We arrived late last night into SFO and are in Morgan Hill (until we leave for "real home" tomorrow). I miss all my flamingo family - they are still "enjoying" the hospitality of the island of Oahu. I am here in real life and there was no room service coffee this am - nor a balcony to drink it on!
A LONG review will be coming! Let's just say - everyone had a great time - the crew on board our ship - Myrick and Ane (deck 10 forward stewards WOW) Nelly (Breakers Bar) Adam and Jasper (Crossings) THE PHOTOGRAPHERS - Heather, Heather, Ashley, Ben, Dimitri - (all now official flamingos) - James Deering, Al, Sterling, Patti, the reception desk staff - the waiters - the room service --- it's all good.
As far as "unhappy crew" just like passengers that didn't have a great time - they get off and go find something else to make them happy!
Everywhere - everyday on this trip - everyone tried to make it right. Was it always "right"? No - but this is a new venture, with new crew - many (but not all) unfamiliar with a cruise job. Just like people who have never taken a cruise there are things to learn every day! They want to make it right and are figuring it out.
Our family of 8 and my brother and his 3 children are happy we went. We all had a fantastic time - have incredible memories.
Until the review - here's a few tips:
On the ship -
1. BUY THE PHOTO package!!!! (we got over $1000.00 worth of photos for only $199.)
2. You CAN make arangements with the restaurants to eat at a certain time - at a certain table (be willing to take their suggested time and place)
3. Breakfast at the restaurant is better than the buffet - does take some time but not as long as dinner.
4. Eat early and see the later shows.
5. The dinner does take time (1.5 to 3 hours) depending on how many are in your group (this doesn't count waiting to be seated - see above)
6. Room service works! LIMITED items though!
7. Never found the Longboard bar - or the Plantation Club - they are there though.
8. Blue Hawaii - the happening spot!!! (so crowded to pass through to get to the other end of the ship - so walk the deck)
9. Outrigger Lounge - view and service!!!!
10. WATCH the dailies to see the open/close times of the bars and lounges (the places we liked ended up closing too early).
11. WATCH OUT for young girl who claims "my daddy owns NCL" - she tends to spill on you, knock you over, push ahead in line, put soap in the hot tub, throw clothes down the atrium, hog the deck chairs, pile her plate with BBQ, bid on your art auction items, lose your laundry, win at your bingo game, take the towels from your stateroom, push all the buttons in the elevator, run through the halls, save seats at the shows, come screaming into the spa complaining about her haircut while you are trying to have a relaxing treatment, win all the wobble clocks, cheat at the trivia games, eat all the pizza, bananas, pears, melons, boxed cereal, AND add charges to your stateroom account.
On the islands -
Hilo - Akaka Falls - get Ice Cream at Mr. Ed's Bakery on the way back!!! then Volcanoes National Park.
Kona - Walking tour then - Parasail with UFO!!!!! - and snorkel at the "beach" in front of the hotel - watch out for sea urchins (ouch)
Maui - Four Winds II Snorkel (morning is Molokini - afternoon is Coral Garden - both great!) then Lahaina for shopping, eating, shave ice, and surfing lessons with Dukes surf School!
Kauai -- THE BEST OF ALL THE ISLANDS - Kipu Falls Adventure (all day and totally worth it!!! - Ben and Kevin!!) also Backcountry Zipline for the wild ones.
Don't forget the free shuttles to Hilo Hatties and Walmart on each island. Most of all enjoy the Aloha spirit - it was great - you won't want to come home.
more later - aloha,
25 years and counting! NCL Loyalist Club - it's great to be Platinum!
Norway, Pride of Aloha, Star, Sky, Sun, Spirit, Epic, Jewel, Pearl, Jade, Gem, Escape, Dawn
Pacific Coastal x3, TransPacific, Hawaii, Eastern x3 and Western x2 Caribbean, Alaska x4, Mediterranean, TransAtlantic x2, Bahamas, Mexican Riviera, East from Dubai to Singapore, Southern Caribbean where to next?