Field and laboratory experiments were carried out on the island of Oahu, HI, to compare the susceptibility of the two most commonly grown banana (Musa sp.) cultivars in the state ('Dwarf Brazilian' or Santa Catarina [locally known as dwarf apple] and 'Williams') to the aphid-borne Banana bunchy top virus (genus Babuvirus, family Nanoviridae, BBTV). Several morphological and physiological features of the two cultivars were monitored to determine whether the banana aphid, Pentalonia nigronervosa Coquerel (Hemiptera: Aphididae), transmits BBTV to both cultivars at a similar rate; and whether after successful inoculation, does each cultivar respond similarly to viral infection. Results from the laboratory experiment showed that a similar percentage of both cultivars were infected with BBTV by aphid vectors (> 90% for both cultivars). However, field results showed a significantly lower percentage of dwarf apple (39%) infected with BBTV compared with Williams (79%). We also found that all physiological and morphological features measured (i.e., plant height, leaf area, canopy, chlorophyll level, and moisture content) for both cultivars were impacted similarly by BBTV. The incubation period, or the time between plant infection and initial appearance of disease symptoms, was similar for both cultivars. Results also showed that BBTV transmission efficiency was lower in the field than in the laboratory, despite that more aphids per plant were used for field than laboratory inoculation tests. The results highlight the potential use of less susceptible cultivars to help manage BBTV and the importance of screening banana varieties in the field to determine their response to vectors and associated diseases.