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Old December 13th, 2010, 04:51 PM
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Default Hawaii-Be on ship 2 hours before departure?

We have decided to do a Hawaii cruise in 2011. I saw in the itinerary that you had to be back on the ship two hours before departure. One of the departures is 2pm. You hardly have time to get off the ship that morning.
Do you really have to be back two hours before departure?
Is renting a car for the day easy to do? Or do you get more out of the trip by taking an excursion?
We are planning on flying in to Honolulu a few days early. How quickly will we have seen all we really want to see? I know usually I would like to spend a week in most places but have also heard that Oahu is murder for traffic. So, rent a car or tours?
We have heard the good, bad and the ugly about NCL and only hope for the best. We mainly want to enjoy the scenery.
If anyone has any comments they would be appreciated.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 06:36 PM
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We have decided to do a Hawaii cruise in 2011. I saw in the itinerary that you had to be back on the ship two hours before departure. One of the departures is 2pm. You hardly have time to get off the ship that morning.
Do you really have to be back two hours before departure?

Absolutely not - you only have to be back on the ship before the take the gangway up - which is usually just before it sails.

Is renting a car for the day easy to do? Or do you get more out of the trip by taking an excursion?

Very easy in Honolulu and not expensive - my only advice is to have a plan for what you want to see. My story; we rented a car one day and got stuck in murderous traffic while trying to take a "shortcut" to the north side. Took us two hours. On our return some friends picked us up and they drove us literally around the island in less time.



We are planning on flying in to Honolulu a few days early. How quickly will we have seen all we really want to see? I know usually I would like to spend a week in most places but have also heard that Oahu is murder for traffic. So, rent a car or tours?

Depends on you. I would say just a 2 or 3 of days. You can go to Pearl harbor, the north side, and shop in Waikiki. Not much else to do,


We have heard the good, bad and the ugly about NCL and only hope for the best. We mainly want to enjoy the scenery.

It is the best way to see Hawaii. Go for that, and not so much for the ship or the cruise. If you just want a cruise and the destination is secondary then I recommend the Caribbean, but to really see the beauty of Hawaii the NCL cruise is the best way.

Honestly, the all American crew has disappointed a lot of people over the years. Take them with a grain a salt.
If anyone has any comments they would be appreciated.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 02:15 PM
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Actually, there is a LOT to do on Oahu. Pearl Harbor can take almost the whole day if you spend time to visit the Missouri. If you are fortunate enough to be there when the flea market in the Aloha Bowl is on, that's your best bet for shopping - whether you're looking for cheap, fun stuff or nicer jewelry and crafts (think Hawaiian quilts), you'll find some of the best prices around there.

We love doing a circle tour of the island - and love spending time on the north shore. That alone can take a day (or two if you are real explorers - you will find all kinds of spots to pull over and go for a hike - once we had pulled over to review a map and watched a bunch of locals pull up, jump out of their cars, grab picnic baskets and head down a trail - we shrugged, parked the car, and followed to find the most SPECTACULAR waterfall we'd ever seen - had to be 75 feet tall - no signs, no markings - it was just there and we were the only non-Hawaiians back there aside from a National Geographic photographer, who took our pic and sent it to us later)

I would also recommend hiking diamond head if you have time, having dinner at Duke's Canoe Club on Waikiki Beach (very fun), spending a day at the Polynesian Cultural Center (Yes, it's designed for tourists, but we liked it), and taking a sunset sail off Waikiki - very romantic!

When it comes to traffic, Oahu itself isn't that bad - but driving in Honolulu is like driving in any other city - I'd stick to the city bus while in town unless you don't mind city traffic and like having the control to come and go when you want - most things are very accessible off the bus routes, it's convenient and inexpensive. Check some of the 'standard' guidebooks, ie Frommers for suggestions - or ask the hotel concierge. I'd say rent the car for outside of town and take the city bus or a cab for things in Honolulu.
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