This was my first cruise, so I have nothing to compare it with. We were astonished at the size of the ship when we saw it, and were equally amazed at how quickly the boarding procedure was achieved. We had decided on an inner cabin (sorry - stateroom. Whoever chose that name had a vivid imagination!) because we would only be in it to sleep or to change clothes, and we were certainly happy enough with our choice. Though the room was small it was very well laid out, with every inch of space being used to the full. We would have liked to have been provided with an LCD clock, though, because whenever we woke up we had no idea of the time or whether it was night or day. On first arriving in the room we found a bottle of water and a half-bottle of wine awaiting us, which we thought was a nice welcoming touch. Then we saw a little notice beside them which said that we would be charged $4 if we opened the water and about $20 if we opened the wine. Some welcome! The ship was very impressive and spotlessly clean throughout at all times. There were plenty of sunbeds around the pools and open decks, though the beds in prime spots around the pools and where sheltered from the wind were all "bagged" (though not all in use) by about 7 am (so it is not only the Germans who do this!). We were not at all impressed to have recorded music blaring out loudly all day around the pool - not really what you expect on what is claimed to be a 5-star cruise ship. For our evening's dining we had asked to be seated on a table for 8 but found we were seated with just two other couples whose company we enjoyed throughout the trip. The five-course meals were extremely good every night, and the service from our waiters Jesus and Diego was quite exceptional. This was a formal restaurant, with a set dress code each day, and we were extremely disappointed to discover that this code was not enforced - some people were coming in in quite casual clothes even on "formal" nights - which makes me wonder why I had gone to the trouble of hiring a tuxedo (complete outfit for $100, which saves an awful lot of weight and possible excess baggage charges on the flight from England). Other people were allowed into the dining room when they consistently turned up 30 to 50 minutes after the scheduled meal time - why make rules if they are not enforced? Evening entertainment in the theatre was of a good standard, if not always to our taste, but the daytime entertainment programme was lacking imagination and inspiration. Wilst there is a library on board it is fairly limited in choice, and I would have liked to have seen a paper-back book exchange where we could leave our own books when finished. The four-day crossing of the Pacific was slightly marred by the rolling of the ship, even though the weather was quite good, the sea reasonably smooth and the wind not too strong. The rolling was still there but less noticeable on our return journey. The four stops in Hawaii were quite short in duration, and it was pretty much a whirlwind tour. You took pot luck with the tour you chose and the bus driver you happened to have. Our best was the Little Circle Island Tour round Oahu ($36) and by far the worst was the Kona Highlights, on which we saw nothing of real interest and the driver could talk about nothing but the plants and trees we passed. The Waikapu Village Luau at Lahaina was, to my mind, highly overpriced at $110 - the traditional dance show was good but the food was truly awful and barely warm. Really, the stops were so short that there was no real opportunity to see or explore the islands in any depth. Finally, we were astonished and not in any way impressed at the behavior of a good number of the passengers who treated the hard-working and very courteous staff like inferior servants. It doesn't cost much to be civil, to smile occasionally and to treat them with a degree of respect.