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839 Hawaii Cruise Reviews

We are HA fans after multiple cruises but as others said their reputation is not what it once was. We had never done a cruise with so many sea days in a row so was uncertain if that was for us. While we survived there was not a lot to do ... Read More
We are HA fans after multiple cruises but as others said their reputation is not what it once was. We had never done a cruise with so many sea days in a row so was uncertain if that was for us. While we survived there was not a lot to do on sea days except eat and for some to complain; the trip back to San Diego was more stressful than the trip from SD to Hawaii. Much had changed in just a week as the virus was seriously affecting US travel and cruise ports in particular, as it had not before we left on March1. While in Hawaii, i began getting emails from my airline that many planes were cancelled or consolidated and delays were to be expected. Fortunately our flight to East coast was non-stop so other flights were consolidated into it but it went 1/3 full and crew made us distance by rows. Back to cruise, HA did not begin any serious IC measures until we were headed back. The captain did give updates daily but they did not say much that we already knew from TV news. People mingled about but they did make an effort to assure that everyone use hand sanitizer but only in the food areas. They also took down the self serve line in Lido and opened public RR doors, but that was about it. Last day at sea we were notified that HA was suspending cruises for 15 days and that a passenger from previous cruise has tested positive. Nothing so far about anyone from the 3/01/20 trip but there were folks that were doing a BTB from the previous cruise. Food was OK but not as superior as we have had on HA; Pinicale and Tamarind were excellent and under-utilized. Wait staff and Lido staff were helpful and get an A+. In the end the food choices were a bit better as I think they were using up the larder. As usual cabin staff were efficient and wonderful even if you did not see them frequently. It was obvious that staff has been reduced and the shows are not big productions but performers that varied considerably from one to another. The best entertainment was Lincoln Center Stage; Never enough seat at any performance! The worst was BB King, which was loud and terrible. That was a disappointment as they have been much better on other ships. HA did away with America's Test Kitchen and have gone back to using their own chef. It was OK but ATK was much better. Another penny pinching stunt was that they have done away with the port point person and assigned this to the cruise director; so there was no specific info about each POC that independent cruisers may utilize. Obviously the push is to sell expensive excursions. You could not even get a map of the port area. Our only issue was the cabin on Lower Veranda deck # 5149 which was incredibly small; we are both disabled but the right angle between the desk and BR and closet wall would not allow for my husband to use his crutches and because of the way the door opened there was nothing to hang on to. When we booked there was no handicapped accessible cabins so this one was suggested by HA cruise consultant. He has booked for us before and knew the situation; when we asked if we could change on day 1 they offered an accessible cabin at a significant markup. We toughed it out but it was not easy and not safe as several nights at sea were rough. This is long but hope will give others food for thought. Don't know when HA will be back but am sure there will be more cost saving efforts; so will need to give HA serious thought in the future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
The POA is refurbished and looks nice and modern on the inside. The food and entertainment is sub par from the other Norwegian cruises we have been on we figured it was because they have to pay American wages and had to cut back on money. ... Read More
The POA is refurbished and looks nice and modern on the inside. The food and entertainment is sub par from the other Norwegian cruises we have been on we figured it was because they have to pay American wages and had to cut back on money. Still good food but no shrimp or lobster nights and just a little less variety. The bar service is sub par they just move very fast takes a long time to get drinks. Now to the islands: Maui first stop we did the Molokini crater snorkel we had good weather so it was fun not the best snorkeling we have done but good and turtle town we saw three turtles it was a good excursion the company pacific whale where fantastic they say 80% of the cost goes back to saving the ocean and each person where very nice and friendly and the food was good also. When we got back we walked out of the cruise terminal which takes you to Whole Foods across the street then take a Lyft to the airport to rent a car cost about $12. We Rented a convertible for the drive to road to Hana I recommend getting a convertible for this drive keeps away the motion sickness and it makes it fun. We parked our rental next to Whole Foods if your looking at Whole Foods it’s on the right is an open parking lot without the no parking signs seems this is where other cruisers parked as well. So if you are going to drive the road to Hana start early about 5:00am yes this early there’s nothing to see for about an hour and half so by that time the sun will rise the only thing you will pass is garden of Eden which opens at eight but you can do this on your way back. The other must is using the Gypsy app it is awesome we used it for every island it will tell you all the best places to stop only stop at the best recommendation places from the app a ping sound will worn you of a must stop. you won’t have time for the so so stops. The app takes you to the 7 pool water fall and Bamboo trail and another water fall which is a two mile hike and up hill most of the way.This is a very windy road and yes 59 one way bridges but if you start early there’s not much traffic and it is a beautiful drive. Then to Hilo we used the Gypsy app to go to rainbow falls, peppee falls, volcano tubes, Akaka falls and a few others. If you’re going to the volcano national park it will go there as will and has a walking portion for the park the Gypsy app tells you all the history of each island plus the best places to go. Then on to Kona , We where a little tired so we went to a beach we first stopped at Kua bay but the tied was in so no beach and only one tree for shade that was already taken so off to another beach, Kona is volcanic rocks for miles so the beaches are small but nice. Off to Kauai. The rental car companies have shuttles from and to the port or you can Lyft for about $10. we used the Gypsy app to do the Waimea canyon which in my opinion is awesome the best one of the islands but don’t stop at the canyon look out keep going up the road there’s some other stops off the road that gets you closer to the the waterfall but keep going there are two other look outs that look out of the canyon to the Nepali coast and is way more impressive and beautiful than the canyon don’t get me wrong the canyon is fantastic but the other two look outs are the most beautiful places on earth absolutely amazing can’t miss. We where there on a beautiful day this area is one of the most rainiest places on earth so it might be raining on minute and not the next we where lucky and it was sunny the whole time but just an FYI bring a rain jacket and a long sleeve shirt it gets a little windy also. After this we went to the beach Salty pond beach which is very nice and had lunch. then off to Wailua falls and other stops the Gypsy app will help. If you want to keep the rental over night there is parking along the road just outside the port. The islands are amazing you won’t be disappointed! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My partner wanted to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge one last time so he convinced me it would be great for both of us. I had expected to have sunny days with a little bump here and there but that is not what happened. No sun, cold ... Read More
