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7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first time to the Hawaiian islands and 3rd cruise overall. First time with Norwegian. The destination is amazing, all the islands have their own unique characteristics. You leave port in Oahu around 7:00 pm. You are able ... Read More
This was our first time to the Hawaiian islands and 3rd cruise overall. First time with Norwegian. The destination is amazing, all the islands have their own unique characteristics. You leave port in Oahu around 7:00 pm. You are able to board the ship early in the day, so bring a bathing suit and/or change of clothes to enjoy the ship until your cabin is ready. Our cabin was ready around 2:30, but the luggage was trailing a couple of hours,. Since the destination is so amazing, the ship (as compared to others) may not be as great as some would hope. We had no problems with the ship. Super clean. Always someone cleaning or painting somewhere, but not disruptive. A lot of sitting areas, restaurants,bars and shops. Our balcony cabin was doable for 2 people. Well maintained and very clean. Our steward Randy was very attentive and cleaned twice per day, Mini bar was helpful in that we used it to store drinks for the evening. (The mini bar contents are not included with any package). Security safe provided in Cabin. Hair dryer / shampoo / body wash provided. Dining was just average for us. Applebee's/ Denny's may be a good comparison. A few main restaurants and large/small buffets. Several "specialty" options for an extra charge. We did not try those. A lot of live entertainment on the pool deck and in the bars. Some shows each night, comedy / broadway type. We did not go to any. Clubs/activities for both teens and younger children.Video arcade at $1.65 per game. There is a Hawaiian liaison on board to give you some info each day which was helpful. Book early for your excursions, but consider doing it outside of the cruise. Better options on trip adviser that were not offered thru the cruise..less expensive as well. The guides are familiar with the cruise itinerary and will plan around the timing. Rental cars ARE NOT allowed to be overnight at the ports. We spent a lot of time going back and forth to various airports for rentals. Found out too late that Enterprise has an agreement with a hotel for overnight parking...$20 per night, but it would have saved a taxi/uber to the airport and a lot of time. Check with your rental company if you choose to rent a car. Bring a small collapsible cooler if able. You can bring food/snacks from the ship for your time off the ship. We spent A LOT of money on lunches and drinks at the different ports. Kauai - Back County Tubing adventure was something I wish we could have done. Found on trip adviser but fully booked 2 months in advance. Shaka Guide is a self guided tour app you can download for minimal price. Download it while you have wifi, it works offline via GPS locator. It was awesome and we used it for the "road to Hana" and Volcanoes National Park. Would highly recommend that! Passport for Pearl Harbor was great. We bought that online and did on our own, you really need a full day to see all the sights. It's tempting, but dont take any black sand or Lava rocks. Illegal and possibly bad luck......why chance it! Disembarking was a breeze. Off the ship and had our luggage by 8:15 am. You choose when you want to leave. Overall a great way to see the islands!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I joined Norweigan cruise 7 night Hawaii Islands. I joined single and I paid good amount of money. But I don't think it worths the money I paid. The good things first Hawaii is great. Bad things, everything except food is ... Read More
I joined Norweigan cruise 7 night Hawaii Islands. I joined single and I paid good amount of money. But I don't think it worths the money I paid. The good things first Hawaii is great. Bad things, everything except food is payable. I have to pay 9.98 if I want to watch a movie in the tv in my room. I don't even listen the music. There isn't much thing to do in the ship. The entertainment is very poor. Before I joined two cruises with Princess and they were much more better than Norweigan. The food was better, the entertainment were far more better. Also Princess gives you beach tote, so if you foreget to bring your beach tote you can use it. But Norweigan didn't give anything. I could watch tv free in Princess but I have to pay in Norweigan. Princess cruises had big screen top of the cruise, so you could watch film or any sports activity there, Norweigan doesn't have screen on the top of the ship. The food area in Princess were bigger than Norweigan. Here is a little bit narrow, because of that there is a chaos in breakfast lunch and dinner time in self service area. The one other small thing, in Princess the staff left chocolate on your bed after clean the room. There isn't anything like in Norweigan cruise Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This is our third cruise in three consecutive years with NCL The first two cruises was awesome with not one thing to complain about. A Baltic cruise and second the Alaskan Cruise My dissatisfaction with this cruise started with the ... Read More
This is our third cruise in three consecutive years with NCL The first two cruises was awesome with not one thing to complain about. A Baltic cruise and second the Alaskan Cruise My dissatisfaction with this cruise started with the room was not very clean. A room that is supposed to be cleaned twice a day is disappointing. There was dust several places. The bathroom floor has dirt on the side molding. The food is awful. My first day I sat in the restaurant for over 1/2 an hour waiting for my main course. I finally got up and left. At breakfast I got my food and nowhere to sit, I counted 10 tables that folks finished eating and the dishes were still waiting to be picked up. A supervisor finally came over and looked at the schedule from his pocket. He went over to the girl at the fruit table and asked key to clear the tables. This took several minutes as she worked very slow. My breakfast was so cold I only eat half of it. I spent over $8K for this trip and is very disappointed with the services. I hope NCL look into this, several people I spoke with commented on the same things. They all said the same thing about the service. I went on a tour this morning, came back for lunch and my room was never cleaned. On the afternoon tour all the folks said there room was not cleaned either. I have several specialty dining. I hope the service is much better. I looked forward so much to have s wonderful time with my wife and so far it’s very disappointing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Some in our group had been to Hawaii before to see one, or maybe two islands. But none of us had ever been to all the major islands, and bang for the buck, this was the best way to see all of them. Of course we wish we had a week at each ... Read More
Some in our group had been to Hawaii before to see one, or maybe two islands. But none of us had ever been to all the major islands, and bang for the buck, this was the best way to see all of them. Of course we wish we had a week at each port, but we enjoyed every minute of this cruise. Food service was excellent, ship was clean, and everyone seemed happy that we were there. It is a slightly smaller vessel than some of the giant super ships, but that's great because you don't get lost in a sea of thousands of people. It is a little more personal, a little more cozy, and a little less 'commercialized'. I would definitely recommend, and we've been on other lines and other destinations, and this was wonderful. Kauii is called the garden island, but be prepared for rain. The big Island pleasantly surprised us, and Mauii did not disappoint. The submarine excursion was really unique and something that I would recommend, as well as just enjoying what each port has to offer. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Best way to see Hawaii. Pride of America is a floating hotel. Wake up and discover a new island...get back onboard by 5:00 PM and sail to the next. You do stay over a night in Maui and Kauai. Plan your excursions well in advance as the ... Read More
Best way to see Hawaii. Pride of America is a floating hotel. Wake up and discover a new island...get back onboard by 5:00 PM and sail to the next. You do stay over a night in Maui and Kauai. Plan your excursions well in advance as the best ones sell out. My wife and I have 3 boys (8, 14, 18) and the food is perfect for us...you can eat quick and get off the boat and explore. They have fine dining that you can pay extra for, but not sure if it’s worth the money as we never did it. Not a ton of stuff to do on the boat, but that’s not why you’d take this cruise. They do a nice job at night with comedians, singers, magicians, etc. Boat is probably due for some makeover as the pool area is a bit dated, but you are not on this cruise to sit in the pool. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
A wonderful cruise with my daughter and Granddaughter. We stayed in Oahu 3 nights before the cruise started so we could enjoy Waikiki Beach. I would highly recommend. The Pride of America is a beautiful ship. Our cabin was small but ... Read More
