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2 week Hawaiian sampler guidance please

West Midlands UK
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2 week Hawaiian sampler guidance please

We have 13 nights available to explore Hawaiian Islands for our Wedding Anniversary end April, early May. We would like to see as much as possible with the idea that we will come back sometime to our favourite bits. We will fly from UK to HL and are very used to US road tripping, city hopping and living out of suitcases. We have no interest at all in water sports, but watching surfers from land is good. We enjoy nice hotels, food, people watching, landscapes, shopping, sightseeing and culture. From reading here, it looks like 3 islands are too much in 13 days, but I'm finding it difficult to work out if taking snorkelling off the many recommended schedules will allow us the time we need. We are 50 something's, with a generous budget

Could you help me build a short list from it all please.

Oklahoma City...
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1. Re: 2 week Hawaiian sampler guidance please

Welcome to the Hawaii forum! All of the major Hawaiian islands fit within your stated goals except shopping. The best island for that is Oahu. The others have pockets of shopping, some premium like Tiffany's. you might want to read a good guidebook on the islands or go to each forum here on trip advisor and read through the top questions and a few trip reports from visitors who have traveled to those specific islands.

If it were me, I'd stay put on one island and maybe move to two locations within that island with only 13 nights but lots of people like to island hop. It takes up a lot of time and budget to hop, but if you were going to I'd pick Oahu and one other and split your time depending on which island you choose.

Edited: 15 February 2014, 15:38
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pzp
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2. Re: 2 week Hawaiian sampler guidance please

I'd split O`ahu and Kaua`i, maybe 7/6. Fly directly to Kaua`i when you arrive HNL. That way you can shop in Honolulu without having to drag it all on the interisland flights. Since budget is not a concern, I think you'll find the interisland fares pretty reasonable. You'll still want to book as early as possible to get the lower fares.

Take a look at the Summary of Each Island, found under Top Questions on this page. It will give you some idea of what each offers.

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Honolulu
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3. Re: 2 week Hawaiian sampler guidance please

First of all, Hawaii does not have the road trip experience that the mainland does. You need to be pre-booking your accommodations, as there just isn't the culture of driving to the next town to find a motel, like mainland roadtrips have.

One option to consider to get a sampling is to consider the 7-night NCL Pride of America Hawaiian Cruise. It visits the 4 major islands and with your comfort in driving, it would be easy for you to rent a car and tour around on a day basis. You could do several nights before the cruise in Oahu, and several nights afterwards on Maui or Kauai

The cruise is not luxury or party boat. It's fairly mediocre in terms of accommodation and food, but it does give you the sampler you are looking for without the expense and hassle of flights.

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Pride of Maui
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Chicagoland
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4. Re: 2 week Hawaiian sampler guidance please

Although as cruises go, this one is a little lame, the NCL cruise that departs Honolulu every Saturday afternoon does get you painlessly to three other islands -- good for the 'sampling' you requested. Then you'd have some time to explore Oahu for the rest of your nights. I'd try to arrive, get on board and do your time adjusting on the ship, return and stay north shore Oahu a night or two, finishing on Waikiki before your flight home.

You can DIY-tour at the ports by reserving rental cars, or you can take the ship's tours. You'll only glimpse the highlights of Kauai, Maui and Big Island, but that could work well for a scouting trip. We've done this in the Caribbean, using a cruise to decide where to return...and where NOT to return!

You may still see some whale activity from aboard ship at the end of April. This and May are usually good weather and calm oceans over all the islands -- not too cool and wet on northern shores and not too hot on Big Island. Good timing!

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Iowa
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5. Re: 2 week Hawaiian sampler guidance please

You might enjoy reading this trip report, written by Maui DE, Mamma0233. She and her husband have spent lots of time on all the islands over many trips and many years. They took the NCL cruise a few months ago and had a blast! Of course, I think they are one couple who would have a fantastic time whatever they do!

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28932-i36-k706510…

Mamma's reports should give you some idea of what the cruise has to offer. Happy planning!

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pzp
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6. Re: 2 week Hawaiian sampler guidance please

Bear in mind that mamma had, as noted, been to the islands many times. I think the cruise is a lousy way to see the islands. You really can't even hit most of the highlights.

Iowa
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7. Re: 2 week Hawaiian sampler guidance please

Pzp, I wouldn't do the cruise either. But, for those inclined to do it, Mamma's report might give them an idea of the pace and how much (or little) time will be spent seeing the islands.

To the OP, I personally, would do 2 islands with at least a full week on one, in a condo. No more than 2 or 3 nights in Waikiki for me. But others would stay their whole trip there. If you stay a week on Maui, you might enjoy a day trip via ferry to Lana'i or Moloka'i. Or you could book an overnight on one of those small islands, keeping your Maui condo, just to simplify. No airport Hassel's that way.

Edited: 15 February 2014, 22:30
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8. Re: 2 week Hawaiian sampler guidance please

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