We booked tickets using the helpful (but very busy) people at Leisure Link International. Leisure Link is a consolidator, buying up unsold cabin space at the next-to-last minute at deeply discounted wholesale prices.  They then pass the savings along to their customers.  This company is known for its incredibly good deals on travel and has been reviewed by several prominent magazines.  However, I ALWAYS recommend comparison shopping because it is the only way you can be sure to get the best prices.

Leisure Link's phone system is quite busy, but I finally got in touch with an agent who was very friendly and helpful. Since the SS Independence has about fifty different cabin configurations the choice was a bit bewildering.  (For more about the SS Independence, see the sidebar at right.) I started by opting for an outside cabin, because I like to know whether it is night or day.  My initial choice was a B category cabin, #38, on the Sun Deck. (I later upgraded to an "A" category cabin).  The tickets arrived promptly, together with a very helpful information package detailing the excursions available, the shipboard activities, and other useful things to know.
American Hawaii Cruises went bankrupt on 10/19/2001
Because this page is part of diary of my cruise in May, 2001, the information on this page has not been updated and may no longer be accurate.