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About coyboy1971

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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    Washington, DC
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    Adopted greyhounds, wine, cooking, reading, travel.
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  1. The secret to NCL pizza: Get it in La Cucina. It’s a completely different product of much higher quality. If you don’t want to use your specialty dining on La Cucina and opt for the buffet, it helps to have the beverage package and be in the mindset of a drunk college student buying pizza sitting in a case under a light at a gas station at 3 a.m.
  2. The Pearl is a lovely ship, and got the full “Edge” treatment in 2017. https://www.ncl.com/press-releases/norwegian-pearl-shines-shipwide-enhancements The Pearl has a Haven, the Sun does not. If you’re not planning to splurge on a suite in the Haven, the main difference will be in the size of the ship, with the Pearl having more and bigger public spaces. While the Pearl is a large ship by any means, it’s not a mega ship, and is now in the middle of the NCL fleet, whereas the Sun is smaller. To me, the entire Jewel class (Jade, Pearl, Gem, Jewel) are the perfect size and range of amenities for most NCL cruises, and I have chosen them consistently over the larger and smaller NCL ships when a similar itinerary is being offered. That being said, I have always sailed in a Haven suite except on the Star and the POA which don’t offer the Haven.
  3. We were in an Owner's Suite with Large Balcony (13500) last summer. I can say this is simply the largest balcony I have ever seen on a cruise ship. It's forward facing on the port side (best viewing of the Na Pali coast) and was a great base of operations for hosting family gatherings for those in more affordable cabins. Since the POA does not have a Haven, we found that having the huge balcony was like having our own Haven... maybe better. We had several breakfasts and lunches out there, and one amazing cocktail party that our Butler planned perfectly for the Na Pali coast. The DOS balcony is smaller, but to the OPs question, the pull-out sofa appears to be the same. This is a really nice sized sofa that seats 3 adults comfortably. Given the size of the sofa, I would think it pulls out to more of a queen size bed. I think it would sleep 2 people. You can read more about our experience here:
  4. My favorite dinner was in La Cucina. The decor felt fresh and service was great. I really enjoyed the burrata and tomatoes to start, and the gamberi fra diavalo was delicious. This was paired with a crisp white wine I definitely want to track down called a Greco di Tufo.
  5. Both the Hollywood show (which is a tribute to the golden era of Hollywood musicals) and the Las Vegas show are great musical reviews if you like that sort of thing. They both run about 45 minutes. I'm still humming Boom-Chica-Boom from the Carmen Miranda number.
  6. Totally understand about the need to be mid-ship - the good news is you'll be close to the only 2 elevators that go to deck 3 where the gangway will be all week. There was was no rhyme nor reason for our 2+ hour dinners. From as early as 5:30 and 6:00 pm in Cagney's and Liberty to as late as 7:30 pm in La Cucina, it seemed like the kitchen was slow... long gaps between courses. The food was very very good and nicely plated. I did note that several assistant waiters were training during the week. The one exception was the Bistro. We had a very nice 3 course dinner and bottle of wine with top notch unrushed service. We sat down at 7:15 pm and were scraping the chocolate off our dessert plates at 8:15 pm and caught the show that night at 8:30 pm without any problem. Courses came out promptly and were nicely presented.
  7. Happy Birthday! Sounds like you will have s great time.
  8. They have lei making classes around 4:15 pm in the Mardis Gras lounge each day. (Pro tip: grab a coffee or drink and take it with you, because the bar in the lounge will be closed). One day they make kukui nut leis, which you can take home to the US mainland with you, one day they make orchid leis, which will last perhaps to the end of the cruise with some TLC, and one day they make ribbon leis which can also be taken home. All the classes are included and their is no additional fee. For a seafood lunch near the pier in Kona: 1. Fish Hopper has great Hawaiian style fusion cuisine similar to a Roy's. Their dessert tray and tiki drink lists are fantastic. I love their local monchong and ono. 2. Kona Canoe Club is a great spot for fish & chips, calamari sandwiches, and fish sandwiches. If they are serving hebi or shutome on the fish sandwich, go for it. Great beer list. 3. Daylight Mind Coffee company is a place where I eat like 2-3 times a month. You can enjoy great coffee and get some beans to take home, and they have a rotating fresh catch specials. It's very farm to table with every ingredient sourced locally when possible. All three of these are walkable from the pier and have great views of the POA sitting in Kailua bay.
  9. My experience in the past has been that if I keep the family members traveling together at check in when I go to the suite check-in and ask politely after I've checked in my suite, the NCL people are usually pretty nice about it. I make sure I'm not showing up right at noon when there's a big bottleneck of people and things are a bit calmed down from the initial rush when I've done this. However, once on board I think you'll find that they will only allow the people staying in the suite to do breakfast and lunch in Cagney's since that's a benefit paid for in the suite fare, while they may be more flexible in letting the family sit together in the suite seating in the theater if space is available and you politely ask your Butler if your family can sit with you.
  10. Porters are abundant at Pier 2 and if you have pre-tagged your bags (print your bag tags at home when you check in online and print your e-docs), the porter will take them directly to the baggage check in and you will see them next when they are delivered to your cabin. I am not a big fan of Honolulu taxicabs for many reasons and past experiences. I used Blacklane to arrange transfers to and from the pier, and the service was outstanding. (Hotel to pier and pier to airport.)
  11. At embarkation and check in, there is a VIP check in area for suite guests, clearly marked with signs. The concierge will greet you and you will be escorted aboard when you complete check in. On POA Cagney's steakhouse is open only to suite guests at breakfast and lunch with a special menu. The concierge will make the rounds during these meal times to check on you. There is reserved premium seating in the theater for suite guests, and the butlers and concierge will act as ushers to escort you to this area. They do release these seats a few minutes before curtain time. There is not a concierge lounge on POA nor is there reserved pool seating.
  12. Georgia LeGendre, our amazing butler, serving dessert from Cagney's in our suite (13500). Dinner in the specialties was averaging 2 hours, so this was a great way to take a break, see the second evening show, and have dessert at our leisure.
  13. I think your at the breakeven point with the package as long as you stick to some of the lower end wines by the glass. Think Stonecap Chardonnay. My better half and I are like you and we found that POA had some really good wines by the bottle and tended to go more in that direction. It also gave us a lot more to choose from, since the list of wines by the glass was more limited and we tended to choose ones in the $14-18 per glass range anyway because we were in vacation mode and it was my birthday.
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