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Old 10-04-2012, 04:59 AM   #1
Debs Hill
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Hawaii cruise......how was it??

We are patiently waiting for the 2014 dates and hoping for another couple of Hawaii cruises, hopefully this time within school holidays. Would love to hear from anyone who has done this/is doing this for their opinions of the cruise/excurisons etc as I can't find much in the way of trip reports for this!
Thanks so much
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:18 AM   #2
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I can let you know the end of the month when we get back.

As of now the April cruisers can answer.
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Pam and DH Mike Wondering our way to Hawaii 10/14/2012

Pam and DH Mike (Retiring) through the Canal again 05/2015
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:52 AM   #3
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We did the May cruise for our 27th Anniversary and really enjoyed Wonder and DCL. It was our first DCL cruise! We felt like it was one of the most relaxing vacations we had ever taken at the end of it. We didn't do any ship sponsored excursions, so I can't help you there. Below is a link to day one of our trip blog though for a lot of photos and reporting on the onboard experience as well as our rental car explorations on each island. Also, I scanned in all the Navigators and have most of the menus photographed. You can just continue through each day's entry by clicking Newer Entry at the bottom. Debbie

http://roadtripswithbob.blogspot.com...inaugural.html
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:21 AM   #4
Debs Hill
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Have an amazing trip this month, can't wait to hear all about it!

Thanks for the link, what great photos, it looks like you had an amazing time!
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:25 PM   #5
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It was one of my favorite cruises. We really had a great time. Very much enjoyed the Hawaiian themed activities on the sea days to Hawaii. One of the disappointments was that as soon as we left the islands, all of those activities stopped too (I know the people running them were from Aulani and we left them there but it was like the sea days back, you would never have known it was a Hawaii cruise.)

We did the DCL excursions (I know we could have done a lot of them on our own for less money but there were just two of us and it was much more convenient!) and enjoyed them all very much with one exception -- the haunted tour in Honolulu. Will NOT recommend that to anyone and we were so looking forward to it. The company that DCL used for their excursions (Roberts) was fantastic -- consistently excellent tour guides.

I will say if we did it again (and I'm still trying to work out a way to get on the October sailing ) the one thing we would do differently is just rent a car on Kauai and drive around. It was just such a scenic island that we would have enjoyed going to several spots instead of just one or two like we had on the tour.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:32 PM   #6
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A M A Z I N G cruise. One of our favorites as well. I wish the Hawaii theme was on the way home as well. We researched and planned our own excursions privately with the exception of the luau. It took a lot of planning and researching but we would do it that way again.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:21 AM   #7
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Was it too many sea days? Thats what I don't think I would like. Interested in it tho.
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:13 AM   #8
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I was on the April/May cruise and thought this was the second best cruise I babe taken on DCL in 11 cruises. I did all DCL excursions except for Maui cause we had family there with a car. A big part were two CM of the cruise staff, "Skipper" Dan and DJ Justin. They were so cool I could not even tell you. I loved the sea days but the were rocky, but it's the ocean so it supposed to be rocky so I could care less about that or the weather since I can't control that either. I will say if they do it again in 2014 I will not beware to book it.

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Old 10-05-2012, 09:22 AM   #9
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Here's what I heard complaining about in May. You are not going to be in the Caribbean. The Pacific is cold. It was not warm and sunny all the time on deck. In fact we had a few days of rain. If you are looking for time on deck in the pool in the sunshine, you can't really expect it. I enjoyed all my Hawaii tours including the DCL luau, yes it was expensive.

The other thing noted was that in a couple of places, DCL docks in industrial areas that are not particularly near tourist destinations (Maui and Hilo). So it's best to plan an excursion or arrange transportation, not count on walking to many places from the ship in these ports.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:04 AM   #10
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There's so much to do on each island! On other cruises, some of the ports are meh, but Hawaii has "must see" places on each island. Which makes you wish you had several days for each island, but the cruise offers a great overview that makes you want to plan a return trip.

I do wish DCL had offered more Polynesian food, such as sweet and sour entrees. -- their idea of Polynesian food is Mexican salsa. um, no.

Three things about the itinerary. We wish DCL had included a night-time sail past the active volcanoes on the Big Island. The lava glows in the dark and that's been a major highlight of our other Hawaiian (non DCL) cruises. Also wish we had cruised the Na Paali Coast of Kauai -- it's accessible only by water or air. The Wonder was in Honolulu only on Sunday, when the Polynesian Cultural Center is closed.

Tour guides for the most part were excellent, especially at the botanical gardens in Kauai. tho we did have a guide on the Pearl Harbor shore excursion who said DCL was planning four cruises to Hawaii each month. ahem.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minniemoms View Post
Was it too many sea days? Thats what I don't think I would like. Interested in it tho.
You know honestly that is up to the individual but we love, love, love sea days so our answer would be never too many sea days.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:18 PM   #12
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We sailed NCL, so I can't compare cruise line experiences or what endless sea days feels like, but I can comment on what we did in each port. I'm sure DCL has similar excursions.

