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Has anyone cruised to Hawaii?

Steve

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Has anyone here taken a cruise to Hawaii from LA or San Diego and back? If so, did you enjoy it? I am wondering if this would be fun, or if I would get bored with 5 days sailing each way and only 8 days traveling around the islands. I'd appreciate your insights if you have taken one of these cruises.

Thanks,

Steve
 

newportbeach

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Critical is to confirm the best season to avoid a rough crossing. My friends have done it and found it was great to read a book. Personally, the Mediterrean from
Barcelona to Rome or Venice is much more exotic and interesting. Why do
Maui for a day or two, which it deserves more. That said I have cruised extensively and love it.
 

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Agree with the above that the winter time came bring large swells and the fall might have tropical storms. The best time is April or May. Summer time when school is out will be busy, but the weather should be ok. It is a long transit to Hawaii and if you haven't spent three or four days at sea before without a stop, this is not the time to test it out because you have to do it twice. The cruise around the islands should be a lot of fun. Expect the ride going back to CA to be a little rougher because you are going against the swell. The best time to go when there is no swell, right before summer should be fine.

We spent four days without a port call during a New Zealand cruise and liked it. But it is not for everyone.
 

DaveNV

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I spent 11 of my 20 years in the US Navy stationed aboard ships. I've made transoceanic passages many times. The longest distance was from San Diego across the Pacific Ocean, through the Straits of Malacca by Singapore into the Indian Ocean, and across that to the Persian Gulf. We did that with only two stops - Honolulu and Subic Bay, Philippines. I think the longest period of time without stopping was 17 days at sea. You can really get your sea legs on a cruise like that.

I realize military life is much different than civilian life, but I can say that things aboard ship can get to be a bit dull on the open ocean, if you're not good at entertaining yourself. You're a bit of a captive audience, and if you need to be occupied every minute, you'll find it a bit tedious.

That said, I'd jump on a chance to cruise to, around, and back from Hawaii. I just wish those cruises spent more time seeing thing IN the islands. The voyage to get there is pretty uneventful.

Dave
 

Passepartout

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Contrary to what Dave says, on a cruise, there is so much activity onboard that you simply can't fit in everything. Breakfast in your cabin, gym- or spa time, maybe a lecture, leisurely lunch, a movie or exercise class or trivia contest, read, or siesta, lecture on digital photography, or a painting class, dinner in a great restaurant, followed by a Las Vegas inspired show and music/dancing until late.

It ain't military, Dave. I've cruised trans-Atlantic twice, and a trans-Pacific, and believe me, boredom is not an issue.

That said, I think cruises are a lousy way to visit port stops. They are NEVER long enough, and 3,000 of your fellow cruisers in port skews the economy. Less to see, and higher prices.

Consequently, I save Hawaii for timeshare stays- at least 2 weeks without breaking it up into more than one island.

Jim
 

DaveNV

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It ain't military, Dave. I've cruised trans-Atlantic twice, and a trans-Pacific, and believe me, boredom is not an issue.

Jim

I feel like Private Benjamin: "I think I joined the wrong Army..." ;)

I think you've touched on why I don't care for hanging around resorts very much. I'm too active, and like to be out seeing and doing. Finding ways aboard ship to pass the time till the next meal seems like it would frustrate me. I get really itchy feet just sitting around.

But having said that, I'm looking into a cruise or two in 2017 - Alaska, and maybe the Caribbean. The trips I'm seeing only have a day or so at sea, and have frequent port calls. Should be interesting to see how I do. :)

Dave
 

easyrider

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We cruised the Islands on Norwegian's Pride of America. It was fun but it was hard to enjoy one of the night time cruisings because of rough ocean conditions.

As far as crossing from LA, it would be fun, imo, as long as the ocean cooperates a bit.

Bill
 

MuranoJo

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DH's cousin took a cruise to HI from CA and did not care for it.
Unfortunately, this was their first trip to HI and it was too many days at sea for them and, as can be expected, too little time at each of the ports.

As far as cruises go, one to HI would be low on my list.
 

tompalm

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My days at sea usually start out with an hour at the gym, followed by a long breakfast talking with other passengers and then followed with a walk around the ship. During the day there are lectures about the next port call, movies and some other forms of basic entertainment. Usually an afternoon nap is in order before dinner and the show that night. It is pretty relaxing and the day can be filled if you enjoy meeting and talking with new people. However, 3-4 days of this in a row can get old. You need to be ready to relax and do nothing for a while, or fill some dead time by reading a book. It is not for everyone and I might have a difficult time doing the round trip from California. Going over would be fine, but doing it twice or going home might get old.
 
