The other thing you will find about shore excursions that the ships offer is that they are overpriced.The cruise ships often MARK UP the activities and tours well over the list price.that means you get to spend one day on each island, right? Some of the islands don't have ports that can handle cruise ships at all (Niihau, Molokai, and Lanai).
You hop from island to island and get to see and do it all while you are here, right? Some cruise ship itineraries are so bad that you barely have a chance to see anything at all.
The time in port can be so limited that your only choice for optional tours is to get on one of the cruise line's busses when you hit port and ride around with 70 other cruisers looking out the window. GET AS FAR AWAY FROM IT AS POSSIBLE when you are on shore.
Don't underestimate how much time will be lost tendering ... There are two ports in Hawaii where tendering is required.
or plan a tour or event that is scheduled to depart 30 minutes after your cruise ship is set to arrive in port. If your cruise ship has the following ports of call, you will be tendering in ... The rest of the ports of call have docking facilities ...
The Pride of America has exactly the same itinerary week in and week out almost 98% of the time (if you happen to have a rare slightly-altered itinerary, just let us know and we'll make adjustments on our recommendations).
We DO NOT RECOMMEND cruises that start in the mainland and end in Hawaii, or vice versa! If your goal is to see Hawaii, don't spend most of your vacation at sea ... If you have more than a week to do a Hawaiian cruise vacation, try taking this approach instead ...Hawaii is smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Ocean ... do a one-week cruise that starts and ends in Hawaii, and then add a few extra days on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, or the Big Island after your cruise.And even if you only have a week, you might want to spend one full day in Honolulu prior to the start of your cruise ...The cruise ship itinerary that we like the best is Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America.This is the only ship that offers a staggering 100 hours in port in Hawaii!The regular itinerary for this ship includes an overnight stay on Kauai, and an overnight stay in Kahului on Maui.