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44 Hawaii Entertainment Cruise Reviews

Great way to see the islands of Hawaii, but this cruise catesr to the large proportion of OVER 55+ in activities, music & entertainment. We are in our 40's and traveled with a 16yr son from Australia and found the onboard ... Read More
Great way to see the islands of Hawaii, but this cruise catesr to the large proportion of OVER 55+ in activities, music & entertainment. We are in our 40's and traveled with a 16yr son from Australia and found the onboard activities lacking and boring. But we were there to see the islands and you are so busy getting off each day to explore that it did not matter to much. It is not a kids or party cruise. My advice for each port and what we did follows: We booked with Tombarefoot tours and probly saved $100 per person on any tour rather than through the ship. However you risk the chance if the ship can't go into port due to weather etc. I am not sure about obtaining refunds if that happens. Your call. Port Maui- Book a TOUR- there is nothing to see where they come into this port (some pretty average shops) or hire a car and do the trip to Hana(beautiful), there for 2 days. We met Richard who drove us all day and over to Lahaina (small fishing town-is a must) for $100 per person which is a cheap all day. His email is kekaukike@msn.com. Port Hilo- Helicopter flight over where the volcano had erupted and destroyed homes. Was super interesting. Taxi to airport and taxi back.Or hire a car to look around but do a tour or activity here, as not much else to do. Port Kona is beautiful with MANY shops to walk through and sit and relax looking out to the ocean- a great day to not tour and enjoy.Kauai we hired a car and drove to the Waimea Canyon, then did the Kipu Ranch ATV on the way back to ship. Would of been difficult to get to and back if we had not hired the car. Park car on street overnight close to ship and then explored next morning up North East side of island. Back by lunch because ship leaves at 2pm. Then that afternoon cruise along the Napali coast which is amazing to look at so grab a drink and get a good seat with your camera for the afternoon. Buffet food and diner food was fine. Lots of selections and dietry options with the flexibility of eating when suits. Our room configuration was a queen bed and fold out sofa (for 6ft son). His bed did not have foam to soften it and they put two doona inserts under the bottom sheet to fluff it up.Not comfortable and we did expect more comfort than that. Staff were average in comparison to my other cruise experiences. Coming from Australia the tipping is hard to get your head around but we included our gratuities in cruise payment and then tipped any better service if found (20%). They do tend to look after you a little better if you do so tip early in the cruise. The decor was not fashionable to our tastes but again you are there to see the islands and that out weighs everything, plus you need to make your own fun. I think its a do it once cruise to really see the islands. We had two nights in Waikiki before the cruise that allowed us to get over jet lag, then 5 nights when we got back to do Pearl Harbour, North Shore (hire car) and around the entire island of Oahu & Diamond Head. We felt it was enough time to see and do everything we wanted too without rushing and still relaxing on the beach at Waikiki...Was a fantastic holiday.TIP: Australians take a jar of instant coffee with you and some Vegemite!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We went for Renewal of Vows and a Holiday get away to a warmer climate. We had a fantastic time on this Hawaii cruise! Weather in Hawaii was perfect in December, 75F-90F. We didn’t find any all day excursions, but didn’t want to do ... Read More
We went for Renewal of Vows and a Holiday get away to a warmer climate. We had a fantastic time on this Hawaii cruise! Weather in Hawaii was perfect in December, 75F-90F. We didn’t find any all day excursions, but didn’t want to do only 1/2 day. We just took Uber to local beaches for snorkeling, lunch, and drinks. All in one location. Beaches were not crowded and we had a blast! Most of the passengers on this cruise were elderly, hardly any kids. It was nice: quiet and not crowded. Only during breakfast it was quite difficult to find a table. There were too much food, so we usually skipped lunch. Pools and jacuzzi were not crowded as well. We really enjoyed the whole experience, very friendly service, great captain, food was delicious and well presented. We loved Formal nights and went to the Crown Grill, and Sabatini restaurants. Both were great! Balcony dinners were our favorite experience! Private and very personal dinners with fantastic waiters! Highly recommend. Captain did a very romantic Renewal of Vows, it was a touching moment. Then photographer took us to several locations and we loved our photos so much, we bought a $400 photo package. We loved the Spy Lectures Series and last Dancing Show. Made many great memories and loved this vacation! If you purchase any packages, print summary. Stuff gets confused what’s included in what package and it’s easier to show them a paper to claim all of the services. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Embarkation: Super easy and quick. We were early (second in line to wait for security) as we wanted to drop off our luggage and check-in prior to going to Pearl Harbor. Ladies and girls will get a beautiful orchid lei and men and boys ... Read More
