Spotlight on Hawaii

We’re off to the Hawaiian Islands! This tropical paradise can be anything you want it to be, from rejuvenation and cultural experiences, to, high-energy adventure. Travelers of all types can experience a range of things to see and do on all islands amid spectacular scenery in a region where natural wonders are right at your fingertips. 

Spotlight on Hawaii

Spotlight on Hawaii

Looking for relaxation and rejuvenation or high-energy adventure? Look no further than Hawaii – a top place to unwind and be inspired by Hawaii’s spectacular scenery and natural wonders.

The islands of Aloha have some great options for every day of your vacation. Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Molokai, and Hawaii (also known as The Big Island), have their own character and different landscapes. It’s easy to fly or cruise between the islands so you can experience more than one during your stay.

The Hawaiian Islands are home to a diverse range of experiences, from whale watching, snorkeling and surfing, to witnessing an active volcano, hiking the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, and driving the spectacular Hana Highway – Hawaii is a tropical paradise, complete with a laid-back Polynesian lifestyle.

Famed golf architects have designed sensational courses featuring scenic settings by the ocean with lava fixtures, and helping to make Hawaii one of the world’s top golf destinations with a new course on every island.

Spas with natural Hawaiian treatments, yoga retreats, sunrise hikes and relaxing at your beautiful resort add to the rejuvenation of a Hawaii vacation.

These islands are just right for a family getaway with plenty to keep every generation busy. Be sure to check out this month’s Top Ten list to learn why families love Hawaii.

Discover Hawaiian culture and history for a real appreciation of the islands and their people. You’ll also come across numerous cultural events, historic sites, music and dance during your stay. The Spirit of Aloha is an enriching part of your Hawaiian vacation.

Arrive home refreshed and rejuvenated after an inspiring vacation like no other. Whatever your interests and whoever you are traveling with, Hawaii can give you a unique balance of activity and relaxation.

On Location in Hawaii

Palm Trees

Looking for inspiration for your Hawaiian getaway? Our On Location partner Worldstar, and Hotel Partner, Hyatt are here with all the details you need to plan your trip.

Worldstar, On Location Partner

Cary Math, Operations Supervisor for Worldstar destination management fills you in on the latest in Hawaii travel.

Q: What makes Hawaii so special for visitors?

Each island has its own unique personality and is a separate vacation. Where else can you have 4 vacations in one?

  • Kauai, the lush Garden Isle, is old Hawaii with small communities and unapparelled beauty.
  • Oahu, the Gathering Place, holds the largest number of residents and so much history.
  • Maui, the Valley Isle, unbelievable beauty and the largest dormant volcano on planet earth.
  • The Big Island of Hawaii. This is where planet earth is growing as lava flows into the ocean.

Q: What services and tours do you offer?

We offer excursions, transfers and rental cars from economy to SUV’s; vans to convertibles on all islands. We also provide custom and private excursions including ’create your own excursion’. My favorite tours are ziplining (available on all islands), whale watching (in season), and on Hawaii, the Twilight Volcano tour, Manta night snorkel (absolutely amazing), and the Mauna Kea summit and stars (going up to 14,000 feet above sea level, see the observatories and watch sunset as well as star gaze.)

Q: What tours do you recommend for families?

Most land, sea and air tours, and activities are great for children of all ages. Premier on the islands is whale season – from December 15 to May 15 every year, Humpback whales migrate from the Alaskan Waters to the warm Waters of Hawaii. A Pearl Harbor excursion is also a must-see – it is the number one visited spot in the State of Hawaii, full of history and awe. Another must-do is a luau – an evening feast and show in the traditional Hawaiian way.

Q: Tell us about your excursions to see the Mt. Kilauea eruption?

We offer many excursions as it is one of the most popular things to see in Hawaii. The all-day Twilight Volcano tour features an incredible range of ecosystems and climate zones before experiencing first-hand the phenomenon that makes it possible – an erupting volcano. You’ll also witness the awesome power of lava as it enters the ocean at sunset. Helicopter rides are another great way to experience the power of Kilauea.

Q: What’s new in Hawaii destination weddings?  

