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24 Hawaii Singles Cruise Reviews

Selected cruise for its Hawaiian ports and warm weather plus sailing on the Grand via San Francisco. Amazing cruise, amazing service by Grand Princess staff, and beautiful islands. Highly recommend Grand Princess for its world class ... Read More
Selected cruise for its Hawaiian ports and warm weather plus sailing on the Grand via San Francisco. Amazing cruise, amazing service by Grand Princess staff, and beautiful islands. Highly recommend Grand Princess for its world class service, wonderful and warm staff, and clean ship. Though it's an older ship, staff work hard to maintain the Grand Princess, and officers and staff were present throughout the ship 24/7. Had an excellent cabin steward and professional and wonderful dining room wait staff. Amazing trip onboard the beautiful Grand Princess! Like our waiter, Jonel Bola said, "The Grand Princess is known for #1 service out of its entire fleet of 18 vessels." The entire dining room staff was amazing and wonderful to all its dining passengers. The food was good, plenty of desserts to choose from, and staff are generous with service, extras/portions, drinks, and smiles! All staff throughout the ship were kind, courteous, warm, and provided consistent service and were very hard working. Service throughout the ship was consistent and amazing! Ship Captain, JP Bryant, was very nice and courteous and always greeted passengers pleasantly. This was a 16-day cruise! Have done shorter and longer cruises, but a 16-day is a perfect amount of time for a winter getaway! I highly recommend the beautiful Grand Princess! Others might be concerned that it's an older ship but I find it to be quaint, comfortable, has character, beautiful, has internet service, and has excellent and consistent customer service. I've sailed on the Grand 6 times and each time I've experienced consistent customer service! And, if something wasn't right, staff will work quickly and very hard to make the problem right! No complaints when I'm on the Grand! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I am currantly on day seven of a ten night cruise aboard Ovation of the Seas. I embarked in Vancouver and will end up in Hawaii. Here are my obsevations so far: First of all I love Royal Caribbean and have sailed twice before with ... Read More
I am currantly on day seven of a ten night cruise aboard Ovation of the Seas. I embarked in Vancouver and will end up in Hawaii. Here are my obsevations so far: First of all I love Royal Caribbean and have sailed twice before with them, most recently on the Allure of the Seas, see my review here…….https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=652523 I do love the big ships with the Oasis class being the largest. Let me start with the negatives as it relates to this Quantum class Ovation of the Seas… When I first boarded her in Vancouver the process was somewhat confusing as there was no separate area for Crown and Anchor guests or for people who may have purchased the ‘Key” as I did on Allure. No biggie. It took about 20 minutes to get on board beginning at 11am. The instant I stepped foot on board I felt that I had made a huge mistake in booking this ship. It was jammed to the max right at 11:30 am and we were herded through what I would discribe as an airport high end shopping mall filled with glitzy expensive jewlery shops….Bulvgari, Cartiere etc etc..what seemed like dozens of them…It was shoulder to shoulder jammed as if I were in the Bangkok airport between gates. Yuk! The Promenade is tiny in my opinion for a ship that has this many people on it! Its as if RCI felt that shopping for a diamond watch was way more important than the common areas where normally one would find the bars and food venues sepatate from the occaisonal guest who needs to buy a Gucci handbag on a cruise. The central common area is all about shopping and not about complimentary needs for Ovations' passengers..They are after thoughts just stuck into deck four and five….so consequently you NEVER have the feeling that you are at Schooner's Bar, The Pub, Jamies Italian etc…you are in a mall and you are always facing a high end shop, always…while you eat your upcharged meal or have a pint in the pub. On the Oasis class Central Park and to a great extent the Royal Promenade allow separtaion and the actual feeling that you are in a venue catering to you. Even Vintages wine bar on Ovation is an after thought stuck right in the open of the mall. I hated this whole concept and felt totally let down compared to my previous experiences on Allue and Independence. As the days went by the ship did open up and I was relieved that my first impressions wore off but overtime if you want to go from one end of the ship to the other you go tru the mall unless you go tru deck 14 which I tried to do most of the time. There are way too many people on this ship for the overall design which I’m told was originally for the Asian market. On Oasis class ships I never once felt crammed in and crowded and they have even more people on them. The four main dining rooms allow pasengers to eat either Mytime or fixed seating.. I chose The Grand dining room and requested a table before boarding and once again Royal came through. Very happy with my table and I like the Grand dining room much better than Silk, American Icon or Chic. The food on Ovation so far has been hit or miss. I’m not one to complain about food on a cruise ship, there is a ton of it everywhere and you should be able to satisfy your hunger 24 hours as you can do on Ovation. I have noticed that compared to Allure last December the food on Ovation particularly in Windjammer leans toward the lower end of quality. Not a carving station in sight offering up a huge roast or ham..nope they actually have a tiny canned ham being carved for breakfast. Not a strawberry or blueberry to be found anywhere. Basically the exact same breakfast every day. The main dining room food so far has been hit or miss. I have eggs benedict in the main dinig room everyday and it comes out fast and cooked to perfection. You can find some good stuff at Cafe Two70 and its towards the aft of the ship and is generally quiet…good sandwiches, soups etc.. The Solarium Bistro has some good stuff for dinner and is quiet as well. The usual faire is out and about throughout the ship and like I said you won't go hungry. I just feel that the bean counters at Royal like at Disneyworld are cutting it close with the lower quality food and pushing one towards the uncharge venues. I purchased the unlimited dining package and for $20 a day I can eat at Chops for lunch (sea days) and dinner and at Jamie’s Italian and at Wonderland and Izzumi’s. Izzumi’s is always empty and Wonderland doesn’t interest me so I found myself at Jamie’s and Chops looking for the better quality food since I paid the price. Unfortunately both have disappointed so far. Jamie’s is nothing special and the service leaves much to be desired. Its chaotic and the seats are hard as a rock as they are basically metal uncushioned chairs. And you look out at the shoping mall jewerly stores. Yuk. Chops is pretty basic with much better service..its tucked in the corner of Schonner's Bar. Lots of Aussies and international passengers and more African Americans than I’ve ever seen before on this cruise. Many folks can be found smoking in the smoking area on deck 14 next to the pool. I never once had a free hand cocktail poured for me. They measure each drink and I found this to be a bummer too whereas my previous cruises they freehand poured…not sure if this is fleet wide but it hasn't ruined my cruise as I dont drink that much anyway. There are hardly any kids on this cruise for what thats worth. There are two formal nights and I find that most people dress up and enjoy looking their best with many of the older folks still in black tie. Its a huge mix of traditional cruisers and the run of the mill riff raff… I did witness a family siting at Vintages and the adult son in his 30s was siting there with his shoes off with his dirty feet UP ON THE table where people are going to be spending $100 to drink champagne. It really bothered me and I asked the bartender to tell him to put his feet down off the table. She was hesitant to do so but obliged me. Unfortunately this is the world we live in today. And he was with his parents. What does that tell ya? Now on to the good stuff. The crew is fabulous and again its amazing how they all maintain their attitudes. Its the best part about cruising, the amazing service everywhere. Bravo to Royal. My stateroom attendant is fabulous and my dining room waiter is excellent. The ship itself is beautiful and sparking clean. The venues for entertainment and the entertainment itself is great.. Lots to do. Lots of music and high tech stuff especially the venue in the aft of the ship. Seaplex is great, Ifly and Northstar etc. Plenty to do, good food, great crew, beautiful ship. I doubt I’d sail on this class of ship again but I love Royal Caribbean and am having a great cruise so far. The little things I’d like to see changed are not going to change as long as the bottom line and increased profits for shareholders take precidant over everything else. Oh yeah the wifi is fantastic…full streaming the whole way across the Pacific no problem which allowed me to watch my Xifinity account as there isn’t much on the TV they provide. My interior stateroom with a virtual balcony is well appointed and very comfortable. First time with an interior. There is some noise from adjacent rooms and toilets flushing but its no big deal. Looking forward to my next cruise onboard the newly revamped Oasis of the Seas in two months. Hope this review helps others to decide about Ovation of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had chose this cruise to celebrate our 32nd Wedding Anniversary & also my daughter;s MA graduation, but also to see the Islands Of Hawaii. This is out fourth cruise , but first time crusing in Hawaii. We enjoyed the itinerary ... Read More
