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Hm.

There are several cruises to Hawaii, but they are all round trip with no option to leave the ship. I would like to cruise to Hawaii, debark and spend a couple of weeks, and then catch a ship back to the mainland. No dice, or at least not with the lines I am familiar with.

Any hidden options? Or just gotta fly? The cruises are silly in that they last 17 days, but you only get maybe three days in Hawaii. The rest is the crossing (round trip).

1poorguy
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Norwegian Cruise lines has a cruise the circles the Hawaiian Islands. Then you can fly, spend time on the site of your choice and cruise too.

Because of the Jones Act, the 17 day cruises from the mainland are priced about the same as the 7 day Norwegian Cruise (which must use all American crews). The 17 day cruises from San Diego, LA, San Francisco, or Vancouver all stop in one non-US port. That allows them to hire low cost crews from all over. The San Diego Holland America Cruise stops in Mexico.
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Yeah, but that's not what I want. I want to forego flying entirely. Apparently not an option. And I will be a few months before I'm fit to fly.

1poorguy
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Just have to either buy your own boat, or look for a charter!

There may be Cargo ship with passenger space available. A different experience, I bet. My old neighbor was purser on such a line, maybe Delta? Anyway, it left San Fran, through the Panama Canal, and circled South America, eventually returning to SF. So he'd be gone for months at a time, but return with many tales to be shared over maybe some nice Tequila or other brew he brought back, as well as rounds of cheeses and such that had to be off the ship at the end...

So maybe search for such transporters, there's a lot of ship traffic out of SF, surely there is something available..

weco
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There may be Cargo ship with passenger space available. A different experience, I bet. My old neighbor was purser on such a line, maybe Delta?

I am curious how long ago this was. My father mostly Chief Mate but also Captain when American Export and then American Export Isbrandtsen did them and he died 30 years ago. I'm pretty sure they had stopped as they moved to container ships.

However, I do have an undated photo from a trip quite awhile before that of my father having dinner with James Cagney and Ralph Bellamy in Italy during one of those trips.
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Yes, it was yeas ago, maybe 20ish, I think. 'Uncle Dick' as we knew him was done in by an untreated melanoma in the late '90s, and left us. But we've many great memories of his personality, trips n such, as Purser he was responsible for the enjoyment of the passengers, so a lot of gifts also came his way and I recall one or two repeat passengers that tried to win him away from us, but he resisted...

It may well be that the container shipping has changed the game, but it was a chance they maybe 1pg could chase, maybe get lucky!

Some of the ships also do rehoming runs, but that scheduling isn't so likely to work out..

weco
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wecoguy" There may be Cargo ship with passenger space available. A different experience, I bet. My old neighbor was purser on such a line, maybe Delta? Anyway, it left San Fran, through the Panama Canal, and circled South America, eventually returning to SF. So he'd be gone for months at a time, but return with many tales to be shared over maybe some nice Tequila or other brew he brought back, as well as rounds of cheeses and such that had to be off the ship at the end...

Sommersett Maughn traveled the South Pacific this way. Wrote several of his short stories based on those adventures.

CNC
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"Yeah, but that's not what I want. I want to forego flying entirely. Apparently not an option"

Maybe we could start lobbying for a 100 year old protectionist Act to be repealed/replaced?
The world of transport has changed a lot since it was enacted.
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Celebrity has one way Hawaii cruises from Vancouver.
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Maybe we could start lobbying for a 100 year old protectionist Act to be repealed/replaced?
The world of transport has changed a lot since it was enacted.


People in Hawaii sure don't like it. Keeps the price of Spam high.
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I believe that the only one-way cruise to Hawaii starts in Vancouver, so you'd still need to get to there (and back). There are trans-Pac freighter cruises, but none stop in Hawaii. Matson does virtually all of the freighter operations to/from Hawaii, and they don't allow passengers. Pasha ferries vehicles and some goods to/from Long Beach but again, no pax.

http://www.freightercruises.com/voyages.php#transpacific

Unless a medical condition absolutely prevents you from flying, just fly. Pay a bit extra for "comfort" row or even first class. The TSA part really isn't that big a deal in most airports nowadays, except at peak times/days. Leave your knives and corkscrews and quarts of shampoo at home, and you'll be fine. :-)

And if you fly on Hawaiian Air (numerous nonstops to/from Phoenix and from west coast), your Hawaiian vacation begins (sort of) once you're on the plane.
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The stress of an airport would be too much for me right now. It's leisurely travel, or none at all for a while. Until I'm cleared with the docs.
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The stress of an airport would be too much for me right now. It's leisurely travel, or none at all for a while. Until I'm cleared with the docs.

