Jump to content

Hawaiian Holiday Cruise Inquiry


gkthorn
 Share

Recommended Posts

2 minutes ago, GoHuskies! said:

Sorry I mismanaged my post--I haven't been here for a while.  I have a question about your collapsible wheelchair, if you don't mind.  I am sure I will need such a thing by the time I cruise next year.  Is your electric wheelchair similar to some of the chairs I have seen similar to the Forcemech?  That type appeals to me, with my balance problems and limited distance ability.  I'd like to know how you have found yours to be easy to use aboard ship, boarding, maneuvering, getting to the various places onboard, storing in the cabin, etc.  I'd appreciate your opinion and assessment of how you use yours.  Thank you so much--you will put my mind at ease if I can hear what you have to say.  

I have a "fold and go" wheelchair. I really like it but it is pricey. It has lithium batteries that hold a charge well and I can go several miles. I have found it very easy to use on board. I need an accessible cabin so I don't know if it would fit through a standard door. It could fit inside a standard room. It has a joy stick for maneuverability. It can go on either the right or left arm. I have never heard of forcemech so I can't compare. I had polio as a child and can only do a few steps although I can still stand and transfer. Previously I used a "travelscoot" scooter and it was also good to use until I lost my ability to step over the center bar. That is not a problem with the fold and go. Also I like the seat as it is quite comfortable. The chair is manufactured in Texas and they have a good web site. Just google "fold and go". I hope this helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/1/2021 at 12:39 PM, katisdale said:

We did this cruise in 2019. It ended on January 4, 2020 so we were on-board for both Christmas and New Years. We traveled with our daughter and adult grandchildren. The Christmas decorations were lovely. The meals at Christmas and New Year's were also special. We especially enjoyed the holiday time with none of the preparations usually associated with the holidays. The crew were great. I use an electric wheelchair (completely collapsible) and had a good inside cabin. We had anytime dining which worked well for the 5 of us.

We especially enjoyed the team called Elua who provided Hawaiian enrichment activities. Our cruise was on the Star Princess out of San Pedro. Star has left the Princess fleet.

We had some poor weather so we missed one port stop but that allowed us to have an extra day in Honolulu. Overall we were very pleased with this cruise.

Katisdale--I intended to reply to you but messed up.  In the period since I was here last, there have been changes to the way posts are done.  Sorry I mismanaged my post--I haven't been here for a while.  I have a question about your collapsible wheelchair, if you don't mind.  I am sure I will need such a thing by the time I cruise next year.  Is your electric wheelchair similar to some of the chairs I have seen similar to the Forcemech?  That type appeals to me, with my balance problems and limited distance ability.  I'd like to know how you have found yours to be easy to use aboard ship, boarding, maneuvering, getting to the various places onboard, storing in the cabin, etc.  I'd appreciate your opinion and assessment of how you use yours.  Thank you so much--you will put my mind at ease if I can hear what you have to say.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, katisdale said:

I have a "fold and go" wheelchair. I really like it but it is pricey. It has lithium batteries that hold a charge well and I can go several miles. I have found it very easy to use on board. I need an accessible cabin so I don't know if it would fit through a standard door. It could fit inside a standard room. It has a joy stick for maneuverability. It can go on either the right or left arm. I have never heard of forcemech so I can't compare. I had polio as a child and can only do a few steps although I can still stand and transfer. Previously I used a "travelscoot" scooter and it was also good to use until I lost my ability to step over the center bar. That is not a problem with the fold and go. Also I like the seat as it is quite comfortable. The chair is manufactured in Texas and they have a good web site. Just google "fold and go". I hope this helps.

Thank you very much--your wheelchair sounds very much like the one I am thinking of.  Do you find it easy to use boarding, getting to restaurants and buffet, other places onboard?  You have been helpful to me, and thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, it has no problem with boarding. Also, there is also crew who volunteer to help. I stay in the chair while eating but you can transfer to a dining chair and the waiter will store the chair. In the buffet one of the wait staff always offers to assist and then finds a place where I can sit. Of course this was all before Covid stopped cruising.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, trbarton said:

Glenn,

 

You will enjoy the cruise during the holidays. Here’s some photos taken December 2019. 
 

