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4,747 Hawaii Cruise Reviews

To see the neighbor islands And visit with friends on Maui and Hilo I did not care for the food on the ship it was so so and I felt too many people around me so I would not go again it’s just not for me I felt the motion as well ... Read More
To see the neighbor islands And visit with friends on Maui and Hilo I did not care for the food on the ship it was so so and I felt too many people around me so I would not go again it’s just not for me I felt the motion as well and tried to upgrade to a better room but guest services wouldn’t help with my request All and all I was not impressed with this cruise so if anyone reading this I recommend getting the middle of the ship and a balcony room otherwise you will not be happy the staterooms on both ends of the ship are bad and rocky and the bathrooms were way tiny so there you have it The crew was nice enough in the aloha Cafe The ship felt jam packed with people everywhere waiting for elevators and such I took the stairs a lot Thank you Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The overall cruise was pretty good. The customer service I received prior to boarding was terrible. It makes me mad enough that I can only rate the overall cruise as a 2 (poor). My wife is a greencard holder and mistakenly forgot her ... Read More
The overall cruise was pretty good. The customer service I received prior to boarding was terrible. It makes me mad enough that I can only rate the overall cruise as a 2 (poor). My wife is a greencard holder and mistakenly forgot her card. Upon arriving to Honolulu, we realized this and called Norwegian Customer Service due to the wording of what is needed on Norwegian’s website (one location on the website states a greencard holder needs the card on all cruises (incorrect) and another location says you do not for Hawaiian cruises(correct)). I told the customer service person of our situation and what cruise line we were on. The customer care representative put me on hold to check if my wife would need her card. She told me she checked with her supervisor and you indeed needed the card. She said there would be no way to board and no refund. I figured it was my loss and almost walked away. Especially so, since she said there wasn’t a point for me to go try to get on, since she knows it wouldn’t be possible. Adamantly, I checked with security and was told I do not need it and was able to board. I checked with 3 different security staff members and another person we greeted while embarking. Every person I spoke to confirmed that a greencard holder only needs their state drivers license or another form of government issued ID, since this cruise is an inter island cruise. I almost missed out on this cruise because of some misinformation told by a Norwegian Customer Service Representative who even claimed to ask her supervisor, since she was not sure. If I didn’t check with security, I wouldn’t have known we could have boarded and I would have missed out on the cruise. Very infuriating since I assume this must happen once in a while and those people might have walked away and not even known they were told an inaccurate answer. As for the cruise itself, it was a nice cruise. The ship is on the older side but it is kept well. The staff for the most part are very friendly and helpful. Some staff in the Aloha buffet used stinky rags to wipe tables down so there was a large section other passengers tried to avoid using due to the smell. Food on the cruise ship was okay. Not terrible but not awesome. The food you pay extra for was pretty good though. Disembarkation was kind of chaotic and took a bit longer than what I am used to. However, it wasn’t bad enough to ruin my positive experience with the cruise itself. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I thought it would be an awesome way to see some of the Hawaiian Islands. The room was very nice. Service to our room wasn't great. Our room attendant had the suites upstairs and wasn't around much. The room service we ordered ... Read More
I thought it would be an awesome way to see some of the Hawaiian Islands. The room was very nice. Service to our room wasn't great. Our room attendant had the suites upstairs and wasn't around much. The room service we ordered in one night was amazing and came very timely. La Cucina restaurant food was terrible and the service was poor. Our waitress had an attitude. You really need a new cook in this restaurant. The Moderno was amazing. Service and Food both amazing. We couldn't use our third specialty restaurant night because we didn't want to eat at 9:30 at night. I don't thing the carefree dining exists. If you don't make your reservations ahead of time you will not have good times to eat period! and you might not even get into the restaurant you want. The excursions..... This started our cruise off wrong, we went to the service desk to inquire about on of our excursions and found out that the horseback riding was weight based. Interestingly the weights are on all other excursions, ie...can't be over 275 or 250 pounds etc... BUT not the horseback riding. I was so excited for it. WELL, the weights were very low and I didn't make the cut and didn't know this would be an issue until day one of the cruise. SO it was very upsetting for my weight to be thrown in my face at the desk in front of everyone instead of in the quiet of my own home. IF you are doing this excursion you need to be fit and thin. I can't remember the chart but for 5'6 inches you had to be under 180lbs... YOU HAVE to fix this problem with not having the info on the website for booking. Its not your fault how much people weight but it is completely a Norwegian customer service issue to continue to embarrass and make people feel bad once they board the ship excited for their plans only to have to cancel. I literally cried at the desk because I felt so bad. I didn't need to start my cruise like this and it is completely your fault. I could have looked at the weights and heights at home and not booked the excursion, picked something else and avoided the first day on the ship being ruined. So THANKs for ruining my first day. It was Hawaii though so I got better quick and let it go. It is wrong on many fronts the way you handle this excursion. Michael Masci in the pink flamingo lounge was so amazing and included the guests. He was so personable and just a wonderful person. The staff was so friendly on the boat. Honestly I just wish we had more time. The day we toured the Na'apali coast it was foggy and rainy and we didn't get to see it so that was a HUGE let down and bummer...but you can't control the weather. WE made the best of eat with food and drinks on the ship. The massage was very nice that we got and I really enjoyed it. Overall, once I recovered from my hurt and embarassment day one, it was nice. There needs to be improvements with dining options that aren't at bedtime and improvements with the horseback riding excursion information. Its so simple, but the chart they gave me on the website under excursion info! SERIOUSLY get this fixed so no one else has to go thru this. Its a sensitive private issue, allow people the courtesy of dealing with it in their own home. Oh and it took an hour or more to get off the ship....so be prepared for that. Go down early if you want right off, if you wait until after 8:30 you will be in a line around the ship for over an hour...uggh. But it is what it is, they have to get everyone off. The staff was trying so hard to help everyone. Cruising the Hawaiian Islands this was was so amazing. WE got to see so much. It was my first Norwegian cruise and I enjoyed the drink package. the dining was rough because we didn't make many plans ahead of time believing the easy dining title.... MAKE reservations or you won't get what you want. You have to plan out your dining ahead. I would do Norwegian again, the service really was great overall, only a few issues. SKIP LA CUINA restaurant. So thanks to all who made the cruise wonderful and please fix the couple issues and it would be excellent! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I have been reading these reviews for two years since I booked this cruise and was, quite frankly, dreading it. To set the scene, this was my 10th cruise and 3rd with NCL. Yes, it is expensive. Why? Because it is registered and based ... Read More
