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.)