What makes Worldstar Hawaii unique is that we provide the total experience of the Hawaiian culture and ensure that it is woven into the couple’s special day. Weddings can be performed throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

We offer the most intimate and remote locations for weddings. Our local wedding specialist is in touch with all of the best locations that are unique and memorable. Destination Hawaii even provided the right spot for a non-traditional wedding in the ocean on a sand bar surrounded by water! 


We caught up with Ellen Schuster, Director of Global Luxury, Lifestyle & Leisure for Hyatt Sales Force, to find out about Hyatt’s Hawaiian resorts.

Q: Tell us about the special features and family-friendly amenities Hyatt brings to its Hawaiian resorts.

Hyatt Resorts in Hawaii is where ’Aloha’ is more than just a greeting – it’s a way of life. Our resorts on Kauai, Oahu and Maui offer unique programs, family-friendly amenities and Hawaiian cultural experiences.

  • Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa: Torch-lighting ceremony, Hula, Luau, lei making, and ukulele lessons with our Hawaiian resort staff. Multi-level water playground, including 150-foot waterslide and 1.5-acre saltwater lagoon. Camp Hyatt is an activity program designed specifically for children ages 3 to 12. 
  • Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa: Named the World’s Top Hotel for Stargazing, it has its own rooftop astronomy program! The cultural Drums of the Pacific Luau runs nightly. The resort is home to seven African black-footed penguins and aims to celebrate and generate awareness of this species through its informative feeding program and activities. Wildlife tours and a Turtle Talk presentation with a marine expert from the Maui Ocean Center also take place each week.
  • Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort: A modern take on Hawaii featuring private lanai with expansive views offering beachfront luxury on Mokapu Beach. Five different pools including one 24-hour pool.
  • Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa: Situated across from Waikiki Beach, a great place for beginner and pro surfers. Close to the Waikiki Aquarium, Honolulu Zoo and snorkeling at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. Learn Lei making, hula, and take ukulele lessons with Ku’uipo Kumukahi – a celebrated recording artist and the Manager of Hawaiian Culture and Community Relations in Ho’okela. This resort features 60 retail shops, a full-service spa and seven dining outlets. Babysitting services are available.

Q: What are some of the Hawaiian treatments available at the spas?

From aromatherapy employing tropical Hawaiian scents, to the Hawaiian lomilomi spa treatment in a beautiful garden setting, our spas offer unique, rejuvenating treatments. At Kamaha’o Spa in the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, experience our Ali’I Indulgence – deeply relaxing healing treatment created with mineral-rich organic clay and Hawaiian coffee fruit extract to deeply cleanse and detoxify. Includes a full-body brushing, the use of pohaku, hot stone, and our Hawaiian facial refresher for complete relaxation.

Q: Tell us about golf at your resorts.

Whether you are looking for a challenge or to simply practice your swing, our resorts feature golf for you including famed championship courses. Ask about the Royal Package (7-days unlimited golf, range and rental club use at a special price) available at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa featuring the renowned Ka’anapali Golf Courses.

Q: Describe some of the settings at Hyatt’s Hawaii hotels for destination weddings.

We offer wonderful wedding packages at all of our beautiful resorts in Hawaii with ceremonies taking place at these spectacular venues:

  • Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa: Beautiful oceanfront ceremony site at Keoneloa Bay and sweeping ocean and lush resort views at Grand Lawn Gazebo.
  • Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa: Halona Kai lawn space is perched above the pool, ringed with lush greenery and surrounded by a peaceful koi pond. Panoramic views of the blue Pacific and the palm fringed Ka’anapali coast create the perfect backdrop for this location.
  • Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort: Laule’a Event Lawn – breathtaking beachfront location amidst the beauty of Mokapu Beach with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and the West Maui mountains as your backdrop.
  • Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa: Na Lea Terrace overlooks the crystal blue waters of Waikiki. The scenic setting is enhanced by the Diamond Head Bridge where guests walk to await the bride and groom who make equally grand entrances high above the resort’s Great Hall.

10 Reasons Why Families Love Hawaii

There’s nothing like sharing time with the whole family on an adventure away from home, and Hawaii is the perfect place to do it! Read on for some serious travel inspiration.

