Overall, this was a pretty good cruise. The POA ship is smaller than most, so it's quite easy to get around. The (mostly American) crew were very courteous, and I found the American theme of the ship a nice change.
Also, I thought the food was great. We ate in the formal 'Liberty' restaurant most nights. There is plenty
of choice and almost everything we ate there was good. Especially on the first night, when you can get lobster tail and steak! We also took advantage of the wine deal (buy 6 bottles and get 20% off) which seemed to be pretty good value.
The only real problem we had was with the size of the balcony cabins, and the foldout sofa bed. Once the bed is folded out, you can't get to the balcony without crawling over it. This is not good news for people who have mobility issues.
Also - and much worse- sleeping on that sofa bed is like sleeping on a table, unless they add a foam underlay. We had to complain three times (and suffer two very uncomfortable nights) before this issue was resolved. I'm sorry NCL, that's just not good enough! They sent us a complimentary bottle of wine to apologise.
Getting on and off the ship in every port was a breeze. However in amost all the ports (except Kona) you are stuck in a dingy dock (miles from anywhere) unless you rent a car or book a tour. Don't try to walk into town!
Another tip: the traffix in Kauai is pretty bad. If you go out driving on the second morning, leave yourself plenty of time to get back to the ship, or you may miss it.
Now, here's a VERY important warning for family groups: we were almost denied boarding by NCL because we were travelling with our nephew. It seems anyone under 18 who is NOT travelling with their parents needs to produce (a) their birth certificate and (b) a letter from one of their parents granting permission for them to board the ship.
If these are the rules, then I don't mind following them. BUT it could've been handled much better.
1. If NCL checks for this when you are boarding, why don't they also check for it when you make the booking? If we were pre-warned we could have brought the necessary documentation. Sure, it's mentioned somewhere in the 32 pages of legal disclaimers, but who reads that?
2. Once we were told about this issue, NCL were not very helpful in resolving it.
When we asked if we could use their phone to ring the mother, they said there were none available. When we asked for WiFi access to email the mother, they said that wasn't possible either. (Being Australians we had no cellphones that worked in Hawaii). Just when I was about to give up, a crew member stepped forward and kindly let us use his IPad hotspot. The problem was resolved in 30 minutes.