Most of the time, you can control the stress level for domestic flights. Unless it is a small cruise ship (less than 150 passengers), domestic airports are no more stressful than cruise ship boarding. Thousands of people trying to get on board, after boarding the cabins aren't accessible yet, and emergency drill doesn't make for that calm of an environment before departure. Ships can also be weather delayed. One cruise out of Vancouver, we went to meet the shuttle and were told the ship was going to be several hours late. The shuttles weren't running yet and we told we really didn't want to be at the cruise terminal with a large number of passengers waiting. Cruise terminals don't even have seating for that many people at one time.

Arrive early. Getting through TSA is the most annoying part and unpredictable on time. Cruise terminals are often also chaotic. The last cruise we hit the perfect time before the crowd arrived. There were no lines but still several hours before we could access our cabin.

TSA pre helps with TSA. Even if the line isn't shorter, not taking off shoes, leaving liquids in luggage and other items makes it worth it. It isn't expensive at $85 for 5 years.

If you need it and aren't taking your own, request a wheelchair in the airport. If your traveling companion can't assist, a pass for a caregiver to accompany you to the gate can be obtained when requested ahead of the flight. If you don't need a wheelchair, many airlines have a "senior assist" option. I ended up in ER a few hours ahead of an Alaskan cruise. We made our flight but I needed a wheelchair in the airport. I also traveled with my sister when she needed a wheelchair. A companion that obtains the wheelchair makes the process less stressful.

A first class ticket often makes TSA easier. Choose an airline that either includes lounge access with the first class ticket or allows buying entry in the lounge. You have arrived early. Cruised through TSA. Now relax in the lounge with either the free food or buy an adult beverage to relax and wait for boarding.

The remaining problem could be layovers. There are many non-stop Hawaii flights from the West Coast. I don't know where you live. If you are taking a cruise, you would still need to get to the West Coast. Direct flights can be difficult to find but avoid going into the terminal. Some sites offer suggested flight connections that are not realistic. Booking realistic connecting flights lowers the stress. (Phoenix airport seems to always have runners trying to make their connecting flights). You can request assistance to transfer between flights.

We have looked at Hawaii cruises from the West Coast. The multiple back to back at sea days has kept me from considering it.

Have you considered Alaska instead of Hawaii? One way cruises to/from Seward are common.
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The stress of an airport would be too much for me right now. It's leisurely travel, or none at all for a while. Until I'm cleared with the docs.

I love Hawaii. It would be a shame to only have three days there. Let me toss out a couple ideas that might help with the stress...

Sometimes for big trips my wife and I will depart for the airport ridiculously early. The idea is we're starting our vacation early, so go to the airport and have a nice leisurely lunch. The result is that it doesn't matter if traffic is bad, or if the TSA lines are extra long. We have plenty of time. The days before a trip are usually pretty busy, so the long lunch gives a chance to discuss plans and otherwise catch up. And importantly, a chance to relax before the trip starts which helps set the tone for the trip.

Similar idea with airport lounges. Most airline credit cards will allow you to buy a day pass to the lounge, where in most places provides a buffet meal and free drinks, and it is out of the hub-up of the terminal. Plus they can provide you with whatever flight assistance you need. So I find good value in the lounge passes if I have time.

I while back I mentioned how I signed up for Clear. The stuff works. I flew yesterday morning for business. Monday mornings are big travel times, and the TSA lines were huge. But I was completely through security in less than 10 minutes. Probably closer to five. Many credit cards reimburse all or part of Clear fees. 30 day free trial too, so you can change your mind for free.

