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78 Hawaii Repositioning Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of the itinerary.We wanted to visit all of the Hawaiian Islands and this did the trick. An added benefit turned out to be the 5 days at sea! We never realized how relaxing, yet interesting the ship would be. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary.We wanted to visit all of the Hawaiian Islands and this did the trick. An added benefit turned out to be the 5 days at sea! We never realized how relaxing, yet interesting the ship would be. We loved the on board lectures, the activities, and just the opportunity to take naps or find a place to read. The restaurants and the food were terrific---never disappointed. Loved all the shore excursions---got a chance to see the calmer side of the islands, not just the shopping and hustle side. The entertainment was very good with quite a variety. We also enjoyed listening to the different musicians and groups on board. The cruise staff also recognized Veterans on board---several get-togethers were organized and the final party included 53 Veterans from the US and Canada. It was a great cruise---we are counting it as one of the best cruises since we have retired!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I choose this cruise because I wanted to visit all of the islands that make up Hawaii without having to travel there numerous times due to the expense. By cruising I was able see each island as well as not having to worry about the cost of ... Read More
I choose this cruise because I wanted to visit all of the islands that make up Hawaii without having to travel there numerous times due to the expense. By cruising I was able see each island as well as not having to worry about the cost of hotel, transportation, food and entertainment. When participating on shore excursions there were numerous activities scheduled each day on board to keep one entertained for the individual as well as group activities if one wish to be involved a group function. As for myself the food provided was a large variety to satisfy the palette of the most selected person. i have only traveled on Norwegian since I started cruise after taking my first cruise of three days several years ago. Is the line perfect nope, but which one is! For me it's what I have been looking for and will continue to use the line to meet my goals of seeing the world one port at a time. My motto is from a shirt that I found on the Jewel earlier this year, "Cruising Is My Happy Place". Happy cruising...... Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Chose this cruise as it left from Vancouver (my home port) and I wanted to see more of Hawaii. Travelled with my cousin & our aunt in an inside room. While snug, we managed to all have enough space for our belongings in the ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it left from Vancouver (my home port) and I wanted to see more of Hawaii. Travelled with my cousin & our aunt in an inside room. While snug, we managed to all have enough space for our belongings in the drawers, closet, & washroom. Our room steward was great, the crew was smiling & happy everywhere we went. Waiters in Tsar’s Palace were awesome! My aunt has a food allergy & the food allergy guy, Alex, took such good care of her. We had 2 specialty dinners and enjoyed both. Found lots of space at the pool & in the outdoor cafe. Enjoyed the renovated areas on the pool deck where they’ve removed lounge seating type couches & replaced with tables as it seems to allow for more people to enjoy the space. I was super impressed with the Hawaiian show that came on-board one afternoon. The performers were great and it turned out that the show they did was very similar to the luau show that we went to after the cruise. Overall I continue to be very happy with NCL & the Jewel class ships. First time on NCL for my relatives and I think they are both on board for doing another cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Husband's retirement cruise. It was a wonderful and relaxing 16 days. The weather was good except the 1st day out was a little rough. Didn't meet our cabin stewart until day 10 but we were always out and about . There was always ... Read More
Husband's retirement cruise. It was a wonderful and relaxing 16 days. The weather was good except the 1st day out was a little rough. Didn't meet our cabin stewart until day 10 but we were always out and about . There was always something going on. Our room was always clean and ice in our room every day. Ate most dinners in the MDR and went to Seaday Brunch a couple of times. Food was always good and service was never slow. Lunch was usually the buffet or Guys burgers,Went to the main show every night and most were enjoyable as were the comedians. The Hot Shots in the Red Frog Pub were great and we tried to catch the Emerald Trio whenever they played. The casino was fun but not profitable. This was the best cruise we have ever taken and we would love to do it again someday. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We boarded the Solstice in Vancouver destination to Hawaii. It was our 25th Anniversary and we couldn't of made a better choice. The 5 full days at sea gave us time to relax and decompress from our everyday routine. We were in Aqua ... Read More
We boarded the Solstice in Vancouver destination to Hawaii. It was our 25th Anniversary and we couldn't of made a better choice. The 5 full days at sea gave us time to relax and decompress from our everyday routine. We were in Aqua class and the service was in excellence. Our room with balcony was excellent and well taken care of by the room attendant (Devan). We dined in Blu every night and looked forward to our dinning experience each night with the wonderful service of our waiters (Yogender, Preyan and Nick) as well as received by beautiful Larissa each evening. I can't say enough about the food and variety we received on this ship. There was nothing missing. We visited and took advantage of the Persian garden spa which also delivered excellent service. On the first couple of days, the waters were a little rough and was a little on the cool side. They had fleece blankets available near pool side for everyone, I thought that was a nice touch. There was also always fresh towels available and as for loungers, there was always a seat available. The excursions we booked went well without any issues, well organized for tender ports as well. I will not hesitate to sail with Celebrity in the future. Good Job!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is a trip we are glad we took, but probably wouldn’t take again. On the plus side, it is a relatively inexpensive way to visit Hawaii, which is hideously expensive. Room and food cost us about $180 per person per day on the boat. ... Read More
This is a trip we are glad we took, but probably wouldn’t take again. On the plus side, it is a relatively inexpensive way to visit Hawaii, which is hideously expensive. Room and food cost us about $180 per person per day on the boat. Comparable accommodations and meals would probably cost at least twice as much on land. Not to mention we saved some on air fare. Flights to Vancouver are much less than flights to Hawaii. In addition, we got to visit three islands, one with two stops. On the downside, tendering at Kona and Lahaina limit how much time you have to visit these ports. There are some sights we would like to see, especially on Maui, that would better be done while staying there. The first day in Lahaina the sea was pretty rough and getting on and off the tenders was challenging, especially for people with mobility issues. We were on the Solstice in June to Alaska and liked it so much we booked onboard for Hawaii. Many of the same crew members were still on board and some remembered us. The ship is very well run, and the crew were all accommodating. We never ventured into the specialty restaurants since the food in the main dining room is excellent. Naturalist Brent Nixon was onboard on both cruises. He brought a lot of expertise to explain the natural world we would be experiencing. We took advantage of the adults only Solarium many times. The pool was the perfect temperature and it seldom felt crowded. The Alaska cruise was out of Seattle, most of the guests were Americans and there were 315 children. The Hawaii trip began in Vancouver, and at least half the passengers, perhaps as many as two thirds, were Canadians. Many were from British Columbia. Alberta and Saskatchewan were also well represented. There were also several Aussies traveling all the way through to Sidney. Most of the Americans seemed to be from the Pacific Northwest. We enjoyed meeting and sharing experiences with people from all over. This is definitely an older crowd. Most were retired. We probably had fewer than 20 children. For those of you wondering about the weather, it was 58° and raining when we left