Need help booking Hawaiian Cruise!

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#1
Canada
3 Posts
Joined Nov 2013
I have cruised before but never organized the arrangements. I am taking my family, inc. 3 young adult children, on a dream trip to Hawaii in Feb. which I hope will include a 7 day Norwegian cruise on Pride of America. I have spent countless hours on various web sites and I am just totally confused and not sure the best way to get the best price for what I am looking for. I'm not sure if I am better off just speaking to NCL directly or to one of the dozens of 'sellers' out there. To be honest, I feel a bit dumb!
Any direction would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
#2
88,411 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
While you could speak with NCL directly, I would recommend asking a friend or someone else you know who cruises if they can recommend a travel agent and then you could have the travel agent assist you.

Keith
#3
Colorado
2,170 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by Keith1010
While you could speak with NCL directly, I would recommend asking a friend or someone else you know who cruises if they can recommend a travel agent and then you could have the travel agent assist you.

Keith
Our first trip involved flying to Hawaii and cruising back. Ok except for the long flight.

The other two (leaving for the second 12-5) is from Los Angeles, roundtrip 15 day.

Just a thought.
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#4
Southern California
1,697 Posts
Joined May 2008
Wait until next week, a lot of the online TA'S will have Thanksgiving sales and offer a lot of perks.. happy cruising
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#5
Massachusetts
1,515 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by Iukika
I have cruised before but never organized the arrangements. I am taking my family, inc. 3 young adult children, on a dream trip to Hawaii in Feb. which I hope will include a 7 day Norwegian cruise on Pride of America. I have spent countless hours on various web sites and I am just totally confused and not sure the best way to get the best price for what I am looking for. I'm not sure if I am better off just speaking to NCL directly or to one of the dozens of 'sellers' out there. To be honest, I feel a bit dumb!
Any direction would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
While I thoroughly enjoy cruising, in Hawaii I would stay at a resort and drive a car around the islands instead of cruising. To me there is so much more in Hawaii to see than can be seen from a ship. For example there are companies that will take you to the top of Mauna Kae which is 13,800 feet elevation for a sunset trip that is absolutely breathtaking. There is no way you can do this while on a cruise.

I would say visit Hawaii (big island), Kauaii (Garden Island), and Oahu (Where Waikiki beach is). You only need two days on Oahu since it more city like than the other islands. On Kauaii you need to allocate a day to see waimea canyon which is also absolutely beautiful. On the Big Island, go to Volcanos National Park. Driving through there is amazing.

But that is my opinion, and nothing more.
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#6
Canada
3 Posts
Joined Nov 2013
Thank you for all for your advice. I have been to Hawaii (and all the islands) many times but not with all 4 kids and not for over 20 years so this is special. My husband doesn't want to do all the back & forth-ing to the airports, car rentals, etc. and Oahu is by far our favourite island so we will have an additional 10 days there in addition to the cruise. We thought the cruise would give our kids a chance to sample the other islands and experience their first cruise as well, which is why we have planned the trip this way.
My only challenge is getting the best price and/or credits and/or land packages for the money. There seem to be so many ways to do it that I am just kind of confused. I am also told that Pride of America is 'the only game in town' for 7 day inter-island cruises so not much likely to be available by way of deals.
#7
6,362 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
A good travel agent should be able to guide you thru the booking process and help with details of your trip.
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#8
Florida
20,293 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Get a good TA...
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#9
Los Angeles
7,896 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Call NCL and work with their agents (no middleman). I used a TA for years, but only ever got $25 pp on-board credit. Now because of 2 cruises on NCL, they give me the $25 pp OBC.

If you book with an outside TA, NCL won't talk to you about any questions or problems, you MUST go through your TA.

You can even be on-line NCL website looking at the deck plans as you are talking to them, so you know just what you are getting and where it is located.
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Eleanor
#10
Maine
11,485 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by Iukika
Thank you for all for your advice. I have been to Hawaii (and all the islands) many times but not with all 4 kids and not for over 20 years so this is special. My husband doesn't want to do all the back & forth-ing to the airports, car rentals, etc. and Oahu is by far our favourite island so we will have an additional 10 days there in addition to the cruise. We thought the cruise would give our kids a chance to sample the other islands and experience their first cruise as well, which is why we have planned the trip this way.
My only challenge is getting the best price and/or credits and/or land packages for the money. There seem to be so many ways to do it that I am just kind of confused. I am also told that Pride of America is 'the only game in town' for 7 day inter-island cruises so not much likely to be available by way of deals.
The POA IS the only game in town that will only call at US ports in Hawaii. It is the only US flag ship, so it is exempt from having to visit a foreign port like the cruises from the West Coast or the one ways from the WC. The ship is sailing pretty close to capacity all the time, so you are right that there probably won't be any real "steals".

The only NCL cruise I've been on was booked as an NCL employee benefit, so I can't speak about the benefits/disadvantages of a travel agent. Generally, they can't sell the ticket for any less than NCL does, but they will give you onboard credits. The other poster who stated that once you start the process with a travel agent, that NCL will not discuss anything or redress any problems with you directly, only the TA, is correct. So, depending on your comfort level with your TA, use one or not.
#11
3,692 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
HA on land is not cheap or easy. Cruise is easy. I see Century 15Ners going for $999. No air needed.
#12
Idaho
2,739 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Originally posted by Iukika
I am also told that Pride of America is 'the only game in town' for 7 day inter-island cruises so not much likely to be available by way of deals.
Exactly. You aren't going to find deals on POA. Book online or call direct. Have fun.
#13
Ontario, Canada
2,340 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
We just booked a similar trip, with a week on POA and a week on the big island. The cruise is booked through a TA, but only because she gives us the US website pricing at par with our Canadian dollar . The rest of the trip we booked ourselves, mainly because we are going with my parents and they exchanged their time share for our accommodations on the big island.
I've booked directly with NCL, and I've used a TA. If you don't see some sort of spectacular deal or want to support a local business, use the TA. Otherwise booking directly with NCL is a good option.
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#14
Canada
3 Posts
Joined Nov 2013
Thanks for all the advice which confirmed what I had learned. In the end I booked with a Canadian TA who gave us the best available rate in CAN $ at par with US, (a 5% saving) good cabin locations for my whole family and gave ship board credits + Aeroplan miles. Haven't paid yet so if something comes up today during NCL Hawaiian Days promo that's extra so and I am very comfortable with the final price. Booked my flights through Expedia who then offered a big discount on hotels and car in Waikiki which happily turned out to include the condo hotel we had planned to book anyway. We saved over $400 on that as well. Actually found my TA through Expedia.ca so we're all set. Now I can start to get excited! Thanks again!