My family planned this trip for a year and it was to be the trip of a lifetime. There was myself, my husband and my 14 year old son. From the moment we tried to board till we disembarked at the end we felt as if we had spent a week in hell.
It took hours to get on to the ship and there was little guidance in the port as to where to go, what to do or what line to stand on. People getting off the ship were telling us to run for our lives before boarding.
Our cabin had a balcony, but was miniscule. It had not been cleaned and my son's bedding was stained with chocolate and urine stains, which they tried to tell us were clean, but the stains had not come out in the wash. The telling sign they were not was that they smelled. Our cabin steward was very nice, however, she and her staff were so over worked it was difficult for them to help or clean everyone's rooms.
The buffet and dining rooms were a joke. The first night we had the buffet which featured still frozen food. The next morning the breakfast buffet had liquid eggs, no coffee, no juice, no silverware and dirty coffee cups (lipstick stains). At dinner we used the main dining rooms. Every night there was a 2 to 3 hour wait to get a table unless you got to the dining room the exact minute the doors opened. They kept half of the room closed down because of lack of servers and those they had were overworked and did not have the time to really wait on people. We had to wait so long to get into dinner we missed all the shows. The food was so mediocre that we had to order every entree every night in order to get one decent thing to eat. Often we were told they did not have the items on the menu, sometimes even simple things like ice cream. My son ate the pizza most nights and some nights it was so inedible that he survived on French fries. One night my husband tasted it and it tasted as if gasoline was used.
The BBQ buffets lines were again long waits and they often ran our of food so you had to stand there until more was ready or get nothing. The wait staff at the specialty stations were often nasty and rude. I was told at several bars that I could not use my NCL pre-paid soda card and my son was told he could not use his after 9 p.m. The best meals we had were off the boat on our excursions.
The teen program was nonexistent leaving them with nothing to do. My son and the other teens were so bored most of the time, that fist fights started between the teens and then the parents got involved. Tension on the ship could be cut with a knife because everyone was so frustrated.
We had some good excursions. There was an excellent snorkeling trip in Kauai, but if you sign up for the deep sea fishing be prepared to be in extremely rough seas. If you get sea sick at all this is not the trip for you and the captain was nasty. We did snorkel at Molikani, but it was an iffy proposition as to whether we would be able to go there because it is an afternoon trip on NCL and conditions are usually only good in the a.m. We did an excellent tour in Hilo to the Volcano Park.
The ship itself was filthy. One morning I went to jog on the track and it was strewn with vomit. I had to go to the purser's desk to report it because crew did not voluntarily clean the ship. We did see them cleaning the pool area with the same towels that we used to dry ourselves with at the pool. The wait staff at the pool was nonexistent. The gym was also filthy and there was never any staff to assist with the equipment. Most of the classes were never given. Management was nonexistent. If you asked to speak to a manager, Captain or anyone except the clerk behind the desk you were told they would get back to you, which they never did.
All in all it was a living horror for which they compensated us with a no extra service charge and a 10% discount on a future cruise. If you want to see the worst of Hawaii cruise with NCL.