Vancouver. The first sea day it was 60°, the next 65, the 3rd sea day it hit 70, the 4th it was 75 and finally the last sea day as we neared Hawaii it hit 78°. Of course in Hilo it was about 85° and humid. The first two days the swells were running about six feet and people who were prone to motion sickness experienced some problems. After that, the ride was pretty smooth. Hilo – We rented a car for $48. The car rental shuttle will pick you up from the pier and take you to the airport, about three miles away, where you can rent a car. Couldn’t have been easier. We met a couple at Kilauea who hired a car and driver for $325. They said they wish they had talked to us first. Perhaps they should just read Cruise Critic. The first stop was Akaka Falls. Do this one in the morning because the falls face east. The sun will illuminate the falls perfectly in the morning. If you do it in the afternoon, the sun will be behind the falls and your pictures will be backlit. Next stop was Kilauea. While Akaka Falls was sunny and hot, Kilauea was rainy and cold. We wish we had our sweatshirts, but when it’s 85°and sunny, how do you know? This was kind of a good news bad news experience. The rain and mist kept me from getting really sharp pictures of the caldera, but the steam vents certainly stood out. I leaned over one to see how hot the steam actually was. Take my advice and don’t try this yourself. Steam is hot. We stayed at Kilauea about two hours and headed back to Hilo. I would have stayed longer, but the rain showed no signs of letting up and we had done all we could do without getting soaked. Kona – Here we took the ship’s excursion. It was billed as the snorkeling and dolphin adventure, but they apparently forgot to tell the dolphins, who didn’t show up. The cruise on the catamaran south along the Kona coast was picturesque. The excursion includes equipment rental, but we take our own. The rental equipment looked to be first class if you are interested. The spot they picked for the day had good coral and lots of fish. Three-foot swells made snorkeling and getting back on the boat more of a chore than you want, but overall it was a fun trip. Maui – Renting a car on Maui is substantially more difficult than on the Big Island, and more expensive. The nearest car rental outlet to Lahaina harbor is Hertz at the Hyatt. They claim they have a shuttle, but it runs just once between 8:30 and 9:30 and we never saw it. So it’s a $30 cab ride to rent a car. The car was $98 a day versus $48 on Hawaii and $53 on Oahu. We went south the first day looking for a beach to snorkel. The conditions were terrible. Because of the height and direction of the swells, waves were breaking right on shore and the water was churned up. We should have checked the daily report https://thesnorkelstore.com/maui-snorkeling-conditions-reports/. Then we would have known that. The next day we went to Honolua Bay. This is a terrific snorkeling spot and it’s always calm. It’s surrounded by land on three sides and facing Molokai, so no swells can get in. The shore itself is very rocky, so it’s strictly for snorkeling. Also, parking is very limited and it’s at least a 300 yd. walk from the road to the water. Hawaii is not California where they have large paved parking lots at all the state parks. Most of the fish and coral formations are on the eastern side of the bay. Turtles are found on the western side. Dolphins also made an appearance. Honolua Bay is a must stop for snorkelers. We would like to spend some more time on Maui. Some of the sights like the road to Hana and Haleakalā are too time consuming to be done from a ship while tendering. The cruise finished up in Honolulu. This was the smoothest disembarkation ever. We go off sooner than advertised, found our luggage immediately and got a cab to the airport to pick up our rental car. Hertz says they have a location the pier, but when I checked online, they said there were no cars of any kind available. Very suspicious. The cab to the airport was about $35. It is only 3.7 miles from the airport to Pearl Harbor. I was impressed by what the National Park Service and the Navy have done there. It’s a very solemn experience and well done. One very important note…they do not let you bring bags in through the gates, not even ladies’ pocketbooks. You can check them for a $5 fee. My wife took hers back to the car while I stood in line for tickets. I have to say I was not impressed by the Honolulu airport. Much of it is open air (not air conditioned) until you get to your gate. We had showered just prior to leaving the hotel and didn’t want to work up a sweat turning in the car and getting our bags through the agricultural inspection and airline check-in. Some on our cruise got off the ship in Maui, one day early. They then spent several days on Maui and flew home from there. I didn’t realize that was an option. If I took this cruise again, I would probably do that. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having done a back to back cruise last year on the Harmony of the Seas I can say without reservation the Radiance was a far more enjoyable experience for two experienced cruisers in their mid(ish) 60's that don't relish being ... Read More
Having done a back to back cruise last year on the Harmony of the Seas I can say without reservation the Radiance was a far more enjoyable experience for two experienced cruisers in their mid(ish) 60's that don't relish being around over 1,000 kids. We tried the "mega ship as the destination" thing and the" ship within a ship suite level" thing, and it left us wanting. A lot. Then a destination wedding of friends on the Big Island made us reexamine RCI. This was a ten day cruise Vancouver to Honolulu (5 sea days then stops in Maui, Kauai, Hilo, Kona, Honolulu) with 18 more days to Sydney Australia for those doing the complete journey. We disembarked a day early in Kona since we would have had to fly back there for wedding the next day. Perfect timing. We'd been on the Radiance 10 years earlier and enjoyed her, so off we went. What we loved: The size of the ship and the number of passengers (just right) The orientation to the sea from almost all the interior spaces and the beautiful atrium One of the handsomest lounges at sea (Colony Club) Lots of seating inside and out at the Windjammer buffet The crispy lobster rolls at Izumi (and almost everything else!) Lots of deck space and loungers. Automatic leveling pool tables. The friendliness crew, officers and cruise staff. The excursion to Lanai....off the beaten track with a 5 star guide! What we liked: The food in the Windjammer and and main dinning room. The food in the specialty restaurants The musicians and lounge acts. Plenty of activities for the number of sea days (special shout out to the egg drop) The art deco vibe of the stateroom Cleanliness of stateroom and public spaces in general. The excursion to Hanelei on Kauai...(with scenes from movies shot on Kauai on the ride back to the ship, crowd favorite Dinocroc Vs. Supergator) Enough elevators for the amount of guests (contrasted to the Oasis class horror) What we weren't crazy about: Embarkation slow and disjointed....you go through US customs when you leave BC, slowing down the process. Stateroom bathroom tired, dated and exorbitant amount caulking used to fill in the gaps. Internet amazingly slow....(think dial up speed if you are old enough to remember) The floor in the Windjammer often very slick from as the signs say "condensation", like walking on ice in street shoes. Evening entertainment limited. Would we do RCI again? As long as the Radiance class ships exist, doing longer itineraries, we will. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Disclaimer - We would like to pass on our impressions and thoughts of our cruise experience to anyone planning for or getting ready to participate in a similar Itinerary. Everyone knows that reviews are subjective. One person’s gold is ... Read More