There will be many activities plus a couple that put on some Hawaiian music shows plus some classes. 
 

You will always be in the Holiday Spirt with all of the decorations. 
 

I’m on the Ruby in December 2021 & I’ll post some more photos. 
 

Any questions please ask. 
 

Tom😀
 

 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

Thank you so much, these picture tell it all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, gkthorn said:

Thank you so much, these picture tell it all.

What ever you do if there is a Meet & Greet make sure you sign up. 
 

Here’s a photo from the Meet & Greet I organized in December last year. 
 

I was very lucky to have so many officers show up. Another plus was Cruise Critic sent me a bunch of items that I used for a raffle drawing. 
 

Tom😀

image.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My recommendation for the very best shave ice (no "d") would be Waiola Shave Ice in Honolulu.  Finest "snow".  Google the addresses.  There is one near Leonard's (malasadas) bakery.  There is so much good food in Hawaii....please stay away from the mainland chains and try something different.  Giovanni's garlic shrimp truck now has a location in Honolulu (Kaka'ako).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We haven't done it over the holidays, but we have done it three times so obviously we like it a lot. You do have to enjoy sea days because there are lots of them, but luckily, we do.

 

All of our cruises have been full and it never felt crowded. The only issues were to be sure and show up early for a show you really wanted to see.

 

We were in a full suite so didn't see a need for the sanctuary, but if I was in an inside cabin, it is something I'd probably do for the length of the cruise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have taken this cruise once before and am booked again in November 2021 (fingers crossed) 

 

As noted previously, there are more sea days than port days. Personally, I enjoy these, but some folks do not.

 

One suggestion for an excursion on Oahu, if you are a little adventurous, is the shark encounter. You take a van across the island to the North Shore. Then a short boat trip to a shark cage that is permanently anchored offshore. You then climb into the shark cage and get to see the sharks up close. If you can climb up and down a short ladder, this is not a strenuous activity, except that your heart may beat a little faster. But it is a very cool experience.

 

Here is a picture I took from the shark cage during our outing. 

Sharks.JPG

Edited by OccasionalSanta
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/1/2021 at 2:39 PM, katisdale said:

We did this cruise in 2019. It ended on January 4, 2020 so we were on-board for both Christmas and New Years. We traveled with our daughter and adult grandchildren. The Christmas decorations were lovely. The meals at Christmas and New Year's were also special. We especially enjoyed the holiday time with none of the preparations usually associated with the holidays. The crew were great. I use an electric wheelchair (completely collapsible) and had a good inside cabin. We had anytime dining which worked well for the 5 of us.

We especially enjoyed the team called Elua who provided Hawaiian enrichment activities. Our cruise was on the Star Princess out of San Pedro. Star has left the Princess fleet.

We had some poor weather so we missed one port stop but that allowed us to have an extra day in Honolulu. Overall we were very pleased with this cruise.

I’m booked for this cruise in April 2022 and it will be my first time to Hawaii. I also use a wheelchair (manual and collapsible).  Did you have any problems tendering in Maui?  If not, any recommendations for what to do there?  Ideally I would love to visit both the national park there and a whale watching tour but not sure there will be enough time for both.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, shel003 said:

I’m booked for this cruise in April 2022 and it will be my first time to Hawaii. I also use a wheelchair (manual and collapsible).  Did you have any problems tendering in Maui?  If not, any recommendations for what to do there?  Ideally I would love to visit both the national park there and a whale watching tour but not sure there will be enough time for both.