You can easily save a BUNCH of money doing driving tours on your own. Renting cars is super easy and inexpensive on most islands. Get the 'Revealed' series of travel books for the Hawaiian Island you rent a car. They detail all the stuff you can see and do on each island and include a driving tour of all the islands with great descriptions of what there is to see.

Our favorite day on Oahu was Pearl Harbor, we got there shortly after it opened and stayed probably until 1 or 2 when we got hungry and then we drove to north shore to see the ocean and grab some food. Don't forget shave ice in Haleiwa! We did the Dole Plantation on the way, but it was quite the tourist trap, I do not recommend that.

We had two days in Maui, so the first day we rented a car and drove EVERYWHERE: 10,000 feet up Haleakala (totally awesome) and then around the Lahaina side of the island. Next time I'd do road to Hana and then up the Volcano after lunch. On the second Maui day, we did a ship sponsored snorkel trip to Molokini Crater. That was so good! The company was Pacific Whale Foundation, a non-profit. They fed us good food and drinks, and the guides were very informative on the local wildlife. We were there during whale season and we saw a few whales 'for free'. Saw lots of fish, sea urchins, an octopus, sea turtles, etc.

Hilo was the most expensive car rental so we used Ricky's tours and he was great! Super knowledgeable. He seemed to talk the whole time. On Kona side of the big island we did shore excursion, an ocean kayak and snorkel trip to a private small bay (we were the only group there) which was a lot of fun, but very strenuous. One direction is easy, you go with the current, the other... yikes. I was worn out! I would do it again. After the trip, the guide gave us a ride back to the pier and dropped people off in the shopping area or at the pier. We asked about the Kona Brewing Company... and she said no problem! It was an easy walk back to the ship, and a relaxing way to end our day in Kona.

On Kauai, we rented a car and drove out to Waimea Canyon. So pretty! We hit up JoJo's Shave ice at the base of the canyon access road and that was the best shave ice on all the islands! We ate lunch and toured the beaches and waterfalls on the way back to the port. The next day we did a shore excursion that was easy kayak trip on a quiet river (with the current), then a hike and swim with waterfalls. Very family friendly. Again the tour guides were so nice and knowledgeable. They love their islands.

We traveled at the end of March, the weather was so good. Nice and warm. A saying over there is that 'it is raining SOMEWHERE on the island'. So you will probably get some rain, but as you move around it will go away. Yes, the pacific was cold, but we really didn't think it was bad once you got in and start swimming around.

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Old 10-05-2012, 04:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedxPanda View Post
We had two days in Maui, so the first day we rented a car and drove EVERYWHERE: 10,000 feet up Haleakala (totally awesome) and then around the Lahaina side of the island. Next time I'd do road to Hana and then up the Volcano after lunch. On the second Maui day, we did a ship sponsored snorkel trip to Molokini Crater. That was so good! The company was Pacific Whale Foundation, a non-profit. They fed us good food and drinks, and the guides were very informative on the local wildlife. We were there during whale season and we saw a few whales 'for free'. Saw lots of fish, sea urchins, an octopus, sea turtles, etc.
The Road to Hana is an all day thing. Due to the hair-pin turns and one-lane bridges, it can take up to 3 1/2 hours to get from Kahului to Hana. And then you have to get back! And that doesn't count stopping to see all the fabulous scenery, which is the point of the drive. I can't imagine how you would possibly get that all done before lunch and then drive up Haleakala. Seems pretty impossible to me. Or at the least, very deadly.

Pacific Whale Foundation run lots of really nice excursions out of Lahaina. They have a Dolphin watch when it's not Whale season that is really fabulous.

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Old 10-05-2012, 05:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sayhello
The Road to Hana is an all day thing. Due to the hair-pin turns and one-lane bridges, it can take up to 3 1/2 hours to get from Kahului to Hana. And then you have to get back! And that doesn't count stopping to see all the fabulous scenery, which is the point of the drive. I can't imagine how you would possibly get that all done before lunch and then drive up Haleakala. Seems pretty impossible to me. Or at the least, very deadly.

Pacific Whale Foundation run lots of really nice excursions out of Lahaina. They have a Dolphin watch when it's not Whale season that is really fabulous.

Sayhello
I agree. And I was so sick at the halfway point that we never even got TO Hana!
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:09 PM   #15
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My friend and I had a FANTASTIC time on the Hawaii cruise. I would love to do it again if the timing works out. The islands were so much fun and I love sea days. I did originally think we would have sunny sea days laying by the pool but sadly found out quickly that would not be the case. Instead, we got cool, windy days spent having coffee at Cove Cafe. Even knowing this now, I wouldn't hesitate to book the same cruise again!
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