I have been reading these reviews for two years since I booked this cruise and was, quite frankly, dreading it. To set the scene, this was my 10th cruise and 3rd with NCL. Yes, it is expensive. Why? Because it is registered and based in USA and must employ US staff and pay US wages, unlike 99% of other ships which don't. Want a cheaper alternative? Book with another line out of California and waste 5 days getting to Hawaii and 5 days (including an enforced stop in Mexico) getting back. Are the excusions a rip off? Yes but in my experience all cruise lines do this. ( Use Roberts Hawaii instead). Does the ship look old and in disrepair? Absolutely not. It was immaculate. Is it full of modern facilities and bells and whistles? No, but if that surprises you when you get on board, it shouldn't. Do your research!!!! The website clearly tells you that it is one of the smaller, older ships in the fleet and exactly what facilities it does and does not have. We saw the shows every night and they were average to slightly above average. Main restaurant food was typical cruise fare and yes the aloha buffet was busy at lunch times, aren't they always??? Cagneys, one of the speciality restaurants, was the best meal I have eaten on a cruise ship. Overall it was a great week. Please remember people, NCL is a 4* cruise line so why are you expecting it to be the same as Celebrity/Holland America/Princess????? Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Well to start with ......norwegian was the only choice for a 7 day hawaii cruise that basically stays in hawaii all 7 days. Holland america (which is the number 1 cruise line in my book) was 10 days and longer with half the ports. I wish ... Read More
Well to start with ......norwegian was the only choice for a 7 day hawaii cruise that basically stays in hawaii all 7 days. Holland america (which is the number 1 cruise line in my book) was 10 days and longer with half the ports. I wish holland america would dock and match there ports. If you do a cruise you spend alot of time in the cabin, eating at restaurants, and excursions. I'll start with eating. Aloha buffet was a free for all, so imagine several thousand folks embarking on the buffet line at the same time, not a pretty picture. No kind of rope/pole system to incourage a orderly line....and by all means don't expect an employee to say anything when it turns into a mob crowd, imagine having a plate of food and trying to squeeze and manuever yourself thru a huge crowd to fill your plate at several different locations fighting the crowd to get your main course then moving over to the next set-up fighting to get your vegatable and side entrees and least but last moving to another station and fighting the crowd to get your desserts, then its off to a drink station, only find the ice machine broke and off to another drink station various ones located thru-out the buffet. By the time your done your worn out, ready for a nap. Finally you set down at the table only to have the buffet floor help gathered with co-workers in the corner chatting amongst themselves, when they could have tea and juice pitchers in there hands filling guest cups with refills. But know they conversate giggle and carry-on till your plates start empting, then there bugging you to take your plate before your even done. Skyline cafe which is a sit down cafee and you order off the menu and they wait on you...… we arrived at the locked door 30 minutes before it opened, and was the 5th couple in a line by the door. When the door opened 30 minutes later there was a crowd of several 100 people who pushed and eased, shouldered there way thru everybody to the front by the time the door opened we were nudged shoved and ended up with 15-20 people in front of us because they opened 2 lines. Again if they would of placed poles/ropes up forming to lines to get in this would of been more desirable, then the mob crowd pushing to the front with no guidance from the staff, at this time no staff intervene and the crowd pushed thru. And to top it off food finally arrived 30 minutes later.....miserable experience every single day all 7 days, only time it was nice was lunch because most people was off ship doing excursions. We had an inside cabin on the 11th floor and the extra bunk bed above us was folded up and it rattled, squeeked, made noises, the whole cruise, but i will say it was rough seas most days when we were sailing but even the calm days it still did the same noises, very hard to sleep at times, some nights i was so worn out from fighting the food crowd it did not phase me and the wife. Cabin staff was awsome, excusions were over-priced,..... Word of advice to all ....alot of the excursions you can book off the ship, like the road to hanna ship wanted $249 person......they sold out …. We were going to take taxi around town told taxi lady what happened (ship selling out)she took us there and back making the same stops as the cruise ship offered for $75 person wife and i did it for $150 total and it was great, she did not rush us at all and had us back to the ship way before departure. Now fast forward to end of cruise, we booked thru expedia.com supose to get $125 credit per cabin. We receive the bill and you guessed it no credit..... Went to guest relations only to be told headquarters closed and would not be open untill next day after trip over. Basically nothing they could do, they asked for proof, of course i did not print out promotion, as i have never had to do that, always have received(when i book on holland america, and we have sailed with them 15 plus times, never ever, have i not got a promotion credit, its always there) i asked for supervisor, he basically played the blame game said it was expedia.com fault, contact them, nothing he can do about it. Remember norwegian contracts thru them to sell there cabins but yet theres nothing norwegian can do. AFTER BEING VERY UPSET AND PERSISTENT HE FINALLY SAID HE WOULD LET HEADQUARTER KNOW ABOUT IT AND THEY WOULD REACH OUT TO WIFE AND I .....AS OF TODAY 10/09/19 I HAVE NOT HEARD A PEEP OUT OF THEM.....(YEA YOUR RIGHT ON YOUR FIRST THOUGHT, I AGREE HE TOLD ME WHAT I WANTED TO HERE TO GET ME OFF HIS CASE TYPICAL "TAKE NO RESPONSBILITY CUSTER SERVICE") sum it up folks stick with the smaller ships like holland america, less crowd and they actually wait on you hand and foot not to mention they pamper you with towel animals in your room and chocolates/mints on your pillow every night at the buffet dining, they actually fill your tea glasses, juice and coffee and clear your tables, also they have organized lines with employees who care & give directions to the effect ......leave the unorganized, mob-like crowds, no controls, free for all norwegian cruises for somebody else to conquer. Wow!!!!! I was very disappointed. i challenge the president of norwegian cruise lines to book a cruise on holland america take notes and learn what real customer service is all about...….you think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, boy was it not, it makes me appreciate holland america even more so......now!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
If you want to cruise several islands, NCL is you only choice. Our high expectations for the beauty of the islands was fully met, but the ship was quite disappointing. Most disturbing was frequent sewage odor in our stateroom. Each time we ... Read More
If you want to cruise several islands, NCL is you only choice. Our high expectations for the beauty of the islands was fully met, but the ship was quite disappointing. Most disturbing was frequent sewage odor in our stateroom. Each time we complained, we got an aerosol spray and were told there was a plumbing problem that they were working to fix. They never did. Everywhere we ate, the food was fairly bland. The only place we could reliably find something acceptable to eat was in the Aloha buffet, but it was understandably very crowded, and to get to it from the most convenient elevator we had to walk across a tile floor that was always wet from traffic from the kitchen. This was a safety hazard as our shoes got wet, the tile was slippery, and since the whole buffet area was tiled, we would feel like we were ice skating. Excursions, specialty dining, and drinks were all very expensive, but I fear this my be the industry standard. We got incorrect or misleading information from both customer service and excursions staff onboard. We are old, so jet lag combined with tiring excursions meant we were usually too tired to attend entertainment events, but those we did attend were excellent. If you are willing and able to carry your own bags, disembarkation is easy. Otherwise you will probably have a nightmare baggage claim experience. We are not sorry we went, but we were certainly disappointed by the ship. By the way, if you get a balcony, get one on the starboard side so you have the best view of the Napali coast. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I had a very low expectations given the reviews that I read hear prior to taking my trip. I am very grateful that my expectations were very low as I was pleasantly surprised. First the good. We were in cabin 4100 and it was great as it ... Read More
