Embarkation at Kahului, Maui, went smoothly, but we were never told until we were ready to go to the ship (after spending 3 days on Maui), that we were going to Lahaina, but to changed to Kahului. The ship itself is beautiful, and the "freestyle" cruising sounds good, but NCL for us has changed too much to even consider using them again. Food was not done well, we were very disappointed at most dinners. The lunches and breakfasts were OK, buffet was better than dining rooms. Room service was fast. Entertainment was very good and we totally enjoyed the Island Dancers. Everyone was very friendly and ready to serve you, which was really nice to be made to feel so special. We didn't leave port until the following night because of an acccident in the boiler room which had them having to change the itineraries. So we never got to Kauai, the island we most wanted to see. They did give us a $100 credit that had to be used on your cabin card or else you lost the credit. At Hilo, Hawaii, there was not enough time to really see things there, and the three days going and coming back from Fanning Island, plus the flies all over everything on the island was a total waste. Our friends that had gone with us was so disappointed because they were looking forward to swimming in the water there, which was roped off and you couldn't do much swimming but wading. The natives have jacked up the prices on souvenirs and so we left empty handed. We had heard that in the first months their prices were good, example now: $1 for a postcard, everything else $5 and up. Our room was on the 11th deck and we had a balcony, it was nice except from about 5 AM on through the day and into late at night, we heard the traffic of people walking and workers' carts filled with dishes, food, etc., rolling back and forth on the tile flooring they have in the Market Cafe on deck 12. The cabins are noisy for a new ship, about the second day out it was squeaking and rattling so much we all had to use ear plugs to get any sleep. (Our friends had the cabin next door to us and so had the same problems as we did.) We wouldn't recommend this cruise or cruise line again. We will stick with Princess and Celebrity lines, they are wonderful. After 14 cruises, three with NCL, we thought we knew what to expect from the cruise lines. The Hawaiian Islands are a beautiful place and we will go again, but not on NCL.
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