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Hawaii vacation 2014

NJ
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6 posts
4 reviews
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Hawaii vacation 2014

My husband and I are planning to go to Hawaii next year and I have 2 major questions:

Is any time of year better to go or not.

If we have a choice of staying on and visiting different islands, would we be better off on a cruise that goes to all?

Thanks so much...

Margie

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Hawaii vacation 2014

More information please....how much time will you have (boots on the ground) that will help decide how many islands unless you decide on the cruise.

Our first trip to Hawaii was on the NCL cruise. It was a great way to see all 4 major islands in a short amount of time. We rented cars in each port and had a great experience. Lots of folks on this forum disagree with me but I thought the cruise was great. Floating hotel essentially. We have since been back to Hawaii twice a year each year since the cruise as it is a great trip from the West Coast. I'm not sure I would have ever made those land based trips had it not been for the cruise.

As for time of year...personally anytime has it's advantages and disadvantages. Cost being the main issue...high time is high cost. That being said we mostly travel at high times as my husband is a school teacher. Spring break was our worst weather - most rain. I love the summer but will be HOT so AC is a must.

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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2. Re: Hawaii vacation 2014

Avoid the week before and after Easter, the week before and after Christmas and Thanksgiving Week. Also summer. These aren't "bad" times, but they are high season for travelers - including family events.

I like May - but January through March is whale season - great on Maui! Fall tends to be quieter.

No way would I take a cruise. Only NCL's Pride of American cruises the Hawaiian Island without a trans-Pacific leg. There is another much smaller boat that does this as well.

I have taken the NCL cruise. You will spend WAY too much time on the ship, eating institutional food, watching the clock ... passing up great opportunities on land. You will be a slave to the ship's schedule and stand in alot of lines. Don't do it. The ship is generally mediocre, although nicely painted on the outside. And it's no bargain. No flexibility, no spontaneity. The hit-and-run approach to Hawaii ...

How many nights will you be in Hawaii? Figure a minimum of 5 or six nights per Island. And don't try to see them all. Pick a couple and settle in and explore. It's tough to chose, I know.

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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3. Re: Hawaii vacation 2014

I love being on island - and they are all different - the sights, the smells, the sounds - but of course, that is my opinion. check out www.gohawaii.com and see what each island is like and what might suit you best. Then post back with more details of what you would like to see and do, how much time you have and what your budget is - Hawaii is a wonderful vacation destination! :)

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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45,244 posts
19 reviews
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4. Re: Hawaii vacation 2014

Most of use recommend a travel guidebook named "Hawaii for Dummies." It covers all the Islands. Great for first-timers. Also - get a good map of the Hawaii Island ... like from AAA or a major bookstore.

alberta
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5. Re: Hawaii vacation 2014

After several Hawaiian vacations, I am so glad that I did not try to see the islands by cruise ship. I love cruising, but the Hawaiian islands are not the type of places that I think are best suited to being seen via cruise ship. That's not to say that you won't enjoy it - you probably will. I just think you would get a whole lot more out of your time and money by doing a land-based vacation. I agree with BLBL's assessment. You would be missing out on some of the best aspects of a Hawaii if going by cruise ship. Doing a land-based vacation on one (or two islands if time allows) would enable you to see, do and experience so much more.

NJ
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6 posts
4 reviews
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6. Re: Hawaii vacation 2014

Thanks so much for the great tips! I will get the "dummies" book and go from there.

M

Seattle, Washington
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4,057 posts
52 reviews
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7. Re: Hawaii vacation 2014

BLBL...wow...my experience on the NCL cruise was VERY different then yours I think we ate breakfast and the dinners only on the days we left port otherwise we were first off the ship & in our rental cars exploring the islands like we had a condo there. Ate lunch and dinner ( on the nights we overnighted so one in Maui and one in Kauai) and came back to ship very late at night. If you had only a week I think it's a great way to see more then one island

I also think you will find more positive experiences & comments about the cruise on CRUISE CRITIC then you will here.

Edited: 21 February 2013, 22:39
Saint Cloud...
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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27,442 posts
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8. Re: Hawaii vacation 2014

Order the free travel planners for Hawaii & each of the islands:

1-800-GOHAWAII

Go to the Oahu forum.

Use the search: trip report

Read about 15 trip reports.

Do the same on the Kauai forum, the Maui forum & the Island of Hawaii forum

You'll get a much better idea of what island(s) you might want to see.

Ewa Beach, Hawaii
2 posts
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9. Re: Hawaii vacation 2014

May is probably the best time of year to visit the Hawaiian islands. The weather is about the best this time of year..nice trade winds, lots of sunshine yet not too hot. Don't know much about cruises so I couldn't really answer that question. The most popular neighbor islands are the Big Island, Maui, and Kauai. Do some online research to kind of get a feel for what you might like best.

Ewa Beach, Hawaii
2 posts
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10. Re: Hawaii vacation 2014

May is probably the best time of year to visit the Hawaiian islands. The weather is about the best this time of year..nice trade winds, lots of sunshine yet not too hot. Don't know much about cruises so I couldn't really answer that question. The most popular neighbor islands are the Big Island, Maui, and Kauai. Do some online research to kind of get a feel for what you might like best.