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Hi my husband & I are not first time cruisers, but first time cruising other than the Caribbean. We are searching for a cruise of the Hawaiian islands but are torn whether to fly to Hawaii & do the 7 day on NCL pride, or take a 11 day from Hawaii to Vancouver or 15 day round trip California. Also best time to cruise the islands. Appreciate any advice!

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Which one you chose is totally up to you and your interests. You will have a shorter flight and a longer cruise if you do the West Coast to Hawaii cruise. 

 

As to "best" time to do it, what do you define as "best"? Note that the West Coast to Hawaii trips are only in October to April. The 7 day sailings in Hawaii are years around.

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Either way, you’ll have a great time. My husband and I cruised on the Pride of America for our 20th anniversary in 2015. One of the main we reasons we chose this cruise is because it is based out of Honolulu. We didn’t really want to spend all that time at sea, and we were able to spend a couple of days on Oahu before and after the cruise to see Pearl Harbor, the north shore, etc. and had a wonderful time. 

 

Hawaii’s climate is pretty much the same year round, so I don’t think it matters too much when you go (we cruised in October and had great weather). 
 

The excursions we took were some of the best we’ve ever experienced. Be sure to go the Haleakala crater and Waimea Canyon. The view of the Na Pali coast is absolutely breathtaking.

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50 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

Which one you chose is totally up to you and your interests. You will have a shorter flight and a longer cruise if you do the West Coast to Hawaii cruise. 

 

As to "best" time to do it, what do you define as "best"? Note that the West Coast to Hawaii trips are only in October to April. The 7 day sailings in Hawaii are years around.

As far as best time, I was wondering if Hawaii had a rainy season or not.

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I have taken the 15 day cruise from either LA or SF about 7 times. I go for the sea days. There will be 9 full days and 1 partial day.

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26 minutes ago, Jesslindsmom said:

As far as best time, I was wondering if Hawaii had a rainy season or not.

Yes, Hawaii has a rainy season. But rain is rarely a factor in Hawaii touring, and even if it is raining, it is usually warmer. Rain on the West Coast is more likely to be a factor, which means you probably don't want to go between Thanksgiving and and about March 1, particularly if sailing from San Francisco.

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You also might look at air fares from various spots. Generally the cost is better when flying in/out of one airport. Day of the week makes a difference, too. Whatever you might be most comfortable booking might influence your decision.

Jim

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If you've NEVER been to Hawaii, I'd fly and do a land-based vacation, rather than a cruise.  There is just too much to see and do in short port days.  You really need to spend TIME on the islands!  

If you can't do a land vacation, do the  POA trip...it will give you much more time than a trans-pacific cruise to Hawaii will.

 

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15 hours ago, cb at sea said:

If you've NEVER been to Hawaii, I'd fly and do a land-based vacation, rather than a cruise.  There is just too much to see and do in short port days.  You really need to spend TIME on the islands!  

 

 

This is what I would say also.

 

And most of my family lives in Hawaii, so I am there a lot.  And I would still not do a cruise in the islands.

 

Heck, it takes me a week to just go to all the restaurants I want to hit. 😄

 

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Having experience New Hampshire winters, I have to wonder why you ask what is best time of year.  We like sea days and have a Navy Seal grandson stationed in San Diego, so we opted for a HAL cruise from San Diego - which is worth a few days pre- or post- cruise.  Also, the cruises from Hawaii are on NCL, which strikes us as the Walmart of the sea.

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So I guess the simple question is whether you like sea days or would rather be on the "port" section of your cruise.  Crusing from the west coast means a lot of sea days.  If, on the other hand, you want to spend more time in Hawaii, then cruise the islands from Hawaii, and then perhaps stop on one or two islands on your own either before or after the cruise.  While I personally like sea days, and who wouldn't love a cruise to or from Hawaii on an aircraft carrier, I think I would prefer to spend the extra time in the Aloha state.  Hawaii is a beautiful place, and there is a lot to see if you stop one or two places for some extra time.