We had bad weather and missed Maui so I cannot give any advice. However, I no longer "do" tender ports so would have stayed onboard. Princess has treated me quite fairly in assisting me to board tenders when I was just slightly more mobile than I am now. If your chair is less than fifty pounds and you can manage the four or five steps down you should be able to go. If the seas are a bit rough you may be declined. I have become quite unsteady and just don't want to try it anymore. I hope you greatly enjoy your cruise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We did this Christmas Hawaiian cruise in 2019 and we're going to do it again this Christmas.  Last time we did it with our family of 4 and my mother, who was 65 at the time.  It was an amazing cruise for multi-generations.  My teenage son ended up doing crafts and games with my mother.  On board, there was just so much for all of us to do as a family.   It's definitely a cruise with a lot of really old people and a lot of kids.  My mother many times commented that she had never seen so many elderly people on a ship in her life.  

 

Shore excursions were a little more of a challenge.  We went scuba diving on two stops.  My mother went and did her own excursion.  I can't remember what she did but I know she enjoyed it.  We did two excursions where my mother joined us.  One was a luau, nobody really enjoyed that.  We did a tubing adventure at another stop.  That one pushed my mother a little outside her comfort zone but she enjoyed it. 

 

It's a fun cruise and they do a good job of entertaining everyone.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, shel003 said:

I’m booked for this cruise in April 2022 and it will be my first time to Hawaii. I also use a wheelchair (manual and collapsible).  Did you have any problems tendering in Maui?  If not, any recommendations for what to do there?  Ideally I would love to visit both the national park there and a whale watching tour but not sure there will be enough time for both.

The whale season in Maui is late December through March, with some whales hanging around in April. An April cruise would be at the very end of the season. The Lahaina dock is very small only accepts one tender at a time. You would have to check with Princess to see if they will allow wheelchairs. I remember it being kind of difficult to exit the tender and walk up the ramp.

I would also check regarding whale watching. I have seen lots of whale right from the ship, but they are in the distance. Whales know to stay away. Better whale watching is in smaller slow moving craft.

The trip from the harbor to the summit of Haleakala is around 90 minutes one way. It can be cold up there, bring a sweatshirt or jacket. It is around 10,000 feet elevation.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, OccasionalSanta said:

I have taken this cruise once before and am booked again in November 2021 (fingers crossed) 

 

As noted previously, there are more sea days than port days. Personally, I enjoy these, but some folks do not.

 

One suggestion for an excursion on Oahu, if you are a little adventurous, is the shark encounter. You take a van across the island to the North Shore. Then a short boat trip to a shark cage that is permanently anchored offshore. You then climb into the shark cage and get to see the sharks up close. If you can climb up and down a short ladder, this is not a strenuous activity, except that your heart may beat a little faster. But it is a very cool experience.

 

Here is a picture I took from the shark cage during our outing. 

Sharks.JPG

Santa, great excursion, and great photo!  I will keep my eyes open for this type of excursion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Land vacations to Hawaii don't compare to the sea trips, most travel experts would agree a cruise to Hawaii is the way to truly visit the islands. 

Several reasons explain why:

 

1) there is a reason why a Hawaii cruise is the most expensive cruise you can take, its literally the prestige voyage and many cruise lines put their best chefs, crews and entertainment activities for this itinerary making the trip extremely fun

 

2) Hawaii is known for its exotic air, purifying air.. this air is best felt from the wast expenses of the ocean vs being on land where its diluted by pollution from commercial activities 

 

3) the true beauty of Hawaii is to admire the islands and nature from a view of a post card, cruising between islands is paradise as you get to admire the beauty of Hawaii from ever stepping on land. 

 

True travel experts would tell you that Hawaii is really not recommended for trip base visits- it rains a lot, it's expensive, hotels don't have all inclusive factors, beaches can get wavy and scary to drive due to the exotic feel of the island. For these and many other reasons sea vacation to Hawaii is the way to go.

 

4) a cruise allows you to see several islands on one go, land vacation would require you to island hop which is very expensive and logistically draining. Absolutely sea is the best way to visit Hawaii , anyone who is telling you land based is better is kidding them selves.

