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Everything posted by DelanaeK

  1. I'd do the 11:30 so you're not rushed. We just did this earlier in the month; we were off the ship by 8:30 and at the airport by 9 or so. It was nice to just relax in a restaurant at the airport for a while before boarding the flight around 11.
  2. Some NCL ships do actually. We were just on POA in early Nov and we had to get tender tickets, and they were actual paper tickets with a number for our group. Then they called the groups over the intercom when we were supposed to line up. Granted, we had to wait in line for an hour or so, which sucked, and then right when we got to the front of the line, they stopped issuing tickets and said everyone can just get in line. So they do use tickets for at least part of the time on some ships, until they decide to give up apparently.
  3. Yeah that price is crazy. My husband and I spent about $950 on drinks total (including gratuity), and I felt like we drank a decent amount. I think we'd get alcohol poisoning trying to drink $1800 worth of alcohol between the two of us!
  4. Great review! We sailed Nov 3, so the week after you. First cruise so we didn't know what to expect and were pretty happy with it, but I also agree with your observations. I do think service could have been better at a lot of those bars and restaurants, though we did have some great conversations with our servers at Cagney's and Skyline dining room. We didn't rent a car at all and instead used the Hoppa on Hoppa Off bus and similar options (plus 2 NCL excursions), but I agree that Maui seemed like a great place to rent a car if you want to cover a lot of ground. I'm not sure if we'll do this cruise again, but this was a great way to see the main islands of Hawaii, and now we know our favorite spots for when we go back sometime in the future (hopefully with our kids!). We loved Kauai and the Big Island especially. So I'd recommend the POA for anyone who hasn't been to all the Hawaiian islands, and who can keep in mind that the ship is basically a floating hotel and doesn't have the best service. But the location definitely makes up for that!
  5. To be honest it doesn't seem like a very kid-friendly ship.When we went a few weeks ago, I think I saw maybe 10 kids on the whole cruise, with only a few being babies or toddlers. But maybe it was our timing, since we sailed in Nov and not during a school break. I noticed the lack of kids cuz we have 2 kids who we didn't bring with us, but I do want to bring them on a cruise in the near future, and I think I'd choose a different ship. But I guess if you don't have a choice, there are ways to make the best of it. There are some kid things there, like an arcade for the older kids, some sports areas (like a basketball court and a big chess board/pieces to play with outside) and a small indoor pool/hot tub area for families,. I think there's also a kid club with limited hours, but as someone else said, I think it's for 3 and up. Of course, you'll be in Hawaii more than you'll be on the ship, so you can pretty easily tire the kids out at the beach!
  6. It's Kanaha Beach Park. It's right next to where the Pride of America docks in Kahului, just east of it. We got a Lyft ride to the parking lot of the beach, but we were able to walk back to the ship since it's like 2 miles away. I didn't see any services there (like a restaurant or store) so first we went to Long's Drugs across the street from the port and got some snacks and drinks, and then took a Lyft to the beach for a few hours. It's a beautiful beach.
  7. We just went on our first cruise and it was on the POA 2 weeks ago. We're in the US so I can't answer most of your questions, but I can say Kona is the only port where you use tender boats. Also, we didn't rent a car at any port. We just didn't want to deal with driving if we wanted a few drinks at lunch. It worked out pretty well, but I'll admit we didn't see all the "important" parts of the islands as a result since we mostly stayed around the ports. On Maui, the port is next to a great beach and a short walk from some shopping centers, but I feel like we didn't see much of the island since we stayed within 2 miles of the port. We did do the snorkeling excursion there on the second day, and the tour bus for the excursion took us from the north part to the southern area, so we saw a little more of the island by bus I guess. But I think that's the only island where I wished we would have rented a car. In Hilo, we took the Hoppa On/Hoppa Off bus for $20 per person and got to see the downtown area, Rainbow waterfall, the Big Island Candies, and a few other landmarks. And the downtown area was very walkable so we stayed there for a couple hours. In Kona, the tender boats take you to a very touristy/walkable area with tons of shops and bars right on the coast, so we had a lot of fun there without renting a car. Finally, on Kauai, the port is a 5 minute walk from some shopping centers with gift shops and restaurants on the beach. And right in front of those shops is a great little beach in front of the Marriott Hotel where we swam for hours. I wanted to go to Poipu Beach because I heard it was good, but it would be a $23 Lyft ride there, so the closer beach was fine by us! We did the horseback riding excursion on Kauai, and due to the 20 minute ride through the island to the stables, we got a glimpse of the center and southern part of the island (and then we saw a few miles of the southeastern area by horse!) I would have liked to see the northern and western parts because Kauai was my favorite, but we still had a great time! So basically, yes, all the islands appear to have Lyft and Uber, plus I know at least Hilo and Kona have the Hoppa on/Hoppa Off tours. I would also recommend an excursion or two in nature so you get that experience while you're there. So while renting a car allows you to see more of the islands, it's definitely not necessary if you mainly want to visit some beaches, shops, restaurants and a few great landmarks.
  8. The Aloha Cafe has really good views of the ocean from inside, and the Gold Rush Saloon has views of the other side. Cagney's and the Napa Wine Bar do, too. In fact I think many of the restaurants there do. The Na Pali Coast was canceled on our sailing so I can't speak to that specifically. But you'll be able to see outside from indoors if you want.