Embarkation: Super easy and quick. We were early (second in line to wait for security) as we wanted to drop off our luggage and check-in prior to going to Pearl Harbor. Ladies and girls will get a beautiful orchid lei and men and boys will get a shell lei. Check in was a breeze at the counter. I'm sure if you hit the wrong time, you would have a bit of a wait. I'm sure the Platinum or higher line would help with the queue if you have that status and used it as it didn't snake around the terminal as the cattle call line. Entertainment (shows): The two main shows were great... if you can make it to them. Many others have mentioned that since there are no sea days, you're typically in port exploring Hawaii and after a full day of excursions and walking, you want to eat and sleep. We also caught the magician Jason Andrews twice and the up close magic in Mardi Gras was really cool. We saw the comedian once for the family show and he was really funny. It was way over the kids heads so they weren't too impressed. Behind the Scenes Tour: This was subpar as compared to other BtSTs we've done. This is a perk for attaining Platinum and above. It ocurred on Friday at 9:30am (Nawilliwilli, Kauai). It is hosted by CruiseNext staff taking you to the stage area, dressing rooms for performers, laundry, galley, provisions and a walk along "Route 66" (I-95 for many of the other ships). I'm used to actually seeing and hearing from the heads of those departments and having access to speaking with them on other tours. Latitudes Internet Perk: What is with the fee to activate my FREE Internet access Latitudes perk? On prior cruises, you can access the plan without a fee. Perhaps it is only on the PoA being domiciled in the USA? Outdoor areas and pools: All were well kept without a lot of cups and dishes sitting around. If you have kids, there is a "pool" and "hot" tub on 12 mid/aft behind the checkers game. I put them in quotes because, it's probably 5" deep with a tiny slide and the "warm" tub was just that. Some folks may feel a bit clausterphobic even though there is glass looking out to the deck. Dining: My favorite! I am really not picky when presented with food I didn't have to prepare. If it's not moving, I'll eat it. If I'm really hungry and it is moving, it would probably stop moving in my mouth. You get the idea. We had the 3 ultimate dining package perk (3UDP) with our reservation and initially chose Teppanyaki twice along with Cagney's. We had Teppanyaki on embarkation night and it was "ok." A bit saltier and greasier than we're used to. So we moved the second Teppanyaki to La Cuccina. We also receive the Platinum perk of Le Bistro (Jefferson's) or Cagney's with a bottle of wine and Moderno or La Cuccina. For those two we selected Jefferson's and La Cuccina. The food at Jefferson's Bistro was great as long as you can find something on the menu that you like. Henry provided wonderful service and was very attentive. The Maitre'd (didn't get his name) at Jefferson's Bistro was phenomenal. He was accommodating and helped with an extra dessert. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My husband and I were split. I wanted to travel to Hawaii and rent a house/condo and do some island hopping so we could spend more time in each place and he wanted to cruise. The NCL Pride of America offered a bit of both. We spent two ... Read More
My husband and I were split. I wanted to travel to Hawaii and rent a house/condo and do some island hopping so we could spend more time in each place and he wanted to cruise. The NCL Pride of America offered a bit of both. We spent two nights in ports, so you didn't have that rush to get back to the boat which was a nice change of pace. The ship was clean and well-maintained, but the stateroom was a little smaller than other cruise lines. There was plenty of room to spread out and enjoy yourself. Overall the cruise was a great experience and I would highly recommend it. This was our first time cruising NCL, so things were a little different. First is the "anytime dining." We prefer to have a reservation, sit at the same table each night and get to know the wait staff. Here you sit somewhere different every night, even in the same restaurant. We learned once you get on board that you can make reservations at all of the restaurants (except buffet), but you sit at a different table each night. And note, the times fill up quickly, so don't delay if you want a specific time. Turned out to still be really fun because the wait staff were delightful! We met waiters and waitresses from all over the US and they remembered us from night to night. They would come over to our new table and greet us and ask about our day. One staff member saw us in port and yelled to us "Hey, North Carolina friends..." and then came to talk to us. She didn't have to take her limited shore time to say hi, but she did. Another member of the wait staff is Turkish and my mother speaks Turkish, so they spoke to each other for days. I say all of this to emphasize that the personal touch was still there. There were a variety of activities during the day and evening that appealed to a variety of age groups and interests. We particularly enjoyed the piano entertainer/singer as he played music from the 50s to the 90s. It was great because the age range on the boat varied by that or more! We were a little disappointed in a few of the other entertainment options. The show times also made it tough for people who choose to eat a little later. We often dined at 7:30 which meant we couldn't see the later shows at 8 or 8:30 p.m. Yes, we could have chosen to eat earlier or quickly, but we like to hang by the pool until around 4 or 4:30 p.m., go back and take a nap, then get ready for dinner and have a drink before going into the dining room. And clearly, based on what times were available when we tried to make reservations, many others preferred to dine a little later, too. So this wasn't just us. Napa Wine Bar was a delightful place to have a quiet drink and chat before