My partner wanted to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge one last time so he convinced me it would be great for both of us. I had expected to have sunny days with a little bump here and there but that is not what happened. No sun, cold wind and all kinds of sea bumps. I enjoyed the food in the buffet and the dining room but my partner did not. Our cabin seemed smaller than usual for a balcony cabin but the mattress on the bed was heavenly. Could have spent the entire cruise on that mattress. We did 2 shore excursions with 1 in Kauai which was cooler than I expected and the other one in Hilo which I knew would be cold. However besides being cold it started raining and became very windy. Both of us ended up with a cold. On Maui and Honolulu we shopped since both of us had previously been there. The weather for these two islands was perfect and warm. When the call came that we were to be confined to our cabins, we just enjoyed our balcony more than ever. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose Princess to see Hawaii. Our most desired stop in Kauai was cancelled due to weather letting us down hard. Then we spent 5 days (5 windy cold days) returning to N America to visit Ensenada, a marginal town at best. Why not spend ... Read More
We chose Princess to see Hawaii. Our most desired stop in Kauai was cancelled due to weather letting us down hard. Then we spent 5 days (5 windy cold days) returning to N America to visit Ensenada, a marginal town at best. Why not spend another day in Hawaii or San Diego not Ensenada) The old ship ( due for refurb in April) is dated and needing paint. The wifi was awful and expensive ( shouldnt wifi be free in 2020). The Gym is small, only two Specialty restaurants ( changing the menu does not constitute another restaurant). Entertainment, educational talks and casual bar food and drinks were great. Senior officers were aloof and unfriendly, the Captain was rarely seen and never heard. Older waiters weren't very helpful but the younger new ones were very enthusiastic. The cabin was small and had 1 chair and small table. When it could be used the balcony was nice. We have cruised on two other lines and had 4 great experiences. This was not Better to fly to Hawaii Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We are from Michigan, mid 30's, were on a 10-year anniversary trip to Hawaii and thought this would be the best way to "see it all." This was my 10th cruise (others being Disney, Carnival, and NCL). Short story is the ... Read More
We are from Michigan, mid 30's, were on a 10-year anniversary trip to Hawaii and thought this would be the best way to "see it all." This was my 10th cruise (others being Disney, Carnival, and NCL). Short story is the trip was great because Hawaii is great. Unfortunately, NCL didn't do much to help make it better besides provide a room and food. If you just need a moving hotel to see Hawaii, do this trip. If you are wanting "the cruise experience" you'll be disappointed. We got to see everything we wanted to and are happy but would not recommend this trip for anything seeking anything else than to see all of Hawaii in one week. We won't being doing this cruise again. Getting on/off the boat - We flew in from Chicago to Honolulu non-stop and went straight to the boat. Got to port at 5PM and had zero wait to get on board which was nice. Bags got to room in 30 mins. Disembarkation: we walked off with our bags pretty easily. Planned on doing Pearl Harbor (PH) then flying out at 5PM. Airport will only take your bags 4hours prior to flight. The port will hold a bag for you for $5 all day. PH does not allow bags of any kind (even purses, clutch only). Unsure if they would take our rolling baggage, we left them at the port, took an Uber for $28 to PH and arrived at 930. Had time to do the submarine, Arizona, Missouri, pick up wife's purse at bag check @ 2PM..., Uber back to boat, pick up bags, and then to Airport ($34 for second Uber ride total) at 3PM. Didn't have time to do the airplane museum. Ports/excursions - ONLY Kona has stuff to do right at the port. Everything else is a mile-ish walk and or bus ride from the boat!!! Wish we'd have known this ahead of time. Excursions are great but read reviews to make sure you don't waste time or money on boring things (i.e. coffee plantation and macadamia nut factory). Excursions are EXPENSIVE because you're on Hawaii. In the Caribbean, I've always used boat excursions but here (in American Hawaii) we tried some on our own. We saved a TON of money and had more fun because if we were all done at a spot, we moved on and didn't have to wait for 60 people. We bought the same helicopter ride on Kauai for litterally half of the NCL cost and they picked us up at the port. You can also take the Maui bus for $4pp all day. There is a "hoppa-on hoppa-off" service on most islands for $20pp that lets you do self guided tours. Great bus drivers and super nice. This is also a great way to see areas relatively close to the boat. We wish we'd have known about this ahead of time. Boat/Atmosphere - I want to be clear that the boat experience wasn't bad, but it was apparent that the level of service, attention to detail, and general atmosphere on board was not up to par. My wife and I agreed that as for on-board experiences, this was the least fun we've ever had. Other guests agreed who were past cruisers. There's not one single thing to put your finger on to say this, but rather a general consensus that this is not the "A-team" of NCL. We knew the boat would likely consist of people well above our age. An honest guess is roughly 65 for an average age so plan on slower moving traffic, listening to lots of complaints, and zero night life on board. This isn't NCL's fault, except that they do close the pool bar at 7PM so if you want towels or drinks, you have to go inside the ship. The boat is smaller so there is only a single deck theater, small pool (that only gets used on the last day of the boat), but basically zero kids to be seen because nobody brought them (like us) or doesn't have any young kids. If you're planning on bringing kids, they will not make lots of friends like on other boats. They'll have fun off the boat but will not enjoy the on-board experience as much. Food - great food as you'd expect, but the selection and "wow" factor of it was definitely less any boat I've been on. Keep in mind, you will likely only be eating breakfast daily, and dinner probably 2/3 of the time as you are on islands overnight in some cases and can board the boat 24/7. Staff - There are some absolute stars on this boat like there are on any of them. The staff is much less diverse (still very diverse compared to the common workplace) on this boat which is likely from is location. Great guest services help. Great bar staff. Dinner servers seemed inexperienced and a lot were "in training." Never met our room staff though which was a first. Also heard the most chatter between staff about their length of contracts and where they were going next? It just didn't seem like the place most people wanted to stay. Cabin - we had an inside cabin because we didn't plan to stay inside much. Great decision to save money here. No regrets. We were on deck 4. You get off the boat on 3, eat on 5, and never go to the pool. Other boats with more "deck time" I want to be on 9/10/11 but this worked out great actually. Minimal elevator time and stairs. Entertainment - the same as every boat. Nightly show, comedian, magician, not so newlywed show, etc. The smaller theater made the shows less amazing but still good. Average age and time-zone changes mean this boat goes to bed earlier than normal so night-life is virtually non-existent. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This ship is my idea of "average". Everything was okay and nothing was great. Correction...the staff was great. Everyone was smiling and ready to help at all times. The departure went smoothly, as did the disembarkation. The food ... Read More
