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125 Hawaii First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise, selected because we wanted to see Hawaii and Pearl Harbour. We had already been to LA and seen a bit but thought we could go to the Iowa and Queen Mary, which we did... Boarding was quite laborious and ... Read More
This was our first cruise, selected because we wanted to see Hawaii and Pearl Harbour. We had already been to LA and seen a bit but thought we could go to the Iowa and Queen Mary, which we did... Boarding was quite laborious and drawn out, but apparently the norm, and anyway I'd arranged for an expensive bottle of champagne to be delivered to our stateroom outside cabin...or so I thought? We accessed our cabin, which was nice enough and surprisingly spacious, but no sign of the champagne...and when we found the cabin steward, were advised that we should have a voucher (NO)...next visit to the main desk to be told we should have a voucher (NO)..it will be in your cabin...(NO)...after 3 days of being told this, we were informed that they had tried to deliver...Yes wrong cabin....eventually we got it, not the start we expected. The passenger list was aged, with the amount of motorised wheel chairs, buggies, and general support vehicle mind blowing, with ages of 80 upwards....the result of this was an endless stream of shufflers at almost every venue, and the inevitable queues that ensued. Except when it came to various functions on board, when the speed to be at the front of the queues was spectacular...anyway I digress...our luggage turned up long after we had set sail, after many requests, and the hanging space was fine when supplied with extra hangers.... The ship generally looked in good order, fairly clean and well appointed, but as we found out, did not have enough room in the various areas to accommodate the volume of people on board, with even the biggest area, the theatre having have two shows . This theme carried on in every area of the ship, even at the outside cinema, which insisted in showing a vast amount of Nfl American football games, fine for them but not for other passengers... We had anytime dining which worked well in the main, but we found that the dress code was not adhered too with shorts and tee shirts at the tables, even on formal nights, for which we had made an event...we got a glimpse of the captain who was mainly only available for elite passengers, the first class etc. The specialty dining, " extra cost " was generally good, apart from the Crown grill urgh...again with dress code issues, Sabatinis being the best overall. The other bugbear was the card procedures on pre paid "all inclusive ", which entailed handing over your card on every drinks request, even whilst eating a meal...the dress code here was very poor and some waiting staff as miserable as sin... The bars were hit and miss except one...Crooners...they were cheerful and prompt, keeping everyone entertained, but again not enough space, with one passenger deciding to sit in shorts and bare feet up on a chairs reading a book...quite revolting really. The food was generally good, but in the breakfast areas overcrowded with again more miserable staff with the minor exception, we were always polite but clearly not respected. Entertainment was hit and miss but too short, the manager was pleasant and whizzed around the too many small venues, we saw a couple of shows which were good but too short, and this was normal, activities are sparse.. Services are a little indifferent, with some good and others poor, with the main aspects driven by sales, sales, and more sales....no opportunity was missed in selling anything and everything to the point of annoyance. The ports and disembarking was chaotic, and manic, with one port served by lifeboats to the port, which was not pleasant, we had made external arrangements for Honolulu. The final disembarkation was the worst, and had many voices of dissent, which appeared to be normal for Princess cruises....we were happy to get back on shore, safe in the knowledge that this was our first and probably our last cruise..... Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was my first cruise so have nothing to compare with but from start to finish I could not fault NCL. Pre cruise I found the website a great source of information, I pre booked speciality restaurants online before leaving home, I had ... Read More
This was my first cruise so have nothing to compare with but from start to finish I could not fault NCL. Pre cruise I found the website a great source of information, I pre booked speciality restaurants online before leaving home, I had free specialty dining package. Embarkation was easy and quick we arrived at approx 15.30 having had plans in honolulu in the morning. no queue at all, luggage was taken from us and we checked in, credit card was swiped and room keys allocated. Our room was ready by the time we got on board so we went and dropped our hand baggage off and freshen up, room was what I had expected we were in stateroom 10524 (large balcony) the room had everything we needed as we didn't plan spending much time it in, Why would you in Hawaii ???? Room was clean with plenty of storage for a couple who were travelling from the UK for 3 weeks. Bathroom was functional again not sure what people expect. We realised that the plug in the sink was stuck down so we had a wander round the ship via guest services to report it, when we returned to our cabin after a few cocktails it had been fixed and luggage had been delivered. Later on in the week we had a leak from our toilet fresh water thankfully, one phone call to guest services and within 10 minutes maintenance had arrived checked it left for 5 minutes and returned with a part and fixed it, we went out for the day on our return we had a phone message from guest services to ensure all was well. We dined in most of the restaurants we had breakfast in the Aloha cafe every morning just because it was on the same floor as our room, we never had an issue with seating, good choice of food from cooked breakfast to continental, cereals and pastries. My only issue was I couldn't find english breakfast tea bags only de-caf (I should've listening to my mother and took my own) its a british thing !! As we had the ultimate dining package we ate in all but the french restaurant. Our favourite being the tappenyaki restaurant we ate with 6 other people which was nice to meet other people. We tended to have drinks at John Adams bar near guest services, the girls who worked the bar were always smiling and happy. We never met any staff who weren't pleasant, we said hello to everyone and they all acknowledged us. Disembarking at port was easy to do and well organised even the tender port at Kona, we had no plans so weren't in a rush to get off, we collected our tender tickets at 8am and were on land by about 8.20 again no queuing or fuss. We did not attend any of the shows or arrange shore excursions with NCL, after much research we hired cars in all ports so we could do our own thing at our own pace, except Kona where we had a day on the beach and a walk to the brewery. The boat was clean and well maintained yes there was a bit of rust on the balcony but its a boat at sea 7 days a week, maybe as this was my first cruise I don't have much to compare with but I have travelled extensively around the world. I was aware of the added service charge which I choose to pay before departure, I never felt obliged to tip again and as the mother of a chef I was pleased to know the service charge was split with back of house staff as they usually lose out. The fact that there was no casino was never an issue as after a full day on shore, evening usually ended up as dinner and a few cocktails then bed ready for an early start. We did meet quite a few people who didn't actually leave the ship on a number of days, which was a mystery to us as even if you'd visited Hawaii before there was still such much more to explore on every island we visited. We would definitely sail with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
