We were in Hawaii 36 years earlier and wanted to revisit. With NCL's "Free at Sea" offer, this was an exceptionally affordable and effective way to schedule our return without worrying about booking expensive hotels, meals and airfare. Our plan was to use the ship as our floating "home base" to re-visit our favorite spots and explore new locations.
The cruise itself was awesome. From smooth check-in and embarkation, ease of finding areas of interest onboard due to well-marked signage, daily newsletters and always friendly and eager-to-assist crew members to well managed flow of passengers on/off the ship at all ports, the staff should be highly commended. The ports chosen were awesome as well. These are non-traditional ports that involve a walk through 'souvenirville' before you can leave the port area. All ports offered a more than ample variety of shore excursions to meet most everyone's needs. We like snorkeling and found the opportunity to snorkel on 3 different islands seeing a tremendous variety of fish, spinner dolphins sea turtles and even a moray eel. With our busy schedule, we didn't find time to participate in the many onboard activities or entertainment. As part of the free at Sea package, we enjoyed dining at Cagney's Steakhouse (steak/seafood), the Jefferson Bistro (French) and La Cucina (Italian) Specialty Dining Restaurants, all were exceptional. The other nights we ate in the Liberty and Skyline Main dining rooms.
After disembarkation from the ship, we rented a car and spent the day touring Pearl Harbor, an absolute must before returning to the mainland. The ship offers this excursion with a return to the airport but we wanted the freedom to spend as much time as we wanted there. Discounted airfare to/from Honolulu was one of the factors to seal the deal.
The cabin and balcony were smaller than I expected, though I hadn't done a comparative measurement with other cabins prior to selecting.
We rented a car and went to Pearl Harbor on our own ! Awesome day!!
Rented a car and visited Volcano National Park, Volcano winery for wine tasting, Hilo coffee mill and Akaka Falls. We'd been to Hilo 36 years ago.