Hawaii - By sea or land ?

Feb 25th, 2009, 03:24 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5
Hawaii - By sea or land ?

I am planning a trip to Hawaii to celebrate my wife's 50th anniversary and our 30th anniversary together.

My dilemna is the following :

We've never been on a cruise before and this celebration (without kids !) seems to cry for this type of travel. But at the same time, we are in pretty good shape and our most fond travel memories comes from trekking and camping in the wild (anywhere around the world).

So how could we join those two together i.e. being pampered (cruise) and taking advantage as much as possible of the outdoors (trek/walk).

I thought initially of getting a cruise out of the west coast (US) but the time to travel to Hawaii seems to minimize the time to be spent on the islands. Would flying to Hawaii and then take a week cruise around the islands and then take off on some of the islands for a week or more be a good compromise ?

Which of the islands should I not missed (if press for time) ?

What are the highlights ?

What are the best cruise companies (best value) ?

How much time would you recommend that I spend on the islands if only trekking ?

Thank you
Luke_the_traveler is offline  
Feb 25th, 2009, 04:38 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,543
Lots of tough questions.
Personally I think Hawaii is more suited to land vacations. In 2004 we spent 9 days on the BI and I think we could have used a few more. Each island has much to offer, too much to list here. I suggest you bet a book(s) about the Hawaiian Island revealed, like "Maui revealed", "Kauai revealed" etc. and plan to spend as much time as you can on each island. I just don't think cruising these gems does them justice. JM2C. Larry
jacketwatch is online now  
Feb 25th, 2009, 08:46 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,469
I have done NCL's Hawaii itinerary twice, and it is excellent for value including 4 islands with plenty of port time. But this cruise can only be looked at as transportation, meals and lodging, nothing more. With your "pampered" priority, this isn't going to cut it for you, and the 14 day round trip Ca. cruises would offer this too you. But as you have found, having 10 sea days and only 4 Hawaii days is severely lacking, my opinion as well.

If you can change your priority to Hawaii and a bargain, the cruise is a fantastic trip. With a car rental, you can see and do plenty for very reasonable costs. So much of Hawaii is natural beauty, just drive to it.

If you need more, then definately do a land trip. I probably like the Big Island the most, varied and "big" enough for extended stays. Maui and Kauai are also excellent to consider. Tough choices.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Feb 27th, 2009, 04:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 402
Personally, I think Hawaii is best done by land if you really want to experience it - islands are so beautiful and interesting, pick 2 islands and spend some time on each.
Save your pampered cruise for another time, IMHO the ships to Hawaii in general are not the best for that and you will only get a brief taste of Hawaii.
charli is offline  
Feb 27th, 2009, 07:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 738
I agree with above - I would do Hawaii by land. Easy to get between Islands, maybe 4/5 days in 3 different islands (and I don't think you can go wrong with any of them). If it were my first trip to Hawaii, I would do Oahu, Hawaii and Kaui. There are amazing things to do on Oahu and Hawaii, and while I've never been to Kaui, I've heard nothing but raves. I also love Maui - but I was trying to pick only 3, and Oahu won over Maui because of all the sites to see (North Shore, WWII Memorials, etc). Of course, anyway you do it will be awesome - I really do like Hawaii......
Debi is offline  
Feb 27th, 2009, 02:47 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,233
Here's another cruise vote. We enjoyed being able to go between the islands and never have to unpack more than 1 x or deal with interisland flights/schedules. We rented a car on each island and did what we wanted to at our own pace. I agree with Debi on the three (if you're limiting yourself to 3)islands. We were on Celebrity which was very nice.
patandhank is offline  
Feb 28th, 2009, 10:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,020
I think the idea of flying to Hawaii, taking a cruise around the islands for your two celebrations, and then staying on for another week on the island(s) you liked best, having seen them on the cruise, is an excellent choice. A little of both. The ease of the cruise and then the joy of doing what you like best for the additional land week.

We've only been to Oahu, Maui and Kauai. Hope to visit the Big Island some day. All three of the islands we've visited have much to offer, but for different reasons. Lots of people think Oahu, Honolulu in particular, is too touristy and not a good representative of Hawaii. We love going there and staying in the heart of Waikiki, probably the most "touristy" of all. There is much to see in Honolulu, from the Iolani Palace to the Arizona Monument, much Hawaiian history, beautiful beaches, etc. Kauai is a very beautiful, tranquil island with the gorgeous Waimea Canyon and wonderful hiking trails. It is the only island with a river. Maui has a little of both, lots to offer the outdoorsman and night life as well. All are beautiful and I can't imagine being disappointed with a week in any of them.

Have a wonderful trip and congratulations on your anniversary and your wife's birthday. We're going back again in July!
Giovanna is offline  
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