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cruise versus flying island to island

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smn
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cruise versus flying island to island

My husband and I are planning to visit Hawaii in January for the first time. We can't decide between taking one of the NCL cruises or island hopping via plane. We are seniors 58 & 65. Any suggestions as far as advantages of one over the other is appreciated.

Los Angeles...
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1. Re: cruise versus flying island to island

I've taken the NCL cruise 5 times and it has pluses and minuses. On the plus side you have room, food, entertainment and transportation all in one. On the minus side you only have one day in port (usually) and have to make sure you don't miss the ship when it sails, which could really add to the stress and expense. I always rent a car on each island in advance. And, although I have always been happy with the ship since I'm not cooking and cleaning, I must tell you not to expect a 6 star experience. It's all good and worth the money and I realize I'm not spending $300+ per day per person.

The plus side to air travel is not being on a schedule once you get your car. You can stop when and where you want. On the minus side you have to deal with the hassle of the airport which means a lot of wasted time. You have to find your own hotel and restaurants etc.

It used to be I could get a 10-11 day NCL cruise for $50/day per person for an inside cabin. However, those days seem to be over. NCL has taken one ship out of service ("Wind") and will send another ship (Pride of Hawai`i) to another venue. For me it was an incredibly cheap trip because I am in Honolulu and therefore no flying.

If I were you I would investigate the cruise deals on "Vacationstogo.com" and see if there are any deals from the west coast traveling roundtrip to Hawai`i. As long as you don't mind lots of days at sea. Or a one way cruise to or from Hawai`i and fly in the other direction. I saw a repositioning cruise from Honolulu to Vancouver listed, but forget the day. Check with Vacationstogo.com .

I always take an inside cabin to save money for more trips. On all my cruises I find I spend most of my time in the public rooms on board and not in my room. Even with the pressure of the ego trip of saying you had a balcony room. Take a cabin midships, it's more calm and you won't get engine vibration.

Grayson, Georgia
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2. Re: cruise versus flying island to island

All great points from the previous poster. The cruise doesn't require new hotel or rental car check-ins, etc.

How long a trip do you plan to take? If you only have one week and want to see all four major islands, a cruise is the only way. However, the longer your trip, the easier it would be for you to island-hop by air. A rule of thumb I tend to see on TA forums is to allow a minimum of five days per island (most say Oahu can be experienced in fewer days). I don't follow this guideline, but it's probably a good starting point to estimate how much time you'll want to take on each island.

Washington DC...
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3. Re: cruise versus flying island to island

Once choice is do you want to see 4 islands...our first trip we did 4 islands with 3-4 nights on each, flying. That was in 1990 and the interisland transfer probably took an hour or so less then because you did not have to get to the sirport so early. Even so, it was about 3-4 hours each hop to turn in one car, check in, fly 30 minuted, get luggage and next car...now probably 4-5 hours at least per hop.

The other choice is how much of an island do you want to see, to feel it was worth it... on a cruise you have maybe 8 hours and can onnly drive to part of an island or maybe take one big excursion. SO it's a real sampler....like if you went to New York City and just saw the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, or if you went to LA and just saw Universal Studio or went to Washington, DC and just saw the White House and one museum...

It depends on how much total time you have for the trip, how you value the not packing/unpacking and no transfer hassles versus just sampling a place...plus, how much fun the crusing itself is for you.

A compromise might be doing two islands--fly into one, do one hop, fly home from the other.

Los Angeles...
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4. Re: cruise versus flying island to island

Was just looking for a cruise and found the one I mentioned to you earlier. Honolulu to Vancouver ( one way) on April 27, 2007 on Vacations To Go.....$749.+tax (but includes port charges).....Deal number 23824.......Looks great if you can go that soon. I would go myself if I wasn't already booked on something esle.

Chicagoland
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5. Re: cruise versus flying island to island

A nice introduction to the islands is to spend 3-4 nights on Oahu, seeing Honolulu's attractions and driving 'round the island one day. Next go to a second island for a week.

If you want to see four islands, the cruise is your best bet, both financially and for ease of travel. You don't need to take the ship's excursions on most islands; car rentals are better.

One problem you will avoid if you cruise is that many of the nicest lodgings on most islands are already booked for January. Snowbirds tend to book a year in advance.

Pennsylvania
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6. Re: cruise versus flying island to island

I don't know if this will help at all but if you want to do island hopping without the airport frustrations then consider the hawaii's ferry which will be in operation this June, 2007. You can probably get the feeling of the cruise ship on this ferry. Big island's ferry will not be in service until 2009 i think. You can check it out on www.hawaiisuperferry.com

Enjoy your vacation

toledo,OH
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7. Re: cruise versus flying island to island

Congrats on your trip to Hawaii, or thinking about going. Just wanted to make you aware that Dec, Jan and Feb are the rainy season in Hawaii. Just thought I'd throw in that little tid bit of info

Chicagoland
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8. Re: cruise versus flying island to island

Rain may be a problem on the northernmost parts of Kauai, Oahu and even a bit on Maui. The southern parts are usually fine. We are in South Maui every February. Have even needed the A/C some days.

St. Catharines...
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9. Re: cruise versus flying island to island

We are flying into Honolulu and taking a 1 week NCL cruise on Pride of Aloha in May. It departs and returns to Honolulu, stops 2 days each on Kaui, Hawaii and Maui. We booked rental cars(convertable) for 1 day on each island and will be sponteous on the days in between. The rental cars were very reasonable, much more so than the costs of excursions. We don't have to worry about finding accomodation on ea. island or meals, just enjoy the views. This is our 1st trip to Hawaii and celebrating our 30th anniversary. We know we won't see everything, but it will provide us with some insight as to where we might want to return to again. Following the cruise we are staying 5 days in Waikiki, also renting a car so that we may tour the island. Hope this helps. I'll give a report when we return.

Chicagoland
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10. Re: cruise versus flying island to island

babyjane -- Look forward to your report. While you are out seeing the sights, take a little time to look closely at individual hotels or condos where you think you might like to stay on a return trip. Then you won't be as unsure about whether you'd really like something, going only on the write-up and publicity shots.

DH and I were out to dinner one night on Maui and spied what looked nice to us. We had been staying in West Maui, and this was in South Maui. The following year we booked at that nice-looking condo and like it so much that we bought there. It's good to do a little "prospecting" if you plan to return.