We had chose this cruise to celebrate our 32nd Wedding Anniversary & also my daughter;s MA graduation, but also to see the Islands Of Hawaii. This is out fourth cruise , but first time crusing in Hawaii. We enjoyed the itinerary through the 4 Hawaii Island, but completely did not enjoyed NCL Pride Of America. In my opinon, having been on 4 other cruises on other cruiseline, NCL took advantage of being the only ship monopoly sailing the 4 island, inflated the fare to average $1617.00 per person , is what we paid, family of three $4850.74, offered horrible food, sloppy services, dirty smelly ship, public areas and stateroom. On embarkation @ 2:50 Pm, Our Anniversary Champange gifted to us by The Ourtrigger Hotel Waikiki was confiscated by NCL, citing security reason ! No welcome at embarkation, there were no one except security at the ship entrance. we did not have our lunch and make our way to Deck 11, Aloha Cafe, which was suppossed to be 24 hours buffet, as you would expect in any cruise ship. Most of the food station was empty and or half empty. Fruits juices that you dispensed from the dispenser were so diluted and taste so bad that you are better off drinking plain water and have your senses and taste bud insulted. The balcony stateroom was so small that when the third person extra bed in set up, there;s literally no walking space without having to climb on beds to wealk through. Stateroom floor was always empty, amenities not refilled, we have to call almost every other nights to get our conditioner replenish. Imagine the girls going wihout conditioner on their hair ? On our 2nd day on the cruise, raw sewage stench begin to exit into the ship HVAC System corridor and stateroom, it was so bad for several days that we have to open our balcony slider to take fresh sea air. Complaint to guest services were met with 'sorry' and a 'plate of chocolates'. My daughter and spouse nauseated several times. The raw sewage odor is so revolting that you will be overcome by it. See photos attached, breakfast at the buffet was like a 'war' packed with crowds fighting for table space and food. Most of the buffet chafing tray are always empty and or almost empty. I have yet to visit a day without seeing one easy, happy morning breakfast. Dirty rusty brooms are an usual sight on this ship ( See Photos ) One morning we decide to try the Main Dining room skyline Breakfast, for a change, our order for omelette was responded with, 'It will be a 45-minutes wait, Sir', would you like a scramble egg instead ? If you considering cruising Pride Of America, beware the ship's is very old and have serious mechanical HVAC Issues, permiting raw sewage stench into the guest staterooms and public areas, we came home feeling very sick from inhaling the sewage raw stench and eating the poor bad food served on board. See attached photos Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I joined Norweigan cruise 7 night Hawaii Islands. I joined single and I paid good amount of money. But I don't think it worths the money I paid. The good things first Hawaii is great. Bad things, everything except food is ... Read More
I joined Norweigan cruise 7 night Hawaii Islands. I joined single and I paid good amount of money. But I don't think it worths the money I paid. The good things first Hawaii is great. Bad things, everything except food is payable. I have to pay 9.98 if I want to watch a movie in the tv in my room. I don't even listen the music. There isn't much thing to do in the ship. The entertainment is very poor. Before I joined two cruises with Princess and they were much more better than Norweigan. The food was better, the entertainment were far more better. Also Princess gives you beach tote, so if you foreget to bring your beach tote you can use it. But Norweigan didn't give anything. I could watch tv free in Princess but I have to pay in Norweigan. Princess cruises had big screen top of the cruise, so you could watch film or any sports activity there, Norweigan doesn't have screen on the top of the ship. The food area in Princess were bigger than Norweigan. Here is a little bit narrow, because of that there is a chaos in breakfast lunch and dinner time in self service area. The one other small thing, in Princess the staff left chocolate on your bed after clean the room. There isn't anything like in Norweigan cruise Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I was a bit leery after reading negative reviews of this cruise, especially in regards to the food and the service. We found that to be not true at all. The food was fresh, hot, and tasty in the buffet and especially in the specialty ... Read More
I was a bit leery after reading negative reviews of this cruise, especially in regards to the food and the service. We found that to be not true at all. The food was fresh, hot, and tasty in the buffet and especially in the specialty restaurants. The specialty restaurants arem a separate fee, but a package price is available. We found that the staff went out of their way to assist, and interact. The entertainment was good but not great, but they had many extra activities like dance classes and lei making. The shore excursions seemed overpriced, so we just rented a car in each port and that worked very smoothly. We were able to see the things that we were most interested in. The price was more than your ordinary cruise elsewhere, so it scored lower on the value area. We are glad we took this cruise and would highly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Because of the name NCL Norwegian pride of America. the food was OMG, all the Excursion that I attended were fabulous the luau took my breath away ,pictures for a lifetime great friends great company met a lot of people very friendly love ... Read More
Because of the name NCL Norwegian pride of America. the food was OMG, all the Excursion that I attended were fabulous the luau took my breath away ,pictures for a lifetime great friends great company met a lot of people very friendly love every moment of it. Can't wait for my Alaskan cruise. It was so much to do on the ship you really didn't have to get off for any excursions but I chose to and it was absolutely amazing like I said earlier I would love for my family too join me next time. The staff was so knowledgeable courteous the ship's director Miss Jamie girl you rock. The gelato the prime rib going to the clubs at night and I don't even Club but I did while I was on your ship. And all my memorabilia that I brought that with me souvenirs for friends and family. And it was so easy getting on and getting off of the ship that's a plus that's kudos keep up the good work see you soon. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Hi. Just off the boat Saturday 9th June. Trip to Big Island cancelled due to volcanic issues on the island. So first night spent In Honolulu which was a disappointment but fully understood. Compensated $50 port charges so make sure you ... Read More
Hi. Just off the boat Saturday 9th June. Trip to Big Island cancelled due to volcanic issues on the island. So first night spent In Honolulu which was a disappointment but fully understood. Compensated $50 port charges so make sure you settle your account after the ship leaves the last port. We had a suite cabin on deck 13 ( Portside ) the best side to view the Napali Coast, one can enjoy the views directly from their own private deck. We chose to enjoy the ship and did only one paid shore excursion thru the ship helicopter trip called Heaven & Earth on Kauai $399 each. In our country we drive on the left so did no feel comfortable driving in Hawaii. With the helicopter flight we got a good land tour, lunch. Pickup from the ship at 10am, drive to lighthouse, beach & lunch, great tour guide in new Mercedes-Benz’s van. Transported to heliport at 2.45pm, safety briefing etc then 50 minute flight over Waimea Canyon and Nepali Coast. Weather not the greatest in some parts with rain but pilot did a great job. ( recommend ). Then transported back to the ship by 5.15pm. Airport about 10 minutes away from the ship. Our daily routine was up for a swim at 8am so one could swim some lengths before the crowd arrives. (Pool opens at 8am ). Clean up and breakfast and lunch at Cagneys Restaurant ( suite passengers only ) but same food as other restaurant but just gets served to you. We liked that as we would have put too much on our plates otherwise. Sun bath and then usual go ashore and wander around for a few hours. Booked 5.30pm meal times so we could enjoy the entertainment. Shows last 1 hour, then we would then go to the next show etc. Joel Meyers the magician excellent and very entertaining. Brenda Kaye the hypnotist also excellent. I volunteered and turned out I was the Star of the show. I supposedly put on a pretty good performance for every one. We attended her seminar also very informative. Recommend. On the last day suggest you pack your bags after lunch as they have to be out for collection by midnight. But on the last day the ship leaves port at 1.30pm, but there is shows and art auctions etc to go to. Plus the best viewing along the Napapli Coast is form 5.15pm to 6.15pm then back to back entertainment until 11pm. Then even a later party. For us a trip of a lifetime and we only booked a suite because my wife seen a deal which she could not resist......... she always says that when she spends. Recommend a suite. No queues, dining seating by the windows, treats left in the room etc. Only disappointment no trip to the big island. Big win for the cruise company though as they did not have to pay for the fuel would have used to cruise there. No bad cruises just bad cruisers. Enjoy we did. