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183 Hawaii Entertainment Cruise Reviews

I am TOTALLY FRUSTRATED with NCL at the moment and I would love the opportunity to speak with their CEO or someone from upper management. Pride of America is a relatively small ship compared to the rest of Norwegian’s fleet. The ... Read More
I am TOTALLY FRUSTRATED with NCL at the moment and I would love the opportunity to speak with their CEO or someone from upper management. Pride of America is a relatively small ship compared to the rest of Norwegian’s fleet. The ship is clean and the crew is, for the most part, very friendly. The cost of the cruise, however, was the most expensive I’ve experienced with NCL coming in just shy of $5100 for my wife and I for a balcony cabin located on the 10th level. I kept telling myself this is Hawaii and you get what you pay for. I can only imagine that NCL spends hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars to acquire your business and maintain your loyalty, but they missed the mark in our particular case. We have been loyal customers of NCL since switching over from another line several years back. Here are a few things to mull over. We were on the ship for only several hours when a women tripped and fell while exiting a bathroom near the pool area. She landed on my wife’s legs as my wife was entering the bathroom. NCL has a metal ramp going into the bathroom, but there is no similar accommodation as you exit. Next, I don’t believe an Unlimited Beverage Plan is available on POA due to Hawaiian law. However, a waiter at Teppanyaki thought otherwise and questioned where I had heard this. (Just a little embarrassed in front of my friends) Drinks, in my opinion, are very expensive. A Jack Daniels and Coke was $12.35, a Michelob Ultra was $8.63, a can of Pepsi was $4.28, and our friends ordered two Stoly doubles that cost them nearly $50. Next, the food at Cagney’s and Teppanyaki was very good, but both my wife and I were really looking forward to a nice lobster. Sorry, I couldn’t find lobster anywhere, not even in the specialty restaurants. Shrimp and scallops were found, but only on select menus and somewhat limited. Overall the food was pretty good, but the repetition of the same foods made for boring meals. Next, Kevin Brando on piano and a group called These Guys Worldwide were both exceptional entertainers and I wish we had seen more of them. However, the other entertainers on board were in my opinion average at best. Oh, I almost forgot, one group from a local island boarded the ship to entertain us and they were pretty good too! Here I go again telling myself it’s Hawaii. Well, if so, what happened to the visions I had of ample Hawaiian music and dancers? Maybe I was on shore and missed them. Now, I have to come full circle and express why I’m really frustrated. Remember I earlier spoke about the vast amounts of money that NCL spends on advertising to acquire your business and maintain your loyalty through their Latitudes Reward program. The good news is, they have now enhanced their CruiseNext program by allowing you to Double Up, or by applying two deposits towards a cruise that’s at least six months out. However, my frustration and the feeling that I’m being punished is due to, in my opinion, a silly policy that prohibits your use of this incentive if you already have a deposit on that future cruise. Yes, my wife and I, and five others already have $50 deposits on a cruise scheduled for November. It’s my understanding that we meet all of the requirements for this program except for the nominal deposit that’s in place. When talking to the CruiseNext Manager she suggested that we contact our travel agent and see if we could cancel our booking then rebook at the existing rate so we might be able to use the program. My response, Why should we have to do that? Understanding my frustrations she contacted her superiors to see if there was an alternative or exception to this rule. I subsequently received a letter saying there was no relief in this matter. So, here we are. NCL has spent enormous amounts of money to acquire our business and maintain a loyal relationship, but they are unable to overlook the $50 deposits that we have in place towards our next NCL cruise. Not only was that frustrating to accept, but imagine the shade that it cast over the POA cruise that I was currently trying to enjoy. So much for the investment that you’ve made to acquire and maintain our loyalty. Well, loyalty is a two way street. My Mom used to be great with all sorts of old adages. There are many I can think of, but “penny wise and dollar foolish” is perhaps the best in this particular instance. A future relationship with NCL is now very doubtful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The very best part of the entire cruise was the staff. To a person, each of them was helpful, smiling all the time, and very courteous. The 15 day round trip cruise was very restful and relaxing. The food was about as good as it can be, my ... Read More
The very best part of the entire cruise was the staff. To a person, each of them was helpful, smiling all the time, and very courteous. The 15 day round trip cruise was very restful and relaxing. The food was about as good as it can be, my wife and I have been on 5 cruises and that was as good as any. We chose anytime dining for the first time and loved it. We sat with different couples each night and loved them all. I am disabled and must stay in my chair all the time. This is where the Star Princess fails a bit. The ADA room has a balcony (that we paid extra for of course) and the lip out to the balcony was 5" high. I was unable to roll out, so I never got to enjoy the fresh air at all. The Princess Theater is large and wonderful, unless you need to sit in a wheelchair. They have exactly 4 spaces per side. We must have had 40 wheelchair users on the cruise. We ended up going over an hour early to each show just to have an area to see from. This is a much older ship and was not accessible for me to enjoy the Sanctuary deck at all. There is no elevator to that section, only stairs. Getting on and off the ship in Hawaii was embarrassing, debilitating and difficult at best. The ramps are very short which makes them steep. They have ridged slats to keep the foot passengers from slipping but it makes it WRONG for wheelchairs. This was the only area where the staff was short, pushy and not good at their jobs. They put someone in front and someone in back and pretty much shove you up and down the whole time yelling; and they do it all wrong but will not listen to the person who does it daily, me. The excursions were fantastic and every bus we used (ROBERTS TRAVEL) had a lift for disabled persons. The locations and themes were perfect sights for Hawaii and we booked separately