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coyboy1971

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About coyboy1971

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Kailua Kona, Hi
  • Interests
    Adopted greyhounds, cooking, reading, travel.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Azamara, NCL, RSVP
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Santorini

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Happy Birthday! Sounds like you will have s great time.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.)
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. I usually had 3-4 bars of 4G or better in port, and at sea it varied from decent enough coverage for texting to one bar of 1x coverage on my AT&T phone. You should be able to get by most days without using a lot of minutes on a WiFi package. We did use the NCL app on board which is free on the WiFi for booking restaurants a couple of times and booking a shore excursion. Never tried the messaging feature.
  12. You will enjoy the Brewery. It's a bit uphill from the pier, which means a cold one will taste good. If they have it and you like coffee flavors, be sure to try the Black Sand porter. It's like a Guinness meets a Starbucks cold brew. Yum! I would suggest you stroll Ali'i Drive from the pier, south toward Huggo's and back again. There are lots of shops, galleries, and restaurants to explore. Something right near the pier that's a very special historical place where you can see what life was like in the Kingdom before the overthrow and annexation is Huliheʻe Palace.
  13. Just completed the June 15-22, 2019 Pride of America Hawaii cruise... feel free to ask me anything while my memory is fresh. The ship is still in great shape from it's 2016 refurbishing. In fact, all of the bedding has just been replaced, and it's soooooo comfortable. (The crew bedding was also being replaced and upgraded on our cruise, and the crew was very happy about that.) The crew were exceptional, with excellent service from start to finish. On port days, the ship empties out and you will get completely spoiled if you stay aboard. I enjoyed a nice Spa and pool day, and it felt like I was on a much smaller, posh ship. We splurged on a massive owner's suite, 13500, which was enormous and felt very luxe with all the relatively new furniture and the muted "Norwegian Edge" beige tones fused with some tasteful Hawaiian touches. The balcony was even more expansive, with 4 sun lounge chairs with thick pads, a table for 5, and 2 more chairs with side tables. This port side, forward facing suite was perfect for viewing the Na Pali coast, and our absolutely fantastic butler, Georgia, made sure we had a big spread of snacks and wine so our family traveling with us could all come up and enjoy the views. In fact, Georgia frequently timed her appearances to escort us to dinner, and would take our dessert orders to be served later in the suite, so we would not miss the shows in the evening. She also expedited us to the front of the line for the tendering at Kona, and just wowed us more than any butler we have experienced on NCL or any other line. She was definitely our "cruise hero" and I can say many other wonderful things about Christopher, the very amiable and ever present Concierge, and Jenny, the CruiseNext/Latitudes representative who took me and my dad and 13 year old nephew on a private behind the scenes tour of the ship (another Platinum perk). Some of the things I enjoyed most took place around 4 p.m. each day - lei making classes were a lot of fun and they didn't skimp on the supplies. Origami folding was challenging and satisfying. Hula classes were fun to watch. Cooking demonstrations were fascinating. Keep an eye on your daily for these. The dress code in the evenings was very relaxed. The only place we saw it being followed was in Jefferson's Bistro, which was nice, because it preserved the elegant atmosphere and the top notch service. This was also our first time experiencing our free dinner and bottle of wine in the Bistro as a Platinum perk, and the list of complimentary wines was surprisingly comprehensive and included many bottles that would retail over $20 at a wine shop. The Liberty dining room was supposed to have the same dress code as the Bistro, but we saw people every night in shorts, t-shirt, sweat pants, you name it. Every other venue was this way, and you saw everything from adults in nice Hawaiian shirts and sun dresses to dressy dinner attire to raggedy tee shirts and short shorts. Hawaii is very casual, but this was more like college beach town on spring break casual. We also enjoyed dinners at Cagney's and La Cecina, which were slow paced but high quality. Allow a good two hours if you are doing 3-4 courses. Disembarking was a snap, with easy walk-off. The terminal is very nice, but DO NOT arrive early for check in unless you like sitting around. We used Blacklane to arrange our transfers to and from the ship, and their drivers know the processes and terminal very well. You know those NCL cruises where you are shocked at the end to find out there are 750 kids on board? Not this one... you will experience their presence in abundance when the ship is not in port if you are sailing while American kids are on summer break. The POA just isn't set up for sea time like other ships. This is very family oriented cruise, and there were lots of times when kids were running around Cagney's like sugared-up banshees during the suite guest breakfast and lunch times, or teens roaming the ship in the evenings with dripping soft serve cones, or thundering around the sun deck on deck 14 at 10 p.m. If you're an older couple celebrating your special anniversary, bear this in mind. Some people like having to wade through a pack of 5-8 year olds dressed as pirates on a scavenger hunt while trying to walk to dinner, others might find this a bit much. On a practical note, if you are traveling from outside of North America, most of the electrical outlets are the US 110v style. Our suite had one European style 220 outlet. Since its a port heavy trip, you will have good cellular/wireless service from Verizon and AT&T on board except for overnight and the last day. Kona and Kauai have easy access (walkable) to beaches, shopping and restaurants, but Maui and Hilo are container ports and you will need to take a shuttle or taxi if you are not on an excursion. Hope this is helpful... I would definitely recommend this ship and itinerary to families who want to sample the four main Hawaiian Islands and to couples who don't mind having lots of kids and families around them.
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