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Ready-4-ER-at-14 08-15-2017 03:27 PM

Travel cruise and dancing
Spouse and I have had five cruises on several cruise lines. (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian). Two to Caribbean (one a dance group cruise), one to west coast of Mexico, one to inner passage of Alaska, last being up east coast to Canada. We've had a nice time at all of them missing only one site I wanted to see because of high swells at that port making landing unsafe via shuttle boats going over coral reefs.

This winter we will be taking a round trip cruise from the west coast to Hawaii. Our first time to Hawaii. We both have biology/science backgrounds as undergraduates so any geeky botany, birds, or fish things could be interesting. After viewing Jaws1 to Jaw20 not sure I want to be in any ocean swimming, even have doubts about lake Michigan or Mississippi. :coolsmiley:

We hope to do some dancing on board and possibly on some of the islands, but not necessarily luaus and hula. :dance:
I believe we will be visiting four of the islands. Not yet sure if we will have time available other than day tours. Probably will stick to tours from approved vendors.

We can do about a dozen different dances from waltz, foxtrot, country 2 step, west coast swing, rhumba to salsa and learned at a lead/follow studio. So any dance clubs open to public could be nice. Will have tux and gown if needed.

I've been told that some of the Canard line ships are quite nice regarding dancing for future cruises. Several ladies I know said they had male hosts to dance with the ladies as well. They seemed to get great rates, far better than I see advertised, I'd ask them but believe they are on yet another cruise :laugh:

Know I sound kind of vague re details right now. Even money bet as if I remember the final line chosen of the several options considered. But haven't had the full final briefing yet. Basically agreed to length of time, cost and destination but let her research it and come up with the best deal for us. When she started relating all the details at one point I was maxing out and just said if you think it is a good deal do it and tell me more later.

Guess I am asking what you remember near the major ports and tours there worth seeing.

sengsational 08-15-2017 04:00 PM

If you're asking about suggestions for Hawaiian ports, my suggestion would be to book rental cars in every port.

I wouldn't generally rent cars in non-US ports, but I found rental car outfits within a 10 minute walk from all the Hawaiian island ports I visited. And they are very efficient with their rental and return process. The prices were very reasonable and it turned-out to even be more reasonable because we met people on the ship that were very pleased to join us and pay half.

Nemo2 08-15-2017 04:09 PM


Originally Posted by Ready-4-ER-at-14 (Post 1923851)
I've been told that some of the Canard line ships....

Naah, it's just an unfounded rumor. ;)

Souschef 08-15-2017 04:17 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Unless you like sea days, IMO the west coast Hawaiian cruises are a waste of time and money.
The cruise is 15 days RT, and you visit 4 or 5 ports. I would rather fly to Hawaii and split 15 days between a couple of islands. There are number of package deals, or you could rent a car and condo.
Here are the stories of 2 trips we took, one just to Kauai, and one to Oahu and Maui.

YVRRocketSurgery 08-15-2017 06:52 PM

It'd nice if there were some overnights in the towns. Car rental would be good though have to watch your valuables.

I'm just guessing the ports and where the ships dock based on previous itineraries we've looked at.
Honolulu Oahu: Downtown is pretty standard and walkable. Waikiki Beach, typical kitschy market area, there's a Chinatown. Diamond Head is likely the closest easiest tour apart from the Pearl Harbor/Arizona memorial. It's a bit of a trek but we like visiting/staying on the north shore. Nice beaches, kitschy Dole Plantation tourist trap along the way.

Lahaina Maui: Nothing really stood out for us in Lahaina, though we did do a luau (done it. don't have to do it again.) Highlight was sunrise on Halekala and then coasting down the mountain on bikes. We also went to a winery that made pineapple wine which was kind of interesting.

Kona Big Island: Visiting a coffee plantation was kind of nice to buy authentic Kona beans. It was also nice just driving along the coast. There are some nice remote beaches tho may void your car rental agreement. It's a bit of a trek but you can visit South Point, the southern most point in the US.

Hilo Big Island: Hilo has a nice farmers market though some days are bigger than the other. Mauna Loa macadamia nut factory is nearby for a tour but it's a bit of a tourist trap. Most interesting nearby is Volcano Park. It's kind of an interesting drive/walk. Very cool at night.

Bamaman 08-15-2017 08:32 PM

Hawaii should be the.premier cruising destination in the world--if politics didn't get in the way. I have chartered a plane and visited every island there but Lanai, and it is a beautiful state.

But for the price paid, give me a Baltic cruise that includes St. Petersburg or a Greecian cruise out of Italy. They're a strong value and much more special.

Scuba 08-16-2017 02:15 AM


Originally Posted by Souschef (Post 1923865)
Unless you like sea days, IMO the west coast Hawaiian cruises are a waste of time and money.
The cruise is 15 days RT, and you visit 4 or 5 ports. I would rather fly to Hawaii and split 15 days between a couple of islands. There are number of package deals, or you could rent a car and condo.
Here are the stories of 2 trips we took, one just to Kauai, and one to Oahu and Maui.

There is so much to see in Hawaii and time is too limited if you go on a cruise ship, unless you just want a very brief visit on 4 islands and relish spending a lot of time at sea.