with Roberts because Princess was sold out 8 months prior to the cruise. Booking the excursions separately saved us almost half the cost and Roberts is the same company the cruise line uses. The entertainment in the Theater was over the top. Their dancers and singers are 1st class and worth seeing every show. The behind the scenes staff (sound, lights and such) were professional and managed well. Theater has the best people on the ship. Other than the main restaurants I have to tip my hat to the Trident Grill. It is simple such as hamburgers, dogs and daily specials but he meat is well seasoned and is grilled to order. Great job! The buffet is what a buffet should be - tons of food. This is one of the places that the staff was over the top. Every time I rolled into line someone would be there to see if they could carry my tray or assist in any way. The area was wide enough for me to roll through and not hit anyone. That's a bit rare from many of my past cruises. Overall, I would do it again - even on this same ship. The staff and relaxation makes it all worth it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our first trip to Hawaii and we couldn't choose which islands to visit so we decided to start and finish the vacation with stays on different parts of Oahu (Spent a week on Waikiki Beach at the Hilton before the cruise and ... Read More
This was our first trip to Hawaii and we couldn't choose which islands to visit so we decided to start and finish the vacation with stays on different parts of Oahu (Spent a week on Waikiki Beach at the Hilton before the cruise and then a week at Disney Aulani after the cruise) and visit the other three islands on the cruise. This was our third cruise and we thought the ship was beautiful, clean and very well-maintained. All the crew we encountered were friendly, pleasant and upbeat. Our cabin steward was so great - we barely saw her! We always returned to a clean and freshened-up cabin after a day ashore and turn-down was always done while we were at dinner/drinks. Clean towels, full ice bucket, new glasses, clever towel animals, and the next day's port information laid out on the bed was so nice to return to. The cabin itself was tight but aren't they all? It was just two of us so it was all we needed, plus we had a balcony so we spent a lot of time on it. As far as the meals go, we ate at the Aloha Cafe, Cagney's, Skyline Dining Room, Cadillac Diner and the Key West Bar. Aloha Cafe was basic and bland, but there were lots of choices and seemed to be something there for everyone - I only ate there once and I was done, but my husband had a quick breakfast and coffee there each morning before we went ashore. The Skyline DR was also pretty basic but a step up from the Aloha Cafe - We ate dinner there once. Cagney's is in another category. We ate dinner there three times and the food was really great! We had Filet Mignon or Fish each time and they offer many side dishes which were also really good. We had one meal in the Cadillac Diner - salads and burgers, but they were also really good. We went to Key West Bar a few times as it was nearest to our stateroom, and were amazed that we'd be the only ones there. Maybe everyone was tired from the day and in bed - but we never encountered anyone else in that bar until the sail-away from Kauai - it was packed that day. We had a port-side balcony but wanted to sit in the bar until we reached the Na Pali coastline. Having a private balcony to view the coast was worth every penny - INCREDIBLE!! As far as our itinerary at each port - we left the ship everyday and we do our own thing. We rented a car at every port and intended to see as much as possible. On Maui day 1 - Road to Hana. What a gorgeous place!!! An absolute must-see, at least once! It rained like the skies opened and the gods were angry LOL but the waterfalls were incredible and everywhere!! We encountered an landslide shortly after the 'Halfway to Hana' area which closed the road and were told it would take two hours to clear, so we waited but it was worth the wait. We drove the whole way around to the back of Haleakala. It was interesting but I think if we did the drive again we'd turn around at Hana and go back through the pretty part :) We also visited Wailea and Kihei - ate dinner at the Maui Brewing Company. Btw, we dowloaded the Shaka Guide app - worth it beyond words!! Made a great trip even better! Maui day 2 - We drove to Kaanapali to see the sights and then to Lahaina to walk around, see the Banyan tree, shop and eat before heading back to the ship. Lots of sun and blue skies on this day. YAY :) Hilo - Another washout of a day LOL not sure who we angered or why but we made the best of it and laughed as hard as it rained!! Took Saddle road up and over Mauna Kea and down to Waikoloa Village and saw our first and only rainbow for the whole trip :D which was awesome!! We then drove back along the north coastline which was gorgeous and lush. We stopped at the Hawaiian Vanilla Factory and the Macadamia Nut factory. Snagged a great parking spot to do some souvenir shopping in Hilo before heading back to ship. Kona - Tendering was super-easy and very-well organized. We were off the ship before 7:45 so we never needed the tickets so I can't explain that process for anyone. The tender boat has us to the shore in 5-10 minutes which was great and we were on our way. Picked up our rental car at the Marriott - super easy pickup and drop off. Easiest one of all in fact. We drove to the Pu'uhonua o Honaunau state park to see the Tikis, huts and sea turtles - LOVED this place!! Blue skies and sunny all day made it even better :) After that we hit a Kona Coffee place for sampling, the we drove back to the cool town of Kailua-Kona to wander around, shop and we had a meal at the Kona Brewery. Parking is tricky so it worked out great renting a car from the Marriott because we just parked there and walked everywhere. Kauai day 1 - We are fans of the hurricane-battered resort, CoCo Palms and scheduled a tour for 10AM, before the tour we were able to drive up to see Wailua Falls which was brown and raging from all the rain, but still glad we squeezed it in. After the tour we continued north to Hanalei Bay. We went to walk the pier and watch the surfing lessons. We then went into town for shopping, ate food truck poke bowls, and finished with JoJo's shave ice - perfect!! We stopped in Princeville on way back to have a drink at Tiki Iniki and then made our way back to the ship and tried to figure out where we were going to park for the night. Turns out there's FREE on-road parking on Nawiliwili Road between Wilcox Road and Waapa Road!! We felt like we struck gold!! We parked the car, returned to the ship to freshen up and enjoyed the evening at Duke's Kauai - Totally amazing place with views to match Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We took this cruise several years before on another Princess ship and enjoyed it immensely. This time - not so much. First the downside. Originally the ship was built to hold 2800 passengers. Princess stuffed an additional 500+ ... Read More
