A total of 15 family members attended this cruise with ages ranging from 3 years to 80 years old. Everyone enjoyed it! The evening shows were so-so, and the food tended to be on the salty side in the main dining areas, but the specialty restaurants were excellent! Jefferson's Bistro & Cagney's Steakhouse were the 2 our party attended.
The Cruise Director, Chris Martin, was energetic & friendly, continually asking how everyone was enjoying the cruise. The staff as a whole was very polite & professional. The entire ship was tastefully decorated.
We only did 1 shore excursion (on Maui), which was surfing in Lahaina. All attendees enjoyed themselves & were impressed with the instructors. Otherwise, we rented cars & made up our own itineraries. A helicopter ride in Kauai was the best way to see the entire island, although our ship did cruise past the Napali coast with an onboard narrated tour. Our Hawaiian Ambassadors were very informative and held special lei-making classes which were very popular.
Most of the children in our group attended Splash Academy, the children's camp, & liked the counselors. Upon returning to the ship after visiting the port of call, staff members had refreshing lemon water & cold towels available which were much appreciated! Before boarding the ship, we were entertained with dancers and each received a welcome lei, which was a nice gesture. Most major stores at each port had free shuttles.
We rented a car & drove to Volcanoes National Park. It was amazing! The steam vents were so hot! A stop at the Visitor Center was a must & Park Rangers gave tips on highlights of the park. The volcano rim drive was closed during our visit due to high levels of sulfur dioxide. Others in our group went to the Mauna Loa Nut Factory & enjoyed that as well! At night, our ship passed by the volcanoes & we could see the red glow. This was also narrated by our ambassadors.
Kauai was, in my opinion, the most beautiful island. We took a 55 minute helicopter ride where. We got to see Waimea Canyon up close with tons of waterfalls & a spectacular view of the Napali Coastline. There was a nice beach with plenty of shops within walking distance to the ship and the children enjoyed spending time there. We were there over the 4th of July & were able to see the fireworks from the ship.
We actually took a taxi ride to Kona Coffee company, Cook's Bay, the Painted church & the City of Refuge. We didn't actually go into the City of Refuge, unfortunately, because we had limited time. The children enjoyed renting paddle boards on a nearby beach. I also toured the Hulihee Palace ($8), which was small & self guided, but it had very helpful docents.