This week, its all about a bucket list destination...Hawaii. For a good portion of the US population, Hawaii is a destination that takes awhile to physically get to. However, overcoming this obstical is easy and planning a meaningful itinerary is also easy if you follow this week's suggestion.
This vacation takes you to the high seas on board Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America cruise ship. Cruisers understand the value of a cruise, thats why the industry has one of the highest customer retention rates in travel. If this is your first cruise, then look closely at the details of this trip. It solves a number of logisitcal issues so you and your family can focus on experiencing the culture of this amazing place!
First-time cruisers, watch this video.
This is what I consdier to be a longer-duration trip than the average (ten days) with a bottom line price tag of $17,733.94.
Two adults and two school-age children.
At least eight months from the date of departure.
I selected Augsut 18-27, 2017. Why nine nights? It includes a seven day cruise plus a little time to enjoy Honolulu and adjust to the time zone.
Time of Year
If you have school-age children that aren't homeschooled, you most likely need to travel when they are out of school. This means you are traveling at a peak time to Hawaii. We can discuss the pro and cons of this time period in another video. A video about Peak Season can be found here.
Where To Stay
This itinerary was based on selecting a balcony cabin on board the ship and a one night stay in Waikiki at a popular Hilton property.
Norwegian Cruise Line - Pride of America
By selcting this itinerary, you will be seeing some of the best of the state! You and yours will embark in Honolulu and travel to Maui, Kona, Hilo and Kauai. Wow! I've been twice and I loved it! Bottom Line on the cruise (including stateroom, port charges, food, non-alcoholic beverages, and taxes): $5,732.94
Arriving By Air
Honolulu International Airport is the largest airport in Hawaii. Followed by Maui. I selected United Airlines for this itinerary and I opted for Economy Plus seating on non-stop flights from Newark Liberty. By selecting Economy Plus, you get two checked bags per person included in the cost of the ticket in addition to "Economy Plus" seating (with more leg room). Bottom Line on Air: $5,976.00
Ground transportation in your departure city will affect your cost and I highly suggest booking a car service or an Uber so you don’t have to mess around with long term parking. You will need to get from the airport to the Hilton in Honolulu and then to the ship the next day. After the cruise, you will need to get from the cruise port to the airport. Bottom Line Ground: $350.00
You will not need to rent a car in Honolulu, however you will be renting one in Maui for one day to explore the island. Bottom line on car rental: $120.00
Shore excursions are NOT included in the cost of your cruise passage. Therefore, I have selected a few to help get the most out of each port of call. However, these are completely up to you, your desires and your budget. These excursions can be booked on your own, directly with the cruise line or by a qualified travel agent. Below is a list of my suggestions:
Pearl Harbor Tour - $150.00
Volcano Helicopter Tour in Hilo - $2,000
Kona By Land & Sea - $540.00
Kauai Manor House Dinner and Cultural Luau - $700.00
Dining on board the ship is included in the cost of your cruise passage. However, this ship features specialty restaurants with a nominal upcharge. In addition, alcoholic beverages are also NOT included in the cost of the cruise ticket. You will have meals on travel days and a meal or two outside of what is included. Therefore, I budgeted an extra $815.00 for meals and alcohol.
Souviners and Unanticipated Extras
You can’t leave without some souvenirs, so I added $250.00 for the family and $500.00 in unexpected random things I couldn’t think of. Bottom Line: $750.00
Because I would consider this a big ticket vacation, I would go ahead and insure the trip and that will cost you about $300.00.
Bottom line for this exact itinerary: $17,733.94
If you would like to book this trip, message me in the comments below or send me an email and I’ll hook you up with my travel agent who may be able to price out the exact itinerary for less. Or, you can book most of these items direct with Norwegian Cruise Line. When they ask how you heard about this itinerary, tell them Erik The Travel Guy suggested it.
Again, keep in mind, this vacation is your jumping off point. If you have additional thoughts on your last trip to Hawaii, drop them in the comments below. Do your own homework and then get ready to have the vacation of a lifetime!
PS. Learn more about Norwegian Cruise Line here. Price out your own itinerary with my handy, dandy vacation calculator here.
I am on a mission to get you traveling more often. As the host of the Emmy award- winning, nationally syndicated television television for PBS and the Create channel, "Beyond Your Backyard," I travel (on average) 25 weeks per year. I am very grateful for the opportunity to meet cool people, experience new places, eat delicious food and work with the best production crew in the world. Hopefully, through this blog, you will join me on my travels and be reminded just how exciting it is to be alive!