We took this cruise several years before on another Princess ship and enjoyed it immensely. This time - not so much. First the downside. Originally the ship was built to hold 2800 passengers. Princess stuffed an additional 500+ passengers by making all the cabins, inside and outside smaller. For the first week the Princess theater could not accommodate all the additional passengers with only two evening performances per night. Passengers were upset so for the rest of the voyage, the ship relented and scheduled three performances a night. Various food lines were much longer this time but you soon learned to avoid the "rush hours." Because of extra passengers, access to enjoy popular entertainers at the piano bar and the ship's nightclubs was often difficult compared to the past cruises. Initially the dining room service was mediocre but improved a little as the voyage continued. One time we walked out after waiting a half hour without any dinner service. Another time I could have been arrested for assault. I grabbed the head honcho by the shoulder and wouldn't let him go until he called over one of the Filipino waiters to take care of our table. I feel that the larger number of passengers put much more pressure on the kitchen leading to delays and rushed meals. Chicken was always overcooked and dry - so we soon learned to avoid it. When steaks were offered, It was difficult to get it rare. The buffet often had better choices than the regular dining rooms. The good news is that the prime rib (when served) was very nice. The movies played "under the stars" and in the Princess Theater were entertaining. The "enrichment" lectures during the day were well done and interesting. Because of the additional passengers, the land tours were almost all sold out before you even boarded the ship. However we discovered that the private tours on shore were just as good and only half the price that Princess charged. As a long time stockholder, I appreciate the desire for Carnival to squeeze as much profit out of each ship as possible. If this was your first cruise, then I suppose you might have accepted all this as normal. But my advice for all the rest, is to avoid the "new" Emerald Princess - whether for Alaska or the Pacific runs. For future cruises make sure the other Princess ships like the Pacific or Coral Princess have not been remodeled to hold more than the original 2200 to 2800 passengers. You have been warned. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We choose this cruise because we always wanted to go to Bora Bora and the cruise included Hawaii, American Samoa, Tahiti, and Moorea. The Emerald Princess was a nice ship but it was starting to show wear. The seats in the explorer ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we always wanted to go to Bora Bora and the cruise included Hawaii, American Samoa, Tahiti, and Moorea. The Emerald Princess was a nice ship but it was starting to show wear. The seats in the explorer lounge were like sitting in a hole. On a positive note, the beds were great and very comfortable. We stayed in a mini suite which gave us breathing room during a 28 day cruise. The food was hit or miss between average and very good. Service was very good in all the dining rooms. The trivia contests were fun and we met wonderful people. On a negative note, embarkation and disembarkation was chaotic and long and the worst we had ever experienced. The last 8 days at sea were a little long, wish they could have broken that up with a stop.....somewhere. Overall we had a fantastic time and met wonderful people that we will remain friends with. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We wanted the majority of see days and this cruise fits the bill. Your guranteed that there won’t be any children. The downside is that there are a lot of walkers ,wheelchairs and scooters. There were just enough sight seeing ... Read More
We wanted the majority of see days and this cruise fits the bill. Your guranteed that there won’t be any children. The downside is that there are a lot of walkers ,wheelchairs and scooters. There were just enough sight seeing opportunities for our liking, we had been to the majority of places before, except Pago Pago and Bora Bora. Both of these islands were interesting and because of their size didn’t have much to offer in terms of sight seeing. The shows were the highlight of this cruise, the food in the buffe was dissapointing not much verity and repedarive. The dining room food was much better and more verity but smaller portions. Our biggest disappointment were the conduct of the passengers, there is a big difference between casual dress and what some of there folks were wearing. It was especially apparent in the dining rooms when they had formal dining, you would be sitting with evening ware and a tuxedo and on the next table a short sleeved shirt and jeans. This is one of the reasons why we won’t be cruising Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Chosen as the only one leaving from San Francisco --Hawaii Although clean, our room was much smaller than our staterooms on previous cruises . The ship is very tired dark & depressing , not how you want to feel on holiday . There ... Read More
Chosen as the only one leaving from San Francisco --Hawaii Although clean, our room was much smaller than our staterooms on previous cruises . The ship is very tired dark & depressing , not how you want to feel on holiday . There was a lot of ceiling leaks with buckets catching drips all over the ship quite a few of the restrooms were out of order . The entertainment was poor . We were at sea for 4 days going & 4 days at sea on the return & this ship does not have the facilities to entertainment to keep you occupied for this long at sea . With 2500 passengers & the facilities were first come first served , so you would stand in a queue but may not get in . The best place to sit in the evening was the Piazza area where it was lighter but not enough seating . The best things about this ship was the staff & the food . Grand Princess badly needs attention Thank goodness our trips ashore in Hawaii was worth the journey . Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
to celebrate our wedding anniversary. everything was wonderful, we were very pleased with princess cruise lines and will probably take another cruise within the next 2 years and will choose princess. the staff was above and beyond what ... Read More