I had a very low expectations given the reviews that I read hear prior to taking my trip. I am very grateful that my expectations were very low as I was pleasantly surprised. First the good. We were in cabin 4100 and it was great as it made it easy to get on and off the boat. Our cabin steward was great though we barely interacted with her. We did not find the boat to look old or in disrepair. The staff was by and large pleasant and attentive and the itinerary was good. Now for the ok but not great. I have been on a celebrity cruise where the food was excellent. The food on the pride of America cannot be described as excellent but it is really good enough for the most part. The main dining room was a mixed bag. The items that stay on the menu from day today or better than the daily selections. For a cruise that is in Hawaii it is a shame that the fish is so terrible. The steaks on the main dining room and you are pretty reliable as are the pasta dishes and the soups. We found the aloha café to be more convenient for breakfast and dinner as the quality of the food was every bit as good as in the main dining room and the selection was better. We rented a car at each port and did not take part in any of the Norwegian cruise line excursions. We downloaded the GPS tour guide called GYPsy And found it to be invaluable in guiding us towards the best sites to see. We purposely arrived late, at 2:30, for embarkation hoping to not have to wait. We still waited about 30 to 40 minutes to be processed. Disembarkation was not much better and also took about 30 minutes though we did not have to wait for luggage.We had full days touring in our rental car so we were pretty exhausted at the end of each day. We did not go to any of the shows. I did try to go to the library but all the books are Locked up in the cabinet and there is no staff person in the library to unlock the cabinets. The fitness center is well stocked and huge. We did not do anything in the spa. The walking track, running track is on the six deck The wind doesn’t look like a walking or running track. There is no other cruise like this and I feel like we got a lot out of the experience. I was so glad to have read all the cruise critic reviews as I felt I was well prepared when I got on the boat. I was also happy that my expectations were pretty low. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise because I got a very good price for a solo inside cabin. I had had Jen Baxter as a cruise director before. She still is a great cruise director. 10 sea days,but lots of activities planned for each sea day(lots of ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I got a very good price for a solo inside cabin. I had had Jen Baxter as a cruise director before. She still is a great cruise director. 10 sea days,but lots of activities planned for each sea day(lots of trivia). As this was a Hawaii cruise I did go to Hula lessons. Cabin was ok. Nita,cabin stewardess was great! Food overall was good,but I did have a few main entrees that were not good(for example-lamb that was too tough to cut),and some appetizers that were not good. Poor selection of teas-only Lipton and green tea bags offered. Desserts were mostly very good but for one night grand marnier souffle that was more of a cake than souffle. All musicians were very good! I especially liked rock band Hot Shots in Red Frog Pub! They were fantastic! Danced a lot to their music! This was one of the best cruises I have taken(over 27 cruises)! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was the second time on the eclipse and it doesn’t fail to disappoint. The ship was in good shape from the public areas to the cabin. Selected late seating as that was only thing available when booked, the staff wasn’t able to ... Read More
This was the second time on the eclipse and it doesn’t fail to disappoint. The ship was in good shape from the public areas to the cabin. Selected late seating as that was only thing available when booked, the staff wasn’t able to assign a perminate table for two the first night, but they accommodated us the second night and we stayed with the same table for the remaining 10 nights. The head waiter was helping his staff and greeting guests every night. We found the captain around the ship, he was very visable as well as his senior staff. Entertainment is available in the evenings before and after dinner. The heart of the ship is the Martini Bar and always a great place for a drink. Sky lounge is a nice venue for late night dancing. Casino wasn’t open during the ports days or evenings. Somethings to do during the days at sea are claim your chair in the saloruim where they also have light breakfast and lunch served. Gym is packed during the morning and early afternoon, plan to work out between 2-4 and 5-8. The Sunset Bar is a great place for an afternoon cocktail and live music on occasional. A few tips for excursions in the ports of call; Hilo - highly recommend renting a car from Hawaii Jeeps and make sure your a Budget Fast Break customer will save you time. There are a couple highlight must sees; Rainbow Falls, Akaka Falls, Two Step for snorkeling and Valcono National Park. Maui Hyatt Regency has a Hertz with a free shuttle that will save you time not having to go to the airport. Most popular excursion is the Road to Hana it will take a whole day. I would suggest downloading the GyPSy app and bring an extra phone charger cord. Ohe’o Gulch is not a must do we thought it wasn’t worth the drive. Kona has a great snorkel at Kahalu’u beach with snorkel rental avalible and accessible by Uber. Hawaii would not be complete with out a visit to Pearl Harbor, tickets are available online 60 days prior or 24 hours in advance. I would suggest staying in Ko Olina, we stayed at the Marriott Vacation Club and was one of the nicest resorts we have stayed at. Also there is a Four Seasons and Disney has a resort there as well. If you are not TSA PRE arrive to HNL airport 2 hours early to insure you don’t miss your flight, but if your traveling to another island be sure to look at Hawain Airlines as they mainly do island to island flights regularly throughout the day. This was a great way to see Hawaii even if you have been before. The ship changes time 1 hour every other day to help get adjusted. 5 days at sea may seem like a lot, but it’s nice to get into vacation mode or unwinding from a jam packed vacation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted a cruise that went to 4 islands and this one was the best fort us. We cannot compare to other cruises because it is our first cruise ever. Everything for us was perfect, we really enjoyed the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted a cruise that went to 4 islands and this one was the best fort us. We cannot compare to other cruises because it is our first cruise ever. Everything for us was perfect, we really enjoyed the cruise. The dining was for all tastes. There was a lot of different kind of places to go eat. Everything was very good. The entertainment was spectacular, we really enjoyed that too. The ship was not to big it was easy to go from one place to another. Very good for us. The cabin I think was OK since we don't know other wise. I tough the ports was more entertaining. This is commercial port so no beach or shopping near by. I was a bit desapointed about that. Except for Maui who was ok, the shore excursions was really great and "Roberts Transportation" was super !! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise and I think we picked the perfect cruise! Being able to be at port daily made it very appealing! Visiting all of the Hawaiian islands in one trip was amazing! The views were breathtaking at every stop (and from ... Read More
This was our first cruise and I think we picked the perfect cruise! Being able to be at port daily made it very appealing! Visiting all of the Hawaiian islands in one trip was amazing! The views were breathtaking at every stop (and from our balcony especially during the trip around the Na Pali Coast)! The ship was clean and the staff was great! Everyone was very personable and polite and always had a great big Aloha to greet you! Our room attendant was great and made sure to keep everything well stocked and clean. There were plenty of food options even for the pickiest of eaters. And we had our favorite server that we ate breakfast with every morning after we found her which was nice! The spa was great however the only suggestion would be to have the thermal chairs near windows so you could relax while enjoying the views :) The nightly entertainment was always on point! Jami the cruise director was phenomenal and we saw her daily which was awesome! She even got in the pool and played water volleyball with the rest of the staff! The onboarding activities including making leis were fun and educational. The Hawaiian ambassador was full of knowledge! We did the helicopter tour in Hilo which was unlike any other experience I've ever had! Flying over an active volcano was a thrill for sure and worth every penny! Karaoke was super fun! There was already plenty to do at each port! If like to know if there are any particular theme nights before we said so that i can come prepared to fully participate (i.e 70's and 80's nights and the all white party). This was by far one of my favorite vacations to date! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