If you are looking for a good way to visit all the main Hawaii attractions in a week this cruise is a good option, but we were a bit disappointed with some aspects of the ship. If there was an alternative cruise doing a similar round trip, ... Read More
If you are looking for a good way to visit all the main Hawaii attractions in a week this cruise is a good option, but we were a bit disappointed with some aspects of the ship. If there was an alternative cruise doing a similar round trip, competition might be good for the punter. With the not insbstantial sum we paid for the trip, we expected clean sea air, not the ever present stink of sewerage, especially on decks 5 and 6. At Maui this was very bad, and the smell was pumped into our stateroom all night. This could hardly be conducive to health! We also disliked the creative ways we could be scooped for more cash. Eg the internet service charges, and the ship block booking of helecopter excursions preventing direct booking, and adding extra charges. I suggest planning and booking all your shore excursions independantly and well in advance. We prearranged car hire with friends for most of our time ashore but had to be very careful to get back to the ship in time for sailing - we cut it pretty fine on one occasion. Food was reasonable but service slow at times. Drinks were good but expensive. Our inside stateroom was very cramped and I would say we were glad not to have brought our boys along. Sleeping 4 in such a small space would not have worked. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
First I will say that this was our first cruise and most likely be our last. This was a trip of a life time and Hawaii is an amazing place. If you are going to go, a cruise is the way to go to take in all of the beautiful sights. For ... Read More
First I will say that this was our first cruise and most likely be our last. This was a trip of a life time and Hawaii is an amazing place. If you are going to go, a cruise is the way to go to take in all of the beautiful sights. For the money you are paying, you would hope that the ship you are on does not smell like a sewer, has large sections of it blocked off for repair and/or is in one state of disrepair or another. I had a door handle come right off in my hand! Listening to a power drill or saw was not exactly relaxing. The spa was closed for the entire trip so a massage to de-stress was out. Cleanliness was also a problem. As you can imagine, the vistas were beautiful but were marred by dirty windows that looked like they haven't been washed in ages. The public bathrooms were filthy and the table tops on the pool deck were always covered with sticky stuff. There are hand sanitizer a everywhere. This is a good thing. Unfortunately, they forgot to train their staff on proper infection control (witnessed staff wiping their noses and coughing into their hands and then handling food - YUCK!!) Apparently, there were a few staff members sick at the onset of our trip. Needless to say, this respiratory infection quickly spread ship wide. My parents had to go on antibiotics and my husband is still coughing. I had a few positive experiences with staff (primarily bar staff - great strawberry mojitos Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We didn't pick this cruise for our first cruise. My family picked it and we decided to tag along. It was a nice ship, the staff were super, and I did enjoy it. But 5 days at sea were a little long for me. My sister thought it ... Read More
We didn't pick this cruise for our first cruise. My family picked it and we decided to tag along. It was a nice ship, the staff were super, and I did enjoy it. But 5 days at sea were a little long for me. My sister thought it wasn't long enough, so it is a matter of personal opinion. Overall, I had a wonderful time and would like to cruise again. The embarkation process was very easy, even for a newbie like me. We were directed to a line, which was moving very quickly to register and received e our cards. We then sat in a large room and waited for our boarding party to be called. I don't think we were sitting for 10 minutes. We had received a card saying the staterooms wouldn't be ready until after 1 and our bags could take a couple of hours. Our stateroom was ready as we approached with one suitcase sitting outside. The second arrived within 15 minutes. All in all, very easy. Disembarking was even easier. Due to the early hours of our flight, we were walking off. Scheduled for 7:45, we were actually in a taxi speeding our way to the airport by 7:30. Thank you Princess. We had the early seating in the Botticelli Dining Room. Although the selection of menu items wasn't large, I always found something I liked on it. One thing I didn't like was the temperature of the soup. It was lukewarm at best. I had steak on several occasions and always order it rare. It usually came medium rare, hence the reason I order it rare. A couple of time, we passed on the dining room because the men wanted to keep their shorts on (not allowed) and had dinner at the Horizon Court. Lots to choose from there. I walk a lot and was happy to see the walking track on the Promenade Deck. 2.5 times around for a mile. The first couple of times I used it were fine, but then the smokers came out. Why would they put the smokers area on the walking track? Poor planning on their part. Along the same vein, the casino needs a better ventilation system. I was only in it for a short period of time since the smoke was hanging. Loved the crew. Everyone was so helpful and efficient. They did sometimes seem overworked and my family (the experienced cruisers) said they usually see a lot more deck attendants and wait staff than we saw on this cruise. I hope to cruise again but not necessarily on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Booked owners suite for a very special occasion and was very disappointed with quality and service provided. Stayed overnight in Marriot hotel was good but maid started cleaning our room before we had checked out, removing our travel ... Read More
Booked owners suite for a very special occasion and was very disappointed with quality and service provided. Stayed overnight in Marriot hotel was good but maid started cleaning our room before we had checked out, removing our travel doc's for both cruise and stay in Vegas, got doc's back after frantic search. Checkout was at 11:00 maid had started clearing our room at 10:30! Boarded ship at 12:00, bags finally arrived 4 hours later, crew explained 1500 bags to bring onboard, I expected better service when we had paid for the most expensive cabin on the ship. Owners cabin was nice but had definitely seen better days, couch was well worn and both arm rests were worn through. Both sinks in the bathroom and WC were damaged and marked. Breakfast was just for suite guests in Gagneys resturant. Food was ok but nothing special, steak and eggs were good though. Pleased we did not have to endure buffet breakfast, it appeared a complete free for all with little organization from the crew. We booked tours on line prior to the trip and generally they were good, however the shore organization for these trips by NCL was zero once we left the ship. For the first