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7 Honolulu to British Columbia Cruise Reviews

Turning 50 is one of those big milestones in your life that deserve to be celebrated. So, I found what I thought to be the perfect way to do that for my Wife..."Deanna's Hawaii 5-0 Cruise" on the Celebrity Solstice! We had ... Read More
Turning 50 is one of those big milestones in your life that deserve to be celebrated. So, I found what I thought to be the perfect way to do that for my Wife..."Deanna's Hawaii 5-0 Cruise" on the Celebrity Solstice! We had cruised with Celebrity once before (Auckland to Hawaii in 2008) and enjoyed a fantastic time so we had high expectations of this newer & much larger ship...and we weren't disappointed! Everything about it from the service to the food, the staff to the facilities and the entertainment to the bars & restaurants was truly EXCELLENT! I can't thank our Travel Agent Andrea West (www.luxuriousjourneys.com) enough for helping us (& our two Aussie friends) get the best possible deal (including ALL beverages!) and the ideal room on board. I highly recommend her service to anyone considering a cruise! Boarding in Honolulu was fairly easy and didn't take that long. As the ship stayed in port that night, we took the opportunity to go shopping and then met up with our friends for cocktails at the "Aft Bar" high above the stern and watched the sunset over the harbour. That's where we met one of our favourite crew Mark (from Jamaica) who really made us feel welcome and poured drinks the way we like them-STRONG :-) We had anytime dining so the 4 of us headed to the MDR around 8.30pm and had no trouble finding a table. The service & food was excellent every night that we dined there (4 of the 10 nights) and it really is a beautiful venue. We found a cool cocktail bar that had a bar top made of ICE where we enjoyed more cocktails & funky beats before we went to the nightclub & danced into the wee small hours...a pattern which we repeated for almost every night. (Here we made another friend in "Dani" from the Czech Republic who became our favourite barman & he really looked after us for the entire cruise) The next day was more shopping & then we met up with our friends for "Maitais" at the "Royal Hawaiian" on Waikiki beach, where we stayed until 4.30pm and got back to the ship in time to make the sailing but sadly missed the lifeboat drill (NOT!) It was then that I realized it was the first formal night and I had sent my tuxedo away for pressing that morning (thinking it was the next night) so it was a mad rush to get it back and I can't thank our room attendant Lyn enough for making that happen in time! It was this night that our friend Al found the place that was to become our favourite...the "Molecular Bar!" The two 'scientists' (the best way to describe them) made the most amazing cocktails we've ever had using ingredients that you would never believe would work. However, I learned a valuable lesson...only have ONE of their cocktails BEFORE dinner if you want to remember what you ate. The first port of call was Lahaina on Maui and the tender process was well organised with no real wait time. It probably helped that we were late risers and had things to do before we went ashore (I went to the gym every morning, which was excellent. It even had a sauna in the changing room which I only discovered on day 5 of the cruise) and that we never use pre-booked excursions so there was no need to rush. We had researched the historic places to visit (the Wo Hing Museum is great) so it was a nice afternoon strolling about & just taking in the scenery. There are plenty of bars overlooking the ocean for a nice cold "Maitai" (it was quite hot that day) and the people are friendly & welcoming. To my credit cards regret, we discovered an "Outlet Centre" at the end of the main street with a great range of designer stores, so my Wife shopped up a storm again & we headed back to the ship having made a great contribution to the local economy. The next port was "Hilo" on the Big Island and even though it was a wet, dreary day, it was another nice place to stroll around, after our taxi driver had taken us up to the impressive waterfall which was really roaring due to the rains. Here, we saw ladies with incredible skill creating beautiful feather lais and hat bands at the "Lyman Museum" along with other interesting displays depicting the islands history & culture. Well worth a visit. The following day, our last port of call was "Kona" on the other side of the Big Island. This was my favourite destination. It helped that it turned out to be a gorgeous day and the vibe of the place was really great. Again, we sought out the historic places including a huge stone & timber church and directly opposite, the Royal Palace (a place for the royal family to get away from the mainland) which was hosted by a really nice group of volunteers who escorted the 4 of us throughout & explained all of the interesting facts about the history and the stunning collection