dinner! It was dark and quiet so it really helped set the mood for a relaxing dinner. Our 14 year old son is a sports fanatic, so he enjoyed dropping by the Gold Rush Saloon to check sports scores from time-to-time. The back pool bar also had a TV and we were able to keep an eye on the NFL draft from there. Another disappointment was that they put a great guitar player in the Gold Rush Saloon and that was a poor choice. TVs were on with sports and people were rowdy, so you couldn't hear him. He would have been much better somewhere else. We learned while on the ship that because it sails under the US flag, 75% of the crew members are US citizens. Just an interesting fact since most other ships employ crew members from many different countries. We enjoyed meeting crew members from NC (our home state) and hearing their stories about why they chose to work on a cruise ships when we asked. My parents also traveled with us. My father is a Vietnam veteran and really appreciated the veteran reception the ship hosted. He said there weren't many people there, but it was a nice way to recognize their service and meet others on the ship who also served. There are PLENTY of shore excursions designed to meet your interests, so you are never at a loss for things to do. However, they are pricey. In most ports you can find the exact same excursion for much less if you are willing to do a little legwork. We talked to a lot of people who rented a car in port and did their own exploring. In Hawaii (Hilo I think), there was a Hop On Hop Off bus for $20 that made 7 or 8 stops. A lot of people did this and really enjoyed it! We chose one excursion a day and did most of them in the morning. We were up anyway since we are from the east coast. We would get back to the ship by 12:30 or 1:30 p.m. and that allowed us time to eat and still get some pool/relaxation time every day. We went rappelling down the waterfalls. Note here - this is a level 3 activity and it was every bit of that! IF YOU AREN'T IN GOOD SHAPE, DO NOT sign up for this. But if you are in good shape and looking for an adventure, this is a great one. Beautiful views and super fun guides! Our 14 year old son did this with us and LOVED IT! There are several opportunities to take a helicopter tour. We did ours over Kilauea. I was expecting a smoking/lava volcano and that is NOT what we got, but we are still glad we did it. We saw an older volcano that had the smoke plumes coming out of the top, but Kilauea was just a small fissure and none of them had any lava or red/glowing rocks like you see in the pics. The views were spectacular, the guide gave us so much history about the Volcano National Park and the volcanos within the park and could answer all of our questions. We also went around some of the coastal areas and the views were fabulous! Other excursions included zip lining in Kauai, the mud bugs(ATV) in Kauai, a bus trip up to the Haleakala volcano, and snorkeling and dolphin trip in Kona where we saw 4 or 5 different pods of spinner and bottlenose dolphins right there at our boat! The trip up to Haleakala included a long, hairpin turns filled road. If you easily get motion sick, take some ginger candy and motion sickness pills. The ride up they gave you multiple opportunities to get off the bus and walk around, but there are no stops on the way down. Two people on our bus got sick coming back down. The mud bugs were fun, but it hadn't rained much so the trip was very dusty and pricey. Definitely one you can book on your own. But boy the views were awesome! Lots of movies filmed within the craters where we were traveling, including Jurassic Park and Jurassic World. Finally to the point of the second part of my review title...the extra charges. We paid for everything up front, or so we thought. Once we got on board, both my husband and father checked our accounts. We discovered that you still have to pay taxes on all of your drinks (usually about $0.50/drink) AND you pay $15+ a day/person for tips. We knew we had paid a service charge up front. When we went to guest relations, they explained that was for food and beverage. The other $15+/person/day is for the rest of the cruise staff. We certainly don't mind tipping but that was NOT made clear up front, nor do we recall seeing anything about that on the website. We ended up paying several hundred $$ extra that we weren't aware of. It isn't a big deal for us, but if you have a budget, make note of this and plan accordingly. The other pain point we had was disembarkation. What a cluster compared to other ships. First, you could select your departure time by picking up colored tags. That's great except they put the tags out on Thursday night at 6 p.m. when 1/3 of the ship's passengers were off at the luau. On Sat. morning, we woke up to lines snaking down the halls and room corridors with people and their gigantic suitcases all trying to get on the elevators to go down to the departure floor. The ship offers to take your luggage and you pick it up in the terminal, but it looked like half the ship chose to keep their bags and take them off personally. You couldn't move around all the people and luggage. My parents had an excursion that morning back in Honolulu and barely made it because they were stuck on the stairs for more than 30 min. No one from the ship offered to help them get off and make their tour. As for my family, we chose to put our luggage outside the door Friday night and let the ship's crew handle it for us. So we waited patiently for our disembarkation color to be called...and we waited...and we waited. They kept calling other colors, but never called orange. Finally they put an all call out for any passengers remaining on the boat to leave now. Several of us looked at each other and realized