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After nearly 2 years, Hawaii sees return of large cruise ships

Jan. 11, 2022
3 min read
After nearly 2 years, Hawaii sees return of large cruise ships
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Big-ship cruising is finally -- finally! -- restarting in Hawaii.

After a 22-month period without a single voyage around the Hawaiian islands by a vessel that carried more than a few dozen people, Princess Cruises' Grand Princess on Sunday arrived in Honolulu on the first leg of a 15-night sailing from Los Angeles.

The 2,590-passenger ship is the first from any major cruise line to visit Hawaii since the cruise industry shut down operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. Hawaii is one of the last major cruise destinations around the world to reopen to large cruise ships.

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"We are delighted to call again on Hawaii, and our guests are very excited about visiting the Aloha state, and doing so safely," a spokesperson for the cruise line said on Monday.

Carrying 1,188 passengers and 915 crew, Grand Princess will visit the Hawaiian islands of Kauai, Hawaii and Maui before heading back to Los Angeles. The ship also will make a short stop in Ensenada, Mexico, toward the end of the trip.

Other cruise ships scheduled to restart calls in Hawaii in the coming weeks include Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Miracle, Oceania Cruises' Insignia and Princess' Ruby Princess.

Just one small cruise brand, UnCruise Adventures, already had restarted Hawaii cruises. The small-ship cruise specialist operates a 36-passenger, yacht-like vessel in the Hawaiian islands on a seasonal basis.

Usually synonymous with Hawaiian Island sailings, Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America has had to postpone cruises through Feb. 26, 2022, as part of a larger group of cancellations on which TPG reported last week.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawaii has had notoriously strict protocols for both inter-island travel and for travelers entering the state from elsewhere.

Last year, Hawaii also issued pleas for outsiders to stop visiting the islands, which were dealing with overtourism despite virus spikes in 2021.

In what some may see as an about face, the state is now reopening to cruise vessels even as some other destinations become more restrictive about ship visits due to the spike in COVID-19 cases worldwide being caused by the omicron variant of the illness.

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Featured image by The Princess Cruises ship Grand Princess. (Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases