Why cruise Hawaii?

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#1
Melbourne, Australia
504 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Hi everyone,

This may seem to be a crazy question to be asking on a cruise forum, but why should I cruise around Hawaii?

My family and I have been on a few cruises before all (except 1) on Royal Caribbean. The one other was on Carnival.

We love cruising and loved Royal Caribbean.

I am now planning a trip to Hawaii for the first time next year June. We will stay a week in Waikiki after the flight from Australia, and then am trying to decide if we should spend a week in maui, or do a 7 night cruise on Pride of America.

It seems quite expensive compared to a land based week on one island. Why, in your opinion, is it worth the extra money to rather go on a cruise?
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#3
Maine
11,046 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Each of the Hawaiian Islands is different and unique to themselves. If you want to only spend time on one island, then cruising probably isn't the best choice. POA gets you 5 ports on 4 islands, without the hassle of packing, travel to the airport, and the cost of interisland flights.
#4
Midwest
1,050 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
We debated on this as well. After comparing all the costs we decided to do a land based vacation. We will be spending time on Maui, Kauai, and Ohau over a 2 week period. There is too much that we want to see and we don't want to be limited by the ship.
#5
Midwest
5,358 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
For most, just getting to Hawaii is an expensive and time consuming proposition. When we go, we like to make the most of our time there, and we are not satisfied with seeing only one or two islands. Not seeing Kauai or the big island, Hawaii is unthinkable. Unless you have the time and $$$ to make this trip frequently, the NCL Pride of America is the only solution to avoid inter island flights and the lost time involved. We get to overnight in both Maui and Kauai so there's 2 days to explore in each, plus full days in Hilo and Kona. If you have extra time, add days pre and/or post cruise on one of the islands. For instance fly into Hawaii pre cruise and then take a quick inter island flight to HNL the am of cruise departure. Or fly back to one of the islands at the end of the cruise.

Having done both a land vacation, vs the POA, we find that we get to see the most, and with the least wear and tear on ourselves, with the cruise. We'd never do it any other way now.
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Brenda
#6
62 Posts
Joined Oct 2015
Less packing & unpacking!! Plus, each island is different. We just did the POA cruise (I just did a review under the Norwegian forum) and stayed 5 nights after on the North Shore of Oahu in a house. Now that we have explored the islands we would like to return to the Big Island or Kauai. We loved the North Shore of Oahu, btw and highly recommend spending time there.


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#7
681 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Always wondered this myself.
It HAS to be cheaper on a cruise.


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#8
In the Valley, CA
22,968 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Our last three cruises were the RTs LA to Hawaii on Princess. We like the longer (than 7 days) cruises now and on Princess there's a Hawaiian cultural program with great live Hawaiian music, Hawaiian activities, sometimes Hawaiian-inspired food, talks on the islands by natives.

We've been to Hawaii on land trips before so it just depends on if we want to fly or not. I'm not a great flyer, so it's an easy cruise for us as we can drive to the port in just an hour.


To us, it's an experience. Else, if it's just about Hawaii, we would fly there and stay in hotels there.
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Patty the Cruisin' Chick (may all your cruises be smooth sailin')

Hoping for another trip to the land of Aloha!

Carnival Jubilee - Mex. Riv.; Sensation - W. Caribb.; Holiday (2Xs) - Baja; Paradise - E Caribb; Ecstasy - Baja; Star Princess - Mex. Riv.; Sapphire Princess - Alaska; Island Princess - Hawaii; Golden Princess - Hawaii (one of the best cruises ever!!!!); another Golden Princess -- Hawaii

Read about my most recent cruise at
http://www.sites.google.com/site/holidayalohaii/home
#9
Seattle, WA
11,107 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by DT1304
Hi everyone,

This may seem to be a crazy question to be asking on a cruise forum, but why should I cruise around Hawaii?

My family and I have been on a few cruises before all (except 1) on Royal Caribbean. The one other was on Carnival.

We love cruising and loved Royal Caribbean.

I am now planning a trip to Hawaii for the first time next year June. We will stay a week in Waikiki after the flight from Australia, and then am trying to decide if we should spend a week in maui, or do a 7 night cruise on Pride of America.