that we were all orange and they never called our color. So we left the ship and went to get our luggage. Three of our four suitcases were there, but one was missing. We filed a report before leaving and it's now 48 hours later and no word from anyone. I looked at our report yesterday when we got home and at the bottom is says, "Don't call us..." and if they don't find our luggage in 7 days they will email us and tell us how to file a claim, but we will only get $100 back for our loss. That suitcase included most of my dinner dresses, a pair of Jack Rogers sandals and another pair of shoes, at least 3 pairs of my shorts and several of our bathing suits, plus other items that I just haven't discovered yet. $100 won't touch the replacement cost for those items. We've also cruised Royal Caribbean and Princess. At the end of the day, if we have a choice, we'll likely go back to one of those. But for this trip, NCL offered the best option. You didn't waste 3-4 days sailing from LA to HI before getting to land. We were able to spend 7 full days on the islands and really take advantage of the beauty and splendor of Hawaii! Bottom line...take the trip! You will love it! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Great way to see the Hawaiian Islands. The ship is a nice floating hotel with free food. You travel while you sleep. Friendly crew, very solid entertainment, and well established things to do while at port. Aloha cafe handled the ... Read More
Great way to see the Hawaiian Islands. The ship is a nice floating hotel with free food. You travel while you sleep. Friendly crew, very solid entertainment, and well established things to do while at port. Aloha cafe handled the crowds well and the crew kept up with the crowds. Liberty and Skyline restaurants were well managed and food was quite good. La Cucina gets two thumbs up while Moderno gets two thumbs down. Staff was slow and did not give a good representation of that style of dining. Could not compare to the experience we had while on the Pearl last August in Alaska. It would have been nice if the outdoor (key west bar and grill) was open for more hours and had healthy items to snack on while enjoying the views and great Hawaiian climate. On the one day we did not dock on a pier the process was very slow and the lines were too long. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We’ve sailed with Princess in the past and know we will get a high quality ship and experience. Our recent cruise from LA to Hawaii and back was no different. Beautiful ship, comfortable mini-suite, fun activities, terrific crew, and a ... Read More
We’ve sailed with Princess in the past and know we will get a high quality ship and experience. Our recent cruise from LA to Hawaii and back was no different. Beautiful ship, comfortable mini-suite, fun activities, terrific crew, and a bunch of food. It took 4 days to get to Hilo. We visited Hilo, Honolulu, Kauai and Maui. Then 5 days to Ensenada, Mexico and one final day to LA. The boarding and disembarkation processes were very smooth. All of the islands were beautiful & offered different sites. Hilo is full of volcanoes. Honolulu has Pearl Harbor and Luaus. Kauai has waterfalls and beaches where movies were filmed. Maui is the nicest. Nice downtown near the port with plenty of shops. Would recommend Kimos for lunch. Right on the Pacific, great fish tacos and a huge Ice cream cake desert. Ensenada was a disappointment though. Not much to see or do. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We were on our honeymoon and decided to go all out. We did the 10 day Oahu explorer trip so we were put up in a hotel in Waikiki for the first 3 days. The bus trips were fun and very well planned. Getting on and off the boat was a breeze. ... Read More
We were on our honeymoon and decided to go all out. We did the 10 day Oahu explorer trip so we were put up in a hotel in Waikiki for the first 3 days. The bus trips were fun and very well planned. Getting on and off the boat was a breeze. The activities on the boat were a little lacking. There is no casino since Hawaii is a non gaming state. Most of the entertainment was geared towards an older crowd, which most of the boat was. Even most of the bars closed early. For as much fun as the trip was I would not cruise Hawaii again. It’s was a long flight and older crowd. I would definitely do the Caribbean again before Hawaii. The shore excursions were fun but again it was an older crowd. The highlight of the trip for us was having the penthouse with our own butler. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our first cruise. My husband and I went with my brother and sister-in-law who had been on a cruise before. It was suggested that we take the cruise out of Honolulu as that way we would get to experience more time on the Islands ... Read More
This was our first cruise. My husband and I went with my brother and sister-in-law who had been on a cruise before. It was suggested that we take the cruise out of Honolulu as that way we would get to experience more time on the Islands of Hawaii. Overall it was a great experience! We had a room with a balcony which made it so nice to be able to open the door and listen to the waves as we set sail to another island. We also got ample opportunities to take sunset pictures which were breathtaking! The bathroom was a little tight maneuvering around, especially for my husband who is a fairly large man. We disembarked onto the islands at every opportunity. We found that talking to natives on the islands provided us with the best prices for exploring the many attractions it had to offer. We save over 40% off what the ship prices provided and we got the experience of the people that live on the islands. Disembarking and embarking went