of furniture/art it contains. The other places that are a 'must see' in Kona are the reconstructed temple of King Kamehameha and the art gallery inside the hotel behind it, with a series of incredible paintings that tell the story of how Hawaii came to be. We ended our day ashore with a swim at the little beach by the temple (there a changing rooms, etc close by) and even without goggles, I could still see a multitude of fish around the rocks at the entrance to the little cove. Another thing that impressed me was the outrigger canoe school that was taking place on the same beach. Groups of young people were being taught how to paddle the canoes and off they would go out into the bay, one after the other. Certainly a great way to involve them in their culture and give them a fun experience, instead of play station or getting into mischief. Something our country should take note of. From then on, it was 5 days at sea on the way to Vancouver. This is the part of the cruise that I really enjoy. No need to get up & be somewhere or do anything, unless you want to. Time to relax, read or do whatever takes your fancy...and the Solstice is well set up for that. We pre-booked a speciality dining package which included 5 nights. 2 at "Tuscan Grille" 2 at "Silk Harvest" and one night at "Murano." We chose "Murano" for my Wife's Birthday and the others were booked around that. The staff at "Murano" are top notch. They really know what they are doing. From the time you arrive to the time you leave, you are made to feel special. I would go as far as saying that it is an entertainment experience in itself. But of course, it's also about THE FOOD. DELICIOUS!!! From the Lobster Tails & Chateau Briand cooked table side to the stunning desserts, it truly was spectacular! We chose to pay to go again for our friend Shayle's birthday on the second to last night of the cruise & it was just as good as he first night...so ten out of ten for consistency! "Tuscan Grille" was our next favourite. Again, wonderful service & amazing food! What I really enjoyed was the location. It' right at the end of the stern, with huge windows overlooking the ships wake. I highly recommend asking for a table by the windows. "Silk Harvest" is the Asian fusion restaurant. I love Asian cuisine but while the food was enjoyable (& the service excellent) it could have had more flavour. I realize the need to cater for all tastes but frankly, if you don't like Asian cooking...just don't go. Those who enjoy the intense flavours of Asian cuisine should not have have their experience lessened to cater for those with less tolerant palates. The "Ocean View Cafe" food court was also of a very high standard, with a huge range of different food stations to choose from, that morphed into something else throughout the day. They even had incredible Ice Sculptures! There is also a healthy options cafe located near the fitness centre with smoothies & various other choices for those watching their waist lines. The shows in the theatre were amazing! One was a compilation of famous Broadway Show Tunes and the other a similar show to "Cirque Du Soleil." A very talented group of singers, dancers & acrobats that I would gladly pay to see again. The bands on board who performed in the various bars around the ship were great and they all combined for one big show in the theatre on the last night of the cruise. A great way to end what was a fantastic holiday on board Celebrity Solstice. We will definitely sail with them again!   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
This describes our 11 night cruise on the Rhapsody of the Seas on April 30 to May 11th. We stayed in stateroom 8062, a mini-suite, with a great attendant Manuel. Embarkation in Honolulu was quick and painless. We were in the Windjammer ... Read More
This describes our 11 night cruise on the Rhapsody of the Seas on April 30 to May 11th. We stayed in stateroom 8062, a mini-suite, with a great attendant Manuel. Embarkation in Honolulu was quick and painless. We were in the Windjammer Cafe buffet at 11:30 having lunch. Great lunch spread! Easy drill on departing cruise day May 1st. 82 degrees and sunny in Honolulu. Ship: this mid-size ship is beautiful and grand, (750 employees) several lounges, restaurants, beautiful theater, pools, hot tubs ( which were open late- GREAT). It is very well maintained, immaculate, staff cleaning at all times. Stateroom: lovely and spacious, with large bathroom and adequate storage. We were 3 adults in this room and my daughter slept on the sofa bed, alway made up for her in the evening, along with towel art. Beds were very comfortable. We loved our suite. Dining: We had booked Our time dining (having to prepay gratuities). Ok, no problem. But, we didn't know we had to go reserve our dining time upon boarding. So, when we went for dinner, everything was booked till 7:30. Too late for us, considering we wanted to attend the 9:00pm show. Therefore on a few evenings, we ate in the Windjammer which did not open before 6;30pm. What