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Hawaiian Cruise

rosebud5

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The wife and I are taking a 14 day cruise that departs from LA and sails to Hawaii. We get about 5 days cruising around the islands before we return.

This is the question.

We both want to see things on all the islands we visit, but I think we can get a better deal cost wise visiting island landmarks, e.g., Pearl Harbor, by ourselves and a cab, rather than taking boat excursions.

What do you think?
 

MommaBear

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Not only do I think it very doable but I think you may get a quieter experience. We have done that and either taken cabs or rented cars. There are times that a tour is nice, especially if the tour guide is knowledgeable and informative.
 

Passepartout

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You can absolutely beat the cruise line's prices on land excursions. If you haven't done so, go to www.cruisecritic.com It's to cruises what TUG is to TS. Join the 'roll calls'. Look up your exact ship/sailing date. You'll be linked up with people who will be on your cruise. Meet n' greet parties aboard, shore excursions and more.

Absolutely the best way to improve your cruise experience.

Jim
 

Kauai Kid

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We saw cruise folks waiting at ship terminal for free land transportation.

A couple blocks further and there are two shuttles: One to K Mart and the other to Hilo Hatties.

You could tell all the friends at home about your exciting tours of K Mart and Hilo Hatties while cruising the islands and it wouldn't cost a cent.:hysterical:


Sterling
 

Egret1986

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I would love to see a report on your trip when you return

The wife and I are taking a 14 day cruise that departs from LA and sails to Hawaii. We get about 5 days cruising around the islands before we return.

This is the question.

We both want to see things on all the islands we visit, but I think we can get a better deal cost wise visiting island landmarks, e.g., Pearl Harbor, by ourselves and a cab, rather than taking boat excursions.

What do you think?

I live in Virginia also. We have our 30th anniversary coming up at the end of next year and would love to go to Hawaii for a couple of weeks. The main problem has been those long, long flights. Cruising might just be a better option for us. We're planning on staying a couple of days in California prior, visiting my brother.

I've gotten ready to pull the trigger on a couple of exchanges for early 2013, but 1) I keep going back and forth on the two islands to visit; Big Island/Kauai, Kauai/Maui, Maui/Big Island. 2) I keep thinking about those long, long flights from the East Coast and start considering which two islands to visit in the Caribbean instead.

A cruise visiting the islands may be the answer for us for a first trip there. :ponder:

Have fun! :cheer:
 

vacationtime1

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You can absolutely beat the cruise line's prices on land excursions. If you haven't done so, go to www.cruisecritic.com It's to cruises what TUG is to TS. Join the 'roll calls'. Look up your exact ship/sailing date. You'll be linked up with people who will be on your cruise. Meet n' greet parties aboard, shore excursions and more.

Absolutely the best way to improve your cruise experience.

Jim

+1

Every sentence of this post is excellent advice.
 

Egret1986

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Good word of advice!

Just keep in mind that if you're out on your own, they won't hold the ship for you if you don't make it back to the ship on time.

Many, many years ago we were on a cruise to Bermuda. In Bermuda only about five hours. We ended up doing and seeing very little when we "struck out" on our own. Our plan looked good on paper. :wall:

It is nice to venture out on one's own, but when port time is limited, sometimes an organized tour is better.
 

carl2591

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Many, many years ago we were on a cruise to Bermuda. In Bermuda only about five hours. We ended up doing and seeing very little when we "struck out" on our own. Our plan looked good on paper. :wall:

It is nice to venture out on one's own, but when port time is limited, sometimes an organized tour is better.

especially true if you do not know the "lay of the land" .. having been to Nassau several time we know how to get around on buses and where to get taxi.
 

cissy

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I've taken the Hawaii cruise, and have some thoughts as to a cruise versus long flights. Unless you want to spend about 9 of the 14 days out at sea, I think you may be disappointed. That doesn't leave a lot of time for actually experiencing all that the islands have to offer.
 

daventrina

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I've taken the Hawaii cruise, and have some thoughts as to a cruise versus long flights. Unless you want to spend about 9 of the 14 days out at sea, I think you may be disappointed. That doesn't leave a lot of time for actually experiencing all that the islands have to offer.
When on a cruise ... the number one destination/activity is ALWAYS the ship... :ponder: Sometimes, you get to get off and do some other things for a little while ... but cruise life revolves around the ship. You'll get a small peek into the islands... but won't have time to see or experience much. Ont the other hand we have had 10 sea days out of 14 and were expecting to do some reading and relax... Never really had time. Soooo much to do on ship (for us anyway):eek: Will you have ... Go in with these expectations ... probably...
 
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Passepartout

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I kinda wish we could start a sticky about TUGgers who cruise rather than the existing Cruising TUGgers one that deals with specific cruises That said, there is www.cruisecritic.com which is the TUG of cruisers.