 

5) you get to enjoy the splendid food of the cruise and accommodations at a fraction of the price of a land based trip but all the while enjoying the same view same air same beauty and same great Aloha feeling..  its a steal of a deal absolutely sea way is the best way. 

 

6) by taking a cruise you are avoiding the expensive air trip to Hawaii so you get there for free essentially with a cruise!

 

Any questions please ask me as I am taking my first trip to Hawaii this December 2021 on a cruise with Princess and i wouldn't have it any other way.

 

Edited by MarinerBoy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mariner Boy, welcome to the islands.  I am so glad you see the benefits of a sea voyage over to our wonderful islands.  That's the kind of attitude that we call the "aloha" spirit.  May your voyage be filled with memories, good food, and exciting adventures.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, MarinerBoy said:

Land vacations to Hawaii don't compare to the sea trips, most travel experts would agree a cruise to Hawaii is the way to truly visit the islands. 

Several reasons explain why:

 

Do you have links for any of the nonsense you posted? A link where "most travel experts" recommend a cruise instead of land based? A link where HI cruises are the most expensive and therefore have the best chefs etc? That HI has "exotic air"? Links about why it is "scary to drive due to the exotic feel"? There is just so much wrong in that post.

 

I love the cruise to HI, but I've done it because it was a different experience than the dozens and dozens of land based trips I've taken and therefore I wasn't worried about the limited time on each island trying to figure out which of the many sights on each I wanted to see.

 

A land based vacation in HI can be as cheap or as expensive as you like.

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/1/2021 at 1:17 PM, gkthorn said:

Looking for some feedback, from those of you who have taken the 15 day Holiday Hawaiian cruise departing from California.

 

..............

 

Glenn ♠️

Over the last 12 years or so we have taken three CA-Hawaii-CA cruises with Princess. I echo all I read above about Elua, they are truly a Princess asset. If you are interested in "things Hawaiian" like ukulele lessons, hula lessons, lei making lessons, Hawaiian language talks and lessons, oceanography, ocean biology, Pearl Harbor/Navy history, etc, etc you will love the cruise. We don't go into the casino, art auctions or bingo, but we really enjoyed the things we did do. Never got bored. There will be something for everyone in your group to do every day. We really like spending time on the balcony for morning coffee and evening pre-dinner drinks. I think one of these Hawaii 15 day cruises can be the most relaxing thing you can do to unwind and enjoy life.

 

The ONLY thing we'd avoid (if we do another one) is staying away from Honolulu! In our opinion it was crowded, noisy, dirty, and congested. But once out of Honolulu the rest of the island, and the other islands are very nice. IMO this type of cruise is about the sea days, not the land days.

 

Doug

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, MarinerBoy said:

Land vacations to Hawaii don't compare to the sea trips, most travel experts would agree a cruise to Hawaii is the way to truly visit the islands. 

 

We do enjoy the RT west coast Princess Hawaii cruises and recommend the itinerary to anyone that enjoys sea days and the almost all inclusive food and service of an ocean voyage. But it's hard to say that a cruise is better than a land trip to the islands, and that most travel experts would agree. We have done both. A land trip allows more extensive exploration, beach time, activities such as scuba, golf, tennis than a sea voyage. The RT west coast Princess cruises have 4 Hawaii ports of call, allowing for limited exploration and enjoyment of the islands. The RT Hawaii voyages are more a long Hawaiian themed ocean voyage where the tropical weather associated with Hawaii isn't really experienced until day 3 of the crossing. As I mentioned before you really have to enjoy sea days. If you don't enjoy sea days and still wish to see Hawaii by ship you might be better off to look at one of the NCL weekly cruises RT Honolulu. NCL's Pride of America is the only US flagged ship that is permitted to sail this Hawaii only itinerary. 

We have not found the Princess Hawaii cruises to be more expensive. Fares and port charges are in line with other itineraries. Food, service, dining and entertainment is also very similar to other itineraries. Princess has standard menu selections with standard food inventories to maintain high and consistent standards across the fleet.  On each RT Hawaii cruise Princess has the Hawaiian Cultural program which is done very well, is very popular and receives high praises.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, MarinerBoy said:

Land vacations to Hawaii don't compare to the sea trips.

