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  1. we eat whole food plant based and while I can not control the way the food is cooked etc I at least need to eat Vegan. I don't want salads the whole time. is dining in dining room going to be an option?
  2. Hi all, sorry if I posted this in the wrong place.. I couldn't find a thread with the same topic.. new cruiser here! So.. I'm hyper confused about the documentation we need to bring for Pride of America and a bit anxious because the cruise is in almost 2 months. I know for US citizens the driver's license is enough but I've read that you also need to bring a second photo ID? And also I have 3 non-citizens in my party, 2 of them with residency and one in the process of residency (but will have a valid government issued photo ID in time for the cruise but maybe not the green card yet). Everybody is currently in the US so nobody needs a passport but I would like to know if: A) its true that you need a second photo ID to board B) what would that second ID be for non-citizens (with expired passports.. also) Thanks! Btw I contacted NCL online and thats where my confusion started because they said we do need to bring passports but it doesn't seem right because its a US cruise with only US ports so its always national... so I started to google around and found out about the second ID and things got crazy! lol I need an expert!
  3. KeithJenner

    Pride of America review

    Hi. It’s Monday morning and we are in Maui on the POA. I’m not doing a live review as such this time, but I thought I would just make a few notes as we go. Firstly, I have to say that I really like this ship. The layout is a bit different from the other NCL ships and there are some quirks, such as not being able to access the deck 6 MDR from that deck (you have to use the aft stairs or walk out onto the promenade deck to get to it). As expected, the ship itself appears very quiet. The ship is in port a lot and the bars are very quiet as people are resting after busy days ashore. The fact that very few people have the UBP also means that people are spending less time there. We spent three nights in Honolulu pre cruise. We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, which I believe NCL sometimes use for people who book accommodation through them. It was very nice. We used the bus to get to Pearl Harbour which was really easy. We caught it from just outside the hotel (number 42 bus) and it took about 45 minutes to get there. Coming back was about an hour as the traffic was busier. Based on our taxi from the airport as the same time the previous day, that was probably about 20-25 minutes longer than a taxi would take. The cost was $5.50 each return compared to about $100 return in a taxi. The Arizona memorial is still closed at the moment (with no sign that I could see that it will reopen soon ). It was still worth reserving a place though, as the boat takes you right out to it. Yesterday in Maui we hired a car from Dollar. The shuttle bus was prompt (and make a journey specifically for us on our return, which I though was excellent service as I was expecting a wait). We drove up to the top of Haleakalā Crater and then a little way along the Hana Highway after stopping in Pa’ia for some lunch. There were lots of places to eat there, and we also stopped at Twin Falls, about 10 miles along the highway. Well worth a stop but don’t risk the toilets. That section of the Hana Highway is very easy driving. I believe there are a lot of sharp bends etc as you go further along. Overall it was a great day. We are having a rest day today, although I am planning to go out for a walk later. Onboard, we have the dining package as well as our platinum meals, so have meals booked in speciality restaurants on 5 nights. We have done Moderno and Teppenyaki so far. We have been to both of these many times before, but I thought the food in Teppenyaki was the best we have ever had there. Moderno was also above average, and the location (at the back of the buffet overlooking the aft seating area was quite good for sail away as we could see Honolulu as we sailed away. I’ve read mixed comments about the staff, but we have found them to be very good so far. The bar service has been a little slow a couple of times (not a problem, but a bit slower than we are used to on NCL), although one of those times was because the bar was filling up for trivia. We particularly like the Gold Rush Saloon in the evening (although they were doing karaoke last night so we didn’t hang around). The Napa wine bar outside Cagneys is good for a pre meal drink and seems to always be very quiet. Anyway, that’s it for now. I don’t know how often I will report back in, but feel free to ask any questions and I will see what I can do. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. Ok, so I'm confused and hoping the very knowledgeable folks here will be able to clarify for me. For sailings on the Pride of America, is alcohol included with the "Hawaii Beverage Package" (up to $15) or not? I know the rules were changed for sailings starting in 2019, but still can't clarify if alcohol is included. When I booked my upcoming sailing just last night, the cruise consultant and I were joking about needing to have the free alcohol package and at no point did he say that alcohol was excluded on the POA sailings. On the details page from NCL's website though, it specifically does not state that alcohol IS included. So now I'm confused, and concerned that I've promised my other 3 travelers something that isn't there. "Enjoy a wide selection of beverages including fountain soda, juice, and non-alcoholic beer up to and including $15 USD during your entire cruise."
