Number of Cruises: 15-
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Wind
Sailing Date: September 11th, 2004
I write to give my review on our cruise and not to evaluate other people’s reviews but after reading many of them I have to comment that first.
What does people really expect from a cruise? The cheapest cabins on our cruise costs only a little more than 100 USD/day and for that money you get a room with complimentary room service, all the food you can eat from breakfast 6 am to late night pizza 3 am, entertainment and also lots of transportation (to all ports on the cruise). It was nothing wrong with the food on our cruise but if people expect the kind of food they get on restaurants where an appetizer cost 100 USD, of course they are disappointed! People complain on that most of the people were retired, what’s wrong with that? I’m 33 and I had no problem with that on our cruise, most old people are nice! People complain that they got bored on the days at sea, why did they choosed a cruise with days at sea if they couldn’t relax? We took a book and sat on deck for some hours, what’s wrong with that? People complain that some restaurants costed extra and I want to give those a tip, read the travel brochure before you book your next vacation! No it’s enough with evaluating other people’s reviews!
We had very high expectations on our cruise but they were exceeded!
The ports on the cruise were Hilo and Kona on Hawaii, Lahaina and Kahului on Maui, Nawiliwili on Kauai and Fanning Island. I will not write much about our experiences in the ports because the experiences in the ports depends very much on what people chooses to do and which shore excursions they attend on but I can say that we were very happy with our excursions. The best thing we did was to take a helicopter trip over Western Maui and Molokai, it was expensive but it was definitely worth every cent and I recommend everyone to do it. Do it even if you hesitate because of the price, it’s a memory for life. We also went to a rainforest where we had a bath in a waterfall, nice too! Maybe Fanning Island wasn’t the most entertaining place on earth but it was interesting and it was worth the two-day trip to get there. Just look at a map and see where it is! Our overall grade on the ports and shore excursions is very high.
To start from the beginning with the ship and our experiences on that: The embarkation in Honolulu was very smooth. Since we aren’t American, it took some extra time for us, because of US immigrations, but it was acceptable and not a problem.
Our cabin: We wanted to have a BA stateroom with balcony but when we booked our cruise in February they were already sold-out so we ended up with a CC stateroom on deck 10. We should have liked to have our own balcony but our cabin was okay. The bathroom was okay, of course it was small but we expected that. The sitting area was nice but we didn’t spent much time in it. The bed could have been better, probably because it was possible to change it to a table (I think it was a table) when connecting two cabins with each other, but we slept well in it. The cabin was clean and those who took care of it did a good job.
The restaurants: We ate most of our lunches and dinners at Four Seasons and we were never disappointed on our food, especially the desserts were great. The service was excellent too. Sometimes we had to wait for a table for a while but it was never a long time and there was a bar right outside the restaurant… We also ate at the Terraces, the other main restaurant, a few times but for some reason we preferred Four Seasons. Sometimes when we didn’t wanted to choose what to eat from a menu we ate lunch at Sports Bar. The food wasn’t as good there as in the main restaurants but we didn’t expected that either, buffet food is never as good as food ordered from a menu. It was often not easy to find somewhere to sit at Sports Bar but then someone from the staff helped us with that; it was also okay to take the tray down to La Trattoria, the Italian restaurant, and eat there. Even if we didn’t went on a cruise to eat pizza we tried the pizzeria too. Of course the pizza wasn’t like in Italy but it wasn’t bad at all. The problem with the pizzeria was that it was hard to find somewhere to sit and the main reason for that was that some people had no sense at all for how to behave, they sat by the tables for hours without eating anything so those who wanted to eat couldn’t sit anywhere! Our overall grade on the restaurants is also very high, both on food and service.
The bars: Our favourite bar was the Observatory Lounge, mostly because of its location high up and at the front of the ship. We often took a drink there before we went to eat dinner. The bar staff was very good in all bars but our favourite, Arnel from the Philippines, worked at Coffee Bar so we had some extra drinks there just because of him. He always took the time to talk to us for a while, without keeping other guests wait of course, and he made our trip extra nice. We didn’t visit the other bars very much so I can’t say anything about them.
As I said, we had high expectations on the cruise and we are very happy that we choosed this cruise. We will recommend NCL to our friends and we will definitely go with them again.