Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Wind
Sailing Date: May 16th, 2004
This was our first cruise and we had heard about the wonderful food, entrainment, and activities that a cruise would give us. My wife and I found that there are differences among the cruise lines.
NCL has a long history, and therefore we expected that they would be in the best situation when it came to organization, and being able to control lines, crowds and waiting. This did not happen. We did not wait for a table at dinner, but the dinner did take 3 hours to enjoy. While the servers we very busy, they never seemed to be available. The lines to on or off the ship, especially at ports where a tender was needed, were long and unorganized. Since we traveled out of the country, it was necessary to go through US customs when returning from Fanning Island. Since we had reservations for an on shore excursion, we needed to be at customs at 8 am. It appears that 90% of the ship also was in the same situation. The lines started to form at 7 am, there was no attempt to control or form the line by the staff, and therefore it looked like a cattle roundup, with everyone trying to go through a doorway at the same time.
While it was explained that we went to Fanning Island because of a U.S. law, Jones Act. that would have required a $600 fee for every person, including the crew, to be paid, if the ship did not dock at a foreign port, the trip was not worth the time needed to travel there. The island is a 3rd world country, no water, electricity, paved roads, sanitation, or medical facilities. The citizens are very skilled in making items from shells, stones and shark teeth, and sell these items at reasonable prices, but it is near the equator, hot, and if you don’t swim or scuba, you are done in less than 1 hour. This detour is ½ of the entire voyage.
So everything considered, the staff tried their best to be helpful, the food was fine, but not 4 or 5 star, accommodations were comfortable, but not spectacular, the entertainment was a bit “hammy”, with the exception of a very good tenor Christopher Riggins. The lectures were interesting, but the ship did not provide adequate space or video equipment. The ship was more interested in getting everyone to go to bingo, not the lectures. I found the continuous announcements from the cruise director annoying and interrupting the lectures.
I would return to Hawaii, but I would not use a cruise to see the islands, you can do better going to each island on your own and arranging for tours on each island. The cruise only took time, cost money and did not add to the vacation.