1. The cabin had a bilge/sewage odor. While the steward tried to spray to mask the odor, it never went away. So we had to sleep with the sliding door open which made the cabin hot and humid and left us drained and tired during the day. We ... Read More
1. The cabin had a bilge/sewage odor. While the steward tried to spray to mask the odor, it never went away. So we had to sleep with the sliding door open which made the cabin hot and humid and left us drained and tired during the day. We should not have had to stay in the cabin under those conditions but we were told that ship was full. 2. To escape the odor in the cabin I went to the the library. A couple came in and the wife told me, "don't stay in here too long, it smells like sewer..." Another person I met on the pool deck told be about similar smells that they had noticed. They asked me for my impression of the boat and when I was done, telling them about the age of the ship and the food and the smells, the grandson said to the grandmother, "That's the same thing that you and grandpa were saying last night..." When we were on an excursion, we befriended a couple that has a time share on the island and they told us about an old, ship that they did not recommend, that they were on years ago. I asked if it was NCL Pride of America, and they said, "Yes...". 3. Certain food items in the Skyline restaurant were AWFUL. Awful to the point that you had to go out of your way to make food so bad. Awful to the point that Chef Ramsey would have FIRED staff on the spot, and I am usually very easy going about food and I eat anything. For instance, there was a chicken lettuce wrap. The chicken filling looked terribly unappetizing and did not taste much better. I told my wife it looked like Mighty Dog, dog food. Worst of all was the cherry pie. I have never had "cherry pie" with no cherries. Even if you are going to serve a cheap, store bought pie, there are at least cherries in the pie. This pie filling was a gelatinous blob, very similar to canned cranberry "sauce". I wound up getting ice cream and telling my wife, how could they screw up ice cream, but I was wrong. They managed to screw up ice cream... It had ice chunks which means the ice cream had defrosted and refrozen. The list does not end here, but you get the idea. 4. Over the top port security procedures. It is ridiculous to have to show your id and ship card when returning to the ship from an excursion, at the port entrance, and then again 50 ft. away and then again when going thru metal detectors and then again to reboard the ship. We have cruised Viking all over Europe and never had any experience like that. You are on an organized bus excursion. Everyone on the bus had gotten off of the ship. The experience was, as I said, ridiculously redundant. 5. The process for changing excursions was terrible - very cumbersome. Initially I went on line and read about all the excursions (90+) and made selections. After that it was a nightmare. The cruise was a surprise for my wife's birthday. Once she knew about it, she wanted to review the excursions. You can't. You can't go online and see all of the excursions, You have to unbook everything to see the full list. That is ridiculous. Their is a very cumbersome way to go online to see excursion by port but as I recall we wound up having 3 or 4 windows open for the whole process, lots of switching between windows and when we called for customer support, I recall waiting more than an hr. to speak with someone.... 6. That said, our cabin steward was great. Lauren Epstein the cruise director was great. The staff at East meets West restaurant was great and the 3 island itinerary with overnights was great but they are running that ship into the ground 52 weeks out of the yr. and we would not recommend the ship to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We wanted to cruise the Hawaiian Islands and our travel agent suggested Norwegian Cruise Lines. We found the ship clean everywhere, and EVERY SINGLE person working on the cruise was extremely friendly and helpful, no matter the question, ... Read More
We wanted to cruise the Hawaiian Islands and our travel agent suggested Norwegian Cruise Lines. We found the ship clean everywhere, and EVERY SINGLE person working on the cruise was extremely friendly and helpful, no matter the question, or just a pass in the hallway. Our cabin was just big enough, and the balcony was lovely. The cabin Steward, James, was very helpful and cheerful. We took several tours (snorkeling, outrigger canoeing, waterfalls, and canyons) and all were excellent. Would highly recommend all the ones we took. Our one complaint was that the interior of the ship was freezing cold all the time! Needed jackets inside, but not outside! One highlight was being met at the airport by Emily, an NCL employee I guess, who met us (unexpectedly) with a huge smile and shepherded us through the airport to our waiting shuttle transfer to the ship. She set the tone for the whole trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I am currently on the Pride of America. This is our 6th NCL cruise and have always been over the moon with everything from entertainment, service and food. I hate to be negative because as I said I am in beautiful Hawaii, but the service ... Read More
I am currently on the Pride of America. This is our 6th NCL cruise and have always been over the moon with everything from entertainment, service and food. I hate to be negative because as I said I am in beautiful Hawaii, but the service on the cruise (mostly wait and bar staff) have got to be the rudest people we have experienced. So many of the guest that we have come in contact with have all said the same thing. They act like you are inconveniencing them so much that you don’t even want to ask for extra napkins. The other night there was a group of us that went to the Mardi Gras night club at 10:30 music was playing and all the lights were off. When I asked for the lights to be turned on I was told no so I asked for a manager who came and told me that me and my group were “an anomaly because most people are in bed by that time of the night”. Then why are they open until 2 am? Last night I don’t know if our waitress in the pink champagne lounge was on pills or drunk but she kept dropping everything and bumping into the furniture completely forgetting what was ordered and acting like a flirt with an older guy on the dance floor instead of doing her job. The staff will literally stay in front of you and talk about how many more days they have left in their contract and ignore you while you’re waiting for something. Now I say all but that is not completely correct because we have met three people that have been very nice but this is day 6! This cruise cost double any other cruise that we have been on and we are extremely disappointed. Will not recommend for sure. Food is standard nothing to write home about. Cruise Director ok - not nearly as fun as our past ones. Positive - your in beautiful Hawaii. Just do yourself a favor and find another way to get here. PS. If you book a balcony cabin on the 10th floor you can only look straight because there are large metal barriers that prevent you from looking left to right over the balcony. I wish my cruise assistant would have booked the midship balcony cabin non-obstructed I asked and paid for Sorry to be negative but feel the need to be honest and hope this is seen by someone who does something to improve their customer service. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Been wanting to visit Hawaii for a long time. Cruising the islands was the best choice. We were able to secure a suite for the trip and it was fantastic. Room was spacious for the 3 of us and the service was outstanding. We dined in ... Read More
