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Xmansmom

Review- Land and Sea Hawaiian Journeys cruise

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So I've got a few minutes this morning in Maui to continue my review. I left off during our last day before we boarded the ship. After our exhausting morning swimming with the sharks I had to go take a nap. The boys decided that the cliff we had found with the sea arch (or key hole) off shore seemed like the perfect place to fish fish for a bit. They had pretty good luck and caught 7 fish that they threw back. One was a large puffer fish. They also saw a whale breach behind the key hole rock.

 

We had tacos for dinner that night at North Shore taco. Not sure if I mentioned this place before but it was a great little place right down the street. Best shrimp tacos.

 

The next day we got up early, clear everything out of the house and headed to the cruise terminal to drop off our bags. Then off for a little more site seeing in Honolulu. We dropped off the rental car and headed to the ship around 12:30. We had a 12:30 - 1 check in time but check in time was nothing to the people there. Luckily for me that one of the folks on our roll call on the other site had mentioned patience and all that the crew had to do on a re-positioning like this. I will share his post as I thought it was really informative.

From Tom Parks, our guest lecturer for Academy of fun, "

Friday is going to be a challenging day for the crew of the Legend. Because of the transition from Australia to Alaska, here is just a partial list of what is going to be going on onboard Friday:

All of the machines in the casino have to reprogrammed to use US dollars instead of Australian dollars. Same for every kiosk, bar register, guest services computer, and any other machine that deals with currency.

All the Australian spirits, wines, beers, and food that are not certified for US ports had to be inventoried and unloaded. Similarly, US supplies need to be loaded on board and distributed to appropriate locations.

Signs have to be changed because of the transition. There will no longer be a “Sausages and Snags” station on the buffet and instead that location will be used for the normal buffet fair on the Lido. Other signs around the pool areas have to be changed out to reflect US rules, etc.

The entire crew will have to pass an immigration check. This means that at some point during the day every crew member will have to leave their job behind for a personal interview with US Customs officials, thus putting them behind schedule even further.

The environmental team will begin the audit process necessary to certify the ship for sailing in Alaska.

The galley/food/restaurant teams will prepare for a USPH inspection that will happen at one of the Hawaiian ports.

The entertainment team will switch over the activities from those designed for the Australian guests to those designed for US guests.

Extra food and luggage will be taken on because this is a longer cruise and guests will eat more and bring more luggage than is normal for a typical 7 day cruise.

And this is on top of all the normal things the crew has to do—cabin switch over, keeping food available, cleaning and maintenance after a 17 day cruise with a lot of sea days, etc.

And what is amazing is that when we get on board the crew will welcome us and smile at us and act as though we have made their day better just for choosing to sail on this Journeys cruise. So with all that in mind—how about packing some PATIENCE? Some things may not be perfect. Embarkation may take a bit longer. It may be a bit of a delay before getting luggage to the cabin. Dinner service may seem a bit off. Just relax—everything will be fine. You are in Hawaii on a cruise ship—what could possibly ruin that? A brief delay in service? Having to wait for a suitcase? I plan to enjoy the ride, and I hope you will join me in this.

Sorry to be so preachy—but this crew is very special to me, and I am very protective of them. Pack your PATIENCE—and lets have an AMAZING cruise!!!""

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Patience has definitely been needed this cruise. We didn't start boarding until around 2:30. The waiting area was packed and a bit warm. But there was entertainment and people handing out leis, headbands and even "fish" made out of leaves. People were tired and cranky by the time boarding started but one onboard we were fine. Now I will say our room wasn't ready, the keys weren't waiting for us, the pre-ordered water didn't arrive till the evening of night number 3. I heard many people on our roll call saying the same. But I didn't let it bother us too much as a bad day on a cruise ship still beats a good day at work any time.

 

At 4pm we met up with folks from our roll call and did a shotglass exchange. Met people from all over the US plus New Zealand, Canada and Australia. If you've never done something like this I highly encourage you to. It is fun meeting other people and sharing your experiences.

 

That evening we met up with a couple from our roll call to enjoy the anytime dinning together. This would become the nightly normal. Kim and Dennis were great and I look forward to meeting for dinner each night and sharing our daily adventures. The first evening the service was spot on and the food was great as normal. I will say I forgot to get any pictures of the menu but they did have the strawberry chilled soup which is one of my favorites. For dessert we all tried to order chocolate melting cake (CMC) with peanut butter and ice cream. I saw this trick on CC and thought we'd give it a whirl. Funny enough the waiter misunderstood us and brought butter pecan ice cream instead. Oh well, we went along with it. Now the CMC was a little to well done that evening so we knew the next time to ask for it a bit runny.

 

By the way, before I get off of here. Let me share with you my balcony. If you have never seen these special "bowling alley" balconies, they are considered an extended balcony. Only available on the Legend and Pride I believe but check deck plans. There is two per floor, on the aft portside. Ours was 6232.

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Looking forward to the rest of your review!  We are considering the 11 day Journey cruise to Hawaii in September 2020.  We love Maui and are excited for the chance to visit again.

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Great start TO YOUR REVIEW and love the pics.Keep it coming, this is a Journey cruise I would love to do.

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Good information on boarding after a repositioning.  I will be boarding the Legend in London after a T/A, I wonder if the same will be true?

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The first night we didn't do a whole lot as we were pretty tired from our day. We were able to go check out the kid's club. DS is a huge fan of Camp Ocean and never seems to want to leave. This trip wouldn't be any different. Instead we wander the ship, which felt pretty empty. Took some photos up top in the night sky of Honolulu. Unfortunately even though it was Friday night we saw no fireworks. 😞

The Muster Drill was at 9:30pm. There were 200 people missing from the drill. They all got naughty letters in their mailboxes. We went to bed shortly after since we had an early morning.

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The first day, Port Kauai, I booked us with Blue Dolphin Charters. I got a bunch of advice from folks that I should do something different but I was stuck on doing a snorkeling/Pa Nali Coast tour. This day was incredible. I was glad I took my sea sick meds though (the waters were a bit rough the whole cruise). Now the snorkeling was not that great, Rough seas=bad viability. However we did have turtles with us while snorkeling. The boat we went on was a double decker catamaran. The crew and captain had the best service I have ever seen. They ran all around the boat making sure that all the people had drinks and pretzels to ensure that no one was getting sick. My 11 yr old was the smallest child on the boat and the crew took a special interest in helping him. In fact one of the crew went with him when the captain took the boat under a waterfall and made sure my son didn't back down from getting wet. It was great. We had a small pod of dolphins in one of the small cove type areas and sat and watched them for a bit. The Na Pali Coast, my pictures are beautiful but don't do it justice. I would say the only other place I have seen this beautiful was the Yukon in Alaska/Canada. The color is indescribably vibrant. We got a great bonus on the way back to the dock when one of the crew spotted whales. We were able to watch what seemed to be 3 males chasing 1 female for about 15 mins. The boat provided breakfast of cinnamon rolls and fruit. From lunch we were given sandwich makings with fresh made bread, cookies, and later in the day on the way back we had rum punch. The only issue with doing a tour like this outside of Carnival is that we had to find our own way there. On the way there we took a taxi, it cost about $80 with the tip. On the way back was shared an Uber with another person from our ship, the cost was $40. Big difference.

 

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So I forgot to mention too much about this in my review talking about the day we go on the ship but a post in my roll call made me decide to go back and add a note here about this. Just in case any of you guys are following this for future planning purposes.

The Port in Honolulu was a big mess. Most disorganized place I've ever cruised from. Because this is a Journey's Cruise there are no Faster to the Fun for purchase which I would have normally done. But even if we would have had this it wouldn't have mattered. We went early in the morning (8ish) to drop luggage with the people who hold it until it was our time to return (12:30). Cost was $5/bag. This made it easier for us to go return the car and take an uber back to the port later. When we arrived back it was pure chaos. There was two sets of lines inside. One towards the right and one towards the left. They both funneled into the middle-ish area of the building (a bit closer towards the right side). The line to right was significantly shorter and that was the side of the building where the luggage drop (for holding temporarily) was. We went that way and picked up our luggage. When I asked the worker at the luggage drop where to take my luggage to (you know where the porters are) she told me to just take it in the line with me. I looked around and no one in the line had anything but carry ons. So I knew this wasn't right . Finally another person in line told me that we had to drop it off at the far left side of the building. I had my husband wait in the line and DS and I carried it down the other end of the building. It was very confusing. No signs or anything. Nothing obvious. There was no priority line which didn't matter to me but the diamonds and platinum seemed upset with that.

