I did not look through the threads very much, so let me know if this is already somewhere for me to read....... BUT.....
Is it better to cruise out of LA to Hawaii, or find a cruise that goes around Hawaii start to finish? I noticed Carnival doesn't even offer one out of Hawaii, but Princess does.
What are your thoughts? My husband and I are thinking of booking something as soon as we get back from our cruise in September...
It really is a matter of taste.
The LA Hawaii or repositioning cruises (Hawaii - Vancouver) give you both the ship experience and a chance to see the islands. It will be more of a traditional cruise experience.
The only major line that can do a seven day, Hawaii only, cruise is NCL American. This will be more of a floating hotel type of experience. There were some major problems when they first did the Hawaii cruises but since they pulled two ships out and got their act together things have improved.
Personally, I would do the LA Hawaii route. Carnival Splendor is doing one cruise next year on January 19th. I like the sea days and being able to see the islands.
Now the final part: If you really want to get the most out of the islands I would do NCL America or do a land cruise and stay on a couple of islands. My recommendations are Maui and Kauai with a day or two in Oahu to see Pear Harbor and Waikiki.
Take care and I hope I haven't confused you more.
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I am kinda thinking the LA route would be a good fit for us. I just thought we might see more of Hawaii starting and ending there. I was looking at general flights, and that would be a huge added expense.
I really love sea days, almost more than the places we visit, so the days at sea would be great.
I'll have to see how we like Princess vs Carnival in September... Kuki's review of the Golden Princess to Hawaii didn't sound bad at all! They actually have several in April next year, which would be a great way to celebrate our anniversary.
Golden Princess 9/8/2012
Carnival Elation 11/02/2009
Carnival Pride 04/24/2006
Carnival Pride 05/23/2004
Carnival Elation (I think) 1999
Celebrity, HAL, Princess all do LA, San Diego or San Francisco return with about 4 days in Hawaii.
Carnival and Royal Caribbean both do Hawaii - Vancouver (or Reverse) with about 7 days in Hawaii and 5 Sea Days.
NCL has Pride of America based in Hawaii and does the 7 day around the islands...no sea days.
Question is, do you want to do this for the cruise, or to see Hawaii? you'll get very little Hawaii with the first option. I've done NCL and loved the cruise, the ship was ok but for us Hawaii was the main attraction.
I'd never do the Mainland return, to me it's wasting two weeks vacation with only 4 days in Hawaii.
I would like to do the one way to or from Vancouver, 5 would be an ok amount of sea days and you get longer in Hawaii than the mainland return. This option also allows you to spend more time in Hawaii either before or after the cruise.
Hawaii By land x 2
Paris and German Christmas Markets
I agree with Mike, do the land cruise and stay in Maui and Kauai (best 2 islands IMHO). I've been to both islands 3 times each. South Maui has prettiest beaches and North Kauai is the most beautiful and lush with gorgeous beaches (Hanalei Bay). I'm trying Oahu this fall on a land package because my friends want to do it. We're staying in Waikiki for a week and then moving to a much prettier, more quiet area called Lanikai Beach. Of course, my best friend is ex-Army so we have to go see all the Pearl Harbor stuff too.