to celebrate our wedding anniversary. everything was wonderful, we were very pleased with princess cruise lines and will probably take another cruise within the next 2 years and will choose princess. the staff was above and beyond what was expected. the entertainment was spectacular, we loved the trivia games and music. first in charge was our favorite as far as music. the broad way production was fantastic, the amount of talent was unbelievable! our cabin steward was very attentive as were the dining room attendants. as i reported, my only complaint was the medical bill, i felt it was excessive for he service i received. our cabin was more than expected, in fact, it was a different cabin than we were originally assigned. we never knew why the cabin was switched, but were very pleased with dolphin 421. i will recommend princess to any of our friends or family interested in taking a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was the 10th anniversary since we took our first Princess Hawaii cruise in 2008. Overall we feel the cruise 10 years ago was superior with regard to entertainment in the Princess Theater and Vista Lounge on board the ship and with an ... Read More
This was the 10th anniversary since we took our first Princess Hawaii cruise in 2008. Overall we feel the cruise 10 years ago was superior with regard to entertainment in the Princess Theater and Vista Lounge on board the ship and with an extra port offered on the main island Hawaii, Kona. The ship itself, the Star Princess, is an older ship and shows the wear and tear of its years. The air conditioning system struggles at night to provide adequate cooling in the stateroom on deck 12, or the ship turns it down. We had the same air conditioning problems on this ship on a Mexican Riviera cruise we took with Princess. The overall grade on the entertainment offered on this cruise I would rate as a C- , far below the normal standard we were used to on Princess. The biggest disappointment was the Princess staff production shows. They did 4 shows on the 15 day cruise and the productions lefts much to be desired. The singers and the dancers were sufficient to have a better show but the content was lacking. The elimination of Kona as a port call left only a 4 day island stop schedule in Hawaii. That extra day definitely changed the cruise for us. After 4 days at sea to get there, and facing a 5 day at sea return, spending 5 days on the island instead of 4 would have been more appealing. One big positive was the service staff on board the ship were excellent. Very accommodating. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Chose the cruise for cost. You get what you pay for. Food was average at best. On the lido buffet, there was too much concern about presentation rather than on food quality. I am not that picky of an eater but I can’t say I really ... Read More
Chose the cruise for cost. You get what you pay for. Food was average at best. On the lido buffet, there was too much concern about presentation rather than on food quality. I am not that picky of an eater but I can’t say I really enjoyed the food. As an example, the steak referred to as Sirloin was the worst I’ve ever had and appeared to more than likely actually be chuck. It was so full of grizzle that most times I chose not to eat it. My biggest complaint was the fitness center. Didn’t open until 7:00 am. There was a waiting line of about 20 to 25 people every day. There were not near enough machines for the demand. Only 2 recumbent bikes and 5 or 6 are needed. The 6 ellipticals were always broken down and the staff was slow to fix—out of 6 machines, only 4 were normally available. The earbud port on 1 of the 2 elliptical machine was plugged up. Several people reported it but the staff seemed unconcerned. The weight training machines were not being used yet the waiting line for cardio machines was apparent. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We were in the middle of January, it was a typical Canadian winter day. That night we stumbled upon the old Elvis Presley "Blue Hawaii" playing on TV. Next morning, both of us had the same idea; to book a Princess Cruise to ... Read More
We were in the middle of January, it was a typical Canadian winter day. That night we stumbled upon the old Elvis Presley "Blue Hawaii" playing on TV. Next morning, both of us had the same idea; to book a Princess Cruise to Hawaii. We were on the Star Princess, for 2 weeks, last summer, B2B between Vancouver BC and Whitier, Alaska. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip, the ship and especially the staff. Again, on this cruise, our feelings for the ship, the itinerary and the Staff, several of whom had not changed. It was like a reunion at the front desk, the boutiques and the Dining room. Room Stewards are consistently superb. The ship itself underwent a significant refit, in December, which also involved upgrading beds (great), larger TV's much of the carpeting which is still being refreshed as an ongoing maintenance item. The ship looks very good, although the grey-tones carpet chosen for the Horizon cafe would not be our choice. The cruise, itself was fantastic.The US Coast Guard boarded the ship on the morning of Embarkation (reason still unknown) which caused a 3 hour delay in starting the embarkation, but the ship still sailed, on time. They do these periodically and are a surprise to all, but the Princess crew seemed to take it all in stride. Shortly after departure, a Medical Emergency caused us to stop in mid channel, while a fire boat came alongside to remove an ailing passenger. On the first SeaDay we started to weather the heavy rain storm that was approaching the LA area, so the first 2 sea days were quite rough, but after that everything calmed down and the rest of the voyage went extremely well. We had a day of drizzle and rain in Hilo, bit that only impacted a few higher level shore excursions. Oahu, Kauii and Lahaina were perfect days for , tours, helicopters and Whale watching. Great tours!!! Highly recommend the North Shore Oahu bus tour, Kauii Helicopter and Lahaina Whale Watching shore excursions. Hop-on Hop-off bus in Hilo was good for the wet weather we had. After 4 days in Hawaii, it was time to sail home on calm waters all the way to Ensenada and LA. Food aboard was wonderful, as we have come to expect on our previous 9 Princess Cruises. Perhaps the demographics of the passengers was different, but we have never seen so many people using the Dining Rooms for Breakfast and Lunch, but the staff handled it as if it was no different. Well Done, folks. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Cruise the Hawaiian islands, NCL placed fees and charges at every turn. Daily service charge was 40% higher than other cruises. There was a “corking fee” for the one bottle of wine packed for use in the stateroom. No other cruise ... Read More