is That? The lesson is: If you book Your Time Dining, Go see the Maitre D, after boarding and reserve your favorite time right away, OR book your favorite time when you book your cruise (months in advance even). Enough said about that. The highlight of our dining experience was with Maria, the hostess. Such a lovely, bubbly lady. RC is lucky to have her at this post. She is a true gem!!! Another point to be made: After 9pm there was hardly nowhere to eat, only a cafe serving sandwiches and pasta salads and cakes. Also, Windjammer was closed between 3pm and 6:30pm. Where do you eat when returning ship from port? RC should re-evaluate their dining venues and times. It did not bother us too much but others in our party, younger crowd like to have good dining options available at all times of day. Food:We thought the food was very good to average depending on the venue. The windjammer buffet for breakfast was plentiful with several options: fruits, eggs, bacon, pancakes etc.... I didn't eat at the buffet for lunch but I hear there was quite a spread and large variety of items fit for all. But for dinner it was sometimes hit/miss-limited selection, tasteless at times. Food in the main dining room was always very good, the times we did actually eat there. While the menu serves 3 courses (appetizers, entree, dessert), you could order whatever you wished ( appetizer, soup, and salad, entree, dessert). The waiters always accommodated our requests. The variety of entrees was very good-lamb, coq au vin, chicken, beef (filet mignon), fish, veal, vegetarian, pasta etc... Desserts were fabulous. We ate at 2 of the specialy restaurants: Italian and Japanese: both very good food and service but with a price. We prefered the Italian venue. Entertainment: We loved our cruise director Casey, very funny, hard-working, alway visible, organizing all sorts of activites along with his staff. The cruise orchestra was amazingly talented but was not seen or heard nearly enough. However, there were alway many activities to entertain or keep guests busy: trivia, lectures, games, arts and crafts etc.... The ship singers and dancers were talented, energetic and hard working and put on very good shows. But again, they were not used enough to help entertain guests during the days, although it may have been difficult to motivate the crowd ( quite older 60 yrs and up). The pool group Kool Vibes were OK at first but annoying after 2nd day, way too repetitive. The group New Version were a welcome relief for the next few days, more up -beat tunes. Jim Brookhart, in the Schooner Bar was a favorite. Pools/Hot tubs: 2 pools, one indoor for cooler days ( 5 days at sea from Hawai to Vancouver were cool/cold, hence everyone headed for the indoor pool.) Quite buzy in there. We opted to stay inside in lounges/ activities or hot tubs. Enjoyed the hot tubs but the jets were not strong enough. They were open late though, which is a plus. Overall experience: We sooo enjoyed this cruise. Service/Staff: Fantastic service from every member of crew, and alway with care and a smile. RC is to be commended for its fantastic staff providing excellent care to its guests. Captain Rob chatted with us every day at noon, with a great sense of humour. One day, Service Desk called to say they needed to to maintenance in our room. They gave us a complimentary entry to the Italian specialty, courtesy of RC for our inconvenience. How lovely of them. Very appreciated. Ports: Honolulu: loved this city, beautiful scenery, mountains, rainbows, Waikiki beach. We did a long stroll in the city and did a dive with North Shore Shark Adventure. Great exciting fun. Lahaina Maui: Favorite Port, Just beautiful. Amzazing scenery. Rented a car and drove around the island and stopped for shopping downtown. Stopped at a public beach for swimming. Saw giant turtles. Great day. Hilo, Big Island: Did a Helicopter Tour over Volcanoes,(50 minutes) just amazing to see lava flowing, and also great waterfalls. Rented a car to visit more waterfalls. Great port. Debarkation: Very long and delayed, There were 2 ships at port in Vancouver. Long custom lines. Such is travelling!! The only area where I would rate it 3.5 is the My Time Dining Experience, but overall the entire vacation was a strong 4* of 5 WE LOVED OUR CRUISE !! Thank you RCCL for an amazing vacation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
We just arrived home to Vancouver from Hawaii yesterday, and wanted to get this off while things are fresh in the mind. There was a foreshadow of this cruise not going smoothly when we never had our cabin number confirmed until we arrived ... Read More