A wonderful cruise with my daughter and Granddaughter. We stayed in Oahu 3 nights before the cruise started so we could enjoy Waikiki Beach. I would highly recommend. The Pride of America is a beautiful ship. Our cabin was small but very nice. There was just the right amount of entertainment on ship. Not overblown with too many unnecessary over-the-top add-ons. The entertainment was fantastic. Lots of great songs and dancing. The comedians were both terrific. The crew were incredibly helpful and kind. Meals were fantastic and the Skyline Restaurant Staff just amazing and friendly. The excursions were wonderful. We took two snorkel excursions and the Circle of Fire helicopter ride. All were so enjoyable. I would suggest letting anyone with arthritis or stability or age issues know it is a bit difficult walking onto the catamaran at an angle to get on board the Catamaran Sail & Snorkel in Kona and also gettiing into and out of the ocean. If you are not very agile, I would recommend the Molokini Crater & Turtle Snorkel in Kahului (Maui). It was much easier to board and to go into the ocean from a low platform. Both were very good though. This was a very enjoyable cruise with my family and I would highly recommend it. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Was excited to do cruise of Hawaiin islands and of course Hawaii does not disappoint. The rooms were great and kept very clean. Room stewards did good job. Food was good especially in Specialty dining rooms and main dining room. Servers ... Read More
Was excited to do cruise of Hawaiin islands and of course Hawaii does not disappoint. The rooms were great and kept very clean. Room stewards did good job. Food was good especially in Specialty dining rooms and main dining room. Servers in dining venues were fantastic. Servers in the bar areas were awful. Slow and unhappy. More bartenders were needed in every bar. The Beatles tribute ees with Toby Beau was so bad, we didn't go to any other shows. There was one great band, The Drivers, but they were only on the ship for 2 days. Many unsupervised children roaming the ship, parents seemed to think they would be OK. One child tried to take our belongings when we were in the hot tub. My husband noticed and said something, the kid ran off. Excursions were pretty good especially The Best of Maui with Peaches; Waterfalls and Rainforests hike with Steven and the Journey to Waimea Canyon with Kaf. Don't bother with Merriman's Farm ad Culinary experience, too unfocused. The guide. Frank was interesting and knowledgeable, but the tour was over priced. The culinary pary was basically just lunch. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
have been to Oahu twice before and decided to get a brief taste of the other islands so pride of America was the obvious way to go, embarkation was a breeze very helpful desk person on board quite quickly, cabin was not ready so went and ... Read More
have been to Oahu twice before and decided to get a brief taste of the other islands so pride of America was the obvious way to go, embarkation was a breeze very helpful desk person on board quite quickly, cabin was not ready so went and had lunch at the aloha café buffet, the ship although looking a bit dated was very clean and well presented. the house keeping did a great job keeping the cabin clean and tidy. all the staff in the bars and public areas gave good service and were friendly, only ate at the aloha café buffet which I found quite good in fact some of the food was quite amazing. entertainment was very good went four shows including music in a couple of the bars. all in all I would recommend this cruise . finally a special word for Tanya who served in the pink champagne bar a credit to the ship and cruise line a very friendly person very good customer service. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Cabin 8502 Balcony : Family of 10: 5 teens and 5 adults in 5 cabins: This was our 15 th cruise first time on NCL Good: Loved the balcony (very spacious had 8 adults on it to view as we sailed Na Pali coast. originally booked ... Read More
Cabin 8502 Balcony : Family of 10: 5 teens and 5 adults in 5 cabins: This was our 15 th cruise first time on NCL Good: Loved the balcony (very spacious had 8 adults on it to view as we sailed Na Pali coast. originally booked interior cabin, Bid $100 pp and got balcony Great hair dryer - no need to bring your own on this trip Refrigerator in room - always nice No casino on ship/ no smoking The food in the skyline and Liberty rest and aloha café was better than most other cruises we have been on (especially loved the Shrimp and crab cakes appetizer night 1) Love not having to dress up for the Skyline Rest for dinner- Freestyle dinning Great way to see Hawaii The photo people did not hound you or force you to take pics Room had a small sofa in it - very nice! interior rooms did not have this Good value as it would have cost much more to see all islands and pay for food on our own Fresh Floral Lei's at check in - nice Bad: No electrical outlet next to bed bring ext cord if using CPAP The web site is bad, and our travel rep Earl did not return calls Great price booking air w/ ship but I would not do it again awful flight seats and times The older man checking us in was crazy slow and just generally clueless - bad start The hostess at the Skyline Rest was obnoxious and rude. He could not get our reservations straight despite being booked ahead of sailing (party of 10) The shower is hand held which is great but the water pressure was very weak Service in the restaurants and the Cadillac dinner was SUPER SLOW - no reason for this! Poor excursion options - we booked cars on each island instead Cabin was not very clean (dusty) and missing pool towels. The steward never replaced/refreshed pool towels and bed sheets were not changed daily (yes I can tell) Bathrooms and showers are ridiculously small Customer service was generally poor with a few exceptions (grp sales lady was great) Entertainment was not so great - comedian Chris Bliss was good night 1 awful night 2 What we did: Maui: Road to Hana in our rental car (get CD for the narration)- Book far in advance for larger vehicles Maui day 2 - surfing lesson with Hawaiian paddle sports for kids, Laheina to see the largest Banyon Tree - nice town to window shop Hilo: Volcano National Park (rental car) - worth doing Swim /snorkeling Kona: Drove to Maunea Kea (too far and lame - skip ) Amazing coffee: stop at a local coffee shop (We went to Kona Coffee in shopping plaza) Kauai: Waiemea Canyon - amazing Spouting Horn Poipou - amazing Coffee plantation - worth the stop - free walking tour, and free samples Kauai Day 2: Swim at Marriot beach walking distance from ship Get shave ICE at some point while you are in port - Sooo Good Honolulu: Pearl Harbor tour Must do!, Went to Diamond head to hike but at 8:30 parking lot was full, went to Waikiki beach - go early less crowds, walked around North Shore - nice surf shop Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because we were visiting Oahu anyway and wanted to see more of the islands. The Pride is the only one that tours the islands of Hawaii without a major ocean crossing. Our cabin was very comfortable with a king size ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were visiting Oahu anyway and wanted to see more of the islands. The Pride is the only one that tours the islands of Hawaii without a major ocean crossing. Our cabin was very comfortable with a king size bed and enough storage. The balcony was on the small side but had a railing with steel bars that made it easy to see thru when seated. Other ships sometimes have solid steel plates that prevent you from seeing the water when seated. Overall the dining experience was good. The selection at the buffet was good albeit very unusual at times (I've never seen carved duck at a buffet before). The main dining room food and service was excellent. We ate at two of the specialty restaurants, Cagney's is a traditional steakhouse and Moderno is a Brazilian style steakhouse. At Cagney's both my wife and I had steaks that were very tough. A complaint to the manager got us some chocolate covered strawberries delivered to our stateroom. Moderno is an experience worth having in itself. The food was also excellent. Of the two, Moderno is the best choice. We do not travel with children but it didn't appear that there were many activities for kids. The pools were basic and there were no slides or other kid friendly attractions that I could find. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Hello! I thought I'd write a brief review of our POA sailing this last week. This is our fourth cruise, with prior cruises being on Carnival and NCL in a Haven room. This is the first cruise we have taken as a family of 4, along ... Read More