Cruise the Hawaiian islands, NCL placed fees and charges at every turn. Daily service charge was 40% higher than other cruises. There was a “corking fee” for the one bottle of wine packed for use in the stateroom. No other cruise line has done this in the past. Fees plus tips were added to bar orders. Stateroom and balcony were very small.Cabin steward was attentive and friendly. Food at the buffet (especially for breakfast) was better than the dining room. However, guests had to get their own coffee, juice, and water. The ports of call were interesting and shore excursions were expensive, but usually worthwhile, Helicopter ride was cancelled due to weather, so we were taken on a very long van ride and charged $100. We were unable to cancel this part of the tour. Much rain in the month of March. Would recommend a drier month. Their daily newspaper was minimally informative. Didn’t have information about a special dress night until it was over, I would not recommend NCL. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose a Window Suite which was great for a cruise where 10 days is spent on the ocean. Breakfast for Suite members in the Crown Grill was fantastic along with the service. Dinners in the Club Class Dining were great and offers an item ... Read More
We chose a Window Suite which was great for a cruise where 10 days is spent on the ocean. Breakfast for Suite members in the Crown Grill was fantastic along with the service. Dinners in the Club Class Dining were great and offers an item that is not on the menu each night and the Maitre'd makes either a special pasta dish or Caesar Salad. Entertainment was good as we had seen each of the production shows twice last year on the Grand. The ship shows its age in a few places but for the most part is in excellent condition for being 20 years old. All ports, with the exception of Ensenada, were very nice and offered something for everyone as far as excursions. Daily activities on sea days seemed to offer something for everyone. Our only issue was someone from the Maintenance Staff had come into our Suite while we were ashore and painted a couple of the ceiling panels with lacquer based paint which meant we could not be in the room during the day for over a week due to the smell. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We had hoped for a few sunny sea days and some island tours for enlightenment of the areas. The Tours were okay, but not great. Scenery was spectacular on the 3 tours. The Sea Days were cloudy and coolish. Deck days were a non starter ... Read More
We had hoped for a few sunny sea days and some island tours for enlightenment of the areas. The Tours were okay, but not great. Scenery was spectacular on the 3 tours. The Sea Days were cloudy and coolish. Deck days were a non starter (weather is not guarantee, that is understood. First night waves were severe enough to modify route, but it was a expensive and scary amusement ride. A stench emanating from the bow the ship lasted several hours during the hard weather on the first night. The food service for the most part was good, sometimes great. Ice Tea tasted like coloured ice water. Pastries plentiful and tasty. Evening dining Service was good and very good. My menu likes and dislikes and desire for simpler foods, made it difficult for me to enjoy the good presentations of food on evening menus. But the waiting staff was very accommodating.for special requests. The entertainment was for the most part very enjoyable. The TV presentation and shows, sucked, and repeated the same schedule for two days in a row in some cases. Most were old shows, but surprisingly had some new shows. The TV guide on the tv was hard to read. The Cruise director and his staff were everywhere and did a good job of keeping the masses amused and busy. (the passenger age average was close to 70 and not many young people and fewer children). But the ship is in dire need of a makeover, but rumours have it will vanish from the fleet within the year. There were leaks between the floors noticeably and I am sure the crew did their best to cover up/fix other problems. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We had a wonderful time on our first Princess Cruise. We had plenty of things to do and also spent time relaxing and enjoying our Anniversary and Husband Retired cruise! I had read other comments previously about the Grand Princess ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on our first Princess Cruise. We had plenty of things to do and also spent time relaxing and enjoying our Anniversary and Husband Retired cruise! I had read other comments previously about the Grand Princess and it needing a facelift. Well it is over 20 years old, however we saw maintenance painting, cleaning and doing general maintenance. It is an older ship but we thoroughly enjoyed it. Food: We ate in the Buffet, Burger place and Pizza place. We also ate in the Crown Grille and that was a great choice for our anniversary dinner! Our cabin steward was Oliver. He was great, always greeted us by name. Always had bed made and towels. Never had to call and ask for anything. One of the waiters that we would like to recognize is Raymond. We typically went to the Buffet (quick and easy) and Raymond would greet us by name. Always quick to bring coffee and remember that my husband took cream and mine black. Also remember that I always wanted 2 orange juices so I could make my "greens drink". Sandra in the gift shop was very personable. When we went in to look for something she knew if they had product or not. Saw her on the last day waiting to get off ship - she also remembered us, and saw that she was very helpful with directing people on where to go. Photography - well Joe Clark with the Platinum photographs was great. We spent almost 2 hours with him doing a photo session - I loved the black and whites - my husband was expecting color so he did not like them as much - he did find some that he loved. Anthony took many of our pictures - casual nights / formal nights. He was awesome and does a great job; Knows angles / lighting etc. He is also another one of those people that remembers our names and greets us by name. Offshore tours - just a couple of comments. Lots of choices but I did find that the popular ones were typically already sold out prior to the cruise. Our main choice for Honolulu was Pearl Harbor - of course all sold out. They did open up a Pearl Harbor visit and city tour - our tour guide was awesome and we also were able to get the Arizona tickets. We did find out that those tickets were FREE - why does the ship tour cost so much if you included AZ visit? Our Zip line tour in HILO - Awesome! Another item off the bucket list. We would take this cruise again. We didn't spend much time on the balcony (too busy) so we would probably go with a different type of cabin next time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Only cruise line that cruises Hawaii without starting in the US. We didn't want to spend a lot of time getting to Hawaii and back. No drink package for Liquor. Cocktails were 11-16 dollars each.Buffet food was better than the ... Read More
