We boarded the ship on a Monday, our previous experience boarding a NCL ship in Honolulu a few years back had us a little concerned that we may have a couple of hours of standing in line. What a difference this time, around 40 minutes after arriving at the dock we were on board standing on deck 11 looking back at Waikiki. We had cruised on the ROTS 11 months ago so we knew our away around the ship.
We had a junior suite on deck 10 just forward of mid ships and whilst we had some noise from the pool deck above when the crew were setting up deck chairs early morning it was never enough to concern us. The next 5 days were at sea and the entertainment each day was plentiful with activities for all ages, around the main pool was a hive of activity as the weather was favourable.
The Windjammer Cafe was our regular choice for breakfast with a great variety. Light lunches from the Park Cafe were always fresh and tasty. We only dined on 3 occasions in the main dining area, here we found the food to be okay. Our preference was to eat at the specialty restaurants and for the small extra charge it is certainly worth it as we found all 4 on board exceptional both for food and service. The crossing of the Equator was a fantastic experience with the Captain playing the role of King Neptune and handing out the "punishment" to all the first time "Pollywog's" and of course there were the old standards, the belly flop and sexiest man competitions which were a barrel of laughs.
Sailing from French Polynesia to New Zealand we experienced a storm which had us in 10 metre seas and gale force winds, for us this was a highlight of the cruise as it made for some amazing photos of the ship throwing out spray as high as deck 11. Whilst the majority of the passengers enjoyed the "wild weather" it wasn't everyone's cup of tea. However the ship and the crew on the bridge handled it with ease. Just like our previous cruise on the ROTS the process of moving passengers on and off at the ports of call was always quick and smooth. The nightly entertainment in the Aurora Theatre varied in quality with best shows being on the last few days. Like any business it is only as good as the people working for it and as far as the crew and staff working on the ROTS there is only one word, EXCELLENT, always obliging, helpful and courteous, well done RCI. To finish the cruise and make the disembarkation process as easy as possible RCI arranged for Australian Customs Agents to board in New Zealand and carry out the necessary processes on board which meant that when we were called to disembark we were off the ship and in a cab within 15 minutes.
In short this was an amazing cruise our most enjoyable to date, so much so we have booked to do the Honolulu to Sydney next year but this time on the Rhapsody of the Seas