The time had come for Grand #3 to complete his application for our North American Travel Scholarship.  This had prompted discussions with numerous family members about the location of his adventure.  As a child who loves to explore the underwater world and as a child whose father and mother were married and vacationed in Hawaiian islands we were not surprised when he informed us that Hawaii was his destination of choice. 

What was a surprise was that he wanted to visit four islands in his allotted scholarship trip time of 7-days.  I immediately envisioned the time we were going to lose sitting in airports as we hopped from island to island, already dreading the infernal packing and unpacking.  Dismayed by the thought that the bulk of his memories from his well earned scholarship trip would be of nothing but the brute logistics of travel I resolved to find a better way. 

We are not cruise ship travelers so it took me some time to land on the idea.  But the practicality of being able to board a boat, unpack for 7-days, while the boat repositioned us at night to the next island, was the only way to optimize our time for the many activities that Grand #3 wanted to experience during his scholarship trip.

Armed with inspiration, I researched cruises in Hawaii and was initially alarmed as many of them were much longer than 7-days but eventually my online trolling produced success.  The one cruise line that had a 7-day journey to four Hawaiian islands was the Norweigan Cruise Line’s Pride of America.  Voila! 

But my naivete in booking cruise travel quickly caught up with me.  What I didn’t realize was that I had booked our trip through a broker and not directly with the Norweigan Cruise Line (NCL).  This became important as I began interfacing with NCL for our excursions as I was forced to toggle back and forth between the broker and NCL (with separate login credentials), never sure if what I was doing was going to be recognized by NCL once we were on board.  Given the size of the investment that we were making in the trip I didn’t want to get on board only to learn that I had somehow failed to check the right box in the process resulting in not securing our preferred excursions.  I spent unwarranted time worrying that I had perhaps done something wrong. 

Prior to departure I was able to confirm all of our reservations through NCL and was able to start our trip with the reassurance that our plan was in place.  Armed with confidence we flew into Honolulu, and boarded the Pride of America after a lovely overnight at the Royal Hawaiian, a bucket list item for me, and unpacked in our tiny aft-facing cabin with a large deck.  We were immediately struck by the ingenuity of the space planning as once we got everything out of our luggage there was a place for everything.  With luggage shoved under the bed and out of site, we made our way to the deck with an outdoor restaurant to wave goodbye to Honolulu.

Mary Beth I have a passion for creating and experiencing unforgettable moments and sharing those with others. I hope that this story has helped you experience one of those moments.

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