View Full Version : Review of NCL WIND Hawaii 6/30-7-10
July 14th, 2004, 10:35 PM
It was great to meet other cruisecritic members. This was a GREAT cruise but first the minor negative. We learned on cruisecritic that the Wind had a "rotten egg" smell on deck 7 starboard and this odor does exist occasionally however it is not bad and hardly noticeable, it is due to a design flaw in the "gray water aka dirty shower water processing" tanks. We walked deck 7 every morning and after day 2, when the odor was present we didn't notice.
The Food in the dining rooms was exceptional as was the service(ask for Francis Calpo in the terraces dining rm and Yan Li in the Trattoria, Byron Stewart in the 4 seasons). Te buffets were also fine, for buffets. All of the wait staff, bartenders, housekeeping etc were terrific. We were pleased with the entire crew, they were well trained and very hospitable. High marks also to the entertainment as Jeff Harms and Homer Noodleman(comedians) and George Solomon(singer) kept us well entertained along with the ships entertainment staff. High marks especially to Hotel Director: Nick Willard(now aboard the Sea) Cruise Directors Sharon and Archie, their asst Henry, Staff Captain Ingvar Bjork and Captain Trond Kildal. They were professional, courteous, approachable and delighted that members of cruisecritic were aboard their ship. For the record, they didn't know of us until near the end of the cruise when they hosted us in an informal gathering, there were the 4 of them, Hotel Dir, Cruise Dir. Staff Capt and Captain and the 10 of us, they were deeply interested in our opinions of the ship/crew and the hawaiian/Fanning Island cruise. Capt, Kildal remained on the bridge the entire stay in Fanning due to unusually strong currents meaning the ship had to be repositioned frequently, this did not effect the tender operations at all.
We thank them for their time!! The Island stops were awesome, a little too short to do all that we wanted but beautiful nonetheless. One thing for sure is that its always so much easier to dock at a pier rather than tender ashore. We only docked in Hilo and Kauai. The tours were flawless(we booked most thru NCL and a few thru adventuremaui.com), we went to Volcano Natl. Park in Hilo, fished and shopped in Kona and squeezed in a short(1 hr.) snorkel trip to te nearby bay where we swam with 2 large sea turtles and countless fish in shallow/calm water, took a helicopter tour in Kaui(Highly recommended) and snorkeling+Luau in Maui(this left us no time to see Maui, the Luau was OK but in hindsite I'd rather have toured Maui some). Fanning was a beautiful little atoll right out of Gilligans Island, great beaches on the atoll side, much poverty, should you wish to "donate" anything to the natives, bring them school supplies like: Pencils/pens, notebooks, rulers etc. Don't bring candy/sweets because they have NO DENTAL FACILITY!! Fanning was a must see for a geography buff like myself, however you are 1200 miles from hawaii and civilization, we saw no ships or planes in route to and from Fanning and the stars were magnificent.
The staterooms were fine on board the Wind, we had 4 in our room and it was a little cramped but not too bad.
*One QUES> should anyone care to answer??:we went from saturday nite at sea7/3 to Fanning Isle on Monday 7/5 completely missing the 4th of July " "Because we crossed the date Line" that made sense UNTIL I looked on a globe here at home and the Date Line is well WEST of Fanning and Hawaii...Soooo, how did we cross it??????*
Overall, I'd higly recommend this ship and this cruise, it was adventurous to go to Fanning near (228 miles north of) the equator and in the vicinity of the Gilbert Islands.
Ship, crew, food was all better than expected. I'd rate Capt. Kildal, his ship and crew very highly and the cruise itself as awesome.
Cruisemissile (aka Dom from NJ)
PS: :-) we were with CruiseProf from RI and JDMKane from Calif.)
July 14th, 2004, 10:52 PM
Glad to hear that you had a great trip. The Wind is our favorite ship and I'm looking to book another one on her. Add Hawaii to the mix and it's the best.
July 14th, 2004, 10:56 PM
We had a great time. Where are you from?
July 14th, 2004, 10:56 PM
the dateline abnormality happens because the geographic area of the republic of Kiribati is so large that they use the position of their capital as the standard for the whole republic, and IT is on the other side of the dateline. i did this cruise last april and also loved it and the ship and crew, hope to return soon! :)
July 14th, 2004, 10:57 PM
Thanks, we had a blast, where are you from??
July 14th, 2004, 10:58 PM
Thanks Albert, we thought of that idea and I guess that makes sense!
July 15th, 2004, 12:00 AM
I agree with his review. We had a great time:) Thanks to the writer of this original post - we had an awesome private reception with the officers of the ship. He also arranged for a private picture opportunity with the Captain. They are now familiar with Cruise Critic.
