14 days to Hawaii- Lots of sea days, but they had activities. If no activity you slept, ate, read, gambled, drank, swam, sunbathed, or people watched.
Ports---Hilo, Honolulu, and Maui were fine and we got to see what we wanted in our rental car. Hilo and Maui were industrial ports so nothing was near by the port. The shore excursions were more expensive over the Caribbean and Mexican Rivera ports Carnival goes too. We had found it cheaper to rent a car at each port and explore on our own. As for Kona it was a joke to get off and on. We only saw got to see what was near the Kona pier/port. The staff was unorganized and they couldn't get people on and off the lifeboats (that they used as tenders). Thankfully there was no real emergency and the life boats weren't needed, because they could not load us all properly that day. We will have to go back to Kona by flight, so we can actually visit the places we wanted to see.
Staff--Our dining room staff was amazing (Christopher, Jeffery and Ni Made) as were the room stewards (Arnold and Tosa).The Hawaiian ambassadors (Temehani and Kalehua) were so kind, helpful and had tons of patience to teach Hula, ukulele, crafts, the songs, and the sayings. The Naturalist (Linda) was full of information and great! She was always on deck looking for wildlife, the stars, etc. Academy of Fun (Steven) was okay. He had some interesting information, but was so scripted and had same jokes time after time.
You can see the ocean in the distance. If you want to see straight down to the ocean - you can't since you see the top of life boat. We knew what we got "Obstructed View with balcony" so it was not a big deal. You are right by life boat #5. The staff checked the life boats every other day and made a bit of noise at times nothing too bad if in room, but if on balcony was loud. Also they would send you a letter and ask that you not use your balcony for about 4 hours one time a week so they could wash the decks. We never saw any difference, our deck never got cleaned like it stated it would be just got the residual from the cabins/decks above.
The room stewards were great.
Rented a car from Enterprise- within walking distance to port. We did Road to Hana and beaches on own.
Typical large American city- busy and traffic. We rented a car from airport. We went to Dole pineapple and Pearl Harbor as well as visited family on island.
We didn't see much of the area since we could not rent a car this port. We walked to Kona Brewing- we enjoyed the tour, food and the few shops near pier.
We rented a Turo car and drove to the beaches and the volcano national park. We enjoyed this port the most in our rental.