Hello! I thought I'd write a brief review of our POA sailing this last week. This is our fourth cruise, with prior cruises being on Carnival and NCL in a Haven room. This is the first cruise we have taken as a family of 4, along with my parents. Kids are 5 and 7, and grandparents are 72. We flew in and spent a few days prior to the cruise in Oahu. I highly recommend this. We could have easily spent a week in Oahu. We did Pearl Harbor, and spent a day on the North Shore. There we did a Shark Swim with Hawaiian Shark Encounters (fantastic, and not as scary as you may think, though take dramamine before you go) and we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center. That was OK - I thought it was a little overpriced for what you get, but the kids and the grandparents enjoyed it. Day 1: Prior to boarding, we did a movie tour at Kualoa Ranch. It was AMAZING. Big 5 star recommendation. Was enjoyed by everyone in our party. Embarkation went smoothly. We were in 10178, a two bedroom family suite. My parents were next door in the adjoining cabin, 10180. These are both aft balconies. As suite guests, we got priority boarding, and it was not busy. This is where the only issue I had with service occurred. I had to wait, by myself with 2 hot tired children (husband came later after returning rental car, and grandparents had to do the regular check in since they were not in a suite). The concierge for some reason directed 2 families to check in before me for some reason - I had been there before them, and it was extremely irritating, especially since one of the families took forever to check in. My parents were done and waiting by the time I got done. Not a huge deal but after having a Haven room last time it was definitely not up to that standard. We checked in around 3, and our rooms were ready at that time. We did dinner at the buffet, and swam and everyone was in bed by 8PM. Room 10178 was adequate for our family, I would not take older children in this room though. The second bedroom pull out is TINY lol - but it worked great for our purposes. Balcony is HUGE and got an amazing view of the Napali Coast on the last day right from there. 10180 is a nice room, with a nice large aft balcony. My parents were happy. Day 2: Maui. Cruise port is in an industrial area. We rented a car for 2 days from Thrifty. This was my major problem this week. We were told that thrifty had a shuttle from the port to the airport rental desk. THEY DO NOT. Apparently this changed around mid May, but no one bothered to update me from Thrifty. We paid $15 cab fare to the airport, and of course had to pay for cab fare back the next day. I complained to the cashier at the counter, and asked to speak to the manager, as I felt I should have been updated about this. (Haha just call me Karen lol, but I was MAD). The manager could not be bothered to even come speak to me. I was told that NCL should have told me there was no shuttle anymore (eye roll forever) and it was not their problem. If you are renting a car in Maui port, use Budget or Avis. I saw their shuttles. Taking a taxi to the rental counter involves not only the cab, but also taking a tram to the rental counter as the taxi can't take you directly there. We spent the first day in Maui in Lahaina for shopping and sightseeing. It was fun, I think my parents enjoyed it the most. Lots of cool shops. We then went to Napilli Beach, which was OK but NO shade, so bring an umbrella. The kids had a blast in the surf. We parked a car at the Maui Ocean Hotel, about 1/2 mile from the port overnight. It costs $5. Seemed safe. I have heard rumors its OK to park at the mall, but didn't want to chance it. On the way back to the port, make sure you use the pedestrian walkway, it's not very clearly marked, and we missed it and had to do some extra walking. Day 2: Maui. We did a 9AM Molokini snorkel on the Pride of Maui to Molokini and Turtle town. This was AMAZING. The grandparents didn't go, just us and the kids. This was arranged directly with Pride of Maui, none of our excursions were with NCL. The Pride of Maui has a slide, and will let you use their snorkel equipment. My kids loved the slide (they are young but very good swimmers) and my daughter (7) loved Turtle Town - we saw 3 turtles! My son was sort of over the snorkeling after the first stop. The trip included a continental breakfast and a pretty tasty BBQ lunch. Between this and the shark swim, it's hard to pick a fave. We adults went to Cagney's on this evening and it was great. Day 3: Hilo. Again rented a car, which went smoothly (with Thrifty, had already booked ahead of time, won't be using them again if I can help it). There was a shuttle this time :)/ . We spent the day at Volcano National Park. I wish we had gotten up and out earlier, or had more time - it is SOOOO amazing. We never saw any lava, and it was still one of the most awe inspiring places I've ever seen. Parts of the park are closed. We went down the Chain of Craters Road, all the way to the ocean. I belatedly found out there is a Shaka guide for this (more on this later) and I wish we had listened to it on the way. Buffett again (easiest with kids and really pretty good). Day 4: Kona. Another beautiful day. I am surprised to say I think the big island was actually my favorite island. We had rented a car with Thrifty (again, very smooth and easy - rental was in the King Kona hotel across the street from the port). This day we did a Shaka tour. This is an app that is available on itunes that uses GPS to narrate you on a driving tour, stopping at interesting places and telling you stories and history. We saw the City of Refuge (don't be scared by the sketchy road - amazing beautiful place), the bay by the Captain Cook monument, a honey farm, a coffee farm, and the Painted Church. The COR and the honey farm were my kids favorite place, though they also sampled plenty of coffee. The Greenwell farms coffee farm was fun - there are lizards everywhere. The farm tour is also free, a rarity in Hawaii. There is also a very small beach right by the tender that my kids enjoyed for an hour or so before getting on the boat. Day 5: Kauai. We had a tubing excursion with Kauai backcountry Adventures, but it was cancelled due to weather. There were supposed be thunderstorms, but they didn't materialize, so we rented a car with Advantage. It was OK, they were the cheapest we could find and the van we got reflected it, but who cares. We did another Shaka tour for Wimea Canyon. Again - another beautiful place. We spent a ton of time on the canyon and going up the mountain, so we had to kind of rush through the rest. They recommend a suspension bridge that was super sketchy though. I made my kids get off haha. Day 6: Kauai. We didn't do a whole lot this day. I took the kids to the nearby beach Kalapaki. We rented a beach chair and umbrella, and the kids played in the water. My parents took a helicopter tour with Maverick Helicopters and they said it was the highlight of their trip. This is the day of the Napali coast sail by. Again, very beautiful, and we had a perfect view from our balcony. We ate our last dinner at Teppanyaki. It was good and the chef was entertaining. Day 7: Honolulu and debarkation. Went smoothly, our butler got us right off the ship. We had a late overnight flight at 8PM, so we went through a company called ResortPass to get a cabana at the Outrigger Reef Resort Waikiki. This was... OK. It was crowded and hot. When we made the reservation, we were told the bell desk would hold our luggage, but they did not. We had to keep all 12 bags in our cabana, which meant someone had to stay there and we couldn't wander around town as we had planned. Oh well, the kids swam and I had a few drinks. NCL will store your bags for you, though it looked like it was actually a company with the port, I wish that rather than doing this I had just asked my butler when we got on initially what to do about our luggage. Some notes: Kids club: We utilized this for our kids, and they LOVED it. My 5 year old son in particular LOVED it. Seriously, we couldn't keep them with us after we got back on the ship! The counselors did an amazing job, and the kids literally cried the last night we were there because they would miss the staff and other kids at Splash Academy. We have never used something like this on vacation, but am so glad we did. It gave us some needed alone time. Butler: She was great, though we didn't use her much. Just mainly for priority tender on Kona and debarkation. She still knew the kids names and they loved her as well. Steward: He was great. My daughter wrote him a thank you note and we gave him a nice additional tip. He really went above and beyond with the towel animals, and my kids loved him as well, so of course, so did I. Restaurants: The buffet was pretty good. We didn't make use of Cagney's for breakfast or lunch (suite dining), as we usually were in a hurry to get someplace. Our dinner in Cagney's was great. Teppanyaki was good, and so was La Cucina. The buffet at South Beach Pool is better than the Aloha Buffet. Shows: We didn't see a single one lol. We were too tired every night. Overall, would recommend. I don't think we would do this personally again, just because now that we got an introduction to the islands we would go spend more time on each of our faves. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I used Cruise Critice prior to booking our trip. This is long, but I am including information that I was looking for prior to our trip. *Convenient and cost-efficient way to see all the islands. *Only cruise that offers this ... Read More
