Hawaii Cruise Thoughts.
We booked this 15 night cruise to Hawaii with the thought that this would be the best/easiest way to see Hawaii with two kiddos 6 and under. Now, at points it seemed like we made a bad decision but I feel like any family vacation will feel like that at times. HAHA. Now that we have been back for awhile and had time to decompress, we booked another one for next year. HAHA x2. However, I do not recommend Princess Cruises at all. I hate being negative because we had THE BEST TIME on this trip but it wasn’t because of the cruise line. We’re trying Celebrity next year and I’m excited!
The food on Princess was not a highlight for me. The dining room was just ok but the waiters weren’t very accommodating with the kids so we ended up going to the buffet most of the time. The buffet was not up to par with any food you would actually pay for at a restaurant. I ended up getting pringles and skittles from the gift shop some days because I just got so sick of the food. Luckily we ate good when we got off at the islands! The kids had no problem at all with the food although they did start to say things like “I miss Noanie’s soup” and “I miss your spaghetti”. They ate pizza every day and they enjoyed the oatmeal and bacon at breakfast. The drinks were also very weak and watery. I ended up just getting prosecco every evening toward the end. I’m not much of a drinker (mostly because it’s a waste of calories to be honest) but I do like to have a drink a day on vacation. The last cruise we were on was Disney so I have that fresh in my mind to compare and the food on Disney was fresh and delicious! If you can afford it (I know it’s double price..I was fortunate enough to go as part of a writing assignment), Disney is 1000000x’s better. But Disney anything is always 1000000x’s better and I’m currently harassing Gabe into spending the big bucks on a Disney Cruise since he didn’t get to go with us last time. Haha.
Basically my advice would be…don’t go on Princess cruises. But DO go on a Hawaii Cruise with kids. We left out of San Pedro..no flying necessary so we didn’t have to stress about packing too much or gathering souvenirs with no way to take them. My dad dropped us right off out front of the boat and picked us up right in front of the boat at the end (THANKS DAD). We didn’t have to worry about where to eat or where to stay as we cruised over and the boat dropped us right off at the islands. I definitely recommend renting a car at each island so you can see more of it. We rented a car at every port except Maui and we totally regretted not seeing the other side of the island.
Every cruise has a kids club and if your kids are 3 and up, it’s a nice way to get a dinner date or adult pool time. Goldie LOVES kids clubs and spends a lot of time in them. She actually said she liked the Princess Club better than Disney because there were about 5 kids in it in contrast to the hundreds on the Disney Cruise. Plus she got pushed off of the Toy Story slide by a big kid so that didn’t help. Both clubs had tons of crafts and fun things to do. The Princess kids club was only open for a few hours at a time which I liked because she couldn’t argue about leaving to actually hang out with her family on family vacation. Disney is open all day so it’s possible to literally not see your kids all day. If you’re into that, it could be a pro for you. Ha. We’re hoping that Darcy will go in there some day but for now he is too shy and he likes me too much. Haha.
I love the slow pace of a cruise and the fact that you can chill in your room or sit on the balcony and read a book for hours if you want and you aren’t missing out on anything. I tend to try and GO GO GO on vacation so I don’t “waste it” but a cruise forces you to slow down and relax. This is great for me. We got a balcony but it was in very poor shape..very rusty and dirty..after coming from the pristine Disney Cruise balcony I was shocked. And now this has turned into an ad for Disney Cruise Line. Hahaha.
Anyway, here are a ton of pictures that I’m going to put into a little family book. Leave me a comment if you have any questions about cruising with kids! :)
Here’s a video as well: