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When will we sail the Hawaiian Islands Again?


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I’m in Maui right now (staying here until April). I can’t see Hawaii opening up to cruises Until long after Florida gets sailing. The restrictions here are five times what they are in Florida. Not to mention,  Each island has different requirements for entry. Kauai is still requiring 14 day quarantine and Maui just tightened up requirement to enter to Inclide a mandatory tracking app, no gathering more than 5, stores at 30% max, all restaurants close by 10, etc...I anticipate a very long wait for those wanting to cruise Hawaii. I hope I’m wrong, but I also hate to see people get their hopes up. 
 

Of course, this is all just my opinion based on what I’ve experience here on island. 

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The Hawaii government has been trying to protect the state. But, they have also not rolled back to lower tiers per their process after Christmas and new year spikes. And the governor is now faced with terminating police, fire, teachers, and other state workers because he can’t make payroll without tourist dollars. And is forced to cut the pay of all state workers. 
 

wrt the contact tracing app on Maui, I have had the default Apple app and location-specific app on my phone for months. Not a big deal. 
 

wrt Kauai , it is a 3-day “Resort Bubble” where you need to spend the first 3 days at a resort, free to go to the beach and take part in resort activities until you pass a post-arrival test.  If you don’t want to do a post-arrivals test, you need to quarantine on Kauai for 10 days. 
 

Out of the 248K people who have traveled to Hawaii this month, 85% enter with exemptions. 78% of the exemptions are a negative Covid test (the second biggest group is airline crew for another 9%). 
 

Hawaii welcomes visitors now. 

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On 1/24/2021 at 5:37 PM, BirdTravels said:

The Hawaii government has been trying to protect the state. But, they have also not rolled back to lower tiers per their process after Christmas and new year spikes. And the governor is now faced with terminating police, fire, teachers, and other state workers because he can’t make payroll without tourist dollars. And is forced to cut the pay of all state workers. 
 

wrt the contact tracing app on Maui, I have had the default Apple app and location-specific app on my phone for months. Not a big deal. 
 

wrt Kauai , it is a 3-day “Resort Bubble” where you need to spend the first 3 days at a resort, free to go to the beach and take part in resort activities until you pass a post-arrival test.  If you don’t want to do a post-arrivals test, you need to quarantine on Kauai for 10 days. 
 

Out of the 248K people who have traveled to Hawaii this month, 85% enter with exemptions. 78% of the exemptions are a negative Covid test (the second biggest group is airline crew for another 9%). 
 

Hawaii welcomes visitors now. 


Yes, Hawaii welcomes visitors (thankfully or I would  be spending the winter home in mi). But the hoops to get here were such that most people will forgo the hassle (as evidenced by an 85% reduction in tourists for the month of January). Admittedly,  I forgot Kauai recently implemented the resort bubble concept as opposed to the mandatory 14 day quarantine, but even that model  doesn’t work for visiting cruise ship passengers. We agree that Hawaii is financially demolished without tourists.  However, My prediction stands, Hawaii will be the last state to resume cruising. We can let time tell the rest of the story. 

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Yes. The reduction in tourism is more about the uncontrolled pandemic since people partied for thanksgiving, Christmas, and new year causing dramatic spikes in covid cases. Not because you need a Covid test to fly. 
 

And it is, partly, because Gov Ige and his mayors can’t get on the same page wrt policy. 

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8 hours ago, BirdTravels said:

Yes. The reduction in tourism is more about the uncontrolled pandemic since people partied for thanksgiving, Christmas, and new year causing dramatic spikes in covid cases. Not because you need a Covid test to fly. 
 

And it is, partly, because Gov Ige and his mayors can’t get on the same page wrt policy. 


Irrelevant to the topic of when Hawaii will open to cruising. IMo Hawaii is on a very slow road to recovery. I suspect that even when covid is “Controlled”, the ramifications of fear mongering will leave Hawaii with fewer tourists for years to come, since many will be hesitant to fly. Again, time will tell who is correct here, but I’m doubling down. IMO Hawaii will be the last USA port to reopen to cruise ships. 