I used Cruise Critice prior to booking our trip. This is long, but I am including information that I was looking for prior to our trip. *Convenient and cost-efficient way to see all the islands. *Only cruise that offers this week-long option * You are mostly in port during this cruise, and there really is no “day at sea.” We enjoyed each stop. You spend two days in Maui and 1 ½ in Kauai. These two islands have the most excursion offerings, so you really do need two days if you want to see multiple things. If you don't have a planned excursion at least one of those days, the time in port may seem too long. The Ship- This was our first Norwegian cruise. We have sailed Princess twice and Carnival once. Norwegian and Princess are very similar in ship design and offerings. Pros and cons to each, and it just boils down to personal preference. Both are great ships. The ship was clean, the staff was friendly and attentive, and we had a great experience on board.The ship is one of the smaller ships.I would sail Norwegian again. Booking the Cruise- “Free at Sea” We used a travel agent which was very helpful. Doesn't cost you a thing and they know the right questions to ask. We did the “Free at Sea” option. Let’s be real, nothing was free, but they package it a way that makes it affordable. We chose 3 “free” options. We chose air-fare, specialty dining and the “Hawaiian beverage” package. I would highly recommend choosing these 3.Purchsing wiifi is not really needed for this cruise if you are from the USA. Guest Wifi on board is fine and you are in a port most of the time, so your cellular is fine for basic calls and internet usage. If you have kids with you or have work wifi needs then you may need it. 1) Airfare- The cruise line books your flight. We did the $50/person additional fee that allows you to personalize your flight a bit. This caused me the most stress because the airline books your flight and they don’t let you know what your flight is until about a month prior. We were doing some connections in Seattle prior to the trip and the flight times made a difference. Our travel agent was able to request our flight times for us and they did honor that and booked our flight on Delta. If you need to change your flight, once it is booked then you can call the airline and make any changes. We asked if it would change the total price of the cruise if we chose not to include airfare. It didn’t, so it did not make sense for us to pay for it separately. It worked out fine. Specialty Dining- Definitely do this! With our package we were able to dine at all the nicer restaurants and you don’t have to pay the upgrade fee or any charges. The food was great! 2) Hawaiian Beverage Package- This included all alcohol, sodas, bottled waters and drinks- anything under $15/drink. Note: when they ring your bill up, it will have the price of the drink and the tax. When you sign the ticket it scares you a bit because you are expecting free. You have to pay the tax on the drink, so it has to have something to tax. When it hits your account, you will only see charges like 80 cents, 50 cents, etc. You can also go up to any bar and ask for a bottled water at any time. You have to sign for it. They advertise on the ship for you to buy a case of water for your room for $30. You don’t need to do it if you have this package. Tips for you water drinkers: To prevent the spread of germs, none of the common areas on ship allow you to re-fill water bottles. We found a fountain on the ship's walking track, outside near the front of the boat. Best cold water. We are big water drinkers, and I was using a scopolamine patch, which makes you event thirstier. 3) Specialty Dining: Our favorites were La Cucina (Italian) and Moderna Churrascaria (Brazilian Steakhouse) Book these before you go. You can always change. Don’t book an early reservation on the final Friday because you will want to be on deck while cruising on the Napali Coast. Complimentary Dining: Make reservations for everything at dinner. The Liberty Dining Room and Skyline were both great. Same dining room and menu. Liberty has the dress code, Skyline more casual. The breakfast at the Skyline was really good and better than the buffet in the Aloha Cafe. Aloha Café Buffet: I could always find something I enjoyed. We typically ate there for breakfast, and we only ate one lunch there. I am not a buffet fan, but considering the amount of food they are cooking for all of those folks on the ship, I give it a B+. We tried to choose something different each day, and were not disappointed on any night. Embarkation: Best advice! Wait until around 3pm before getting on the ship!! We walked right in. No wait. That morning, we took an Uber to the ship's port in Honolulu, unloaded our luggage prior to 10am on embarkation day. They let our Uber wait on us. We went inside and asked for "Luggage Storage". They charge $5 a bag. That literally took 5 minutes. We then went to Pearl Harbor and took our time. We got back to the ship around 2:30/3pm. It was a dream to check in. Prior to that the crew said the lines were crazy. So unless you can't stand it and want to wait at the terminal for 3 hours in line, hold your horses and enjoy your day. (I would suggest flying in on the Friday before the ship leaves.) Disembarkation: Of everything we did, I would probably rate this the lowest. They need some work on this area. On Princess, I was completely impressed with the way they handle disembarkation. Very organized. For POA, we chose to carry our own luggage out so we could leave at our own pace, and basically did the 'free-style get off the boat'. They had other scheduled times that people were leaving, but it seem to bottleneck. Long lines to get out of the port and on to our pre-arranged shuttles to the airport. It wasn't awful, and we weren't in a hurry, but I would suggest not scheduling your flight home until after 12pm. I think people who had scheduled excursions did not have have this issue. Excursions: Honolulu: Brief tutorial on Pearl Harbor. I spent more time planning this. It's confusing online and everyone offers a package. It makes sense once you are there. I hope this will save you several hours of your life! :) Pearl Harbor- Do this yourself. Book your tour of the USS Arizona online 1 month prior. It's free but you have to have a ticket and they go fast. You just pay a $1-2 fee to book. Go to recreation.gov/tickets website to reserve these tickets. Keep checking to see when they open your date. They are working on the loading dock at the memorial so you can't get off the boat, but you cruise the harbor, take photos, and watch a movie prior. Re-opens in Fall 2019. You cannot take a bag in. You can check it for $5. USS Missouri- You can purchase your tickets for the Missouri over at Pearl Harbor and they will shuttle you over. We just did the Mighty Mo pass. $29/each This was perfect for us and allows to you spend as much time touring as you would like after the initial tour. Maui: Road to Hana: We rented our own car and drove it. (We had a free rental. ) You can book a tour through the cruise line, around $200 each. Choose to do this on the first day especially if you drive yourself. Hairpin turns and takes 2-3 hours to go 40 miles- 1-way. Beautiful scenery. Plan for all day. Take a swimsuit and go to Wai'anapanapa State Park(black sand beach) Hakealea Crater at Sunrise- We booked through the ship- Beautiful! I would recommend. You have to be ready to go at 2:45 am so if you are not a morning person this is not for you. I wouldn’t suggest driving this yourself for the sunrise, no shoulders on the road and you are driving up a mountain to 10,000 ft. Take your camera and pack a heavy jacket. Temperature is 40 degrees at top. Pack a puffy ski -type jacket that you can roll tightly and squeeze in your luggage. Kauai- We booked a helicopter tour through Blue Hawaiian (Lihue airport) Same company that the cruise line uses. You save by booking direct and they will send a shuttle to come pick you up. Request it in the comments when you book. Highlight of the trip! Walk to Nawilliwilli Beach from the port. Hilo (Big Island) - Took an Uber to Carlsmith Beach. Fabulous! Not much around the port within walking distance. Take a taxi or Uber. Hilo Urgent Care and Hilo Medical Center ER were wonderful to us on an unplanned excursion to the ER. Hope you don't need to go there. Kona- Lots of shops along the port. Ate at Kona Brewing Company** Transportation at the ports: Each port was a little different, but the cruise line contracts with certain taxis and shuttles (in addition to booked excursions). If you want to use Uber, ask the crew what you need to do when you get off the ship. Most of the ports would require you to go beyond a certain point down the street to get picked up, but they would allow Uber drivers to drop you back off at the ship. I guess they don’t want every Uber driver jockeying for your business. Maui was the most difficult place to use Uber. Go for a taxi here. Last thing: Download the NCL app. This was helpful to know the schedule of events, our booked excursions and dinner reservations, and for keeping up with our room tab. