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Island hopping in Hawaii
Cruise or DIY

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#1 georgi

Posted 21 February 2013 - 05:02 PM

Hello there,
i've booked flights for our first trip to Hawaii from Melb in Sept 2013 and will have a 7 and 5 yo travelling with us. I'd love to see the volcano on the Big Island, and also a bit of Maui as well as Oahu. My query after a little research is whether to pay a huge sum of money to do the Pride of America 7 day cruise from Honolulu-Honolulu (around $10K if I want a decent sized family suite) or is it easy to go by boat/plane and still get a good glimpse.
We have around 15 days all up and don't just want to sit around Waikiki IYKWIM.
Any suggestions and don't miss itinerary ideas would be brilliant.

#2 ~Kee~In~Hawaii~

Posted 22 February 2013 - 10:43 AM

While I've done the Pride of America cruise 3 times and love it, you do only spend one day at each island to see as much as you can. If you did the Volcanoes National Park shore excursion on the Big Island to see the volcano, you'd have a full day and wouldn't see much else on the Hilo side of the Big Island, having instead to play catch up on anything you missed the next day on the Kona side of the Big Island. Like I said, I love the cruise as a taste of the islands in a short time but if you have 15 days you could easily island hop.

I looked up flights from Honolulu to Maui yesterday and they were $140 per person return so it's pretty cheap to fly between the islands. I've just quickly checked some prices for you and flights Honolulu to Maui then Maui to Kona and then Kona back to Honolulu comes in at $931.60 for 4 people. You could do 3 nights in Maui at the Aston Maui Lu Resort in an Oceanfront room with 2 double beds for $483.18 and then 3 nights in Kona on the Big Island at the Royal Kona Resort in an Oceanfront room with 2 beds for $544.40 (you can easily drive across the Big Island to see the volcano, or do a helicopter tour which should be available at the tours desk in the hotel).

All up, the island-hopping portion of the trip would come to $1959.18 and you'd just need to add on transfers (private car services would be about $30 total at each island) and your meals, but it's easy to eat for cheap over there. On top of that, you would be looking at your usual expenses of the international flights between Australia and Hawaii - which you said you've already done - and some accommodation in Waikiki for the rest of the time there. It could easily be done cheaper than the cruise - although in saying that, who did you get that massive cruise quote through? Have a look on the website for the wholesaler I use to do that cruise, Vacations To Go

Everytime I've done that cruise I've paid a lot less through them than anyone else. You can call or email them to get a family room price, I believe another lady here Jo got a price at around $7k for the 5 of them in her group. Really, you could easily just get 2 adjoining rooms a lot cheaper than a suite. On the Hawaii cruise you only go back to your room to shower and sleep anyway, you're in port each day so there's no real need for a huge amount of space in a suite. That could certainly save you a lot and still allow you to do the cruise but like I said, you'd only get one day in each port so it depends on if you think you'll be back again to see things you may have missed out on.

As for must sees, they're all in my blog about each island. The list is almost endless - which is why I'm back all the time to check stuff out on all the islands. Each island is different and they're all so beautiful! I also blogged about the cruise in detail as well.

Hope I've helped a little original.gif If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

#3 georgi

Posted 22 February 2013 - 11:54 AM

Thanks so much for your great info!! Think I'll give the cruise a miss this time around and do the island hopping - didn't realise it's only 1/2 hour mostly. Will also give your blogs a read. September is ages away but getting very excited.

#4 ~Kee~In~Hawaii~

Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:52 PM

It's not that far away, believe me! I leave to head back to Waikiki on September 18th and my ticker is getting less and less time on it rapidly. It will be here before both of us know it! You're not the only one excited for September, I have 16 days in Waikiki and then a 19 day cruise back to Australia from Hawaii, via the Pacific Islands. Cannot wait to get on the plane and get back over there - not that I want to come back to Oz afterwards but doing it via the cruise sweetens the deal for me a little. Looking forward to the trip over when I don't have to come back.

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