We chose this cruise because we wanted to be in Hawaii during whale season. Have done two other round trip HI cruises (one from Vancouver and the other from San Diego) but never this time of year. We did see whales - yeah!
Poor Emerald, where to start. I'll go with the good first:
The MDR staff (ATD) and our room steward were simply excellent. I can't overstate how efficient both areas of service were.
Our cabin was comfortable and clean - just an inside on Aloha deck.
The sailing itself was good - a few rough days out but nothing too bad.
Entertainment was good. The piano player and the trumpet guy were great. Always love the addition of the live band and hope that is never nixed.
The ship's excursion to the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu was great. Our guide was good not only at the site but along the way and at the other stops.
We did the Ultimate Ship's Tour and that was pretty cool. I wish we could have seen a little more of the galley area but I understand it's a busy place and they need to keep it clean. The whole tour was done very well and we were treated to some gifts from the departments. Very nice tour!
Now the not so good:
Many areas were always crowded. Maybe this was because folks wanted to play cards and other games in the buffet while we carried full plates of food around hopelessly looking for a free table. Same for the International Cafe - people would set up there for the day. We learned to eat in the dining rooms at every available opportunity.
On the crowded note, the theatre seating was ridiculous. Had to be there 30-45 minutes early to get a seat. They allowed sitting on the stairs during the first few shows but glad to see they stopped it in subsequent shows.
It was a Hawaii cruise but very cold (maybe not to others but to me, 60 degrees on a moving ship is pretty cool). Not just a few days out of L.A. and the last few back in but every single day of sailing. The day in Ensenada had a high of 55. Certainly not the fault of anyone at all, but I think it led to some of the overcrowding on the inside of the ship. I do wish this class of ship had a covered pool area and wish new builds would include them.
I'm not a foodie and didn't go hungry or get sick, but man, the food on this ship was just not good at all. There is not one thing I want again. OK, I would go for any of the Norman Love desserts and the pizza was good one day, but other than those, there wasn't one memorable item. While I love them, I do not cruise to eat hamburgers and fries (that are cold by the time I find a warm place to sit and eat).
Guest Services were sort of robotic, to put it nicely. However, one lady was nice and was helpful. I went the first day right after muster to sign up for the afore mentioned ship tour as a huge line formed up behind me. I finally got up to the front and while I was filling out the tour info sheet, the lady that waited on me got pulled to the side by a "mob" of people wanting holes punched in their ship cards for their lanyards. So, I'm waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for her to come back to get the sheet and the huge line behind me is getting very restless and angry at the hole punch people (and probably me, since I'm standing in their way), all the while she is off to the side punching holes in cards. So she was actually too nice and too helpful, but just not very professional - should have suggested they stand in line like the rest of the other guests. Not a huge deal as I generally don't visit the desk often if ever, but each time I walked by there, they all had pretty grim faces.
I am just very glad we did not book the 28 day round trip L.A. Hawaii/South Pacific trip. And I'm reconsidering a TA booked for September on the Crown as I am afraid of the same issue with overcrowding.
Not bad but completely forgettable. The bus broke down and we waited for an hour for two vans. Our guide had to split his time between buses. The guide was good but couldn't split himself in half.View All undefined undefined Reviews
This was a great tour. They were having a military appreciation day at the site so probably more crowded than usual. But it was still very nice. We also saw the north shore, Dole plantation and the guide gave us information during the whole trip. Would do this again.View All 47 Polynesian Cultural Center Reviews