trip we all stood in the sun whilst the bus was empty and just waiting there, the tour description number on the bus was different from our tour number. Our Atlantis submarine tour was cancelled one hour before we were due to leave, which can happen but we were offered no alternative, just a refund. The Kilohana manor house & Kalamaku show was very good, recommend this tour because the Kalamaku show only tour is just a buffet meal which according to people who ate this was poor quality, the meal in manor house was excellent. Entertainment onboard was average, DJ Mr W spent more time playing with his mobile than actually seeing if people were listening to the music he played. White Hot party should be renamed to White Hot crew party. After 1 hour people started to leave and the off duty crew took over the dance floor, music was defiantly not music that people wanted to hear, after 2 hours all guests had left but the crew still enjoyed the night. Great disappointment, wife even had a white dress made for this party. Entertainment very poor quality. Do not pre pay tips, we did but was informed on the last day that the pre paid tips did not go to our butler, concierge or drinks staff, so we were pestered for tips because the people we expected to receive the pre paid tip do not get it. General comment is NCL have the monopoly for this cruise so quality not really number one priority for crew, they need training in customer care. This cruise is good to see Hawaii but book the cheapest accommodation with NCL because you will not get improved service if you pay more. Do not expect normal cruise standard of food because this is very basic stuff, Disappointed Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Embarkation went very smoothly. We thought it weird that you have to bring life jackets to muster drill. The buffet was one of the best we've experienced (we are huge royal Caribbean fans). The pizza everyone seems to love really ... Read More
Embarkation went very smoothly. We thought it weird that you have to bring life jackets to muster drill. The buffet was one of the best we've experienced (we are huge royal Caribbean fans). The pizza everyone seems to love really isn't that great. The service was very good. The main dining room experience comes no where near the royal Caribbean experience (only because of the food quality and selection). The service is good throughout. The shops onboard are a huge disappointment with both selection and cost. The only specialty dining we experienced was the crab shack which was terrible. The food was severely over cooked. The entertainment was ok. Movies under the stars was nice (including the popcorn and blankets which were very much needed in January). Overall, we would definitely recommend this cruise for those wishing to see Hawaii. But personally would not do again as there are way too many sea days that cannot be enjoyed because of weather. did our own shore excursions as the cruise lines gouge you on what is offered. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was our first cruise and first trip to Hawaii. NCL went out of their way to make it special for our parent's 60th anniversary. Tips I would suggest for this trip: 1)Stay in a suite with another couple if possible. We ... Read More
This was our first cruise and first trip to Hawaii. NCL went out of their way to make it special for our parent's 60th anniversary. Tips I would suggest for this trip: 1)Stay in a suite with another couple if possible. We received many perks for being in a suite, and our cost was cheaper per couple than the other two couples who travelled with us. The room was spacious, quiet, and clean. We were in the middle of the boat--not above a party room that played booming music like the others in our group! 2) We rented cars on Maui and Kauai, and that was a smart option. We did as we wanted, and we parked them overnight so we could have them both days. DO NOT go with Dollar as they were expensive and not helpful (we did this on Maui). Enterprise was much more reasonable and helpful (we did this on Kauai). We made reservations beforehand with Dollar, but it was just as easy to catch the rental car shuttle off of the boat in Kauai, and they had plenty of cars. 3) When on Hilo and Kona, we chose MaryLou's Tours (marylousbigislandguidedtours.com), and they were FANTASTIC. A small mom-and-pop company, they took us to the all of the sights in a van, found out-of-the-way places for lunches, and even guided us through the snorkeling at Kona with individual instruction. At $70 and $60 per day per individual, we felt we got the most out of the big island! 4) Don't pay for any of the pay-at restaurants on ship. We did not, and trust me, we had plenty to eat! Hope you have the cruise of a lifetime like I did! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
As first timers to Hawaii, this was an excellent cruise - in terms of getting an good introduction to all the Hawaiian islands. The itinerary is quite relaxed, giving you good amount of time on each island. The ship, services, programming ... Read More
As first timers to Hawaii, this was an excellent cruise - in terms of getting an good introduction to all the Hawaiian islands. The itinerary is quite relaxed, giving you good amount of time on each island. The ship, services, programming and food, however are very average. Someone had written in another review that this was like staying at a Holiday Inn - and that analogy is spot on. The ship was clean ! 5/5 for cleanliness; We had a balcony cabin - pretty good for 3 adults and one child. We were able to store our entire luggage in the closet, under the beds etc. Cabin steward was good- responsive and well-trained. Staff overall was a hit or miss. The staff at the sit-down restaurants (the ones that were included in freestyle) was always a let down. Seemed as if they were doing you a favor by serving you. We had instances when plates were cleared without asking and while we were still not finished with the meal. On the other hand, the staff at the paid restaurants was good. We had excellent service experiences, esp. at the Italian restaurant. The food was at best mediocre. And by mediocre, I mean the variety, taste and quality everything was lacking. Breakfast - same for seven days (ok, thats understandable). Try the Cadillac diner one day for breakfast - same food, but hey, its served !; Lunch - most of the days we were out on shore excursions. Dinner - surprisingly the best couple of meals we had was at the Aloha buffet. The Italian restaurant was below average, the chinese just about ok. The steaks left a lot desired in the quality of the meat. Entrees were all uniformly underwhelming. Not worth the extra cover charge, really. We all felt the desserts were pretty good - almost all the time. Maybe we got a good pastry chef in our sailing. Talking of extra charge, POA allows you to take wine @ $15/bottle. I would advise you take 3-4 bottles atleast, it will be worth it. Any half decent wine on board was about $55 per bottle average. Programming on the ship was again a hit or miss. We ended up being on the ship only in the morning and evenings - and there were atleast 3 days when none of the programs looked interesting to anyone in our group. A lot of orientation towards to the older generation. Mardi Gras (the night club) had the best programs for us. Good staff, good vibe. The pool in the front section is slightly larger than an average american living room. The so called pool in the rear is really a 12x12 feet tub. In terms of the excursions, we had a rental car pre-booked at every port, except Kona. That worked out very well for us. We explored the islands