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39 Hawaii Entertainment Cruise Reviews

I wanted to give Princess one more try, and I wanted to get out of town in January. The ship (I was told) is about to be sold to a different cruise line so that was the reason they have not done any major upkeep on it. The seats in the ... Read More
I wanted to give Princess one more try, and I wanted to get out of town in January. The ship (I was told) is about to be sold to a different cruise line so that was the reason they have not done any major upkeep on it. The seats in the theater were frayed and did not sit properly. Some seats made you feel like you were about to slide off because they did not fully stay in the upright position. The bathrooms in the cabins need to be updated and the balcony cabin I had was smaller than I had expected. There was barely enough room on the balcony to put 2 small chairs and a small table. The entertainment was not the quality I have come to expect from other cruise lines and as the cruise progressed the food seemed to lose quality until at the end instead of fresh pineapple on the buffet it looked like a can of Dole pineapple slices. The crew was very nice and helpful and the specialty restaurants were very good. On future cruises they plan to include internet, beverage packages and so on to passengers but of course not on this one. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Profit enhancement appears to have won out over service and conveniences. After about 20 cruises: with Princess, still cannot get a table for 2 without getting in line to complain. Did they think I was not serious when I request 2-seating ... Read More
Profit enhancement appears to have won out over service and conveniences. After about 20 cruises: with Princess, still cannot get a table for 2 without getting in line to complain. Did they think I was not serious when I request 2-seating every time for more than a dozen cruises? Yes, I mean it, every time. If they cannot honor their request without a dustup every time, at the beginning of the cruise, they should not bother asking. the 10th deck cannot get cool enough. specially at night, the room would not cool down. pre-purchased gifts are not delivered to the room, you have to go get them. so forget about surprising your wife with a box of candy. we like coffee cards. except now, you do not know how many drinks you have left and you cannot any longer carry the unused drinks to the next cruise. desserts are sequestered from reach, you have to ask for them. so the joy of loading up your plate with treats to sample cannot be, not without the inquisitive scornful eye of staff. I do not mind the kids running around all over. but who gave them noise makers? all in all very relaxing pilgrimage we make to the islands about every year end. these are relatively minor complaints. not eating in the dining room is no big deal, and after all, the food there is not so good anyway. basically a cattle call. sabatinis and crown grill the places to go. the food is nice and fresh in the buffet and it is quiet and less crowded. they say about eating places, follow the locals. on board where does staff eat? i saw the captain at the horizon grill. 14th deck. Smart choice. we missed kauai due to weather. that is fine. it happens. you need patience and tolerance when in uncertain conditions. I do this cruise every year. And will again. By the way, princess bedding is terrific, and the tv's are large and have a good variety of programming. all good there. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The cruise was a good value overall but the experience goes downhill when they start to charge $1.50 for a milkshake, spin-class charges, ice cream is given out like it was gold. Ticky tack charges. Carnival has unlimited ice cream and ... Read More
The cruise was a good value overall but the experience goes downhill when they start to charge $1.50 for a milkshake, spin-class charges, ice cream is given out like it was gold. Ticky tack charges. Carnival has unlimited ice cream and Guy’s burgers on Carnival which is the best. My daughter did not like the heavy sauced foods at seated dinning so I ask for a steak which is standard on Carnival for sit down dinner. When I asked the waiter he gave me a menu with a $25 up charge. Carnival is Supposed to be the lesser ship but in my family’s opinion carnival is the better ship. More stuff to do for kids, better live shows at night and just all-around more fun. All the shows were smutty knowing that children were on board during Christmas vacation. Every show had some sort of innuendo about sex and other non-kid friendly stuff. Crew was great as in all the cruises I have ever been on. The first night we didn’t get to our seated dinner till 530 so we were a half hour late and was chastised by the waiter that we should be there at 5 o’clock but I did not get my bags until 515. Pizza and hotdogs for junkies is the best but all other food is no better than any other cruise line I have been on. We were not able to get off the boat for Kauai because of bad weather. They gave us a apology from the captain and were given $8 per person back. Cheap cheap, you would think they might give something more than $8 port fee returned and a apology. Free photo, drinks, etc.. So hold on to your wallet because Princess will try to pick it! Also stains all over my carpet and the boat looks tired. In between ports the smell of paint as the crew was painting the boat to hide the rust. I would rather have a clean carpet. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Review of Celebrity Eclipse We tried out the Eclipse on its ten day journey from Hawaii to Vancouver. We usually cruise on Princess so it was inevitable that we tended to compare the two. The Eclipse is a very elegant ship but we ... Read More