 

Once we funneled to the front of this first line it put us in the room where they did the security checks. Once we exited the security room we had to go to the line where the check in desks are. Employees stopped you and handed out zone cards with a zone number on it. Your check in time assignment meant nothing. Our time was the 12:30-1 slot (first time slot) but the zone assignments were based on first come first serve so we got zone 3. Many people came at whatever time they wanted. We saw people with 4pm check in assignments there at 12:30. If I had it to do again at this same port I would choose a late check in. People who came later walked right on.

 

As I had stated previously (at least I think I did), they didn't start  boarding until around 2:30. We where told at check in that our room should be ready on the boat once boarding finally stated. This was definitely not true. Rooms were still being cleaned at dinner time (including ours). We did get our luggage pretty quick (all but one bag where in our room before dinner). Things that we pre-ordered (water) were not in our room and it was actually the evening of day 3 before we got ours. Other people on our roll call didn't get theirs until day 4. It was very bad. I heard from others that this was the same for all pre-ordered items (liquor, decorations, etc). The first day the wi-fi also showed a much bigger then normal price because it hadn't switched over from Australian cost/dollars. I went to the desk to ask about it cause in addition to the price listed through the HUB app being high the Steward left a page with prices on it in our room that was way lower then it should have been (lower then the pre-purchase price. HUB app price for Social plan was $120 and the paper given out was priced at $50. When I went to the desk the line was long and slow. Lots of people were asking similar questions to me. Eventually an extra employee was walking down the long and trying to answer questions so people didn't have to wait. When I asked the employee about the two prices she told me that the web through the HUB app was incorrect and that i could go ahead and purchase it and the price would adjust. Of course 24 hrs later that hadn't happened so I went to the desk and the guy that was there got irritated with me that I would have expected to have the right price on there. Eventually he agreed to credit me back money to get it to the price it should be $80 but wouldn't honor the Carnival Printed price on the paper left in our room with the Fun times. I am not hugely argumentative so I said whatever and just left. I would bet that a more demanding person probably would have gotten them to honor the printed price.

Throughout the first few days of the cruise, the ship was out of stuff. Things like beers that were on the menu. It was very frustrating. Apparently they were so rushed in getting ready and late getting through switchover that many pallets (I heard more then 30) of food and drinks were left behind on the pier when we sailed. This was the explanation on things like not having water in our rooms. They had to get more supplies in another port.

 

Just wanted to share some more of the details about the disorganization both at the port and on board the ship. I don't say this to discourage anyone from doing this trip but things to keep in mind. If I had realized some of this I would have changed my plans some to get around these things. But overall I would say that if this had been my very first experience with Carnival I might now come back. That is sad to say since I am typically a Carnival cheerleader.

 

Tomorrow I will try to post a bit more, jumping back to my day by day with pictures. And I promise it will be much more upbeat. Cause overall I did enjoy this trip.

 

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9 hours ago, Xmansmom said:

So I forgot to mention too much about this in my review talking about the day we go on the ship but a post in my roll call made me decide to go back and add a note here about this. Just in case any of you guys are following this for future planning purposes.

The Port in Honolulu was a big mess. Most disorganized place I've ever cruised from. Because this is a Journey's Cruise there are no Faster to the Fun for purchase which I would have normally done. But even if we would have had this it wouldn't have mattered. We went early in the morning (8ish) to drop luggage with the people who hold it until it was our time to return (12:30). Cost was $5/bag. This made it easier for us to go return the car and take an uber back to the port later. When we arrived back it was pure chaos. There was two sets of lines inside. One towards the right and one towards the left. They both funneled into the middle-ish area of the building (a bit closer towards the right side). The line to right was significantly shorter and that was the side of the building where the luggage drop (for holding temporarily) was. We went that way and picked up our luggage. When I asked the worker at the luggage drop where to take my luggage to (you know where the porters are) she told me to just take it in the line with me. I looked around and no one in the line had anything but carry ons. So I knew this wasn't right . Finally another person in line told me that we had to drop it off at the far left side of the building. I had my husband wait in the line and DS and I carried it down the other end of the building. It was very confusing. No signs or anything. Nothing obvious. There was no priority line which didn't matter to me but the diamonds and platinum seemed upset with that.