EastWest Gal 08-16-2017 05:56 AM

I agree. Fly round trip and enjoy the islands. I've been to Hawaii many times. We did two islands last year. I loved the big island so much I dreamed of moving there. In winter you can see many humpback whales with their calves between Maui and Lanai. Sunrise at Haleakala is amazing (though you now need to make a reservation). The big island is amazing. Tour a coffee plantation, hike in Volcanos National Park, night snorkel with the manta rays, and amazing daytime snorkeling. Kahalu'u Beach Park near Kona is the best snorkeling in Hawaii IMO. High concentration of fish and we saw turtles every day. There is so much to enjoy on the islands that is missed in cruise crowds.

Ready-4-ER-at-14 08-16-2017 03:02 PM

I feel the fascination in the posts about islands by many of you. Pretty certain this is just the first Hawaii vacation so may be happy just hitting the high points on this tour. Is nice to hear some of the names of islands and ports a bit early. Pretty certain none of them exist until I have heard the names three times. : )
Even when I went to Las Vegas it took a few trips to be comfortable there and really explore anything off strip.

Heard from spouse that we will be on a Princess cruise, believe those are older and same class of ship as the Loveboat of TV fame. Spouse said ballroom is nice on that ship and we will be dining at a table of eight people.

She is way more particular re restaurants, furnishings, and life items than I am, she was used to pricey large business dining experiences she arraigned on an expense account to woo corporate accounts.

I was one of those who thought the college cafeteria was pretty good.

We thought about a balcony ocean view, but decided to go inside as she has had motion sickness in past. Fairly large price differential as well.

We are doing a trial year of living on about what retirement income will be and starting to ramp up our traveling so still living with the frugal mindset of increasing net worth while enjoying life.

Fayew 08-17-2017 09:47 PM

Hawaii is a beautiful place. I haven't gone there yet. But, I know many places like Hana, Volcano national park, etc.

gayl 08-18-2017 10:19 AM


Originally Posted by Ready-4-ER-at-14 (Post 1924191)
Heard from spouse that we will be on a Princess cruise, believe those are older and same class of ship as the Loveboat of TV fame

Not True!! Although they may have been the boat pictures on Love Boat, their ships are very new. Or refurbished within the last year or two. I'm not an expert on cruising but I am an Elite on Princess and Diamond on Carnival so I think I know them fairly well. What you will enjoy on Princess is the Plaza which is spacious and has a number of musicians playing there. There are also multiple dance floors normally. You do have to take a look at the ship layout and find out if you've got 6 or 8 dance floors. But you'll have plenty of them. Inside versus outside, if you are subject to motion sickness what you want to do is be in the middle of the ship. having an inside room or an outside room has absolutely no barrier on the amount of rocking that you will experience

Just my 2c as I head off to a Circle Japan cruise in 7 weeks :)

gayl 08-18-2017 10:24 AM

IMHO: Carnival lines no frills for kids / Princess is more adult with Plaza

sengsational 08-18-2017 02:53 PM


Originally Posted by gayl (Post 1924944)
I'm not an expert on cruising but I am an Elite on Princess and Diamond on Carnival ...

If you're not an expert, I wonder who possibly could be!!

MooreBonds 08-18-2017 03:22 PM

For my honeymoon in January, we did the Feast at Lele on Maui. It's a little pricier than other luaus, but it's on the beach, and offers 5 courses of various Pacific cultures' cuisines (rather than a buffet of just a few things). Oh, and the open bar! ;) (however, my wife and I each had 5 drinks, and hardly had any buzz....not because we are professional drinkers, but because they don't make them too strong). Dinner show was great, and not too many bad seats.

Feast At Lele – Oceanfront Polynesian Luau in Lahaina

Ready-4-ER-at-14 08-30-2017 09:01 PM

We decided to sign up early for one tour at each of the four islands to be visited. Prices seemed pretty reasonable.

One will be a several hour (4?) helicopter tour that had high reviews.
Another was to visit many types of agricultural fields sugar cane, pineapple, and something else.
One is to some volcano park or summit.
Final one was some drive around thing.

Had a friend who went to the war museum things with all the sunken ships and saw his photos so decided not to do those this trip, although I can imagine the scope and size of them must be daunting.

TY for your comments, will review them just before the trip as well.

sengsational 08-31-2017 11:48 AM

You'll probably love the helicopter tour. You'll be in the air much shorter than 4 hours, I'm sure, since they probably include the van/bus ride, the 'what to expect & safety' video, etc.

The good thing about what you've done is that it's low stress, and you'll be doing something "ok, or better". I've decided to "wing it" and done nothing, or done something that was less than ok. But like I said in an earlier post, renting a car and driving in Hawaii, even if you're only in port for 8 hours is a "thing". We went up to Keck on Mauna Kea and I almost passed-out running up the tiny hill to "summit", lol! And we went from sweltering to snow, which was kind of fun.

Teacher Terry 08-31-2017 11:58 AM

We almost always book our tours while still at home. They are one of the highlights for us.

gayl 09-01-2017 09:46 AM

I found this site to be helpful ( which enables me to do no tours in Japan, tours are what really jack up the price of these cruises):

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