We read all the mixed reviews on this site and decided it was still the best and cheapest way for first timers to see Hawaii. We celebrated our 25th anniversary on this cruise the week of 9/28 - 10/5.
We arrived for embarkation at noon and boarded in about 15 minutes. Our bags came to our room one at time and didnt finish until 4:45 pm.
The wait stafff was lackluster and at times slow. Not horrible, but not great like on other cruises. Our cabin steward was fine.
The food was good, but not memorable. I've been on much lower priced cruises when we took pictures of our food before we ate it.
Our balcony stateroom was very clean and up to date, but a little smaller than we are used to. We had to keep our luggage on the couch.
I cannot comment on the entertainment as none of them interested us other than the Comedian and we missed him.
We went on a few NCL excursions. Captain Zodiac in Kona was excellent. Luau Kalamaku in Kauai was very good. Tubing the Ditch in Kauai was excellent. Wailea River and Fern Grotto was good , but the over 60 crowd really liked
Disembarkation was easy for us, we carried our own bags right off.
Bottom Line. If you can make it about the beauty of the Islands and spending time with whoever your with, then you wont have much time to dwell on the shortcomings of the ship and its staff. And until another cruise line comes in to compete with them, it is the easiest and best way to see the islands.
Tips I Wish I Knew Before : 1) Do not book a balcony on Deck 10 in the middle 2/3 of the ship. There is a huge overhang with side supports. Its like looking out of a tunnel from 15 feet away. 2) Dont go to town to shop in Hilo, its a dump. Lahaina and Kona are best. 3) You can rent a car for 2 days in Maui and park for free at the port at night, if that is full the shuttle driver will tell you about a store around the corner.