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14 hours ago, BirdTravels said:

Yes. The reduction in tourism is more about the uncontrolled pandemic since people partied for thanksgiving, Christmas, and new year causing dramatic spikes in covid cases. Not because you need a Covid test to fly. 
 

And it is, partly, because Gov Ige and his mayors can’t get on the same page wrt policy. 

 

Curious what you feel Ige and the mayors should be doing at this point?  

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I'm booked for September cruise on POA. It looks like vaccine rollout is chugging along. Here in Colorado, I'll be eligible next week to receive vaccine. It will take awhile longer to actually get it but I'm optimistic that in a couple of months vaccine will be widely available. I'm betting by September cruising will be back and Hawaii will be welcoming cruisers. 😁

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4 hours ago, philv said:

I'm booked for September cruise on POA. It looks like vaccine rollout is chugging along. Here in Colorado, I'll be eligible next week to receive vaccine. It will take awhile longer to actually get it but I'm optimistic that in a couple of months vaccine will be widely available. I'm betting by September cruising will be back and Hawaii will be welcoming cruisers. 😁

 

I hope your PoA cruise in September goes because I am booked on her in October...

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When the numbers go below the Spring low after the initial surge then you will see a chance of cruising returning. We are making rapid progress. New cases are in a hard fall even with testing remaining high.

Deaths will soon start a rapid fall.

Now, will we get there or level off at a rate that is still too high?

Will new variants turn the declines back around?

 

This is where the fate of cruising hangs.

 

 

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On 2/1/2021 at 7:27 AM, philv said:

I'm booked for September cruise on POA. It looks like vaccine rollout is chugging along. Here in Colorado, I'll be eligible next week to receive vaccine. It will take awhile longer to actually get it but I'm optimistic that in a couple of months vaccine will be widely available. I'm betting by September cruising will be back and Hawaii will be welcoming cruisers. 😁

From your lips to God's ears, philv! We're also sailing on the POA in October.

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2 hours ago, NikiPinkston said:

From your lips to God's ears, philv! We're also sailing on the POA in October.

We’re scheduled for January 2022. If I had to go to Vegas and put down money betting it will sail- I would be afraid to! I hope we ALL sale as planned🍀🤞

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On 2/1/2021 at 12:24 AM, Silver Sweethearts said:

Curious what you feel Ige and the mayors should be doing at this point?  

Open the state up to tourism by remove testing and quarantine restrictions. Like the rest of the country. Allow businesses to survive. Keep from firing police, fire, teachers because the lack of tourist dollars. Keep from having permanent closure of tourist related businesses. 

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On 2/2/2021 at 6:40 PM, BirdTravels said:

Open the state up to tourism by remove testing and quarantine restrictions. Like the rest of the country. 

 

This is what we have read recently:

 

North Dakota has the most confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population of all U.S. states, while Hawaii has the fewest, according to an analysis by The New York Times.

 

Not opening the state up seems to have its merits.

 

 

 

 

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On 2/2/2021 at 11:40 PM, BirdTravels said:

Open the state up to tourism by remove testing and quarantine restrictions. Like the rest of the country. Allow businesses to survive. Keep from firing police, fire, teachers because the lack of tourist dollars. Keep from having permanent closure of tourist related businesses. 

Hawaii's tourism industry has been hard hit by the lock downs. When all is said and done, it's going to be interesting to see which US states fared better and which worse when it comes to the tradeoff between health and the economy. I remember reading this article https://www.traveloffpath.com/hawaii-sees-8000-tourists-arrive-on-reopening-day-after-quarantine-dropped/ last October and a particular line stood out to me: "While some critics have argued that reopening Hawaii for tourism could bring a new surge of infections, Lieutenant Governor Josh Green, said that the economic strain of keeping Hawaii closed can't go on any longer and outweighs the potential health risks."