Family Cruises in Hawaii

Kona, Hawaii

Spectacular landscapes, great food, resort-style services, and all the details taken care of – it’s no wonder cruising is a natural choice for family vacations. With plenty of time to spend together onboard the luxury cruise ship and on the islands of Hawaii, this is a great choice for travelers of all ages.

Cruise ships sailing to Hawaii have some great vacation options for families. Dine in a variety of restaurants with kids' menus, be entertained all day long with a range of activities, and retreat to comfortable staterooms. This laidback lifestyle frees you to focus on enjoying time together, without the stresses of day-to-day life at home.

Your Hawaiian ports of call are spectacular, and arriving by ship gives you a panoramic view of the islands as you sail in. Breakfast on your balcony is also a great way to start the day.

Many lines feature family-friendly day-trips with reduced pricing for young cruisers, and it’s a great way to spend time with your kids and make memories they’ll never forget.

Family-friendly daytrips include:

  • Trips to the Waimea Canyon, Kauai, where there are fantastic views from the lookouts and short hikes on the trails, followed by a cruise up the Wailua River to the legendary Fern Grotto. Active families will appreciate the chance to cruise the Na Pali Coast with its sea caves and waterfalls, then swimming and snorkeling in a secluded lagoon.
  • The Big Island is home to a world of seahorses in Kona – the only seahorse ranch in the United States. You can also check out the sublime coastal waters on a submarine journey 125 ft. below the surface – the best way to see the colorful underwater world.
  • Don't miss Volcanoes National Park at Hilo to experience this natural phenomenon, from dramatic views of the Kilauea Caldera, to hiking and biking adventures and helicopter rides over the volcanic landscape. Around Hilo, there's also a peaceful botanical garden, a Macadamia Nut farm, as well as ziplining, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and swimming with dolphins to pick from.
  • Lahaina, Maui is the former capital of the united Hawaiian Islands and it is a very special place, and a culture and history walking tour introduces you to this paramount cultural site. There's also a Segway tour of the town, and you can take the scenic Hana Road and visit the Iao Valley to see just how beautiful Maui is. The Maui Ocean Center or a Whale Watching tour are also fantastic experiences for people of all ages.
  • Hawaii cruises also sail past the lava flows of Kilauea which has been continuously erupting since 1983. Seeing the red lava glow is a once-in-a-lifetime for the entire family!

Whether you sail from the west coast with several sea days to enjoy your ship before and after your Hawaiian adventure, or you sail one of Pride of America's seven-night cruises from Honolulu, you are in for an extra-special multigenerational experience on your Hawaii cruise.

International culinary delights

Tempting dishes from our featured destinations give you a taste of local culture. From succulent roasts to exotic spicy fare and some divine desserts, you’re sure to find plenty of delicious recipes to try at home.

Chewy Brownies

Holland America Line is teaming up with America’s Test Kitchen to offer an enticing selection of live onboard cooking shows and hands-on workshops where guests will learn foolproof techniques and user-friendly recipes to make delectable dishes with confidence.

Chewy Brownies
Holland America Line


  • 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1½ teaspoons instant espresso (optional)
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups (17 ½ ounces) sugar
  • 1 ¾ cup (8 ¾ ounces) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into ½-inch pieces


  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Make foil sling for 13 by 9- inch baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil; first sheet should be 13 inches wide and second sheet should be 9 inches wide. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan, and grease foil.
  2. Whisk cocoa, espresso powder (if using), and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in oil and melted butter. (Mixture may look curdled.) Whisk in eggs, yolks, and vanilla until smooth and homogeneous. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces.
  3. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake brownies until toothpick inserted half-way between edge and center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Let brownies cool in pan for 1½ hours.
  4. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

Step aboard the world’s greatest ships

Each month we’re showcasing our cruise partners to bring you the latest on the cruise line and their ships. With different cruising styles and a variety of ships to choose from, you’ll find these profiles helpful for selecting the cruise that’s right for you.

