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cruise or island-hop by plane?

Long Island, NY
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cruise or island-hop by plane?

My husband and I are well-traveled, active seniors (60's). We plan to go to Hawaii for about 2 weeks this summer. Should we take a Norwegian Cruise Line 7-night cruise on Pride of America & spend additional nights in Honolulu or island-hop by plane (Oahu, Hawaii, Maui & Kauai)? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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1. Re: cruise or island-hop by plane?

The cruise will allow you to just barely skim the surface of each island, and by island hopping on your own you won't get much more. Four islands in two weeks is at least two too many. I'd suggest choosing only one or two islands and doing a week on each. Your choices will really depend on what kinds of things you like to do/see and what kind(s) of ambiance you prefer.

Long Island, NY
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2. Re: cruise or island-hop by plane?

Thanks for your prompt reply, PZP. I might add that we are sight-seers, don't snorkel, and would spend limited time on a beach. Which islands would you recommend and what are the highlights on those islands?

pzp
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3. Re: cruise or island-hop by plane?

For historical sites, Oahu. The Pearl Harbor memorial is a must see.

The Big Island especially for the Volcanoes National Park as well as the black sand beach and many beautiful waterfalls. Kaua`i for spectacular scenery and great hiking. Maui is, in my opinion, much more beach oriented. It's a beautiful island but it sounds like it wouldn't really suit your interests.

I would do a week on Oahu and a week on Kaua`i. They're pretty much at opposite ends of the spectrum, especially comparing Honolulu to Kaua`i.

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Washington DC...
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4. Re: cruise or island-hop by plane?

Unless you are avid hikers, a week might be a bit long in Kauai if you are not into the beach...unless you just want to relax.

I'd suggest Oahu--Dusty has a long list of things to see and do--and the Big Island.

BI has the volcano, lush waterfalls and botanical gardens, historic places (Place of Refuge, churches and palace in Kailua Town), cowboys and ranches up in Kohala (I recommend the Evening at Kahua--see my review of same), wagon rides in Waipio, the drive thru Hawi to Pololu overlook....a lot of different things to see, or you could just relax near the water or in the lush green area, depending on your preference. I'd suggest spending maybe 5 nights on Oahu, 2-3 nights near the Volcano, the rest in Kona or Kohala.

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Healy, Alaska
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5. Re: cruise or island-hop by plane?

aloha! As well, I would pick staying on the islands rather than cruising . . . you really need to stay on land to experience Hawaii. I think if you would like more advice here on the forum, you might lists other interests that you have - what all you like to see and do, as that will enable others to give you the best suggestions for you. For sheer beauty, I would pick Kauai for one of the islands you visit! Best of luck to you! :)

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Peoria, Arizona
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6. Re: cruise or island-hop by plane?

We have a friend that went on a cruise with her sister they were in their 70's and they enjoyed it but much like PZP said they just got a glimpse of things. We have done a tour to one and a fly and drive to another and spent a few days on another. This time we plan on doing the fly and drive again but we're doing an overnight cause we haven't learned yet. I think Hawaii is as much about the people as the total of everything else.

Austin
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7. Re: cruise or island-hop by plane?

i went to hawaii for 2 weeks two summers ago, and we island-hopped by plane. i think we got to see a lot, but then again, we did spend a lot of time waiting for the flights, waiting for our luggage, waiting to rent the car, standing in line at the lost luggage counter (you wouldn't believe...), going back to the airport to get the luggage about 4 hours later...etc., etc.

i was great, don't get me wrong, but there's a lot of time spent getting from island to island. and i personally don't think we missed out a lot by going to 4 different islands in 2 weeks. we didn't spend a lot of time snorkeling, either!

we're going again in a couple of weeks, but this time we're cruising. we're flying into honolulu 4 days early, renting a car, and exploring. then we'll get on the ship and go to kauai, maui, and hawaii. the ship travels at night, so we shouldn't be missing out on any time on the islands. and we won't have to haul our luggage around, either.

i'd never been on a cruise until my honeymoon last summer, and i really liked it. not having to unpack over and over was wonderful!

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8. Re: cruise or island-hop by plane?

i have gone on two cruises....both with a week but on two different itinerary....i rather liked the one that did the island hopping without going out to Fanning Island as i felt we didn't see much of Hawaii but it was well worth going to Fanning though....

I would suggest you do one week on cruise starting in Oahu and then you can stay the week in Oahu after Since you are many sightseers, the cruise line offers excellant sight seeing tours that you can choose from without having to search it out on your own. I went on the Pride of Aloha last year and we got to stay two days in Maui and two in Kuai whcih for us was plenty as well as a day in Hilo and Kona.....it gives you a great taste of more islands with the convience of not having to pack and unpack a lot...plus you are getting great food and entertainment at the same time....if i could have had the option of staying additional days in Oahu, that would have been great....i'll be going to Oahu next month just for the land stay this time as that is the part i didn't get to do......

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9. Re: cruise or island-hop by plane?

You could hedge your bet by doing a one-week cruise, then staying on for another week on Oahu -- or Maui -- or Kauai.

DH and I have been visiting the islands for 25+ years and often split a two-week stay between two islands. Only place I would stay less than a week is Kauai.aAthough it is gorgeous, little of it can be seen by paved road and there are fewer nice lodgings and restaurants. (Maybe we've just been there too many times!)

Do understand that the cruise is NOT going to be luxe. From what has been posted here I'd say it is more like a slightly glamorized version of the big ferries that ply between Scandanavia and Russia. It IS a bargain way to see four islands, though. (Most travelers on this forum rent cars on most of the islands rather than do the "herd" thing via ship's tours.)

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Manhattan Beach...
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10. Re: cruise or island-hop by plane?

I would not take a cruise in Hawaii. If we have 10 days, we usually go to Oahu for several days to unwind from the flight, and drive around the island and see Pearl Harbor. I've been there four times, once each decade and never get tired of it, and always find it emotional Then pick one of the other islands for the remainder of the time.

In two weeks, you could do several islands, I would not try to do 4 of them in that amount of time. My sister did, and hated all the time spent in airports, and renting cars. Spend at least 5 days in each of the other islands, after your flight to Oahu.

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