We booked our cruise for Thanksgiving of 2004, however the ship had an incident in its shipyard and our cruise was delayed by a year.
After reading the reviews of the ship, I had very serious concerns about our voyage. Though it was not a luxurious experience, it was reasonable considering its purpose.
I took this cruise first and foremost to see Hawaii (I would have gone to Hawaii with or without the cruise) and second to try a cruise (I had never taken one before).
We (2 adults and 2 children) were traveling with another family of 4, and we originally took a deluxe family penthouse suite. When our trip was rebooked, we were forced to take 2 regular family suites, which really wasn't the end of the world. The room had 2 separate bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. The rooms were small but bearable, the bathrooms, however, were TINY. Think of the size of the bathroom on the plane you will take to get to Hawaii, and you will begin to see the size of these bathrooms.
The cabins were decently furnished, with small color TVs and an abundance of good, but fake, wood cabinetry. The bed spreads and overall decor color were not what I would have preferred, but they were reasonable (fruity, tropical / 70's era feel).
Closet space was extremely small- pack lightly.
The maid service worked well- we had a problem with our shower, but it was fixed promptly by maintenance (it did take two tries, however).
The room blossoms in comparison to the food on the cruise.
We ate in the main restaurants (both the Liberty and the Skyline), as well as the Italian restaurant (no cover charge), and at the aloha cafe on the first day.
The food in the Aloha was decent cafeteria style food, with a good selection. The main restaurants had mediocre food, though one day there were excellent entrees. The soups/salads/appetizers were usually quite good.
The Italian restaurants were way below expectations- we do not recommend it.
Service was spotty. On the first day in the Liberty, we had very good service from two waiters. On the next day, we had terrible service from two junior waiters, who failed to refill our water glasses and took 30 minutes to bring our drinks.
We also encountered a very rude bartender in the Gold Rush Saloon.
The Lanai bar was very good- be sure to say hi to David and Kim.
We enjoyed are trip- just not because of the cruise. The excursions were great- especially the down hill bicycling and the lava hike on Hawaii. Beware- the lava hike was strenuous.
Overall, if you are taking this cruise because you wanted to take a cruise and Hawaii sounded nice, you will be disappointed. If, like me, you are going on it because it is a convenient way to visit Hawaii, then as long as you go in not expecting great food or service, you will have a reasonable trip.
PS- the fitness room was excellent.