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary and knew the ship was old and smaller than others. We like the smaller size ship and wish cruise lines would stop making them bigger and bigger. The itinerary was nice (Honolulu -> ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary and knew the ship was old and smaller than others. We like the smaller size ship and wish cruise lines would stop making them bigger and bigger. The itinerary was nice (Honolulu -> Vancouver). The ports were very nice. The cabin was tight but who spends time in their cabin anyway :). The main dining room food was very good compared with other cruise lines. We did not do any of the extra dining rooms and felt quite satisfied with the outstanding main dining room service and food. My biggest regret was purchasing the alcohol package which is quite expensive and you almost have to work at getting your money's worth but the drinks we had and bartenders were awesome just overpriced alcohol package. We could not get on the shore excursion to Pearl Harbor in Honolulu since it booked up fast and there was no room so we booked a private tour that was quite good - a small group and excellent service. (Royal Hawaiian Tours). Very professional service. Stay away from Alex Tours. He approached us in the cruise terminal and told us his tours were less expensive than the shop tours. He did not ask for money up front but told us if he had our name we would have a spot on his bus if we got that at his assigned time/ We arrived at his bus 2o minutes early to find it was full already and he had no other buses. The driver looked very old as did the bus that had the Alex Tours painted over the First Baptist Church Logo. Come to find out from passengers that did get on that bus - the bus broke down 2 hours away from the ship and they almost missed getting back in time as well as missing parts of the tour since they had to wait for a replacement bus. Very sketchy so stay away. The other shore excursions we booked through the ship and I must say that they were worth the money, well organized and interesting. The only excursion that disappointed us was the Luau in Mauwi. It was at a large hotel and the hotel crammed in as many guests as they could. The food was only mediocre and the entertainment was pretty spread out timewise. It seemed that the cruise passengers got the tables in the back and believe me they were distant from the stage! Some of the tables were off to the side of the stage which made it difficult to see. The hotel also managed to squeeze in a "fashion show" of Hawaiian wear that you could purchase in the gift shop which I felt was unnecessary. The vendors that were selling their crafts were not that exciting either. The islands were very good and most of t he entertainment during the Island part of the cruise was pretty good. The trans-Pacific part of the cruise the entertainment and things to do on the ship were fairly boring. The lecture series for 5 days was about the Canadian Mounties - I would have liked something more interesting, educational, and useful. They had plenty of movies except their "Cinema" was usually full and during the Pacific crossing the outdoor movie screen by the pool was pretty useless. The shows at night were not exceptional but most were entertaining except for 1 very boring comedian. 5 days at sea needs much more happening on the ship. That was my biggest disappointment. Everything went smoothly. I was hesitant about crossing the Pacific in May but as it turned out the seas were smooth (no seasickness) although the temperatures were too cold and windy to do much on the decks. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We arrived in Honolulu the evening before our cruise and had a hotel a short distance from the cruise port. From the time we check our bags with a porter, through security and check-in, we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes. We ... Read More
We arrived in Honolulu the evening before our cruise and had a hotel a short distance from the cruise port. From the time we check our bags with a porter, through security and check-in, we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes. We have been on the Radiance of the Seas several times before, but found the ship in need of a makeover. The ship looks "tired". Compared to newer, more modern ships, it's furnishings look old and need of replacement. Our balcony cabin (#9208) was clean, but it had torn drapes and sheer panels. The sofa was well worn. While out on the balcony, rust could be seen in several locations. We had My Time Dining in the Cascades Dining Room seven of our 12 nights and found the food to be good. Three nights we went to the Windjammer and enjoyed the buffet. Two of the nights, Prime Rib roast was served. Two nights, Chops was our choice. Chops has never disappointed. The Windjammer breakfast buffet was also good. We chose to only go to the Aurora Theatre twice. I found the entertainment there to be not that rewarding. Throughout the cruise, we enjoyed the various singers, instrumentals and and violinists in the Centrum and Colony Club. This cruise had many Diamond, Diamond + and Pinnacle C&A members. The Concierge Lounge was only for use by Suite guests and Pinnacle level. The Diamond Lounge on the Radiance is small and only holds about 25-30 people. They had to open up the Starquest Lounge next door to accommodate all of the Diamond and Diamond + folks. The nightly happy hour was always crowded. We would wait until after 5:30 (when early dining started) to go there. All crew members we encountered would greet you with a smile and a greeting. Our Cabin Attendant, Lega, would call us by name after meeting us on the first day. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Loved the Hawaii portion of the itinerary. After a great time in the islands, we headed out for 5 days of cold, cloudy weather. Not the fault of RC, but just the same, plans for swimming and sunning were dead on arrival. All of that ... Read More
Loved the Hawaii portion of the itinerary. After a great time in the islands, we headed out for 5 days of cold, cloudy weather. Not the fault of RC, but just the same, plans for swimming and sunning were dead on arrival. All of that aside, no one on board seemed to know the schedule. I asked what night is formal night, no one knew, not even the customer service desk! This was was our first cruise in 30 years and RC didn't win any awards for helping us understand the process. Would we go again? NO WAY. We would fly to Hawaii, do inter-island air and skip the cruise. You are in port for a short time, so it is no way to see Hawaii. Other downers: Constant upselling of drink and internet packages. We figured out that bottles of wine were discounted 40% in the specialty dining venues. So we would buy wine then and have it delivered to the main dining room. The shower in the cabin (balcony) was so tiny and poorly constructed it was a joke. Dining was actually fine. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise as a way to sample the Islands without the hassle of Airport suffles. EMBARCATION. Sooth and efficient, we were directed to a Suite waiting Lounge and had our checkin performed very quickly. Following check in we ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a way to sample the Islands without the hassle of Airport suffles. EMBARCATION. Sooth and efficient, we were directed to a Suite waiting Lounge and had our checkin performed very quickly. Following check in we were escorted to the escalators and told to proceed to the ship, We lined up along with all other passengers with no direction for Priority Boarding, until we stumbled upon a line that was apparently for Suite Guests, nobody had bothered to inform us of this line. Once on Board we were directed to Cagney's for our lunch, which was nice.' DINNING we dined in the two main restaurants on two separate occasions, The food quality was fair at best, and only warm and lacked flavour. The wait staff were not attentive and I noticed that many wore dirty aprons, not a great impression for food service. We dined twice using room service and again the food was only warm and lacking flavour, with no condiments provided or appropriate silverware. We Dined only once in a specialty Restaurant East Meets West, the Food here was a little better here, but nothing to rave about, the service was a lot better, but you would hope this was the case as an extra charge is applied here. We ate twice in the Main Buffet Aloha Cafe, usual mass produced food without any flare or taste, with the exception of the Hot Dogs. We ate at the Cadillac Diner for Lunch on a couple of occasions and the HOT Dogs were good there also but the English Fish and Chips were very Greasy Fish and American style french fries ( not english style at all, to add to this disgusting food the Malt Vinegar was only 10% Vinegar and 90% water, if I wanted water on my Chips I would have done so. BAR SERVICE The bar staff were uninterested in providing service, on a number of occasions I found the Bar staff watching the sports on the TVs and not worrying about the customers, additionally when I asked for a specific cocktail A Mango Daiquiri I was looked upon as if I had ordered something they had never heard of and made comments around they would do there best and how good they were making drinks. this happened at a number of Bars. Prices for drinks were outrageous as an example.I ordered a single Malt whisky on ice, and was charged USD$19.95 + Tax Plus + Gratuity now I understand that Taxes and Gratuities are standard when cruising, particularly in US based ships, but he base price for the Whisky at $19.95 was more than double compared to buying the same thing on Ovation of the Seas only 3 days prior where I paid $8.50 + Garturity & No taxes. BUTLER AND ROOM ATTENDANT The room attendant Lucica was absolutely brilliant any request was dealt with quickly and without expectation of reward, When we first went to our room she greeted us warmly and showed us the amenities and features of the room and advised us that our Butler Georgia would be along soon to introducer herself. Well Georgia did arrive some time later and introduced herself and asked if we wanted to have her unpack our luggage, to which we said no, I didn't want someone going through my underwear. When we did ask her to arrange for some