Review of Celebrity Eclipse We tried out the Eclipse on its ten day journey from Hawaii to Vancouver. We usually cruise on Princess so it was inevitable that we tended to compare the two. The Eclipse is a very elegant ship but we found that some of the venues were a bit sterile feeling, in particular the main dining room and the Quasar lounge. The main dining room is far too crowded, too many tables and strangely uncomfortable tub like chairs. The buffet area however was wonderful, spacious food stations with lots of access room between, definately superior to the Lido area on Princess ships. The main theatre is well laid out and quite comfortable. Our outside cabin was lovely but the bathroom is poorly designed with very limited counter space and strange tiny drawers and cabinets. They do have sliding doors for the shower which is just brilliant. No shower wand which would be preferable. Buffet food was excellent, lots of choices but finding a table was often difficult and line ups for the food were long. We were very disappointed in the dining room fare. Poor choices and variable quality food as well as disorganized service. Princess offers a far better dining experience. We did not use any of the specialty dining rooms even though they were very aggressively promoted. A major negative for us was the coffee. Very poor in the buffet and dining areas and the specialty coffee offered in the Cafe was very overpriced (5$ compared with Princess' $2.75). We purchased Starbucks instant in Honolulu and used that during the cruise. We have yet to see any cruise line that can compare favourably with Princess' International Cafe. Entertainment was very good, perhaps the best we have experienced. The singers and dancers were very talented and gave excellent performances. Shops were nothing special, overpriced and limited selection, however we don't patronize cruise ship shops anymore. Staff were friendly and efficient in most areas. Our cabin steward was wonderful, shout out to Marco! All in all a good, not excellent cruise and Princess will remain our go to cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Overall, we had a pleasant cruise. In all fairness I do hold Princess to a higher standard than, say, NCL. We got the distinct feeling we were dealing with a crew where most were in training. They lacked attention to detail and ... Read More
Overall, we had a pleasant cruise. In all fairness I do hold Princess to a higher standard than, say, NCL. We got the distinct feeling we were dealing with a crew where most were in training. They lacked attention to detail and knowledge, which improved somewhat over the period of the trip. The ship was just not is the best shape. Rust stains were prevalent, and most of the trip included a rather unpleasant sewer smell near the bow and upper-exterior decks. Food quality and variety were excellent, with the exception of the poor coffee in the Buffet. There was always something going on. Bars were themed and very comfortable. Alcohol drinks reflected variety and creativity. Cabins were very comfortable, and housekeeping service was excellent. We really enjoyed the overall layout of interior and exterior public areas on the Ruby. There was no overall central large pool, instead a number of smaller, sectioned areas that allowed for cruisers with different tastes to gather. The same can be said for the sprinkling of Bars throughout the ship. Entertainment was very nice, but nothing wowed us like our first Princess cruise that included Jeff Dunham and an Elton John impersonator. Mark, the Naturalist, and Tiki Dave, the Cultural guy, were the best, being both entertaining and informative. We continue to be underwhelmed and mystified by the need for all the shopping and art auctions on board. Ports were fine. One change we would consider would be to rent a car, especially to visit the Arizona Monument. Our tour drove us there and left us for 3 hours. Since the tour bus got there last, we did not get to take the boat tour, then were stuck waiting as the monument grounds do not take 3 hours to see. Lahaina was the best! Just get off the ship and wander around. No need for tours. People were friendly, and local dining and shopping were plentiful and reasonable. Make a point to walk into Kohola Brewing for a pint of excellent beer. We are cautious about taking a third Princess Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I did this cruise 2 years ago and had a great time. This time everything was changed. They said the ship was newly renovated but what they really did was add 100 staterooms. The result was less seating on the promenade deck inside. ... Read More
I did this cruise 2 years ago and had a great time. This time everything was changed. They said the ship was newly renovated but what they really did was add 100 staterooms. The result was less seating on the promenade deck inside. They also changed the menu which affected the dining rooms and the buffet. The quality took a dive with a less appealing menu and an addition of things like steak and or lobster or surf and turf added at the bottom at an additional charge. If lamb is not at the top of your hit parade, stay off this ship. The buffet had a good selection of fruits, melons and desserts but the entrees seemed to be left overs from the dining rooms. There where still additional dining opportunities at additional charge's but less because of less deck space to put them. I had the drink package ($1000 plus) but was still charged for the initial bottles of water that were in our stateroom when we boarded. It appeared there were less room stewards as well and if you were not out of your cabin during certain hours, you room was skipped until the next specified hours. I have sailed with Princess before and enjoyed it but was told , what we experienced was the new Princess way of doing things. I will not sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
