Just got home two days ago after a few days in Waikiki. I am still on island time and just not motivated to do anything but I figured I would sit down and type this out. Going to be in a few parts so it does not get too big.
Flight: Hawaiian Air direct from San Diego. Easiest flight I have ever been on, great staff, food, etc.
Embarkation: arrived in Honolulu around 12:40. One of my bags was missing (the one with my wedding dress of course), filed paperwork with airline and went to the ship on the NCL bus. Security process was quick and easy and we were aboard by 1:15 p.m. Bags showed up by 4 p.m. (except missing bag, that showed up on Monday just in time).
Hukilau Buffet: Basic buffet. I would say it compares to Hometown Buffet food and I got pretty sick of it by the end of the week. Hardly any vegetarian options and the times they were there that part of the buffet was cold from sitting a long time. Cafeteria food basically.
Cabin: We had a outside cabin on deck 8 with a window. Lots of underbed storage, closet was adequate. For two people it was perfectly fine. Shower was very touchy on the hot/cold settings. The fridge heated up the desk so you could not leave film or melty chocolates there. No answering machine on the phone system so no voice mail.
Sailaway party was a dud. They had a Halloween party that night which was kinda fun. My friends and I brought costumes so we got in on the contest. Quite a few people got involved in it.
Monday we arrived in Kauai at 7 a.m. We put out a card for room service breakfast the night before and it showed up right on time. They brought plain yogurt instead of w/fruit as I ordered and they forgot the banana I ordered. We used this service 3-4 times during the week and the rest of the time they got it all right and right on time.
Kauai excursions: Hanalei Adventure -- bus trip, rather boring, bus was an ice box. Interesting seeing the guava plantation but we only got to be there 15 minutes or so. Heuleia River Kayak -- lots of fun! Take bug spray though, we are covered in bites! Can be physically challenging if you have little upper body strength. The rope swing into the creek was great!
Ship stuff from Monday: Did the craft class to make Kukui nut leis. Hit the shops on board (expensive and small). Went to the gym which was great, lovely views from the windows while you work out. Cruised the Napali coast starting at 3:30 and got some great photos from our friend's balcony room.
Dinner at Crossings: Very loud engine noise and vibration in this dining room while the ship is at sea. Food was ok.
Hilo: Kileauea hiking adventure -- AWESOME! Not for the weary!
Mandera Spa: Husband and I had massages and I have to say this was a ship highlight for us. The spa is beautiful and the people were great. Might seem expensive but well worth every penny + tip!
Wed night: Magic show was a dud. This was the only show we made it to all week.
Kona: Tender boat is one of the emergency boats from the ship. They are coming and going constantly and easy to get on. We had only 5-10 minute waits to get on them both directions.
City of Refuge Snorkel trip: Overbooked by NCL so they had to beg 2 people to leave the tour and take refunds + a different tour. Tour was great for those who stayed. No time to see City of Refuge though there were a few hours of great snorkeling and a nice guide. Also a small Kona coffee tour/shop.
Kona: Ate at Bubba Gumps for lunch. Fun place walking distance from pier. Lots of shops right in this area and even a small swap meet the day we were there.
Dinner at Palm Bistro: Best ship food I had all week. Allow 3 hours for the meal though. Quite a production with 5 courses. That was our anniversary night and the wine steward sang for us which was very sweet.
Maui: We went on the Discover Lanai adventure ($300 pp). It was a awesome trip but I think was overpriced. Would have been fine at $200 pp. They brought us back to land at 5:30 but made us wait 2 HOURS for a shuttle back to POA. Nice way to get a taste of Lanai though. Now I want to go back!
Get waffles at the breakfast bar by the pool. Best stuff for breakfast and I had them almost daily.
Rented a car and drove to Lahaina for the second day in Maui. Also went to lunch at Mama's Fish House.
One more POA tip: One thing they have not fixed yet is the laundry service. Do NOT send clothes to be laundered, you may not see them again. I was warned by staff as well as other passengers. One staff member lost a pair of pants for 3 weeks in laundry!
Sunday: Disembarking was a breeze. Getting busses was easy but lot's of people running around. Everybody was very helpful.
We spent 4 days at Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel with a rental car from Alamo. Also had a vow renewal ceremony on the beach in Kauai that was perfect. If you have questions about that stuff just ask me.