at our own pace. All rental companies have their courtesy vans at every port. At Kahului, we had a car for 2 days. The first day we drove up the Road to Hana. Most people turn back after Hana. But I would advise to get a SUV and go beyond Hana and the Pools at O'heo - there is just a dirt road for a good 20/30 miles. But the real beauty of Hawaii is beyond that dirt track. Its simply awesome ! The road becomes smooth eventually - it will be one of the best drives of your life ! The second day in Kahului, we went to Lahaina town, then Kaanapali beach. Excellent for snorkeling, but too rough for just swimming. wading. Go to DT Fleming beach a little further if you have kids. Perfect for playing, boarding in the water. In Hilo, since there is only one day - you can just about do the Volcano. If you have a car, from the Volcano, please drive down the Chain of craters road to the edge of the sea. That will take you through real lava tracks and down to indescribable beauty. In Kona, we remained close to the port. Took the Atlantis submarine trip down to the reefs. That was pretty good as it goes down almost 100 feet in the water. We also tried the Kona Brewing company near the port. Excellent beer tasting menu ! In Nawiliwili, we went up to the Waimea canyon. Again, awesome beauty ! We wish we had taken the helicopter ride here - as we saw helicopters flying right into the canyon. On the way back we stopped at Poipu beach. Great for kids. Easy snorkeling, and swimming. Last day was spent on the ship. Nothing too memorable. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Where to begin: My husband and I went on this cruise hoping for 7 beautiful/wonderful days on Norwegian and in Hawaii. What we actually received was 7 boring & insulting days instead. This was our first anniversary has husband and wife ... Read More
Where to begin: My husband and I went on this cruise hoping for 7 beautiful/wonderful days on Norwegian and in Hawaii. What we actually received was 7 boring & insulting days instead. This was our first anniversary has husband and wife so we were extremely excited, boy what a let down. The only pro to this cruise was location, Hawaii is such an amazing and beautiful place to visit. Now for the cons: 1. Stateroom was so small it felt like I was in a college dorm room 2. The food was so nasty we might as well eaten at McDonalds 3. The entertainment/games were catered to the 70 and up age range so us being in our 30s we were bored out of ears. 4. My luggage was sent to another room and was not returned me to until late that evening on our first night. 5. The only staff members we interacted with was our room attendant and a friendly woman at guest services. Everyone else seem annoyed to be there. 6. The ship in a whole looks like it is in need of a major face-lift, cracks/grit/chipped paint everywhere. 7. On our first night decided to eat in the dining room, BIG MISTAKE! We had to wait 40 minutes for a table only to have the worst waiter there. When he did take our order down we have to wait a hour in a half for our mediocre food. He kept coming to us saying he checked down stairs and the food isn't ready what more could he do. Once the food (steak) finally arrived it was cold. We asked for another plate and the waiter acted as if we just asked me to slice his arm off for us to eat it. After his continued Huffing and Puffing w/ eye rolls we told him never mind and left. 8. The extra services charges are extremely expensive for the poor service we received. 9. The excursions are nice but nothing to brag about. We could have totally free styled the island. 10. The cruise director had a very nasty attitude when we tried to inform him about our experience so far. He acted as if he had no time to hear us out and that our complaints meant nothing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
What a great way to see the Hawaii Islands. First time cruisers and now hooked, however not sure if I would do a Caribbean one, but would do one for Europe, Iceland or South America. I read every review before we left to be well ... Read More
What a great way to see the Hawaii Islands. First time cruisers and now hooked, however not sure if I would do a Caribbean one, but would do one for Europe, Iceland or South America. I read every review before we left to be well prepared and what to except. I am returning the favour as there are a few tips that no one mentioned. Enjoy We flew Delta from Toronto to Honolulu with a 2 hour layover in Atlanta. This got us into Honolulu around 4:00pm Hawaii time. We stayed at the Hilton Hawaii Village, check in was a breeze. We had time to explore the resort and a good dinner before bed. A taxi from the Airport to hotel was about $50. The resort was good, lots to do and see. It was busy, but we had our own pool in our tower and very few kids. I would stay there again. We also found local places to eat off the resort which saved us money We spent the two full days on Oahu exploring the Island by walking and rented a car for the drive to North Shore. Unfortunately the weather was rainy and cloudy, which you cannot control. We made the best of it as we are not sure when we will return. We saw everything we wanted within the two days and had a relaxing Saturday morning before embarkment. Embarkment was a breeze. We left the hotel at 11:30am by taxi which costs $15 and good scenic ride. We were on the ship by 12:30pm for lunch in the Skyline and exploring. Before we knew it was 3:00pm and our room was ready. We also checked in with 24 pack of water for our room. We dropped our carry on luggage and check out the cabin before our scheduled CC Meet and greet at 03:45pm. It was cool to meet all the officers and other CC members. Once done, we went back to our cabin to find our luggage had arrived. Unpacked , got ready for the sunset and sail away party. Dinner reservations were for 7:30pm, so we had plenty of time to get ready. Our cabin was fwd mid-ship in the middle #4073. This was prefect for us, as we were only there to shower and sleep. We are not much for pre-organized shore excursions, so we rented jeeps with discounthawaiirental.com. We explored each Island on our own and saw all we wanted and more. Picking up car rentals was fast, we would be one of the first to leave the ship right at 8am and be in our jeep rental by 8:15am and on the road. However Maui rental check in was the slowest (about 30 minutes) , glad that port was an overnight. Even if you do not have a rental, they do provide free shuttles to beaches and shops within town. Which we used in Kona, as my husband had schedule scuba drive that day . It was not worth a rental on that day. Kona was the best place to souvenir shopping as well, A lot of local artists. Well my husband was scuba diving I took advantage of the Spa services on the ship. Which was great, however a little expensive All dinner reservations were set for 7:30pm, which we made all of them. We had dinner in three of the speciality and others in Skyline or Liberty dinning rooms. All food was good, but a little salty. We normally do not cook with salt at home. The best was the Cagney’s Steakhouse, Morden Brazilian was awesome and Jefferson Bistro was good.. We were looked after well . Please note I had the duck for the first time even and found it wasn’t really my cup of tea…however the lamb chops we awesome. We are not into anything made with rice so we did not try East meets west …and because I am picky about Italian cooking we did not do that one either. We had breakfast in the Cadillac Dinner, except for disembarkment day. It was closed then. We were able to avoid the buffets, we are not into buffets. The shows were ok; we