This ship is my idea of "average". Everything was okay and nothing was great. Correction...the staff was great. Everyone was smiling and ready to help at all times. The departure went smoothly, as did the disembarkation. The food was okay, but nothing special in the Aloha Buffet. I have sailed on equal value ships that had better variety. The Liberty dining room had a bit fancier foods. The exception was the East-West cafe where I found the menu to my liking. The sushi was an extra charge, however. so it really wasn't a "free" choice.The costly restaurants were a better value. We had the option of choosing 3 meals in the restaurants that charge extra. The rooms are adequate and our steward was quick to change towels and keep the room vacuumed. We enjoyed the cruise but I was annoyed that they closed the game room several times for events or private parties. Be careful with the Internet billing. If you have 1 free connection be sure that your cabinmate does not try to use it too or you will find yourself with a hefty bill. The Internet is per person and not per cabin. The entertainment was okay. I thought that Deck 6 smelled like sewage. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I'll start with the embarkation process at the San Pedro port. Very quick, no lines and friendly staff! Overall very easy and straightforward. Only thing I noted was there was no health screening (I recall going through a health ... Read More
I'll start with the embarkation process at the San Pedro port. Very quick, no lines and friendly staff! Overall very easy and straightforward. Only thing I noted was there was no health screening (I recall going through a health screening questionnaire on the last cruise I did) and given the coronavirus risk at the moment I'm surprised this didn't occur. Once on board our cabin was ready for us. Our luggage showed up shortly thereafter. We opted for an interior stateroom with twin beds. It was dated and underwhelming. The ship was built in 2002 and refurbished in 2017 but I feel they didn't do much with the refurbishment as the stateroom had dated finishes, colors, tiles etc. The beds were very comfortable with nice down duvets and pillows. Plenty of storage and a large closet with plenty of hangers. A 40" television with a great variety of movies and tv channels. Being an interior room it was tiny but the layout provided us privacy for getting ready each day and we never felt claustrophobic. Now for the bad stuff... We had a broken toilet, and two leaks in our stateroom throughout the two week period. The toilet was noticed by the steward and he had it fixed while we were out and about the ship during the day - so that wasn't so bad. The first leak was noticed by me around 9:30 pm on a sea day. Called it in right away, but it took almost two hours for them to send a plumber to fix it. It was over my bed. I had to specifically ask the steward for new bedding and a new pillow as it was wet. He had already felt the bedding at this point and was giving no indication he was going to change it. The second leak started around 10 pm on a port day. We were getting ready for bed when we noticed it. This one was in between the two beds. We called it in right away and waited. After an hour I called again and it was after midnight when a plumber showed up. At this point we put the trash can under the leak and were already in bed. He didn't ask if he could come in - he just walked past me when I opened the door and I had to tell him to come back tomorrow as we were sleeping. Luckily when we returned to the room after returning from the port the next day the leak was fixed. After the first leak they sent a complimentary bottle of wine, and after the second they gave us a complimentary dinner in the Italian specialty restaurant. I was not impressed and did ask for a new stateroom but none were available. The ship was dated and underwhelming as well. It shows its age and a lot of rust and leaks in public areas. I'm surprised there wasn't more of an effort on behalf of Princess to keep it in better shape as I know other lines paint the hull while in ports and make more of an effort on the interior as well. Despite the lackluster look, everything was clean. Several pools on the deck and lots of hot tubs on board. Plenty of lounge chairs on the deck as well. Seating in the main piazza (central atrium on decks 5/6/7 had hardly any seating though). Shopping on board was ok - they're big on Effy jewelry and try to sell it to you every chance they get! Duty free alcohol was well priced. Entertainment is very much geared towards an older clientele and also shows the lack of amenities on board as the staff are limited in what they can even do or offer. The production shows were mediocre and pale in comparison to the more Broadway-esque shows on other cruise lines. All the shows were also very short in length. The Voice of the Ocean is one of their highlights and allows the guests on the ship to compete. It's modeled after the TV show. Sadly there wasn't much talent among the guests on board, but this one has potential but is dependent on who's on board. The on board bands play in different venues around the ship but only for 30-45 minutes at a time and then silence (even up on the pool deck). The selection of music played is also dated - lots of 50s/60s/70s music from the bands and the DJ. Otherwise it's classical music in the piazza. Lots of trivia on board but the quality of it was lacking - the PowerPoint presentations for the trivia looked like they were made by a kid and not professional or sleek like I'd expect. Much of the other entertainment were seminars or classes that needed to be attended every day during the cruise (i.e. hula classes or ukelele classes). I think these offerings are spectacular but I did not want to commit to attending every day at the same time - I'm on vacation after all. My favorite thing on board was the movies under the stars each evening. On the pool deck they have a huge screen and show new releases; deck chairs are outfitted with plush cushions, pillows and blankets and popcorn is available! We had a few good meals on this ship, one great meal and then a lot of bland, overcooked food. Princess pushes hard for sharing tables with other cruise passengers. I'm not a fan of small talk so we always asked for a table for 2 and often had to wait for one in the main dining room whether it was for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The menus didn't provide much variety and they lacked in vegetarian options and even poultry. The food in the main dining room is not cooked to order. It's mass produced and kept warm under heat lamps. The wait staff really make it feel as if it's an inconvenience if you ask to alter the menu items at all. The speed of service is great though. No problem to have a three course dinner in under an hour. The Curtis Stone menu options in the main dining room did tend to be better than the other items. The Chocolate Journeys desserts were always fantastic. We did have some particularly bad food - I rarely send my food back but the scallops they served one night were inedible yet they were the top recommendation of the server and he tried to make excuses for them when we indicated they were overcooked and rubbery. The great meal was at Sabatinis Italian Restaurant - this one is not included with the cruise fare and is an additional $25 per person. They offer a 6 course traditional Italian menu. Well