Happily, Hawaii has been welcoming people ever since and has seemed to strike a good balance between opening up and reasonable quarantine/testing measures. We'd love to go back, it's a beautiful state with very welcoming people.

 

 

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But, Hawaii is not open. Restrictive, continually changing entry criteria which are hard to meet makes it very unattractive for visitors. Now, all international travelers need a COVID test to enter the United States. But only a few are "accepted by the state of Hawaii". For those in the U.S., getting a COVID test 72 hours before travel is hard with the spikes in COVID casing delays in test results. And if you maximize the test processing time (i.e., taking your test 72 hours before departure), a delay in your flight means you can't enter the state. If Hawaiian Cruising were to resume now, every passenger would be faced with these types of issues just trying to enter the state. 

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Hawaii has mixed feelings about reviving tourism - the Hawaii Tourism Authority could be coordinating bottlenecks but is instead facing drastic defunding. You would think tourist tax and payroll revenues would be a motivating factor, but Hawaii can and will just tax residents more and more. The publicity about furloughing it's public sector is just an act - this will rarely happen even without tourist money. Hawaii has a form of crony capitalism run by major unions and big business, but not catering to non resident hotel owners or cruise/airlines. Hotel unions would be a factor, but there is so much transition to time share and airbnb etc. Take a course from HI chamber of commerce to learn and even navigate local economic dysfunction.

Edited by dumbth
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8 hours ago, DCGuy64 said:

 

Happily, Hawaii has been welcoming people ever since and has seemed to strike a good balance between opening up and reasonable quarantine/testing measures. We'd love to go back, it's a beautiful state with very welcoming people.

 

 


On the surface Hawaii is welcoming people, but the hoops to get here are tough. There are a few things to consider. Each county (aka island) has a different requirement for entry and it is ever changing. Right now, On Kauai, after providing a negative test, you must also stay at a government approved resort bubble for 3 days and then retest. I believe the cheapest government approved resort bubble will run you upwards of $300 a night.
 

On Maui you can enter with a negative test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Sounds simple, right? Nope. The Hawaiian government has a list of places they will accept tests from and your local dr or hospital isn’t one of them. When I came from Michigan I was flying on a Wednesday which makes any mail test like vault unreliable  (ups planes don’t fly on Sunday). Also, you have to know which test will be accepted. A rapid test from cvs doesn’t count (a 72 hour test from cvs is approved) but a rapid test from

Walgreens is fine. We were forced to do the rapid test from Walgreens and initially there were only 3 Walgreens in the entire state of mi approved. Now I believe there are 15 but unless you live in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, or Detroit you could be driving over 10 hours to get to a testing location. Then add the fact that if you do test positive you will likely be hit with substantial last minute cancellation fees. Add to that the fear that at any given moment any county (island) in Hawaii could revert back to mandatory 14 day quarantine. 
 

I haven’t even given all the scenarios for things which could go wrong in the process, but I have read countless horror stories from families getting stuck in any one of the obstacles Hawaii has set up for entry. I’m not at all suggesting the economy here doesn’t need tourism. The line for free food stretched several miles last week, and I have seen a substantial increase in people living on the beach or out of their car since my last visit a few years ago- not to mention petty crime is terrible right now. 
 

And once you get here you aren’t done if you want to travel to other islands. There are specific requirements for inner island travel which will absolutely effect any cruisers who are island hopping unless changes are made.

 

also to note, there is a sector of residents who are strongly opposed to the islands being open to tourism and are actively fighting to get the islands closed again (or requiring mandatory 10 day quarantine for all incoming guests), stating limited medical facilities claim. Not sure this group will ultimately be successful, but opposition to tourism does exist right now. 

 

Don’t get me wrong, once you get here Hawaii is even more beautiful than pre covid. With only 25% of tourists there are no lines, traffic is significantly improved, and you can find empty beaches. Even the reefs are making a comeback.  But getting here has enough risk to turn off many people and certainly there won’t be any ships sailing until each county (island) can get on the same page with restrictions and something can be done to solve the problem for cruise passengers when it comes to inner island travel.

