas (locals) up there with us, only to find out later that many of the kama'ainas ran down to the beach to watch for the tsunami (as told to me by at least 5 different kama'ainas themselves during the past week).
It was kind of festive up on the hill and there was no sense of panic at all among the group there. I made a call to the mainland to a friend of mine and he went onto the USGS website and told us the location and strength of the earthquake. I scanned the AM and FM bands on the car radio but all the radio stations on the big island were knocked off the air.
After a half an hour there was no tsunami so I told my wife, we're safe so let's get back to the condo. While there, my wife showered and we then went to church. After church, we went and had breakfast and proceeded to continue with our vacation.
For me, it was interesting to watch how the civil defense and emergency services operated. There was no sense of panic with any of the kama'ainas I saw or met, a definite no sense of urgency to clear the roads, no sense of urgency to run out and purchase food and water, and no sense of urgency even to report if their house was damaged. Even the Red Cross volunteers who assembled to go out and perform damage assessment had no vehicles available to them at that time to perform that function, so the decision was "we'll have to wait until tomorrow." No joke, that was written up in the local newspaper.
With the lack of panic and the lack of urgency, it really made the experience enjoyable. None of it was an inconvience to me but just added a memorable experience to an already enjoyable vacation.