It seems quite expensive compared to a land based week on one island. Why, in your opinion, is it worth the extra money to rather go on a cruise?
We have done numerous week long stays on each of the islands and we have done 4 Hawaii cruises with Royal Caribbean just to qualify my response. The cruise would be my choice only if you want the opportunity to see what each of the four main island are like. As stated by others, a cruise gives you that short opportunity to evaluate/experience each location.

If you are looking for the chance to enjoy another week on a Hawaiian island after a week in Waikiki I would opt for the Maui visit.

The week on the ship will be the more hectic trip as you have such a limited amount of time in each port you may find you feel rushed by the end of it whereas you can schedule your week on Maui to be as relaxing or active as you like.

So I guess it depends on whether you want to briefly see all the islands or take your time with just one.
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Bill

PLUS
Photo Reviews of cruises: Radiance (Hawaii)-5/17 Rhapsody (Caribbean) - 1/17 Radiance (Alaska) - 8/16
Radiance (Hawaii) - 04/16 Jewel (B2B West Coast) - Sept 26 - Oct 10, 2015 Jewel (West Coast) - 05/15

Oasis (birthday cruise)- 01/15 Rhapsody (Hawaii)-09/14 Legend (Panama Canal) - 11/13 Allure 05/13
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#10
Kentucky
430 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Originally posted by saraandnick
Less packing & unpacking!! Plus, each island is different. We just did the POA cruise (I just did a review under the Norwegian forum) and stayed 5 nights after on the North Shore of Oahu in a house. Now that we have explored the islands we would like to return to the Big Island or Kauai. We loved the North Shore of Oahu, btw and highly recommend spending time there.


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I agree with you saraandnick. I thought the cruise was a great introduction to all the islands. Prior to taking this cruise, I would have thought Maui would be my favorite, but after the POA cruise I am all about Kauai and the Big Island Not that I didn't enjoy Maui, but those 2 are the ones I would choose to go back to for a weeks stay if I had to choose.
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Debbie





December 2016 - Royal Caribbean - Freedom of the Seas (Eastern Caribbean)
November 2016 - Princess - Caribbean Princess (Southern Caribbean)
October 2015 - Norwegian - Pride of America (Hawaii)
January 2014 - Royal Caribbean - Freedom of the Seas (Western Caribbean)
#11
Fredericksburg, va. USA
83,046 Posts
Joined May 2001
I've wondered about that, too. I think Hawaii is a land vacation if you want to see and do stuff! If you've been there before, then a cruise might be a good way to relax, but there is SO MUCH to see and do in the Islands....seems silly to be restricted by ship hours and port times! Hawaii deserves MORE TIME than a ship can give you!
#12
San Diego County
2,363 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Our situation is the opposite of some on this thread. We've already spent multiple week-long or more vacations on each of the islands, even owned a condo on the Big Island for over 10 years. There are a few places that we love visiting over and over, so for us a cruise, with one day on each island makes sense. We rent a car in each port and go where we want to go, then get back to our 'home' onboard to watch the sunset without have to fly, pack/unpack, etc.. Our particular favorites - Volcano National Park or the National Tropical Botanical Gardens plus a stop for malasadas on the Big Island, Waimea Canyon & lunch at The Beach House on Kauai, MaiTai's at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and dinner/show at House Without at Key in Honolulu, Maui - not our favorite, but probably a little drive to the Iao Needle and nearby gardens.


Our next trip is on Princess RT out of Vancouver - just because we also love Vancouver. We decided against the Pride of America - the consensus on the reviews we've read is that it's not the greatest cruise experience unless you can afford the Enclave Suites.
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Cruising since 1977.
#13
Maui
1,377 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Originally posted by Kartgv
Our next trip is on Princess RT out of Vancouver - just because we also love Vancouver. We decided against the Pride of America - the consensus on the reviews we've read is that it's not the greatest cruise experience unless you can afford the Enclave Suites.
We aren't familiar with the "Enclave Suites", and would appreciate it if you could explain what they are.
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Seabourn / Silversea / Regent / Paul Gauguin / Cunard / Sitmar

#14
Diablo, California
1,512 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by Kartgv
Our next trip is on Princess RT out of Vancouver - just because we also love Vancouver. We decided against the Pride of America - the consensus on the reviews we've read is that it's not the greatest cruise experience unless you can afford the Enclave Suites.
I'd recommend you reconsider Princess out of Vancouver, have you read the recent reviews for both Star and Emerald, both rate below that of the POA. Plus 11 days at sea and only 4 days in HI, I'd go with the POA and land excursion post cruise.