Only cruise line that cruises Hawaii without starting in the US. We didn't want to spend a lot of time getting to Hawaii and back. No drink package for Liquor. Cocktails were 11-16 dollars each.Buffet food was better than the dining rooms. Same drink was 11-16 dollars depending on what bar you were at. Most Ports were industrial shipping ports, Attractions were 1/2 - 1 mile away (usually). While in port views were of dock workers loading container ships. Had to get on a Bus to do anything including going out for a Beer and a Sandwich. Balcony state room was very small (compared to "Princess").10 inches from foot of bed to wall. Not all elevators went to all floors. Shore excursions were very good but once again they were considerably more expensive than booking with vendors. Cabins were kept up well. Staff was friendly. I would not go on another NCL Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We are a family in our 40s that loves to cruise. We have been on Royal and Celebrity many times. Carnival only once. This was our first experience with NCL. We thought it would be a great way to see all the islands. The food was the ... Read More
We are a family in our 40s that loves to cruise. We have been on Royal and Celebrity many times. Carnival only once. This was our first experience with NCL. We thought it would be a great way to see all the islands. The food was the horrible and horrible is being nice. Service was worse than that!! There are not many "Free" places but the food was not good even when you paid for it. The average age of our ship had to be 70 and up. The kids club for 13-17 had 3 teens.... closed most of the time anyway. Entertainment was sub-standard. We paid extra for a larger balcony and it was larger; however, it was longer not wider and the length took away from the size of the cabin making it smaller than any other ship we have been on. The room was in the worse location too and very noisy. The spa was the best part. We went there first and bought the thermal suites access for 100.00 each. (adults only) For them to lower the price 2 hours later to 75.00. Other ships have the thermal suites with a view but this one has no view just a wall. I tried to get my hair done 3 separate times and gave up. We never saw anyone actually getting their hair done but the staff always said they were booked. After 10 eating is limited to one place (Cadillac diner) which the food was ok but 45 min to 1 hour for chicken tender or a burger. The Aloha buffet has no variety and the close at odd times (breakfast over at 10 am, close all together between 5pm and 6pm. We ordered a Mai Tai (traditional Hawaiian drink) it tasted like a screw driver so we asked to make sure and the managers response was that they get complaints all the time that the bartenders do not make it right??? what? So we paid 25.00 for two 8oz drinks that were terrible. Lesson learned we just bought the rest off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted a relaxing experience. We had been to Hawaii many times so port excursions were not that important although we took some. Well, if you are going to be at sea for 10 days, you are going to want some ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted a relaxing experience. We had been to Hawaii many times so port excursions were not that important although we took some. Well, if you are going to be at sea for 10 days, you are going to want some good entertainment. WRONG! Not on this cruise. If I knew how bad the entertainment was going to be, I would never have booked. The theatre. It's way too small for the number of people on the ship/ The seats are worn and they seem tilted forward for some reason. The show times do not work with the dinner times although we were Club Class (more on that later) and could dine early. I think any high school could have put on a better show. We got to see Ric Steel which I think was the best of the lot. The show was only about 40 minutes and just average. He spent the last five minutes telling us about his medical struggles and pushing a book he wrote about it. One night they had Tiki Dave doing a Juke Box show. My kind of music. He was not very good at it however and should have stayed in the lounges where he usually was. The entertainment went downhill from there. We just stayed in our cabin after dinner and watched TV and movies on our tablet. There were some good solo performers in the Piazza of the ship but very few seats. I'm sorry Princess but seniors should not have to stand up to watch a lounge act! There was one good daytime lecturer Ron Bowers who had worked as a D.A in L.A. Embarkation was like a cattle drive even though we had priority embarkation. Many small screw ups at the start of our cruise evidenced by the very long lines at the service desk. The elevators were small and too slow. Our cabin was a Club Class Mini Suite which meant it was mid ship. It was clean but there were signs of wear like peeling wallpaper and some broken caulking on the tub. The couch was also worn out and not comfortable. One of the drawers was broken. The room just had a dated look to it. WE had paid extra for Club Class dining. As far as I'm concerned, it was nothing more than what we should have had in the main dining room. The club class dining was nothing more than a section of the Portofino dining room sectioned off. There were more wait staff but no special menu as advertised. Except for an occasional desert special or pasta dish, the menu was exactly the same as the main dining room. It was much quitter than the main area which sounded unbearably loud in the distance.. One thing on the menu that really bothered me. At the bottom of the page you are offered prime rib, filet mignon and steak but it cost $19 dollars more per person. HEY, We're in Club Class and you are still trying to stick it to us? We can go to Crown Grill for $10 more and have a premium choice of steaks and chops. One positive note. The wait staff in Club Class was exemplary in particular Joshua, Alexandra and Hestor who knocked themselves out to make our dining a wonderful experience. We like to shop on a cruise ship but it seemed like their main interest was to sell jewelery and expensive art work. They even had a Good Feet representative. Give me a break! The cruise director was always yelling. Her voice was not suited for the job and we found her annoying whenever she spoke. To sum up. This cruise fell below our expectations. If you never cruised before you probably would have been pleased. It seems like the bottom line greatly exceeds the desire to please passengers. It's nickel and dime and cut wherever you can. Whats next, charging for luggage like the airlines? Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We (two retired female friends) chose this cruise because the P of A spends so much time on the islands, with all traveling done at night. We spent two days on Oahu before the cruise, got to see a big wave surf competition, and the Kualoa ... Read More
