This was my first cruise and after having ready previous reviews i knew what to expect on this cruise with this cruise line. I went with 13 other people, and we all had different opinions. This is how I felt about the cruise and the things we did.
Pre-Cruise Hotel Stay: We arrived in Honolulu on the Saturday before we set sail. The NCL staff at the Waikiki Beach Marriott were very helpful and kind. They got us checked into the hotel and pre boarded for the cruise very quickly, making embarkation a breeze.
Sunday- Embarkation day: We had transfers from our hotel to the pier, but opted not to use them. A few of us had booked a Swim with the Dolphins excursion on our own through Sea Life Park. (This was one of the highlights of my entire trip and I would recommend to everyone to do the Dolphin Royal Swim at Sea Life Park). After our outing we got to the pier to board the boat. Because we had pre-boarded the day before, all we had to do was go through security and board the boat. It was a breeze. There were virtually no lines. We had one person in front of us to receive our ship cards.... and since we were pre-boarded, everyone that was not, had to wait for us to go through first. Once we were on the boat we were able to go straight to our rooms. Our room was clean a ready for us, one of my friends rooms had been straightened up, but they did not open the closet so there were dirty towels in it along with someone's dress. There was a BBQ out on deck 11 by the pool that we all attended. The food was okay, but the steak was a little over cooked.
Monday- Kauai: We docked on time and there was no wait to get off the boat. We had booked an excursion to see Waimea Canyon, Wailea River, and the Fern Grotto. It was all very informative and interesting, however it was extremely long!!! Everything we saw was very beautiful, but at the end we were thankful it was over.
Tuesday- Kauai: Three of us went on the Kauai Canopy Zipline. This was a lot of fun and totally exhilarating. The beauty from where we started was second to none. Definitely should be tried by anyone looking for a thrill. We set sail at 1pm. They sailed us past the Na Pali Coast. Very picturesque. They also had arts and crafts to learn how to make kakui nut leis.
Wednesday- Hilo: A bunch of us did the Land of Frozen Fire excursion. Again, we saw a lot of beautiful things. However, the week before there had been some minor earthquakes and they caved in the vent from the active volcano. So, the volcano that had been erupting for 25 or so years now no longer did. We were supposed to walk on the newest lava, but our newest lava was 5 days old. Other than that, it was breathtaking. That night we sailed by the lava flow to see it flowing down the side of the mountain.... but all that was left was a little ball of fire. I wish I could have seen what everyone said was a magical sight.
Thursday- Kona: I did not have an excursion booked for this day. Instead, I booked a massage. I had the Hot Lava Stone massage, it was incredible. Mike was great! Everyone should Definitely get a massage! After, I got off the boat to do a little shopping. We had to tender on this port, but they had 4 tenders and they were bringing about 120 people each trip so I only waited about 3 minutes to get off the boat. Shopping on Kona was a lot of fun!
Friday- Maui: Some of us did the Road To Hana. This was a lot of fun, but if you are prone to motion sickness DO NOT do it!!! After "surviving it" we were told that there are 617 curves each way and 54 one lane bridges each way. We had to take the same way in and out because the road past the Oheo Pools was closed! This only allowed for them to make some miscellaneous stops that were not needed in the tour. Other than that it was a lot of fun and beautiful!!
Saturday- Maui: We did the MolokiniCrater snorkel! This was fabulous!! We were with the Pacific Whale foundation so the proceeds from our excursion went to help pay for keeping the marine life safe in the Pacific waters. We got to see the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle and various kinds of fish. It was great and I would highly recommend everyone do it!
Sunday- Honolulu- Disembarkation: Everything was very smooth. They took our luggage the night before and when we go into our hotel room, it was already there waiting for us.
Food: I enjoyed the food... almost everyday. We ate in the Crossings restaurant most every night for dinner. Some of the people I was with said that they wish they would have had more Normal food on the menu, but I enjoyed the high end dishes.
Service: For the most part the service was okay. Our room steward was fine, she came everyday and made up the room, forgot to fill the soap twice but we had some so it did not bother me. The service in the restaurants was good two nights and the rest of the time it was okay at best. It was extremely slow. If we ate with everyone it took us 2 1/2 hours to eat dinner. Very slow getting drinks in the Blue Hawaii, but in the Longboard service was excellent!!! Nandi is great in the Longboard!!!!
Entertainment: The shows on the boat were fun. We saw the Broadway show and the AM Radio show. Both were great. The singers should try out for American Idol! They also had arts and crafts everyday! The instructor was great and knowledgeable!! We learned how to make kakui nut leis, ribbon leis, shell leis, and beaded bandanas. They were all free except for the kakui nut, they cost $5.00 each.
Rooms: The rooms were small, but had adequate room for 3 people in them. We made use of everything to put our clothes away. There is also plenty of room under the bed for suitcases. Bring a power strip!!!! The are two plugs in the room and they don't work for everything.
Decor: I liked the way the ship was decorated.... not too cheesy. Very festive.
Over all, the trip was great! The service on the boat could have been better. It is defiantly the way to see the islands because you do have a good amount of time in each port. That was the best part about the whole trip. i really enjoyed all of it. They take pictures everyday on the ship... 8x10's are $24.95 and 5x7's are $14.99.... they do usually have a deal with each of the pics you purchase.
I hope this helps anyone that is going! Hey if you have time in Honolulu... Check out the International Market Place!!! It is fabulous!! Great buys on souvenirs and fun to walk through. Also, eat at Duke's... its right across from the marketplace in the hotel. The food is incredible! Try the crab and macadamia nut wontons!!... YUMMY!!!