We just arrived home to Vancouver from Hawaii yesterday, and wanted to get this off while things are fresh in the mind. There was a foreshadow of this cruise not going smoothly when we never had our cabin number confirmed until we arrived at the dock in Honolulu, where we lined up up for far too long in the heat we were not used to yet, to board the ship. Then, when we entered the dockside boarding shed, we began the ritual, which was the same at every port, of going thru three ID processing and shakedown processes. One to enter the dock or shed; another in the shed, similar to boarding an aircraft to check for forbidden items like weapons, and forgive us all, booze; then once more to board the ship, where illegal contraband was confiscated, mostly wine and spirits. This three time ID check was at every port, sometimes taking half an hour, and discouraged us from going ashore again in the afternoon. The process of confiscating wine and spirits really irked a lot of fellow passengers, who like us, had stuck a bottle in our bags for "in cabin" happy hours. This policy is stated by the other cruise lines, however was never enforced in past cruises. I have thought of challenging this rule, arguing that a hotel cannot stop a guest from taking a bottle in to their room as it is their temporary home, so should a cruise ship be. Nonetheless, we were caught, as were many others, one man who said he refused to buy a drink on board, and his usual bar bill was around $1,200 even with having a bottle in his cabin. Carnival was over anal with this policy. It is hard to believe that Holland America is part of this company. The differences are so obvious if one has travelled on both lines, or on others. The ship decor in some public areas like the Atrium, Pharoh's Lounge, and the Jungle Zone, is over the top, even ridiculous could be used to describe it. Cabins, restaurants, casino, library, gymnasium, public bars were very nice; and the food was very good, although waits in the dining room were sometimes long and dishes would arrive cooled off.Their scheduling was not on time, or published incorrectly. First evidence was the life boat drill, or Safety Lecture, which was scheduled for 1700 on the daily report; many of us were at our stations at 1700, without life jackets as advised, but it did not begin until 1730, and they had to drag the ship to get everyone to their stations. On previous cruises, life jackets were mandatory, and crisply uniformed staff inspected every individual to make sure it was worn correctly. The young man supervising our station could have been a passenger, no uniform at all, just a casual checkered shirt, might have been a seaman. For other scheduled functions, eg. a mini golf tournament for 1500 one day, no ship's staff showed up to organize it; poor form, showed their stuff. We enjoyed our time on board, this review is to show what we felt are differences between this experience and previous experience. There did not seem to be the joi de vive between the crew of other lines; spills, papers, and empty tins and bottle would sit too long before being picked up; the tenders/lifeboats seemed to be worse for wear; they needed a second gangway to reboard the ship more quickly.The purpose of this review is not to rip Carnival, only to point out out that they lack some of the niceties of other companies. Most things were great, but they need to take some lessons and refine themselves. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
My fiance and I did the Honolulu to Vancouver cruise on the Carnival Spirit April 2011. This was my second cruise and his first cruise.We flew into Honolulu a couple days early and stayed at the Ohana Waikiki West for 2 nights prior to ... Read More
My fiance and I did the Honolulu to Vancouver cruise on the Carnival Spirit April 2011. This was my second cruise and his first cruise.We flew into Honolulu a couple days early and stayed at the Ohana Waikiki West for 2 nights prior to boarding the Spirit on April 22/11. We had the distinction of being on the 18th floor with an ocean view, however, the elevator only goes to the 17th floor and the room was very small and quite tired looking. But for the price we paid and the fact we were only there a couple nights it wasn't a big deal, plus hey you have to sacrifice something for the ocean view :o)Boarding of the ship flowed very well and we were onboard in no time and out luggage arrived very quickly also, only a couple of hours.The size of the ship was nice as it was very easy to find your way around. It was very clean and tidy.Food was excellent, wasn't overly impressed with the deli but it wasn't bad just not quite what I'd anticipated I guess after reading others rave reviews, but then everyone has different tastes. The fruit at breakfast was always great especially the pink grapefruit and the salad at lunch was marvelous as well. We did our time dining and only had to wait twice and then only for 20 mins max, and they usually seated us in the same sort of area for most of the cruise so we had the same wait staff most of the time. We also did one of the special order Non-vegetarian Indian Meals in the MDR and it was excellent. I also now have to go on a 12 step program for the chocolate melting cake habit I picked up while on board! lol.Our room stewart Conrado, was absolutely marvelous. Once he realized we liked to have a fair bit of ice in our