This was our first cruise and I treated my wife to a cruise to Hawaii for our 25th wedding anniversary. Upon our arrival and departure from Long Beach, we stayed in the Renaissance and took a short taxi ride over to the terminal. We arrived around 1230 and after dropping off our luggage we went through security. We took the obligatory photo and preceded to our room. Believe it or not but the luggage arrived not long after! We preceded to disinfect our room with Lysol wipes, put our clothes away and explore the ship.
Just after embarkation, we changed clothes and went to the Steakhouse for dinner. We enjoyed our meal and even ate there the last evening. We even received a free bottle of wine that is offered for eating there the first night. We ate all other evening meals in the Main Dining Room with the Our Time Dining. We always ate at a two-top table but rarely had to wait. When we did have to wait, they gave us a pager and we went to the bar just outside for a drink. The meals were all very good and even though we rarely had the same wait-team, we always received excellent service. One night on the cruise we participated in the Chef's meal. We received a complete tour of the galley and then a private reception for about seven couples. There were several specially-made courses just for us and wine with the dinner. The chef would describe each course just before we tried it. We were all presented with a scrolled menu of the occasion and the recipe for the warm chocolate melting cake. I thoroughly enjoyed it. To us, it was the best meal of the cruise. Word of caution...one must have a discerning palate because there are some different kinds of food.
For entertainment, we went to the Comedy club every night there was a show; most of them were quite good. They did have a PG version for families. We always went for the R version. We caught bits and pieces of some of the shows but outside the first night we didn't see a whole one. From what we saw though they were quite good.
The most disappointing aspect from the whole cruise were the ports of call. We were late getting into Hilo and ended up being there for a short time - no time for excursions. We went next to O'ahu because of late arrival to the islands with the idea to hit Maui after Kauai. We arrived in Honolulu on time but we missed the first rental car bus because of the time it takes to disembark and wasted a good hour and half waiting for the next. It was in Honolulu that we had our only booked excursion. We went to a luau. We enjoyed it very much but we had a better one in Maui on another vacation. We visited Kauai next and we rented a car to explore the island. The only regret was it was too short of a stay.
The next day was our trip to Maui that never happened. They told us another cruise ship was docked in port and that we had to tender. That never happened because seas were too rough. So, they took us next to Kilo. We were able to tender but because the seas were rough (not as rough as Maui) it took longer and we were only able to explore the town. The next day, seas were still rough in Maui and we got to visit Kilo again. There was a lot of disappointment for not going to Maui. We left the islands for Ensenada. Once there, we had a bus downtown but we didn't stay long and returned to the ship.
Upon our arrival into Long Beach, we left our baggage outside the room to be collected, left our room and I gave an additional tip to our steward. We waited for our group to be called from the Lido deck. When it was called we left the ship, cleared customs and picked up our bags (with a little searching) and returned to Long Beach.
The cabin was your standard extended-balcony cabin. Our steward was very attentive and usually had the room serviced while we were at breakfast or shortly after then. In the evening, it was serviced upon our return from breakfast. The cabin location was under the Lido deck but we never heard chairs or noise from above. We were just a short walk up the stairs or the elevator to the Lido dining and other areas.