We (two retired female friends) chose this cruise because the P of A spends so much time on the islands, with all traveling done at night. We spent two days on Oahu before the cruise, got to see a big wave surf competition, and the Kualoa Ranch. (Both excellent). Arrived at Hanauma Bay, prepared to snorkel, and found that they close at 5:30, not 7 p.m. as advertised everywhere. So we missed what I now assume to be the best snorkeling spot in Hawaii. We arrived at the port around 12:30 p.m. and were on the ship within the hour. Went to the buffet for lunch and all rooms were announced to be ready before we were finished. We had anytine dining with reservations for 6:30 on most days. Never had to wait for a table, had same waitresses every night, and a window table. Most food was pretty good. Went to the french restaurant one night. Service was impeccable. Food so-so (big disappointment). Cream puff dessert was highlight. Whether it was because there was no casino or that we were so busy off the ship all day, every day, we found that we went to sleep pretty early every night but not before seeing shows and laba flow! Entertainment was great! Comedian was a riot! We saw him twice, two different shows. Magician was very good. The four guys in the rock and roll band were excellent! We had planned much of our dinner times around being able to get to shows and were very glad that we did. The ship let everyone know that we would be passing the lava flowing on the big island at 10:45 one night and we made sure to get front row standing. You can see the streams of red on the mountain but not that it actually enters the ocean You can see it from starboard side of ship. They get as close as they are allowed, I am sure and linger about 15 minutes. Viewing the Napali Coast is seen from the port side of the ship. Awesome. We had alot of fog but it was still beautiful. Bring over the door shoe holder for odds and ends. We also brought 4 small magnets which we could use both inside the cabin and on the balcony to hang wet bathing suits on to dry. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Overall, this was a very pleasant cruise. We enjoyed the days at seas as well as the port visits. I would have liked more time in Hilo, Hawaii. We finally quit going to the main dining room after three rude and clumsy encounters with ... Read More
Overall, this was a very pleasant cruise. We enjoyed the days at seas as well as the port visits. I would have liked more time in Hilo, Hawaii. We finally quit going to the main dining room after three rude and clumsy encounters with the wait staff helpers. The last incident was the worst with the waiter's helper dumping a full glass of wine in my half-eaten meal, splashing gravy and wine all over my formal clothes and face. It was on our 40th anniversary celebration. We cut short our meal and left the dining room. After I got cleaned up, we went to Vines for tapas and wine. But, this was the last straw after two other surreal incidents - waiter helper slamming our food down in front of us in an angry huff (nothing we had done, since it was the first time we had seen her on the floor) and another awkward moment with food service that the head waiter explained as first night jitters. Probably the worst wait service we have experienced on a Princess cruise. Not a huge problem, since Princess provides a lot of other options for dining, but disappointing because on our previous cruises the dining room experience was always one of the highlights of our vacation. The Itinerary was really wonderful. We loved the port visits. Chose two excursions and the rest we did on our own. Really enjoyed the excursion at Hilo, Hawaii and Ensenada, Mexico. The entertainment was varied enough to allow everyone do anything they wanted to do and be able to find a seat. The food was excellent, though towards the end of the cruise it seemed that the food at the Horizon Court was the same every day. Was it? I personally did not care for the fellow at the guest services desk because of his arrogance towards guests. Clearly he has a disdain for cruise customers, even those with minimal problems or questions. We hated to have to visit there for information because of his attitude. The International Cafe was surprisingly good. Lots of variety - not the same thing every day. The staff there was terrific, friendly and accommodating. The baristas were hit and miss - some great, some mediocre and argumentative. The Vines staff was wonderful, friendly, remembered our names, engaged in friendly banter. Clearly some of the best trained wait staff. We loved the naturalist and Tiki Dave and his wife are energetic, hard workers and seem to love being with the cruise guests - so friendly, knowledgeable, fun and approachable. Our room was a last minute purchase. I asked the Princess agent to chose a nice interior room for us, as I had never booked an interior room before and there were no other rooms left when we called. He assigned us to a room with two bunk beds that were folded up on the wall. We spent the first 3 nights banging our heads on the bunks when we got up to use the bathroom. Next time I will ask about the accommodations and not trust a Princess travel agent to choose a room for us. But, on a positive note, the room was dark and quiet at night and we slept well, in spite of the bruises on our foreheads. I wish the stewards would knock on the door before entering. Sometimes we forgot to put the privacy sign out and were surprised by our steward entering our room unexpectedly. Overall, Princess fits us - more laid back and focused on educational and intellectual entertainment as well as fine dining. I will certainly cruise with Princess again. As a bonus, the other cruise passengers did not try to beat us up so we are thankful for that. Everyone was quite civilized and pleasant, making for an enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The dates fit my needs and the price was good. The Horizon waiters were the best I have had on Carnival, Holland America, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, etc... The dance classes and ukulele classes with Brian and Rowena were great and they ... Read More