Been wanting to visit Hawaii for a long time. Cruising the islands was the best choice. We were able to secure a suite for the trip and it was fantastic. Room was spacious for the 3 of us and the service was outstanding. We dined in the specialty dinning restaurants mostly because of prepackage we bought, well worth it. The food on the buffet was mediocre. The excursions were rather expensive so we rented a car to explore the islands. It was easy to get around and very economical for our group of 5. If you like a thrilling ride and snorkeling I recommend doing the Captain Zodiac rafting ride in Kona. Fun and the scenery is exquisite and snorkeling is easy even for the novice. Entertainment on board was excellent with a variety of comedy , musical , and magic. One of the most enjoyable cruises that I have been on. I would do it again without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Overall the Ovation of the Ship is a beautiful large passenger ship. It had 4600 passengers but didn't seem crowded except on deck when it was warm and sunny as all of the people came out of hiding to get a deck chair. I had a solo ... Read More
Overall the Ovation of the Ship is a beautiful large passenger ship. It had 4600 passengers but didn't seem crowded except on deck when it was warm and sunny as all of the people came out of hiding to get a deck chair. I had a solo interior cabin which while small was good at has a normal double bed and the same bathroom as regular rooms. it had the virtual balcony which I liked. The food in Solarium café and American Icon was very good, but Windjammer was repetitive food (too much Asian and Indian food) and not enough veggies. Windjammer was busy at breakfast but pretty empty at night for dinner. I liked the take 2 café for lunch. I did the North Star twice but not the I-fly or surfing. You had to wait a long time if you wanted bumper cars and then you were on for five minutes. The Hawaii enrichment lectures were very good. I would definitely sail on it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I am currantly on day seven of a ten night cruise aboard Ovation of the Seas. I embarked in Vancouver and will end up in Hawaii. Here are my obsevations so far: First of all I love Royal Caribbean and have sailed twice before with ... Read More
I am currantly on day seven of a ten night cruise aboard Ovation of the Seas. I embarked in Vancouver and will end up in Hawaii. Here are my obsevations so far: First of all I love Royal Caribbean and have sailed twice before with them, most recently on the Allure of the Seas, see my review here…….https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=652523 I do love the big ships with the Oasis class being the largest. Let me start with the negatives as it relates to this Quantum class Ovation of the Seas… When I first boarded her in Vancouver the process was somewhat confusing as there was no separate area for Crown and Anchor guests or for people who may have purchased the ‘Key” as I did on Allure. No biggie. It took about 20 minutes to get on board beginning at 11am. The instant I stepped foot on board I felt that I had made a huge mistake in booking this ship. It was jammed to the max right at 11:30 am and we were herded through what I would discribe as an airport high end shopping mall filled with glitzy expensive jewlery shops….Bulvgari, Cartiere etc etc..what seemed like dozens of them…It was shoulder to shoulder jammed as if I were in the Bangkok airport between gates. Yuk! The Promenade is tiny in my opinion for a ship that has this many people on it! Its as if RCI felt that shopping for a diamond watch was way more important than the common areas where normally one would find the bars and food venues sepatate from the occaisonal guest who needs to buy a Gucci handbag on a cruise. The central common area is all about shopping and not about complimentary needs for Ovations' passengers..They are after thoughts just stuck into deck four and five….so consequently you NEVER have the feeling that you are at Schooner's Bar, The Pub, Jamies Italian etc…you are in a mall and you are always facing a high end shop, always…while you eat your upcharged meal or have a pint in the pub. On the Oasis class Central Park and to a great extent the Royal Promenade allow separtaion and the actual feeling that you are in a venue catering to you. Even Vintages wine bar on Ovation is an after thought stuck right in the open of the mall. I hated this whole concept and felt totally let down compared to my previous experiences on Allue and Independence. As the days went by the ship did open up and I was relieved that my first impressions wore off but overtime if you want to go from one end of the ship to the other you go tru the mall unless you go tru deck 14 which I tried to do most of the time. There are way too many people on this ship for the overall design which I’m told was originally for the Asian market. On Oasis class ships I never once felt crammed in and crowded and they have even more people on them. The four main dining rooms allow pasengers to eat either Mytime or fixed seating.. I chose The Grand dining room and requested a table before boarding and once again Royal came through. Very happy with my table and I like the Grand dining room much better than Silk, American Icon or Chic. The food on Ovation so far has been hit or miss. I’m not one to complain about food on a cruise ship, there is a ton of it everywhere and you should be able to satisfy your hunger 24 hours as you can do on Ovation. I have noticed that compared to Allure last December the food on Ovation particularly in Windjammer leans toward the lower end of quality. Not a carving station in sight offering up a huge roast or ham..nope they actually have a tiny canned ham being carved for breakfast. Not a strawberry or blueberry to be found anywhere. Basically the exact same breakfast every day. The main dining room food so far has been hit or miss. I have eggs benedict in the main dinig room everyday and it comes out fast and cooked to perfection. You can find some good stuff at Cafe Two70 and its towards the aft of the ship and is generally quiet…good sandwiches, soups etc.. The Solarium Bistro has some good stuff for dinner and is quiet as well. The usual faire is out and about throughout the ship and like I said you won't go hungry. I just feel that the bean counters at Royal like at Disneyworld are cutting it close with the lower quality food and pushing one towards the uncharge venues. I purchased the unlimited dining package and for $20 a day I can eat at Chops for lunch (sea days) and dinner and at Jamie’s Italian and at Wonderland and Izzumi’s. Izzumi’s is always empty and Wonderland doesn’t interest me so I found myself at Jamie’s and Chops looking for the better quality food since I paid the price. Unfortunately both have disappointed so far. Jamie’s is nothing special and the service leaves much to be desired. Its chaotic and the seats are hard as a rock as they are basically metal uncushioned chairs. And you look out at the shoping mall jewerly stores. Yuk. Chops is pretty basic with much better service..its tucked in the corner of Schonner's Bar. Lots of Aussies and international passengers and more African Americans than I’ve ever seen before on this cruise. Many folks can be found smoking in the smoking area on deck 14 next to the pool. I never once had a free hand cocktail poured for me. They measure each drink and I found this to be a bummer too whereas my previous cruises they freehand poured…not sure if this is fleet wide but it hasn't ruined my cruise as I dont drink that much anyway. There are hardly any kids on this cruise for what thats worth. There are two formal nights and I find that most people dress up and enjoy looking their best with many of the older folks still in black tie. Its a huge mix of traditional cruisers and the run of the mill riff raff… I did witness a family siting at Vintages and the adult son in his 30s was siting there with his shoes off with his dirty feet UP ON THE table where people are going to be spending $100 to drink champagne. It really bothered me and I asked the bartender to tell him to put his feet down off the table. She was hesitant to do so but obliged me. Unfortunately this is the world we live in today. And he was with his parents. What does that tell ya? Now on to the good stuff. The crew is fabulous and again its amazing how they all maintain their attitudes. Its the best part about cruising, the amazing service everywhere. Bravo to Royal. My stateroom attendant is fabulous and my dining room waiter is excellent. The ship itself is beautiful and sparking clean. The venues for entertainment and the entertainment itself is great.. Lots to do. Lots of music and high tech stuff especially the venue in the aft of the ship. Seaplex is great, Ifly and Northstar etc. Plenty to do, good food, great crew, beautiful ship. I doubt I’d sail on this class of ship again but I love Royal Caribbean and am having a great cruise so far. The little things I’d like to see changed are not going to change as long as the bottom line and increased profits for shareholders take precidant over everything else. Oh yeah the wifi is fantastic…full streaming the whole way across the Pacific no problem which allowed me to watch my Xifinity account as there isn’t much on the TV they provide. My interior stateroom with a virtual balcony is well appointed and very comfortable. First time with an interior. There is some noise from adjacent rooms and toilets flushing but its no big deal. Looking forward to my next cruise onboard the newly revamped Oasis of the Seas in two months. Hope this review helps others to decide about Ovation of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our first cruise! What a wonderful way to see Hawaii. Loved that it stopped at 4 islands and there were wonderful excursions. Booking excursions through NCL was very easy and it was nice knowing if for some reason it ran late we wouldn’t ... Read More
