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Hawaii Cruise vs. Land vacation
If you’re wondering why you might want to consider a Hawaii cruise, you’re in the right place! There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to a Hawaii cruise vs. land vacation.
Hawaii cruises aren’t the right option for everyone and there are many pros and cons. However, there are some situations where a cruise of the Hawaiian islands makes more sense than a traditional land vacation.
Hawaii cruise options
The most popular cruise in Hawaii is on the Pride of America with Norwegian Cruise Lines. This cruise is 7 days and visits Oahu, Maui, the Big Island (both sides), and Kauai.
Other cruises cruise from the West Coast to Hawaii, as well as cruises from Hawaii to other Pacific Islands. However, since this is a post about Hawaii cruises, I am choosing to focus on the Norwegian Cruise Line’s 7-day cruise on the Pride of America.
The other cruises spent more time on the water (Hawaii is the most isolated place in the world!), so they aren’t truly Hawaii cruises, but only cruises that are partially in Hawaii.
For this particular blog post, I will be talking about the 7-day cruise on the Pride of America, as it is the most popular Hawaii cruise and the only one of its kind.
Is a Hawaii cruise worth it?
Hawaii cruises are different than land vacations, but that doesn’t mean one is better than the other. Here are 7 ways to know if a Hawaii cruise is right for you.
1. If you have limited time but want to see multiple islands
Most people assume that interisland travel is easy, but it’s more complicated than you think. There are no bridges are connecting the islands.
Yes, actually I get that question a lot! Click here to read more of the questions you’re afraid to ask about Hawaii. There aren’t ferries between the islands either, with the exception of a ferry from Maui to Lanai and Maui to Molokai.
While interisland flights are short, you still have to drive to the airport, arrive early, fly, drive to your next hotel or resort, etc. In most situations, this ends up taking up about half the day.
I recommend visiting one island per week, or two at the most for land vacations. This is simply because travel takes time.
Beyond that, it costs a lot more for interisland travel because it costs more every time you switch resorts. Most resorts give you a price break per night after 5 days, or sometimes even a free night. If you only stay for 2-3 days, you’ll never see this break.
You might also enjoy the best airline for interisland flights.
2. You don’t want to worry about planning meals
If you don’t want to worry about deciding where to eat, a Hawaii island cruise might be for you! While you will probably have some meals off the ship, the majority of your meals will take place on the cruise ship and will be included in your cruise fare.
3. You have limited mobility
I recently had someone reach out to me, asking about things to do if you are older or have limited mobility. She had already booked her trip, but I wish she would have reached out to me sooner! Cruise ships are great options for those with limited mobility, as are most excursions.
If you’re dreaming of days of hiking and kayaking, then a Hawaii cruise might not be for you. However, if those things aren’t possible due to limited mobility, a cruise might be the best way to see the Hawaiian islands.
4. Do you love cruises?
This is simple, but a Hawaii cruise might be right for you if you love cruises. If you enjoy cruises, what better way to see the Hawaiian islands than by a cruise?
A Hawaii cruise is the best of both worlds for a cruise-lover, combining the ease of being on a cruise ship and the beauty of the Hawaiian islands.
Did you know that you also get to sail down the Na Pali coast? I can’t imagine a better way to view the Na Pali coast than from the balcony of your stateroom.
5. There aren’t many other “all-inclusive” experiences in Hawaii
I’m asked all the time about all-inclusive resorts in Hawaii. The short answer, there aren’t any.
Sure, some hotels have breakfast options, and even a couple with full meal options, but they are costly, and none are truly all-inclusive. A Hawaii cruise is the closest thing you’ll find to an all-inclusive Hawaii experience.
You will know exactly how much you’ll spend after booking your cruise and excursions. It might not be cheap, but when you crunch the numbers, a Hawaii cruise often ends up being more affordable than a comparable land vacation. All you need to budget after the cruise and excursions are souvenirs.
6. You’ll always have an ocean view
For many people traveling to Hawaii, an ocean view is a must. As with most things in Hawaii, that ocean view comes at a premium.
While it’s true that not all staterooms are ocean view, many of them are, and you’re never far from an ocean view if you need one.
I highly recommend splurging for the balcony if possible; it’s completely worth it!
7. You only have to unpack once and never worry about your luggage
Thinking of traveling to four islands and unpacking four times is exhausting! Furthermore, one of my top Hawaii travel tips is to never, ever, leave anything valuable in your car. That’s hard to do if you’re always on the move.
This problem is entirely avoided by cruising around the islands. You only have to unpack once, and you never have to worry about where to put your luggage.
How a Hawaii cruise is different than other cruises
A cruise in Hawaii is different than other cruises you may have taken before. For many cruises, the destination is the ship itself.
On a Hawaii cruise, the ship is beautiful, but Hawaii is the real destination. You will spend more time on the island but still have the option to spend as much time on the ship as you’d like.
A Hawaii cruise will cost more than a comparable cruise of the Caribbean, etc. Everything costs more in Hawaii, and if you plan to visit, that’s a fact that you’ll have to get used to.
Hawaii cruises do cost a bit more, plus you’ll have to pay to get to Honolulu. However, Norwegian runs promotions all the time that offer free or reduced airfare.
Make sure to check with your Travel Agent to see what promotions are currently available. I have a Master’s Certificate with Norwegian Cruise Lines and always keep up with the latest promotions and updates.
Book your Hawaii Cruise with a Hawaii Travel Agent
Not only do I have my Masters’s Certificate with Norwegian Cruise Lines, but I also specialize in Hawaii vacations. I’m only taking on a few new clients for 2021, so make sure to contact me for availability.
If you’re trying to figure out if a Hawaii cruise is right for you, make sure to contact me or go ahead and fill out a custom travel request, and I’ll get back to you ASAP. We can figure out if it makes more sense to cruise or book a traditional vacation.
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Other options for visiting Hawaii
If you’re still considering your options, check out some of my popular Hawaii vacation posts for tips on a more traditional Hawaii vacation.
- Is Hawaii safe?
- 50 things to do in Maui
- What is the best luau in Hawaii?
- Maui vs. Kauai
- 20 things you should never do in Hawaii.
- When is the best time to go to Hawaii?
- What is the best Island to visit in Hawaii?
- 10 things you need to know before going to Hawaii!
- How to survive a long flight and fight jet lag in Hawaii.
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