We have decided on Hawaii for our cruise next year. I was just wondering if anyone could recommend a good time of the year to sail? We were thinking of March or April, but we can go later in the season as well.
> I have been there three times and always in MARCH and to me it
> was perfect.
> That is a good month to see the whales migrating.
Hawaii is really a seasonal cruise experience for the time being. The only cruise line that sails Hawaii year round is Norwegian on the Norwegian Star (FYI no casino. It's illegal under some Hawaii state law). Since the ship is not registered in the United States it has to call at a foreign port. The closest country to Hawaii is Fanning Island in the Republic of Kiribati (passports are required to even board the ship, at least for now). It takes one day in each direction to get there. I've heard this island being described as "fourth world" by some people. There are about 2700 residents on the whole island and Norwegian built the only school they have!
Holland America runs 15 or 16 night cruises from San Diego (they stop briefly in Ensenada) during the winter and spring. They overnight in some of the ports in Hawaii, too which is really nice. Only problem that I see is four to five days in a row at sea, especially if you are really active. I call them "bridge cruises" because it's almost impossible to get a seat in the bridge room! Also, the Pacific in December and January is like a blender. A co-worker of mine sailed on American Hawaiian from San Francisco in December of 2000 and had a porthole stateroom on one of the lower decks. He said that his cabin would actually go under the waterline! One minute it was day, the next night.
Norwegian is starting an American registered line that will employ Americans and fly the US flag, therefore allowing them to stay in Hawaii without having to call in Kiribati. They have two new ships under construction and one should be ready in summer of 2004. They also just bought the SS United States (launched 1952) and the SS Independence (around the same time). No timeline on when those will be there, but it's expected that the Independence will be based there.
Thank you so much for the advice. We were debating between March and April, but I wouldn't want to miss the whale migration., so it sounds like March would be the time to go. I know that May through November is hurricane season, and the seas can kick up, so the September and November sailings were iffy. It has also been a while since we lived in California, so thank you for also reminding me that the weather can be nasty with all the storm fronts coming ashore in November and December. I enjoy days at sea, so it sounds like this may be a good cruise for us. Thank you everyone for your kind advice.
You know I was looking at the Amsterdam on 4/21/04 out of Seattle, we live close by and it is not to far to drive up there or take the train. 18 days on the Amsterdam with at least 10 days at sea to just enjoy the ship, and to see Hawaii again after all the years really sounds good to me.
Having cruised twice on Statendam to Hawaii, I can HIGHLY recommend her. The first time I sailed her there was September/October; the second time, March/April. Saw lots of marine wildlife (whales) during the March/April cruise, especially off of Lahaina, Nawiliwili and Hilo.
My first ocean voyages were 53 years ago - and they were crossings to/from Honolulu from San Francisco aboard Matson's Line's fabled Lurline. Ocean crossings can be unpredictable at any time of year - but worse at others. I would definitely recommend a March crossing on Statendam. There are lots of daytime activities during sea days to keep you occupied if you so desire...or you can simply relax and enjoy the peace and tranquility of a crossing. You will have an especially comfortable time in an 'S' or 'PS' on Statendam. And she now has the Neptune Lounge (concierge lounge) for Suite guests as well as the yummy Pinnacle Grill to please your palate.
I'd book another Circle Hawaii cruise on Statendam in a heartbeat if I had the time.
I've been in March and May and enjoyed the weather both times. You should expect very light afternoon showers at these times, but you'll hardly even get wet. I enjoyed wearing shorts on both trips and neither month was too humid.