  9. We just went in early Nov and the weather was pretty much perfect. Like 68-80 most of the time, depending on the island. I think Hilo felt a little warm (we're not used to humidity being from AZ!), but other than that, the weather was great. I wore dresses and flip flops the whole time. Maybe bring a light jacket just in case, but I didn't need mine. It rained a little here and there, but even that wasn't cold. It's colder in AZ now than in Hawaii, which felt weird. But I added all the islands to my phone's weather app before we started packing, so maybe do that so you can keep an eye on the weather before you go.
  10. Yikes. I wonder why it's so much more. Even at the price I paid, it was the most expensive drink we got, though I think vodka red bull was pricey, too. Once we realized that, we stuck to the cheaper wine and basic cocktails, like well rum and coke, lol. We noticed that pretty much every time we got 2 glasses of wine with dinner, the total was $21-25, including the gratuity. So pretty much every trip to the bar was at least $10 per drink. Next cruise we take will hopefully have a decent priced alcohol package!
  11. Yeah, that is a little higher. That's a crazy price though. FYI I just looked at my invoice and I paid $14.34 for my chocolate martini a couple weeks ago. That was on POA. Also I have no experience with drink packages. The OP asked for prices of drinks and I gave a range, but maybe that's not helpful if pricing is different on different ships!
  12. That I'm not sure of. I'm going to say no since we are big wine drinkers too and I feel like we'd have gotten a wine package if we could have, but my husband did most of the planning so I can't say for sure. I know you can bring your own wine for a fee of $15 per bottle, but we decided not to do that.
  13. Confused on the service charge? How so? Did I mix up the terminology? Maybe I meant to say gratuity. This was my first cruise (hence the 10 posts...), so I apologize if I don't have all the terms correct. But yes, please do not quote me. I'm pretty sure that drink was about $15, but I guess there's a chance I'm off on that. Regardless, my point still stands. Most drinks on the ship we were on were $10-14, with a few slightly less or more.
  14. That one might have been $15. Not any more than that, though. That was two weeks ago. Also, the ship I was on didn't have an unlimited beverage package so we paid the whole price, meaning I wasn't worried about up charges so I did not realize the exact amount was crucial. It's why I gave a range, since we got a whole lot of different drinks on the ship. That was the most expensive one, but I'm pretty sure it was $15 at most.
  15. What?? We just got off this cruise and now they offer this? Lol. But I have to say, I'm not sure how great a deal it is. Dh and I drink a decent amount, especially on vacation, and I think we spent about $900 combined on alcohol on the ship. Granted, on this cruise, you're at port more than you're on the ship, so we usually had breakfast on the ship, lunch and drinks somewhere at port, and then dinner and drinks once we got back to the ship. I'd say we each had 5-6 drinks a day on the ship (basically a few drinks walking around the ship and wine with dinner) and that amounted to about $100 per day for the two of us. So I'm not sure I'd pay $99 per day per person unless I planned to be on the ship most of the day (or just drank a lot at once!)
  16. I just got off an NCL ship a couple weeks ago and found that most drinks were around $10 each with the service charge. So plan on about that. I think the prices on the menu ranged from like $6.95 for beer to $10-14 for a decent mixed drink (captain and coke, white russian, chocolate martini, etc.) plus $1-2 for the service charge.
  17. I feel like this should be pretty easy. Last ship I was on had drains everywhere, and then of course there's the ocean...so draining the pool is probably the least of her worries. That being said, I'm not sure why she or her kid *have* to use the pool during the cruise. I probably just wouldn't, in this case. We didn't use it at all on our cruise, and we had no little ones with us! We just swam at the beach instead.
  18. Yeah, basically. News yes, local channels no.
  19. They do have news channels, just can't remember which ones since it was all background noise to me. I feel like msnbc was one. They didn't have many channels so we didn't bother with the TV much.
  20. We just got back from a cruise last week and went to specialty dinners 4 nights. Cagney's twice--I got the surf and turf filet mignon and shrimp both times and it was so good! Moderno once--the salad bar and meats are all so good. Be prepared to be super full here! We were joking that we had the meat sweats after trying like 8 types of meat here. Finally had to throw in the towel before all the meat was brought out, and I swear I needed someone to roll me back to my room. Finally, we went to the Bistro last. I got the Coq Au Vin and it was really good. I'll be honest and say I probably would have enjoyed it more if I wasn't kind of drunk by then, so maybe take it easy on the pre-dinner drinks so you can really taste it, lol. But yeah, I think Cagney's was the best, though you really can't go wrong with the others we tried.
  21. Good luck! We are sailing Saturday and I got the response late this morning, so you do have some time to wait, lol. I just started checking on the bid maybe 2 weeks ago since I had heard it can take until 48 hours before the cruise to get an answer, and that was exactly right in our case.
  22. We bid just over the minimum offer for a balcony from an oceanview on the POA cruise and didn't get it. Oh well, I know that's a ship you're not on much since there's a port every day, so it's not a huge deal I guess.
  23. Thanks for the review and pics! My husband and I going on this cruise next week and we can't wait. We've never been to Hawaii or on a cruise so it will be interesting!
  24. My husband and I are on day 12 of Whole30 since we have about 30 days til our cruise. This is our 3rd or 4th time doing Whole30 in the last 1.5 years and we usually lose about 10 lbs each. It's hard to stick to it, especially when we go out, but we'd love to look and feel better on the cruise!
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