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Sue Birk

Age: 45


Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Wind

Sailing Date: August 11th, 2004

Itinerary: Hawaii

My husband and I, and our two teenage boys, sailed on the Wind for 10 days, cruising Hawaii and Fanning Island. We had a wonderful time.

Norwegian was a good pick for us. Our teenagers are not impressed with flash and luxury, and the Wind was comfortable and clean, but not luxurious. Our kids also were not interested in participating in a teenager program, so we did not seek an excellent program (I don’t know how the Wind’s program is… I didn’t check, but it was not mandatory, which we liked). Instead we looked at where the ship went, what amenities there were (nothing flashy, again, but everything sounded comfortable), and then we also read the reviews. After reading them, I almost decided to not go, but I’m glad that we went.

Our rooms were on the Atlantic deck, just below the Promenade. They were next door, but not adjoining. We had no trouble with noise. The stewards were excellent, and friendly. My kids felt right at home.

We ate mostly at the Four Seasons, but also at the other restaurants as well. My favorite was the Four Seasons. The wait staff were all good, and we got to know the wine steward very well. All the staff were excellent with the teenagers, without being cloying or cute. The kids liked being treated as people, not kids. I didn’t much care for the Sport’s Bar, where we had breakfasts, and some lunches. This was not because of the food, which was fine, but because of the way the space was set up. It is just too small a space for the number of people going there.

The entertainment was adequate. We did not go for the entertainment, and that was lucky, as it was simply OK. We enjoyed Jeri Sagar, who sang Broadway tunes one night. By far the best entertainment was a teenage group that came to the ship when we were docked in Hilo. They danced the hula, and sang traditional songs, and were absolutely excellent.

We only did one shore excursion because of the cost. My husband and I attended the Luau in Maui, and it was excellent! The rest of the islands, we rented cars, and that worked well. I advise booking with Budget Rent-A-Car, as they have an agreement with Norwegian. We had a wonderful time on each island, and were glad to be able to see them all, even if it was just for a few hours. When we needed help on finding the best places to go (snorkeling, etc.) the information desk on board were superb.

We also enjoyed Fanning Island. And the sea days. A nice experience with not much to do, and just water to see. Everyone should have days like that.

Finally, there was a change of itinerary once we were on board. This affected the shore excursions and even our rental car plans. The personnel did the best they could to make it as painless as possible to correct problems. It wasn’t perfect, but they tried.

We don’t go on cruises much, so I can’t say if we would go on Norwegian again. We would if we were traveling with teenagers again, that is for sure. We may not if it just the two of us. Then we might go for the flash.

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