***

Any questions please ask me as I am taking my first trip to Hawaii this December 2021 on a cruise with Princess and i wouldn't have it any other way.

 

 

Wow,  incredible (in the real meaning of the word, not credible) praise for cruising Hawaii, from someone who has never been on a Hawaiian cruise!  Have you ever been on a land-based trip to Hawaii?  Have you ever been to Hawaii?

 

Above, I only mentioned the preponderance of sea days as a possibly downside for some cruisers.  But in light of MarinerBoy's exultation, here are some other factors to think about:  Short port visits, perhaps not enough time to slow down and experience the various ports?  Not much evening time to enjoy evening and night activities?  Having to rush back to the ship to be on board for the ship's departure?  Worrying about a possibly late arrival in port when you have a private excursion booked that has a 9:00 a.m. meeting time?  

 

Both sea visits and land visits can be wonderful, but I will not accept "it's the best way" from some wannabe who hasn't even taken his first cruise to the Islands and who is hyped up on some salesman's spiel.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to assume that it is a joke!  But you know what they say about assume.

 

As frequent cruisers as well as visitors to Hawaii for over 40 years we have never cruised in Hawaii while spending many years cumulative on several of the islands.  We always feel sorry for the cruisers who is the true essence of the islands along with the amazing food that we are So missing this year.  It might be ok for the first time to get a taste of the islands,  but it is only a tiny taste.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Mike45LC said:

 

Wow,  incredible (in the real meaning of the word, not credible) praise for cruising Hawaii, from someone who has never been on a Hawaiian cruise!  Have you ever been on a land-based trip to Hawaii?  Have you ever been to Hawaii?

 

Above, I only mentioned the preponderance of sea days as a possibly downside for some cruisers.  But in light of MarinerBoy's exultation, here are some other factors to think about:  Short port visits, perhaps not enough time to slow down and experience the various ports?  Not much evening time to enjoy evening and night activities?  Having to rush back to the ship to be on board for the ship's departure?  Worrying about a possibly late arrival in port when you have a private excursion booked that has a 9:00 a.m. meeting time?  

 

Both sea visits and land visits can be wonderful, but I will not accept "it's the best way" from some wannabe who hasn't even taken his first cruise to the Islands and who is hyped up on some salesman's spiel.  

I’ve cruised to Hawaii several times & the arrival time has never been a problem. Most of my tours have been independent tours so a late arrival would not have been a problem unless there was a big delay. Luckily that has not been a problem on any of my cruises. 
 

I have done both a land tour/trip & with a cruise trip & enjoyed both. 
 

Tom😀

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll throw in my 2 cents.

 

Background:

Cruised on the Matsonia (dated)

Grew up in Honolulu / now part time resident

Did the NCL cruise around the island (will always caution against doing this)

Visited all 6 island multiple times

Purchased an 8 day "fly to as many islands as you can" pass once

Have cruised many times on Princess to the islands

 

My recommendation to any first timer is to take a cruise from California to the islands.  4 islands is better than one.  Yes, you are restricted to some short port times.  Yes, you only get a taste of each island (missing Moloka'i and Lana'i).  But you will learn an enormous amount of history and culture as you traverse the Pacific Ocean.  

 

Cost of a land vacation can be as inexpensive or expensive as you can afford.  But it will be more costly than a trip by ship.  Comparing 15 days on the water to on land (not including excursions by either).

 

By land:  Air Fare + Hotel accommodations + meals + Tips + transportation (you are very limited if you do Uber/da bus).  Add interisland airfare and you just increased your land vacation.

 

Take a cruise.  You can then decide which island you would like to spend more time on.  My favorite is Hawaii Island (specifically Hilo).  

 

These are just my observations.  Hawaii is a very expensive place to live and play.  I wouldn't trade it for the world.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...