We cruised to Hawaii on Golden Princess from 1/3/10-1/17/10. Beautiful weather, ship is very nice, shows were good to excellent (loved the piano bar and singer/dancers), room was quite nice, balcony was huge. Ports were excellent (we'd never been to Hawaii; Ensenada just a necessary side show).
Buffet food was adequate and typical. Nicely laid out, and plenty of seating most of the time. Pizza and hamburger/hot dog grills hit the spot. Anytime dining restaurants food was mediocre at best (2nd week somewhat better). Beef was usually OK, soups were terrible - watery and tasteless and lukewarm. Chowder with no cream, and none with any spices to speak of. Cold soups somewhat better. Sauces (and most food in general) were generally tasteless. Butter had been iced, and was served in watery bowls. Sandwiches in all venues were inexpertly constructed all meat on one side, cheese on the other, etc. We came home via Amtrak and were thrilled to have food that tasted like food again! Go figure.
The beds were even worse. The ship was ten years old, and they must have bought the mattresses second hand. We had four foam pads on our bed and it was barely sleepable. Our poor room steward.
Movies in lots of venues were great; Skywalker's lounge a great daytime getaway. If they could fix food and beds, all would be great!
Terrible beds, huge closet, huge balcony (4 chairs and table), very quiet, except for neighboring balconies. Across from crew entrance and never heard them. Cabin was great except for the beds.
Rented a car and went to Volcanoes National Park - the main reason we wanted to go to Hawaii. Easy to pick up rental shuttle at port, and easy to get where we were going. Also went to Macadamia nut farm, and toured a bit of Hilo. Wonderful.
Used public buses and visited Iolani Palace (fabulous tour, very good at explaining Hawaiian history), Pearl Harbor (too late for Arizona, but went to Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island), back to the ship for food and rest, then out for a moonlight stroll on Waikiki. What a life!
What a beautiful place. Rented a car at Marriott Kauai Gardens?, just down the road from the dock. Gorgeous hotel, and beach connects with public beach walkable from the pier. Drove to Waimea Canyon (gorgeous), and above (foggy) on wonderful twisty roads. Came back to Waimea River, where Captain Cook first landed in the Islands and Russian Fort Elizabeth. Drove down through the Popui beach area, up through the Eucalyptus tree tunnel, and back to have a dip in the ocean. Fabulous day, warm and beautiful.
We tendered into Lahaina, so it was a short day. Just wandered Lahaina, did some shopping at Hilo Hatties, ate shaved ice, people watched, and went through some of the historic missionary houses, jail, and hotel. And the wonderful Banyon tree. Saw whales from our balcony. Doesn't get much better that his.