Anyway, we have come to the conclusion that cruising is a lousy way to SEE anyplace. You get 6-8 hours in a port- usually somewhat industrial and either pay the cruise line through the nose to bus you around and catch a glimpse of the 'famous' sights of a locale. Or go it alone, catching a taxi at the pier to a bus or train, going with the local rabble to experience some attraction- with knowledge that if you get delayed, you get the singular view of seeing the rear of your ship sailing away. Then you find out more than you want to know about last minute flights or train rides.

If you want to cruise, then cruise. Relish the boat ride. Enjoy the 'dress-up' Have room service daily. Get a spa treatment. Dance the night away. Play trivia. Paint. Get your portrait photo's taken- you'll never look better. Eat the foods you can't get at home. Lay in the sun. Read. On port days, pick an activity, do it and get back to the ship a couple of hours before departure, but don't be of any delusion that you will experience any semblance of the culture of the place you are visiting. Think about it- in a town of 10,000 people, 2- 3,000 passenger cruise ships disgorge their wallets on legs, and the locals go about separating those wallets from their cash. And this happens in most ports every day.

We love cruising- took 4 last year, but it's just one way to vacation- I hesitate to call it 'travel'. Timeshare is another, as is RVing, and camping. We enjoy all of them, and try not to confuse one with the other.

Jim
 

artringwald

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Anyway, we have come to the conclusion that cruising is a lousy way to SEE anyplace.
I wouldn't recommend a cruise as a way to see Hawaii, but it was a great way to see Alaska. The excursions we took were with relatively small groups, and the glaciers were awesome.
 

Egret1986

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You summed up things very well, as you usually do; Thanks!

I kinda wish we could start a sticky about TUGgers who cruise rather than the existing Cruising TUGgers one that deals with specific cruises That said, there is www.cruisecritic.com which is the TUG of cruisers.

Anyway, we have come to the conclusion that cruising is a lousy way to SEE anyplace. You get 6-8 hours in a port- usually somewhat industrial and either pay the cruise line through the nose to bus you around and catch a glimpse of the 'famous' sights of a locale. Or go it alone, catching a taxi at the pier to a bus or train, going with the local rabble to experience some attraction- with knowledge that if you get delayed, you get the singular view of seeing the rear of your ship sailing away. Then you find out more than you want to know about last minute flights or train rides.

If you want to cruise, then cruise. Relish the boat ride. Enjoy the 'dress-up' Have room service daily. Get a spa treatment. Dance the night away. Play trivia. Paint. Get your portrait photo's taken- you'll never look better. Eat the foods you can't get at home. Lay in the sun. Read. On port days, pick an activity, do it and get back to the ship a couple of hours before departure, but don't be of any delusion that you will experience any semblance of the culture of the place you are visiting. Think about it- in a town of 10,000 people, 2- 3,000 passenger cruise ships disgorge their wallets on legs, and the locals go about separating those wallets from their cash. And this happens in most ports every day.

We love cruising- took 4 last year, but it's just one way to vacation- I hesitate to call it 'travel'. Timeshare is another, as is RVing, and camping. We enjoy all of them, and try not to confuse one with the other.

Jim

Cruising on big ships really isn't our thing any more. After posting about our short time in Bermuda, I re-considered the cruise to Hawaii. We would definitely want to spend more than a few hours amongst a herd trying to take in the culture and sights of Hawaii.

We just need to bite the bullet and decide which two islands and come up with the best plan for enduring the long flights.
 

Passepartout

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I wouldn't recommend a cruise as a way to see Hawaii, but it was a great way to see Alaska. The excursions we took were with relatively small groups, and the glaciers were awesome.

You have to work at it. We did the Alaska route last August. With Ketchikan (Pop 7,510) and Juneau (Pop. 31,700) each had a daily cruise ship population of about 12,000 (5 ships) descend on them. Most of those didn't leave the dock area and the cruise line owned jewelry shops, T-shirt and tchotchke stores and a few watering holes.

Cruisers who stop at Lahaina will have a similar experience at Hilo Hatties and similar.

Jim
 

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I hope you are cruising Princess Cruises. They have a pretty good Hawaiian feel to them, with several different lei making classes (ribbon leis, and later fresh flower leis) and ukelele classes among other things. If you take the ukelele classes, you'll be playing before the series of 8 classes is over.

Jim is correct that you should go to cruisecritic.com for information. There is general information in the section about your cruiseline, and specific info in the roll call for your cruise. You may be able to find special tours you can share with others there.

If your tour doesn't last the whole day, don't discount going to Walmart after the tour. There is a shuttle bus at every port. I know it sounds funny, but they have a great selection of tchockies at reasonable prices. Calendars were 77 cents and up, they had coffee cups from $2.99 up and tons of magnets and bumper stickers. They sold decorated Haines T-shirts for $9.99. They also had a whole aisle of macadamia nuts and other island foods, and the prices for the 8 ounce bags of nuts were $2. less than the next lowest price I've seen.