are not really into musicals. Other entertainment after hours was ok….the White Hot party was the best. We were in bed on average around 10:30am every night, as days were packed exploring. You do not get in to Kaui port until 10:00 am, which sorta cuts into your time spent on the island and you have to be back on the ship at noon the next day. We rented a jeep to explore the island and catch a sunset Popi Beach. For Friday unless you had a shore excursion for the morning most people stayed on the boat. Which worked out ok for me, as that was our only day of Sunshine to lie on the deck. We did take the free shuttle for some last minute shopping in the morning. All cruise staff we’re happy, friendly and very helpful. This made a good impression on us to start thinking about our next cruise. We booked the Pearl Harbour excursion on the disembarkment day, as it included luggage and drop off at the airport. We still had a 3 hour wait at the airport before we could check in, but they do have a sitting area and others were there to talk to, which passes the time. Disembarkment was a breeze, we walked off with our luggage with ease. We flew Westjest home, which we did not have entertainment unless you rented a tablet. You needed to have pre-loaded the Westjet app in order to have access to movies and TV shows on your personal tablet or phone. Wished I had known that …the 5.5 hour flight to Vancouver was restless, as I had a snoring beside me and nothing to block the sound. All was good the rest of the way to TO In summary, rent jeeps as the road are very windy and some area you need the 4X4. Purchase the Island ‘Revealed’ books for a tablet …this made it easy to navigate the islands and highlight sightseeing , where to eat and cute stories . Pre-book all dinner reservations and shore excursions. They tend to be full but the time you get there. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Great experience! The food was fantastic, the crew went out of their way to make our trip great, and the entertainment was top notch. We chose to do no shore excursions as we are very familiar with the islands. We instead rented a car ... Read More
Great experience! The food was fantastic, the crew went out of their way to make our trip great, and the entertainment was top notch. We chose to do no shore excursions as we are very familiar with the islands. We instead rented a car in Maui, Hilo, and Kauai. We did not pay for specialty dining as we felt the options in the Liberty Dining Room and Skyline Restaurant were very nice. We found late in the week that avoiding the buffet a t breakfast and going to the Skyline Dining room was a much nicer option. This allowed the people hurring to get off the ship a chance to clear aot as we ate a nice leisurely breakfast. The food was similar to the buffet, but it wasn't crazy busy like the buffet. We were then able to just walk off the ship and go about our planned day! You will not be bored on this ship! We were amazed at the quality of the entertainment. It was a real highlight for us. If you chose to stay on the boat there were a lot of activities planned, as well as music by the pool, and of course you can always find something to eat! Getting on the boat was a breeze - our bags were already at the stateroom door by the time we got there. Leaving the ship was very hassle free as well. This was our first cruise, and as Hawaii residents we are already plannning to spend next Thanksgiving aboard the Pride of America! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
After taking a couple of hours to embark with great excitement we were not disappointed. When we arrived at berth 93 at LA we handed our cases to the porter and next time we saw them they were safely stored outside our cabin. We had a ... Read More
After taking a couple of hours to embark with great excitement we were not disappointed. When we arrived at berth 93 at LA we handed our cases to the porter and next time we saw them they were safely stored outside our cabin. We had a balcony stateroom R342 which whilst not being the biggest room we've ever stayed in it suited us fine. Our porter was a lovely guy called Donato who couldn't do enough for us. Overall the staff onboard were absolutely superb always helpful always available. Before we went on this cruise i read a lot of reviews on this site criticising the food but we found the food ranged from very good to superb.. The entertainment on board tended to cater for the older people even though we are 57 we were among the younger element on board ! We used to go in the fusion bar in the evenings for the band and dj but most nights there was less than 10 people in there ! There was also a nightclub called skywalkers which looked amazing and we were really looking forward to going in there but every night we went in there was a couple of people reading books! What a letdown ! The band onboard were called Castaway who did 3 or 4 gigs a day all over the ship and they were brilliant. We booked anytime dining which was a great decision I couldnt believe that people rushed to the dining rooms like robots for their 5.30 and 7.00 dinner and queued for ages! The restaurants were excellent we used Di Vinci and Leonardo for our formal evenings and the buffet style Horizon restaurant the rest of the time. We also paid $25 per person cover charge to go in the crown grill which was absolutely superb some of the best food I've ever tasted.. There was plenty of bars to use our drinks package card which was also a good decision when drinking expensive cocktails and shorts all evening. The facilities on board were excellent with Zumba classes every morning and an excellent well equipped gym. We paid for 3 of the ships excursions which were very good in Hawaii and one day we just got off and did our own thing. The stop of in Ensanada Mexico on the way back was a total waste of time. We found it run down and scruffy and not a great place to visit. Overall we had a fabulous time and would recommend the Ruby Princess to anyone thinking of going on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was my first cruise and I couldn't imagine it going any better. The check in was made easy by a staff who knew what they were doing and from the moment we stepped on the pier we were welcomed many times. The 1st night welcome ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I couldn't imagine it going any better. The check in was made easy by a staff who knew what they were doing and from the moment we stepped on the pier we were welcomed many times. The 1st night welcome show introduced us to the crew and told that they were there to ensure that we had a good time. They did everything they could to see that it happened. The food was great whether we dined in the Aloha room at the buffet or the specialty restaurants that we tried, and all of the staff had ready smiles and warm "Alohas" for us throughout the cruise. The comedian on board, Michale Somerville, was hilarious. Charles Bach, the performing magician, amazed me with his show and we truly enjoyed "Oh What A Night", the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons tribute band. ANy future cruises I go on will have a tough time matching my experience on the Pride Of America. Malu, the Cruise Director, and her staff had a big hand in that. All of the ships amenities with a backdrop of the Hawaiian Isles made this journey a trip for all to take Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Loved our cruise and would recommend it. We were first time cruisers on our honeymoon in our early 30s. We opted to purchase the specialty restaurants, being Gluten Free we thought that was best and it worked out well, everyone was ... Read More