To see four islands and cruise the ocean blue! I wanted to relax and see Hawaii with my spouse which we did but I expected there to be professional entertainment of a much higher level. I think BINGO was too expensive and trivia got ... Read More
To see four islands and cruise the ocean blue! I wanted to relax and see Hawaii with my spouse which we did but I expected there to be professional entertainment of a much higher level. I think BINGO was too expensive and trivia got boring. I did enjoy the chef demonstrations and all of the food. The game shows were fun. The Beach Boys guitarist should stick to music and forget comedy, that was not good. The big production at the end was not impressive at all, sorry. Thank goodness our room was near the exercise equipment, but charging for Yoga is not worth going. High end on-board prices for low end receivables in my opinion. The best thing was whale watching. The worst thing was the last second cancellation of our Kauai helicopter excursion which we looked forward to for months. The best part was we were with family and not alone. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We choose to cruise on NCL as it is the only cruise line that travels 4 Hawaiian islands in 7 days starting and ending in Honolulu. We have been used to personalized service on other cruise lines like Princess or Holland America to name 2 ... Read More
We choose to cruise on NCL as it is the only cruise line that travels 4 Hawaiian islands in 7 days starting and ending in Honolulu. We have been used to personalized service on other cruise lines like Princess or Holland America to name 2 out of the 5 cruise lines that we have sailed with on more than one occasion. The service in the dining room on the 5th floor is significantly lacking with delayed wait times and staff who lauder around the main area where they food comes to from the kitchen before it is delivered to you (for both breakfast and supper). In spite of having a pre-set dining time, you are set at a different table each night at the service is mediocre. There was one male server (David) from Long Beach, California who was great but other than that the rest of the staff need significant training in customer service, how to change table clothes in a dining room and overall interaction with guests. NCL limits the amount that you use your soda card and has no centralized spot on the ship to use your card - only in the dining areas. They do not offer a complimentary cup like all the other cruise ships with the soda card. You can not get regular coffee at the coffee bar on the 5th floor but need to go to the 11th floor. There is no charge for regular coffee so that this why it is not on the 5th floor coffee bar as they want you to buy lattes and specialty coffee drinks. We rarely saw the steward to clean our room like in other cruise ships when they were available all the time. We were in/out of room various times in the evening and our room was cleaned during the day and then later in the evening. There is no on turn service of the bed in the evening. We also did the land and sea portion of the cruise. We arrived 4 days prior to the land portion starting and stayed in the Lagoon Tower where we paid on our own. This was a condo suite at the Hilton Grand Vacations. It was large and lovely. And, then when the land portion of the tour started we had to move to another tower in the same area by Hilton Grand Vacations in the Kalia Tower. This tower is outdated and the rooms need extensive upgrades however this is what NCL includes in the land tour portion. The guide on the land tour, Kaou was funny and engaging although at times he talked a bit to much over the course of the 3 days. The cruise ship is smaller and there were only 2 stores on board which had limited selection as compared to other cruise ships that we sailed on. The jewelry store was disappointing in the selections it carried as well. The photograph is quite overpriced for what you get (8 pictures and these are also on a USB stick for $149 USD plus taxes). Other cruise ships you can get unlimited phots for that price or close to it. Dinning in the East meet West Restaurant dining service was disjoined and our waiter took our order and came back once. Other than that there were various servers but no one paying real attention and we would have to call someone to get what we wanted. The service in the Cadillac dining is slow and yet staff are standing around and talking with each. Our waiter (a female) for lunch was awful and I had better service in a McDonalds then at the Cadiillac diner on Pride of America (how ironical the name of the ship!). Similarly, staff in the Aloha buffet stand around, no one will serve you coffee like other cruise ships in the buffet area. I wanted a diet pepsi and the staff member said she could not help me as she is not allowed to take my soda card. The card is paid for already so if she looked at why could she not just request a soda from the staff person who you have to stand in line to get a soda or any other beverage such as a beer. She said NCL does not allow them to be in possession of the customer's card. What a joke! Again, no customer service. The Hawaiian islands are beautiful so that's what made the trip enjoyable. However NCL needs to improve their customer service in a major way! Another positive is the size of the balcony we had on the 11th floor. It was large and the flooring was like a teak so nice to stand or walk on. It is also very private! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We were celebrating our 30th wedding aniversary & my 60th birthday. I was completely frustrated & disgusted by the complete lack of a useable internet service on this ship and the horific cost of the Whale Watching Tour at ... Read More