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Just came back from a 7 day Hawaiian cruise with the Pride of America, here are my comments.... - Embarkation, I tried to check in around 12:30; yet, the staff insisted on carrying my luggage to my room while I refused. They insisted ... Read More
Just came back from a 7 day Hawaiian cruise with the Pride of America, here are my comments.... - Embarkation, I tried to check in around 12:30; yet, the staff insisted on carrying my luggage to my room while I refused. They insisted and I let them at the end. But as I walked up to my cabin, it wasn't ready yet. The staff could have mentioned it as the reason, perhaps? - Dinning room - I ordered 2 or 3 main entrees and asked for them to be appetizer size so that I can sample; but that didn't work. The food still come in a big portion. Other ships from other lines I was on were able to do that. Service sometimes are slow as it took me 1 1/2 hour to finish a dinner one time. Not that I was in a hurry, but I sat for a bit long. While you think this might have something to do with the number of entrees and appetizers I might have ordered, I can only say that same dinning room, sometimes it was fast and efficient while other times were at snail pace. Also, some waiters seemed indifferent about their clients. I am no king, just comparing to others in the same dinning room on the same ship, not even other cruise ships from other lines I was on before. - Aloha Cafe - saw food on the floor being kicked around a number of times for around 15 or so minutes before someone swept it off the floor. - Food in general - sometimes a bit salty. Had a clamless clam chowder. Wait, how come there was clam on the 1st night when I had the clam chowder but not on the 4th night? There were also a bug jumping out from my salad too. It escaped to no where real fast. - Room - no water in the middle of the night? And when there was water, it was luke warm? At times, the flush didn't function in the room. - Safety drill - I was out on an excursion after dropping off my bag on the ship. The safety drill took place when I wasn't there. Fine. Was wondering how come no one made an effort to ensure that I know what to do in the case of an emergency. While the above seemed negative, the overall experience in other areas weren't that bad at all. The above examples all happened only once, except for the water and flushing ones. It's just missing a bit here and there in a few corners. Average, not exceptional, but not disappointing either. For this itinerary, it's still worth using this product, in my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Our dream of going to Hawaii for our 25th wedding anniversary. We were so disappointed with the company Princess. It was our 5 th croissière and the second with Princess. To start our bed was like a plywood board! Hard and not ... Read More
Our dream of going to Hawaii for our 25th wedding anniversary. We were so disappointed with the company Princess. It was our 5 th croissière and the second with Princess. To start our bed was like a plywood board! Hard and not comfortable. Even after notifying the customer service, the housekeeper has put extra covers ... And nothing more! Bad has my back all the holidays! (I've never had a problem before with my back and since I came back it all came back normal!) Secondly the buffet on the 14 floors, they could not find a place to sit, lots of older people with canes and walkers on our boat and they went around the two rooms without finding a place and finally margin in their room or coffee in the 5th and sometimes I found a place in the bar to eat a donut and a coffee. If I ended up finding a place I would fill so much couple as I am 42 years old and not give my place to an elderly person with difficulty in moving it. It's a lot of trouble because in town if a pregnant woman or an elderly person needs to sit it will give me pleasure to give her my place, this is part of my values. I find it awful to experience this. My trip costing me over $ 9000 can. And I think we should be forgetting to fight to find a place to eat is ridiculous! Or even lunch in his cabin! The dining rooms are open from 7 am to 9 am with services. They are ridiculous to put a alarm to be able to have a lunch on the boat. Following my complaint they did absolutely nothing! But they are not bother to take the total on our credit card. So disappointed with this trip ... thanks to Princess! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was my Number 1 bucket list trip. The itinerary was perfect but the ageing ship presented many plumbing issues, some cabins were flooded and a few unlucky passengers had to be moved several times. Bathroom flushing issues were taken ... Read More
This was my Number 1 bucket list trip. The itinerary was perfect but the ageing ship presented many plumbing issues, some cabins were flooded and a few unlucky passengers had to be moved several times. Bathroom flushing issues were taken care of in a timely manner. One deck had problems with no air conditioning. One of the two hot tubs was closed for most of the 33 days ..I mainly ate at the Lido buffet which served a variety of entrees and sides and the food was moist as long as you got there early. Dining room service is always slow. I had a lunch and a dinner in the Pinnacle,and was disappointed with the quality of the food. Fish was dry and the cioppino featured halibut that I couldn't pierce with a fork. Service was excellent. Desserts were always plentiful and the pastries were great. The WWII crowd loved the entertainment which featured a harmonica player, an accordion player, a magician, a comic, a violinist, and a former Olympic gymnast. Different movies were featured daily and could be viewed on the TV the next day. I did enjoy the daily Cooking demonstrations and the presentations on Gauguin. I chose this line for the itinerary but the steep single supplement was tough on my pocket. A majority of the ports were tendered, which presented many issues for the aged crowd. The first two ports were tendering fiascos due to mechanical issues that we were granted a one hour open bar from the captain. I would not sail this ship again, and rumor has it that it has been sold and is getting a total rebuild. This was my third HAL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Do this cruise every December, know many of crew and the Casino staff. Previous Star Princess cruises have been enjoyable and consistent in service. But I have noticed the reduction in Dining room staff has caused waiters to seem harried ... Read More
Do this cruise every December, know many of crew and the Casino staff. Previous Star Princess cruises have been enjoyable and consistent in service. But I have noticed the reduction in Dining room staff has caused waiters to seem harried and no time for small talk. Our waiter had 3 tables (24 people), Food has not been up to the standards of the past few years. Little things that count, no butter on table, almost impossible to get waiters attention for more of anything. Service and food in the Crown Grill is excellent, very well presented and the beef and veal are above anything served in the dining rooms. Sabatini's , the Italian restaurant has changed its menu and is no longer well attended. The entertainment seemed to lack the reviews or accolades I've experienced on previous Princess Cruises . Our group rarely stayed for any complete shows. Overall, It seems the new Princess Management is being overly cost conscious while they prepare for the upcoming major changes, "Ocean Medallion Class". Still the best cruise line for the money. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Beautiful San Diego,We arrived 1 day early, Dec 3rd, Watched the sunset at Sunset Cliffs.There was the evening Christmas Parade. The King's Inn, authentic Mexican food for dinner next door. Embarkation at 1.00pm was very fast ... Read More