Also, Enclave Suite? you mean Haven which is not available on the POA.
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#15
San Diego County
2,363 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Originally posted by Silver Sweethearts
We aren't familiar with the "Enclave Suites", and would appreciate it if you could explain what they are.
Just double checked and they're actually called "The Haven by Norwegian™, an exclusive enclave with our most luxurious, well-appointed and spacious accommodations". I'm not sure they even have the suites available on POA.
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Cruising since 1977.
#16
Maui
1,377 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Originally posted by Kartgv
Our next trip is on Princess RT out of Vancouver - just because we also love Vancouver. We decided against the Pride of America - the consensus on the reviews we've read is that it's not the greatest cruise experience unless you can afford the Enclave Suites.
With Princess having 11 days at sea, it seems the ship is the destination and the ports secondary. With the Pride of America being at a port every day, it seems the ports are the destination and the ship is secondary.
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Seabourn / Silversea / Regent / Paul Gauguin / Cunard / Sitmar

#17
Midwest
5,358 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Originally posted by Silver Sweethearts
With Princess having 11 days at sea, it seems the ship is the destination and the ports secondary. With the Pride of America being at a port every day, it seems the ports are the destination and the ship is secondary.
You have this exactly right, Silver Sweethearts!. When I go to Hawaii, my objectives are to see and do all 4 of the main islands, and for as long as possible, vs lounging on the pool deck staring at the horizion for 11 days. 11 days at sea are 11 days I could have spent on one of the islands. And many of the transpacific cruises skip islands altogether, or only allow you 6 hours in a port (?), or so I have read. Contrast this with the POA, which gives you 7 full days in Hawaii, two of the ports being overnights. So, potentially 22 hours or more total in Maui, for instance, (and I'm not including sleeping hours, but rather touring hours), depending on how much stamina you have.😜. Plus, we usually spend at least 3 or 4 nights pre and post on O'ahu.

As far is the POA, it was completely refurbished in 2016. All suites, cabins and public areas completely redone. I think most would agree that NCL suite perks are the best in the business. It does not have a Haven proper, the restricted private lounge area of most of the other ships, but they all have butler and concierge services as well as a long list of perks. For most, the POA is not a typical cruise experience for the reasons I stated above, but there are plenty of amenities for those who can stay awake long enough to take advantage. There is a different theatre show each night as well as lounges with comedians, or music, themed deck parties each night, and many bars will have music as well. 5 specialty restaurants, a 24 hour pub, buffet, and two MDRs. The Freestyle, dine when you want, where you want, lends itself particularly well in Hawaii. No need to worry about cutting the day short in order to make a 5:00 seating in the MDR.

So no need to feel like you'll be slumming on the POA. It's a very nice ship, and a great way to see the islands.
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Brenda
#18
243 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Weve done Hawaii twice now from Western Australia and both times did the POA, with time pre & post cruise in Waikiki.
Would do the same again tomorrow for a third time!.
Be prepared to see as much as possible on each island!
#19
Middle Tennessee
2,457 Posts
Joined May 2004
Since this is your first visit to Hawaii I would recommend staying on Oahu (Waikiki) for a week, like you planned. Lots to see and do on the island of Oahu. Then instead of heading to Maui take a cruise on POA. This will give you a good overview of the other islands. Personally, Maui is not my favorite island. All of the islands have a little something different to offer and taking flights inter island can be expensive and time consuming.

When I do a land vacation to Hawaii now I usually just go to Oahu (son and granddaughter live there). But, it is nice to occasionally take the Princess cruise out of LA and quickly visit the other islands.