We were celebrating our 30th wedding aniversary & my 60th birthday. I was completely frustrated & disgusted by the complete lack of a useable internet service on this ship and the horific cost of the Whale Watching Tour at Ma'alaea,compared with the price on-line from the same tour operator I run an internet based business & I need constant access to a wifi service so that I can answer my customers speedily. With this in mind,I investigated the internet service before we booked & based on the availability of the Carnival premium internet plan I went ahead with the booking for this vacation.I pre-paid for the premium internet plan,which is advertised on the Carnival website & around the ship to be capable of handling Skype & be 3 times faster than other Carnival wifi plans.This should be more than capable of handling my needs. On day 2 of our cruise,I spent over 7 hours trying to answer basic emails from my customers that should have taken no more than 30 minutes. On day 3,a similar amount of time was spent trying to use the wifi service. It was a major task to maintain the integrity of my business ,when I should be enjoying my cruise. The wifi either won't connect at all,saying "No internet". OR takes an unbelievably long time to load a site,up to 1 hour to load a simple email site. OR takes an unbelievably long time to load then drops out just when you go to use it. OR just won't load at all. Having spoken to the Carnival guest services agents & supervisor on the ship, it is especially annoying to hear them tell me that the wifi service on this ship doesn't work when at sea & there's nothing that can be done about it,although they did, at least refund my $208 pre-payment fee for the wifi premium plan.This didn't solve my problem in providing a usable wifi service that I relied on,as advertised. They told me that Carnival head office is well aware of the situation regarding the wifi on this vessel but has not corrected it. It was suggested that I could try between 4am and 5 am in the morning as it might work then,which is completely unbelivable. This matter caused me immense frustration,as I either cannot respond to my customers or am having to spend a ridiculous amount of time persevering with a wifi service that is not fit for purpose. Also,we wanted to see the whales during our special cruise.The Carnival price is $129 each for a 2 hour boat trip & transport for the 9 miles from the port to Ma'alaea harbour. I searched on line and found the same tour from the same tour operator priced at $39 each but excluding the transport.I tried making a claim via the Carnival price guarantee,but they refused to price match the tour as my option didn't include transport to Ma'alaea.Apparently,Carnival can justify charging an additional $90 per person for an 9 mile return journey! We cancelle our Carnival whale watch tour & booked direct with the tour operator on-line prior to sailing. There were loads of taxis at the port when we arrived,the cost of the taxi was $30 for the 2 of us each way.I'm sure we could have saved on that price had we used Uber. My total expense for the trip was $138 for the 2 of us,including the tour and transport compared with $258 if booked via Carnival. A saving of $120! When we got to the tour,all the rest of the guests on board the whale watch boat were on the Carnival shore excursion,priced at $129 each.What a nice earner! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
First time in Hawaii and thought cruising on the Pride of America would be a great introduction to the islands. Yes it was. Last minute change did not allow us to go around Naple Coast due to extended time in port so we missed that. We ... Read More
First time in Hawaii and thought cruising on the Pride of America would be a great introduction to the islands. Yes it was. Last minute change did not allow us to go around Naple Coast due to extended time in port so we missed that. We stopped on 4 islands and got a great feel for each area. Shocked when we arrived at port and there was NO line. Embarkation was fast and friendly. Luggage was in our room within 2 hours. Cabin was the standard balcony but door to balcony doesn't open very far. Cabin steward was very attentive. Overall ship decor was very nice. Dining left something to be desired. Not a fan of 'freestyle' dining anyway but it was difficult to get reservations from 6 to 8 unless you made them days in advance. Food was not at the level I would have hoped and service was slow in both the Liberty and Starlight main dining rooms. Most of the other dining options were an additional charge. Went to the brazilian style dining room and was very disappointed. We paid additional $60 for poor service and did not even see more than half of the food options that were to be brought to the tables. The buffet was fine for breakfast and lunch but limited options. Entertainment was very good. Both the shows and the poolside entertainers were very talented. Some the the ports have very little to see near the ship. We had excursions scheduled so that was not a concern and the excursions were wonderful. The ship does not seem as well organized in getting people to the excursion however. This is a great way to visit many island but I would not take this cruise a second time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We wanted to experience Hawaii. There were 10 in our group. 8 are high school friends celebrating our 60th birthdays. I found the ship was old and the chairs in the lounges were outdated and uncomfortable. The food at dinner needed more ... Read More
