First time writing a review so please bear with me if I make mistakes.
Flew into Los Angeles on March 27th and spent the night at the Westin at LAX. The hotel was comfortable and clean but a little bit on the noisy side due to being so close the airport. We flew in from Wisconsin and just wanted time to relax, I am not a very good flier lol!
The best we have ever had. Left the hotel and were taken back to the airport by the hotel shuttle. We quickly found a Princess agent and were escorted to a bus and transferred to the Sheraton Hotel. After being given a refreshment we were prechecked in at the hotel as our boarding time was 1:00 pm. Once everyone was checked in we were then transferred to the ship. We were still being escorted by a Princess agent after we went through customs. We went directly on the ship and to our cabin were we were met by our cabin stewart with a glass of champagne and our shore tours. (we had reserved them with the travel agent.) Muster drill went smooth. Lunch was served until about 4:30 pm.
Days 1-4 At sea:
I must admit the I was unsure of what to expect. The 1st day out at sea I was up at 5:30 a.m. Could not sleep any longer. Up on the Lido deck facing the aft watching the horizon. When the bow of the ship dipped deeply and to the left. All I saw was sky and then ocean. Needless to say I took a couple of steps closer to the inside of the ship and took a quiet moment to ask myself what the heck was going on and when does it stop?! Very happy to say that was the last of the rough weather at sea. In our cabin I found the weather on the TV and it was showing the sea conditions. Waves were reaching up to 12 feet at times. Now for those of us who want to know the who, what, when, where and hows. The TV gives reports around the clock under the title Captains log or navigator's log. I had taken a diary with and wrote down every morning. It is wonderful way to remember what was happening as we traveled. Even got the water depth at noon. There are a lot of things to do while at sea. You just need to read the patters. Shopping tip alert! Save the money for hair clips and candy for the the islands. Every one sells them. Much, much cheaper there then on the ship.
Oh, if you are soda drinkers, malt shake fans and like smoothies not mention hot chocolates, may I suggest the ultimate drink card. My DH and I bought them for a total cost of $225.00 for 2 and that includes the 15% gratuities. Now that may seem like a lot but we were drinking about 4 to 5 sodas a piece for 14 days not to mention the others it is well worth the price. Ran about $8.00 per day.
1st Stop was Hilo, Hawaii:
We took the Volcano National Park and Macadamia Nut farm. Volcanoes were great, but the nut farm boring, just a gift shop. Island was over all very pretty. I would recommend that as the ship approaches Hilo go to the bow and look to the right as you go into the harbor. There are several small waterfalls that can be seen quite clearly.
2nd Stop was Honolulu, Oahu:
Ladies and gentlemen, if you like to shop and love a bargain go to the international market. You can find a deal on every thing and good quality too. It is located about 2 blocks west of Waikiki Beach. A easy walk. The beach is well worth the visit. There is are free shuttles that run every 30 minutes and they will take you back to the ship. ( Make sure that you just ask the drivers.) We have found them all very nice and courteous. Our tour was the Arizona Memorial and Mighty Mo, a must see. Our tour was by the polynesian tour group. We had "cousin Ted" a most hilarious and informative guide. He asked if we had time would it be ok to do a city tour and see the pacific punch bowl. We had time to see both and no one was being rush over the tour.
3rd stop was Nawilili, Kaua'i
We did the Waimea Canyon, Wailua River and Fern grotto. Nice tour, but a very fast paced and long. Hope you like chickens because they are very where. lol
very beautiful island and where they had filmed many movies on it. It was easy to see why. When you approach the island, you can where some of the scenes from Jurassic park and king kong must have been filmed. As we left the island the call came out for whales. We saw several as we passed the island.
4th stop was Lahaina, Maui
We did the Maui Snorkel cruise. If you would like to see fish, dolphins and whales then I recommend this tour. Our tour group was the Hawaii Ocean Project. They were helpful and would stop the boat every time a whale or dolphin would be seen. P. S. to me the water was cold 77 degrees that day. As to the island its self, it was very rugged and beautiful. If you want a great treat, I would suggest a shaved ice. Yum!
5th stop was Ensenda, Mexico
We did not get off due to the precautions given to us from the ship. High crime. We did get a wonderful surprise at the dock. Seals and a lot of them.
Disembarkation was a bit of a confusion due to the fact that they were calling groups before their schedule times.
Overall the ship was kept remarkably clean and well organized. Food I was not happy with. Only because I am not a fan of Italian food. There were other restaurants that we ate at. Several crew member was stating that this was a calmest trip sea and weather wise. We could not have wished for better weather
Would we do this cruise again?? in a heart beat!! Already a cruise fund started.