I also want to add my favorite wait staff. Aaron and Christopher in the Four Seasons are exceptional! We requested them whenever we ate in the dining room and the service was unparalleled. We also used the Kids Krew and want to remark on how busy Kelly, "Jellybean" and "Marshmallow" kept our kids. They were begging to go after their first experience and made many new friends.
July 15th, 2004, 12:16 AM
Thanks for the review. I leave July 21 for this cruise and am really looking forward to it.
July 15th, 2004, 09:36 AM
How many formal nights were there on the trip, was the dress very formal or lots of flowers and bright colours rather than the traditional black and sequins. Did I really see a swim up bar on the wind?
July 15th, 2004, 10:34 AM
I am very happy to hear that you r experience on the Wind was a favorable one, we are sailing on the 7/31/04 Cruise, and looking forward to a great time. Cruisemissle what would you consider a must do?
July 15th, 2004, 10:50 AM
Great to see a positive review for a well deserving ship. The Wind has gotten more then her fair share of hard knocks from CC members. Some go aboard expecting an "NCL Star" or "RCI Voyager" experience and that is just not the case. I have sailed on the Wind twice and think it is the perfect size ship. Small enough to get to know your fellow passengers and large enough to have some "big ship" facilities. Glad you had a good time.
July 15th, 2004, 11:31 AM
It was great to hear a good review for the Wind. We are planning for this cruise early next year. I have a couple of questions that you may be able to answer.
What type of room did you have? We are thinking about one of the few balcony rooms and it would be nice to hear if they are worth it.
Also I hear there is no gambling on board even bingo. My mother-in-law is sad to hear that if it is true?
How long was the air flights? We will be traveling from the east coast and are considering one of the pre-cruise stays.
Thanks for any and all info!!!
July 15th, 2004, 12:50 PM
we were in a CC sup. outside, loved the room, floor to ceiling window and sitting area in front of it. actually preffered it over our friends balcony room, seemed larger. we had 9018 forward, great location, very little noise, great cabin service and the concierge, Patrick was the best! first class treatment! :D
July 15th, 2004, 02:04 PM
We are from Corpus Christi, Tx but our state of mind is alway Hawaii.
July 15th, 2004, 02:17 PM
What exactly does the concierge do for you?
July 15th, 2004, 08:37 PM
Cruisemissle: Thank you for the good review. It's nice to hear from travelers who really enjoy their cruises. We don't leave until Oct 2 but I've listed your suggestions of waiters in case we have the same crew by that time. By the way, was the cruise critic get-together announced in the daily paper or did you have to sign up somewhere for it? Thanks again. Happy Sails :D Colette
July 15th, 2004, 09:21 PM
you'll have a great time!
July 15th, 2004, 09:24 PM
they didn't announce it, we suggested to the hotel director and we knew of the room # of at least 3 of us. He did the rest, too bad he didn't post it!
July 15th, 2004, 09:37 PM
OK..just realized these quick replies are posted randomly at the bottom so here goes:
Giggles: orig rm was 4012 4 people, a little tight but do able, then switched to 6019 due to a pipe leak, same rm only witha picture window instead of 2 portholes. Deck 4 only one with port holes I believe. We booked late so not much available, rms were fine, if available, get the balcony it seemed worth it to me! BTW, when we switched rooms, 6019 was for a max of 3 so they moved my kids to an inside cabin across the hall. We flew ATA from Newark NJ great airline just had a million stops, not bad, tiring though.
Mare 1045: Highly suggest these tours: These were from Kevin at Adventuremaui.com and werenot from NCL: Helicopter tour of kauai(awesome) Lanai Snorkel and landing at Maui.
Hilo: Volcano Natl park= Awesome
Fanning: enjoy the beach, see the poverty and the "school" bring a donation of kids stationary(pencils, sharpeners, rulers notebooks etc, my wife and friends were all teachers)
Kona: I fished offshore and loved it. 1 boat from the ship landed 2 small blue marlin.
recommend snorkling at "Kalauu" (sp)? bay in Kona. calm and large sea turtles + many fish! The cab drivers take you there for $10 and you can rent gear right on the beach.
Maui=shopping, the Luau was so-so.
see stars at night enroute to fanning, go to front of ship decks 8-10 where its dark for best view.
Help Me: we did not do any formal. Think there were 2 nights. just wore long casual pants, top siders/no socks, and a golf shirt. Yes to the swim up bar, small area but nice.
Hope this helps!