Loved our cruise and would recommend it. We were first time cruisers on our honeymoon in our early 30s. We opted to purchase the specialty restaurants, being Gluten Free we thought that was best and it worked out well, everyone was very accommodating and there were options for me. The Teppanyaki was the best I have had and I have had A LOT, great show, delicious food and good service. Jeffersons Bistro was our favourite. The food was excellent and by far the best creme brulee I have ever had! It was the best service I have EVER experienced in a restaurant. The manager Addy from Romania and Head Chef both came out to see how our meals were which I thought was really nice. The next day at breakfast Addy saw me before I saw him and bought me a plate with gluten free toast and muffin, was so impressed! Moderno I wasn't a fan, but if you love your meat and lots of it you would probably like it. Cagneys I don't eat steak but my husband enjoyed it. The Liberty restaurant we went to twice and it was very tasty and the service was good too. Maui is our favourite island, rent a car and drive over to Lahaina - stay there for one night, check out Front St - amazing art galleries, restaurants, shops. Beautiful beaches. We rented a couple of stand up paddle boards. That was lots of fun. Shore excursions - do your homework and try not to book through the cruise ship unless you have to, as you will pay a lot more! Hilo we did a helicopter tour with Safari it was very good. Then did a hop on hop off bus which is worth doing. Hilo is a very old town. Pretty swimming spots. Kona we did the Captain Zodiac tour and that was a whole lot of fun. Highly recommend doing that one if you like snorkeling. We had spinner dolphins jumping out of the water which was pretty awesome. Have a walk around the township, very cool town. Kauai is just beautiful, we did a aeroplane tour just us two with "Wings of Kauai" they are half the price of others and very professional and lovely people that run it. Def book with them if that is something you want to do - it is a great way to see the whole Island including Jurrasic Falls and the Napali Coast in a short time. Entertainment on the ship is good. Games are fun and the live music is good. Could do with mixing up the music a bit. Overall we really enjoyed our cruise. The crew and staff were all very helpful and friendly. Food at the buffet was good but I have expensive taste so if that sounds like you, do the specialty restaurants some nights. Would recommend it to anyone that wants to see what else Hawaii has to offer. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Having read quite a few negative reviews before we departed, we were a little apprehensive but we needn't have worried, as this cruise more than met our expectations. From the moment we arrived at the cruise terminal until the moment ... Read More
Having read quite a few negative reviews before we departed, we were a little apprehensive but we needn't have worried, as this cruise more than met our expectations. From the moment we arrived at the cruise terminal until the moment we disembarked, we really did feel part of a big family party! The entertainment was superb, far more than we could fit in! The staff, from our cabin steward through to the waiters and bar staff were excellent. We were always treated with a warm smile and greeting and nothing was too much trouble for them. I would certainly recommend this cruise to family and friends. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Here are my pros and cons of this Cruise on Pride of America NCL cruise line: Pros: Flight in a couple days early before you board the ship Honolulu was great to explore and you don't have to worry about your flight being late ... Read More
Here are my pros and cons of this Cruise on Pride of America NCL cruise line: Pros: Flight in a couple days early before you board the ship Honolulu was great to explore and you don't have to worry about your flight being late like ours was. This cruise takes you to the Hawaii islands without having the 5 day at sea that the other cruise line requires. Free style cruising means you can eat when you want to which is a real advantage. You have option of dressing up as much or as little as you like for dinner. Entertainment was great and lots of it. Loved the wine bar entertainment. Walk off Disembarkation was way better than waiting to be called to disembark. Cabins with balcony was a good size and kept very clean. NCL app for activities was handy to have. The ports in Hawaii islands were spectacular. Cons: I have never been on a cruise ship where the staff had an attitude. They need to only hire people who want to give the client a great experience. Not ones that are irritated that they have to service you. When asked how is the steak and server responds, "how should I know I don't eat meat". Food was so so. Most of the restaurant the food was served cold and had to be sent back. Even in the specialty restaurant where you were paying extra. In my option paying extra for the restaurants was not worth it. Staff in bars and restaurants always trying to get you to pay more, bigger size, real lime juice, premium grade etc. all costing you more. I have been in a hurricane on a Disney cruise and it wasn't as rocky as this ship. It was rocking every time we were sailing. I only got a good nights sleep when I was in port. They charge 18% gratuity on everything but they still put a tip option on every receipt hoping people forget that they have already paid the gratuity. As a seasoned cruiser with experience on many other cruise line this ship was a disappointment but the Ports were not. Since this was my first NCL ship I don't think I would ever sail with them again. But this cruise did give us what we were looking for and that was to see the Hawaii islands without being 5 days at sea to get there. So if have to decide on this ship for that reason because this ship is your only option. So don't set your expectation high and don't think it is going to be like the other ships you have been on. It will serve the purpose and you won't gain weight on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was both the first cruise AND first trip to Hawaii for my significant other and I. As this was an incentive trip through a vendor I deal with at work, the destination and cruise line were not my decision (however, who is going to ... Read More
This was both the first cruise AND first trip to Hawaii for my significant other and I. As this was an incentive trip through a vendor I deal with at work, the destination and cruise line were not my decision (however, who is going to complain about Hawaii OR a cruise??) We participated in several of the ship's free lessons, including a swing dancing class and a kukui nut lei making class. We enjoyed both; neither took a lot of time, and if we were on a cruise with more at sea time, we would have taken part in more of the offered activities. Most of our days were busy with excursions, either through the ship or just taking off on our own, and we spent most evenings on the ship, with a few exceptions. The nights we were on board, we spend most of our time in the Club Waikiki bar, enjoying the many themed dance parties they offered. The bartenders and servers at the Waikiki bar were fantastic. We dined twice at one of the free dining rooms, the Skyline, and once we enjoyed some Teppanyaki. Breakfast was nearly always at the Aloha Cafe breakfast buffet, which offered a lot of choices (and a LOT of pineapple!) We enjoyed all of our meals. Getting back on the ship was always easy, but the security folks were not all too friendly. I don't think Norwegian actually employs the port security, so I wouldn't hold that against them. The two official excursions we went on were a rainforest hike in Maui, and Canopy ziplining in Kauai. Both were well worth the cost; I was able to realize one of my Hawaiian adventure goals by swimming in a waterfall lagoon on the rainforest hike, and my boyfriend was able to achieve one of his by cliff diving! Overall, I think if we were on a cruise that was at sea for longer than overnight, I would have preferred a larger ship, with bigger swimming pools, and even more activities, but for a Hawaiian cruise, the ship was perfect. There was no way we would have had any time to partake in more shipboard activities because we wanted to spend as much time as possible enjoying the beach and other land activities! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We are frequent cruisers...usually on Princess but have also cruised with Holland America, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Crystal and Windstar. We were apprehensive about this cruise due to some very negative reviews particularly regarding ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers...usually on Princess but have also cruised with Holland America, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Crystal and Windstar. We were apprehensive about this cruise due to some very negative reviews particularly regarding the age of the ship. We chose it because Vancouver is our home port and it required no flying...Hawaii is also a favorite land stay destination for us. We got a VERY pleasant surprise as soon as we boarded the ship. She is in very good shape. All public area carpet has been replaced, windows were washed, tables and chairs clean and none broken, cabin spotless. There were a few areas around the ship that were leaking from the ceiling but engineering was on top of it all right away and buckets soon disappeared. Some public toilets didnt work for a few days but after educating the public about the type of toilet they were using and what NOT to do, all toilets were wroking fine. There was continual varnishing, paint touchups, window washing etc. going on all throughout the cruise. Can not say enough about the staff. Cabin steward went above and beyond her duties and no request was too small to fulfill. All service staff were friendly and we were greeted by everyone who passed us in the hallway. We were asked to purchase coffee and bar packages on the first and second day only...no one approached us after that. We have found that Princess has made great improvements in this area. The bar server in the bar we most frequented remembered our names and drinks daily. Dining room staff pleasant and efficient though our waitier had limited English making conversation and asking questions difficult. Service in buffet area plentiful, sometimes a bit gruff but they have been up since early in the morning and they work very long hours. Food in dining room became a bit repetative...only so many ways to cook pork and chicken. It was well presented and usually hot. No problen substituting items if you wanted. Buffet became very tiresome and we really only used it for the salad and fruit bar. Pizza...fair. Burgers and hotdogs...awesome. Ice cream really ice milk and we didnt enjoy it...except the real stuff which was served in the dining room only. Room serive prompt and correct. Would have like to have tried the added Crab Shack (for a fee) but it was always full. Entertainment was the best we have had on a cruise. 2 different shows everyday for 15 days. Only glitch was trying to get to the second show on time after dining late. Music, singers, comediens, dancers, crew show, passenger talent show...all great. LOTS of avtivities (some Hawaiin themed) to keep anyone busy as there were many sea days on this cruises. Had only 4 ports on this cruise of the Hawaiian Islands. All went smoothly, even the tender in Lahiana. Did not use Princess excursions...prices are just too expensive. Our cabin was a balcony cabin on the Lido deck and about as far forward as it could get. We would not do this again, particularly if there are lot of sea days. There is lots of movement when that far forward and extra noise from the bow as it sails though the large swells. It was of average size. Could always use a bigger shower. We used our balcony everyday and only sail in balcony cabins. We had a respiratory illness spread throughout the ship as well as a small outbreak of noro virus. Princess was on top of things medically and in stepping up cleaning proceedures. We were at sea 11 out of 15 days so it seemed inevitable that there would be some kind of illness set in. No complaints about how things were handled. Embarkation was awesome. 18 minutes from the time we were called to exit our holding area to the time we were on the street hailing a cab home. In summary, I just dont know why people have to find something to complain about. Its almost like we have to question whether or not we were on the same ship as some of the other reviewers. No sailing/ship is ever perfect. Princess is fairly priced and offers a great product for the price. There are more superior lines out there (some we have sailed on) but in our opinion, they are usually not worth the extra money. Happy sailing everyone. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Our first cruise on the Pride of America through the Hawaiian Islands was a success from start to finish. Our cabin, the dining options, the onboard activities, on shore excursions and the 5 star service from beginning to end made this a ... Read More
Our first cruise on the Pride of America through the Hawaiian Islands was a success from start to finish. Our cabin, the dining options, the onboard activities, on shore excursions and the 5 star service from beginning to end made this a "best" vacation. we will treasure the photos and the memories for months/years to come. We arrived 3 days early and spent time on Oahu exploring Pearl Harbor, the Polynesian Cultural Center and Kailua. We stayed at the Outrigger on Waikiki, where the sunsets were gorgeous and Duke's for breakfast and for a nightcap was a huge bonus. We board the POA on a Saturday morning; easy and efficient process, complete with orchid lei and our first official cruise photo; so many more of these to come, we brought home a package of 20 to remember our cruise. Freestyle Dining exceeded our expectations. No set dining time, required seating; we had options for every meal, on each day. The variety was excellent. The only thing we missed was a Mexican food option, but POA has Tacos every Tuesday in the Aloha Café. Our favorite excursion was Blue Hawaiian Helicopter on Kauai; over the top outstanding. Barrett the pilot is the training for BHH; his knowledge of the island the entire flight was amazing. This is a Must Do for everyone. Our cabin steward surprised us with a whimsical "towel" animal each day, the cabin was well maintained and very comfortable. New mattresses and a large balcony extended the size of our cabin, we recommend this option. Each day there were more activities on board than we could do; the variety was great, something for everyone. We ended the cruise with a "Behind the Scenes" tour of the ship, exploring the galley, Stage, dressing rooms, laundry, environmental services and finishing the tour on the Bridge with the First Officer. Amazing. Disembarkation was efficient, we were on shore and off to the airport with our bags in less than an hour. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our first cruise and we flew from Heathrow, England, to join the ship in Vancouver. We had a delay in England and arrived in Vancouver 5 hours late although we were staying in a hotel overnight so we were ok. We joined Radiance ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we flew from Heathrow, England, to join the ship in Vancouver. We had a delay in England and arrived in Vancouver 5 hours late although we were staying in a hotel overnight so we were ok. We joined Radiance of the seas the following day and our initial experience was good. The interior suite was bigger than we thought it would be and was perfect. Plenty of room and comfortable. The ship was easy to find our way around as there were lifts and each floor had a plan . The staff were always happy and helpful. Our room was cleaned every day and the cleaner always asked if we needed anything or how everything was, after a couple of days he even knew our names. We had 6 days at sea and made lots of friends who we sat with every evening for our meals. Apart from the first day when we went to the Windjammer buffet restaurant we ate at Cascades for all our meals. It was waiter service and easier to watch what we ate. There was always a full program of activities or you can do your own thing. We thought the prices of drinks were steep at $10 a cocktail plus tax and $5 for decent coffee at Latitudes Starbucks. We were disappointed with the fact that there were no overnight stops in Hawaii as we sailed 6 pm every night out of the 5 days in Hawaii. We would have liked to have gone to a Luau and because Honolulu was our final stop and we had to fly home we weren't able to visit Pearl Harbor, 2 of the main things to visit Hawaii for. As for the ship it was amazing and we would definitely cruise again . The cleanliness and the food plus the facilities were second to none, and the staff amazing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
we did the 10 days from vancouver to Hawaii this fall. loved the 6 sea days. the staff on this ship are so attentive and personable. lots of fun activities. Steve the CD and Jeremy the AD were both a blast and planned a great trip for us. ... Read More
we did the 10 days from vancouver to Hawaii this fall. loved the 6 sea days. the staff on this ship are so attentive and personable. lots of fun activities. Steve the CD and Jeremy the AD were both a blast and planned a great trip for us. food was exceptional and the nightly shows were a good mix to make everyone happy. our favorite part was the sea days. just miles of blue water, sitting on deck, napping. forced relaxation. would definitely do this trip again. we are a lesbian couple and were concerned about how we would be treated, especially when i dressed in a tux for formal night. at all times we were treated with the best service and respect. highly recommend this cruise line for gay and lesbian travelers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Aukai: Hawaiian Language/Olelo Hawaii: to swim or travel by means of the sea. This was our first cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed The Pride of America; so much so that we did not leave the ship. Having lived on Maui for over 22 years, we ... Read More
Aukai: Hawaiian Language/Olelo Hawaii: to swim or travel by means of the sea. This was our first cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed The Pride of America; so much so that we did not leave the ship. Having lived on Maui for over 22 years, we have traveled to all of the Hawaiian Islands, multiple times, for both business and pleasure. Therefore, we enjoyed our "aukai" experience, traveling by means of the sea, to it's fullest extent by being on the water as much as possible. I gave Embarkation an average rating; while we are thankful that we could board at our home port of Kahului, we had to walk down an extremely long and narrow fenced in path after being dropped off by friends behind the Old Kahului Railroad Station. As I had ALL my luggage at that point, it was a difficult and uncomfortable transfer. Once on board, however, the magic began. The Pride of America made it easy for us to fill our days with both relaxation and entertainment. There was so much to do that we never even practiced playing the two ukulele we purchased prior to the journey. The only excursion I paid for was the ship tour. I am VERY grateful that I was able to go on the behind the scenes, and under the passenger decks tour. The grand finale was visiting the Bridge. I highly recommend this "shore excursion". It is limited to a very small group, so book early. The Crew and Staff on board were professional and warmly accommodating. From the housekeepers and wait staff to the Captain, we send our gratitude for truly helping us vacate our daily lives while sailing around the islands we have called home for so long. Mahalo a nui loa. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was my first time cruising and we chose Pride of America primarily for its itinerary. Even though we had to change our itinerary due to weather, it did not disappoint. I enjoyed the shore excursions (and it is best to book through the ... Read More
This was my first time cruising and we chose Pride of America primarily for its itinerary. Even though we had to change our itinerary due to weather, it did not disappoint. I enjoyed the shore excursions (and it is best to book through the ship in case there are changes to the itinerary). The on board entertainment was great too. I personally enjoyed spending time where the live music was. The cruise staff were great at trying to get people involved in games, activities and parties on board. The crew were very friendly overall and the ship was kept very clean. Our room attendant was excellent and very accommodating. All in all I cannot wait to go back. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Overall the cruise was good. Embarking the ship went well there was a friendly staff member to greet us just as we were about to board the ship. There were not alot of interesting activities since gambling for $$ is illegal in Hawaii ... Read More
Overall the cruise was good. Embarking the ship went well there was a friendly staff member to greet us just as we were about to board the ship. There were not alot of interesting activities since gambling for $$ is illegal in Hawaii (includes bingo and casinos ) - the lei making class, the movie trivia and the fitness center were the only activities of interest. The pools were small and always crowded. Finding an empty desk chair could be a challenge sometimes. Dining in the Skyline restaurant was the best place to eat meals. The aloha cafe was always crowded and there were long lines at many of the stations. The dining experience in the aloha cafe was 'forgettable'. Our cabin was smaller than most cruise lines but the patio was well worth paying the extra costs. I enjoyed watching the sun rises every morning. The cabin attendant was nice and the room was always kept clean. The entertainment was average - I've seen bigger/glitzier shows on other cruise lines. Dining in the specialty restaurants was 'okay' - I would probably skip the Bistro and the Italian restaurant the next time. The food was just okay - not really worth the extra charge. Stay away from East meets West....the service in this restaurant was the slowest. Since they do not take reservations - make sure you are in line before the restaurant opens at 5:30; otherwise expect a 60 - 90 minute wait. Regardless of which restaurant you dine in, make sure you tell your server that you have a show or activity to attend ; otherwise expect the dining experience to take anywhere from 90 - 120 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015

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