worth the extra money! The Crown Grill is the other specialty restaurant but we didn't try it as the menu was pretty much all beef and pork which I don't eat. The other good food we had was at their pub lunches - there were three of them (English, Hawaiian and Mexican) and they were all good! Room service is included and is available 24-7, the room service menu is varied and provides good options for a night in. The pizzeria on board is fantastic and they brag about how they have the best pizza at sea and I just may have to agree! The Trident Grill and Sundaes are up on deck next to the pizzeria and serve burgers, hot dogs, fries and ice cream. All good food and prepared for you right then and there. I tried the buffet one night - the food was bland, limited selection and also not hot enough for my liking. Plenty of bars on board, and a good variety of beverages - service at the bars was always great and never any lines. Plenty of staff floating about the ship both on deck and below to take your drink order as well. Drink prices were quite reasonable (we didn't add the drink package). The international cafe in the piazza offers nice sandwiches, salads and desserts as well as specialty coffee and tea. The internet connection on board was great, I was surprised at how fast it was. The laundromats are also a nice touch as most cruise lines have gotten rid of them. Now onto the formal nights. Princess takes them seriously. Lots of tuxedos and ball gowns and ballroom dancing in the piazza. Not quite my thing - we participated on two of the three formal nights but opted to skip the third and did burgers and a movie up on deck instead. The staff were all fantastic. Absolutely no complaints about any of the staff. They were always pleasant and greeted us as we walked about the ship. Our room steward did a great job keeping our room clean. The nightly chocolates on the pillow are a nice touch! The on board website/app is great. Better than those provided by some other lines. All the info on the daily activities is in there plus the ability to order room service breakfast, check your account etc. Sea sickness was a real thing on this itinerary. There were gale force winds on a couple of the sea days (think drawers flying open in your stateroom and things falling down). From what we heard, there were days when hundreds were confined to bed and unable to do much. Sea sickness is not a nice feeling. And given there's 9 sea days on this itinerary and out in the middle of the Pacific it's a real risk. I've saved the best for last. The highlight of the trip was the ports! We visited 4 islands - The Island of Hawaii, Oahu, Kauai and Maui and also Ensenada, Mexico. It was my first time to Hawaii and I fell in love with it! We rented a car on each island and did a little road trip each day. We didn't partake in any shore excursions so I can't comment on those but from talking to other guests, Princess cancelled several excursions in various ports and left people scrambling trying to arrange something else. I feel like I got to see the highlights on each island and thoroughly enjoyed my time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this trip because we wanted to see Hawaii. It was beautiful, and so happy we got to visit Pearl Harbor. The sea time was perfect to catch up on reading, watching movies, and taking in some enrichment lectures and classes such as ... Read More
We chose this trip because we wanted to see Hawaii. It was beautiful, and so happy we got to visit Pearl Harbor. The sea time was perfect to catch up on reading, watching movies, and taking in some enrichment lectures and classes such as ukelele and Spanish--different!. The ship needs to update their tv guide, as some channels and listings are not there. This is an old ship that has some leaking ceilings and some rust in places, but hopefully it will be refurbished. Our cabin had a worn out mattress. It made for backaches every morning. The steward tried to change the pad, but not much help. The sofa cushions were almost flat, likely the same sofa for the entire 18 years of ship life. This made watching tv a bit uncomfortable. We did enjoy the food. There was a wide assortment in the Horizon, and it was always fresh and tasty. Dining in the Alfani was good, and service excellent. Entertainment most nights was good, but some of the theatre seats are worn and some broken. Theatre was more than packed with people every night. Live music around the ship was great, we especially enjoyed the talented young lady at the piano. Shocking that so many adults do not cover their mouth when coughing and sneezing. There was a lot of flu on this ship, and we can see how it spreads. Perhaps the ship needs to reiterate how to cover ones' mouth. When it came to disembarking, there was too much time from when we had to be out of our room until we left the ship. Then, when we got on the bus shuttle to the airport, we were left sitting at the dock for almost an hour, a bus full of people coughing and sneezing, and with on one coming on the bus to tell us why the delay. Some feared missing their connections at the airport, creating a lot of anxiety. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Chose this because dates lined up perfectly with kids school break. Also a desire to go to Hawaii. It was made much more difficult due to a sick passenger, and returning to Honolulu 2 days after leaving. Add to that very high seas/winds ... Read More
Chose this because dates lined up perfectly with kids school break. Also a desire to go to Hawaii. It was made much more difficult due to a sick passenger, and returning to Honolulu 2 days after leaving. Add to that very high seas/winds and big storms making it difficult to enjoy the ship. Cruise did not stop in mexico as planned, and still returned far later than planned. Absolutely unacceptable to have 2 out of 6 elevators out of service all 15 days and no way to take the stairs from Emerald Deck (8). Service was good. Steward was excellent. Food was ok. Maitre'd best ever resulting in great dinner service. Only 20 kids in all classes of kids clubs so they met together. Kids loved their experience. Very pleased how Princess got us all home after we missed our return flights due to needing to leave a day later. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary. The four islands we visited were all beautiful! When asked to pick a favorite, it was very difficult to choose. The ship, on the other hand, is the worst I've ever been on. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary. The four islands we visited were all beautiful! When asked to pick a favorite, it was very difficult to choose. The ship, on the other hand, is the worst I've ever been on. The ambiance, food, and crew were all sub-par. The food left a bitter taste in my mouth ... pun intended. I could literally find better Main Dining Room food in the frozen food section of the local market. The crew is 75% American because it's a US flagged ship. I live in the USA and 80% of the crew could use a course in customer service from McDonalds ... it would be an improvement. Our group nicknamed them the Walking Dead. However, the foreign crew were fantastic. Unfortunately, we had American MDR waiters ... it was a very painful and long process. Our cabin steward (from the Dominican) was absolutely great. We had Balcony Cabin 9550 and it was very small. We've sailed NCL in the past and this is the smallest cabin we've seen. There was adequate space under the bed for suitcase storage. The balcony was small also. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
What’s good; itinerary, no days at sea so maximised sight-seeing. Cleanliness, stateroom staff, Didn’t need internet package as got access to 4g most of the time, even when just off shore. Efficiency of check in and disembarkation, ... Read More