Our first cruise! What a wonderful way to see Hawaii. Loved that it stopped at 4 islands and there were wonderful excursions. Booking excursions through NCL was very easy and it was nice knowing if for some reason it ran late we wouldn’t miss the ship. The comedian was great and loved the lei making classes. There were many activities on the ship for anyone who did not was to do excursions. We were so busy we only got in the pool 1 day. All staff were very helpful and with this being our first cruise I had multiple questions. I had scheduled dinners prior to sailing, but was able to change dinner times on the ship after we arrived. My husband was not interested in trying a cruise, but he finally talked him into it. By day 3 he said he would like to do another at some time. Can’t wait for next time Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
THE islands where beautiful and I can't describe which island was my favourite. All the islands were beautiful and the staff were very nice. THE best part of the ship was the 3 speciality meals Brazilian CAGNEYS AND ... Read More
THE islands where beautiful and I can't describe which island was my favourite. All the islands were beautiful and the staff were very nice. THE best part of the ship was the 3 speciality meals Brazilian CAGNEYS AND tteppanyaki. drink package was great and plentiful. THE POOL was good and warm. THE major downfall was that the room had a great balcony. BUT I SHOULDNT HAVE to get maintenance to fix the toilet twice. We flushed nothing out of the ordinary down the toilet. My major negative was the booking process. I booked online for drink WiFi and 3 meals and 50 credit on excursions. 1) Drink was good but getting invoiced for another $340 after paying for it to get the package was bad publicity 2) WiFi was terrible burned through 250 minutes without actually using any of it. 3) specialty suppers stupendous. Amazing all worth it 4) excursions 2 were great Bike adventure and volcano park. ROAD TO HANA was a disappointment in that little did we know we would get there and then turn around and come back. NO SWIMMING ALLOWED. THE trip to the canyon was spectacular but wished I had rented a car. SO ALL IN ALL I GIVE IT A SOLID 3 OUT OF 5. MY EXPERIENE WITH BEING DOUBLE CHARGED Was a MMAJOR LETDOWN. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We love NCL, always have. The staff is wonderful and always helpful and smiling. We were treated like VIP's and even had a decorated cake for our anniversary. Using a cane is sometimes difficult but not on this vacation. Special ... Read More
We love NCL, always have. The staff is wonderful and always helpful and smiling. We were treated like VIP's and even had a decorated cake for our anniversary. Using a cane is sometimes difficult but not on this vacation. Special care was given to make me not feel I was holding anyone up when on excursions. The ship itself is beautiful and so well kept. The food again, was excellent. Too good actually as I gained 8 lbs. My next cruise will be back to Hawaii via NCL with my daughters as I want them to experience the time I had.The entertainment was excellent as well. There was a Polynesian show, magician and comedian as well as two excellent broadway type shows by their own production crew. We made ribbon leis, oragami and enjoyed the fact they encouraged familes to participate. Look forward to our next cruise which will be back to hawaii with my daughters this time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my first time to Hawaii and I wanted to see as much as possible. The cruise allowed us to island hop without the hassle of packing and unpacking. Was disappointed in the theater. The seats were old and uncomfortable. After ... Read More
This was my first time to Hawaii and I wanted to see as much as possible. The cruise allowed us to island hop without the hassle of packing and unpacking. Was disappointed in the theater. The seats were old and uncomfortable. After seeing the first show (which was good), we opted not to go back. The restaurant food selections were mediocre. Never offered shrimp or lobster which we had on a cheaper cruise. Went to the specialty restaurant (Italian) and I paid to have fettuccini alfredo which was offered free at the complimentary restaurant the next night. Other than being a smaller and quieter restaurant, we did not see the value of the specialty restaurant. I did like the gathering points for the excursions on the ship instead of out in the heat on shore. My favorite excursion was the On Land and Sea in Kona. My favorite island was Kauai Mahalo and Aloha! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Nothing kills a good mood other than having two 12 once cans of diet Pepsi confiscated by "security" while boarding. I'm platinum level with over 40 cruises and never had a problem bringing on a few cans of pop. The ... Read More
Nothing kills a good mood other than having two 12 once cans of diet Pepsi confiscated by "security" while boarding. I'm platinum level with over 40 cruises and never had a problem bringing on a few cans of pop. The cruise itself was fine, though expensive for a seven day cruise, we'll probably stick to the Caribbean, Hawaii was nice to see once, but the Caribbean has better beaches. Staff and food were the same as other cruises and cruise lines. no complaints Booked 3 excursions through outside vendor (Robert's and Big Island Tours), two through the ship. All shows were good, loved the Comedian. Cruise director wasn't seen most of the time, assistant seemed a bit wacky, but that may be the persona she wants to present. The one tender port seemed a hassle for people that aren't at a level to just get in line by showing your 'card'. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is a trip we are glad we took, but probably wouldn’t take again. On the plus side, it is a relatively inexpensive way to visit Hawaii, which is hideously expensive. Room and food cost us about $180 per person per day on the boat. ... Read More
This is a trip we are glad we took, but probably wouldn’t take again. On the plus side, it is a relatively inexpensive way to visit Hawaii, which is hideously expensive. Room and food cost us about $180 per person per day on the boat. Comparable accommodations and meals would probably cost at least twice as much on land. Not to mention we saved some on air fare. Flights to Vancouver are much less than flights to Hawaii. In addition, we got to visit three islands, one with two stops. On the downside, tendering at Kona and Lahaina limit how much time you have to visit these ports. There are some sights we would like to see, especially on Maui, that would better be done while staying there. The first day in Lahaina the sea was pretty rough and getting on and off the tenders was challenging, especially for people with mobility issues. We were on the Solstice in June to Alaska and liked it so much we booked onboard for Hawaii. Many of the same crew members were still on board and some remembered us. The ship is very well run, and the crew were all accommodating. We never ventured into the specialty restaurants since the food in the main dining room is excellent. Naturalist Brent Nixon was onboard on both cruises. He brought a lot of expertise to explain the natural world we would be experiencing. We took advantage of the adults only Solarium many times. The pool was the perfect temperature and it seldom felt crowded. The Alaska cruise was out of Seattle, most of the guests were Americans and there were 315 children. The Hawaii trip began in Vancouver, and at least half the passengers, perhaps as many as two thirds, were Canadians. Many were from British Columbia. Alberta and Saskatchewan were also well represented. There were also several