July 15th, 2004, 10:46 PM
Thanks for all your help, I am breathing a sigh of relief reading your review. 15 days and a wake up till we are on the Wind!
July 16th, 2004, 12:57 AM
Giggles: There IS BINGO..with a sizeable pot I might add.
Again, make reservations for the dining room 2 days in advance and do it by 9-10AM to avoid lines. I wish I was going again :-)!
JDM, thanks for the kudos but remember Art, aka CruiseProf had at least 50% of the idea!!
Everyone, let the cruise director or hotel director know you read this thread on Cruisecritic!! As well as the Capt and staff captain(he is actually 2nd in command of the ship = to an executive officer or 1st officer. George the chef was also a great guy! His chocolate buffet was uplifting...from the waist up!
July 16th, 2004, 05:28 PM
There is a swim up bar, it gets pretty full but is a lot of fun. Formal nights, since they are optional, consisted of many different types of apparel. Anything you choose to wear would be appropriate somewhere on the ship. Hope this helps and have fun on your cruise:)
July 16th, 2004, 09:28 PM
Great job on the review Dom. I agree with all the positives in your review. We especially enjoyed the company and the upbeat attitude of our traveling companions (Cruisemissle). Let's do it again soon!!!
July 18th, 2004, 12:12 AM
As I stated, It was OUR combined and coordinated efforts.
I believe the next round of drinks is on me!
July 18th, 2004, 12:24 AM
I would concur with cruisemissiles assessment, it was a terrific cruise and the ship and crew were wonderful. The food and entertainment were better than I anticipated and our kids had a grand time. With the exception of the overcrowding on Waikiki, Hawaii was wonderful and Fanning was beautiful and an eye opener. Seeing the lava flowing like a flaming river down the side of the volcano into the sea as we departed Hilo for Fanning that evening was spectacular, I'm surprised nobody remembered to mention it as we were all on deck watching in awe. Can't believe the welcome the ships officers gave us since we all had met on cruisecritic, it was great being a VIP for a day!!:-)
In all a great trip. Lets do it again soon.
July 20th, 2004, 10:43 PM
So did you contact NCL about being CC in advance or just mention it once you were onboard?
Thanks, we have 18 days until we fly to Hawaii!
July 20th, 2004, 10:46 PM
This was a good cruise, good crew, service, food and entertainment.
The ports were great too, except for the nuisance of having to tender ashore in Fanning, Maui and kona. The islands were all beautiful.
We felt hilo had limited shopping but Volcano Natl park is a must see!
Kona was great for shopping, Fishing and snorkeling)Kalamu'u(sp?) bay, $10 taxi ride, some cabbies/Vans offer Roundtrip Ride + snorkel gear for $20. Big sea turtles here, you can swim among them! Lots of fish too.
Fanning, enjoy the beach.
Maui, great for snorkeling, sightseeing and shopping. Beautiful island.
kaui: shopping, fishing, Helicopter ride, snorkel!
If the NCL trips don't meet your schedule, you can book sidetrips with kevin at adventuremaui.com!!
Enjoy your trip, you'll have a good time!
Embarking and disembarking were fast and flawless! Be at the dock at the earliest time to get onboard quickly!
July 21st, 2004, 04:15 PM
Just noticed a typo in my last response to you... the first tours we had booked thru adventuremaui.com, then we did NCL tours beginning with the Hilo tour on down!! Just wanted to clarify that point. Any further questions email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a wonderful trip.
July 21st, 2004, 04:18 PM
mentioned on board I think it was day 5or 6
July 21st, 2004, 05:58 PM
We've been on the sky twice before and it was freestyle, I never knew that you could book in the restaurant. To me whats the point of freestyle if you can make reservations. Maybe I'm out to lunch! I would never know what I would be doing of feel like doing a day before I'd made reservations this mean's you would be committed to a time like traditional cruising. Or can you just not show up and is there a time limit for not showing up.
July 21st, 2004, 06:54 PM
Thanks so much for your review of the Wind!!!! We will be going next Jan.2005 but love to read everything we can get ahold of regarding the trip.
I cant wait to see the lava flow when you leave the big island, and just everything. We booked an EE room and got a call and were upgraded to a CC on International deck.....cost of $125 pp.
July 21st, 2004, 07:29 PM
Thanks for the clarification, we really do appreciate all the help you have given us.
August 19th, 2005, 05:56 PM
Cruisemissle and Cruiseprof. -
We just got back from a Mexico cruise and I thought of you all. We are planning a Europe cruise for next July. Come on - it could be a cruise critic reunion:) I hope you are all fine and having a great summer!