 

Once we funneled to the front of this first line it put us in the room where they did the security checks. Once we exited the security room we had to go to the line where the check in desks are. Employees stopped you and handed out zone cards with a zone number on it. Your check in time assignment meant nothing. Our time was the 12:30-1 slot (first time slot) but the zone assignments were based on first come first serve so we got zone 3. Many people came at whatever time they wanted. We saw people with 4pm check in assignments there at 12:30. If I had it to do again at this same port I would choose a late check in. People who came later walked right on.

 

As I had stated previously (at least I think I did), they didn't start  boarding until around 2:30. We where told at check in that our room should be ready on the boat once boarding finally stated. This was definitely not true. Rooms were still being cleaned at dinner time (including ours). We did get our luggage pretty quick (all but one bag where in our room before dinner). Things that we pre-ordered (water) were not in our room and it was actually the evening of day 3 before we got ours. Other people on our roll call didn't get theirs until day 4. It was very bad. I heard from others that this was the same for all pre-ordered items (liquor, decorations, etc). The first day the wi-fi also showed a much bigger then normal price because it hadn't switched over from Australian cost/dollars. I went to the desk to ask about it cause in addition to the price listed through the HUB app being high the Steward left a page with prices on it in our room that was way lower then it should have been (lower then the pre-purchase price. HUB app price for Social plan was $120 and the paper given out was priced at $50. When I went to the desk the line was long and slow. Lots of people were asking similar questions to me. Eventually an extra employee was walking down the long and trying to answer questions so people didn't have to wait. When I asked the employee about the two prices she told me that the web through the HUB app was incorrect and that i could go ahead and purchase it and the price would adjust. Of course 24 hrs later that hadn't happened so I went to the desk and the guy that was there got irritated with me that I would have expected to have the right price on there. Eventually he agreed to credit me back money to get it to the price it should be $80 but wouldn't honor the Carnival Printed price on the paper left in our room with the Fun times. I am not hugely argumentative so I said whatever and just left. I would bet that a more demanding person probably would have gotten them to honor the printed price.

Throughout the first few days of the cruise, the ship was out of stuff. Things like beers that were on the menu. It was very frustrating. Apparently they were so rushed in getting ready and late getting through switchover that many pallets (I heard more then 30) of food and drinks were left behind on the pier when we sailed. This was the explanation on things like not having water in our rooms. They had to get more supplies in another port.

 

Just wanted to share some more of the details about the disorganization both at the port and on board the ship. I don't say this to discourage anyone from doing this trip but things to keep in mind. If I had realized some of this I would have changed my plans some to get around these things. But overall I would say that if this had been my very first experience with Carnival I might now come back. That is sad to say since I am typically a Carnival cheerleader.

 

Tomorrow I will try to post a bit more, jumping back to my day by day with pictures. And I promise it will be much more upbeat. Cause overall I did enjoy this trip.

 

Thanks for the valuable info. We are taking this same itinerary next April on the Spirit. Hopefully things will be a bit more organized for us. Glad to hear about the early luggage drop off. My plan is to drop off luggage early, see some sights, then check in later at our leisure. Was the early drop off area clearly marked or was that too chaotic? Enjoying your review...keep the good times coming!

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On 5/4/2019 at 8:39 AM, CCRUZER said:

Thanks for the valuable info. We are taking this same itinerary next April on the Spirit. Hopefully things will be a bit more organized for us. Glad to hear about the early luggage drop off. My plan is to drop off luggage early, see some sights, then check in later at our leisure. Was the early drop off area clearly marked or was that too chaotic? Enjoying your review...keep the good times coming!