Disclaimer - We would like to pass on our impressions and thoughts of our cruise experience to anyone planning for or getting ready to participate in a similar Itinerary. Everyone knows that reviews are subjective. One person’s gold is another’s trash. That said please remember this is our personal impressions and yours, of course, will vary. We ignore postings that are made in response to our reviews that merely seek to flame. We will review subsequent posts in order to provide answers to questions asked. We appreciate this understanding. Please ignore any spelling or grammar errors – we want to get this posted swiftly before we lose focus on our experiences. Thank you. Travel and Embarkation - We are a semi-retired American couple (both 66 years of age) living as expats in an Asian country. This was our seventh cruise (3 on Princess and 3 on Norwegian, and now 1 on Royal Caribbean). We made all our own arrangement for this trip including direct reservations with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, air travel, and hotel, (we did a RCCL transfer from the ship to the airport in Honolulu). We flew in one day ahead of the 10 September sail date so we could enjoy some time in Vancouver without the stress of trying to make a flight on cruise day. This was a good decision in retrospect as our experience in the Vancouver airport was one for the record book. We were queued up three times in multi-hundred person lines before we got to immigration. The airport appeared to be completely overwhelmed with passengers. It literally took three and a half hours from exiting the airplane to getting to the point of retrieving our baggage. We took the light rail line from the airport to the Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver. The train was very easy to negotiate, quick, and inexpensive. Our pre-cruise stay was as the Exchange Hotel located a couple of blocks away from the cruise port at Canada Place. The weather was typical Northwest – cloudy with a couple of periods of heavy rain. Vancouver is really a beautiful city. On boarding day we took the short 5 minute walk from the hotel at just after 10:30. We were in a Grand Suite for this cruise so dropping off our bags we walked directly to security and then to the express check-in without waiting in a single line. The Ship – It is small as ships go these days. The Radiance was launched in 2001 but had come out of renovation in May 2016. The ship looked to be in generally good condition. There are numerous areas around the ship that could do with a little paint and rust removal but overall the ship is well maintained, clean, and free of obvious neglect. Our Grand Suite was Port Forward on the 10th deck and we generally walked the stairs and rarely took an elevator so crowded elevators were not a concern. We did notice that often there were many waiting to ride. We did not use the casino but we did walk through the area a couple times and noticed a very heavy tobacco odor permeating the area. We decided that after the first day when walking from the front to the rear of the ship we would simply walked up or down a flight of stairs, crossed over or under the casino and walk back up or down the stairs on the other side. The odor, while evident, is not in our opinion, something to get upset about after all it is a casino. There is a rock climbing wall, 9 hole golf putting course, and basketball court. The weather was agreeable most days. There are two swimming pools on deck 11 (one adult only and one open). Both are small and busy on the Hawaii itinerary. Our Cabin – We had a Grand Suite with balcony on Deck # 10 Port Side Forward. Our cabin steward was very intuitive and was always available but never intrusive. He was very friendly and always helpful. Towels were replaced almost as soon as used and the room serviced regularly. The room was kept very clean. The grand suite has a large sitting area with full sofa and two easy chairs and a coffee table. We had a king sized bed located in a separate area of the suite. The bathroom was very large and had a big bath tub with shower. As suite guests we were provided upgraded amenities (soap, shampoo, rinse, body wash, etc.). The bathroom was spotless. Storage area was more than adequate. Even with three large suitcases we did not even filled up one closet with two to spare. We had a large flat screen television. Channel selection was non-existent but useful for checking your shipboard accounts and reservations. Ship announcements were not broadcasted into the rooms so you had to listen from the outside if you wanted to hear the public announcements. We had an unlimited Voom Surf and Stream Wi-Fi package. While billed as the “fastest at sea” that was not our experience. It was the slowest and most prone to disconnection of any service we have every had on any ship. There was a water pot and coffee maker with free coffee provided in our cabin but we did not use them as the coffee available at many locations around the ship provided plenty of very satisfactory coffee. Dining - We ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet on deck 10. Breakfast was the standard fare with omelets made to order and a wide variety of breakfast foods to choose. In our opinion the buffet was well designed with adequate seating. The staff was very fast at removing plates and silverware and cleaning tables as people left. If you meet Jade in the buffet say hello to a wonderfully upbeat and kind young man. Since we were suite guests we never had a difficult time finding a seat because there was a reserved dining room just off the buffet. We found the food in the buffet to be generally good but somewhat repetitive. There is a self-serve soft ice cream machine in the buffet area. We had dinner twice in the Main Dining Room. Both were excellent meals. Having reservations we were seated immediately. We did notice a slight lag in service but the menu items were always appropriately hot, warm, or cold. We also dined in our room twice with selections from the main dining room menu which was delivered hot and quickly from room service. Extra Fee Dining - On our second sea day we ate Izumi’s sushi restaurant. The food was well presented and very tasty if not quite as fresh as we would have liked. On our fourth sea day we ate at the Samba Grill a South American Churrascaria concept venue. The food and service were excellent. Come hungry as portions are large and filling. On our sixth sea day we ate at the Italian themed Giovanni’s restaurant. Again the food was wonderful and the service attentive and friendly. Entertainment - The one area for which we would like to see change is more entertainment in the theater. We enjoyed the one revue show we saw as very entertaining and well done but other evening entertainment presented appeared to be filling an otherwise empty evening. Tours – We booked all our tours through Royal Caribbean. As most everyone knows this is a more expensive option but the benefits of ease of booking, guaranteed return to the ship, and tour operator vetting are hard for us to ignore. We did not want to take any risks getting back to the ship on time. Maui Hawaii (Lahaina) – Hana & Haleakala Helicopter Exploration. We had a wonderful time during this just over one hour aerial tour of Mt. Haleakala, the world's largest dormant volcano. We were picked up at the port and escorted to the Blue Hawaii air terminal located at the Maui airport. Our pilot was personable, knowledgeable and gracious. The views are indescribable. While costly, this tour is well worth the money. Upon completion we were again picked up and returned to the cruise port in a comfortable van. Kauai Nawiliwili – Grove Farm and Kilohana Plantation Railway. A short drive from the deep water port of Nawiliwili the Kilohana Plantation harkens back to Kauai's Golden Age of Sugar with a four-hour tour of the Grove Farm museum and a narrated railway ride around the former plantation plus free time at Koloa Rum Company and other artisan shops. Rich in history and slow in pace this tour is a relaxing stop on the Garden Island. Of all our tours during this cruise we found this to be our least favorite and not worth the cost and would not consider it worth repeating. Hilo Hawaii (Big Island) – Zipline through Paradise and Waterfalls. A total of eight zipline runs follow the Honolii River high over thundering waterfalls and deep gorges. Our guides were extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and obsessed with our safely. We were given three rules to remember and were quizzed repeatedly concerning them. The three rules were 1) don’t adjust or handle your harness, 2) don’t put your hands on the cable, and 3) have fun. Some zipline runs were tranquil and easy and some were quite thrilling. We had a great time and would have liked to have gone back up and done it again if possible. The light rain throughout our tour did little to dampen our enthusiasm. Highly recommend this tour if physically able. Kona Hawaii (Big Island) - Atlantis Submarine. We rode a large comfortable boat with around 70 other guests from the cruise terminal out into the ocean where the submarine was waiting. Boarding was done via gang plank from the boat to the submarine under the watchful eye of the crew who stood by to assist if needed. All went well. There were two entrances into the submarine (one on each end) so boarding went quickly and easily. The interior of the submarine has individual seats (two rows facing back to back) and each passenger has her/his own designated port hole through which to view. The nearly hour long dive visited two ship wrecks and numerous coral formations. While many fish were in the area none were large and the light filtering effects of being under up to 100 feet of water drained most of the colors leaving the viewer seeing mostly in gray shades. The submarine is well lit, clean, ventilated, and large enough to eliminate any possibility of Claustrophobia. This tour is very interesting and well worth the cost. Overall we had a wonderful time and would recommend the Royal Caribbean and the Vancouver to Hawaii itinerary. The Radiance of the Seas is a great ship for a relaxing cruise. Younger cruisers with families may want to consider larger ships with more traditional entertainment venues (water parks, rope courses, flow riders, etc.). Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary and knew the ship was old and smaller than others. We like the smaller size ship and wish cruise lines would stop making them bigger and bigger. The itinerary was nice (Honolulu -> ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary and knew the ship was old and smaller than others. We like the smaller size ship and wish cruise lines would stop making them bigger and bigger. The itinerary was nice (Honolulu -> Vancouver). The ports were very nice. The cabin was tight but who spends time in their cabin anyway :). The main dining room food was very good compared with other cruise lines. We did not do any of the extra dining rooms and felt quite satisfied with the outstanding main dining room service and food. My biggest regret was purchasing the alcohol package which is quite expensive and you almost have to work at getting your money's worth but the drinks we had and bartenders were awesome just overpriced alcohol package. We could not get on the shore excursion to Pearl Harbor in Honolulu since it booked up fast and there was no room so we booked a private tour that was quite good - a small group and excellent service. (Royal Hawaiian Tours). Very professional service. Stay away from Alex Tours. He approached us in the cruise terminal and told us his tours were less expensive than the shop tours. He did not ask for money up front but told us if he had our name we would have a spot on his bus if we got that at his assigned time/ We arrived at his bus 2o minutes early to find it was full already and he had no other buses. The driver looked very old as did the bus that had the Alex Tours painted over the First Baptist Church Logo. Come to find out from passengers that did get on that bus - the bus broke down 2 hours away from the ship and they almost missed getting back in time as well as missing parts of the tour since they had to wait for a replacement bus. Very sketchy so stay away. The other shore excursions we booked through the ship and I must say that they were worth the money, well organized and interesting. The only excursion that disappointed us was the Luau in Mauwi. It was at a large hotel and the hotel crammed in as many guests as they could. The food was only mediocre and the entertainment was pretty spread out timewise. It seemed that the cruise passengers got the tables in the back and believe me they were distant from the stage! Some of the tables were off to the side of the stage which made it difficult to see. The hotel also managed to squeeze in a "fashion show" of Hawaiian wear that you could purchase in the gift shop which I felt was unnecessary. The vendors that were selling their crafts were not that exciting either. The islands were very good and most of t he entertainment during the Island part of the cruise was pretty good. The trans-Pacific part of the cruise the entertainment and things to do on the ship were fairly boring. The lecture series for 5 days was about the Canadian Mounties - I would have liked something more interesting, educational, and useful. They had plenty of movies except their "Cinema" was usually full and during the Pacific crossing the outdoor movie screen by the pool was pretty useless. The shows at night were not exceptional but most were entertaining except for 1 very boring comedian. 5 days at sea needs much more happening on the ship. That was my biggest disappointment. Everything went smoothly. I was hesitant about crossing the Pacific in May but as it turned out the seas were smooth (no seasickness) although the temperatures were too cold and windy to do much on the decks. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
From the time ROyal Caribbean changed the itinerary conveniently 59 days before sailing, to the chaos created in baggage claim at disembarking, the most common words from ships staff was “We apologize”. The ship board staff constantly ... Read More
From the time ROyal Caribbean changed the itinerary conveniently 59 days before sailing, to the chaos created in baggage claim at disembarking, the most common words from ships staff was “We apologize”. The ship board staff constantly had to make excuses and apologize for numerous situations they had difficulty dealing with. AVOID this ship......while the ship itself is marvelous and a great asset, poor management both in Miami and on board make this ship one to avoid. Guest after guest had unfavorable comments......we just had difficulty grasping why all the problems occurred. The ship board officer crew were a lot of talk but offered few solutions to correct and overcome problems. The entertainment staff couldn’t start many of their activities on time because they didn’t have watches. The buffet management staff daily made “sales pitches” how wonderful everything is in the Windjammer market......while at the same time telling you to hurry and get out. Disembarking for tenders required Hour plus long waits. The evening dinners in the main dining room were interrupted nightly with a wait staff member singing. The disembarking procedure was a most painful experience.....utter chaos. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We have cruised on RCI before and have had very few problems. This one however was a nightmare. Booked day 1 Honolulu depart at 11:00pm 2 Kailua Kona 9am to 6pm 3 Kilaeua Volcano 12:01 to 1:00am 3Napoli coast 12:00pm to 4:00pm day ... Read More
We have cruised on RCI before and have had very few problems. This one however was a nightmare. Booked day 1 Honolulu depart at 11:00pm 2 Kailua Kona 9am to 6pm 3 Kilaeua Volcano 12:01 to 1:00am 3Napoli coast 12:00pm to 4:00pm day 4&5 Maui 9am to 5pm next days 6-10 cruising day 11 Victoria BC 9:00am to 8:00pm 12 Vancouver 6:00am. What we got Days 1&2 Honolulu (left Honolulu at 5:00pm on 2nd day day 3 Napali coast 4&5 Maui 6-10 cruising Day 11 Victoria BC 7:00am to 2:00pm (Left 6 hours early arrived in Vancouver at 8pm on day 11 Day 12 Vancouver disembark. Did not see the volcano and did do see the big island. We feel we were ripped off by RCI. You plan for a once in lifetime trip to Hawaii and get cheated out of half the stops. RCI did refund one day, Big deal. Embarkation, late but went smooth. Ports of Call, In Maui the water was too rough for the tenders for most of the first day, on the second day we went ashore, be back time was at 7:00pm we got in line to board the tenders at 4:00pm and it took us over an hour to get back, those that stayed later took from 2-2 1/2 hours to get back on the boat. Dining- Windjammer food was basically good but always very crowded, no place to sit, long lines to get food, lines for the omelets and pasta were always in the way of others. Hamburger line was messed up people were always coming from two directions. Drinks were often empty. Dining- Main dining, food was often cold, stale or misstated. Seafood often smelled, steak was tough or dry, bread was sometimes hard or stale, coffee was occasionally cold, Etc. Dining-Service was excellent Entertainment-shows were good for the most part. There were a number of things to do on the boat and the staff was good at helping you find where things were. Public areas-CROWDED. Hard to get an elevator, other public areas crowded when something was going on. Disembarkation- NIGHTMARE. We arrived in Vancouver the night before the cruise ended so the Ovation of the seas was basically a hotel parked on the water. Some people got off every but most elected to disembark the regular way, ie tag luggage and put outside cabin before 10:00pm the night before disembarking, pick up luggage after it is removed from the ship. BIG MISTAKE. We had luggage tag number 14 with an estimated departure time of 8:20am. At 9:00am, almost nobody had been allowed to leave the boat(at this time we had been docked for 13 hours). A little after 9 they started to allow the Express Departures to leave, we weren't Express but we jumped in line anyway. When we got off of the boat and went to pick up our luggage it was not lined up by number as it usually was but all the numbers were thrown together. RCI was just bringing it out and dumping it on the floor. What RCI didn't tell us was that there was another luggage drop area about 100 yards away and around the corner where they were doing the same thing, just dumping the luggage. I heard someone say something and followed them over. There was approximately 10 people here looking for luggage and at the first area there were hundreds and more getting off the boat all the time. We were lucky to find ours and make our 12:20pm departure time to DEN. While waiting we were talking to other couples who had been on the Ovation and they said that when we got on the plane to Denver, there were people still on the Ovation who had not been able to get off. We have cruised about a dozen times and I have never seen such a mess. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Chose this cruise because of the itinerary but that didn’t work out so well. Bad planning on behalf of RCI resulted in multiple itinerary changes and just too much confusion for passengers and crew alike. We haven’t cruised with RCI ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the itinerary but that didn’t work out so well. Bad planning on behalf of RCI resulted in multiple itinerary changes and just too much confusion for passengers and crew alike. We haven’t cruised with RCI for probably ten years during which we have favoured Princess and after this cruise with RCI I believe we made the right decision. We are not fussy eaters nor do we base our cruise experience on the quality of the food but it must be said that the eating experience on this ship was extremely disappointing and the quality poor. Apart from our wait staff in the dining room (Chic), I found the staff attitude to be less than attentive and pleasurable. The headliner entertainment was, for the most part, good although Pixels and the production shows were just o.k. In general I felt that the ship lacked a feeling of warmth - hard to put into words but I just didn’t feel like I was being pampered and well taken care of the way I feel when cruising with Princess. Also disliked all the extra charges which showed up way too often. The nicest place to sit during the day (when weather drove us inside) was the 270 lounge but we were often driven out by the daily Bingo session. The smoking areas were too close to the non-smoking areas - they need to be isolated more or eliminated entirely! On the plus side, the cabin was excellent with tons of storage, well laid out and the kettle and tea supplies in the room were a very pleasant surprise. Finally, a big shout out to the Captain who was extremely informative. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The other reviewers of this cruise have basically said it all. The itinerary change was super disappointing. We were so looking forward to going to the big island and seeing the volcano. Then RCI just axed the stop completely. At ... Read More
The other reviewers of this cruise have basically said it all. The itinerary change was super disappointing. We were so looking forward to going to the big island and seeing the volcano. Then RCI just axed the stop completely. At the Lahaina, Maui stop, tendering was delayed due to rough sea. Everybody got up early wanted to get off the ship but was not able to so that's why all the public area, especially the buffet, was packed with people waiting for the captain's ok. When the captain finally gave the ok, they wanted us to go to a bar on deck 5 to get tender tickets so everybody just literally ran there to get tickets. It was chaos. I was lucky as I was already on deck 5 at the time so we got to get off "early". We origianlly planned on getting off at around 9 but still didn't get off until noon. The tender was just one of their bigger lifeboats which was very uncomfortable even if the sea was calm. We got back to the port at 9:50pm. They only had one tender running. At least if was a big local boat. Not their own lifeboat. When we got back, the line was very long. The tender left at 10pm. The line kept growing. At 10:30pm, I could still see the tender was still unloading people to the cruise ship. They finally deployed another tender which was the same lifeboat. We finally got back to the cruise ship at 11pm. Most people were hungry and the only restaurant still open was the pizza place and a cafe which only serves dessert and some basic sandwiches. It was packed with hungry people. Since everybody got off the ship late, we all got back late. However, their restaurants and buffet still closed at 9pm. To me, that is WAY too early. Not much food option after 9pm. A lot of people eat late especially with an Hawaii cruise. Lots of people are from the mainland which is several hours ahead. Should've at least open the buffet until 10pm or something. Food in the main dining room is terrible. Service is not good either. We always spend more than an hour in a dining room with 45 minutes of it waiting for our food. Buffet surprising has better tasting food and service was good. RCI wanted to do freestyle dining like Norwegian but RCI is not doing it well. Still always try to make us to share table with strangers. Food and service in specialty restaurants are good. We tried the Chops Grill steak house and Wonderland's. Both good. However, I still think Norwegian does dining much better. Disbarkation was a nightmare. We were an hour late than the origin set time. There was no signage to point you to where your luggage is. Everybody was running around the terminal like crazy trying to find their luggage. The ship itself is beautiful and I love it. Stateroom attendant was attentive. But there's not much show to watch. I do like that they have a smokeless casino. I find it very annoying when a cruise line put the casino in the very middle of the ship and allow smoking. My 4-year-old went to their kids club a lot. While there wasn't any issue, I do feel that the staffs there are not as warm as those on my Norwegian cruises. This poor expericnece is more about the sudden itinerary change and the management. I think I'll still cruise with RCI again but might just go with a shorter cruise with a more ordinary route. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was my first time cruising with Celebrity, but I had sailed with other lines previously. The demographic was what I expected, mostly 30 or 40-somethings and up. The staff onboard worked extremely hard to ensure I had everything I ... Read More
This was my first time cruising with Celebrity, but I had sailed with other lines previously. The demographic was what I expected, mostly 30 or 40-somethings and up. The staff onboard worked extremely hard to ensure I had everything I needed and that my experience was a positive one. The captain always had a good sense of humor, and I enjoyed his commentary during daily announcements. The area I enjoyed most was the solarium--super relaxing. For entertainment, I loved going to see the string duo, Lighthouse. They were so fun and such great performers. The only criticisms I could think of are regarding the thermal suite and the wifi. The thermal suite is fairly small for the ship size and the amount of money you pay to get access. It could use a refurb. The wifi was just not good. I realize most like to disconnect while on vacation (I understand this), but unfortunately I have to keep up with my house/dog sitter at home. The connection was just very poor for most of the cruise, and I did not like paying that much for something boasting access to all streaming apps, surfing, etc. Overall, the experience was a very positive trip. I would consider Celebrity again, and I do believe the solstice class ship could be a lot of fun in the caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We took this particular cross pacific cruise from Hawaii to Vancouver for the route it was sailing and also, the price was very attractive. We sailed in Concierge Class and we enjoyed the little extras it gave us, like priority boarding, ... Read More
We took this particular cross pacific cruise from Hawaii to Vancouver for the route it was sailing and also, the price was very attractive. We sailed in Concierge Class and we enjoyed the little extras it gave us, like priority boarding, tender service, sparkling wine and snacks every day. Our cabin was located on deck 10 in the forward part of the ship, it was very quiet, hardly any noise at all, we could hardly even hear the engines. Our first of five sea days threw us into a scale 11 storm with 55 knot winds and 25 feet waves. The ship handled it VERY well. Yes, there was movemnet, lots of people were sea sick, but there was nothing failing of the tables or anything like that. Luckily, none of us were prone to sea sickness. The ship itself is very beautiful, lots or artwork and spotlessly clean! It is ten years old and in the cabins the age is beginning to show just here and there. Nothing to be concerned about, and I understand that all cabins will be replaced during her major refit in 2021. The ship has plenty to do, you can do it all or nothing at all. The choice is yours. The service onboard is impeccable and the food is of a very high standard. Even the buffet and room service was excellent, ask for crispy bacon and you will have just that.. Personally, I did find some of the tastes to be a bit bland, but that is purely a matter of personal taste. The wines were excellent and all cocktails equally delicious. We had a few ports with tender service and that can be a bit of challenge, but sail in a Concierge cabin and you will not experience any of that. There were a few flaws here and there. For instance, the music in the lounges and bars is simply too loud. It discourages conversation and it fails to meet its purporse of adding to the ambiance. Furthermore, there were no change in the music during the day, why have Madonna blasting from the speakers on the aft deck outside the buffet, where people were having breakfast at 8 am?? Why not play some lovely classical music or piano, even some soft jazz would have done better. The bands on board and shows were very good as well. There was always plenty of seating to be found, both in and outdoors, no shortage of nice sun loungers either. We did not take any of the organized tours as we preferred to arrange it ourselves. Travelling as LGBTs we were greated with a social hour each evening, that was a nice touch! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We had done this cruise before on the Solstice three years ago, had seen all the sights, and stayed in Lahaina and Waikiki for several weeks some time ago. So we merely wanted some R&R, good food, originating in Vancouver, some ... Read More