Beautiful San Diego,We arrived 1 day early, Dec 3rd, Watched the sunset at Sunset Cliffs.There was the evening Christmas Parade. The King's Inn, authentic Mexican food for dinner next door. Embarkation at 1.00pm was very fast and our luggage was in our room within the hour.Correction, my luggage was missing, regardless We headed up to Lido Deck 8 like veteran cruisers for lunch...Asian curry noodles and rice quite authentic. Checked with Security where my bag was held and my small travel iron was confiscated until Ensenada.You can not pack extension cords either. My cabin was Ocean View 3343 mid deck, near the Clock Tower Atrium....which was beautifully Xmas decorated with gingerbread houses, train set.Christmas trees lights.. Cabin was great,, quiet and equidistant both ends of the Amsterdam, La Fontaine Dining room and Queens Lounge..Must mention that my Cabin Stewards Agus and Made were warm, friendly and unobtrusive, kept the cabin very clean and tidy. I look forward to the Towel Art and be surprised every evening. All the ports were excellent, You are in Paradise, The ship excursions were pretty good but We decided to rent a car where We can and explore the islands on our own. HAL ships' ON LOCATION .We had Kainoa who gave us lectures on Hawaiian Culture, History and personal stories of the islands, advice,maps, guidelines to plan your day ashore,the many places to see,and shore excursions. There were the Hula Dancers performances and Hula lessons.Ukulele lessons,Hawaiian Lei making classes ,....A deeper Hawaiian experience. Dec 4th, 5 lovely fun filled sea days,This beautiful ship had fresh flowers everywhere. I read books by Dean Koontz and Jeffrey Archer in The Exploration Cafe Library. Dec 10th, HONOLULU (Oahu). We took the bus transit to Hanauma Bay, for swimming and snorkeling,Not environmentally correct to walk on the coral and rocks,then a long walk on Waikiki Beach, and some shopping for a Ukulele (Better buy on Amazon). i've been to the Pearl Harbor Memorial before .. there wasn't enough time to do more. HILO (Hawaii) Dec 11th..We drove up to Mauna Kea (13 796 ft) At 9200 ft,The Onizuka Center, the road to the summit was blocked off because of frozen ice, so We decided to drive South to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.(original plan was to do this from Kona) Moana Loa was spewing lava before the mist covered everything. Took a walk through the Thurston Lava Tube. At the shoreline of black lava fields, Kilauea was actively erupting lava into the sea, shooting massive plumes of smoke and ashes into the sky that can bee seen from afar. Next day, Dec 12th KONA, There was no car rental shuttle.It's USD28 to get to the car rental and USD28 back so no car rental. We did the Hop On for USD15 each,At the beach stop,James went snorkeling with his Go Pro and I walked the tidal pools and beaches.Saw 5 turtles and lots of yellow fishes..James did the Atlantis submarine (USD85).while I went shopping. 6 packs of Macadamia nut chocs ($24) at Target and Ross is my favorite for bargain hunting, shoes, dresses and fine Italian soap.(Bulgari 100ml parfum $30). Dec 13th NAWILIWILI (Kauai). We drove through Lihue to Waimea Canyon,The Grand Canyon of Hawaii.Don't just stop here, keep on driving to the very end of the road and from here you can see the North shore of the island, the jagged cliffs overlooking the sea.here was where they filmed Jurassic Park. A stop at Wailua Falls, there was a rainbow, before heading back to the ship. Dec 14th LAHAINA (Maui). Make sure your car rental pick-up is at JHM Airport.(not Kahului Airport which is too far from Lahaina) and the last car rental shuttle return to pier is 4.00pm ($20 cab return to Pier at 6.30pm). Drove up to Hakeakala National Park, dormant volcano, elevation 10,024 ft. We were above the clouds !!!! Nature enthusiasts would love the unique flora , silver swords. THE ROAD TO HANA, yes, We decided to do partway of this road, time permitting because We don't know when We'll be back this way again, just to say "We were there.". Narrow winding road through rain forest.Stopped at a fruit stand, On the way back, We went to the beach to watch the surfers.I had a Maui shave ice for $5, don't do that, not natural flavoring, inedible I had to throw away. It's my birthday, the dining room staff sang a Happy Happy song, which also works for anniversaries or anything else (I speak the language) and also a Birthday cake. If they sang in reverse, Am I one year younger You think? The 5 sea days to Ensenada, Mexico Dec20th, a seaside town with a wet fish market, lots of touristsy shops.Had a walk around and back to the ship for TEA., delicious scones with berries preserve and clotted cream.Earl Grey. Dec 21st, San Diego.Last breakfast.Disembark,Took the shuttle to the airport USD10. The HiGH POINT of this wonderful and special cruise was the Scenic Sailing of Kilauea Volcano 10.00pm.I videoed from the ship's bow.The lava flowing into the sea, bright orange red spewing up against the dark night.Lots of steam and smoke. Captain Fred Eversen is cool. The Amsterdam Dancers and Singers and the other entertainers were Super Excellent. The Culinary Art Centre was standing room only, Lots of activities like Trivia and stuff.... Cruise director guys were cool. The food was Excellent and ALL the staff did their best to make this an amazing wonderful cruise. I did not win the $25,000 Bingo, ;( I did not win the Cruise Bingo. ;( Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Aloha!! Pride of America was stunning, and everyone that was working on the ship were awesome and really made us feel at home. Our room and balcony were beautiful, we had a breathtaking views of Hawaii's beautiful islands. This ... Read More
Aloha!! Pride of America was stunning, and everyone that was working on the ship were awesome and really made us feel at home. Our room and balcony were beautiful, we had a breathtaking views of Hawaii's beautiful islands. This was a wonderful way to view Hawaii for the first time. I am truly sad my trip is over and I wish I could have stayed on the cruise for many more weeks as I just had such an amazing time. The ship was newly renovated so everything looked beautiful. I loved walking on the open deck out side especially during sunrise. Since the time difference for me was 6 hours behind, I found myself waking up at around 5am every day which I enjoyed so much because I was able to catch all the gorgeous and picturesque sunrises every day! Dinning was very delicious. I loved the buffet area in the Aloha Cafe but we also really enjoyed the specialty dinning at all the different selection of restaurants offered on the ship. There were lots of entertainment and activities to do throughout the ship each and every day, and the service on the ship was world class, always treating us like VIPs with so much attention to our needs and being so helpful with any question we had. I did a shore excursion for each and every port we went to, and I booked them all with NCL. They were very organized and the descriptions for each excursion was very precisise. I loved everything about this trip. I recommend the Road to Hana in Maui, Helicopter Tour in Hilo over volcanos, and Kayak, Zip lining and ATVing in Kauai! I travelled with my husband and we both had such an amazing time, I would do this all over again if I could. I cannot wait to book my next trip with the Norwegian Cruise Line!!!!!!! Mahalo NCL for everything, you truly helped to create memories that will last a life time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Hawaii, it's on my list of plces to see as I enter my 66th year, I have sailed twice before with this cruise line so know the routine but it was still a daunting task going through the boarding process it took over 40 minutes,but I ... Read More
Hawaii, it's on my list of plces to see as I enter my 66th year, I have sailed twice before with this cruise line so know the routine but it was still a daunting task going through the boarding process it took over 40 minutes,but I need to remember they are jointly looking after my safety for the next week. All that behind me now and I am in a superb well laid out room on 7th deck and have a balcony view that I make the most of over the next 7 days. Every island stop was an adventure to me as was just going for a meal on board, plenty of variety it's your choice. The islanders are generous with their kindness. The ships crew and staff fall into this category for their friendly neighbourly approach. I went to the evening called 'Oh what a night' which included guys from the musical Jersey Boys show which I have seen twice in London and also in Las Vegas and generally the entertainment on board was excellent. The fantastic barman Bovic all made the long journey from UK worthwhile. The previous Two trips I took my white tuxedo but decided it would be very casual this time and I still never wore 50% of the tops I took with me so don't overdo the clothes thing. Met some great people, this included 4 honeymoon couples. Every one is so laid back. As a single traveller I still feel miffed at the single supplements but it was a trip to remember and perhaps repeat. Look the idea of cruising is about choice, the cruise line provide the goods it's up to you what you use and what you do. The problem is where do I go next after such a wonderful experience every day and every night. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We had two balcony cabins for the PoA cruise in March 2016 to bring her from dry dock in San Francisco back to Honolulu for her usual year-round island hopping. Departure was delayed by one day as the bad weather in SFO impacted some of ... Read More
