First time on Celebrity and first time at ALL the ports. We selected this cruise because we wanted to see all the ports and relax on the slow float back to our home port. We flew to Honolulu from Sydney stayed at the Moana Surfrider in a Bunyan Room with views to the beach and Diamond head, it also had access to the Beach Club Room (pay the extra it is worth it). We pre-ordered a day pass/passport at Pearl Harbour through recreation.gov, so we had our allocation to the tender to see the Arizona and entry (plus audio guide) to all the sites at the memorial, the Bowfin submarine, Museum, Missouri and the Aviation Museum. You need a full day to see all the sites, I would highly recommend a visit. Note: they don't allow bags in the site, so pack your pockets not a bag.
Embarkation in Honolulu was hot and noisy and the lines were long. However, when you get near the front, they ask those with priority boarding/Aqua Class to go to another area. However, the customs official for our embarkation area was very strict, so the priority line was longer than the non priority - you have to wait sometime.
Once onboard, the holiday begins, Celebrity service and staff are wonderful, treat people as you want to be treated and a smile goes a long way. Those who board who expect servants not service make me annoyed. Unfortunately, there are a number of those personality types who cruise.
We booked Aqua Class as this was our preview cruise with Celebrity. The cabin 1541 was spotless and the location was fantastic, one fight of stairs turn right to Aqua Spa Cafe - light breakfast and lunch and the adult indoor heated pool, turn left and you are at the entrance to the Canyon Spa and the Gym. Book early for embarkation deals if you like the Spa treatments onboard, I had saved for 'something special' and the embarkation deal I purchased was the buy 4 massages and get 1 free. Five heavenly massages from Riyha, the highlight of the cruise. Two flights up and you are at the Sky Lounge and the walking track. Sky Lounge is the location for trivia and evening band 'Celebrity Life' activities, our cruise have Bandioke, CelebrityVoices, and many other fun nights after 10pm.
We always walk down the stairs and up the lifts, however, the location of our cabin made walking up easy to all our favourite locations. Their is even access through an open door on Level 11 on the starboard side (forward) so you can access the treatment rooms and the relaxation room only available to aqua class. This room has the best view of the ship over the bow with comfortable lounges, reading and sleeping as you sail.
Dining - We bought a 7 night Specialty restaurant package - our first booking by Celebrity was in the Silk Harvest 7/10. If you do the same, cancel straight away and book all your meals at the Murano. We did not find out how good the Murano was until we had also eaten at the Tuscan Grille (being Italian - 6/10 Nonna cooks better). However, the Murano is a MUST and Sasha the Maitre'D is excellent. I ordered the same meal (5 times) - Crab parfait 10/10 entree and the Lobster Main course, the Lobster is cooked at your table. 20/10
Entertainment was hit and miss, most shows are OK. I don't cruise for the shows or the entertainment, I want to relax, if it interests me, then I go.
Lahaini - we would go back to port and have the pineapple at the cafe across from Bubba Gumps - Maui Aquarium was a good surprise.
Papeete - BB Cafe for the Surf and Turf - best meal and free wifi
Bora Bora - Bloody Mary's and the Public beach - wonderful
Auckland - catch the ferry to Devonport and wonder, then public library has the best view and free wifi.
Bay of Islands - Ferry to Russell, then to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds (a must)
Shore Excursions -
Lahaini - Robert's Hawaii - 8/10
Papeete - Celebrity - Bus around the island - 6/10 Visit to the gardens was the highlight
Bora Bora - Celebrity - Glass Bottom Boat - 9/10. Our own local 'taxi' to Bloody Mary's' and the main beach 10/10
Auckland - own - Fullers ferry to Devonport and 1 hr tour - 9/10 . Walked around and had lunch at Hum Cafe 10/10
Bay of Islands - own Ferry to Russell 9/10, self guided visit to Waitangi treaty ground + Museum 10/10
Do it again - we booked a future cruise on board and saved, plus Perks - next time we have our Classic drinks package and Internet included - bam!
Note to Celebrity - if they included Aperol in the Classic Drinks Package I would book 20 more cruises.
The cabin is directly below the Aqua Spa Kitchen, it has had bad reviews from other CC reviewers, the only noise heard was the occasional bump in the morning around 7 am, and the hum of the ice or cappuccino machine in the morning and afternoon. The Aqua Spa was only open one night, so at night it was quiet.
Maui Ocean Centre is linked to this tourView All 19 Island Tour Reviews
Well organised and paced.View All 27 Maui Ocean Center Reviews
Best stop was the gardens, the other stops - basicView All 49 Island Tour Reviews
Loved the water colour, the fish and the singing and Ukelele playingView All 9 Glass Bottom Boat Tour Reviews
Brief bus tour of the major sites, then do your own thing
Ferry to the island, self paced walk and market shopping at the ferry wharf (not tender wharf) is amazing