Aussies traveling all the way through to Sidney. Most of the Americans seemed to be from the Pacific Northwest. We enjoyed meeting and sharing experiences with people from all over. This is definitely an older crowd. Most were retired. We probably had fewer than 20 children. For those of you wondering about the weather, it was 58° and raining when we left Vancouver. The first sea day it was 60°, the next 65, the 3rd sea day it hit 70, the 4th it was 75 and finally the last sea day as we neared Hawaii it hit 78°. Of course in Hilo it was about 85° and humid. The first two days the swells were running about six feet and people who were prone to motion sickness experienced some problems. After that, the ride was pretty smooth. Hilo – We rented a car for $48. The car rental shuttle will pick you up from the pier and take you to the airport, about three miles away, where you can rent a car. Couldn’t have been easier. We met a couple at Kilauea who hired a car and driver for $325. They said they wish they had talked to us first. Perhaps they should just read Cruise Critic. The first stop was Akaka Falls. Do this one in the morning because the falls face east. The sun will illuminate the falls perfectly in the morning. If you do it in the afternoon, the sun will be behind the falls and your pictures will be backlit. Next stop was Kilauea. While Akaka Falls was sunny and hot, Kilauea was rainy and cold. We wish we had our sweatshirts, but when it’s 85°and sunny, how do you know? This was kind of a good news bad news experience. The rain and mist kept me from getting really sharp pictures of the caldera, but the steam vents certainly stood out. I leaned over one to see how hot the steam actually was. Take my advice and don’t try this yourself. Steam is hot. We stayed at Kilauea about two hours and headed back to Hilo. I would have stayed longer, but the rain showed no signs of letting up and we had done all we could do without getting soaked. Kona – Here we took the ship’s excursion. It was billed as the snorkeling and dolphin adventure, but they apparently forgot to tell the dolphins, who didn’t show up. The cruise on the catamaran south along the Kona coast was picturesque. The excursion includes equipment rental, but we take our own. The rental equipment looked to be first class if you are interested. The spot they picked for the day had good coral and lots of fish. Three-foot swells made snorkeling and getting back on the boat more of a chore than you want, but overall it was a fun trip. Maui – Renting a car on Maui is substantially more difficult than on the Big Island, and more expensive. The nearest car rental outlet to Lahaina harbor is Hertz at the Hyatt. They claim they have a shuttle, but it runs just once between 8:30 and 9:30 and we never saw it. So it’s a $30 cab ride to rent a car. The car was $98 a day versus $48 on Hawaii and $53 on Oahu. We went south the first day looking for a beach to snorkel. The conditions were terrible. Because of the height and direction of the swells, waves were breaking right on shore and the water was churned up. We should have checked the daily report https://thesnorkelstore.com/maui-snorkeling-conditions-reports/. Then we would have known that. The next day we went to Honolua Bay. This is a terrific snorkeling spot and it’s always calm. It’s surrounded by land on three sides and facing Molokai, so no swells can get in. The shore itself is very rocky, so it’s strictly for snorkeling. Also, parking is very limited and it’s at least a 300 yd. walk from the road to the water. Hawaii is not California where they have large paved parking lots at all the state parks. Most of the fish and coral formations are on the eastern side of the bay. Turtles are found on the western side. Dolphins also made an appearance. Honolua Bay is a must stop for snorkelers. We would like to spend some more time on Maui. Some of the sights like the road to Hana and Haleakalā are too time consuming to be done from a ship while tendering. The cruise finished up in Honolulu. This was the smoothest disembarkation ever. We go off sooner than advertised, found our luggage immediately and got a cab to the airport to pick up our rental car. Hertz says they have a location the pier, but when I checked online, they said there were no cars of any kind available. Very suspicious. The cab to the airport was about $35. It is only 3.7 miles from the airport to Pearl Harbor. I was impressed by what the National Park Service and the Navy have done there. It’s a very solemn experience and well done. One very important note…they do not let you bring bags in through the gates, not even ladies’ pocketbooks. You can check them for a $5 fee. My wife took hers back to the car while I stood in line for tickets. I have to say I was not impressed by the Honolulu airport. Much of it is open air (not air conditioned) until you get to your gate. We had showered just prior to leaving the hotel and didn’t want to work up a sweat turning in the car and getting our bags through the agricultural inspection and airline check-in. Some on our cruise got off the ship in Maui, one day early. They then spent several days on Maui and flew home from there. I didn’t realize that was an option. If I took this cruise again, I would probably do that. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We boarded the Solstice in Vancouver destination to Hawaii. It was our 25th Anniversary and we couldn't of made a better choice. The 5 full days at sea gave us time to relax and decompress from our everyday routine. We were in Aqua ... Read More
We boarded the Solstice in Vancouver destination to Hawaii. It was our 25th Anniversary and we couldn't of made a better choice. The 5 full days at sea gave us time to relax and decompress from our everyday routine. We were in Aqua class and the service was in excellence. Our room with balcony was excellent and well taken care of by the room attendant (Devan). We dined in Blu every night and looked forward to our dinning experience each night with the wonderful service of our waiters (Yogender, Preyan and Nick) as well as received by beautiful Larissa each evening. I can't say enough about the food and variety we received on this ship. There was nothing missing. We visited and took advantage of the Persian garden spa which also delivered excellent service. On the first couple of days, the waters were a little rough and was a little on the cool side. They had fleece blankets available near pool side for everyone, I thought that was a nice touch. There was also always fresh towels available and as for loungers, there was always a seat available. The excursions we booked went well without any issues, well organized for tender ports as well. I will not hesitate to sail with Celebrity in the future. Good Job!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Disclaimer - We would like to pass on our impressions and thoughts of our cruise experience to anyone planning for or getting ready to participate in a similar Itinerary. Everyone knows that reviews are subjective. One person’s gold is ... Read More
Disclaimer - We would like to pass on our impressions and thoughts of our cruise experience to anyone planning for or getting ready to participate in a similar Itinerary. Everyone knows that reviews are subjective. One person’s gold is another’s trash. That said please remember this is our personal impressions and yours, of course, will vary. We ignore postings that are made in response to our reviews that merely seek to flame. We will review subsequent posts in order to provide answers to questions asked. We appreciate this understanding. Please ignore any spelling or grammar errors – we want to get this posted swiftly before we lose focus on our experiences. Thank you. Travel and Embarkation - We are a semi-retired American couple (both 66 years of age) living as expats in an Asian country. This was our seventh cruise (3 on Princess and 3 on Norwegian, and now 1 on Royal Caribbean). We made all our own arrangement for this trip including direct reservations with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, air travel, and hotel, (we did a RCCL transfer from the ship to the airport in Honolulu). We flew in one day ahead of the 10 September sail date so we could enjoy some time in Vancouver without the stress of trying to make a flight on cruise day. This was a good decision in retrospect as our experience in the Vancouver airport was one for the record book. We were queued up three times in multi-hundred person lines before we got to immigration. The airport appeared to be completely overwhelmed with passengers. It literally took three and a half hours from exiting the airplane to getting to the point of retrieving our baggage. We took the light