We are about to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and wanted to do something special. We flew to Hawaii 13 years ago and spent two weeks on Maui and Kauai. We like cruising but have never been on a cruise over 7 days. We thought it would be fun to cruise out of Los Angeles instead of flying this time. We booked a Club Class mini-suite accommodation.
The embarkation process was a delight - efficient, speedy, the best experience we've had on a cruise line to date. We loved our room (described below). Our cabin steward was friendly, attentive, accommodating. He kept our room clean and our ice bucket stocked. We never experienced any toilet issues but unfortunately other passengers did.
Club Class anytime dining was a special treat. Service was excellent, efficient and timely. Lots of delicious menu selections including chateaubriand, filet mignon, prawns, lobster, beef wellington to name a few. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and was constantly checking to make sure we liked our meal.
Bar service was good. Alcoholic beverages were reasonably priced compared to other cruises we've been on. Overall the variety of entertainment was very good and there was always something to do.
Unfortunately, we had unusually cool weather this trip. The pools were closed for the first 3 days of the cruise and we had fairly rough seas the second day. This put quite a damper on the outdoor activites.
Time in the Hawaiian ports was too little but the 10 days at sea it took to get there and back was way too long. I would suggest flying to Hawaii and cruising around the islands if you like a cruise experience. However, I much preferred the 2 weeks we spent on the islands previously and wish we had flown again. I didn't come home feeling I had a Hawaiian vacation at all with our sight seeing limited by bad weather and lack-luster shore excursions.
I booked our excursions ahead of time and wish I had waited till we were in Hawaii. I could have avoided being committed to an excursion despite the bad weather. Hilo waterfall and botanic garden excursion scenic but drenched in rain. Pali coastline excursion very disappointing. The Pali coastline road was closed due to a mudslide that occured the previous November. Why offer this exursion? Waimea and fern grotto the best excursion of them all. Haleakala excursion a bust. Road a bus up to top of mist enshrouded volcano. Couldn't see a thing. Why not cancel this tour on such a day? Maui Ocean center nothing special - suggest avoiding.
Avoid the jewelry store. (I know. Who is foolish enough to buy jewelry on a ship but I found a piece I really liked). Store manager didn't follow through as promised with warranty information.
Disembarkation the best we've experienced yet. Organized, timely, efficient. Didn't crowd everyone into a small area or force us to walk down crowded steps. Good control of crowds. Took airport shuttle provided by Princess and got to airport 3 hours ahead of flight.
Would agree that this is definitely a cruise frequented by older adults. While many were disabled, the majority were active and lively.
Overall would recommend this cruise based on food, service, entertainment. If you want a true Hawaiian experience, fly to the islands instead. It's hard to experience paradise just a few hours a day on a stop over while cruising.
Cabin was spacious and clean. Loved the separate sofa area. Two flat screen TVs a plus. Loved the free movies, many of which were just in the show. Loved the large walk in closet with plenty of hangers. Lots of storage space. Bathroom on the smaller side but still able to stash all of your toiletries. Balcony small.