What’s good; itinerary, no days at sea so maximised sight-seeing. Cleanliness, stateroom staff, Didn’t need internet package as got access to 4g most of the time, even when just off shore. Efficiency of check in and disembarkation, daily organisation of shore excursions. Some great shore excursions Not so good; food and restaurant/bar service was average. Too many staff weren’t very interested in making the service personable. Drinks package was expensive. You’d need 6 or 7 drinks per day to make it worthwhile. The buffet had to resort to counter service in the last 2 days due to the concern over the coronavirus. Probably a ship’s worst nightmare to organise, but the staff really didn’t help the situation. They were clearly put out by the whole situation and were less than friendly whilst serving food and drinks The guy running the fitness centre was also disinterested. Found this strange as it’s his only job! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This is an older boat with an update a few years ago. The staff in general is not up to the quality of service we have seen on the 6 ships we have used in the Carribean. The food in the specialty dinning was good, but the buffet and ... Read More
This is an older boat with an update a few years ago. The staff in general is not up to the quality of service we have seen on the 6 ships we have used in the Carribean. The food in the specialty dinning was good, but the buffet and other restaurants were sub-par. We had a lot of minor problems like the toilet wouldn't flush, the patio door wouldn't open. The stop at the big island they canceled because they were afraid the winds were going to build and the tenders would have trouble getting into shore. (it was calm and beautiful all day). if you are just looking for acceptable transportation between the islands it is a good source. I will say that their comedian (vince something) was outstanding. One of the best shows I have seen on a cruise ship. We used four excursions with NCL and three we booked directly (not through NCL) . I would say booking direct saves money and if you look at the reviews you can probably find better excursions. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this particular cruise based on cost and timing. We wanted to go to Hawaii and this just worked. This was the longest cruise we have ever been on, 15 days. Embarkation and debarkation were both smooth and trouble-free. The ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise based on cost and timing. We wanted to go to Hawaii and this just worked. This was the longest cruise we have ever been on, 15 days. Embarkation and debarkation were both smooth and trouble-free. The Star Princess is older, which gives it some character but also shows its age. There were constantly public restrooms with toilets or urinals out of service and in need of cleaning. We saw several buckets placed in hallways to catch drips from what appeared to be leaking plumbing. There were areas on the ship that were too cold and other areas too hot. There was limited seating in most inside areas. Pool and deck areas had adequate seating, probably due to the weather being colder than we expected. We were somewhat concerned that the pools were not closed for safety reasons. The water was violently sloshing from one end of the pool the other due to rough seas. We normally prefer a balcony cabin but settled for an interior this time due to cost. The cabin was larger than we had experienced in the past with enough storage for our stuff. The temperature was somewhat hard to regulate in the cabin. One light switch quit working after a few days but was fixed without us having to say anything. I assume the cabin steward reported it. We only ate in the dining room three times. We had Anytime Dining so were sat with different guests each time. We prefer sitting on our own, although most guests were good company. The service and food were very good. The Chocolate Journey dessert choices were exceptional. The food in the buffet varied from poor to excellent but mostly just average. There was, for some reason, a German night, which did not fit a Hawaiin cruise. However, this was the best night at the buffet. Otherwise, it was just variations on the same foods each day. I did really enjoy the selection of exotic fruits, dragonfruit, lychees, rambutans, to name a few. The pizzeria was good but not a big variety and not available after 10 PM. It would have been nice to get pizza after the late shows in the theater. The burger and hotdog grill was not up to par with other cruise lines. The quality of the production shows in the main theater was less than we have found on other cruises. That being said, the guest entertainers were all excellent with the exception of the magician, Handsome Jack. He was pretty poor and it seemed all guests had the same opinion. Guest lecturers and entertainers A J Clarke and Craig Richard were excellent in both their presentations and performances. Comedy juggler Randy Cabral was hilarious and the other two comedians on the cruise were funny as well. The Hawaiian Ambassadors onboard, Tiki Dave and his wife Leialoha, were excellent. Dave did presentations on each of the Hawaiian Islands we visited, held ukelele classes, and did performances of Hawaiian music and a more rock-oriented show. Leialoha taught hula classes and lei making. They performed Hawaiian music together as Ellua. The ukelele and hula classes came together for a show in the theater. The cruise director and his assistants were great in their trivia challenges and game shows. Service, in general, was excellent. There were the usual inconsistencies in the quality of drinks from bar to bar. The ports were all good, although we could have done without the stop in Ensenada, MX. With the exception of Lahaina, Maui, there is nothing to do and little to no shopping right at any of the ports. Shore excursions were adequate and accomplished the stated goals but seem over-priced. Visitors can do better searching on their own. I will comment that the average age of guests on this cruise appeared to be about 80, which made us feel younger. We are mid-60's. There were a few kids and teens, but not many. Overall, it was a good cruise. I was initially concerned about having so many days in a row at sea (4 going out and 5 on the return) but it was not a problem. There was enough to do and used the down-time to relax. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I wanted to give Princess one more try, and I wanted to get out of town in January. The ship (I was told) is about to be sold to a different cruise line so that was the reason they have not done any major upkeep on it. The seats in the ... Read More
I wanted to give Princess one more try, and I wanted to get out of town in January. The ship (I was told) is about to be sold to a different cruise line so that was the reason they have not done any major upkeep on it. The seats in the theater were frayed and did not sit properly. Some seats made you feel like you were about to slide off because they did not fully stay in the upright position. The bathrooms in the cabins need to be updated and the balcony cabin I had was smaller than I had expected. There was barely enough room on the balcony to put 2 small chairs and a small table. The entertainment was not the quality I have come to expect from other cruise lines and as the cruise progressed the food seemed to lose quality until at the end instead of fresh pineapple on the buffet it looked like a can of Dole pineapple slices. The crew was very nice and helpful and the specialty restaurants were very good. On future cruises they plan to include internet, beverage packages and so on to passengers but of course not on this one. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Wife and I took the Star Princess to Hawaii and offer the following thoughts and observations: Overall the staff and service was excellent. This is where Princess excels. The ship is in need of attention. Living with the dated decor ... Read More