We had done this cruise before on the Solstice three years ago, had seen all the sights, and stayed in Lahaina and Waikiki for several weeks some time ago. So we merely wanted some R&R, good food, originating in Vancouver, some sunshine, and were not interested in organised shore excursions. We got exactly what we paid for. Embarkation at Vancouver took much longer then we expected. Disembarkation at Honolulu was OK. I particularly enjoy Celebrity's English breakfasts and the variety in the buffet at other times, especially the cheese selection in the afternoons. The MDR - and the service there - was excellent, though one or two evenings we couldn't get the early time we preferred. One night in the buffet I complained about the poor quality of a prime rib, as did the passengers at the next table. Qsine was a gimmick and the food not particularly good. The ship's facilities, pools and public areas are excellent throughout. The entertainment in the theatre was excellent, as were the violin/cello couple from Ukraine(?) in one of the bars. I am no fan of Polynesian music but the group from Lahaina were very good. I asked for copies of the daily news summary Celebrity used to have available at the Guest Relations desk from Canada, UK and US. “Sorry sir, we don’t have them any more – gone paperless sir.” So I asked about the distribution of their daily on-board program on paper every day when they could just as easily be distributed to guests on the web or by email or posted on the in-room TV. Answer came there none. Not quite so paperless after all? The “James Bond style” safety video shown at the beginning of the cruise was ineffective and, even worse, insulting to many guests. They told me so because I asked them. Many people were little the wiser when it was all over. Two guests who had cruised in double figures with Celebrity and other lines told me they learned nothing and that it was pathetic compared with Celebrity’s competitors. I suggest that Celebrity change this program immediately, fire the producer responsible and the senior safety officer who approved it. Safety aboard is a serious matter. We are not particularly demanding of our stewards but our steward (Sijas, from India) was very attentive and looked after us very well. The lettering on the staff name/country badges is far too small to be legible by the guests. They are thus quite useless for the purpose intended. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I chose this cruise because I could get off at the end in Honolulu which would allow me to shorten the flight to Korea. This was my first time sailing with Celebrity and only my second cruise. I selected my cabin and Aqua class before I ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I could get off at the end in Honolulu which would allow me to shorten the flight to Korea. This was my first time sailing with Celebrity and only my second cruise. I selected my cabin and Aqua class before I knew anything. After booking this cruise I began reading reviews here on cruise critic and on Ship Mate to learn what I was in for. Funny there were no reviews or pictures of the cabin 1544 I chose but lots of info on Aqua class. Aqua class turned out to be a great choice for me and my husband. Many reviews from those that were not Aqua class look at this as snobbish or at a way for this cruise line to make extra money. Yes mabe that is the case when comparing this line to other lines that I had no experience with. But for me and comparing it to the Princess cruise ship Star(my only other cruise) I found this to be a great option to have. Choosing this class gave me a great shower. Note I measured and took pictures which I will share. I am a large woman. Comparing the shower on the Star Craibe deck cabin C709 I would chose spending a little more to have this shower available to me. Another perk with Aqua class is the assigned restaurant Blu. I kept reading reviews about clean cuisine and thought it meant diet food, not so. Entrees were an array of meats and seafood with sauces artfully arranged on your plate. When the reviews spoke of intimate dinning it was not enough info that explained what it was like in the Blu. The tables in the Blu were grouped and arranged in several ways. Looking at the plan provided you will see an area near the windows with a row of tables perpendicular to the windows.these were tables not treated as a group but as individual tables for two. The space between was just enough for the waiter to squeeze through while servicing the table. Each perpendicular row was primarily serviced by a group of waiters for your morning and evening meals. The service was outstanding. My husband is a picky eater. He doesn't eat vegetables or any greens. They brought him the menu for the next day so he could choose what he would like that would be customized to his taste. The tables were close enough to have conversations with the couple next to you if you wanted but if you chose to not speak to your neighbors you didn't feel obligated. Now there were large round tables that could seat large groups of people that liked that. I thoroughly enjoyed the option of having our waiters just for us and we could enjoy the guest that would sit next to us that would rotate from time to time depending on what time they arrived. We met so many wonderful people. The room was a great location for attending the shows but not a good location for going to eat at the many restaurants on the ship, which was at the opposite end of the ship. The room was quite never heard any people noise nor any elevator noise. View from the balcony was great. Now what I found could use some improvements is the outlets. The only 110v outlet in this cabin was located desk level. I was told by Celebrity I could not bring an extension cord nor a multi plug adapter without surge protecter aboard the ship. However, spoke with fellow shipmates that have sailed with Celebrity that they brought adapters on board without surge protecter with problems. If you need a extension cord one will be provided. We were provide with two. One was for a C-Pap and the other was for a electric nasal flush. The downside to using extension cords is they were strung across our cabin. This is the only negative I have for this ship. I had the premium non-alcoholic beverage package. At dinner I could order special coffees, teas and other frozen non-alcoholic drinks. I could get bottled water where ever it was available all over the ship. At the Cafe Blanco I could get a large assortment of speciality coffees with the free assortment of pastries. When it came to water from this place. I could get more than one bottle at a time. Funny thing is is across from the Cafe Blanco was the icecream bar was not free. Also when at the shows you could order frozen virgin drinks like pinata colettas, strawberry daiquiris and the like non-alcoholic or bottled water. All and all I had a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first time on a Carnival cruise ship. We had the opportunity of a great fare that was too hard to turn down. Despite the initial shock of the dowdy dark mixed themes interior, we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise mostly due ... Read More