room it was pretty much never out during the rest of the trip. He was always very pleasant and quick to smile and greet you in the halls and did a great job on our room.Our one complaint was the entertaintment. Cruise director Stu reminded us of a used car salesman and he never once came over the PA or stepped up to the mic without trying to flog you something. The cruise I had been on previously had so much to do you wanted to be in 3 places at once. That definitely didn't happen on this cruise, and considering you have 5 whole days at sea one would anticipate there lots planned to do..... There was Bingo twice a day or more, which you pay for, there was the Casino, which you pay for, there was trivia but on the days at sea it's progressive so if you aren't aware of that at the start and you go on the second day...you're kinda outta luck. They played a game show type thing a couple evenings which was entertaining. They had karaoke of course, and ballroom dancing lessons, a "talent show" and a couple shows with their dancers and singers, who were quite good. There were a few stand up comedians and 2 juggler/comedians. There just didn't seem to be much going on during the days. The "Fun Ship" was a bit lacking in the fun department. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
this was my first cruise ever , my fiance has also posted a review on here but i thought i would submit one from my point of view as well as i feel compelled to do so based on the experience i had . the pros : fast boarding ,decent food , ... Read More
this was my first cruise ever , my fiance has also posted a review on here but i thought i would submit one from my point of view as well as i feel compelled to do so based on the experience i had . the pros : fast boarding ,decent food , superb service from our cabin steward conrado (it's been a very long time since i had excellent service with a smile). hawaii and our time spent off the ship was spectacular. that's really about it. the cons : where do i begin ? others have mentioned the poor entertainment , i would consider this to be an understatement , it was beyond brutal .daytime events consisted of such things as a hairy chest contest , trivia, afternoon tea and bingo if you wanted to pay . night entertainment was equally brutal with bad comics and bad musicians and a talent show starring the passengers .the average age of the passengers had to be 75 and you could tell, it was like being stuck in an old folks home for two weeks . the best act by far was Eddie Miles who did a magnificent tribute to Elvis. Carnival however can not be credited with booking such Talent as Mr. Miles was on a cruise like the rest of us with his fan club and thankfully shared his Talent with all of us giving me what would be the only decent hour of entertainment i had for the entire cruise . the cruise director Stu was brutal , i sincerly got the impression that his only mission for the trip was to soak us for what ever he could .he couldn't make one announcement with out trying to flog everything from steaks to watches to seaweed wraps . even after the ship had docked in vancouver during the disembarking announcment he was busy trying to flog pictures to the people whose numbers hadn't been called yet instead of at the door to thank the passengers and see us off , he left that to someone else .they don't allow outside liquor which is fine . if your not going to allow liquor though don't soak the customer 8.75 a drink . we bought two one litre bottles from carnival when we booked and it cost us over 80 dollars . in closing my final thoughts are that as a first time cruiser , i wasn't impressed overall . i get two weeks off a year and could not see myself doing this again .we payed a nice chunk of change for this trip and it doesn't deliver value for what you pay, it doesn't even pay for the entitlement to bring a couple bottles of rum on with you when you embark . it basically gets you a spot on the ship where they have you trapped into selling you all the extras . it's really a shame because this is a really nice ship with a good crew the short comings of the cruise director and his constant sales pitches really put a damper on this for me Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
What a surprise to find some 1100 Canadians, 200 Aussies, and 600 (U.S.) Americans on board in Honolulu for a 10 day trip through the islands on to Vancouver BC. The weather was cooperative for the most part. There was a rocky period in ... Read More
