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About POHherewecome!

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  1. POHherewecome!

    Best luau in Honolulu?

    We did the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) laua, mainly because it was so widely recommended on sites likes this as the main one to do. We did the Alii Luau package and I must say the food was not that good. They also don't allow alchohol there, if that's an issue for you. I suppose it depends if you are there for just the food or a wider experience - the culteral experience and the Horizons Show afterwards. You visit Polynesian villages and gain insight to how people live. Its very educational. You see how the Polynesians made fire, opened coconuts, made their homes, clothing, fought wars etc etc. The Horizons Show shows fire dances and dances from different Polynesian cultures like New Zealand, Tonga etc. The PPC is about an hour's drive from Honolulu, so its quite a business to get there and back. I think its a whole day event, not just a laua. Other lauas may be more of just a dinner and show event - just the evening event.
  2. POHherewecome!

    Child traveling with only 1 parent in Hawaii

    Dont know if this will help you, but here's my experience. I booked a cruise online for me and my daughter, 11, on the POH in January. We live in Australia. My husband had to work and couldn't come. At no time at all do I recall being asked any questions about custodial rights or anything by the cruiseline or customs, or anywhere. We just arrived in Hawaii, boarded the ship and it never came up as an issue.
  3. POHherewecome!

    POH Review - Jan 15-22

    Apparently they use very strong ionizers machines
  4. POHherewecome!

    Maui transportaion to Lahaina

    It would be great if NCL/POH extended the return times for those doing the "Lahaina on your own" excursion to accomodate all those who want to do the laua in Lahaina. It would boost the popularity of this excursion.
  5. POHherewecome!

    Polynesian Cultural Center - pkg choice

    Just to add that we did the $80 package. The food at the lau was pretty ordinary - dried out buffet. Don't do it if you are doing just doing it for the lau.
  6. POHherewecome!

    POH - General Dress

    We were on the POH in January. The dress code was very casual. Even on the formal night, most people weren't too dressed up.
  7. POHherewecome!

    1st Cruise/POH/Excursions/June

    We did the "Volcanoes National Park" excursion through the POH in January. Basically, I chose it coz visiting the "Volcanoes National Park" or VNP really comes up as a top "must do" on this island, wherever you look. But it was really good and we found it very interesting. It was fun to walk through the lava tube and see all the craters etc. You dont see any fresh molten lava and yes, you can really feel like you are being herded like cattle on some of these excursions. But if the VNP is a top must do, this is one of the better ways to see it. Being from Australia we didn't want to hire a car and risk the stress of driving on the other side of the road. That said, hiring a car wont be that much cheaper if there are just two of you - that's if your credit card or what ever doesn't help you with insurance. That insurance really adds to your costs. The added bonus of being on a tour is the guide's commentary - something you wont get on your own. The Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory is really a touristy experience that I could have done without - maybe because am from Australia which is a major producer of Macadamia nuts. We also had a surprise stopover at an Orchid nursery on the way back. At first, I thought the guide must have been paid extra something to bring a busload of shoppers there, but I must say we unexpectedly enjoyed this stopover and looking at the beautiful varieties of orchids. I'd say that overall, I am really happy we did this excursion. We didn't do much when we came back although I did save the following from somewhere about what to do in the port of Hilo: A good walk from the ship: Leave the pier heading (right) into town and cutting across Hilo Bay at the very first opportunity (first through street on your right). Cross over to Banyon Drive and then leisurely walk the length of Banyon Drive stopping where ever you want. The hotels all have stores in them and Uncle Billie's Hilo Bay Hotel has tons of Hawaiian treasures for sale. Once you pass the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, you will enter a lush park known as Queen Liliuokalani Gardens. The Japanese Gardens are absolutely beautiful and you can spend hours here among the pools, gardens and Bonsai trees. If a swim or snorkel is in your plans, take the small bridge over to Coconut Island where you will find small pools with sand bottoms and excellent snorkeling. Continue your walk through the park and up the street past the fish market. If you are there in the morning, this is where giant tuna from the Pacific are auctioned to the highest bidder and the prices may surprise you. From here continue up the street until you hit the main road leading into downtown Hilo. If you happen to be here on a Wednesday or Saturday, you will see the Hilo Farmer's market in progress and this is well worth a stop. Continue into downtown Hilo and enjoy Hilo's many small boutiques, shops and restaurants. Take a taxi back to the ship (you may have to call for one and wait) or simply walk back the same way you came.
  8. POHherewecome!