This was our first time on a Carnival cruise ship. We had the opportunity of a great fare that was too hard to turn down. Despite the initial shock of the dowdy dark mixed themes interior, we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise mostly due to the happy staff and crew. We additionally loved the fact that Carnival generously provides FREE FRESH bean coffee which none of the other cruise lines we've travelled on have done. There was a happy vibe from all staff and crew. We particularly loved the crew being involved in the fun dancing during our dining. The Carnival Legend band - CIA were a knock-out highly talented band that were very interactive with the audience and provided a lineup of great songs. They were very down to earth and blew us all away with their professional talent. This band could fill venues outside of a Carnival ship. The buffet had lots of variety. The icecream and pizza was available 24 hours and we were very thankful at times when we had been dancing for hours and wanted something late after the buffet had closed. We loved our Carnival cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Embarkation went well, ship looks spectacular from the outside, and owing to it advertising it had had a recent refurb, our expectations were high. Assisted boarding was easy and pleasant. Cabin 8218 was lovely apart from the fact you ... Read More
Embarkation went well, ship looks spectacular from the outside, and owing to it advertising it had had a recent refurb, our expectations were high. Assisted boarding was easy and pleasant. Cabin 8218 was lovely apart from the fact you need 2 arms to open the door and also the door leading to balcony. My bed was very uncomfortable, pillows were good. Bathroom was well set out and the shower great. As we're our cabin staff. Disappointed in the lack of amenities for disabled passengers. The only electric operated doors I found was on deck 2. And then you had to hobble back to the door to lock. We saw many people at least in the over 70's age bracket. No grab rail in the bathroom, doors extremely heavy to open, grab rail in most toilets around the ship, low chairs everywhere. We spoke to senior passengers who had fallen, in their bathroom, in lounges, allegedly slipping on something. The decor was oppressive. So glitzy and dark, obviously dated. Maybe the refurb was eluding to the near new carpets in some areas. Entertainment was generally of a good standard. It was pleading to see that they had meet up groups for differing categories of people, including people from LGBTIQ groups. Good to know. I could not comment on the shore excursions but I can say I was very disappointed with the use of tender boats on Moorea. If we had been able to stay one more day in port at Papeete people with a disability could easily have used the ferry from Papeete. That would have been awesome. The distance between islands is miniscule! On the last 5 days at sea we were advised that sav blanc was running out and passengers had to now buy by the bottle and carry that around with you. When lodging a complaint with Guest Services we were informed there was no complaints forms. We would receive a survey to fill in and complain there. Over these last 5 days we also found out they had run out of red wine, apple cider and coke zero. Crazy! On board purchases were hugely expensive. 5 photos cost over $100, WiFi social media only, 208, if you wanted unlimited it was another 100 plus! If you wanted higher speeds it was another 200. We heard from entertainers they paid 5! Service was hit and miss with the dining experience the worst. We had dine at anytime allocated to us, deck 3, Truffles Restaurant. There were long lines to wait in, then you were given a pager and waited a minimum of 30 mins, then allocated a table, waited a further 20 mins to be served. Food was generally nice, but not hot. Often no drinks were offered so they lost money there. Yes all drinks except ordinary tea, cost you! Drinks packages were very expensive, except for bottomless bubbles, which was out of a tap, never a can. Laundries were on most floors but all machines except x1 were out of order. Laundering of clothes through the ship was well priced at around $25 per bag. The buffet dining, generally was OK. Many of the staff were not efficient however, instead ignoring customers and chatting among themselves behind the baine Marie's. Food generally was hot. Similar to washing machines, there were many breakdowns causing very long lines at tea and coffee machines. Toast was not ready, and then there was no butter. If there was butter there was no little jars to put it in! Wait wait wait, making the lines longer. Fine dining at their Nouveau Restaurant was fantastic and I can highly recommend, as was the high tea we attended. Beautiful. Any business in this day and age, who does not want customers feedback, in my mind, says they disrespect and discount legitimate concerns. Surely any business wants to know and respond to concerns. Not so Carnival Legend apparently. That is really sad. The running out of sakes of wine by the glass is a good case in point. If it was that popular they would know that opening a bottle and selling by the glass, would recoup more money for their trouble and satisfy customers. Crazy stuff. I for one will never sail with Carnival again. Sick of the lines, sick of warm dinners, sick of tea obviously made from water from a hot water service rather than heated cold water - tasted terrible. And no quality system in place to handle complaints in this day and age is ludicrous. Lifts were speedy and reliable, tv service was OK, WiFi depended on access to satellite so if cloudy it was super slow, an outbreak of the cold hit the ship and first there were around 400 passengers affected, then 1000, then at least 1500. Many visited the ships doctor. Some contracted pneumonia, collapsed lung etc. It was an epidemic. I do not know what they were advised but it would have been ideal if they had all been advised to stay in their cabins! It spread like wildfire. I might add that one of our wait staff the second night dining in Truffles, had a heavy cold and was sniffing and coughing while serving dinner! Why isn't this sort of thing supervised? In summary no more Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Love leaving out of my home town, and wanted to try 5 days at sea! Cruise was great, good activity staff and a great roll call who had many activities to help fill up those days at sea. Love the fact that Celebrity now does Silent Disco ... Read More
Love leaving out of my home town, and wanted to try 5 days at sea! Cruise was great, good activity staff and a great roll call who had many activities to help fill up those days at sea. Love the fact that Celebrity now does Silent Disco one or two times per trip. Do not miss this, as it is hilarious. Guest speakers Brent and Mary Amanda were very knowledgeable and enjoyable. Celebrity Life activities sharing information about other itineraries and ports were very informative as well, and helped us pick out our next cruise. Dined in the main dining room which was quite good, with lovely table mates. Only issue was that they had us originally as Select Dining, when we were a set seating but that was quickly sorted out on the first night. No problems with embarkation ( >15 mins!) and disembarkation was great. Ports were good, tendering was a bit painful in Hilo, but they sorted it out for Lahaina! Highly recommend this cruise Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We joined a group and wanted to visit Hawaii. Overall its been an OK cruise mostly because of entertainment and tender ports. The ship isn't big with 2000 passengers but it still took over an hour to disembark. The worst ... Read More
We joined a group and wanted to visit Hawaii. Overall its been an OK cruise mostly because of entertainment and tender ports. The ship isn't big with 2000 passengers but it still took over an hour to disembark. The worst performance in over 15 cruises. Service in cabins and at dinner is excellent. Music entertainment is repetitive and when asked about introducing dance music... we were told the music is what it is and we will not change a thing. The ship feels run down with rust appearing on a lot of iron railing, the wood siding is also in bad shape. The cabin steward is as good as it gets, making personal contact enjoyable. The dinner service with the head waiter and help is some of the best we ever had. The decor can be overwhelming with a lot adsrk brown panel. You feel a little crowded in. We are planning other cruises and it will not be with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose this cruise as a way to get to Hawaii and see all the different islands. It served that purpose, and I enjoyed the trip overall. The naturalist on board was very personable and knowledgeable. As others have mentioned, the ... Read More