 Luggage Drop was to the far right when you walk in. There is a room there with a sign saying (I think) luggage drop. Now remember this is just for storage before actually giving it to the porters.

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Back on the ship from our first port (all aboard was 3:30) we rested for a bit before meeting our new friends for dinner. Now as most know your time dining is more like a normal restaurant. You check in and they place you where ever you fit. So was got a set of servers. Service this evening was slow and not at all as well as the first night. We were greatly disappointed as a group. The rest of the cruise we made sure to request the same table we had the first night. I didn't know you could do that but you can. We did get our melting cakes with peanut butter and they were plenty melty. After dinner DH and I went to the casino for a bit and DS went to Camp Ocean. This is the first time he's been old enough to sign himself out so we let him bring his phone and we all spent the $5/phone for chat. It was a great investment. While the app is not perfect it worked pretty well. DS normally loves Camp Ocean and staying for the after hours (paid time). This evening he decided he wanted to stay so we went to the piano bar. The Piano guy (Mike) introduced himself before the cruise on our roll call. He seemed to be nice. He was ok but he didn't know how to play several normal staple songs (like come sail away). I definitely didn't enjoy the piano bar the way we normally do. To make it worse drink service was extremely slow. We turned in around 11:30 to get some rest for our day in Hilo.

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Sorry about the mess at the port, lessons learned for all of us reading.  

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As promised, Funtimes. At least for the first couple days. I will try to include them each day's review. It requires me to scan several times to get the whole thing. I have a few menu pictures but didn't remember every night. Sorry.

 

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Saturday April 20-1.pdf Saturday April 20-2.pdf Saturday April 20-3.pdf

Edited by Xmansmom

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Sunday we stopped in Hilo. It was Easter Sunday. The ship had an "easter egg hunt". There was 10 eggs hide throughout the ship that you had to find and write the locations. It didn't start until 9:00 am and we were allowed off the ship at 9:15am. Of course my son wanted to play. So we did for about 45 mins before giving up. We found 5. They were gold eggs, hidden in places where you could see them but couldn't touch (on stages, in store windows, etc). I have no clue where those other 5 were. Once we got off the ship we hopped a shuttle to the rental car place at the airport. I had rented a car using my free day that I had accumulated through the Nationals rewards program. All I had to pay was the taxes.  Shuttle was not quick. But no problems picking up the car. I had purchased the Gypsy app for the big island and just like the one for Oahu, it worked great. Perfect day. Basically just drove around. Took in some sites. Stopped at Botanical Garden. Also went down to an area in which there was a memorial to a schoolhouse full of kids and teachers that were washed away in a tsunami in 1945 (Laupahoehoe Harbor). We also went to Akaka Falls State park. We had lunch at a little store/market. I got nachos pork and mango salsa and smoothes. Those nachos were awesome. I could load a million photos but I'll try to just post my favorites.

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When we carried the car back it was close to back onboard time and lots of people were waiting for the shuttle. So I went ahead and got an uber back to the ship. Made it onboard plenty of time. This was the first elegant night. This was the one that was like the now a days elegant night. I had the Prime rib, the boys had lobster. The food was good as normal. Of course the crew danced. My little guy was dancing in his seat while watching them. It was great to watch. When we left dinner we went straight to the family Easter hop n' stop party. They started this party at Camp Ocean, since we were late we just went straight to the night club where the party ended up. Each kid got a bag of Easter eggs and candy. There was a dance party. And they had a cake and bunches of cookies and goodies. The kids had a great time. It was a nice event for families. We hung out for a little bit that night in the casino and then in Red Frog pub with DS.

 

By the way, Sunday morning was the first day we ate breakfast in dining room. Food was good but service extremely slow. It made me hesitant to eat in the dining room for breakfast again. That was bit sad since we typically love to have breakfast in the dining room.

 

Also, on this particular evening our dinner friends (who became DS's cruise grandparents) gave him a coin. The gentleman was a retired K9 officer and he gave him a cool coin he had made. They also gave him Easter goodies. DS was very spoiled throughout the cruise. When we were hunting Easter eggs that morning I found a duck. For those who didn't know people like to hid ducks. There is an online group that you post to if you find one.

