Arrived at Honolulu at 9.30am from Sydney. Took a taxi from airport to cruise terminal. That proved to be very quick and easy. Security guard met us the terminal told us we could store our luggage because we were too early to board. He introduced us to a lovely lady named Annie who showed us what to do. Again that proved to be very easy, cost us $5 per bag, definitely worth it. Went for a walk had something to eat and drink and headed back to the terminal at 12.30pm. We met up with Annie again who saved us a lot of time with embarkation. The line looked very long but we were on board within 20 minutes. The WOW factor hit us soon as we boarded.
The ship was magnificent. We were presented with a glass of champagne on arrival. I think we looked stunned, but one of the crew members thought we looked lost and handed us a layout of the ship. My husband had studied the layout months before we left home and he had no problem finding his way around. He was a great help to me and also people we met on board.
Next the cabin was presented beautifully and kept very clean. Beds turned every night and towels folded into animal shapes and chocolates on our pillows. This was lovely. Our cabin stewards were always very friendly and helpful with drycleaning and etc. They always had a smile and aloha for us.
We found Aloha cafe very good for breakfast. Always a good selection of food. Although a lot of people we didn't find it hard to get a table. Same for lunches. Our evening meals we normally spent in Liberty and Skyline both were good, but we thought Liberty was a little more polished. We purchased the anniversary package prior and enjoyed a lovely night at Jeffersons. The food and service was first class. We had the waiters serenade us and gave us an anniversary cake to take back to the cabin. Which we had with champagne later. Our last night we spent with a lovely honeymoon couple from Sydney. They had previously booked Lazy J's so they asked us to join them. We found this a little disappointing and didn't feel that the $20 surcharge was justified. The food was just ok and we ordered a bottle of Moet for our last night and thank them for their company and wish them well for their future. The waiter bought out normal wine glasses, it took some persuasion to finally get champagne glasses. After saying all that it still was a good night after drinks in various bars.
We could be found at 5.30pm every afternoon at the Napa Bar for happy hour, where Karen and especially Robyn looked after us extremely well. They were always very friendly and helpful, great to see their smiling faces after a day of touring. We didn't have to place our order our glasses of wine were almost waiting for us when we arrived along with nibbles. We felt very pampered. The pink champagne bar staff were always good as well. The piano player Jeff was great. He joined us for a drink on several occasions. His Elton John review was brilliant. The Gold Rush Saloon was a popular haunt for my Husband after I had gone to bed. Bryan the barman always shared a joke and a laugh with him, this I found out through the next day.
The pool staff were great, always there with a cold towel and refresher water spray in the heat. We had booked tours on the islands through NCL. Everything went smoothly with those. understandably the security was extremely thorough which made returning back to the ship very lengthy. In summary we found this a great way to see the other islands. We have been to Honolulu several times but not seen the islands. We would highly recommend the cruise to anyone and will definitely do it ourselves again.