There were 8 of us in our group taking this cruise, having gone on Carnival once before on the Splendour from Rome to Ft Lauderdale we were looking foreward to this one. Boarding was very fast at Vancouver and we found our cabins with ease. Simliar size to those on Princess & Celebrity. Ours luggage was delivered within 1 hour which was considerably faster than other cruises, after unpacking we decided to have lunch, very good selection in the buffet except that the serving stations were very close to some of the tables and it made moving around with a full tray somewhat difficult. We then 'explored' the ship, quite impressive for a ship a few years old though we later found out that it had been refurbished. Weather was great so we met our friends on deck for a 'few' drinks then watched as we left Vancouver and into English Bay for our trip to Hawaii. We had a table for the late sitting and were shown to our table, the waiter and his assistand seemed very friendly but the wait for the food was over 1/2 hour just for the appetisers. The main course was not bad but still a long wait, needless to say we were not impressed. The following morning I was talking to a fellow passenger who told me that at their dinner (the first seating) the maitr'a d appologised to the passengers for the slow serving of dinner explaining that most of the crew was new for this voyage and they should have all the 'kinks' worked out by the second nite. Sure enough - all other dinners were fine with the service very good.
During this cruise, my wife - as she had done in the past on other cruise lines - decided to book a massage at the spa. In Canada most people have extended health insurance which pays approx 80% for massage therapy and when we submit the bill it must have the registered massage therapist's number on it otherwise the insurance company will not pay it. Before having the massage my wife explained to the receptionist of this requirement to which she was told that it would be no problem. After the massage she noticed that this number was missing from the receipt and asked that it be written on it, she was then told that due to privacy laws they were not allowed to put it on, but they have never heard of such a problem with insurance companies. I then went up to the spa & got the same answer, I told them that on Celebrity (who we have travelled with extensively) the number is always there. I then went to guest services who explained to me that Carnival contracts these services out!
and that it really has nothing to do with Carnival, but I could always send an e-mail and 'see what happens.
We did submit the receipt to our insurance company and they returned it stating that as there was no number on it and the receipt was of very poor quality and was not legible they would not pay it
We later found out that the spa service operator uses people from Europe, Australia & South Africa where they are not required to carry state registration, only massage therapists in Canada & US are.
Our ports of call were Kona, Kauai, Hilo, Maui (overnite) & Honolul (overnite). As there were 8 of us we had decided and made arrangements before we left Canada to rent a car in Maui, proved the best choice we ever made as the car only cost $100 for the 2 days and we drove and saw everything - the tours that the cruise ship had offered were very high priced. In Kona & Kauai we hired a cab for 3 hours for $100 and were shown all the sights in a much more comfortable way rather than getting on & off a large 40+ passenger bus. It seemed to us that the cost of tours offered by the cruise line were much more expensive than the simliar ones offered in the Caribbean islands. The one tour that we did take that was offered by the cruise ship was the Pearl Harbour tour, 4 hours for $39 per person - very good value indeed.
All in all we had a good time, on a scale of 1 - 10 I would put it at a 7.