pretty smoothly. You always have to have your ship card on your person as well as a photo id to get on and off the ship. There was many different food offerings on the ship. The buffet was pretty good. It offered the biggest variety and there were several stations serving the same food so that lines were minimal, even at the busiest hours. We did eat at a couple of the restaurants that were not included in our package, and I would say the Steakhouse was the best meal we had on the ship!! The service was excellent and the food was phenomenal. There was a crew member who sprayed your hands with hand sanitizer any time you entered the food buffet area. I reasonable precaution given all the people on board and hearing of illnesses on past ships. The Cruise Director was so friendly, enthusiastic and informative. There was plenty to do on board the ship. Entertainment included comedy shows, magic shows (for adults and children), plenty of music and dancing that varied each night as well. Also, other types of entertainment that involved the travelers such as a "Not So Newlywed Game" which was very funny! Given all the free food offered, I was glad to see this ship had a wonderful fitness center that included many of the latest treadmills, elliptical machines and other fitness equipment as well. I used them daily!! The pools were clean and we also enjoyed the experience of the Jacuzzi and meeting new friends!! Overall, our cruise on the Pride of America was a dream come true for my husband and myself. We would definitely go again, and I would recommend this trip to any of my family and friends! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was my 4th cruise. We had a balcony cabin. Bright, clean and well kept throughout the cruise. The ship needs some refurbishing, a bit tired but comfortable and welcoming. Service was amazing, staff is the best. Because we were ... Read More
This was my 4th cruise. We had a balcony cabin. Bright, clean and well kept throughout the cruise. The ship needs some refurbishing, a bit tired but comfortable and welcoming. Service was amazing, staff is the best. Because we were far out on the ocean the ship rocked, I felt like a child in a cradle being rocked to sleep. I don't get seasick, but some did suffer if they weren't prepared. Would have liked more time on shore in Hawaii. The excursions were wonderful. I highly recommend the Blue Hawaii helicopter ride over any island, but only if you get a window seat. The rear middle seat allows all the other riders to block your view. Food was great, a good variety though I would have enjoyed more middle-eastern fair (Lebanese, Greek, etc.) seemed the focus was Chinese/Japanese (Chinese New Year was that week). Thoroughly enjoyed the Hawaiian fact session by speakers, both Hawaiian, Rowena, and National Parks representative, Ranger John. Entertainment was a nice mix, some wonderful some not so much our taste. I wouldn't go back to Hawaii on a cruise though. I'd rather stay on an island to experience all it has to offer. The time in port was too short. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Have cruised with RCI and celebrity first ncl cruise, chose them because they're only line that starts and finishes in Hawaii. Got to pier at 12:45 was on the ship and had a drink in my hand by 1:00, getting off ship was equally as ... Read More
Have cruised with RCI and celebrity first ncl cruise, chose them because they're only line that starts and finishes in Hawaii. Got to pier at 12:45 was on the ship and had a drink in my hand by 1:00, getting off ship was equally as easy. The ship was smaller then I'm used to but it was easy to navigate once you knew where everything was located. Entertainment was very good the Carole's Kings show was especially good and I'm not a big Carole King fan. Comedian Michael Sommerville was very good saw his early and late show and had the people screaming with laughter at both shows. We had a balcony cabin on deck 9 which was your typical cabin, good for showering and sleeping. Our steward was excellent the room was always clean and he was very friendly always asking us how our day was,what were we doing that day or if there was anything else he could do for us, unfortunately I forget his name and can't give him the credit he deserves. The food was very good we ate in the main dining rooms every night but one. Skyline dining room was horrible because of the service. Our servers were very slow and the dining wasn't even crowded plus they never smiled and weren't very friendly. First restaurant I ever dined in on land or at sea where the server never offered you coffee or tea after the main course. Liberty dining room was much better, the server greeted you with a smile, asked how was your day and what did you do. Service was much better and they offered coffee or tea after dinner. Only had a couple lunches and 1 dinner at the buffet and it was okay, nice selection and very tasty. I'm not a big breakfast guy they had the usual breakfast foods which was fine by me. Excursions were very good except for the trip to Waimea Canyon. It's a 5 hour excursion,4 hours of it is travelling time. Might want to consider renting a car for this one it could be quicker. Overall a very good cruise and I would recommend it to anyone, I would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My wife bought this cruise to Hawaii for my 60th birthday. The one thing we loved was there was never anyone in your face at dinner,lunch,ect taking pictures of you. We love the freestyle dinning. I cant complain,because there was no ... Read More