We wanted to experience Hawaii. There were 10 in our group. 8 are high school friends celebrating our 60th birthdays. I found the ship was old and the chairs in the lounges were outdated and uncomfortable. The food at dinner needed more selection throughout the cruise. It seemed the same food was on the menu every 2 todays. Not much choice for desserts also. There needed to be more poolside entertainment. Evident that this cruise is catered to an older crowd. the cruise director and his staff were excellent in the shows and trivia type events they hosted. We only purchased 1 ship excursion that was well done and exciting. The other days we found our own excursions off ship. Our dinning wait staff did a great job. We had no problems with the staff service - only with the condition of the ship. This was our second trip with Princess and both were poor experiences with the conditions. Probably stay with our past cruise lines in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
To see the Hawaiian Islands..the excursions were terrific..the people, the places were fantastic...but.. The ship is old and tiny! I paid for a balcony cabin, what would have gotten me a nice one on Princess or Celebrity Cruise LInes ... Read More
To see the Hawaiian Islands..the excursions were terrific..the people, the places were fantastic...but.. The ship is old and tiny! I paid for a balcony cabin, what would have gotten me a nice one on Princess or Celebrity Cruise LInes (where I have sailed 4 times before)..barely got one that was big enough to hold two twin beds...18"-20" from the foot of the bed to the opposite wall. Balcony so small out stretched arms could reach each side...two chairs on it, three would not fit, with foot rest extended..went from rail to door no room for anyone to walk behind or in front. The Aloha Buffet had good food, but...there was always at least one machine out of order, Ice maker, Ice cream maker, milk machine, coffee maker, juice dispenser..at least one sometimes two...no Ice in Hawaii?/ Not enough caring staff to clean off tables, they were piled with dirty dishes,,that often we the cruisers piled on other dirty tables to find a place to sit...just not caring. The ship is OLD, I know it was remodeled a few years ago, but it needs to go, showing it's age in decorations, function and cabin size. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This is the only cruise ship whose home port is Hawaii. We did not want to experience multiple days at sea to get there. The ship could not go to two ports on the Big Island due to the volcano and air quality which is understandable. ... Read More
This is the only cruise ship whose home port is Hawaii. We did not want to experience multiple days at sea to get there. The ship could not go to two ports on the Big Island due to the volcano and air quality which is understandable. However, we stayed the first day and night at the port in Honolulu. Having already spent time in Honolulu before the cruise, we would have preferred a day at sea. The passengers did not receive any benefits from this NCL "money saving" change to the itinerary. We thought the food was very good and the magician and comedian were better than normal. The shows were OK but one of them we had seen on another NCL cruise. The singing was very much below par with several singers being flat on more than one occasion. They were much better dancers than singers. Cabin was normally what you get on a cruise ship. However, there were several rust spots on the balcony. Unfortunately, the view was partially obstructed by life boats right next to the balcony. Nothing indicated this obstructed view in the booking process and there was no discount for this cabin which you usually get with partially obstructed views. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
only one to circle Hawaii to save a lot off 'at sea' days. really opposed to that 'extra line for 'extra tip' . REALLY .. an automatic 20% to go to the bar and bring you a drink seems sufficient.. then the nerve ... Read More
only one to circle Hawaii to save a lot off 'at sea' days. really opposed to that 'extra line for 'extra tip' . REALLY .. an automatic 20% to go to the bar and bring you a drink seems sufficient.. then the nerve to request more ?? you could schedule the evening entertainment a little better.. to dine at around 6 PM and try to get 2 major shows on was really difficult. seating in the Mardi Gras I think where major entertainment was makes viewing rather difficult because the floor is not elevated as in the other theater. the guitar player was great and the piano player also. the band from New Zealand I believe that played by the pool was also great.. all in all not too bad a cruise. bringing our luggage down from the room on our own is a great option to getting off the ship on the last day. 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 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
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
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 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
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
