My wife and I just returned from ouf first ever cruise. We chose the Norwegian cruise out of Honolulu and sailed from January 18th to the 25th 2014. This is a great way to see the main Hawaiian islands and the crew was very friendly and polite.
As first time cruisers we chose to pay the extra money for a private balcony toward the middle of the ship as we were told this was the most stable part of the vessel and good for those who might get seasick (we did not, but better safe than sorry). Unfortunately a terrible chemical odor appeared in our cabin when we arrived in Maui on the Sunday of our cruise. We told our cabin steward and the answer was to spray air freshener, so then we had a floral chemical smell. The smell persisted everyday and thankfully we had the balcony so we could air out the cabin. We complained to the steward twice, her manager and guest services twice all to no avail. In fact no one even bothered to tell us what was causing the problem. I did hear a manager tell our steward that the crewhad done some maintainance while we were in Maui and that they forgot to turn off the airconditioning system for our cabin, but no one ever told me that officially. We could not switch cabins as the cruise was supposedly full and as a result we woke up every morning with a chemical headache.
I will say that the shows on board were good to very good, particularly the Oh What A Night performances and the comedian, I think it was Bud Anderson. Overall the food was ok but not great, there is plenty of food at both the buffets and the dining rooms, so maybe quantitycancels out quality. We did not go to any of the specialty restaurants because based on the food at the other restaurants, ie. skyline etc. we did not think it was worth the additional costs. Finally, we did enjoy the art auctions on the vessel and made several purchases.
I have sent my comments directly to Norwegian but as I told them I would like a response but based on how things were handled on board the ship I won't hold my breath.