Wife and I took the Star Princess to Hawaii and offer the following thoughts and observations: Overall the staff and service was excellent. This is where Princess excels. The ship is in need of attention. Living with the dated decor is not a problem, but the water leaks; scruffy, dirty and much too low to the ground furniture; dirty and out-of order bathrooms are a big deal. Entertainment—comedians were great, production shows so-so. Almost no live music in Crooners or the piazza. The cruise director reminded us of a used car salesman with his over dramatic presentation and attitude of insincerity. Trivia gatherings were boring. Dining room food and service were both very good. International Cafe, burger grill, and pizza fair. Buffet horrible. Bar service on the pool deck was slow. Drinks were usually good. Getting on and off the ship was efficient and smooth. Hilo,Maui and Kauai were fantastic. Honolulu is what it is, a big city crowded beach. It’s a cruise so of course we had an enjoyable time. Like the itinerary very much. The ship not so much. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our 22nd cruise with Princess since 2008. We have been loyal to Princess because we like the itineraries, and (in the past) have had great service. We have filled out the post-cruise online survey and would like to include the ... Read More
This was our 22nd cruise with Princess since 2008. We have been loyal to Princess because we like the itineraries, and (in the past) have had great service. We have filled out the post-cruise online survey and would like to include the following comments: Condition of the ship: We enjoy the format of the older ships, primarily the promenade decks. However, because a ship is old does not mean it should be rundown. The Grand Princess was in terrible shape. I have never seen so much rust on a cruise ship as this one. Many scuppers on the promenade deck were plugged causing small local puddles on the deck. I would guess about 10% of the deck caulking was rotted away. Carpeting in many places on the ship (including our stateroom) was coming up in places. There were too many water(?) leaks from the ceilings on almost all decks to count. Crew had to place towels, buckets and yellow caution wet floor signs. As a result of the leaks, the ceilings showed much water damage and warpage. Two nights in a row, the aft elevators that service the Botticelli dining room on deck 6 and the Elite Lounge on deck 15 were not working properly in the late afternoon/early evening. This is the time when those elevators are most needed. We had to mention this to the customer service desk both nights before they were fixed. We very nearly had to cancel our dinner plans because being partially disabled, we couldn't get to deck 6 using the stairs. Wait Staff: With the exception of the excellent service in the Botticelli Dining Room at dinner, and the Club Class Dining Room at Breakfast, the wait service in all other areas was terrible. All the bars were grossly understaffed throughout the day. In one case, in the Elite Lounge (OneFive) I ordered a glass of wine and for 25 minutes, I watched the waitress who took my order stop and chat with customers at three different tables. I finally left without ever having the order filled. There was a noticeable decline in service since even our last voyage. The staff that was there showed an aloof and disinterested attitude towards the customers. We have noticed a decline in bar staff service over the last two to three years, but this cruise was exceptionally bad. I think this is a result of the changes over the years to automatic gratuities. I would rather see an increase in cruise fare in order to better pay the staff and increase the number of staff and go back to the traditional method for gratuities. Twice on this cruise I was tempted to opt-out of the automatic gratuities charged to my account. I didn’t do so because, quite honestly, I believed the word would get out to the staff and, as a result, I would get no service at all. Onboard experience: We have taken this cruise twice in the past and really enjoyed the Ukulele lessons and were looking forward to more of that on this trip. Unfortunately, the “Hawaiian Ambassadors” seemed more interested in selling the goods they brought with them on board (ukuleles &c) than actually teaching the ukulele. Classes were disorganized, materials were not ready at the beginning of class, classes would not start on time because the instructor or the sound equipment was not ready. There was a travel group on board for this trip. I found it really tacky that Princess allowed them to set up their reception tables in the Piazza. Not only on embarkation day, but on many other days throughout the trip. Why not use the Hearts and Minds room for this? It seems as though the onboard activities have been reduced to Trivia, Ballroom Dancing, and Zumba. All other daytime activities are centered around Shopping, Bingo, and Art Auctions. All of which is there to generate revenue for Princess. In conclusion, We have decided we are through with Princess Cruises and most likely, any brand under the Carnival umbrella. We had two cruises planned for 2020 and I have cancelled them both. We will be looking at other cruise lines and, no doubt, it will cost more. But, as always, you get what you pay for. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have previously sailed on Crystal Serenity. Both cruises our suite was beautifully furnished and very comfortable. Since we had cruised the Bahamas in past years, we wanted a different itinerary. So we decided to Hawaii would be a ... Read More
We have previously sailed on Crystal Serenity. Both cruises our suite was beautifully furnished and very comfortable. Since we had cruised the Bahamas in past years, we wanted a different itinerary. So we decided to Hawaii would be a nice change. Embarkation started off a little rocky, Crystal was trying out a new system and it took awhile to get information into an iPad. Our cabin was ready when we boarded. However, we were shocked and horrified after entering our penthouse suite 1035 to see duct tape all around a door connecting to another suite. Yes, duct tape. Then we looked at the furniture. First you see a big wooden desk that is old and shows a lot of wear. Nicks and dents in the wood. Then looking at the carpet you could see it was stained in places. The rest of the furniture was also worn and shabby. Shabby is probably a good description of this suite. This was very depressing. We try to book a suite when there a lot of sea days, since we usually spend more time in our cabin during sea days to relax. We had 10 sea days and we were not looking forward to spending time in this depressing room. We talked to the Concierge about changing rooms, but the ship was sold out. Housekeeping came by and apologized for the duct tape around the door. After they took it down it was apparent that there was a big gap around the door that allowed noise and light thru. So you have a choice of looking at duct tape having some privacy or hearing your neighbors conversations thru the door. Both the concierge and the head housekeeper to their credit did not try to deny that the suite was not what is should be. They noted the ship was going into dry dock in April, but that did not help us. There is only one outlet in the room, none next to the bed. They ran a big extension cord around room to get us a pug there. This ship is very cold in the some common rooms and venues, so pack a sweater. Coffee is very weak. We were saved by the coffee maker in room. There are lots of pluses. Crew were all friendly and helpful. I do think they are short on housekeeping staff. Took awhile to get our room made up. Food in all venues was very, very good. Probably