Fun Cruise to Hawaii......after the horrible embarkation!!!!
My husband and I cruised to Hawaii from Ensenada aboard the Carnival Spirit. We flew to San Diego the night before to insure getting to the pier on time. Little did we know we didn't need to hurry! We were fully aware that we would be bussed from the SD pier to Ensenada but we didn't anticipate that they would not start bussing all 2000+ of us until 5 p.m, that we would have to wait hours to get on the bus, that the bus seats made an airline seat seem spacious,and that, after 3 hours of travel to Ensenada, we would have to sit on the bus another hour before we were hustled onto the ship!!! Okay, I'm done complaining now because the rest of the cruise was great!!! Well, at least the part of it after I spent 1 1/2 days in bed seasick!!! Yes, the cruise was quite rocky and I never had gotten seasick before on our other 2 cruises.
We thought our cabin was lovely, enjoyed the balcony,and loved our room steward. We enjoyed dressing up every evening for a wonderful meal in the dining room. I loved getting the opportunity to have beautiful portraits taken of us in our finery. We enjoyed the gym, the swimming pool and for the most part the entertainment. We didn't find ourselves bored at all on the 5 sea days. Arriving at the 4 different ports in Hawaii was fun because we enjoyed waking early to watch the ship sail into port and then we would stand on our balcony and take pictures of the scenery!
Hilo, on the Big Island, was our first port. We did not book any tours with Carnival because we did not want to be tied to their schedule and the were expensive. So, on Hilo we hiked up to Akaka Falls which was beautiful, drove to Rainbow Falls, and then visited Coconut Island and Richardson Beach in search of a beautiful Hawaiian beach but did not find those 2 beaches beautiful.
The 2nd port was Kona on the Big Island. After we went to church that Sun. morning we drove to Hapuna Beach, which was so beautiful!!! So we spent the afternoon there, swimming and sunning on the beach. The drive there was interesting because there was black lava rock on both sides of the rode all 30 miles there and it was covered with grafitti written with white rock the whole way!
The 3rd port day was on Kauai. We drove up to Waimea Canyon which looks like a mimi Grand Canyon. It was beautuful and so worth the drive. The 4th port was Maui. We drove the road to Hana and it was fabulous!! The road is quite curvy but there is something beautiful around every curve! But, beware! You must drive all the way back the same way! But you do get to see everything again!! We spent the night there on Maui so we got a 2nd day there. We went snorkling at Molokini after taking a catamaran ride there.My husband got to snuba and that was his favorite part of the trip.
Our last port was Oahua. We had been there before so we had seen most everything we cared to. We did spend the day at Wakiki beach. It is so lovely there, just a great beach.If you want another option for a beatiful beach on Oahua try Kailua Beach. It is wonderful too! Our last evening on the ship was fine. We had a wonderful dinner, as usual. Then we decided we better pack up our stuff so we returned to our cabin and found a letter telling us how the debarkation was to go. As the letter instructed we watched the debarkation show on our TV and we were told we would only be "allowed" to leave the ship when they called our assigned number and not before. So my husband went to the information counter and explained that we had to park our rental car at the one nearby lot and we had to pick up our car before 8:30 a.m. or they would charge us $50 instead of it being free. He was told we could not leave the ship when we wanted. We could not even carry our own luggage ourselves. We were being held hostage!! Well, there was another option! We could leave the ship before 4:00a.m. carrying our own luggage !! So that's what we did with a few other people who also had rental cars !! Not a good end to a wonderful cruise. So my opinion of Carnival Cruise Lines is they are good at the cruise part but their embarkation and debarkation is horrilbe!!!!!