We had two balcony cabins for the PoA cruise in March 2016 to bring her from dry dock in San Francisco back to Honolulu for her usual year-round island hopping. Departure was delayed by one day as the bad weather in SFO impacted some of the renovations. Boarding at Pier 27 was the most chaotic and unprofessional procedure that I ever had to witness, it took us 3,5 hours to get on the ship! Onboard we had to learn that significant areas of the ship would be inaccessible for the whole cruise: Spa, open deck space on decks 12 and 13, many of the public toilets. While we have understanding for the weather issues in dry dock which led to delays in remodeling the outdoor spaces, there is no excuse for not even having indoor stuff like toilets and Spa operational. Due to the uncompleted renovations we had extensive loud and dirty work being continued during the whole cruise (and they still weren’t finished when we disembarked in Honolulu). On top, in the midship area on decks 5 and 6 there was a constant smell of toilet waste - supposedly there were some issue with the AirCon. Speaking of the AirCon: It was running way too high in public areas (mostly in the forward section), half of the passengers left the ship ship sneezing and coughing - come on, we're sailling Hawaii! This brings me to the most disturbing topic which continued throughout the whole cruise: The level of service by the crew is significantly lower compared to the international ships. I never had to witness so many slow / sloppy / incompetent crew members on any ship (NCL or other cruise lines). I simply don't want staff who just hop on due to a cheap advertisement on Craig's List or CandyCrush (that's what the staff told me!) - I'm used to a professionally trained crew. But let's be fair: There were also several positive things. The "beautification" (as NCL calls it) brought many of the current standards on this somewhat aged ship. The specialty dining venues as well as the bars and fitness centre now look similar to the newer ships. And while only the suites got a full renovation, the other staterooms are still in quite a good shape. The Aloha Café is still too small, therefore suite guests are lucky to have Cagneys as their dedicated restaurant for breakfast and lunch. The food itself was NCL standard, which -personally- we like even if it lacks on this small ships a bit of the variety that you'll find on the bigger ships. The food quality and service in the specialty dining were great (obviously it helped that the corporate chef from NCL headquarters was onboard to brief the kitchen crew). One thing that we weren't aware of before the cruise: As this is the only NCL ship registered in the US, the laws of Hawaii prohibit an onboard Casino. And as the ship is usually only acting as a floating hotel on the Hawaiian islands, there are also no duty free shops (just "trashy" holiday items which you can get cheaper and nicer in every port of call). For domestic US travellers without real international experiences all of this might be sufficient - but compared to real international itineraries / ships / ships, the downsides are inacceptable for us. But then again: Should you do the standard island itinerary, you probably wouldn’t notice some of these flaws as you simply don’t have the time to experience them… And once all of the renovations are completed, the PoA is a nice ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I was interested in going to Hawaii and this is the only ship that leaves from Honolulu sailing to three other islands. You get a lot of time at four different ports. This cruise is more about the ports than the ship. I sailed before the ... Read More
I was interested in going to Hawaii and this is the only ship that leaves from Honolulu sailing to three other islands. You get a lot of time at four different ports. This cruise is more about the ports than the ship. I sailed before the ship went into dry dock for refurbishing so I do not know how it may have been improved. It is a small and older ship. It seems to attract more sedate cruisers. There are no nightclubs or the gimmicks of the newer and bigger ships. The food was good but not as good as The Epic. The entertainment was average -- mostly house bands. You do not get the Broadway Shows or big names that you would get on the bigger and newer ships. The ship seems to shut down by midnight which was ok with me. There is very limited shopping, only four or five shops but they sell some interesting Hawaiian Products. The cabins are expensive because there is no competition. I booked my excursions through NCL. Others preferred Roberts. Excursions were good but the drivers talk all the time and it can get tiring. You learn a lot but at times it is overload. The drivers were also a little greedy when it came to tips. They expected a big tip and even looked at what you gave them. It made me a little uncomfortable. I have read some negative reviews about POA but I do not believe they are deserved. The cruise is more about the ports than the ship. If nightclubs and water parks are important to you, this will not be the right ship. You are going to be in port almost every day. Now, that I have been once, I would;d love to go at least one more time. This is great way to get a taste of Hawaii. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We (two couples traveling) wanted to see the other Hawaiian islands that we had not visited previously and we thought this would be a great way to do it. We have cruised in the Caribbean on various cruise lines but had never cruised with ... Read More
We (two couples traveling) wanted to see the other Hawaiian islands that we had not visited previously and we thought this would be a great way to do it. We have cruised in the Caribbean on various cruise lines but had never cruised with Norwegian. With all this being said, the only reason I did not rate this cruise line and ship as "terrible" was the location of the cruise and the excursions were pretty good. That's the only thing it did right! The ship needs to be updated, the service is very sub-par, the food is not good, entertainment is poor and the rooms are smaller than competitor's ships. If you do choose to cruise on this ship, do not waste any $$ on the specialty restaurants other than Cagney's. We tried the Jefferson Bistro (had to wait over an hour for our main course and no one seem to care! ..... unbelievable), Cagney's and East Meets West. Cagney's food was good and the service was great. Can't say that about the other two restaurants. The main dining room food was o.k.....we only ate there once. The general dining staff was not friendly at all .... bar staff was friendly and chatty as you would expect. The excursion staff was helpful and friendly. So bottom line, as another reviewer stated, if Norwegian had any competition in Hawaii they would be out of business in a heartbeat. In the future, I will plan my own itinerary in the Hawaiian islands and fly from island to island. I am sure I can plan something better and less expensive than what Norwegian charges for their poor service! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
I had so much fun on my 7 day Hawaiian cruise. My friend and I flew in from Phoenix on a 6 1/2 hour Hawaiian Airline flight. It took awhile to get through the Boarding Process; but once through, the week was so much fun. Two ... Read More
I had so much fun on my 7 day Hawaiian cruise. My friend and I flew in from Phoenix on a 6 1/2 hour Hawaiian Airline flight. It took awhile to get through the Boarding Process; but once through, the week was so much fun. Two days in Maui. One day in Hilo and one in Kona on the Big Island. Two days in Kauai. This is my third visit to the Hawaiian Islands and hopefully, far from my last. I love the islands and this was a wonderful way to visit 3 islands on one visit. Port & Shore Excursions: Big Island Snorkel. Our group was the first to be loaded on the Tenders at Kona to be transported to the Body Glove catamaran at 7:15 am, which was nice for us because we had the full day until 5:30 pm, to explore Kona after the excursion. This Excursion was exceptional. The staff was informative, helpful, friendly, and patient. The food was abundant and delicious. The coral reef where we snorkeled was about 45 minutes from shore. We saw a pod of Spinner dolphins as we to the reef. Once we arrived, the snorkeling was very well organized. The view of the reef and the ocean life was excellent. The only challenge I faced on the snorkeling excursion was that I decided to go down the water slide. It was nothing like the big yellow slides at a water park. I pulled a muscle trying to get onto the slide and when I landed in the water, it felt like a giant slap to my whole body. I can't think of any way to enter the water more gently from the slide. I imagine that it hurts because of the speed and distance of the drop. It's not