This is our second 15 day trip to Hawaii on Princess and I must say that the first on 10 years ago outshines this by far in the food area! Not sure what happened here, but everything in this area was sub standard this time around. The ... Read More
This is our second 15 day trip to Hawaii on Princess and I must say that the first on 10 years ago outshines this by far in the food area! Not sure what happened here, but everything in this area was sub standard this time around. The crew was phenomenal as usual, not much to add here. They do their very best to make sure you are have what you need/want at all times. Our cabin staff was amazing as usual, and having just come from dry dock, the beds and linens were very nice. I felt that the time on the ship at sea days stretched out to very long days of everyone on board trying to sell us something at every turn. It got wearing at times, gone are the days of the group activities and contest that they used to have on board. If you want to pay for activities and stand in line to hopefully get a ticket to participate, oh and then if they have enough supplies when it is your turn, yeah it is like that. So, not impressed at all, and will not be taking this cruise again ever. We will continue to fly over to the islands and enjoy our time there. One last item that we feel is important to mention, this is a very geriatric set of cruisers. After talking with several crew members this is like this day in and day out. There were several medical emergencies on board, and we even had to turn the ship around on the first evening to have an emergency evacuation of a cruiser. So if you do not have the patience to deal with very slow moving, sometime crabby, older people-this is not the cruise for you. The embarkation and disembarkation was the easiest we have ever had on any cruise we have been on in the last 15 years. Goodbye for now Princess, we will be trying other cruise lines that offer more exciting daily activities as well as newer food options. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
While I enjoyed this cruise, there were a number of things where Princess could improve their performance. I found the food to be a big disappointment in the main dining room. Too often, my plate was full of food that was bland and ... Read More
While I enjoyed this cruise, there were a number of things where Princess could improve their performance. I found the food to be a big disappointment in the main dining room. Too often, my plate was full of food that was bland and colorless. Presentation could definitely be improved. I also found that the entertainment in the evenings in the Princess Theater was often not very good. There were 2 comedians on successive nights, a guitarist who was very talented, but could use some lessons in political correctness for today, and the production shows that were excellent but much too short. The ship is older but in fairly good condition. Signage could be a bit better, but after a couple of days I was able to find my way around ok. Our cabin was comfortable, especially the bedding. However, the shower is minuscule, and I can’t imagine how some of the larger passengers managed. The ports were great, but we would have loved fewer sea days and more time in port at all of them, except for Ensenada. Four hours there were plenty! As for shore excursions, we booked one through Princess and two through Viator. For the money, I’d go with Viator anytime. They offered some excursions that Princess did not as well as some that were identical for a much lower price. And they offer a guarantee of returning you to the ship in time or paying to get you to your next port, so it’s a win-win, in my opinion. I have cruised on other cruise lines that do a much better job of their Anytime Dining. On Princess they call it Anytime Dining, but on formal nights if you don’t call for a reservation by 8:00 am, you will be standing in line for a long time to get in. Also, it would be nice if, on formal nights, they would designate 1 of the 3 dining rooms as an alternative, non-formal option for those of us who prefer not to haul formal clothes on vacation but don’t want to eat at the buffet or spend extra money on a specialty restaurant. On the plus side, our cabin steward was new to Princess and he was outstanding. Also, the bedding was very comfortable and I slept great every night. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This cruise offers the best way to see the Hawaiian islands in one trip. Great itinerary that enabled us to meet our objective. However, the ship was dated and could have used a little more maintenance, The food was average, at best. ... Read More
This cruise offers the best way to see the Hawaiian islands in one trip. Great itinerary that enabled us to meet our objective. However, the ship was dated and could have used a little more maintenance, The food was average, at best. Nickel and dimed us to death. Excursions were over-priced and only one out of the three we went on met our expectations. We had better luck booking excursions on our own rather than through NCL On Maui we rented a car for $30 a day and saw everything we wanted to see at a fraction of the cost if we had booked tours through NCL. By the way, many of the excursions were run by affiliates of NCL Entertainment, except for the comedian, was poor. Lots of complaining among passengers. However, the ship was clean and staff was very friendly and helpful. All in all, if you want to see several islands in one trip, I would recommend this cruise for that reason only. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017

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