When you’re comparing Hawaiian cruises, the deciding factors typically involve departure ports, allegiance to a particular cruise line, onboard amenities and/or bonus perks. If you’re having difficulty choosing the itinerary that’s right for you, here’s a look at four of the best-rated Hawaiian cruises to help with your decision-making process.
Disney Wonder 9-Night Hawaiian Cruise From Vancouver
Hawaiian cruise options that depart from Canada include Disney Cruise Line’s 9-night Hawaiian cruise. Rather than lose several days at sea on both ends of the cruise, this one starts in Vancouver and ends in Honolulu. This itinerary gives you the option to book a few nights at Disney’s Aulani Resort or visit other islands in Hawaii. Like many other Hawaiian cruises, the Disney Wonder stops at all four major islands — Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. One main difference is you don’t have any other ports outside of Hawaii.
Celebrity Escape 13-Night Hawaii and West Coast Cruise
Another option is to start your cruise off in Hawaii, and Celebrity Cruises has a 13-night Hawaiian island cruise that also visits several popular destinations in the United States before ultimately ending in Vancouver. Ports of call include an overnight in Honolulu (Oahu), plus days in port at Lahaina (Maui), Hilo (Hawaii), Kailua (Hawaii), Astoria (Oregon), Seattle (Washington) and Victoria (British Columbia).
U.S. News & World Report ranks the Celebrity Escape as the top cruise ship that goes to Hawaii. It’s one of the largest vessels in the fleet, was recently renovated and has one of the largest percentages of accommodations with verandas. Splurge for a suite or Aqua Class stateroom, and you’ll also have exclusive access to specialty dining and butler service.
Grand Princess 15-Day Hawaiian Cruise
If you prefer not to purchase one-way airfare, this is a great itinerary. After leaving San Francisco, you’ll have four days at sea before visiting Hawaiian ports like Hilo, Honolulu, Kauai and Maui.
Then you can relax for four more days as you make your way back to the mainland. First up is a few hours stop in Ensenada, Mexico, to fulfill the international port requirement. Then enjoy one last day at sea as you cruise along the California coast before returning to port in San Francisco.
There’s a lot to keep you busy on the Grand Princess, which was recently refurbished this year. Food & Wine Magazine ranked Princess Cruises as the best cruise line for food lovers, so foodies might want to put this itinerary at the top of their list.
Carnival Miracle 15-Day Hawaii From San Diego
If you’re traveling with kids, USA Today names Carnival Cruise Line as one of the best Hawaiian cruises for families. With no shortage of onboard activities, including a separate children’s pool, three-deck-high waterslide and a techno video arcade, your kids won’t be bored on their days at sea. Make a reservation for the extra-cost “Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast” where you can step inside the world of Dr. Seuss and enjoy whimsical brunch items and photo opportunities with iconic characters.
Carnival Cruise Line offers Hawaiian cruises from several different ports in California, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. The 15-day Hawaiian cruise from San Diego is the itinerary on this list that offers the most ports in the Hawaiian Islands. This cruise day-stops at Maui, Kona, Honolulu, Kauai and Hilo. You’ll also have four days at sea before and after the Hawaiian ports before you stop in Ensenada and back home to San Diego.