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Monday our stop was Kona. Guests ashore was 8:15am with an early back aboard of 4:15pm. This would prove to be a challenge for not just us but many others. We had booked a fishing trip. My boys love to fish so on each cruise we find the best stop for them to get a charter. DH's research told him Kona was the best place. He choose to book with Camelot Sport fishing. Once we got off the ship we headed straight to the marina. DH (who lined everything up) had set up a 6 hour charter starting at 10am. When I found that out I was like hey that's not going to work. We have to be back in sooner. Poor him who didn't think it threw thought if we showed up earlier then we could leave earlier. He tried to arrange that the morning of the charter. Word of advice, don't try that. The charter boat was already out on a charter that morning. Due back when we were leaving. So we waited patiently at the marina for the boat to arrive. We talked to the captain to let her know we had to be back by 3:30pm in order to get back to the ship. All was good now. Lesson to me, always make sure I follow up with DH's plans. LOL.

 

It was a new ride out of the harbor. Weather was great that day. Thank goodness for me since I have issues with motion sickness (and yes I took my meds before boarding). We had some dolphins following the boat on the way out of harbor and then everything was quiet for hours. That's fishing. However, while I was napping( cause I don't fish I just take the pictures) everyone got all excited and I jumped up thinking we had a fish on. NOPE!!! Even better we were visited by a whale shark. We took bunches of pictures and the crew took a go pro video. They sent us the Go Pro video.  This gentle giant swam up to the ship and hung out for about 10 or 15 minutes.

 

After the whale shark left I went back to my nap. A little bit later when we were heading back towards the harbor one of the rods finally went off. We started off the day fishing for bigger game (marlin) and transitioned to gear for tuna and wahoo. When the rod went off the crew didn't think we had a wahoo cause it seemed bigger and acted a bit differently. Any ways while we tried to figure out what was on the line DS went to reeling. It was about a 15 minute battle when he finally brought up a very large wahoo. It was about a 45lb wahoo. Almost bigger then DS. He got his fish, it was close to 3:00pm and I was ready to be back at the dock. terrified of missing the last tender. We bagan our trip back to the harbor. They kept one rod out just because and of course my luck was that we got another bite on the way back. This time my husband fought the fish. It was a much quicker battle. Of course it was a smaller fish. By the time we got back we only had a minute to grab a quick picture on the dock. The bigger fish was the one DS caught.  We got back just a few minutes after 3:30. I had an Uber waiting for us. We got back and it was obvious we were not the last. Once we got back on the ship we noticed that even though the last tender was supposed to be 4:15 there was still tenders pulling up at 4:45pm. Talking to our new friends at dinner it turns out that their Carnival excursion was late getting back. They said that the operators were complaining about the time as Carnival usually stays in port later.

 By the way- Tip for if you are planning an excursion like fishing. Bring along something to pack sandwiches. (ziplock bags).

 

On the way to dinner that evening I stopped in the lobby bar to taste a Topical Mule, it was pretty good. After dinner that night we went to hang out in the casino so my son could go to Camp Ocean.

 

An overall observation, at 10 years old, this was the first year my son could check himself out of Camp Ocean. Now I'm not sure I could have convinced DH that this would be ok without the Hub app ability to text each other. But with the text ability he was comfortable to allow it. On past cruises you couldn't have dragged him away from Camp Ocean including during night owls. This time he was all over the boat. Playing with other kids. Of course most of the time the other kids didn't stay for night owls either. So we only took him there like twice and both times he had to beg to go.

 

 

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Monday April 22-3.pdf Monday April 22- 2.pdf Monday April 22-1.pdf

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Enjoying your review. We'll doing the 16 day out of Vancouver to Hawaii to LA in September. Never been on the Legend. Any chance you could post some more ship pics? Thanks!!

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I will admit I didn't do a good job of taking pictures of the ship this time I have been on Legend 4 times now. These are from this time.

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Here are some pictures from 2 years ago when I was on the Alaska Cruise. I would tell you besides a few minor decorative changes and the additions of Guys burgers, Blue Cantina and Alchemy Bar there weren't too many changes.

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