I chose this cruise as a way to get to Hawaii and see all the different islands. It served that purpose, and I enjoyed the trip overall. The naturalist on board was very personable and knowledgeable. As others have mentioned, the cabin was cold most of the time and there was no way to turn on the heat. I had a sweater, so it wasn't too big a problem. My main complaint is that they interrupted dinner with a lot of raucous singing and dancing by the waiters, all, I suppose, in the name of fun. I hated it. I also hated the high volume of music in the fitness center. Even with earphones I could not hear the TV I tried to watch while working out. The entertainment was so-so. As on my previous Carnival cruise, the dancers pretended to sing by lip-syncking into phoney microphones. This, too, was at high decibels. Since I knew noise was the way on Carnival, I would have chosen a different line if the itinerary had been as good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We are a couple in our early 60's, newly retired. We have done this itinerary twice before. Each time the cost is higher, but the # days is shortened. This was a B2B cruise for us, since we boarded the ship in Sydney Australia for ... Read More
We are a couple in our early 60's, newly retired. We have done this itinerary twice before. Each time the cost is higher, but the # days is shortened. This was a B2B cruise for us, since we boarded the ship in Sydney Australia for the TransPacific repositioning. We stayed in the same cabin (9616), and had the same fabulous cabin steward (Boren Franover), so we were very happy with the stateroom. The service on the ship was great, as usual. Most of the staff goes out of their way to be friendly, answer questions, and to provide a wonderful experience. Instead of our usual Early Dining, we opted to try My Time Dining this cruise, in order to free up time to watch sunsets and sailaways. We made reservations for dinner times in the MDR, but didn't have great experiences with that. The first night, we were seated at a table with others who had reservations for a 1/2 hour before us, and had to wait until we arrived in order for the table to be full enough to order. The second night didn't go much better, so we opted to eat in the Windjammer Buffet after that, except for one night in Chops Grille. The buffet, Park Cafe and steakhouse were excellent food, and the sunset views on the aft deck were an added bonus. The first 4 days were port days (Honolulu, Lahaina, Kona and Kauai), so the Meet & Mingle was held on day 6. It was not well attended, and very little mingling happened -- a real disappointment after the previous cruise from Sydney. The port day in Hilo was cancelled after the volcano erupted and the earthquake happened. RCI substituted a day in Victoria instead at the end of the cruise. Victoria is a great city and we had a lovely day, but we would rather have had another day in any other Hawaiian port. We live in Greater Vancouver, and having paid a premium price for a Hawaiian cruise, we weren't thrilled with the substitution. Entertainment on this segment was mostly a repeat of the previous cruise, so we didn't attend many of the shows. Instead we saw more of the game shows in the Colony Club, and played pool on the self-levelling pool tables. We also spent more time trying to improve our mini-golf skills, doing puzzles and working out in the gym. The weather from Kauai to Victoria was cooler and rocky the first few days, making poolside lounging unappealing. Due to a medical emergency, we picked up speed and arrived in Victoria the evening before planned ETA. The one bonus to stopping in Victoria was that we were able to clear Customs in Victoria and avoid the Customs lineups in Vancouver, where 3 other ships were also docked at the same time. Kudos to Alex (Activities Director) and Sophie (Activities staff) for their tireless enthusiasm in running activities, contests and games to keep us entertained. I would consider doing this cruise again, but only if the duration is restored to 12 or 13 days, and if our favourite Hawaiian port of Hilo is restored. That last part, of course, is up to Mother Nature, and beyond RCI's control. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have sailed Celebrity Solstice class ships several times before, but we chose this itinerary as our first trip to Hawaii. Overnights in Oahu, Maui, and ports on both sides of the big island were much enjoyed. Our last day in Hilo we ... Read More
We have sailed Celebrity Solstice class ships several times before, but we chose this itinerary as our first trip to Hawaii. Overnights in Oahu, Maui, and ports on both sides of the big island were much enjoyed. Our last day in Hilo we experienced two earthquakes about 1/2 hour apart while on a bus tour in Volcanoes National Park and its environs. It was great and very exciting. All our excursions were from Celebrity, and all were well organized. We had one guide on the island of Hawaii, Anthony, who was very knowledgeable and entertaining. We actually enjoyed him on 2 separate tours. We learned a great deal about the history and geology of this island. I also really liked the "Beyond the Podium" lectures that were offered on the 5 sea days, especially the ones about the art of the south Pacific. I joined the choir, directed by Isaac, and had a great performance on our last night of the cruise in Victoria, B.C. A great way to get back to Canada! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
While overall the cruise was pleasant because of the itinerary and the friendliness of the crew, If I had it to do over again I would choose a different cruise line. We have taken a large number of cruises and our history with Carnival ... Read More
While overall the cruise was pleasant because of the itinerary and the friendliness of the crew, If I had it to do over again I would choose a different cruise line. We have taken a large number of cruises and our history with Carnival has been hit or miss. We decided to try again because of this itinerary. When I filled out the necessary information for my boarding pass documents they had me pick a time to board, saying "if you miss your assigned boarding time it could result in you waiting in line". We arrived 15 minutes early and there were probably between 750 and 1000 people in line and no one had started going through security. It took over 2 and a half hours to accomplish the boarding process. After the Sydney to Honolulu portion of this pacific crossing Carnival changed the smoking policy on the ship. the casino went from non-smoking to all smoking. There is inadequate ventilation for this and the casino was virtually unusable for most of the cruise because of the pervasive cigarette smoke. The smoke also came out into other areas of the ship like the colossal atrium bar area. Carnival also cut back on the number of cabin attendants, assigning our cabin attendant 35 cabins. He gave us a choice when we boarded to have our cabin serviced either in the morning or at night, not a huge deal but definitely a reduction in service. Although the dining room food was good some nights, it was not consistently good and the service was incredibly slow, again because of staff reductions and the number of tables each team was assigned. The second night took over 90 minutes to get food and 2 and a half hours to finish the meal. The cabin attendant and the dining room staff were incredibly friendly and I have no complaint against them, I just think Carnival is stretching their staff too thin and it is affecting service. The entertainment on the ship was excellent as were the variety of things to do on the ship. The cruise Director, Jen, is one of the very best we have encountered in our 40+ cruises. The air conditioning didn't work well in our cabin and I reported it to the Cabin Attendant before we left the ship for a day in port. In addition to not working well, the adjusting dial was being held on the thermostat by a band aid. Not my band aid, it was there when we boarded. If you removed the band aid the dial fell off. The dial was useless in adjusting the temperature as it was not connected to the thermostat directly. When I got back, the room was still hot so I called him again, He thanked me for reminding him and he called maintenance. When we returned from dinner there was a small tent card on our bed that read "The Air conditioning has been checked and is functioning to Carnival standards". The band aid was still there. I took a picture of the thermostat and took that as well as the small tent card to Guest Services who called maintenance back again. They finally replaced the entire thermostat and the air conditioning worked fine after that. The only reason I can see for the liberal smoking policy is increased profits. I would have been happier with at least non-smoking sections of the casino, or a non-smoking half.. even though that is like3 a non-peeing section in a pool when you don't have adequate ventilation. I do however feel like Carnival has chosen profit over my health and comfort and I will choose another cruise option in the future. I called post cruise guest relations when I returned and the agent assured me that this is the policy on all of their ships. They used to have a non-smoking ship, the Paradise, but according to her "It didn't work out". Carnival is striving and fast becoming the Walmart of Cruises. I will not be back. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018

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