Again, relating to the cruise...if it is Princess, don't miss the Pub Lunch. They have really good shrimp and chips, fish and chips with mushy peas (you can get half and half of these) and delicious Scotch eggs.

Hope this helps.

Fern

The wife and I are taking a 14 day cruise that departs from LA and sails to Hawaii. We get about 5 days cruising around the islands before we return.

This is the question.

We both want to see things on all the islands we visit, but I think we can get a better deal cost wise visiting island landmarks, e.g., Pearl Harbor, by ourselves and a cab, rather than taking boat excursions.

What do you think?
 

rosebud5

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Thank you for your comments. If you read the original thread, I wasn't asking whether you thought a cruise to Hawaii (or any cruise for that matter) was good or bad.

I was asking about excursions.

But I do appreciate your 2 cents and like everything else, everyone has an opinion and they seem to vary all over the place. I think I got the information I was looking for (from the first couple threads).
 

Art

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Thank you for your comments. If you read the original thread, I wasn't asking whether you thought a cruise to Hawaii (or any cruise for that matter) was good or bad.

I was asking about excursions.

But I do appreciate your 2 cents and like everything else, everyone has an opinion and they seem to vary all over the place. I think I got the information I was looking for (from the first couple threads).

I am sort of in the middle on this. Doing shore excursions on ones own works well if one is familiar with an area and knows what one wants to see.

For example, when we did our 14 day circle cruise to Hawaii, we had already spent timeshare weeks in Kailua-Kona and Kauai so we knew what we wanted to do and how feasible it was to do on our own.

I think the one ship excursion worth doing is the Arizona. A big part of the reason is that this is a site that seems to get very busy, very early in the day. In this case, getting off the ship for the 8 AM excursion is going to be more efficient that getting off at 8 AM, finding the car rental agency, doing the paperwork, and then driving through some serious traffic. That ship based excursion is also likely to include a stop at PunchBowl. The taxi option to do this requires 3 rides, one to the Arizona, one to Punchbowl and one back to the ship.

The other thing to keep in mind about exploring Hawaii is that the speed limit is 35 mph, whether you're driving, a cabby is driving or a tour bus operator is driving. Yes, there are stretches where the speed limit is higher, but not enough to make a difference. This puts a damper on how much one can see during 8 or 9 hours in port.

Art
 

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Outside of Honolulu, the other islands are VERY rural, and not conducive to sightseeing via cab. However, you can make your own tour reservations with regular tour companies.
 
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daventrina

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The other thing to keep in mind about exploring Hawaii is that the speed limit is 35 mph, whether you're driving, a cabby is driving or a tour bus operator is driving.
Art
The speed limit being 35 and traffic actually moving 35 can be two different things. Getting into Lahaina between 3 and 5 PM traffic will probably be moving slower than 35 over the Pali and into town....
... the other islands are VERY rural, and not conducive to sightseeing via cab. ...
You could make it work ... but it would be really expensive:eek:
Wonder if you could get enterprise to bring you a car?
They advertise that they will ... (in many cases...)
 

tompalm

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The best way to see the islands is to rent a car in each port. Make sure you sign up with a Avis Wizard program, Budget Fast Break, etc... So that the car is ready for you and you don't have to stand in line. Lots of people renting cars and the lines are long. You will be able to see more and save a lot of money.

Kona is the only port that you do not need a car to see things. Maybe sign up for a dive boat out of Kona, or just walk the waterfront.

Honolulu: depends what you want to do. See the island, or just walk around Waikiki. If it is Waikiki, take a cab. Otherwise, rent a car, go to Arizona Memorial and drive around the east side of the island.

Hilo: go to Volcano's NP, and if time permits, Rainbow Falls in Hilo.
 

tompalm

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Concur with the above post. That is a lot of time at sea. If traveling during the winter, the swells can get big and it could be a rough trip. During the summer, it should be a lot better, but still a lot of time at sea. I would recommend flying to Hawaii and cruise around the islands.
 

Kauai Kid

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I concur> If you are there to see the islands, forget cruising. Like I said before, I saw folks waiting at the bottom of the ship to be picked up by Hilo Hattie and K mart shuttles.

Airplanes don't hold 4000+ passengers and crash into reefs like ships.:eek:

Prayers for those killed in the Italian ship disaster.

Sterling
 

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On Kauai the cruise ships dock next to the Marriott Kauai Beach Club. Hertz has a car rental office at the Marriott. Also, the airport is just a few miles away and the Marriott has a free shuttle bus. I don't know if you have to show proof that you are a guest. Maybe worth looking into. I think a rental car would be the best option on all the islands except Oahu.
 
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