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Cruise or Stay on One Island?

Cincinnati, OH
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59 posts
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Cruise or Stay on One Island?

We are planning a trip to Hawaii in September 2013 and are trying to decide if we should take the 7-day cruise of the islands or find a nice resort and stay put for the week, taking side trips if we want to sightsee. It would be my first time to Hawaii and my wife's second time (she was last there 30 years ago).

Also, if we just stay on one island, which one?

Any suggestions?

Atlantic, Iowa
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1. Re: Cruise or Stay on One Island?

There are a few factors to consider. What are your interests? What is your budget? How long do you have for your vacation? Do you like a relaxing vacation or a go go go type? We have done both of the above. The cruise will give you a quick taste of each of the main islands, but you will be worn out at the end and not really have a sense of what any of the islands are actually like. This is a good way see if you would like to explore any of the islands further. We prefer to go stay on one island and to have a vacation that is a mix of both water, sightseeing and relaxation. We also love the whales, so we like oceanfront accomodations on Maui in the winter time. We will be there in about a month. If you have 7 days, pick one island and stay there. If you can do 9-10 days, I would recommend Maui and Oahu. We would stay Maui for a week and Oahu for a 2-3 day stay. I know others might recommend an even split, but we like to see Pearl Harbor and circle island tour and Waikiki on Oahu and then we do all of our activities on Maui. On the cruise, we rented cars on each of the islands and did our own "tour", that way we could see more than what you would get to see on the ship's tours. While I did love the fact that we got to taste the 4 islands, I did not care for the NCL ship. The food was iffy, the service horrible and the staff uncaring. I love cruising, by the way, and have done over 15 cruises. We were also fully exhuasted by the end of the trip. It was 7 days of non stop going.

Fortaleza, CE
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2. Re: Cruise or Stay on One Island?

Why are these your two choices? I gather you don't want to fly between different islands to see more sights. But your interests and budget, etc. are critical in making such a decision. By "resort" do you mean someplace really upscale, such as Four Seasons on Maui or Fairmont Orchid on the Big Island? If you make side trips, would you rent a car or want a tour? I wouldn't want to stay for my entire stay on one island, and feel a cruise would limit the amountof time I'm on shore (I have taken two cruises, in South America and Alaska, and enjoyed them), but each person is different.

Edited: 26 December 2012, 16:41
San Carlos...
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3. Re: Cruise or Stay on One Island?

Stay on one island. A cruise is not going to allow you to really get a feel for what the islands are all about. I say stay on Maui. I like the south end of the island in the Wailea/Makena area.

Burr Ridge, Illinois
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4. Re: Cruise or Stay on One Island?

A few weeks ago I was in Hawaii with a friend who had only cruised the Hawaiian islands previously. This was her second visit and first time not doing a cruise.

I was curious how she felt about the NCL cruise vs being on an island for several days.

Her answer: "I loved the cruise! I would do it again!"

I share this with you because there are benefits to both. The decision may be more of a personal lifestyle decision than one of benefits and negatives.

Either decision will make you happy.

California
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for Oahu
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5. Re: Cruise or Stay on One Island?

How many nights will you have in total?

There is no way I would choose a cruise. NCL is mediocre at best. You'll consume your vacation standing in lines, and you will sacrifice your own flexibility to adhere to their schedule. It's a hit-and-run approach to Hawaii. You will be spending ALOT of time on the ship - when you could be doing whatever you want, whenever you want it on land.

If you have 10 nights, you'd have time to visit 2 Islands and settle in - see the sights.

By "staying put," I assume that you mean staying at one resort - which is easy to do on most of the Islands. But you will want a car, and you will want to get out and explore.

Pick up a copy of "Hawaii for Dummies," a high-regarded travel guide that covers all the Islands. And get a good map.

You that some time to think about this - and do some reading. Your first step will be to chose an Island or two.

Cincinnati, OH
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6. Re: Cruise or Stay on One Island?

We'll be able to stay in Hawaii for only a week. Budget is not a primary consideration. It's our 25th wedding anniversary and we want to have a memorable trip. We enjoy trips where it's a combination of sightseeing and relaxing by a pool or at the beach.

I'm seeing a consensus against the cruise. I've read up on it and was leaning against it, but thought maybe there were some advantages that I was missing. We've been on many cruises, so we aren't looking for the experience of cruising. After travelling from Kentucky to Hawaii, we want to have the experience of Hawaii.

So for only one week, should we stay on Maui? Any suggestions about where? Resort? Condo?

Fortaleza, CE
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7. Re: Cruise or Stay on One Island?

You might address your question on the NCL and Hawaii sections of cruisecritic.com. People who have taken the cruise would likely respond and/or you can even find detailed reviews.

Edited: 26 December 2012, 20:14
California
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for Oahu
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8. Re: Cruise or Stay on One Island?

Any of the major Islands would be great. You have some time - so please do some reading and get back to us (on the individual Island forums) with questions. It's up to you.

Do you really want a condo? They're fine ... but do you plan on doing alot of cooking or are you looking for extra space?

Cincinnati, OH
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9. Re: Cruise or Stay on One Island?

We don't cook while on vacation, but it seems that the hotels are pricey. I was hoping to keep the cost under $300 per night. When we visit Key West or Anna Maria Island, we rent a small house with a private pool near the beach for the week. I'm not sure Hawaii has anything like that.

San Carlos...
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10. Re: Cruise or Stay on One Island?

$300 per night gives you a lot of options. If it's just the two of you I recommend a resort not a condo. Indulge yourselves....