My wife bought this cruise to Hawaii for my 60th birthday. The one thing we loved was there was never anyone in your face at dinner,lunch,ect taking pictures of you. We love the freestyle dinning. I cant complain,because there was no gambling on this cruise,so I saved money ! I miss the fact that on carnival I could buy any bottle of liquer and have it brought to the room. Not this one. The bartenders especially( Alonso ?) from texas. He was very informative, friendly and fun to talk to. He would be at the pool bar in the morning. As for excursions , we booked all through ncl.Patrick at the excursion desk was very friendly and helped us with any changes we wanted to make. The helicopter and pinnaple tour with pig roast was well worth it. I even managed to get the saints vs dallas game on the boat. I am seriously considering taking another ncl cruise soon. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
My wife and I wanted to take a first time trip to Hawaii and we wanted to cruise. Norwegian's 7 day inter Island cruise was a perfect fit for us. Our included hotel was the Hilton Hawaiian Village - very busy but very nice. We ... Read More
My wife and I wanted to take a first time trip to Hawaii and we wanted to cruise. Norwegian's 7 day inter Island cruise was a perfect fit for us. Our included hotel was the Hilton Hawaiian Village - very busy but very nice. We had an excellent tour guide for our included 4 days in Oahu. I think the Pride of America is a beautiful ship with attractive details and finishes everywhere you went. We treated ourselves to a Penthouse SE suite "with large balcony". The cabin exceeded expectations and came with many perks and amenities including a Butler. My wish was his command! I need to practice piano daily and within a day of our arrival he arranged for two baby grands for me to practice on as much as I needed. We liked the food in the Aloha Cafe and Skyline restaurant. There was always a variety of appealing food to choose from. Our package came with 3 dinners each person at the specialty restaurants. We ate at Cagney's and the Brazilian Steakhouse and they were both excellent. We also had the perk of eating complimentary at Cagney's for breakfast and lunch. Wonderful. There were more than enough entertainment and activities to keep us busy. We rented a car and did our own exploring. However, there seemed to be a nice variety of excursions to choose from. The ship visited four of the islands. (If you want to go ashore at Kona, you'll have to get on the tender boat.) Overall, an excellent choice for a first visit to Hawaii. Highly Recommended. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We decide to take the cruise because of the discounted fare. Finding the entrance for embarkation was a little confusing because of lack of signs. But once inside the building things went pretty smoothly. We had a balcony stateroom which ... Read More
We decide to take the cruise because of the discounted fare. Finding the entrance for embarkation was a little confusing because of lack of signs. But once inside the building things went pretty smoothly. We had a balcony stateroom which we enjoyed. Big bed, adequate storage space & great view from the balcony. The only downside was the small shower stall; it was difficult to move around. The housekeeping staff was outstanding, changing towels several times each day and greeting us by name, with friendly smiles. The restaurants were very good. Nice menus with good choices. The buffet was OK but always crowded and hard to find tables. Entertainment in the evenings were great, esp. the comedian, Michael Somerville. Service except for the housekeeping staff, was so-so. Some of the shipboard staff (restaurants, guest services, etc.) were really nice but there were some who didn't seem happy in their jobs. We didn't take any shore excursions, instead renting cars in a couple of ports. There were shuttles that took passengers to shopping malls in several ports which was very nice. But there wasn't enough information to tell us what each shuttle destination consisted of. Overall, it was a good cruise. Based on this experience, we would consider taking other cruises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Great price and perks. The cabin was a very nice, but small. The entertainment was excellent. The only negative was the handling of the loss days of the cruise and the lost day on land in Honolulu. I was looking forward to the day in ... Read More
Great price and perks. The cabin was a very nice, but small. The entertainment was excellent. The only negative was the handling of the loss days of the cruise and the lost day on land in Honolulu. I was looking forward to the day in Honolulu. They could of extended it the day we got back. The food was very good. Ports were very beautiful. The shore excursions were also very interesting. We dined in the premium restaurants which were very good. The cruise director Jamie was very informative and active on the cruise. Getting on and off the ship in the various ports was very easy. The service overall was very good. it took a while for the customer service group to help us with our lost day in Honolulu. We finally came to a compromise, on the lost day. Not what I wanted but was OK. If I could get the full trip as I paid for I would go again at the same price. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We had a wonderful time on this cruise. A great way to see the Hawaiin islands. We had a balcony room. Although rooms were small, storage space was well organized.King bed and pull out couch. Room steward was excellent. very ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on this cruise. A great way to see the Hawaiin islands. We had a balcony room. Although rooms were small, storage space was well organized.King bed and pull out couch. Room steward was excellent. very quiet. The food was good, service exceptional. All drinks at all bars were spot on. Entertainment was good. Open dinning was lovely, never felt rushed to get to dinner.Cruise was casual dress.Only one restaurant requirred dress code, no formal night We took our 18 year old, All other NCL cruises allow you to sign to allow your child wine or beer in international waters, this cruise does not leave the states, so 21 for adult activities/ drink applies ( some night shows are 21+) Again as it is in U.S/ Hawaiin waters no casino / bingo. The views of the volcano glow are amazing, the Captain will turn off the ships lights so you have a better view ( this is seen on the starberd side of the ship) The coast can be seen on the port side ( with narration and history of what is being seen) Shore excursions were costly, but hop on off buses are available at each port. Lei making classes available on board as well as hula classes to name a few. Very clean ship, hand sanitizer everywhere also I would recomend this cruise to anyone who would like to see the islands without island hopping Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise because it would be our first time to Hawaii and we would visit 4 islands. Embarkment was very easy, it only took us approx. 15 minutes to board from the time we dropped our luggage to the time we boarded ship. They ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it would be our first time to Hawaii and we would visit 4 islands. Embarkment was very easy, it only took us approx. 15 minutes to board from the time we dropped our luggage to the time we boarded ship. They had the buffet ready so we could have lunch and hang out until our room was ready. I researched before taking our cruise so I was aware of the additional charges for drinks, service charges etc. All services had a 20% gratuity so no tip was added except in case of exceptional service. We did leave a tip in the two dinning rooms, Liberty and Skyline since there was no extra charges so no gratuity was added. Buffet was okay, Barbeque by pool was good but Skyline food was excellent. The difference in Liberty and Skyline was the dress code. The food was the same. Staff was friendly and courteous, each asking where we were from and are we enjoying our cruise. Our cabin was small but that was expected. Bathroom was quite small but we had good water pressure and plenty of hot water. There was entertainment every night, some which was good and some was very good. Loved the not so newlywed game. We did several excursions. One of our favorites was the Smith family luau. I booked this unit separate from NCL. The food was excellent, the ceremony of uncovering the pig and the actual show after dinner was very entertaining. Our only disappointment due to the volcano we did not get to dock at the big island so instead of visiting 4 islands we visited 3. Even though I was disappointed I applaud NCL of thinking of our safety Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to do Hawaii and see all islands without flying to each island and losing time. Loved the entertainment and especially the shore excursions we experienced. We got to see which islands we’d like to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to do Hawaii and see all islands without flying to each island and losing time. Loved the entertainment and especially the shore excursions we experienced. We got to see which islands we’d like to visit again! Food onboard average had better on other cruise lines but we were there to visit islands not for food. The only negative I would say is that they should communicate better with shore excursions in that you could do part of excursion ; for example my husband didn’t want to do helicopter tour but he could’ve done kuai sight seeing tour which was fantastic with Doeme from heaven and earth quest . Loved Oahu, Kona, and Maui! If you want to see Hawaii once in lifetime trip this is the best way to do it. We did land and cruise which was exceptional . A lot to see and reasonable for price with food mostly included. You had to pay for food on land portion. 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
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 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 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
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
With retirement nearing, we (my wife and I) choose this cruise to better understand the experience of 4 or 5 sea days in a row (we are considering some extended cruises in the future), as well as the experience of travelling with a group ... Read More
With retirement nearing, we (my wife and I) choose this cruise to better understand the experience of 4 or 5 sea days in a row (we are considering some extended cruises in the future), as well as the experience of travelling with a group with a signficant amount of retirees. We have previously spent some time in the Islands (via air), so site seeing was not our main priority. Princess has been our choice for cruising for some time, and this trip did not disappoint. The service, food and entertainment were a good value for the money. In fact, we found the entertainment to be noticeably more appealing than on some of our recent Princess cruises. Our one quibble was that each photograph now costs $25.00 each- which seemed high to us. The ship was newly refurbished and we appreciated the enhancements- both in the cabin and around the ship. Some of the little touches, such as a place beside your bed to charge your iPhone, showed us that Princess really cares about staying competitive. (Note: I do own CCL common stock, and have so for many years). As mentioned earlier, sightseeing was not our primatry objective, but we did take Princess tours on the big island and the garden island. We did attend the onboard lectures by Sharon, which were very informative, and very well done. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was our second cruise in the Grand Princess (and 13th on Princess). Overall we were very pleased, but of course there were some concerns. THE GOOD: -- excellent cabin steward; very helpful as we prepared to host a cocktail ... Read More