rail line from the airport to the Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver. The train was very easy to negotiate, quick, and inexpensive. Our pre-cruise stay was as the Exchange Hotel located a couple of blocks away from the cruise port at Canada Place. The weather was typical Northwest – cloudy with a couple of periods of heavy rain. Vancouver is really a beautiful city. On boarding day we took the short 5 minute walk from the hotel at just after 10:30. We were in a Grand Suite for this cruise so dropping off our bags we walked directly to security and then to the express check-in without waiting in a single line. The Ship – It is small as ships go these days. The Radiance was launched in 2001 but had come out of renovation in May 2016. The ship looked to be in generally good condition. There are numerous areas around the ship that could do with a little paint and rust removal but overall the ship is well maintained, clean, and free of obvious neglect. Our Grand Suite was Port Forward on the 10th deck and we generally walked the stairs and rarely took an elevator so crowded elevators were not a concern. We did notice that often there were many waiting to ride. We did not use the casino but we did walk through the area a couple times and noticed a very heavy tobacco odor permeating the area. We decided that after the first day when walking from the front to the rear of the ship we would simply walked up or down a flight of stairs, crossed over or under the casino and walk back up or down the stairs on the other side. The odor, while evident, is not in our opinion, something to get upset about after all it is a casino. There is a rock climbing wall, 9 hole golf putting course, and basketball court. The weather was agreeable most days. There are two swimming pools on deck 11 (one adult only and one open). Both are small and busy on the Hawaii itinerary. Our Cabin – We had a Grand Suite with balcony on Deck # 10 Port Side Forward. Our cabin steward was very intuitive and was always available but never intrusive. He was very friendly and always helpful. Towels were replaced almost as soon as used and the room serviced regularly. The room was kept very clean. The grand suite has a large sitting area with full sofa and two easy chairs and a coffee table. We had a king sized bed located in a separate area of the suite. The bathroom was very large and had a big bath tub with shower. As suite guests we were provided upgraded amenities (soap, shampoo, rinse, body wash, etc.). The bathroom was spotless. Storage area was more than adequate. Even with three large suitcases we did not even filled up one closet with two to spare. We had a large flat screen television. Channel selection was non-existent but useful for checking your shipboard accounts and reservations. Ship announcements were not broadcasted into the rooms so you had to listen from the outside if you wanted to hear the public announcements. We had an unlimited Voom Surf and Stream Wi-Fi package. While billed as the “fastest at sea” that was not our experience. It was the slowest and most prone to disconnection of any service we have every had on any ship. There was a water pot and coffee maker with free coffee provided in our cabin but we did not use them as the coffee available at many locations around the ship provided plenty of very satisfactory coffee. Dining - We ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet on deck 10. Breakfast was the standard fare with omelets made to order and a wide variety of breakfast foods to choose. In our opinion the buffet was well designed with adequate seating. The staff was very fast at removing plates and silverware and cleaning tables as people left. If you meet Jade in the buffet say hello to a wonderfully upbeat and kind young man. Since we were suite guests we never had a difficult time finding a seat because there was a reserved dining room just off the buffet. We found the food in the buffet to be generally good but somewhat repetitive. There is a self-serve soft ice cream machine in the buffet area. We had dinner twice in the Main Dining Room. Both were excellent meals. Having reservations we were seated immediately. We did notice a slight lag in service but the menu items were always appropriately hot, warm, or cold. We also dined in our room twice with selections from the main dining room menu which was delivered hot and quickly from room service. Extra Fee Dining - On our second sea day we ate Izumi’s sushi restaurant. The food was well presented and very tasty if not quite as fresh as we would have liked. On our fourth sea day we ate at the Samba Grill a South American Churrascaria concept venue. The food and service were excellent. Come hungry as portions are large and filling. On our sixth sea day we ate at the Italian themed Giovanni’s restaurant. Again the food was wonderful and the service attentive and friendly. Entertainment - The one area for which we would like to see change is more entertainment in the theater. We enjoyed the one revue show we saw as very entertaining and well done but other evening entertainment presented appeared to be filling an otherwise empty evening. Tours – We booked all our tours through Royal Caribbean. As most everyone knows this is a more expensive option but the benefits of ease of booking, guaranteed return to the ship, and tour operator vetting are hard for us to ignore. We did not want to take any risks getting back to the ship on time. Maui Hawaii (Lahaina) – Hana & Haleakala Helicopter Exploration. We had a wonderful time during this just over one hour aerial tour of Mt. Haleakala, the world's largest dormant volcano. We were picked up at the port and escorted to the Blue Hawaii air terminal located at the Maui airport. Our pilot was personable, knowledgeable and gracious. The views are indescribable. While costly, this tour is well worth the money. Upon completion we were again picked up and returned to the cruise port in a comfortable van. Kauai Nawiliwili – Grove Farm and Kilohana Plantation Railway. A short drive from the deep water port of Nawiliwili the Kilohana Plantation harkens back to Kauai's Golden Age of Sugar with a four-hour tour of the Grove Farm museum and a narrated railway ride around the former plantation plus free time at Koloa Rum Company and other artisan shops. Rich in history and slow in pace this tour is a relaxing stop on the Garden Island. Of all our tours during this cruise we found this to be our least favorite and not worth the cost and would not consider it worth repeating. Hilo Hawaii (Big Island) – Zipline through Paradise and Waterfalls. A total of eight zipline runs follow the Honolii River high over thundering waterfalls and deep gorges. Our guides were extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and obsessed with our safely. We were given three rules to remember and were quizzed repeatedly concerning them. The three rules were 1) don’t adjust or handle your harness, 2) don’t put your hands on the cable, and 3) have fun. Some zipline runs were tranquil and easy and some were quite thrilling. We had a great time and would have liked to have gone back up and done it again if possible. The light rain throughout our tour did little to dampen our enthusiasm. Highly recommend this tour if physically able. Kona Hawaii (Big Island) - Atlantis Submarine. We rode a large comfortable boat with around 70 other guests from the cruise terminal out into the ocean where the submarine was waiting. Boarding was done via gang plank from the boat to the submarine under the watchful eye of the crew who stood by to assist if needed. All went well. There were two entrances into the submarine (one on each end) so boarding went quickly and easily. The interior of the submarine has individual seats (two rows facing back to back) and each passenger has her/his own designated port hole through which to view. The nearly hour long dive visited two ship wrecks and numerous coral formations. While many fish were in the area none were large and the light filtering effects of being under up to 100 feet of water drained most of the colors leaving the viewer seeing mostly in gray shades. The submarine is well lit, clean, ventilated, and large enough to eliminate any possibility of Claustrophobia. This tour is very interesting and well worth the cost. Overall we had a wonderful time and would recommend the Royal Caribbean and the Vancouver to Hawaii itinerary. The Radiance of the Seas is a great ship for a relaxing cruise. Younger cruisers with families may want to consider larger ships with more traditional entertainment venues (water parks, rope courses, flow riders, etc.). Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

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