 

On a side note, I feel very blessed to be here while my home state gets hammered with a winter blast and I’m not taking a single moment for granted. So yes, Hawaii is welcoming tourists, but the process would benefit significantly from some streamlining. 🙂 

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Thank you for your detailed and comprehensive account, @BermudaBound2014. I have to say it's very disheartening. I remember your saying not long ago how much you were looking forward to a land-based vacation in HI since all of the cruises had been cancelled. From what you wrote, it sounds like Hawaii is just another travel nightmare. However, that being said, it sounds like there are a couple of silver linings, such as the beaches and lack of traffic. Still, I don't think we'll be getting our hopes up about going back there for a long time. We did spend a lovely week there in December 2017 and have very fond memories.

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2 hours ago, DCGuy64 said:

Thank you for your detailed and comprehensive account, @BermudaBound2014. I have to say it's very disheartening. I remember your saying not long ago how much you were looking forward to a land-based vacation in HI since all of the cruises had been cancelled. From what you wrote, it sounds like Hawaii is just another travel nightmare. However, that being said, it sounds like there are a couple of silver linings, such as the beaches and lack of traffic. Still, I don't think we'll be getting our hopes up about going back there for a long time. We did spend a lovely week there in December 2017 and have very fond memories.

Hawaii is looking into allowing entry with no quarantine if you are vaccinated. I haven't heard much else about that in the last few weeks.

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3 hours ago, DCGuy64 said:

Thank you for your detailed and comprehensive account, @BermudaBound2014. I have to say it's very disheartening. I remember your saying not long ago how much you were looking forward to a land-based vacation in HI since all of the cruises had been cancelled. From what you wrote, it sounds like Hawaii is just another travel nightmare. However, that being said, it sounds like there are a couple of silver linings, such as the beaches and lack of traffic. Still, I don't think we'll be getting our hopes up about going back there for a long time. We did spend a lovely week there in December 2017 and have very fond memories.


I’m here for over 3 months (retirement present) so it was worth it to me to tackle the obstacles. I was even willing to quarantine if it came down to that. However; if I was coming for just a 2 week vacation I’m not sure I would have attempted. We are also big hikers, so vacationing in the continental USA still holds great appeal (we alternated hiking with cruising Pre covid anyway).  
 

I do think that travel is going to take a pretty good leap in our favor once numbers come down and it’s likely the challenges to travelers set forth by various government agencies will dissolve (Hawaii can’t stay locked up without very serious consequences and the cruise industry will sail again). Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening in the immediate future so we are planning our 2021 travels within USA borders.  

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I think it is doubtful that NCL will sail the Hawaii cruise at all in 2021 if they don't file for bankruptcy.  I wanted to schedule our Hawaii cruise for a later year but NCL jacked up their prices a lot. Considering a land based Hawaiian vacation.  Anyone explore the idea of flying between Hawaiian Islands -- maybe 5 days on one island, 5 days on a different island?  Or other ways to see the different islands if the cruise doesn't happen?

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2 hours ago, SeaWatcher65 said:

I think it is doubtful that NCL will sail the Hawaii cruise at all in 2021 if they don't file for bankruptcy.  I wanted to schedule our Hawaii cruise for a later year but NCL jacked up their prices a lot. Considering a land based Hawaiian vacation.  Anyone explore the idea of flying between Hawaiian Islands -- maybe 5 days on one island, 5 days on a different island?  Or other ways to see the different islands if the cruise doesn't happen?

We are booked for 11/27 sailing but prepared to do land, spending 3 nughts Oahu, 3 nights in Maui and 3 nights in Kona. Flights are cheap to hop to different islands. 39.00 per flight plus tax and flights are 45 to 50 minutes long. We will fly to different islands on evening flights. We are commited to air rountrip from DFW to Honolulu. We can change flights with no change fees but if flight is higher we will have to pay the difference. Just keeping an eye on the whole Covid thing.

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