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Getting the most out of the Hawaii boards


Host Michell
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Aloha! :) So you are thinking about, or have booked, a Hawaiian cruise? Congratulations, and welcome to the Hawaii boards! This is a very active community, full of the aloha spirit, and you can find advice on just about any subject from frequent Hawaii visitors, Hawaii residents, and previous Hawaii cruisers. But there is a lot of information here, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. I decided to put down some of the best tips I've found for making the most of these boards, and helping you get the information you need asap.

 

Point 1) There are MANY frequently asked questions here (luaus, rental cars, what cruise line, which excursion, etc.). While there is no stickied "FAQ" post here, you can often find the answers/opinions you seek just by using the CC "search" feature. You have to join Cruise Critic (which is free) to use it. Once you have, you can click on the "search this forum" button. Then select "advanced search" and input the key words you want to search for, along with limiting your search to a particular time frame.

 

The reason for this is advice is that if you begin a new thread asking a question which has frequently been discussed (and in some cases those new threads appear while a thread on the exact same subject is still on the first page) you might not get the quality and number of replies you desire. People who post here frequently sometimes just think "hey, I just replied to this same question, with photos and links to websites, five days ago." Use the search feature -- it's there for your benefit!

 

Similarly, don't be "offended" if a reply links you to another thread -- some of us do this pretty often (having taken the time to do a search for you in order to do so) so that hopefully you can find useful information in the linked thread. It's not because we're lazy or don't want to help you! :)

 

Point 2) Who are you?!! No, don't give your personal information -- always a bad idea on the web in any circumstances! BUT to get the most helpful information in reply to your post, give at least the basics: a) How many in party? b) Ages? c) Interests (not everyone thinks getting up at 2:30 AM for a sunrise trip to Haleakala sounds awesome, nor does everyone think a "garden tour" of a particular island will be the trip highlight); d) Budget; e) "Risk" tolerance -- the truly risk averse will book all ship excursions and be happy, while those with a bit more adventuresome natures will understand why "rent a CAR!" is the most frequently offered advice here; f) (nod to Beachchick here) -- How much activity is desired? If you want to gogogogogogo, and collapse on the plane and for three days back home, tell the experts! If you want to build in R&R, navel contemplation, etc -- say so. Nobody will judge you, but the advice given will often be very different depending on your party and personal preferences.

 

Point 3) The more specific your question, the better the odds of a timely, informative, useful answer -- and making your question clear in your post title ("Hawaii?" isn't very enlightening) increases your odds.

 

Point 4) In addition to reading this board, read the member reviews on CC on your ship, and others visiting Hawaii. Not all reviewers use this ports of call board, and I've found some of my best tips from the reviews.

 

Point 5) If all this seems too much like "work," just be aware that the regulars here (or on any message board with a topic resonating with the posters' areas of interest) have a ton of personalized experience that can be very enlightening -- or can simply overwhelm you. If you aren't a vacation planner (by nature if not by profession), don't let it throw you. I am positive that if you just book a Hawaii cruise at a price point comfortable to you, then book ship excursions (as the easiest way to go) you CAN still have a fabulous vacation, for YOU.

 

I hope this is helpful. :) Despite years of posting and board monitoring experience, when I first began researching our Hawaii cruise I found the amount of information available here and elsewhere on the web nearly overwhelming. By taking it in small bites and using some of the tips I mention above, I was able to plan a trip we will remember forever. Since returning, as I visit here often to see if I can be of help to future travelers, I thought posting some of these tips would be helpful (especially to lurkers who don't want to post, but may be looking for good information).

Edited by Host Kat >^..^<
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  • 5 months later...

I realize that the Advanced Search feature of which I'm such a big fan has been down for a bit now. I wanted to link the Cruise Critic advice on how to search while it's down -- http://boards.cruisecritic.com/announcement.php?f=62&a=137 -- and add that I've found "search this forum" to be imperfect, but that it does work reasonably well to find on-point information when I'm looking for threads, etc.

 

So for now, search this forum instead of advanced search!

 

Aloha!

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