If you've read the bad reviews and are wondering if you should take this cruise, TAKE THIS CRUISE...
Took the POA March 8. Had a 2 day pre stay at Hilton Hawaiian Village, which is expensive but very nice.
We had a suite on the ship so we received VIP check in then were escorted to the lounge where we met out butler, Jay, and had lunch at Cagney's. The suite we had (10500) was beautiful and had plenty of room for four adults. The deck is huge and has a hot tub. Our cabin steward, Conrado was super friendly and very quick to take care of our room while we were out. Our butler, Jay (or whoever happened to be on duty while he was not), was very helpful; restocking our beverages and supplying Meclazine for motion sickness, and helping with any other requests. If a suite is in your budget, I urge you to take advantage of all the suite perks NCL has for you.
There have been several poor reviews regarding the service on this cruise. Our experience was fantastic! Everyone we met was kind and helpful. We never made it down a hallway without someone greeting us with Aloha!
The food in the dining rooms was disappointing, but the service we received in the Skyline dining room from Erin and Rose was awesome. The food at the buffet was usually good, and all the employees were very nice and quick to pick up dirty dishes and clean tables. We could always find a place to sit, even at busy times. Suite guests could have breakfast and lunch at Cagneys. We had lunch a couple times and it was very good. My sister wanted a veggie burger, which they didn't have, but the server offered to go get one from another restaurant.
I was very impressed with how organized embarkation and disembarkation was even at the tendered port. When there were lines, they moved quickly. There is tight security at the ports, so have your photo identification with you at all times!
The drivers for all our excursions were very friendly and knowledgeable.
The zipline part of this was so much fun!! The guides are wonderful and knowledgeable not only about the zipline but about all the plants and trees and history. We even stopped to pick and eat from a Hawaiian apricot tree! My mother is 76 and this was her favorite excursion on this cruise!
I did not care for the botanical garden part of this tour. It was informative, but a lot of walking and not much to see.
This was a fun tour. The gardens are breathtakingly beautiful and it was fun to see where some movie scenes were filmed. If walking is too much for you, they offer a golf cart ride. If in doubt, accept the golf cart! It is a long, slow walk.
Everyone in our party (even those that suffer from claustrophobia) enjoyed this trip to the bottom of the ocean. I was a little concerned about the ladder to climb in and out of the submarine, but it was not bad.
On this particular boat you could not really see out from inside the boat. They would only talk about what they were seeing out in front of the boat, so you had to be outside, in front to see. They did not turn so that everyone outside in the back and around the sides, had a chance to see, and there were not enough seats in front for everyone. Disappointing.