My husband and I celebrated our 20th anniversary and my 60th birthday with a gift to ourselves of this great cruise. This was my 3rd cruise and my husband's 1st cruise. My husband didn't like the idea of being "stuck" on a ship and not getting off if he wanted to but by the first day he was singing a different tune and was loving all the stuff to do on the ship and said we shouldn't have book so many excursions. The ship was more than we imagined and had so much space to put all of our stuff. We were spending 3 days before the cruise in Aston Waikiki Beachside Hotel (excellent hotel if you want to save money and be close to everything), the 7 days cruised, and then 7 days in a timeshare unit on Maui so we had to pack a lot of clothes because we didn't have access to a washer/dryer until we got to Maui (10 days after we started our trip) - everything fit in the great little cubby holes/drawers/closet. We had a aft balcony room on the 8th deck that was amazing! I loved going outside to see the views and took lots of pictures.
The room steward was amazing - he cleaned the room every time we left the room and kept every fresh and clean. The servers in all of the restaurants were also very good at their job and made very good recommendations and never rush our meals - this is a big plus because we were supposed to be relaxing! We purchased the ultimate dinning plan because of the cost of the specialty restaurants it made sense to pay the extra $119 pp because I read great reviews on upgrading. My favorite restaurant was the Jefferson Bistro - they have the best lamb chops! My husbands favorite was the steak house. Every thing we ate was great - it didn't matter if it was breakfast buffet, poolside lunch, or the special restaurants.
The on-ship activities were plenty and we didn't get to use them all because of the excursions I had booked before we sailed - if I had the Daily News that they put in the room with the next days activities I could have done more on-ship stuff we seemed to be off-ship with the stuff I would have picked to do on-ship and most of the excursions were so early that we didn't get to do any of the nighttime activities - we were just too tired after dinner! The off-ship excursions were:
ROAD TO HANA DELUXE - should have gotten the 22 person tour because the windows in the van blocked most of the views! Tour guide was very good but disappointed that we didn't get to swim under the waterfalls - there were 8 people on the tour and my husband and myself were the only ones with swimsuits and we didn't want to make everybody wait when we were swimming.
VOLCANO & RAINBOW FALLS - disappointed that we had rain and didn't get to see much and the Rainbow Falls was not worth all of the hype.
KONA BY LAND & SEA - just so-so spent too much time in the store.
HEAVEN & EARTH QUEST - The land part of the trip was very good and the tour guide was great. The air tour would have been perfect if I had a better seat on the helicopter - I had the left back window seat which gave me views of the water (didn't need that because got that on the ship). The pilot tried to turn the helicopter around so I could see the stuff on the right side but I still felt cheated on the views - I did purchase the video and the views were great sure wish I could have seen this up in the air! I would ask more information the next time I went on a helicopter and wait for another helicopter if I was getting a bad seat. If I had to get a bad seat and couldn't change the seat I would have canceled and bought the video.
JOURNEY TO WAIMEA CANYON - Tour was very good and the tour guide was funny and gave lots of information. I've been to the Grand Canyon so didn't come close to the description of the Grand Canyon of the Pacific but it was beautiful!
NCL did an outstanding job with both the embarkation and disembarkation - the process is so smooth! We loved sailing with NCL and would sail again with them! EXCELLENT!!