This was our second cruise with Pied Piper. They do an excellent job. Lyman and Dennis, our cruise hosts, were very good. We had cruised with Lyman to Alaska. This tour group had about 100 people, mostly gay men with some families and a few lesbian couples. By far, most of the group was in long time relationships with the average age being around 40.
Our table in the dining room was a very good group. We got to know all the couples and had many good times with them. They all loved the casino as we did. We found ourselves on many excursions with them. David and Al were from Ft. Lauderdale. Ricky and Peter were from the Raleigh area in North Carolina. Al and Keith were from Chicago.
I am sure most people are curious if a cruise to Hawaii is a good idea. Hawaii is suited for cruising. The idea of unpacking once and visiting many islands over a week is appealing. Although we were happy with the cruise and ship, we were somewhat unhappy with the short time we were in each port. A typical day saw us docking around 8:00 a.m. and leaving port around 5:00 p.m. When you add in a shore excursion, a day quickly disappears. We had 2 full day excursions that left us with almost no free time in Hilo and Kauai. The eight days of open sea cruising was nice, but a little too much for me. I love the shore excursions. Brett loves sea days. He was in heaven.
I would recommend a Hawaiian cruise, perhaps one that circles the islands beginning and ending in Hawaii. I understand there are few of them. I hear a good alternative that many cruise lines use is to cruise to Hawaii from San Diego or LA and then circle the islands for 7-10 days. That is a good mix of cruising and touring. I would recommend that you check the itineraries and look for cruises that have longer days in port, perhaps a few overnight stays in places like Maui, Kona or Honolulu.
Cruises are very relaxing vacations. Modern ships like the Summit offer a lot of variety. You can eat almost anytime, anywhere. The cuisine goes from hot dogs to 5-star French. There are quiet places like the cappuccino bar, library and your private deck. The casino, shopping arcade, pool decks and nightclubs offer fun times. The Martini Bar was our group’s nightly tradition before dinner. We spent many days in the aqua spa salt water pool. It was restful and an adults only place. We treated ourselves to massages and other spa services. A cruise is your chance to do and experience things you normally wouldn’t in your everyday life.