our booking said our check in time was 1200 but in actual fact, check-in was FROM 1200 so we wasted much of our day in Honolulu (having arrived the day before) and wished we had checked in by 5pm. We checked in and then ... Read More
our booking said our check in time was 1200 but in actual fact, check-in was FROM 1200 so we wasted much of our day in Honolulu (having arrived the day before) and wished we had checked in by 5pm. We checked in and then got off the ship again to walk up Diamond head and arrived back at 4:30pm but realised later, we need not have checked in so early.
we had the cheapest cabin on the ship so I was expecting a tight squeeze, we lost an upgrade 'bid' so didn't think about it too much, however we were pleasantly surprised by how much space and storage it had for two ladies. We weren't disappointed.
The food in the restaurants was impeccable. So glad we didn't have the enormous American style portions and the food and presentation was excellent quality. We didn't have the specialty dinner package but we didn't need to. We ate in the Asian restaurant a couple of times and we felt that was like having a specialty dinner package. You really don't need to go extra on the restaurant upgrade. I liked having lunch from the buffet and taking it to a table outside with a cocktail at the back of the ship. That was nice. My only complaint was that the American diner looked very cheap and cold. We didn't eat in there but I imagine it would have been good for kids. It could have been furbished to look warmer than a burger king.
My friend and I were celebrating our 50th and were up for a fun, good time but the ship got fairly quiet by midnight and we found ourselves going from lounge to lounge looking for a bit of action. The ship had a lot of older people who seemed to get up at Dawn and go to bed early ready for the next dawn. The shows were average except for the Jazz band. They were great. Comedian was rubbish, but then I"m not American, so slap stick jokes aren't our thing. The disco on some nights could have been much better. A couple of nights the DJ was there and that was good, but for some nights the music was just a tape and that was disappointing. Having said that, we liked the fact that there was lots of options and if Karaoke, bingo and quiz was your thing, there was plenty to do.
Although I felt our demographic was in the minority, it was so easy to hang out and meet people. Everyone we came across was very friendly and chatting to strangers was so easy. I did not feel at all uncomfortable to go out on my own and sit at a bar or table or chat to someone nearby. It was thoroughly relaxing and I loved the fact that it was a do what you want, when you want, how you want type of cruise.
impeccable 99% of the time. Everyone was courteous, the dining staff went over and above, our cabin was serviced twice a day, loved how they had beach towels for you when you got off the ship and offered a fresh cup of water when you arrived back. I'd say the ship was clean, well groomed and maintained and the bar staff were productive. I only would have complained once about one bar staff who tried to tell me I couldn't have a cocktail as the bar had just closed and he'd turned the ice machine off, but then when I asked him what cocktail I could have, he turned it on (pressed a button) and ta da, he made me the cocktail I originally asked for in less than a minute and the three staff were still working there. His attitude didn't impress me, but that was the once and only time. Other than that I was extremely impressed.
We loved the itinerary and were out all day in the ports so we missed what was going on on the ship. We did two big excursions in Maui which were great but because these trips are so expensive, we decided to do our own thing in the other ports. The ship has the hopper on and off trolley's that take you from the ship to the town and other places of interest. We did those and got to see some great places. It is very easy to rent a car as a shuttle takes you from the ship to the airport to do just that. There are also plenty of taxis to get you around so you don't need to do an excursion if you don't care for that. My only complaint would be the port in Maui. We docked on the boring side, so if you are not doing an excursion, get yourself over to Kanapali beach side on the south. Kauwai is the most beautiful and most scenic, shop in Kona, not Hilo and snorkle in Kona but look for turtles in Hilo. If you make time in Honolulu, a big mistake we made is thinking we could turn up to Pearl harbour and get tickets for USS Arizona, but you have to buy tickets at least a day in advance. We got over there (an hour on the trolley) and couldn't go out on the boat to the Arizona unless we had pre-paid tickets. We walked up to the top of Diamond head in 25 minutes flat without stopping, but allow 45 minutes unless you are unfit.
Pre pay gratuities. I hate tipping. unless you have a good reason not to, purchase the drinks package, especially if you are travelling with a friend. It saves a lot of "its your round, not mine". It certainly makes for a more relaxing cruise not worrying about paying for drinks.
I would do this cruise with my children next time. I think they would love it.
Overall it was fantastic and highly recommended but we did have to disembark early to catch our international flight from Honolulu so we missed the last trip around the coast. We were very sad to leave when we did. Read Less