necessary to go down the water slide, and I would just skip that experience if I had it to do over again. Other than my decision to use the water slide, the rest of the experience was fun and memorable. Also, I was generous with use of sunscreen which I highly recommend. I brought my own spray on 50 spf sunscreen, and there was also sunscreen available on board. Thank you to the Big Island Excursion staff. They couldn't have been more helpful and considerate to a snorkeler with limited experience. Entertainment: The shows were amazing. I went to all of the 7:00 shows except for Thursday, Luau night. Performers were highly talented and professional. Costumes were gorgeous. The 'Oh What a Night' Tribute was probably the highest quality of all; but every show was a 5 star performance for me. The Cast was fabulous. Each show lasted about an hour and left me wanting more. I definitely recommend taking advantage of the superb entertainment offered at 7 and 9 pm nightly in the Hollywood Theater. Summary: Thank you to Norwegian and to all the staff that made it such a fabulous experience. Thanks especially to our Cabin Steward, Henry. Actually, the whole Pride of America staff treated us so well. I highly recommend Pride of America to anyone who wants to enjoy the islands along with a Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was my first cruise alone in 33 years. The Sun Princess is a lovely ship, a little dated, sure and the bed headboard and curtains in my cabin were well past replacement (and cleaning) date! The staff were not accommodating of a ... Read More
This was my first cruise alone in 33 years. The Sun Princess is a lovely ship, a little dated, sure and the bed headboard and curtains in my cabin were well past replacement (and cleaning) date! The staff were not accommodating of a single woman - particularly in the Horizon Cafe and the Crooners Bar. Often I sat for the entire meal without any service, only to watch a couple come and sit beside me served immediately, drink Sir? Cultural differences perhaps? Anyway, Princess, if you want to attract Australian women on your cruises you had better do a lot of Cultural Awareness Training of your wait staff on the Sun Princess. (remember: I paid exactly DOUBLE for just ONE person - plus balcony) The Cabin Steward was a great guy who made my tip special, often putting 2 or three chocolates on my pillow and creating a Butterfly from my negligee. However, the standout staff member was my Room Service Steward, Christie from the Philippines. Always cheerful and understanding - interested in my days activities - just a wonderful human being. The fine dining restaurants had super service - lovely wait staff. One thing I will mention is the overcrowding in the tenders - it was very hot and Aussies are large people - we were forced to crowd into the tenders making it very unpleasant for all concerned. The extra scanning I received when getting back onboard kept 'desensitizing' my room tag and when hot and tired I had to keep going back to the Customer Service desk for a new tag, very frustrating till I worked out what it was!!! The gym could have had a few extra cycles, and a few less walking machines - after all you can walk around the deck. Sickness abounded: Despite a flu injection prior to departure, I picked up a nasty throat infection which ruined my Hawaiian ports visits. Then, one the way home to Sydney I developed bronchitis. I am still recovering from that cough which was so bad it dislodged my retina! It was a really Sick Ship. Owing to others coughing I avoided most of the shows in the Princess Theater, but from reports they were mostly quality acts. There are a lot of activities and no one could complain that there was nothing to do. I spent a lot of time on my balcony, enjoying the view, listening to my music and reading. The balcony had two reclining chairs and a small table - quite often I enjoyed a bottle of wine and dinner out there enjoying the views. There was no trouble using the laundry facilities, as I did not go near them, did all the washing in my cabin handbasin, more than adequate. There was plenty of hanging space and lots of hangers. Soap and towels were replaced when necessary and the bed linen was kept immaculate by Arnel. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We used Princess transfers from the airport for the first time and was pleasantly surprised. They were easy to locate and other than waiting for the bus to fill up as others took longer to get their luggage, we were under way within about ... Read More
We used Princess transfers from the airport for the first time and was pleasantly surprised. They were easy to locate and other than waiting for the bus to fill up as others took longer to get their luggage, we were under way within about 45 minutes to an hour. Once there, embarkation was a breeze, there may have been 10 people in line ahead of us. The room itself was great, it was a minisuite on Dolphin deck and was spacious. Never felt cramped or crowded. Having the tub is a great perk of the minisuite, as is the extra sitting area. It was located very close to the elevators/stairs which would have been nice, except for it's location right outside the casino 3 decks below. As there is smoking in the casino, every time we opened our door we were hit with the smell of smoke that rose up through the staircases. The ship itself is not laid out that well, even towards the end of the 15 days I was getting lost on decks that didn't traverse the length of the ship. That being said, my more geographically strong room mate had no problem navigating the ship, so I may be in the minority that found it confusing. The casino is on deck 6 and cannot be avoided if you are walking on that deck. The smoking there is foul (in the opinion of a non smoker) and pollutes most of the ship. In a discussion with a crew member about the smoke, he said that it was kind of like having a peeing and non peeing area of a pool which describes it exactly. It doesn't matter that the rest of the ship is non smoking when there is a large smoking area that you must transit and that keeps its doors open the entire time. The library, which is usually my favourite spot on the entire ship is almost unusable on this ship for a non smoker. It is located right outside the doors to the casino and the smell in there is as powerful as being in the casino itself. The staff were good, but no real standouts, either bad or good, except for the entertainment staff. At the dance parties where I am very practised at remaining at the edges and just observing, the staff had me participating and having great fun. Callie is amazing as Deputy cruise director, probably the highlight of the cruise. The shows itself were not that great, they have reduced the length of them. The history of dance used to be much longer, but none of the production shows now seem to exceed 30 minutes. Also maybe I cruise with Princess too much, but all the production shows are the same. There hasn't been one I haven't seen in quite a few years. I was really looking forward to this cruise as I haven't been to Hawaii before other than one trip to Maui and sea days appeal to me. The weather was incredible, I think in the entire 15 days we only had a couple days of rain, though a lot of the sea days were quite cool, sometimes too cool to be out on deck. Inside there are not enough seating areas and most people ended up congregating in the buffet dining room for their cards, games or reading. The ports were nice, but it felt like there was not enough time in each. Hilo poured rain which is common there, perhaps Kihei would have been a better option there. (for me, as it rains at home a lot, not something overly enjoyed on vacation, other people may enjoy the wet lushness there) The tours in Hawaii are more consistently more expensive than other cruises I have been on. Next time I think investigating private tours might be a better option. Lahaina was incredibly beautiful, there are tons of things to do without a tour, just in walking along the areas close to the port. Nawilliwili was beautiful, we rented a car there for less than $50 and ended up just driving around and looking at things we wanted to see. Gorgeous island. Honolulu was spent at the Arizona memorial and City tour and while in the beginning was not all that convinced about seeing, I was glad we went. It is a sacred experience that makes one more grateful for what we have and helps to recognize the sacrifices that went into providing it for us. The 5 sea days heading back from Hawaii towards LA were very long. The weather cooled off the closer we got and there seemed less to do. Towards the end of the cruise, they started repeating the Movies under the Stars which seems strange. It wasn't a back to back, it was 15 days roundtrip and after the movies were on the big screen, they were played the next day in your room. So towards the end of the trip when you have done most things onboard that you want to, why would they also repeat the movies? We watched the Movies under the Stars almost every night until they started repeating them. After that the days got a bit boring towards the end and we were just kind of looking forward to it being over. Ensenada was a great stop. Wasn't really expecting it to be, but it was stunningly gorgeous weather, the wine tour was good and just walking around close to the port was good shopping. We used the first self walk off as we had an early flight and it was completely painless with very little waiting. Not sure how it was later into the process, but as we were one of the first groups off, it was very smooth. One thing to note, Princess has never really enforced their alcohol polices before, (in my experience) but one couple we met on board had alcohol poured out from their suitcases before it arrived on ship. It seems like they are now enforcing them, so adhere to it so you don't lose your alcohol. All in all I enjoyed this trip, mostly because of the stops. I wouldn't sail on the Smoky Sapphire Princess again.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I'd just recently sailed on the Carnival Splendor on 01/19/2013 for a 15-day cruise to Hawaii with my girlfriend, Sylvia. There were some positive things and there were some negative things about the cruise. So, I would like to ... Read More
