Cruised to Hawaii on the Golden Princess as it seemed to be the cruise with the best overall Hawaiian experience. Thanks to Elua it was!
We booked adjoining balcony cabins near the stern of the ship, due to the location with easy access to the terrace pool and Horizon Court. I would recommend the location, even though there was more movement than amidships. The cabin was spacious, and, as our daughter and son-in-law were in the next cabin, we arranged for the adjoining balcony divider to be left open.
We chose traditional dining in the Canaletto dining room, as we find it is a good way to make new friends. The food was reasonable (mass catering) but well presented. I cannot speak too highly of our waiter, Stephen and his assistant, Made, who helped make our cruise the excellent experience that it was. We were disappointed in the Horizon buffet and other deckside buffets, but enjoyed the burger & pizza bars. We had dinner one night in the Crown Grill, which we would thoroughly recommend.
Everyone has a favourite bar. Ours was the Wheelhouse, where we tended to go before and after dinner. We only attended one production show, which was o/k but nothing special. The highlight of the entertainment program was undoubtedly Elua, who made the whole cruise a Hawaiian experience. We enjoyed the ukulele classes so much that we ended up on stage (with about 100 others), and bought ukuleles home from Hawaii, which we are still trying to improve on. Thank you Dave & Leialoha! We also thoroughly appreciated Randy Ashley's lectures.
Despite the size of the ship, we did not have to queue for anything. We were very impressed with the organisation of so many people, and the capacity of the ship to absorb passengers. The only exception was the Piazza, where we were never able to find a seat. (We suspected that some people slept there overnight in order to keep their places).
We hired a car in Hilo, Nawiliwili and Lahaina, and would recommend it as a means of getting around.
Overall, I would recommend the Golden Princess to anyone wanting to visit Hawaii.