Upgrade your seats. You board sooner. Less time waiting around in the boarding area reduces my stress for sure. Flight experience is marginally better as well.

I don't know if those are workable/feasible for you given your health situation, but maybe some combination of those can salvage your Hawaii trip.
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TSA pre helps with TSA. Even if the line isn't shorter, not taking off shoes, leaving liquids in luggage and other items makes it worth it. It isn't expensive at $85 for 5 years.

Many travel cards will reimburse TSA fees as well.
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The stress of an airport would be too much for me right now.

I don't mean to push, but have you been there recently to check it out? I find the airport to be less stressful than, say, going to the mall.

Take only carry-on (you know that) and skip the whole bag-check routine. Print out your ticket at home, or store it one your phone. Take an Uber to the airport, which drops you off at the door. Invest in a GOES card or spring for a first-class ticket. Either one will get you through TSA in less than 10 minutes. Sometimes we've gone through in less than 5 minutes.

Stroll to your gate or get a lift in one of the golf carts, get on the plane, order a mai-tai, watch a movie, relax.
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take a look at "round-the-world" cruises. They frequently have a leg either to/from Hawaii to western US. Also, some transpacific cruises to/from Australia have a leg connecting to the US. There may be a month between going/coming on two different cruise lines.

Jeff
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They would allow a leg of the cruise? I would have to pay for a full cruise (twice)?

HAL and NCL said "no go".

The gotcha with Hawaii is that they have to visit a foreign port, and it's round trip. I suspect Australia we could book a cruise straight through because it ends a foreign port.
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OK, I'm gonna let this alone after this, but as another poster said, if you think that traveling (how?) to a West Coast point of departure, getting to the ship, going through the boarding, baggage handling, lifeboat drill, etc., spending the best part of a week on the open ocean, and then going through the whole reverse process at the end of the cruise is less stressful than riding to a nearby airport, getting on a plane, watching a couple of movies, and then walking off, you may want to re-think the whole thing.

If you want to go on a cruise, fine. But believing that it'll be less stressful than hopping on a plane could result in unpleasantness for you.
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Mr, Fungui: If you want to go on a cruise, fine. But believing that it'll be less stressful than hopping on a plane could result in unpleasantness for you.

1pg has taken a number of cruises, I believe he is aware of what they entail.

CNC
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I have had no problems boarding ships. Easy peasy. No stress at all.

And I have medical issues right now that necessitate reduced stress. That will pass, but for now I would rather avoid the entire airport scene.
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If you want to go on a cruise, fine. But believing that it'll be less stressful than hopping on a plane could result in unpleasantness for you.
______________________________________________

It's simply a matter of preference. We have done a number of Queen Mary II crossings because it was convenient, about the same price as flying and a far more comfortable experience.

One extreme case of "cruising as transportation" was to take a 39 day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Osaka, Japan instead of flying. The tab? About $3,500 a person - which was less than business class airfare. (That was followed by a week in Kyoto, bullet train to Tokyo. After a week there, a flight to Beijing for a week stay. Then bullet train to Shanghai for ten days. This was followed by a cruise on a different line along the south coast of Asia (with a three night stay-over in Yangoon). We got off the ship in Mumbai, stayed a week there and then flew home. While the trip was about the length of many "world cruises" (about four months), we stayed at least a week in the major stops that most cruises - at most - spend an overnight.

Another was stringing seven cruises serially, (comprised of five ships on four cruise lines with land stays in-between) on a trip which started with a river cruise from Budapest to Bucharest, extended to the Black Sea, then through the Mediterranean. Then up the coast of Norway and around the North Cape, down to Mermansk, Archangel, Solvetsky Islands in Russia, then back over the top and down the UK - returning on the QM II to NYC.

We don't mind cruise ships (prefer them to planes), but enjoy sightseeing ashore even more.

Jeff
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Kudos to you... haven’t done one cruise ever...don’t think I could stand it..sucker for punishment and must like meeting people but what a fantastic way to see all the cultures of the world. I get sick in the bathtub😊
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I get sick in the bathtub😊

Seasick meds can be your friend.

A shower or bathtub on board can be challenging. I have learned my lesson. Dramamine before shower.
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