room service we were informed that we should advise her at least 24hrs in advance so she can prepare. she took our order and after approximately 30 minutes the door bell rang and she let herself in. Apparently not wanting to wait for us to answer the door ( This happens every time she came to our suite Very inappropriate). Anyway she walks in with our dinner and as we had no table in our suite she places the food on the coffee table and lounge at the foot of the bed and leaves the silverware still wrapped in a serviette on the table and leaves, This is not butler service and room service attendant could do this. We find there is insufficient silverware provided and no condiments or bread and butter. Surely these are standard things a Butler would ensure are available. Our Butler did not provide any particular service when ever she came into our suite she would blow herself kisses in the mirror, she appeared to only be nice to solicit a tip at the end of the cruise In the End we went to extraordinary lengths to avoid her as we found her demeanor to be obnoxious. SUITE BENEFITS We had a Butler? We had free inhouse movies and we got to eat in Cagney's for Breakfast and Lunch No Internet No speciality dining No suite guest lounge with canapes and drinks in the afternoon Pay extra for a suite and get almost nothing for it apart from a larger room. DISEMBARKATION Bags Packed and left outside our room the last night onboard, on the Disembarkation day we proceeded down to the Gangway and were directed off the ship very quickly and efficiently our luggage was waiting for us at the appropriate location and we were off the ship and in a Taxi within 30 minutes of leaving our cabin , a very quick and professional experience. IN SUMMARY: I would recommend this trip if you want to sample some of the islands of Hawaii without .having to do the airport suffel. Would I recommend this as a cruise , Definitely not. as the title states its a Ferry service. Would I do it again NO Was it Value for Money NO Was there good service IN General NO but there were exceptions Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We saw a few bad reviews about not being able to get in to restaurants etc. But if you book a reservation either before you sail or soon after boarding, it is smooth sailing. The crew couldn't have been nicer to us, all the way from ... Read More
We saw a few bad reviews about not being able to get in to restaurants etc. But if you book a reservation either before you sail or soon after boarding, it is smooth sailing. The crew couldn't have been nicer to us, all the way from the Captain to the room steward Shelton. We had a hiccup on the trip (fire suppression system flooded our room). But they put us up in another room for the afternoon while they replaced the carpet and more than compensated us for our troubles (which were so minor in comparison). The ship is showing a few signs of age but none more than what we witness on other cruise ships we have been on. My only reservation is the same issue we have noticed on other cruises - people reserving chairs near the pool that they don't use for hours. If there was a policy, and enforced, that any items left unattended for more than 1 hour would be removed it would be appreciated Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Only ship that offered this island cruise. Photographers were not very good or friendly. Food was tasty and good. Choices were average. Communications and information have room for improvements. Staff are pretty much all ... Read More
Only ship that offered this island cruise. Photographers were not very good or friendly. Food was tasty and good. Choices were average. Communications and information have room for improvements. Staff are pretty much all friendly and willing to help. Cruise was for our 50th wedding anniversary. The only recognition was a note in our cabin when we first came aboard. We kept thinking that any day we too would be recognized like other anniversaries and birthdays were. Getting off the ship at the end of the cruise was very good. Alcohol policy is very confusing with no clear information? Talking to other guests it seems like shore excursions arranged through outside vendors were better and less expensive than those through NCL. Our NCL excursions were expensive, crowded, and provided less than desired seating assignments. Overall ship condition is getting close to an upgrade. The last day tour around Kauai was spectacular. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our 14th (or so) cruise and the first time we booked a Penthouse Suite. The room was better than expected and our Butler (Spencer) absolutely fabulous! Food on this ship much better than the Star on which we cruised through the ... Read More
This was our 14th (or so) cruise and the first time we booked a Penthouse Suite. The room was better than expected and our Butler (Spencer) absolutely fabulous! Food on this ship much better than the Star on which we cruised through the Panama Canal in January 2019. Even the specialty restaurants better on the Pride of American compared to the Star. Perhaps all this had to do with the language abilities of the crew. On the Hawaii cruise, every staff person with whom we spoke was engaging, fun and communicated perfectly. On the Star, even basic communication was difficult in restaurants, bars, with cabin crew, etc. By far our favorite Hawaii excursion was the Outrigger Canoe Experience. Actually run by a non-profit to promote Hawaiian culture to youth through canoeing, the company exposed we travelers to the same by having us row around a protected bay near the ship. Lots of fun & good exercise. The Hawaiian Islands cruise itinerary hasn't changed in decades, yet the stops are all nice & provide great access to various experiences. Easy on & off, even the tendering was well-managed and accessible to nearly everyone. Should Norwegian ever coordinate a 'golf/cruise package', we'll return sooner than expected. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband and I wanted to do Hawaii for our 20th wedding anniversary. This trip (NCL part of it) was recommended by my husband's parents. We flew into Honolulu on 5/1 and stayed until 5/4, where we boarded the Pride of America for ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to do Hawaii for our 20th wedding anniversary. This trip (NCL part of it) was recommended by my husband's parents. We flew into Honolulu on 5/1 and stayed until 5/4, where we boarded the Pride of America for a 7 night/8 day cruise. We selected several excursions through the ship. I also purchased a Happy Anniversary room decorating package and a Romance Package, which were both very nice and a really good deal. Before we embarked, we were offered the chance to improve our stateroom by bidding on two larger (upscale) rooms, as we were in the basic cheapest room. We won the bid, and wound up with a large room with balcony! Only cost me $100 more total! The excursions we picked (four of them) were amazing and we had so much fun. We had dinner in La Cucina one night, and the food and service was phenom! We tried the sushi bar one night as an appetizer to our main dining room, and we enjoyed that as well. All in all, we had a great time, the staff was very nice, the ship was clean and easy to navigate inside and out. The entertainment was really good too. Those kids dance their hearts out and they are very talented! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first trip to Hawaii. We thought the cruise stopping at 4 Hawaiian islands would be a good way to get an initial taste for the islands. We opted for the three days in Honolulu prior to the start of the cruise itself. While ... Read More
This was our first trip to Hawaii. We thought the cruise stopping at 4 Hawaiian islands would be a good way to get an initial taste for the islands. We opted for the three days in Honolulu prior to the start of the cruise itself. While it was tough getting around Honolulu with the traffic, the Hilton Hawaiian Village and Waikiki beach did not disappoint. From Booking our cruise and selecting activities through meeting us at our flight, transporting us to our hotel, taking us on excursions, to the ship, embarking, ship board and port activities at the various islands, disembarking and transport from the ship back to the airport, Norwegian had their act together. The only delays we experienced were due to things like traffic and late cruise passengers. Norwegian and contracted support personnel were professional, competent, patient and upbeat. The ship was medium sized by current standards. It was clean and well maintained. Everything seemed to be working. It seemed like the ship sailed at much less than full capacity. This made getting services easy with minimal waiting - except for perhaps the breakfast buffet. It seemed like the average age of passengers on board was 65+. This obviously impacted activities on board the ship during the cruise. Our cabin was somewhat small but standard fare on cruise ships these days. The bathroom was small but functional. There was ample storage space. Everything in our cabin worked. The balcony was smaller than what we have seen on other cruise ships and had too much furniture on it for its size. I would rate our dining experience as good but not great. Overall the service in the dining facilities was excellent. Overall the food as good but not great. We had several meals that were warm (not