I'd just recently sailed on the Carnival Splendor on 01/19/2013 for a 15-day cruise to Hawaii with my girlfriend, Sylvia. There were some positive things and there were some negative things about the cruise. So, I would like to start off with the positives then the negatives. The Positives. Cabin. Our cabin (8205) was a typical interior type that one would normally find throughout Carnival cruise lines. However, our cabin was a little bit different this time with decorations along with a fruit basket, two bottles of wine, and two bottles of vodka all purchased before the cruise through Carnival's Bon Voyage department. Our cabin steward, Suhardi from Indonesia, was one of the best cabin stewards were ever had. Everything we had asked of him he responded positively in a timely manner and always greeted by our names. He even greeted my girlfriend as "queen" because I suggested he should. I sincerely hope that one day he gets a promotion because he truly deserves one. Steakhouse Dining. On 01/20/2013, we ate the Pinnacle steakhouse dining room located at the aft of the spa deck. The food was delicious and the drinks were good as well. The service was great and even though our bill was $88.00 ($35.00 per person; 8.00 for alcoholic drink; $10.00 tip), the experience of enjoying a well prepared meal there was well worth the money. Bartenders. I've met a few bartenders throughout the cruise, but there was one particular bartender who stood out in mind. His name was Christo from Bulgaria. He worked at the Our House sports bar located in the promenade deck right beside the Royal Flush casino. One night, I'd ordered a margarita because I figured it wouldn't be strong as a drink like a long island ice tea. Man, was I wrong. He made the margarita so strong that I had to go my cabin just to sleep it off. I know that Carnival cruise lines have received complaints about alcoholic drinks being watered down; but with Christo one would need not to worry about that ever to happen. I can say with confidence that he will give you your money's worth in drinks. Deli. As Sylvia and I settled in our cabin, we went to the lido deck to get something to eat. So, I went to the deli to grab a sandwich. There was this cute petite brunette named Susan from Peru who was working there at the time. I ordered a pastrami and rueben combo with toasted rye. The sandwich was so good that I kept coming back throughout the cruise. In fact, during lunch time there was a long line at the deli especially when Susan worked there. Main Dining Room. Even though Sylvia had chosen not to eat there, I decided to dine there despite having concerns about the Gold Pearl Restaurant. I had read some negative reviews about the service there as being slow. However, to my surprise, I'd found that the Gold Pearl wasn't bad but enjoyable. I was assigned to a table with 4 married couples who were all friendly. My waiter, Tomi from Indonesia, always greeted me by name, knew my particular seating preference at the table, always refilled my drinks, and he always knew I wanted to have dessert. There were times when he was a bit slow in service but he more than compensated with communication with me about what was going on at the time. As for the rest waitstaff, they were courteous and entertaining as well especially Lucilo from Indonesia. Almost every night the lights would dim and the Maitre'D would announce "Showtime". After he made announcements about what is going to happen the following day, all the waiters and assistant waiters would perform a dance to the latest hit songs. On one night, I'd seen my waiter, Tomi, danced to Psy's "Gangnam Style". I really did enjoyed myself at the Gold Pearl Restauant. Debarkation. Sylvia and I had chosen to use the self-assist option when leaving the ship. With the self-assist option offered by all Carnival cruise ships, one can leave the ship early if one can carry all of his or her luggage. You just have to wait for deck number to be called. I found this to be much faster then the embarkation in which I will explain later. The Negatives. Rough seas. During the first four days of the cruise, we encountered rough seas as headed towards Hawaii. It felt like the ship kept jerking back and forth. There were times that I thought the ship had hit a whale because the ship had jerked so hard. One could have imagined that they were people who couldn't get a good night of sleep because of this. Embarkation. Sylvia and I arrived at the Long Beach, CA cruise terminal at approximately after 10:30am. It took about 10 to 20 minutes to check in which is not bad when one considers the fact the line is consistently moving. After we checked in, we were given a boarding zone number (5). Now, this is the part of embarkation that we didn't like. We waited at least one hour for our boarding zone number to be called. In past cruises, we would check in and proceed to the security check points and head towards the ship. However, that was not the case in Long Beach, CA. I know Carnival wanted to control in the incoming flow of traffic to the ship and that they have to obey regulations set forth by Homeland Security through Customs; but I would suggest to Carnival to work with Homeland Security and Customs to find a much quicker way to embark especially for people who don't have a lot of patience like my girlfriend. Cruise Director. Our cruise director name was Malcolm "Whoo Hoo" Burns from the Bronx in New York. I had heard several complaints about him, but I would like to discuss two particular complaints about him. 1). It appeared Malcolm had scheduled most of the activities before 11pm. After 11pm, there were little activities scheduled. So, the only things you could do after 11pm were gambling at the casino, watch a late night movie on the big screen located at the lido deck, or go drinking at the bars. My girlfriend, Sylvia, is a late night person who likes to have fun. So, I would particularly suggest to Malcolm that he find a way to schedule more late night activities. 2). When we arrived in Honolulu on 01/27/2013, there was this luau called the "Paradise Cove". This particular luau was sold by Carnival Cruise Lines. It was cancelled by the tour operator probably because of the weather. That is understandable, however, it appeared Malcolm poorly compensated those who purchased that particular shore excursion. Yes, a refund was offered but there should have been a scheduled activity just for those people who missed the luau. Lido Deck Food. The lido deck food was either a hit or miss. The frozen yogurt, the deli, and the carving stations were good. The misses were the pizza and the dessert stations. I have heard one particularly harsh criticism of the lemon meringue pie. One man described it as being a "super ball". In other words, the lemon meringue pie was so hard and tasteless that you could bounce it off the floor. Definitely need more consistence in the lido deck food. Direct TV. I know every ship in Carnival has Direct TV. The problem with that is that when the ship moves away from certain areas of the world one cannot received all the channels that being offered through Carnival. And, you could only get to see a sports channel like ESPN at the sports bar. Carnival must figure out a way to provide better television viewing than what they have right now. Billing System. Carnival's billing system seemed complicated in my honest opinion. During the first four days of the cruise, Sylvia had received three notices from Guest Services that she owed money. We didn't understand at first because we were told that we had $960 in on board credit ($530 for me and $430 for Sylvia). We even had to cancel our couples massage at the spa that I had pre-purchased before the cruise because we didn't have enough money in our accounts. We figured that the money I spent purchasing like spa services and shore excursions before the cruise would be set side for those particular items. Apparently, that did not seem to be case. It appeared that what were spending in gambling, buying drinks, and etc. was taking money away from the spa and shore excursions. Carnival needs to explain this more adequately when guests check in. So, there you have it. Would I ever sail again on Carnival? Yes, I would but now I know how to be better prepared when dealing with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Ok, it wasn't quite perfect. Close but no cigar. From my viewpoint, the food was great. I had one bad meal (Duck-very tough) and that was it. All the desserts were great, the meals were very good to excellent. There was usually a ... Read More
