We had only previously taken one back to back Boston to Quebec cruise on Norwegian and had found Celebrity and HAL far superior, but POA was a much different experience. We found the ship to be in good condition for it’s age, except for window upkeep. The itinerary and offered excursions were very good. We booked at a time when most were students were in school, so it was uncrowded, and there was no problem doing anything we wanted. This was our eighth trip to the Hawaiian Islands, but first cruise there. We had not been back in decades, when we use to family and couples vacation. We had never gone in middle to late September before and the weather was like in the Summer, not good. We were there 2 weeks and the Tradewinds did not start blowing until the day before we left September 28 th. As a result it was unpleasantly humid. We should have gone beginning in October or during Winter or in early Spring as we had in the past. There was no rain and the ocean was a warm 87 degrees.
The sevice everywhere was very good. We booked the MDR and excursions in each port before embarkation via telephone with helpful NCL staff. This worked well.
We cannot say enough about the excursions ship staff desk. We had a small medical issue which made it necessary to cancel two excursions, one minutes before the first was to depart. We were fully refunded and booked on one of them again the next day. The following day we missed that excursion, and they were able to put us on another leaving in 10 minutes! This was an extremely unusual situation for us and NCL really came through. We were overwhelmed by such service and this unusual experience gave us one more reason to favor ship’s excursions. Previously we had always booked some of each , but with the volcano previously effecting things, we had booked daily excursions with NCL . On previous trips we explored the various islands by car.
Guest Services at all times had a greeter person standing in the middle to assist you. We had not seen this type of service on other cruises we had taken.
The MDRs have very good fresh fruit plates, salads, soups, fish of all kinds, and leg of lamb. No not in the class with HAL or Celebrity, but good . The desserts are particularly lacking, with pies and tarts being subpar. There are good breakfast selections and great Belgium waffles with bananas. The service was consistently good and they helped me select lactose free dishes or modified them. There was only lemon sorbet, fruit plate, or the chocolate volcano cake minus the gelato I could eat as a dessert,
Service is always slower in the Liberty MDR, even if alerting that you have a show to catch, and even though staff look way less busy. It is a nice leisurely experience, more quiet if you have the time for it. Men must wear long pants in this MDR so it is not as crowded.
We had a good embarkation experience because we did not arrive until 1:15 PM . It was very quick and we had a very good leg of lamb lunch in the main dining room and or room was ready before we finished and all our luggage arrived a half hour after we entered our room.
The Aloha Cafe Buffet was pleasantly laid out with views but very crowded and overwhelming, the two times we tried it at breakfast.
We were extremely glad we had a balcony, because all windows needed cleaning in public and dining areas and seemed to be scratched to boot. It was a wonderful place to enjoy views of the ocean and going and coming to each island, as well as views of the Nepali Coast and take great pictures.
The comedian, Michael S, was the best we have ever seen on the cruise, and the magician was good as well. There are Hawaiian cultural hosts, activities like lei making, which many appeared to enjoy. NCL also brought on Hawaiian entertainment for their Aloha show.
We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village for 5 nights before the cruise, mainly because they offered us 5 nights for $800 including all taxes and charges, a luau or dinner sale and dining credits, if we would attend a timeshare presentation. This presentation and tour was interesting and the hotel worked out well as a base to explore Oahu, as we were already booked on our cruise. We had stayed at the hotel years ago with our children and were amazed at how large the complex was.
We suggest Charley’s Taxi Service for trips to and from airport to pier or hotel and to Pearl Harbor. Much faster and just as reasonable as other transportation and also I believe the same price for one to four people. They had a stand right at the HHV. They were far superior to Robert’s shared transfers we had booked. Further, if you are using Hawaiian Airlines back to the mainland from Honolulu and have a long wait, you may want to consider purchasing for $40 day pass to their lovely Plumeria Lounge. They have good quality complimentary food, beverages, snacks, desserts, fresh fruit and veggies, and WiFi. There is comfortable seating, nice restrooms, and table seating and charging stations. It is also right next to where you catch the shuttle buses to your plane and clear agricultural inspection. We noticed it began getting crowded early afternoon so if arriving later you may want to visit it first and purchase membership at the door if you like what you see.
Lastly, we could see in some cabins and heard from some people, who were very disappointed in the small cabins with tiny showers their travel agents had booked. There is a difference among balcony cabins on this ship so make sure you book one that meets your needs.
This was a large assisted cabin with tasteful decor, the best working large shower we have had, good size balcony, and good mattress. You will always have some lower damage on lower doorways due to mobility devices. Newer TV with some new releases to watch.
This was part of an offering through Oleasant Holidays which handl d our air arrangements and insurance and gave us a $50 off certificate on a tour. This was a good company with a native knowledge able Hawaiian guide. It covered all the places we wanted to see. Particularly good was the almost 2 hours we had at the lovely Wiamai State Preserve.View All undefined undefined Reviews
This is the most beautiful place we visited. Highly recommend this tour and the company that’s transports you and offered commentary in there mini buses. We are in our 70s and it was humid so we were very glad we paid the $10 transportation fee by golf cart in and out the steep road . There is still plenty of walking and so much beauty to see after this. The garden ends at a beautiful beach.View All 23 Botanical Garden Reviews
It was Lahiana On Your Own and was good except the bus drop off and pick up is at the far end at the outlets/ Hilo Hattie’s and we needed to walk to the other end to eat at the wonderful Pias Fish Market Resturant across from a he large Banyon Tree. The large Merchantile store had the best prices I had seen.View All 35 Lahaina Walking Tour Reviews