Cruises can be great, as long as you enjoy a certain style of vacation. I have been on two cruises (one to Alaska and one to the Caribbean: Cozumel; Costa Maya; Belize City, Belize; Roatan, Honduras) and have decided that I don’t really like them that well.
It’s true that cruise fare can be very inexpensive, and meals and lodging are included, which is great, but there are a few things to think about:
1. You said it’s a cruise TO Hawaii? Or is it an inter-island Hawaaiian cruise? If you’re crusing from CA to Hawaii you’ll probably have 3 days at sea. Days at sea are SO BORING.
2. Branching off of that, are you and FI the sit around and chill kind of vacationers, or get out and do things vacationers? I find that being stuck on a ship except for 5-16 hour stints at port was a little much for me: I am not really a sit-around kinda gal. Something to consider!
3. There are incidentals to think about on cruises that branch far beyond the fare. I’ve only cruised on inside and oceanview cabins, but I’ve heard if you splurge for a balcony or suite some things are included.
a. Alcohol is outrageously expensive. Think 6 pack for $30+ or a mixed drink for $8-$10. These are the prices on Princess and Norwegian, but I hear the nicer cruise lines (AKA Celebrity) actually have lower prices for drinks. Also, if you’re a soda drinker, that’s not included. You can usually buy a pass for the whole cruise or buy per glass.
b. Specialty restaurants. You’ll probably want to eat at at least a couple on your honeymoon; they’re usually at least a $25/ea upcharge per meal.
c. Excursions can also be pricey…I’d say they usually start at about $50/ea and go up from there. Best to do your research on them beforehand, though, and book through private companies instead of on the ship where they ask for about twice the money for the same excursion. Alternately, you can always get into port and see where the wind takes you.
d. Gratuities. One of the best parts of cruising is being waited on, and you’ll be asked to reward the staff with another $15 or so for each for the two of you per day.
You can find lots more information here: http://www.cruisecritic.com
Good luck figuring it out! You should definitely give cruising a try sometime, but if it were me and we were definitely set on going to Hawaii, I’d be staying at a lush resort for my honeymoon!