Ok, it wasn't quite perfect. Close but no cigar. From my viewpoint, the food was great. I had one bad meal (Duck-very tough) and that was it. All the desserts were great, the meals were very good to excellent. There was usually a bit of a wait for 5:30 seating in the Non traditional dining room, but it went fast. A smile and a thank you went a long way with the Maitre D. He was a bit harassed. The ship was great too. Lots of places to go and relax or not. That's what I love about cruising, the choices are yours to make. Not sure I got my money's worth with the soda package, but it was fine. I didn't get the coffee package because I drink one cup of coffee in the morning and I'm not a gourmet about it. I most often got coffee from room service and had it on my balcony. The bed wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great. A bit hard for me, but not that bad. The Trident Grill was nothing to write home about nor was the Pizza parlor. The ports were fine, although I have no comparison, since this is my first trip to Hawaii. I loved the way they organized the departures for the excursions. It was really well done and absolutely no waiting on a dock to find out where you were going. You waited in the Princess Theater until your group was called, went to the disembarkation deck and got right on the bus or van. It was truly great. They do need more seating in the Princess Theater. I only got to see one show because there was no seating. The 10:30 was too late for me because I get up at 6 am, without an alarm clock. I'm not sure what I missed, but everyone said the shows were great. My only issue was my flight home. When I left, I was flying out on US Air 6344, but when I got to the airport, they said there was no such flight. Finally, I got on a 10:10 flight that took me to Philadelphia. Not my first choice, but at that point I didn't have any choice. I'd have liked to know about the change before I left the ship. I spent money trying to check-in on line. It was frustrating. Can I blame Princess for that snafu? I don't think so, but they should have let me know about the change. US Air's people were great. They helped me all the way along. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
This was my first time on a cruise ship. I always wanted to go to Hawaii so I decided to go. I paid for 2 people but I was the only one in my inside cabin because I did not find someone to go with me. My cabin was at the very rear of the ... Read More
This was my first time on a cruise ship. I always wanted to go to Hawaii so I decided to go. I paid for 2 people but I was the only one in my inside cabin because I did not find someone to go with me. My cabin was at the very rear of the ship on deck 12. The motion of the ship at sea was noticeable but not uncomfortable. The weather to and from Hawaii was sunny for the most part. Movies Under The Stars is a great attraction on the ship. On the Golden Princess the movies is on deck 14, midships. Some other ships have it at the very rear. Also on deck 14 was the Horizon Court buffet so that was nice as well. I did not do any specialty dining but I could have. The food in the buffet was good with a good variety depending on the day. That means everyday was not the same food. There were a lot of sea days so if you go, be prepared for that. After the ship left Los Angeles, it takes the rest of that day and 4 more to get to Hilo, Hawaii which is the first stop out of 4 stops. The sport deck is nice, lots of sports to do. The newsletter you get everyday tells you about all the activities so that was helpful. Inside cabin on deck 12 very near the rear of the ship. The safe in the closet is small but very secure. Good water pressure in the cabin. Lots of hot water available. The bed was okay in comfort but the covers where very good. Pillows where fine and comfortable. Lots of lighting in the room should you like that. The TV was up high, wish it could be lowered. Lots of mirrors in the room, did not care for that too much. Room service available all day everyday. And only 1 level from the Horizon Court 24 hour buffet area. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
The people of Hawaii treat each other, their visitors and their country with love and respect. On September 25 my daughter-in-law and two friends set out for a seven day cruise in Hawaii. After a one day flight delay aboard American ... Read More
The people of Hawaii treat each other, their visitors and their country with love and respect. On September 25 my daughter-in-law and two friends set out for a seven day cruise in Hawaii. After a one day flight delay aboard American Airlines we boarded NCL's Pride of America on September 26, 2010. This ship began a seven day cruise, in Honolulu to four Hawaiian islands; Kahului (Maui), Hilo and Kona (on the Big Island and Nawliwili (Kauai). Let me backtrack the first night of our cruise September 25 was actually spent in the Makena Resort on Maui because, as I stated earlier, our flight was delayed and instead of boarding the ship in Honolulu we were flown to Maui and boarded the ship there. The ship was beautiful and clean. I had heard beforehand that the crew aboard the only American ship in NCL'S fleet were not as gracious as the crew aboard other NCL ships, I did not find that to be true. The crew on Pride of America was wonderful, everywhere we went everyone was friendly and courteous. My cabin steward Errol was so pleasant and responded to every request with courtesy and timeliness, I even became friendly with the cabin steward in the next section, because I would pass her everyday in the hall and on my last night there she gave me a postcard with dolphins on it to remind me to remember Hawaii with a smile. I thought that was kind of her, her name was Lula. As far as the transportation and shore excursions go. I only did one excursion with NCL and that was the glass bottom boat because NCL shore excursions are too pricey. I read other reviews before I went to Hawaii and contacted Roberts Hawaii at gorabbitgo.com and booked my airport to pier and back transfers thru them because they only charge six dollars and NCL charges twenty dollars for the same bus ride in the same coach buses. They also offer great deals on shore excursions. In Maui we met Reynolds who has a SUV taxi and we booked our Road to Hana tour with him; we chose this instead of renting a car because that road has about a hundred curves some of them are very narrow and we preferred to let an expert handle that driving. If you go to Maui that tour is a must, you will see the beauty that is Hawaii. Hawaii has all types of shuttles taxis and tour buses. You can also rent your own car if you like because at Maui and Kauai the ship is docked for two days. Because Hawaii is so beautiful and there is so much to see we didn't spend a lot of time onboard the ship, but I did manage to get to the pool every morning and have breakfast which was good. My one complaint about the pool and the area surrounding it, is it is not large enough to accomodate the close to three thousand people that are on the ship and when the children arrive they just take over and you cannot enjoy the pool at all because they are throwing the ball and hitting folks in the head. Also there are not enough poolside lounge chairs.......just saying. There was a Hawaiian couple who taught us all things Hawaiian. Some days we were taught to make different types of leis, including an orchid lei and one evening the lady (or wahina) taught us the history of Hawaii which was interesting for me because I am a history buff. The food was pretty good, I didn't try any of the specialty restaurants this time but I did eat in the dining room every night and the food was delicious and I ate at the Cadillac Cafe a couple of times, I like it there because they serve comfort food. Wednesday night NCL hosted the Hot White party in the Mardi Gras lounge which was fun and Thursday was the luau. Now I didn't go to the NCL and I'm glad I didn't because everyone complained that the food was horrible. I didn't go because some reviewers said the food was horrible. I chose Smith Tropical Paradise for my party's luau and it was wonderful. The food was very good, except for the purple sweet potato and the show was outstanding. One thing I observed about Hawaii the people of Hawaii are very proud of their country and they keep it very clean. I didn't see a scrap of paper or broken glass anywhere and they host thousands of tourists everyday but they kepp that place clean. I enjoyed sailing past the erupting volcano and the Na Poli coast was awesome. So that was my experience and I gotta tell you I love Hawaii, the Hawaiian people were wonderful and I can't wait to go back. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010

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