What a surprise to find some 1100 Canadians, 200 Aussies, and 600 (U.S.) Americans on board in Honolulu for a 10 day trip through the islands on to Vancouver BC. The weather was cooperative for the most part. There was a rocky period in Lahaina, when the tender had to cease operating for 2 hours because of rough seas. The ship turned around in an attempt to allow smoother boarding. Overall, while the tender is a time eater, it went as smooth as could be expected. My husband and I had a inside cabin forward, and we certainly felt it our first day out of Hilo. We were confined to quarters for one day. After that, it was much better. The company was great...we were assigned to a table of six, and so met two other couples. Other folks we met at mealtimes, various classes, Wii contests were fun. Mealtimes were a pleasure...we used the dining room to the max...why schlep your plate through the buffet and hunt for a table? Service was impeccable...the dining staff hustle their buns! Housekeeping did a top notch job, and when we asked that the extraneous decorative pillows be left off the bed, we didn't see them (the pillows) again. We did our own walking tour of Lahaina, and took the shuttle to Kanaapali. In Kona, we walked to a recommended fabric store and were not disappointed. The nighttime view of the volcano was a highlight...it looked like a chain of beach bonfires with showers of sparks from time to time and steam where the lava met the ocean. Spectacular! In Hilo, we arranged a tour with Ricky of rickystours@yahoo.com. We met 2 other couples on the ship who were interested in going together, so for $50p/p, we had a 6+ hour treat. Ricky is a gentleman who has been running tours for 17 years. He was once a volunteer at Volcano National park, and knows the ins and outs of the park. He took us to viewpoints with the best views (and fewest people) and recommended spots to take photos. Being in a smaller group gave us opportunities to use our time to best advantage. Other included sites were the Mac Nut farm, a gorgeous orchid farm, lava tube, Rainbow Falls. When some of the ladies asked for some time at Macy's dept. store, Ricky gave extra time to accommodate their wishes. What a guy! Highly recommend using his services. One complaint was the lack of internet due to satellite problems. Folks demanded sports scores! We were on vacation and didn't mind. Entry to Vancouver under Lion's Gate bridge was another Kodak moment. Vancouver's skyline has changed in the ten years since we visited. Good or bad, it's striking! Entertainment: Marty Allen is a gas, the Royal Caribbean cast is great! Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
This was my first repositioning cruise so I didn't know what to expect. The ship had come up from Australia, arriving in Honolulu then going on to the Hawaiian islands for five days and across the Pacific for five days to Vancouver. I ... Read More
This was my first repositioning cruise so I didn't know what to expect. The ship had come up from Australia, arriving in Honolulu then going on to the Hawaiian islands for five days and across the Pacific for five days to Vancouver. I have sailed on the Voyager class of ship and therefore I thought I'd find this ship to be less desirable, however that was not the case. The Rhapsody is older but is impeccably maintained, every public space and the cabin were spotless. I loved all of the glass used, especially the Centrum. The two story dining room was nicely set up and the Windjammer Cafe was easy to access. For this particular cruise all of the inside spaces were non smoking, including the casino. Smoking was allowed on the outer starboard decks only. I found the non smoking casino to be such a pleasure I spent more time than I expected there,  happily playing the many penny slot machines. This was the first on board casino I've seen with so many new video penny slots, and they paid off in a reasonable manner. There were many places on the ship to curl up with a book, or just watch the water go by. I had an inside cabin, which was more than adequate in size, including a small loveseat, and plenty of storage.The crew and staff were the best I've encountered on a cruise, starting with the captain (who just took over the ship) and down to the cleaning crews. The captain was very visible around the ship, including at the CC Meet & Mingle. I never passed a crew member without them smiling and saying hello. My cabin steward was a young woman who was so bubbly and energetic it was contagious. Dining room service was superb, the waiter and assistant waiter learned your preferences within a day and always provided your favorite drinks. Food was excellent, both in the main dining room and on the buffet. My only complaint (which I mentioned to the chef) was that the pizza and other Italian dishes were not very tasty. Entertainment was the usual production shows, plus some very talented comedians and singers. The five sea days were filled with a reasonable amount of activities, including recent movies. Embarkation in Honolulu was fast and efficient. It was a little odd to not get under way the first day, we stayed over until 11PM on the 2nd day.  However, Vancouver was chaos, never seen such a messed up port. The various cruise lines were all merged into one long line, with baggage check in at one central point inside the terminal, would be a miracle if your bag made it on the right ship. Waited 2 hours to get a cab. Read Less
Sail Date April 2009

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