better than on Serenity. Entertainment was ok. The New Years Eve party was fabulous. The cruise director Russ is the best we have seen. Try to catch the magic show. You get tickets in the library. Computer classes were good and a lot of people enjoyed the lectures. Weather, I was told by someone that the Pacific could be rough in December. I was hoping they were wrong. They were not. As soon as we left San Diego weather turned cold and over cast. Lots of wind and rough sea. This ship (as acknowledged by an officer) has unbalanced propeller which causes a lot of vibration and noise. We were delayed in leaving because the ship's doctor had become sick and was taken to the hospital. The captain had to go faster then he normally would in rough seas to make up time and that caused a lot of rocking and rolling. One night we heard a large crash when the ship hit a wave and dishes fell in the dining room. Finally, get to the Hawaii Islands only to be told by the captain that we would leave a day early missing the big island Hawaii, because more bad weather was coming. Another disappointment. So, this was not the best cruise we have been on. I would urge you, unless you need a connecting suite to stay clear of 1035. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Profit enhancement appears to have won out over service and conveniences. After about 20 cruises: with Princess, still cannot get a table for 2 without getting in line to complain. Did they think I was not serious when I request 2-seating ... Read More
Profit enhancement appears to have won out over service and conveniences. After about 20 cruises: with Princess, still cannot get a table for 2 without getting in line to complain. Did they think I was not serious when I request 2-seating every time for more than a dozen cruises? Yes, I mean it, every time. If they cannot honor their request without a dustup every time, at the beginning of the cruise, they should not bother asking. the 10th deck cannot get cool enough. specially at night, the room would not cool down. pre-purchased gifts are not delivered to the room, you have to go get them. so forget about surprising your wife with a box of candy. we like coffee cards. except now, you do not know how many drinks you have left and you cannot any longer carry the unused drinks to the next cruise. desserts are sequestered from reach, you have to ask for them. so the joy of loading up your plate with treats to sample cannot be, not without the inquisitive scornful eye of staff. I do not mind the kids running around all over. but who gave them noise makers? all in all very relaxing pilgrimage we make to the islands about every year end. these are relatively minor complaints. not eating in the dining room is no big deal, and after all, the food there is not so good anyway. basically a cattle call. sabatinis and crown grill the places to go. the food is nice and fresh in the buffet and it is quiet and less crowded. they say about eating places, follow the locals. on board where does staff eat? i saw the captain at the horizon grill. 14th deck. Smart choice. we missed kauai due to weather. that is fine. it happens. you need patience and tolerance when in uncertain conditions. I do this cruise every year. And will again. By the way, princess bedding is terrific, and the tv's are large and have a good variety of programming. all good there. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The cruise was a good value overall but the experience goes downhill when they start to charge $1.50 for a milkshake, spin-class charges, ice cream is given out like it was gold. Ticky tack charges. Carnival has unlimited ice cream and ... Read More
The cruise was a good value overall but the experience goes downhill when they start to charge $1.50 for a milkshake, spin-class charges, ice cream is given out like it was gold. Ticky tack charges. Carnival has unlimited ice cream and Guy’s burgers on Carnival which is the best. My daughter did not like the heavy sauced foods at seated dinning so I ask for a steak which is standard on Carnival for sit down dinner. When I asked the waiter he gave me a menu with a $25 up charge. Carnival is Supposed to be the lesser ship but in my family’s opinion carnival is the better ship. More stuff to do for kids, better live shows at night and just all-around more fun. All the shows were smutty knowing that children were on board during Christmas vacation. Every show had some sort of innuendo about sex and other non-kid friendly stuff. Crew was great as in all the cruises I have ever been on. The first night we didn’t get to our seated dinner till 530 so we were a half hour late and was chastised by the waiter that we should be there at 5 o’clock but I did not get my bags until 515. Pizza and hotdogs for junkies is the best but all other food is no better than any other cruise line I have been on. We were not able to get off the boat for Kauai because of bad weather. They gave us a apology from the captain and were given $8 per person back. Cheap cheap, you would think they might give something more than $8 port fee returned and a apology. Free photo, drinks, etc.. So hold on to your wallet because Princess will try to pick it! Also stains all over my carpet and the boat looks tired. In between ports the smell of paint as the crew was painting the boat to hide the rust. I would rather have a clean carpet. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because it originates in Hawaii and because we had my disabled brother with us. Despite the fact that we booked 15 months in advance (paying an extremely high fares vs advertised fares closer to departure dates), it ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it originates in Hawaii and because we had my disabled brother with us. Despite the fact that we booked 15 months in advance (paying an extremely high fares vs advertised fares closer to departure dates), it was a constant struggle to be sure that we had adjoining cabins and that our travel plans were linked. Eventually, we thought we had everything worked out, only to arrive at our hotel in LA to discover Norwegian had not books adjoining rooms for that part of the trip. We were exhausted from traveling from the East Coast and it took nearly 45 minutes to straighten out the problem--there were no adjoining rooms. On de on the ship, our accommodations were fine. I will give Norwegian credit for a vefry smooth boarding and disembarking process. The meal processes were also quite smooth or such a huge ship and so many guests. The food was blah by anyone's book. I'd rate it as college cafeteria standard for folks who don't have discriminating tastes. It was plentiful. We ate at the Brazilian steakhouse one evening.It was not impressive. The entertainment was also blah except the one night we saw the magician. The onboard activities were mostly silly and uninteresting. We are not interested in bingo or karaoke or ping pong tournaments. Shore excursions were less than steller except for the day at Haleakala. They were grossly overpriced and quite frankly, boring. Because of my brother 's disabilities, we booked only Level 1 activity excursions. There were no Level 1 excursions offered in Kauai, so we were on out own. The catamaran/snorkeling excursion was fun, but was not really Level 1 since boarding the boat was quite tricky and the boarding ladder for snorkelers could not be used by two of us. In summary, I am done with cruising on large ships. I am disappointed in Norwegian's lack of attention to the nee of disabled passengers. I am deeply disappointed that we spent a large amount of money for only a so-so experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The staff on the ship was, for the most part, excellent and helpful. The food was average to poor. The NCL excursions were too limited in what was offered. One day our excursion was cancelled at the last minute due to not enough people ... Read More
