My husband and I sailed from Maui on Pride of Aloha on Sept 8,2006. We had been on several cruises and cruiselines. We were a little apprehensive at first after reading the cruise critic reviews. We were pleasantly surprised for the most part. I agree that those embarking in Maui feel a little lost until you get to Honolulu. I also feel this is not a cruise for first time cruisers. It is about the Islands and not the Cruise experience. Yes all the shows and food is there, but you never get a chance to feel the ship or enjoy the pool. You are too busy visiting the Islands.I think older cruisers would be better to have a more structured cruise. Maui was beautiful. Spend time at the beaches or snorkeling. Road to Hana is done easily in a rented car. I do regret that we spent too much time the first three days touring in a bus. When we go to Hilo, my husband did the Lave Hike and I did the Land of Frozen Fire. Both were great Lava hikes and an experience to remember. The Frozen Fire is just the speed for someone who is fit enough to hike and climb a little, but not as strenuous as the Lava Hike. I highly recommend it. Wish we rented a car in Honolulu and Kauai. The Abay beach blast was an excellent excursion in Kona. Highly trained and pleasant staff made for a great day. The food was very good in the restaurant. In fact New Chefs were on board with a new menu! I thought it was not worth going to the restaurants that require and additional charge. The Longboard Bar had great bar food. The Buffet was adequate but needed some help. Hint. Eat breakfast in the restaurant in the mornings. Made to order food AND a buffet. Good quality, no crowds and presented very nicely. Takes no time at all. Although I rate the food good, they were always out of something until we got to Honolulu. We joined the cruise the last two days so to speak.
The Luau was very nice and at sunset. A must do.
The All American staff was a great change. They need to polish their act, but they were all courteous and enthusiastic.
Thanks for all the tips on what to take for the rooms. The beds were made more comfortable as mentioned before. The Balcony is worth the money. We saw the Napali coast and the Lava flow from our room!
Hope this is informative. A great way to see the Islands, but not a cruise as usual.