hot) when they were served. Wait time for our entree in Le Cucina was and hour and a half. We had the meal package at three specialty restaurants which the restaurant greeter's seemed to point out in each case. If Norwegian provides these packages as an incentive to cruise with them they should not make customers feel like second class citizens for having them. Rank order from best to worst for dining experiences would be Le Bistro, Cagney's, Skylight, Liberty Dining Room, La Cucina, Cadillac Diner, Aloha Grill. As far as ship board entertainment was concerned, it was a surprise to us that there was no gambling. I must have missed that in the Norwegian Info provided about this cruise. We sailed on the Epic last year and were spoiled but the variety and quality of the entertainment provided on that ship. Compared to the Epic we felt the entertainment was limited. With very few exceptions, service on the ship was excellent and probably the strongest feature on the cruise. Staff was cordial, efficient and extremely helpful. Norwegian was well organized at each of our ports of call. Getting on and off the ship was straight forward. The port facilities were basic but adequate. The shore excursions were well done. Our bus driver was a pro. I had been looking forward to visiting Pearl Harbor for some time and it was clearly a highlight. Wish we had more time at the Battleship Missouri. The Polynesian Cultural Center was interesting and a learning experience. The trip to the ranch was limited by weather so we weren't able to experience all it normally had to offer. The ship used its own life boats to tender us to Kona on the big island (the ship had to anchor off shore). This was handled expertly. We did not travel with children. I think the cruise was more geared toward mature passengers. The excursions were geared toward older people with perhaps limited physical capabilities. We rented cars and did our own thing on Maui, the Big Island and Kawaii. This allowed us to focus on sites we were most interested in and spend our time as we saw fit. This allowed us to do, for example, more hiking than would probably been possible with excursion groups. Small cars were also able to access places large tour buses could not. I can see us visiting the islands again on the future. Not on a cruise but rather focusing on specific islands and points of interest. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The other reviewers of this cruise have basically said it all. The itinerary change was super disappointing. We were so looking forward to going to the big island and seeing the volcano. Then RCI just axed the stop completely. At ... Read More
The other reviewers of this cruise have basically said it all. The itinerary change was super disappointing. We were so looking forward to going to the big island and seeing the volcano. Then RCI just axed the stop completely. At the Lahaina, Maui stop, tendering was delayed due to rough sea. Everybody got up early wanted to get off the ship but was not able to so that's why all the public area, especially the buffet, was packed with people waiting for the captain's ok. When the captain finally gave the ok, they wanted us to go to a bar on deck 5 to get tender tickets so everybody just literally ran there to get tickets. It was chaos. I was lucky as I was already on deck 5 at the time so we got to get off "early". We origianlly planned on getting off at around 9 but still didn't get off until noon. The tender was just one of their bigger lifeboats which was very uncomfortable even if the sea was calm. We got back to the port at 9:50pm. They only had one tender running. At least if was a big local boat. Not their own lifeboat. When we got back, the line was very long. The tender left at 10pm. The line kept growing. At 10:30pm, I could still see the tender was still unloading people to the cruise ship. They finally deployed another tender which was the same lifeboat. We finally got back to the cruise ship at 11pm. Most people were hungry and the only restaurant still open was the pizza place and a cafe which only serves dessert and some basic sandwiches. It was packed with hungry people. Since everybody got off the ship late, we all got back late. However, their restaurants and buffet still closed at 9pm. To me, that is WAY too early. Not much food option after 9pm. A lot of people eat late especially with an Hawaii cruise. Lots of people are from the mainland which is several hours ahead. Should've at least open the buffet until 10pm or something. Food in the main dining room is terrible. Service is not good either. We always spend more than an hour in a dining room with 45 minutes of it waiting for our food. Buffet surprising has better tasting food and service was good. RCI wanted to do freestyle dining like Norwegian but RCI is not doing it well. Still always try to make us to share table with strangers. Food and service in specialty restaurants are good. We tried the Chops Grill steak house and Wonderland's. Both good. However, I still think Norwegian does dining much better. Disbarkation was a nightmare. We were an hour late than the origin set time. There was no signage to point you to where your luggage is. Everybody was running around the terminal like crazy trying to find their luggage. The ship itself is beautiful and I love it. Stateroom attendant was attentive. But there's not much show to watch. I do like that they have a smokeless casino. I find it very annoying when a cruise line put the casino in the very middle of the ship and allow smoking. My 4-year-old went to their kids club a lot. While there wasn't any issue, I do feel that the staffs there are not as warm as those on my Norwegian cruises. This poor expericnece is more about the sudden itinerary change and the management. I think I'll still cruise with RCI again but might just go with a shorter cruise with a more ordinary route. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Chose this cruise because of the itinerary but that didn’t work out so well. Bad planning on behalf of RCI resulted in multiple itinerary changes and just too much confusion for passengers and crew alike. We haven’t cruised with RCI ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the itinerary but that didn’t work out so well. Bad planning on behalf of RCI resulted in multiple itinerary changes and just too much confusion for passengers and crew alike. We haven’t cruised with RCI for probably ten years during which we have favoured Princess and after this cruise with RCI I believe we made the right decision. We are not fussy eaters nor do we base our cruise experience on the quality of the food but it must be said that the eating experience on this ship was extremely disappointing and the quality poor. Apart from our wait staff in the dining room (Chic), I found the staff attitude to be less than attentive and pleasurable. The headliner entertainment was, for the most part, good although Pixels and the production shows were just o.k. In general I felt that the ship lacked a feeling of warmth - hard to put into words but I just didn’t feel like I was being pampered and well taken care of the way I feel when cruising with Princess. Also disliked all the extra charges which showed up way too often. The nicest place to sit during the day (when weather drove us inside) was the 270 lounge but we were often driven out by the daily Bingo session. The smoking areas were too close to the non-smoking areas - they need to be isolated more or eliminated entirely! On the plus side, the cabin was excellent with tons of storage, well laid out and the kettle and tea supplies in the room were a very pleasant surprise. Finally, a big shout out to the Captain who was extremely informative. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We wanted to go back to Hawaii to visit the Arizona Memorial and visit the islands again. However, before this cruise even started there were problems. The Arizona Memorial is closed and will be for some an undisclosed amount of time. They ... Read More