The staff on the ship was, for the most part, excellent and helpful. The food was average to poor. The NCL excursions were too limited in what was offered. One day our excursion was cancelled at the last minute due to not enough people have signed up. We were told nothing else was available. We had to scramble to contact other companies and found a good selection of independent excursions of which we took advantage. The shows were pedestrian aside from the magician who was very good. The cabin was small but fine for two people. The poor customer service was from NCL before the cruise. We booked the cruise directly with NCL. When we spoke to the booking agent we discussed that the reason we choose this cruise was because it toured the Napali Coast off Kauai. That was our only "absolutely must see" of the Hawaii trip. We discussed and understood that itinerary is subject to change due to weather, natural disasters or other emergencies. Well a few weeks before the cruise were were notified by NCL that the Napali Coast was going to be skipped due to maintenance being performed on the ship. We called to try to reschedule the cruise for when it would return to its normal itinerary or to cancel. We were told by NCL that we did not call soon enough before the sail date to do that. We explained that we called as soon as we were notified about Napali being skipped for ship maintenance but basically we were told tough luck, NCL can change the itinerary for any reason and you have no recourse. I am sure that NCL has enough satisfied customers that they do not have to concern themselves with a situation such as ours. However, we will not use them again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The food is average. Pre order on line package is not the best package. Better wait on board then order. My luggage came late to my room. The airport pick up and shuttle bus arrangement is great. The waiter’s service ... Read More
The food is average. Pre order on line package is not the best package. Better wait on board then order. My luggage came late to my room. The airport pick up and shuttle bus arrangement is great. The waiter’s service either in the public buffet or the main dining are all excellent. There are many activities on board everyday. I love to dance and I enjoyed the line dance, fitness aerobic and ballroom dance classes. I also enjoy some seminar such as mapping , Spanish class ..... there are variety choices and topics at different time in different room you can choose. The show was not great and I only went to see once. I guess the average age of this cruise is 70-75. There are few children and countable. I didn’t see too many teenage , young adults or middle age adults. Most iv them are pretty elderly. I am possible the few are pretty young. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this trip because no flight involved, departs and returns Los Angeles, California, USA. I titled it Crowd Shopping cruise because if you don't like crowds and are not there just for shopping or spending more money on your ... Read More
We chose this trip because no flight involved, departs and returns Los Angeles, California, USA. I titled it Crowd Shopping cruise because if you don't like crowds and are not there just for shopping or spending more money on your cruise, this is not the cruise for you. The marketing is relentless. You could have a bonfire with the paper advertisements, and they are plentiful on the TV, too. Nearly 11 days plus some additional nights at sea slants this sailing toward senior, and therefore handicapped cruisers, yet the facilities are below par for that audience. Too few wheelchair assistants for the number of passengers needing assistance. Spent a lot of time waiting for elevators. Forget about the wi-fi, plan to be totally out of touch or you will be disappointed. Could not use many of the spa and fitness facilities, no seats or grab bars or non-slip strips on tile floors. Excluded from 1 port and many shore excursions. Shore excursion buses also below expectations, only 1 door for loading / unloading and non-working restroom. Hilo tour only had driver/guide, so you could not talk to him or ask a question during the driving. I tried to do 1 jigsaw puzzle 3 times, they kept putting it away even with permission to leave it out and "do not disturb" sign. Finally they moved it to a deck I could not get to (stairs only). Lack of coordination between onboard Guest Services and Casino / Spa, you can charge services and gambling to your shipboard account but cannot get the credit there for winning, must collect separately. Casino has only 1 craps table and very limited hours while other tables are staffed without players. Food is good, menus and dining room management not so good. Our cabin steward was the best!! Disembarkation went extremely well! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Cabin service => A+ Food in MDR => B Pizza on deck 12 => B Grill on deck 12 => A Buffet => C Cabin => D Cabin was a disappointing experience, only sitting area in an upgraded balcony cabin was a small ... Read More
Cabin service => A+ Food in MDR => B Pizza on deck 12 => B Grill on deck 12 => A Buffet => C Cabin => D Cabin was a disappointing experience, only sitting area in an upgraded balcony cabin was a small desk chair. We put a balcony chair in the cabin, not sure what happen to a love seat, or at minimum a comfortable chair. Buffet was average, with stand standard food. We tries to go to the DR often and generally the food was better. Internet service was below par. Ports were good, but not able to comment on excursions since we rented a car and did our own agenda each location. Not sure we would make the trip across the Pacific Ocean again via cruise ship. Next trip to the Hawaiian islands will likely be via airplane. I’m still in shock a “premium balcony” doesn’t include a decent sitting area. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were so excited initially to take this cruise. Unfortunately, our itinerary changed and we were unable to get to Maui Days 1&2. Day 1 became a Sea Day - which would normally be great on a newer ship with a ton of amenities - but ... Read More
We were so excited initially to take this cruise. Unfortunately, our itinerary changed and we were unable to get to Maui Days 1&2. Day 1 became a Sea Day - which would normally be great on a newer ship with a ton of amenities - but this ship was extremely outdated and older inside and had limited things to do on deck. December is apparently a great time to surf because of the swells, but we didn't realize what the impact would be on our ship. We ended up tipping while trying to get into port! I never felt a ship roll like that before. We knew this ship was older upon booking, but we didn't mind since we were supposed to be in a port every day, but this was a bit scary. Our captain (RON!) luckily made the most of it and kept us informed, and we were able to change course for Day 2. I would not recommend going on this cruise in December, as it's rainy season on the island, and the swells can prevent you from getting into Port. We had an amazing time in each port, as there were unique characteristics of both. I highly recommend getting a quick tour of Hilo (see the waterfalls and mac nut factory), trying Ola Brewery in Kona (they have more than just beer!), and hike in Kaua`i (bring an extra pair of shoes because it is muddy in December!) If you do go on this ship - I highly recommend getting the dinner package. We were very happy with our meals in the specialty restaurants, as each one had their own unique flare. Overall, I would recommend this itinerary for a different time of year for anyone looking to see the Hawaiian Islands in bulk! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019

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