This was our second cruise in the Grand Princess (and 13th on Princess). Overall we were very pleased, but of course there were some concerns. THE GOOD: -- excellent cabin steward; very helpful as we prepared to host a cocktail party; great attitude -- superb entertainment, as is usual for Princess -- service in the dining room was excellent - attentive and prompt -- enjoyed meals in both specialty restaurants -- the daily LGBT gatherings were fun, with over 20 folks a couple of times; fun to meet people from across the country -- the variety of excursions offered on the four Hawaiian Islands was good. We loved the submarine dive in Maui. -- the New Years Eve parties were a lot of fun -- although a water leak in the 14th level Horizons Court closed half of it for most of the cruise, the dining staff responded well and opened other dining rooms for added hours to compensate, resulting in a minimum of inconvenience for the passengers THE NEGATIVES: -- the ship was always cold! Not just cool, but so cold that folks were wearing jackets to the shows and lounges. The first night our cabin would not get above low 60's - maintenance adjusted the settings as we were comfortable the rest of the cruise. -- food in the main dining room was not as good as on previous cruises (fish was overcooked and dry) -- young children screaming during dinner in the specialty restaurants really detracted from what was otherwise a very nice experience. I would love to see a policy of no babies (perhaps under 2) in the surcharged restaurants -- I did not like the Latin focused ballroom dancing lessons, much preferring traditional ballroom that I have enjoyed on previous Princess cruises -- although we have enjoyed days at sea in the past, including trans-Atlantic crossings, with ten days at sea (four over and six coming back (with a four-hour stop in Ensenada) became too many days out of a fifteen-day cruise. We will certainly cruise with Princess again, and even on the Grand Princess since it remains based in San Francisco and is very convenient for us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
The good.................................... Food in the dining rooms was very good, especially liked the Liberty. Also dined at Teppanyaki, Jefferson Bistro and Cagney’s. Only did the Specialty dining because it came with our ... Read More
The good.................................... Food in the dining rooms was very good, especially liked the Liberty. Also dined at Teppanyaki, Jefferson Bistro and Cagney’s. Only did the Specialty dining because it came with our purchase at Costco. The Specialty dining was good, but the Aloha(morning buffet), Skyline and Liberty completely met our needs. Coffee is available early at 0530 in the Gold Rush Saloon. Ate once at Cadillac and liked it. Great service and attitude on the part of the staff/crewmembers. No sign of random rudeness mentioned in other reviews. Cabins were clean and comfortable. We had a balcony and really liked it. Cabin 9568 is a great location. Entertainment was very good most nights, but didn’t care for the first night that well. Embarkation went smooth. Disembarkation was handled well. We were allowed to stay on the ship until 0845 or so. Our flight did not leave until 6:00PM. There is Luggage Storage in the Cruise Facility that allows you to store a piece of luggage for $5 for the entire day. We then did a walking tour of old Honolulu and Chinatown which are a 10 minute walk from the cruise terminal. Especially interesting is the Aloha Clock Tower one block from the Terminal. Take the elevator to the 10th floor and you get a great view of the Honolulu area, the Cruise ship, and other sights. Cruise Sights. I can’t think of a better way to see the islands. The cruise is basically a floating hotel, restaurant and entertainment facility. Excursions. We did not take any of the Excursions that came with the cruise. Instead we rented a car and saw all of the same sights for about 70% less. Example, Road to Hana, a tour costs $169/person. My wife and I rented a car for $57(that includes gas and insurance). Same deal in all of the other islands. Also, each car rental company has a shuttle that meets you at the cruise terminal and returns you to the ship at the end of the day. In Maui, on our second day, we took the city bus to the west side of the island for the day, cost us $10 each. Pick up the bus next to Macy’s in the shopping center 1.2 miles from the cruise terminal. There is no bus station there, but a lady in a yellow jacket sitting on a chair sells the tickets. Disappointments 1. Our Kona stop was cancelled due to high seas. I do not fault NCL for this. However, our Captain said we would instead cruise by Maui, Lanai, Molokai, and Oahu on our way to Kauai. This did not happen. He got to within 5 miles of our first island, then went 30 miles out to sea away from all islands, and did not explain why he did this. 2. My biggest disappointment was I assumed that we would cruise to within a mile or 2 of the coast of all these islands, and we would sit on our balcony and enjoy the scenery. We did not!!! We were always 5-7 miles from coast so the islands were mostly a blur in the distance, especially Kauai, one of the most beautiful islands on the planet. An exception was the Na Pali coast where he kept 2 miles offshore, still too far away. Very, very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017

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