The dates fit my needs and the price was good. The Horizon waiters were the best I have had on Carnival, Holland America, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, etc... The dance classes and ukulele classes with Brian and Rowena were great and they are fun people. Brian teaches ukulele and Rowena teaches Hula. Brian also does the 30-45 minute stints where he plays the Ukulele as well as anyone you will ever see playing a Uke. He is the Santana off Hawaii. This was our 6th cruise on Princess and I have scheduled out 7th in late summer. We are also watching the cruises that Brian and Rowena perform as Ambassadors of Hawaii and we plan to schedule a couple more cruises with them aboard. My wife wants to learn more Hula and I want to learn to play the Ukulele well enough that people might say "he plays that thing pretty good." Not sure Brian is up to that task however. But, you know, we all have our dreams, as it were. To all of you out there, cruise on - enjoy life - and you don't even have to answer the phone or make your bed... Happy Sailing and "Come Back New" :) Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This is a great cruise of four of the major Hawaiian islands; the days on each island were divided well, and we were very happy with NCL and the crew. The ship was beautiful, very clean, and in great condition. Even the public bathrooms ... Read More
This is a great cruise of four of the major Hawaiian islands; the days on each island were divided well, and we were very happy with NCL and the crew. The ship was beautiful, very clean, and in great condition. Even the public bathrooms always looked 'just-cleaned.' We didn't make it to all of the restaurants, but every meal we did have on the ship I'd rate as excellent or very good, ditto for the service. The buffet does get crowded. The NCL employees were very outgoing, and seem to love what they do, which makes a big difference. The concierge (Chris T.) was outstanding, knew us (and many others) by name, and made sure we were having a good time every day . They had great entertainment at the pool, live bands and music, but some quiet time also, and five hot tubs -- one is aft, literally at the back railing, which is an awesome view while the ship is underway. This was our fourth trip to the Hawaiian islands, but our first one that was a cruise, and it was a blast. We would highly recommend this NCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I found this cruise to be a study in economy, while presenting itself as a premium cruise, in actuality it was very frugal and did not provide the passenger with the quality of food one would expect, nor the environment one has experienced ... Read More
I found this cruise to be a study in economy, while presenting itself as a premium cruise, in actuality it was very frugal and did not provide the passenger with the quality of food one would expect, nor the environment one has experienced in the past--overcrowding. The entertainment was good to excellent; the ship did not have the capacity to seat people in the auditorium. If I wanted to see a show after dinner I would have to be in the auditorium 45 minutes to one hour before the show. Every seat in the auditorium was taken and people had to stand and watch. In addition many of the seats were broken and the seats slanted forward. Additionally, they have the Piazza, where to see any event there was only standing room with a few seats. People would be standing two and three deep. There were just too many people for the venues; the ship appeared to be overcrowded. In addition there were few quiet spaces to read or just relax. I had issues with the food. Every piece of food seemed to be weighed and measured. For instance, an item such as butter was counted out. If there was six people at the table there were six pieces of butter. If you wanted more you had to ask. Servings were generally small and items featured seem to be lesser cost items such as "Pork or Meatloaf." In conclusion while the ship was overcrowded, it also appeared the ship itself was tired looking, even though it had just came out of dry dock.. In my cabin the couch was just worn out. Other areas of the ship needed help. The one positive item is that the employees seemed well trained and tried to be as helpful as possible. They seemed to have a positive attitude. I did have one problem in my cabin and they came to do the repair within fifteen minutes of my call. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Nothing to put in an excellent category. Although the ship was just out of dry dock, it still shows its age. Disembarking was a total mess. We were due to disembark at 7:45 due to an early flight. They had people entering and leaving ... Read More
Nothing to put in an excellent category. Although the ship was just out of dry dock, it still shows its age. Disembarking was a total mess. We were due to disembark at 7:45 due to an early flight. They had people entering and leaving through the same set of doors and weren't allowed to disembark until after 8:15. Princess@Sea app was a waist of time. Same information was available in their daily newsletter. WIFI for it was spotty. Elderly people on scooters and walkers tied up elevators and walkways. I was disappointed in the weather, but nothing could have prevented that. 12 days were overcast or rainy, and 3 days had some sunshine. The ports of call were very nice and the excursions were worth the money. Visiting Pearl Harbor and the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial is a must see excursion. Volcano National Park in Hilo was also worth the trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
50th Wedding Anniversary, wanted to celebrate in a special way. The cruise was our first half (seven day Hawaiian Islands) followed by 5 nights in Maui. The cruise was recommended by a friend/colleague and we were not disappointed. So ... Read More
50th Wedding Anniversary, wanted to celebrate in a special way. The cruise was our first half (seven day Hawaiian Islands) followed by 5 nights in Maui. The cruise was recommended by a friend/colleague and we were not disappointed. So glad we structured it this way. The Cruise Team could not have been more accommodating from the time we arrived at check-in until we departed seven days later. Our accommodations were what we hoped for (view/balcony) and well maintained. The buffet was convenient during the day, the evening dining was superb. My wife has a food allergy and the Manager was so accommodating, not a problem. The evening entertainment was great. Very professional, good variety, talented. We did not schedule package excursions but went on our own and were able to make good use of our time and sights. Wife utilized enrichment activities, I used the Fitness Center, each on a daily basis. Highlight was the courtesy and welcoming staff. Great Team on this Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018

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