I don't want to write a story so here are some things that I thought are important for this cruise:
Pre Cruise (Honolulu, Oahu)
Traffic in this area is pretty congested. Other parts of this island is beautiful. Hanauma Bay is excellent for snorkeling: Cost to the park: $1/car to park and $5/per person Sight seeing around the north part of the island is beautiful. Some areas to consider: Waimea Bay, Honu (turtle) reserve (close to Waimea bay), Dole Plantation. Honolulu/Pearl City area: Arizona Memorial, USS Missouri, Bowfin. Note: The Arizona Memorial tour is free of charge if you drive there. I think it cost $50-75/pp as an excursion. Uss Missouri and Bowfin cost $ to tour. Remember this area has a lot of traffic so start you day early. First ticket is handed out at 0730AM. The ticket line gets long later in the day. First come first serve here.
Maui Haleakalaexcellent!! If you are sensitive to motion sickness due to winding road, take some pills first. Road to Hana- Okay, You really need to take pills if you're sensitive to motion sickness. Nice beach and mega resort at the Kaanapali beach on the West side. Parasail with UFO at Kaanapali beach for $70/pp for 1200 feet. Oh by the way $60 will get you the 600ft. I don't think there was much of a difference as far as how high you'll go because there is not enough with and boat "speed" to take advantage of the 1200ft. You can be the judge on this one.
Take the volcano national park driveExcellent. Get a local drive map and hit all the different falls here i.e Rainbow falls, Akaka Falls World Botanical GardenNot impressedvery small Cost $ to get in. Sailed by the active lava flow on way to Kona was excellenta must see.
Kona I learn something new here: Tendering This is when the ship is unable to dock and the passengers is taken to shore by small boats. A round trip from the ship to shore is about 15min each way. This went on all day. Last tender is about 530pm.
Drove all the way to Kapaau to see King Kamehameha's Statue, disappointed. It wasn't as grand as on TV or pictures. The drive was good though.
Drove to Thunder mountain coffee plantation..If you think Starbuck coffee is expensive wait until you see these prices. Tour is free and you get a free sample of 100% Kona coffee. You know what it taste like......coffee.
Went to see: Wailua falls, Waimea canyon and Hanalei Bay in Princeville. Rented a kayak and kayak the Wailua river.
2nd day on Kauai spend relaxing.
The Ship scale of 1-10: 1 worse, 10 exceptional
Ship: 7, Okay, clean not breathtaking. Service: 9 Service was excellent. Food: 8, Lots of choices at the the Buffet. Didn't go to the the premium restaurants. Entertainment: 8, Lots of entertainments. Child care: 8, excellent child care service for people with kids 2-15yrs.
Things to note: Water: free Sodas: $2.98/can beer: $4-6/bottle Mixed drink:$8-11/glass Wine: $$$didn't bother to check. Tipping is optional... Mandatory $12/per person per day charge that is total on the last day. Example: if you have a party of 4 people, $12 x 4 x 7 = $336 plus any other charges such as puchases and services charges.
****This is important: Each person in your group will get a ship card. These card are linked to a credit card account that you choose at the cruise check in. All purchases on the ship will be charge to your credit card: drinks, food, services, purchases, everything. Cash is not excepted on the ship. Do not link you kids card to the credit card, if your kids go crazy with his/her ship card, you'll end up paying for everything. If your kids are under 18, you can option not to have their ship card link to your credit card.
One other thing: For some reason, there is a lot of motion when the ship is at sea. If you are prone to sea sickness, I recommend you either take pills or not do the cruise altogether. I know of people who got sea sick everytime the ship set sails. This will ruin you whole cruise.