I am a single female (52) traveler. I booked this cruise last year to get the only single cabin on the ship to save from paying the single supp. I have cruised 8 other times with Carnival, Princess and RCCL. My first time to Hawaii.
I went to Honolulu 4 days early to see the sites. Booked a hotel on Priceline and got the Waikiki Beachcomber for $70. It was fine for what I paid. Location was terrific! Right next door to the International market and across the street from Waikiki Beach.
During those 4 days I went to Pearl Harbor and did a Grand Circle Island Tour through N Enoa Tours. The bus picked me up at my hotel at 6:15am. We were in the second group of people and were in by 8:30am. By that time the lines were zigg-zagged all over the place outside. Couldn't imagine getting there any later. The memorial was very moving to see. Am very glad I got to see it. After that was the Grand Circle Island tour. Hit the highlights of the island and stopped for lunch at the Crouching Tiger. Back at hotel at 5pm.
While in Honolulu I also went to the swap meet at the stadium and Hanauma Bay. Also went to the Society of Seven Show. It was very good but I was falling asleep during it! Guess the time change caught up with me!
On Sat. it was time to board the ship. Strangely enough they do not have shuttles at the hotels to take you to the ship. So the bellman called me a taxi. Pretty soon here comes this very long limo! Bellman starts loading my bags while I'm standing there going "Wait! Wait! I just want a taxi!" Well the limos are metered and for $20 +tip I arrived at the ship in style! That explains why I saw limos letting people off and Hananuma Bay to snorkle! Wondered who would hire a limo to take them to the beach!
I arrived at noon and was able to just check right in and find my room. 4146 deck 4! As I said it was a single and really cute. A twin bed and a loveseat. Small but quite fine for me and right around the corner from the elevators. Straight shot up to anything! My room steward was decorating my room when I arrived. That was my Birthday and someone had ordered the B-day package. I children had already given me a ship board credit so I went to the main desk to find out who had done it. Desk clerk told me that "Joan" and Karen had ordered it. Well now Karen is my sister but who the hell is "Joan"? Turns out it was my BIL JOHN!
As for the ship as everyone has said it is an older ship but who cares? The dining rooms were not fancy like others but once again- who cares? I had dinner in the main dining rooms most nights. If I would go to the Four Seasons and say "one" they would seat me by myself. If I went to the Terraces they would ask me to share. I realize I could have asked to share at the Four Seasons but it was fine as sometimes I wanted to eat by myself and then I had the option. I was going to say I didn't much care for the food but I have been on the scales and I must have liked something! In the dining rooms chicken breasts and baked potatoes were available all the time. In the dining rooms breakfast were always buffets. Lunch buffets on the deck every day too.
Went to several of the shows but didn't really care too much for them. Comedy was good. During sea days they had crafts like weaving pond fronds and making leis. The flower leis came out nice but the ribbon leis were beyond me. Got frustrated and left but Trish of this board was kind enough to make me one and give it to me! Very nice of her! I had dinner one night with her and her family. Very nice people and very happy to meet them!
On Hilo I did the Volcanoes Nat. Park. I did NCL's excursions because I didn't want to rent a car by myself. I discovered bus tours are not for me! Seems like we drove a long way then the driver would say. " get out - walk way over there- look down and be back in 5 minutes." Got to keep on schedule you know!
On to Lahaina Maui. First day I did the Kanapali Beach Break. Took us to the Sheraton. Beach was beautiful but the water was rough and the tide was very strong. Sat and talked to Trish again and had a great day.
We had to be back on ship by 10:30 and then rode out to sea. Then back to the same port again. We received a paper that told us if we did not make it back onboard that we would be in violation of the Jones Act and subject to fines. Did the Haleakala Crater and Maui Ocean Center. Another bus tour. Maui Ocean Center was very interesting.
On to Kauai! Did the journey to Waimea Canyon. Bus tour again! It was beautiful! Interesting all the different colors you see.
On to Fanning Island. As far as I am concerned this place made the trip. I did the Napali Beach Getaway. Those that did this were off the ship first then they ran tenders to Fanning Island. Around 11 or so they ran tenders between Napali and Fanning. Napali Beach is indescribable. It is the most beautiful beach I have ever seen including anything in the Caribbean. When you get off the tenders it is quite a walk to the beach but well worth it. The natives were singing to us and we tendered in. While walking to the beach you walk past little tables set up with what they have made for sale. Very inexpensive. I had brought a lot of school supplies in a duffle bag. Just before you get to the beach is a bucket with a sign for school supplies. I was more than happy to unload the bag as it was heavy and I was hot! I also handed out rag dolls and balls. Kids were very friendly and had big grins and thank yous. NCL had a water package for $15 pp with little sailboats and water sport things. Seemed like a good deal. I just lay on a raft and tried to figure out how I could live there! About noon I caught a tender back to Fanning. NCL had lunch set up several different places. I didn't eat on the island. Also there were tables set up here with the natives selling things. Very nicely made and very inexpensive. I think we could learn something from these people. I didn't see one of the natives on a cell phone and they seemed to be coping quite nicely! I was very sorry to leave here.
2 days back to Kona. I really liked this port. It was beautiful and very clean. Just wanted to have an easy day so did the Dolphin Nature cruise. Very relaxing. Then did the shopping.
I wasn't sure what to do after I got off the ship in Honolulu. My plane didn't leave till 5:30pm. Most of the tours post-cruise I had already done. Signed up for Atlantis Sub. But after thinking about it I cancelled it because basically I just wanted somewhere to put my luggage and thought $125 for Atlantis was high. Right next to the port at Aloha Towers they will keep your luggage for $5 per bag. Did that then shopped at Aloha Towers. Then grabbed a trolley to Ala Moana Shopping Center. Shopped - grabbed trolley back to Towers and got my bags then taxi to airport. Worked out great! Taxi to airport was $25 including tip. Long, long. long trip home!
I did have a terrific time but....
Would I do it again? I know most everyone will disagree with me but I have done it once, check that off my list and probably won't do it again. If I do it will be to take my kids and their spouses. I am glad I went but I think the Caribbean is just as nice and really prefer that! Honolulu was just too crowded for me and while the lslands were beautiful it was too long a flight. Not much you can do about that!
Now on to the Liberty for November 20th! Will try to answer if anyone has any questions.