Go and see these beautiful islands and experience the culture and lovely people. Clean, comfortable and lovely staff it is well worth the cost. Food is also quite good
3 out of 5
Reasonably smooth and straight forward.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
We did not bother with buying speciality meal packages and glad we didn't waste the money. Food in all restaurants that we tried and the buffet was fine. Definitely invest in a wine package if you like drinking wine. They save the cork if you need it so you can take the wine and use it at another bar or in your room if you like or for the next nights meal if you don't finish it. Try and work out what you are doing and make reservations for where you wish to dine on the first night if possible as the popular times fill up fast and you end up in the buffet again or dining late. As I said buffet is fine however you do want to enjoy different experiences. If you do go to the buffet make sure you don't miss trying to get a seat out at the back of the restaurant, it has a bar, is outside and very pleasant. We paid to eat at Jeffersons for a special family meal and really enjoyed it but you don't need to do that every night.
3 out of 5
We don't really participate in onboard activities although some of our party went to evening shows and found them enjoyable. We generally eat late after a full day and happy to just relax in the piano bar with a night cap before going to bed. I don't believe POA would match some of the newer boats for this in any case.
3 out of 5
As above. Enjoyable enough
We don't have children
Service and Staff
4 out of 5
With one or two minor exceptions we found all the staff warm, welcoming and happy to help. Our breakfast order was mixed up on one morning and had to be redone and staff were overwhelming in their apologies and trying to make up for it. Didn't really bother us as we weren't in a hurry but just an example of service.
4 out of 5
ship is well maintained and clean. Definitely needs more shade around pool/pool bar area and found that area to be too warm with little airflow although this didn't seem to bother all the people taking in the sun!
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
We just booked an inside cabin since we were going to be off the ship (or in a bar) for the majority of the time. Basically changed and slept there. I found the cabins to be very well maintained and clean. Layout of the cabin was fine and plenty of room for two. I would not like to share a cabin with any more people than that however I would think this is relevant to any cruise ship cabin except suites. Bed comfortable and good water flow and hot water in the shower.
I highly recommend this ship because of its itinerary. If you are looking at spending time relaxing about on the ship for a special occasion and not doing much activity in port then probably not for you. This is a very expensive cruise and we only did it as we wanted to see the islands. Get a port hole cabin if you can afford it but really inside cabin is fine and you can spend what you save on activities. With any cruise book your tours independently and you'll save $.
We just did the helicopter tour here which was an experience however I don't think we really got to see much of Hilo and so left not really thinking it was much other than the amazing aspect of the volcano and it's effect on the island. There is a Hop on/Hop off bus that would be worth doing if you start early and get the jump on the crowds. I would save your money and do the helicpoter tour on Kauai instead - wow factor there is huge!
Another lovely port and got to see dolphins as we tendered over. We just arranged a private tour the night before (we had a group of 9) and I don't think you would have much issue organising something when you get to Port. There is a lovely beach right there as well as shopping. What we saw was quite lovely as we drove from site to site
Love this place. As with Kona there is a beach and some shopping within a short walking distance. Hop on/Hop off buses as well. Some of our group did the tubing experience that they all really enjoyed and a couple of us just did the Resort for a day since we were coming back to Kauai after our cruise which was when we did the helicopter tour - cannot recommend it highly enough. We got to see Waiema Canyon, Na Pali Coast, waterfalls, fly inside the crafter. Breathtaking & magical. Driving out to Waiema Canyon is also doable on the first day. THe drive up north is nice but not necessarily a must do if you only have this short time to explore.
5 out of 5
Very smooth and easy - although would be helpful if people didn't stop and congregate at the beginning and end of the ramps/escalators!!!
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