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Jason245

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Contrary to what Dave says, on a cruise, there is so much activity onboard that you simply can't fit in everything. Breakfast in your cabin, gym- or spa time, maybe a lecture, leisurely lunch, a movie or exercise class or trivia contest, read, or siesta, lecture on digital photography, or a painting class, dinner in a great restaurant, followed by a Las Vegas inspired show and music/dancing until late.

It ain't military, Dave. I've cruised trans-Atlantic twice, and a trans-Pacific, and believe me, boredom is not an issue.

That said, I think cruises are a lousy way to visit port stops. They are NEVER long enough, and 3,000 of your fellow cruisers in port skews the economy. Less to see, and higher prices.

Consequently, I save Hawaii for timeshare stays- at least 2 weeks without breaking it up into more than one island.

Jim
Actually, the best days onboard a cruise ship are days in port. I have been on several carribean cruises on the big royal Caribbean ships, and when they dock, I feel like I have the whole ship to myself and my family, no lines, no trouble with pool chairs, and Noone trying to sell my family useless crap with made up sob stories.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
 

presley

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Has anyone here taken a cruise to Hawaii from LA or San Diego and back?

I have't done it, but have looked into it several times. I did have one cruise where I had 3 sea days in a row and was bored and antsy. In my case, it was going to Alaska and it was very cold and rainy on deck. I was indoors most of the time. If I could have been outside, I may have been more relaxed/kept busier.

There is one cruise line, Norweigen, that has a round trip Hawaii cruise that starts and stops on Oahu. There are mixed reviews on that. The itinerary sounds good, but the ship and the food don't have that great of reviews. Those things may not matter if you are off the ship all day, though.

There are also some cruises that will start on the west coast and end in Hawaii. That would give you less sea days since you would fly back. They have to port in a foreign country, so that can add a stop to Ensanada or the cruise may even leave from Canada.
 

Kauai Kid

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Cruise Ship debarking in Kauai

We drove by Na Wiliwili Harbor on Kauai just as a cruise ship was unloading.

There to greet the passengers were two free shuttle buses one from Hilo Hatties and the other from K Mart where you can buy Hawaiian items--made in China. One of the most beautiful places in the world. Enjoy your six hrs on the island.

On our inland passage to Alaska we found the tours to be far to short and expensive with the warning "if you are not aboard at 1730 hrs we will leave you"

Sterling
 

Passepartout

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One other point not previously mentioned, cruises to/from Hawaii HAVE TO stop in a port outside the US due to maritime law. So ALL of these cruises stop or originate/terminate in either Vancouver/Victoria BC if departing from Seattle area, or Ensenada (Tijuana) Mexico (usually) if departing/arriving L.A/San Diego. This necessitates ALL passengers holding valid passports.

If they didn't stop in a port out of the US, the cruise line would be susceptible to wage/hour rules for the crew who usually work months straight without overtime or a day off. This is a BIG deal. This is the sole reason that the cruise industry bases their ships in Liberia, Malta, and other foreign countries when we all know that they are American corporations.

Jim
 

dsmrp

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One other point not previously mentioned, cruises to/from Hawaii HAVE TO stop in a port outside the US due to maritime law. So ALL of these cruises stop or originate/terminate in either Vancouver/Victoria BC if departing from Seattle area, or Ensenada (Tijuana) Mexico (usually) if departing/arriving L.A/San Diego. This necessitates ALL passengers holding valid passports.

If they didn't stop in a port out of the US, the cruise line would be susceptible to wage/hour rules for the crew who usually work months straight without overtime or a day off. This is a BIG deal. This is the sole reason that the cruise industry bases their ships in Liberia, Malta, and other foreign countries when we all know that they are American corporations.

Jim

Yes, the law is commonly known as the Jones Act, and it's nearly 100 years old. It was designed to protect US interests from foreign companies and ships. Still relevant...and interestingly applies to airlines as well as ships (this is from what I scanned briefly online).

Norwegian, NCL, can cruise around Hawaii without making a foreign port stop because they have a (mostly) US crew, and I believe the Pride of America ship is registered in US. Previously before the PoA ship was put into service, Norwegian sailed all the way down to Fanning Island, which added at least 3 days to itinerary, so about 10+ days total.

