We were intrigued by the idea of ease while touring Hawaii and the Pride of America, a Norwegian Cruise Line ship, was a great answer for us. The ship provided transportation and food so we could visit four islands in seven days with great ease and with no hotel costs. The Pride of America is the only large cruise ship that leaves from and returns to the islands, so we also minimized our days on the boat.
The hotel that Norwegian uses for pre-trips is the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort in Waikiki, which was fabulous. The white sandy beach was welcoming, and the pools held swim-up bars and fun play areas. Every corner held a surprise whether it was a parrot, fountain, or restaurant. We could also walk to shopping or take Uber or taxis anywhere we wanted to go.
We, my husband and I, flew into Oahu a few days early to take a tour of Pearl Harbor (visitpearlharbor.org) which is a moving reminder of the many individuals who have lost their lives in service to our country. Tours from Oahu are numerous and an easy option if you don’t rent a car. We scheduled some other fun activities before the cruise started including a luau. We also saved time to hike up Diamond Head Mountain, a relatively easy hike that was made more fun by all the interesting people we met on the path.
Our first stop was on Maui. The ship offers many excursions, or you can book them on your own. We didn’t take our first choice, the Road to Hana, because we wanted some exercise and more opportunities to enjoy the water. We loved snorkeling off the south shore and were able to see the Molokini Zodiac Turtles. We also visited the Haleakala Crater which stands at 10,000 feet above sea level. If you go, wear a jacket; it’s cold but beautiful. We visited midday instead of taking the sunrise or sunset tour. We may have missed another beautiful sight, but we enjoyed the rest.
On the Big Island we snorkeled again, enjoying the beautiful water and the quiet solitude. The fish and other sea creatures were entertaining and kept us busy pointing out our finds to each other. Kauai, the Garden Isle, gave us the opportunity to see waterfalls and lush landscapes. It also offers zip-line opportunities through the trees with water landings. Waimea Canyon offers the chance for visitors to view it from above via helicopter or in jeeps for a land point of view. Sailing by the seventeen-mile-long Napali Coast with its green-hued cliffs was a great way to leave Kauai before heading back to Honolulu.
We loved the cruise, in fact, we would return because Hawaii has so much to experience. The one item we would change is to take our family. There were so many multi-generational families on board that it made us miss our own more. Next time…
Have you taken a cruise that you loved? Please share it with us in the comment section below.