I am going to try to give you a good source of a cruise by writing every day. We scheduled this cruise way in advance for this is our 30th Anniversary cruise. My wife chose it for she has never been to Hawaii.
Early: We chose to come down early by one day. We did that for making sure we were refreshed before getting on the ship. Our adventure started from the hotel to the cruise Pier and we were let off to meet the Luggage team right away and to get into the security line. From being screened we were met by a representative who saw by our "express” check in we were in a suite and she escorted us to the VIP line which took us right away. Wow we were on the ship instantly. No hassles at all in San Diego.
Five plus days at Sea. Why Plus? We started out on time in some nice sunshine, just to turn around a get a passenger to a hospital I San Diego. We arrived about 2 AM after our start at 5PM the day before. But we were on time getting to Honolulu. You can see that Safety is their model. We should all like that. One thing about Sea days there was lots to do. Every :30 minutes something else starts as classes, Making Lei’s, Golfing with the Officers, Bingo most boards are for completely wiping out the numbers one game a day, how to Gamble, but I loved the History Seminars about WWII and Pearl Harbor. If you like movies they play a first run DVD movie daily 3 times a day.
Food: I really enjoy the food on just about all Cruise lines. But, knowing how to get it is the secret. First stay away from the "Buffet” bar. The lines are not that long, but some people have no manners and cute in line, want it special (their way) which holds up the line, etc. No I like Breakfast on the veranda up to 9am, which was perfect for us. We even asked for Eggs Benedict which were not on the Breakfast Card, and we got it. Pineapple juice? Not on the card, we got it. My English muffin "well done” and we got it. For lunch we had any of their Pasta salads or Sandwiches served in the stateroom. Lunch time is a better time to go to the Buffet line for yesterday’s left overs. For Dinner always go to the Grand Ballroom for dinner. They have 2 sides to the menu, left side all the things everyone loves trip after trip, or the right what is tonight’s delight. Ok, would love to try all…go ahead and ask. We had some great "Surf and Turf” combo’s! We like the 2nd seating…for no one is there? We went to the show first and ate dinner slowly with my wife and others, so relaxing. The food was always hot for this reason I am sure. We did go to the Murano Room where I had Maine Lobster, and it was the Best I have had. I was just in Portland Maine just 3 weeks before. IT WAS SO GOOD!!! I asked 2 nights later in the grand Dining room if I could get it also (not on menu) and my waiter came through! Now that is service!
Formal Nights: We had 3 of them and we still love them. It is like going to the Prom all over again, never grow old with this. I always have the Tux sent to the ship through Celebrity so I do not have to pack a suit just a suit coat. (Smart Casual) The service for all dinners and breakfast were fantastic. Get to know your people! They love to tell stories and get to know you!
Islands: Loved every excursion we took. There was a downfall: NO Whales! I wished I could have got that for the wife. Some spinner Dolphins and lots of beautiful flowers. Great history trips of the Islands also. The pineapple wine was wonderful, and I now like Macadamian nuts. Most excursions were the entire day, not just 2 hours, beware about this. One thing we both agreed on was 4 days back to back, different Islands was a lot for both of us. We sure got our exercise. The other thing we commented on to each other was we did not sail by the Volcano at night? Just a little disappointing, not a complaint.
Room: (1206) Can’t say enough on this. We loved it. Having a suite is the way to go. Tea time in the afternoon delivered by our Butler everyday became our lunch. Ok, with the large veranda we did spend a lot of time here in the sunshine, but with great service why go to the public spaces? We had a small 4 couples over for one of our after dinner parties and plenty of room. We were very high in the middle of the ship so when the weather got a little "swaying” we did just fine. Ok, it was the Butler Service we enjoyed! I asked him for just one thing, lots of ice and he changed it out 3 times daily. Not a small bucket but a champagne bucket. We asked him every question possible, and he fulfilled anything we asked. Having special Anniversary cakes and Birthday cakes sent to us. He was the best!
Public Rooms: I never felt over crowded in any of the public rooms. Card rooms, Cinemas, Show house, Dining room, were all very comfortable. Breakfast Buffet was really crowded, especially if you had little patience. The Lounge (can’t remember the name right now) outside the dining room was the busiest lounge. The Hemisphere upstairs and the Crystal Room were always with plenty of room. One passenger made a comment that the Customer Relations desk was full and the groups seem not to care much. I found that I had to go down 3 times about a concern with my bill, but through much conversation it turned out I was the mixed up one. I just needed a little more clarification and follow up. (Turns out my wife was shopping the same day I was drinking….hahaha)
Rebecca and I would take this trip again for we liked the Sea days even with our Central America storm which cause some nice "Swells. " We took sea sick Pills with us but, did not take one. We ended up giving them to the Butler for the next couple that might have to take them. The sea was so many colors Black, Grey, Dark Blue, Blue and Aqua. Reading, taking classes, learning, just being lazy for a day or too, this is your trip. We sure did get to meet some wonderful folks, some honeymooners, and about 6 kids.
Getting off: This is hard to tell you; for we were the first group off because we had a suite, with all the other suite staterooms. We had Breakfast again in the dining room and not the Buffet and we had plenty of time to spare. We were off the ship by 9 AM. Getting off was easier than getting on, and that only took 10 min.