I have been to all the islands many times over the past 25 years. But spending a week on the Explorer gave me a whole new perspective of the area. The crew was fantastic and you could tell they really enjoyed their jobs. They tried to make everyone feel special. All of them knew all 36 of our names by the second day. The rooms were small but comfortable and had a nice sliding glass door right out to the walkway. (We had a regular room) The food was better than I have eaten on Holland America cruises. Each lunch and dinner, we were given a choice between 2 different entrees. Every night we were offered a fresh local fish as one of the two choices. The wine was good quality and they made some kind of special cocktail every afternoon, along with several beers on tap. Our group was very active and we enjoyed the snorkeling that they included almost every day. There was kayaking available two different days and there was never a wait to secure one. A lot of us also tried paddle boarding. We enjoyed the fact that the majority of cruisers were adults, even though it was a spring break for some. It was nice the meet several couples from New Zealand and Australia.
If I had to name a change to enhance the trip, it would be to find something more to do on the island Of Lanai- The stop at the local museum was too long, so many of us got bored and tired and missed the hike, which would have been nice to do. The other special excursions (all included) were fun, especially when Capt. Zodiac picked us up and took us to Capt. Cooks Landing on the Big Island. Another highlight of the cruise was watching the dophins ride our bow and seeing 3 whales-a mother, calf and male escort spend a whole afternoon right beside our ship (we were very lucky since it was near the end of whale watching season) One thing they don't really tell you is that they anchor off Lahina and Kona on two different days and tender people in to town for the afternoon. We were concerned beforehand about getting sea sick, so we wore patches, but after 3 days, they left a horrible taste in our mouths, so we just changed to taking bonine and then nothing the last 2 days. The only rough part is the crossing between the Big island and Maui. If you are thinking about taking a small boat cruise, I would highly recommend Un Cruise.