We wanted to go back to Hawaii to visit the Arizona Memorial and visit the islands again. However, before this cruise even started there were problems. The Arizona Memorial is closed and will be for some an undisclosed amount of time. They are doing construction around the memorial that will keep it closed for awhile. But that wasn't the main reason for this review. This was our 35th cruise and the most disappointing one. We started getting e-mails from RCCL that because of "Coast Guard inspections that had to be done", there was a change in the itinerary that will cause the ship to remain in Honolulu for two days. Then one of the island would be bypassed and we would spend two days in Maui. So that meant we would only visit two islands. We tried to cancel the cruise but e-mails started to come AFTER the 90 day period for getting a full refund. This is unacceptable. You can't tell us that they didn't know about these inspections before hand. I guess RCCL feared people would cancel the cruise. They did refund the passengers one full day to make up for the island that was missed. Then we received another e-mail stating that because the ship had to pass under the "Lions Gate Bridge" as a certain time we had to arrive and leave Victoria BC because the ship was the largest to sail under the bridge and had to pass under it at a certain time. Again, you mean to tell the passengers you didn't know about that ahead of time ? We arrived in Vancouver a day earlier. There were a lot of passengers who got off the ship either because they lived there or made travel plan changes. Most felt they rather be home then to spend another night on the ship. EMBARKATION: The problem started before we even got to the ship. The person who greeted us in the airport terminal had no clue what was going on. She said to wait outside for our bus to arrive but what she didn't know was that there was confusion because there were other passengers waiting for buses and there didn't seem to be any logical order. We waited for over an hour for the bus to arrive. In addition, because certain areas needed to be shut down, we couldn't board the ship until after 2:00 PM. There was no food service available until dinner time. RCCL refunded you $30 per person for a food allowance. This was not comforting especially traveling for over 12 hours and the airlines don't provide food service. Once we arrived, picture thousands of passengers trying to get thru security. I must say that if you checked in on-line the process went very smooth. After you passed thru security a RCCL person took your picture on a tablet and as long as you printed your boarding pass ahead of time you boarded the ship. Your Seapass card was waiting at your cabin. Disembarkation: As for disembarking, what a nightmare that was. The baggage was scattered all over the terminal. The areas were completely screwed up as far as numbering. None of the areas were next to each other, # 7 baggage was completely on the opposite end of the terminal then #8, and the other numbers were just as bad. A lot of tempers were flaring. We had a late tour of Vancouver but we were over an hour late boarding the buses because of the luggage situation. Entertainment: As for the North Star, Ripcord, SeaPlex, Waverider and especially "Pixlas" they provided the most interesting entertainment. Pixals was very innovative. As for the shows, they were boring at best. A very interesting one was they had a professional pickpocket that was funny but very informative on how easy it was for him and the professionals to lift your valuables. It was funny how people started to watch their wallets after the show. There was an indoor pool area that came in handy when the weather started to cool down. For four days you could sit outside. In addition, it got quite noisy with all the children running around. Food: At best, average. We ate at Chops Grille and had to send back the Rib Eye steak because it had more fat than meat. We never had this problem before with Chops Grille. This also happened in the Silk dining room when we order a beef related meal. I ordered roast beef dish in the dining room and it only came with ONE slice of meat. I said to the waiter "are you kidding me ?". If you order coffee with your dessert, they gave you a half a cup of coffee. You would think they were rationing the food and drinks. The Windjammer was very crowed as usual and at times you couldn't find a table. There was an outdoor section behind the Windjammer but after we left Hawaii, the temperatures starting dropping into the 50's and it was very windy and cold to sit outside. If you drink an non-diary creamer with your coffee, you waited three days for them to make it available. This was after people were complaining that there were none available. They had three omelette stations and one in the back of the Windjammer which they only opened once. For Mother's Day they had a very nice variety of cakes to choose from. Cabins: We had a balcony cabin that had plenty of storage space so you should run out of space to store your clothing. The cabin was very clean and pleasant. Service: Spotty at times depending on the waiter you had. We had My Time dining so we were seated at different tables. One waiter even forgot to bring our salads. We requested several times that we wanted a table by the window. Despite our requests, we were seated at a table next to a window table even thought the window table was unoccupied. One night the Head Waiter heard our complaints, apologized and said he would take care of the problem. The next night, we encountered the same problem with the person who assigns the seating. This time a manager came over to apologize. We noticed a pattern that they would seat people not next to the window but to the tables next to them. I don't know what the person assigning the tables had against people sitting at a table next to the window. Excursions: Because of rough seas in Maui, all excursions before 4:30pm had to be cancelled. We heard that it took over 1 1/2 hours for people to get with the tender service for those who decided to go ashore. If you have a late night flight, we would recommend the tour of Vancouver and a visit the water fall and Gondala ride. Overall remarks: We have noticed that over the past couple of years, parents don't seem to be using the Adventure Ocean program for their children. This became apparent in the indoor pool area, It seems the foreign passengers are the ones that either don't know about the program or don't use it. The Ovation is a very nice ship and kept clean but they could have improved on the design. One area in particular is getting in/out of the theater. They is only one passage way on deck four and when there are at least a thousand passengers getting out, it makes for a very slow process. The other side was blocked by a shop, the Music Hall and a bar. I would not recommend a Hawaii cruise if you have to sail back from Hawaii. This was our second Hawaiian cruise where we experienced less than desirable weather for four days which forced you inside the ship. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We have cruised on RCI before and have had very few problems. This one however was a nightmare. Booked day 1 Honolulu depart at 11:00pm 2 Kailua Kona 9am to 6pm 3 Kilaeua Volcano 12:01 to 1:00am 3Napoli coast 12:00pm to 4:00pm day ... Read More
We have cruised on RCI before and have had very few problems. This one however was a nightmare. Booked day 1 Honolulu depart at 11:00pm 2 Kailua Kona 9am to 6pm 3 Kilaeua Volcano 12:01 to 1:00am 3Napoli coast 12:00pm to 4:00pm day 4&5 Maui 9am to 5pm next days 6-10 cruising day 11 Victoria BC 9:00am to 8:00pm 12 Vancouver 6:00am. What we got Days 1&2 Honolulu (left Honolulu at 5:00pm on 2nd day day 3 Napali coast 4&5 Maui 6-10 cruising Day 11 Victoria BC 7:00am to 2:00pm (Left 6 hours early arrived in Vancouver at 8pm on day 11 Day 12 Vancouver disembark. Did not see the volcano and did do see the big island. We feel we were ripped off by RCI. You plan for a once in lifetime trip to Hawaii and get cheated out of half the stops. RCI did refund one day, Big deal. Embarkation, late but went smooth. Ports of Call, In Maui the water was too rough for the tenders for most of the first day, on the second day we went ashore, be back time was at 7:00pm we got in line to board the tenders at 4:00pm and it took us over an hour to get back, those that stayed later took from 2-2 1/2 hours to get back on the boat. Dining- Windjammer food was basically good but always very crowded, no place to sit, long lines to get food, lines for the omelets and pasta were always in the way of others. Hamburger line was messed up people were always coming from two directions. Drinks were often empty. Dining- Main dining, food was often cold, stale or misstated. Seafood often smelled, steak was tough or dry, bread was sometimes hard or stale, coffee was occasionally cold, Etc. Dining-Service was excellent Entertainment-shows were good for the most part. There were a number of things to do on the boat and the staff was good at helping you find where things were. Public areas-CROWDED. Hard to get an elevator, other public areas crowded when something was going on. Disembarkation- NIGHTMARE. We arrived in Vancouver the night before the cruise ended so the Ovation of the seas was basically a hotel parked on the water. Some people got off every but most elected to disembark the regular way, ie tag luggage and put outside cabin before 10:00pm the night before disembarking, pick up luggage after it is removed from the ship. BIG MISTAKE. We had luggage tag number 14 with an estimated departure time of 8:20am. At 9:00am, almost nobody had been allowed to leave the boat(at this time we had been docked for 13 hours). A little after 9 they started to allow the Express Departures to leave, we weren't Express but we jumped in line anyway. When we got off of the boat and went to pick up our luggage it was not lined up by number as it usually was but all the numbers were thrown together. RCI was just bringing it out and dumping it on the floor. What RCI didn't tell us was that there was another luggage drop area about 100 yards away and around the corner where they were doing the same thing, just dumping the luggage. I heard someone say something and followed them over. There was approximately 10 people here looking for luggage and at the first area there were hundreds and more getting off the boat all the time. We were lucky to find ours and make our 12:20pm departure time to DEN. While waiting we were talking to other couples who had been on the Ovation and they said that when we got on the plane to Denver, there were people still on the Ovation who had not been able to get off. We have cruised about a dozen times and I have never seen such a mess. Read Less

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