The All-Inclusive Crystal Experience

Appealing to the sense of adventure of our discerning guests, Crystal offers a collection of worldwide voyages boasting an impressive collection of exotic destinations that invite all travelers to explore the world and all its wonders.

From Aitutaki in the Cook Islands to Sibenik on the Dalmatian Coast, these little-known destinations are a mere sampling of ports of call, both popular and undiscovered, which create enriching itineraries that both surprise and delight all world travelers—both young and those young at heart.


Crystal Symphony’s Seabreeze Deck 9 will welcome two new suite categories — Seabreeze Penthouse Suites (SS) and Seabreeze Penthouses (SH) — each offering the same square footage as the ship’s current penthouse categories, but with cutting-edge enhancements that herald of things to come: large, luxury showers with body jets instead of bathtubs, and a unique entryway connecting two Seabreeze Penthouses to create a seamless, accommodation for families and friends.

Accommodations | Crystal Cruises


From its award-winning fare of Michelin-level envy to hosting Nobu Matsuhisa’s only sea-going restaurants, the Evolution of Crystal Luxury promises more dining experiences to tempt the most discriminating palates, with the added luxury of menu enhancements at Prego; family style, Chinese-inspired al fresco dining at Silk; and open seating, too.

New venues aboard both ships will include Marketplace, a gorgeous social space for dining and conversation by day, turned Brazilian steakhouse — Churrascaria — by night; a contemporary new specialty Asian restaurant called Silk; and a rebranded main dining room named Waterside, perfectly set to usher in “dine as you desire” open seating.

Now, more than ever, you’ll savor even more choices with Crystal.

Dining | Crystal Cruises


Day into night, time is yours to design exactly as you wish aboard the World's Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line. From active pursuits to sublime escapes, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity are destinations unto themselves, overflowing with enriching all-inclusive activities and amenities to suit virtually any interest, any time.

By day, complimentary choices range from fitness, yoga and PGA-hosted golf instruction to ballroom dancing, art workshops and topical seminars on world affairs. Optional indulgences include an award-winning spa and private wellness programs.

By night, enjoy Michelin star-inspired dining including Nobu's only sea-going restaurants, Broadway-style entertainment, piano bars, dance clubs, movie theaters and more – all included. Or make a date with Lady Luck at the Resorts World at Sea Casino or a reservation in the Vintage Room.

Activities | Crystal Cruises


With its acclaimed children's programs and activities, Crystal® is the luxury operator best suited for the family market.

Both ships feature a fully supervised Junior Activities program for kids between the ages of 3 and 17 on Holiday voyages and nearly all summer sailings, each with dedicated play areas for both young kids and teens. Children are supervised during their activities with the Junior Activities Directors, and children with parents’ permission are free to come and go as they please. The Junior Activities program is not intended to be utilized as a babysitting service or daycare facility. Children under the age of the 3 must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times.

Fantasia welcomes children ages 3-12, with games, crafts, popular Sony PlayStation® and Xbox 360™ kiosks and large-screen televisions, board games and personal computers with entertainment and education. A video arcade at Waves keeps teens ages 13-17 entertained as well. The Library offers a selection of children's books and videos for in-room viewing; children can also see recently released films in The Hollywood Theatre.

Family | Crystal Cruises


From free unlimited Wi-Fi to a dedicated guest Internet portal and an industry-first showing of premiere and Oscar-nominated movies, Crystal is evolving the personal travel experience to even greater realms with a number of exciting high-tech features.

State-of-the-art new technology includes SpeedNet accelerators aboard both ships that will double satellite speed, allowing for free, unlimited Wi-Fi available across all devices — laptops, tablets and smartphones. The elevated digital experience also debuts Crystal Connect™, an exclusive Internet portal and digital app featuring the ships’ daily newsletter and Newspapers Direct (international news services), and access to bookings for spa appointments, Crystal Adventures shore excursions, and more.

New interactive televisions in every stateroom and suite will offer current movies and popular TV series (new streaming video allows for viewing on personal mobile devices throughout the ship, too). The new TVs allow guests to order room service, watch a pre-recorded destination lecture, or enjoy a selection of videos representing Crystal’s various travel experiences.

Services | Crystal Cruises