 

If you are from New Hampshire, the best time to see Hawaii would be anytime between November 1 and the middle of June --- that's not based on Hawaii weather but rather on New Hampshire weather!

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Aloha! We love sea days, so we've done the 14/15 days out of both L.A. and S.F....twice each.

The weather will be relatively cold the first few days leaving and coming back to CA...the sail-away under the Golden Gate Bridge, with the fog rolling in, is simply breathtaking. (Note: This sailing has a stop in Ensenada, Mexico.)

If it's your first time to Hawaii, you will only get a taste of each island on this cruise...perhaps it can help you decide which island to come back to visit.  It would be a shame to just see each island for a few hours...worse yet, there are passengers who spent their day taking the "free Walmart shuttle".

Another vote for this sailing (Princess) is Elua.  It's the husband and wife team of Dave and Leialoha. There will be various Hawaiian cultural enrichment programs that includes: Hula and Ukulele lessons, lei-making...and their wonderful Hawaiian music.  Happy sailing and Aloha!

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I do not recommend the NCL cruise. I cruised Pride of America once and it was atrocious. 
 

If a 15 day cruise is in your consideration, I recommend that one. But again, that depends on the line and ship. What ships are doing the Vancouver and California cruises?
 

 

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11 hours ago, Cruzaholic41 said:

I do not recommend the NCL cruise. I cruised Pride of America once and it was atrocious. 
 

If a 15 day cruise is in your consideration, I recommend that one. But again, that depends on the line and ship. What ships are doing the Vancouver and California cruises?
 

 

Please describe what was atrocious about it ?

We cruised the POA several years ago and found it a great way to preview 4 islands in 7 days without the additional ocean voyage . Although not the average cruise experience , more like a floating hotel. Service by the US crew a bit lacking compared to other cruises , still okay . Food was good .

Just what  you would expect from the NCL America ship that has no competition for a 7 night Hawaiian Cruise.

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On 1/20/2020 at 2:00 PM, bbwex said:

If you are from New Hampshire, the best time to see Hawaii would be anytime between November 1 and the middle of June --- that's not based on Hawaii weather but rather on New Hampshire weather!

 

😄

 

I remember one holiday season in Hawaii.  We were coming back from the beach, and had been swimming.  When I saw several locals with parkas (complete with fur edged hoods, UP), walking down the street.

 

Of course, along with the parka they were wearing shorts and flip flops. 😄

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On 1/17/2020 at 7:42 PM, HuggyBee said:

Either way, you’ll have a great time. My husband and I cruised on the Pride of America for our 20th anniversary in 2015. One of the main we reasons we chose this cruise is because it is based out of Honolulu. We didn’t really want to spend all that time at sea, and we were able to spend a couple of days on Oahu before and after the cruise to see Pearl Harbor, the north shore, etc. and had a wonderful time. 

 

Hawaii’s climate is pretty much the same year round, so I don’t think it matters too much when you go (we cruised in October and had great weather). 
 

The excursions we took were some of the best we’ve ever experienced. Be sure to go the Haleakala crater and Waimea Canyon. The view of the Na Pali coast is absolutely breathtaking.

Do you mind me asking more about your experience as we're doing the cruise in September for our honeymoon and read so many bad reviews 🙄 thanks 

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We cruised to Hawaii from Long Beach with 5 sea days each way. I loved it!

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On 2/2/2020 at 8:41 PM, cruznjan said:

We cruised to Hawaii from Long Beach with 5 sea days each way. I loved it!

Our first Hawaii adventure was 12 years ago. We flew to Honolulu and sailed back to San Diego. The trip back got a little rough and the weather was cool at times. Heading back in 2022, this time round trip, 15 days again from San Diego. Wife loves sea days. My opinion is as long as it’s warm enough to relax on deck in shorts and tee shirt Im fine with them.  

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We did POA last October for our 30th and really enjoyed it. There are some recent trip reports over in the Hawaii forum. I recommend you read through there.

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I did a 10 day from Vancouver and it was amazing. 5 sea days with a balcony is heaven for me

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