    Hawaii excursions

    There's plenty of time. The helicopter rides are usually about an hour - but you need time to get to the helicopter company and back - I'd say the whole thing would not take longer than 2 1/2 hours. I am sorry we didn't do our helicopter tour on the second day - doing it on the first day kind of messed up that day, because we didn't hire a car.
  9. POHherewecome!

    Polynesian Cultural Center - pkg choice

    We booked the $80 package. As part of this, we were picked up at the Marriott at 10:30 AM on the day (our hotel was across the street). On the bus, the guide offered us the $10 upgrade ($5 for children) to become part of his tour that day. About 30 people on the bus took up his offer, so it was a big group but worth every penny, because there’s so much to see and so little time. He gave us a running commentary throughout and knew when the better shows started. Those who wanted to do this paid the $10 at a special kiosk after we arrived and got a sticker with the guide’s name on it. It was raining heavily that day so it would have been much harder on our own, but it appeared that this guided tour was a regular thing that happened. I can't say if it happens on a 12.30 pick up. Perhaps its better to get the 10.30 pick up, coz as I said, there's so much to see. I don't think we saw most of it. It really is an all day thing. It takes around an hour to get there and the lau that we did started at around 5pm. So on the 12.30 pickup, you'd only have 3 1/2 hours to see some of the highlights. Its a big place and it takes time to get around. What we particularly enjoyed was the guy (from Tonga, I think) who showed us how to open a coconut from scratch and how to make fire from a few sticks. This was interesting in itself, but he was particularly entertaining. Hope my comments help!
  10. POHherewecome!

    POH Review - Jan 15-22

    Yes, beacchick I can attest that it was an extremely unusual story with the poor dear shaking like a leaf for the whole time that she related it.
  11. POHherewecome!

    POH Review - Jan 15-22

    BTW: I'm just loving getting questions. Its keeping my holiday alive for longer - a great distraction from work.
  12. POHherewecome!

    POH Review - Jan 15-22

    I'm not sure how you enter the contest. It seemed that a lot of the contestants had been hanging out in the Karaoke lounge during the week. The quality of the 10 contestants was mostly very good which may suggest that they were screened before hand - cant tell. Most of the contestants on our cruise were singers, but one did a hula dance and a much older lady related the somewhat unusual (but funny) tale of how she was left with a boob stuck in a mamogram machine during a fire. The contest was judged by four POH staff members and the prize was a free cruise. It wasn't hard to predict winner. The audience had given him a standing ovation after his performance. With a name like Bluessisters, do I detect some talent hiding in the wings?
  13. I've just written a review of our recent POH cruise. We actually had a ball and would do it again, but my review may have sounded a bit negative. I think it may be because of some of the following reasons: 1. I was trying to make it useful to others, so I focused on those types of areas. Also, if you point things out, the ship line can do something about it. 2. We tend to take a lot of things for granted in life. 3. The one or two negative things that happen make a bigger impression on our minds than all the good. Many reviews start with "we had a great time" and then people add a few "buts" and gripes - and then these gripes get much more word space than the good. 4. A review is a "critique", so I suppose people take a critical stance before they start. The funny thing was that I thought I wasn't a demanding or spoilt traveler. When I read the negative comments about the POH and our Honolulu hotel before we left, I thought none of those things would worry me personally. I also thought my expectations weren't that high, so I would be pleasantly surprised. Still, I had a number of gripes. Being a new ship, NCL has a few items to iron out on the POH. But really, we picked up our cruise at a great price. As you point out, given that meals were included and we were on a moving hotel that dropped us on the door step of most of Hawaii's highlights, I'd say we got a fantastic and unbeatable deal and chose one of the best ways to see Hawaii, given our budget and time limits. Hotels in Hawaii are IMO rather expensive. I would probably have visited only one or two Islands on my own and not have seen as much as we did. I'd be interested to hear from others who have read reviews of other cruise lines and other ships as to how many negative reviews they typically get - the human nature factor. But at the end of day, the cruise is what you make of it. You can either let elevator problems, an unexciting buffet or one unhelpful staff member ruin it for you, or you can move on and continue to enjoy yourself. Something will go wrong no matter what cruise line or ship you are on!!!
  14. POHherewecome!

    POH Review - Jan 15-22

    Come to think of it, we never saw our cabin steward the entire trip, but he/she did respond in writing to my child's post-its on how much she loved the towel animals.
  15. POHherewecome!

    POH Review - Jan 15-22

    I didn't realise that there were no non-smoking cabins or that you could use ionizers machines to clear the room. You live and learn! It was just very bad on the day we embarked and my child, the drama queen, made a huge fuss about it. (I think its because someone had been smoking in the toilet and maybe it doesn't have the same ventilation as the rest of the cabin). But after that, it went away and we never thought about it.