I've been on the 7 day Hawaii cruise a couple of times (family in Hawaii likes to cruise but can't travel far). Every day is a port stop; no full days at sea. It's a bit tiring. We personally like a sea day or two between ports. To see the island stops, you have to rent a car, so did 5 car rentals in 7 days!
The one thing I liked about the cruise was the Na Pali coast cruising. Just gorgeous! But you can see coast from a Kauai charter boat too.

Around Hawaii, the waters were fairly calm. I would expect it to be much rougher and rolling between hawaii and west coast.
 
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MichaelColey

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That said, I think cruises are a lousy way to visit port stops. They are NEVER long enough, and 3,000 of your fellow cruisers in port skews the economy. Less to see, and higher prices.

Consequently, I save Hawaii for timeshare stays- at least 2 weeks without breaking it up into more than one island.
Totally agree.

We've done a few cruises and really enjoyed them, but the ports/excursions aren't our favorite part for the exact reasons Jim mentioned.

We would rather spend a lot more time, and we usually tour much more frugally than what you can find with cruise excursions.

While a Hawaii cruise sounds tempting, I just can't imagine spending so little time actually IN Hawaii.
 

pedro47

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We have not cruise from California to Hawaii. But we have done two (2) Trans- Atlantic cruise on Celebrity's Cruise Line from Fort Lauderdale to Rome. We loved the sea days and you are doing something every day and night. Art auctions, lectures, formal dinners, playing trivia games, dancing, shopping, casino gambling etc.

I would check the Cruise Critics website for some good information and advice. The website is free.
 
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Southerngirl528

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I have done 2 Hawaii cruises, one just a few weeks ago which was a 10 day one way cruise on the Disney Wonder. This cruise began in Honolulu and ended in Vancouver with 5 sea days. The first cruise I took to Hawaii was 3 years ago in October on the Disney Wonder as well, and it was a 14 nite round trip from LA. The r/t cruise had 4 sea days each way. LOVE, LOVE, LOVED both cruises!!!

Sea days are some of my favorite days on a cruise. And trust me, there is far more going on activity-wise than one could ever do. I do not get motion sickness so though there were a couple of rough sea days on the October cruise, I had no problems whatsoever. The cruise I just did in September with my DD, who DOES get motion sickness, had one evening that was tough for her. She did take Bonine before and daily during the cruise. We both truly loved the experience.

If you have never been to Hawaii or have spent little time there, my personal recommendation would be to try and find a one way cruise so that you can spend more time in Hawaii at one end or the other of your cruise. For me the down side to a R/T Hawaii cruise is the very short time on each island. I adore Hawaii and we spend a month there at least every other year.

I think the sea days are so, so relaxing. We had spa services, slept in if we felt like it and ordered room service for breakfast. We lounged on our verandah, went to shows, cultural classes, booked meals in the adult restaurants, went to some fun wine and mixology classes, and so on. SO much to do!! :banana:
 

MichaelColey

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If you have never been to Hawaii or have spent little time there, my personal recommendation would be to try and find a one way cruise so that you can spend more time in Hawaii at one end or the other of your cruise.
Now that's a good tip! (Now I'll have to look and see when the repositioning cruises to Hawaii are.)
 

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We have done a 15-day Holland America cruise round-trip from San Diego to Hawaii and loved it. We also go to Hawaii every year and stay in timeshares. We endorse the cruise so much that we may do it again in the next 2-3 years. It is a fabulous trip, even for Hawaii veterans like us. For a first-time Hawaii visitor, I can't think of a better way to see Hawaii unless you have a lot of time for a long trip. The one-way cruise idea is also a good one if you want to go in September, which is when almost all the one-way cruises take place, with ships moving from Alaska to Asia or Australia for the winter.
 
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Chrispee

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We've done the one way cruise from Vancouver a couple of times, and enjoyed it. I agree with others who say that cruising back as well might be too many sea days for me. I found it to be a great way to unwind from the burnout of work on the way there, and you get a little taste of each island. We do our own thing rather than the slow/expensive cruise ship excursions, and it's very easy to just rent a car for the day and explore whatever island you're on.
 

Steve

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Thank you to everyone for your comments. Opinions seem to vary quite a bit on this topic, and I appreciate reading all of them. I'll give this some more thought.

Steve
 
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