Calif to Hawaii--what's the Pacific like in Nov.?

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Fredericksburg, va. USA
83,749 Posts
Joined May 2001
It depends....the sea will do what the sea wants to do. Time of year has NOTHING to do with it.
It can be rough or can be warm or cool.
There's no way to tell what your 2-3 days will be like. Before you sail, (about 3 days out) start checking the weather you'll know!

And realize, that even the professional weathermen are wrong about 80% of the time!
northern UT
8,691 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
our Hawaii cruise mid Nov was our worst SEA wise...we caught a STORM that came up out of nowhere in Maui so we missed our second day was so ROUGH getting tenders back to the ship that they stopped and the ones that were left had to stay ashore overnite--lucky them as they were put up in Fabulous hotels some didnt want to get back on the next day it was beautiful waiting for the tenders to bring the people to the ship but another storm was fast approaching and we had to leave quickly!
on our way home to ENSENADA the OCEAN was ROUGH ROUGH ROUGH...past cruisers said in 50 cruises they never saw the seas so was our 3rd...never saw so many people sick and it was quite the ROCKY TIME most of the time-...everything was shut down on the decks so very little to do....MEMORABLE but just never know...but i think i would TRY a different time of the year next HAWAII cruise!
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In the Valley, CA
23,001 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
From looking at CC posts ever since I've joined in 2004, I've noticed that there's no correlation between time of year and sea conditions. Sometimes it's rough the few couple of days out of LA, sometimes the last few, and sometimes both.

On our first HI cruise, it was rough the first couple of days and the weather cool. As we approached Hawaii, it got warmer and the seas calmer. The only port we missed was Kona due to high waves. We had partly cloudy weather the whole time. On the way back to LA, the seas were calm and the weather was warm.

On our second one, it was rainy, rainy, rainy the first couple of days. Not as rough seas as for our first HI cruise. There were some rolling and rocking on the way. We had a little bit of rain in Honolulu. A lot of wind at night and the navigation channel often said there were gale force winds. A few days after the ports, we got a lot of rocking. On the way back, it was cool.

Both cruises were in late December/early January.
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Patty the Cruisin' Chick (may all your cruises be smooth sailin')

Hoping for another trip to the land of Aloha!

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Pittsburgh, PA
1,844 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
As a general statement, the seas between California and Hawaii are not terribly rough. However, in any given short period of time, just about anything can happen. The worst seas I was even in were on a clear, beautiful, sunny day. There had been a nasty storm somewhere a day or two before. We never saw the storm. We "enjoyed" 50' seas as a result. The next day -- calm seas again. There may be a few more storms in the winter in the eastern Pacific, but I would still go back to my general statement, that the waters are not terribly rough -- generally.

I am reminded of my original scuba diving class. We used an old Navy Dive Manual and in one part it rated fish on a scale of 1 to 4+ ---- 1 being the least dangerous and 4+ being the most dangerous. My instructor pointed out that if a 1 bites you, then as far as you are concerned, it is a 4+.

What the seas are generally, and what they are the few days you are there are only somewhat related. It's like poker -- you play the odds. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Generally, in that stretch of the Pacific you will win, but you might lose.
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Ben and Susan

Previous cruises:
Oceania REGATTA - Scenic Panama Canal - Dec. 5 - Dec. 21, 2014
Uniworld RIVER AMBASSADOR - European Splendors, June, 2013
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MV ECLIPSE - 7 days in the Galapagos - June, 2012
HAL STATENDAM - 7 day Glacier excursion - June, 2010
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Oceania REGATTA - Scandinavian Splendors - Aug 8-22, 2009
Carnival FANTASY - 3-day 1990 or '91
USS HANCOCK (CVA-19) Two WestPac cruises 1969-71 Oops those weren't pleasure cruises!
Midwest USA
1,847 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
My wife and I cruised the Hawaii-Ensednada 14 day cruise in early October 2008. The crossing was pretty calm, ran into one storm but felt very little motion. The temperature was a little cool and with the ships forward motion it created a real cool breeze for the 5 day crossing.
Southern California
348 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
To me the Pacific here in So Cal is always a little choppy, especially in the open ocean. But I usually wear a seasickness patch so I may not be the best judge. I would plan for the worse and hope for the best, you never know what you moght run into.

The only place I didn't need anything for seasickness was in Alaska.
The Woodlands, Texas
369 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Cruised Long Beach to Hawaii in October, the first day out of CA was very rough. I actually got sea sick. After that it was smooth sailing all the way and every day. I can't wait to go again!.
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12,048 Posts
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Originally posted by ruecatt
To me the Pacific here in So Cal is always a little choppy, especially in the open ocean. But I usually wear a seasickness patch so I may not be the best judge. I would plan for the worse and hope for the best, you never know what you moght run into.

The only place I didn't need anything for seasickness was in Alaska.
Definitely. Along the central coast, the Pacific is usually anything but peaceful. There's also the ocean current that runs clock-wise and off the coast of North America. That can lead to choppy conditions for a full day or more, but it's by no means certain.

There are no land masses between the US coast and the Hawaiian islands, and the Pacific (as well as Hawaii) does not have the benefit of the warm Gulf stream. That can make sea days quite cool, but the further south you go, the warmer it gets. Still, the ocean conditions can be anything between smooth as glass and extremely rough. There's really no way to know or acurately predict it more than a week in advance.

I will say that the surface waters around Hawaii are warmest between September and mid-November, if that makes a difference in your decision.

Chico, California
9,479 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by ruecatt
To me the Pacific here in So Cal is always a little choppy, especially in the open ocean. But I usually wear a seasickness patch so I may not be the best judge. I would plan for the worse and hope for the best, you never know what you moght run into.

The only place I didn't need anything for seasickness was in Alaska.
Hoping for a warm and smooth crossing. Leaving from SFO November. 5th. As for Alaska - we went last year. First night out I woke up in the night because the ship was rocking and rolling. At breakfast the next day people were staggering all over. In the PT later we were shaken as the ship boomed into and through the waves. It was surprising to us as new cruisers but wasn't a problem. I know I get motion sickness so I had patches and they really work GREAT. The rest of the trip was uneventful weather wise.

We're looking forward to the sea days going to Hawaii so I hope we can have reasonable weather to enjoy the deck and our balcony. Whatever the weather we plan to enjoy ourselves immensely.
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Not Elite but having fun working on it...

88,394 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by artistcleveland
We're thinking of a cruise from Cal. to HI, in Nov. Never sailed on the open ocean before.
What would it be like? Rocky? Too windy to sit on deck? or fine?
I've done these several times but keep in mind that weather can change so one voyage could have some rough seas and another one could be calm.

In general, it can be windy and cooler first day to two and last one or two days of the voyage and the seas could be a bit choppy.

As you get closer to Hawaii typically it is warmer with fairly calm seas.

107,518 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Weather is unpredicatble.

We had a couple of rough seas leaving San Diego and and a couple as we neared San Diego.
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