  5. I have still got to finish my POA review, and will do so when I get chance, but before then I thought I would just post the reviews from our cruise last month (11th August). I hope these links work. Day 1: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0exu3s4ti6btlkx/POA%20Day%201.pdf?dl=0 Day 2: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hz21tf0kanh52f9/POA%20Day%202.pdf?dl=0 Day 3: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ggb0ziyrdu3beks/POA%20Day%203.pdf?dl=0 Day 4: https://www.dropbox.com/s/w9i338iheodixp8/POA%20Day%204.pdf?dl=0 Day 5: https://www.dropbox.com/s/q97969si6xx0xcw/POA%20Day%205.pdf?dl=0 Day 6: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ad3qsonta1pvyhi/POA%20Day%206.pdf?dl=0 Day 7 (and disembarkation): https://www.dropbox.com/s/bmqvoezarn27o73/POA%20Day%207.pdf?dl=0
  6. Hello, I'm hoping to receive some help in picking a cabin for a future cruise on the Pride of America. I'm planning a trip to Hawaii in 2020 and looking to get some insight on which suite cabin to choose. Currently, I am considering either the Owner's Suite or Deluxe Owner's Suite. I might consider other types of suites on the ship but that will be based on your input and what you tell me about your experiences in those suites. I am hoping that past cruisers that have actually stayed in these type of cabins will come forward and give what they consider their "pros and cons" for why they picked the cabin they had and what they would have done differently in hindsight. Let me know things about why you picked the suite on a particular floor (good & bad). I'm trying to get a feel for things to consider for when I finally make a decision on the actual cruise I choose. Generally, I am hoping to get a wide range of feedback about what was enjoyable for you, what did you not like (and why), and what would you do differently knowing what you now know about cruising on the Pride of America. As a bit of background, I have sailed on NCL 3 times previously... 1 time on the Pearl and 2 times on the Epic. In all cases, I sailed in a 2 bedroom Villa in the Haven. There will only be two of us at the current time, but that could change. Okay, I look forward to hearing from you. :)
  7. I see there is no all inclusive drink package. Is there a specialty dining package available? On their website it seems to only let me book each restaurant individually. Thanks!
  8. Hello, Everyone! My husband's family is planning a family reunion vacation on the Pride of America in the fall of 2019. It's a medium sized group of about 20 people including some young kids. I haven't found very many posts about travelers with toddlers on this particular ship, so does anyone have some reviews of Guppies or port activities that would be good for toddlers? The youngest little cousins will be, at the time of travel: a 15 month old, then a 2.5 year old, and an almost 3 year old. There are some kindergartners and older kids as well. Also, we recently sailed on Carnival and they had a messaging system inside their app that used ships WiFi and it was fantastic for communicating with everybody in our travel group. Is there anything like that for NCL or will be soon? If not, what has worked best for communicating with a large group? The last time I sailed on NCL we didn't have kids, so anything at all would be super helpful while I'm in these early planning stages. Thanks in advance!
  9. Has anyone ever taken their own snorkel equipment when sailing on the Pride of America. We have cars rented for Honolulu precruise, Maui, and Kauai. Thought it might be nice to have the equipment in the car while exploring but wondered if it would be better to rent equipment as we go. We are flying first class so can take plenty of luggage and are in a suite so storage on the ship isn't an issue but at the same time don't want to take it if not much a chance to use it. Any snorkeling thoughts appreciated.
  10. Has anyone ever taken their own snorkel equipment when sailing on the Pride of America. We have cars rented for Honolulu precruise, Maui, and Kauai. Thought it might be nice to have the equipment in the car while exploring but wondered if it would be better to rent equipment as we go. We are flying first class so can take plenty of luggage and are in a suite so storage on the ship isn't an issue but at the same time don't want to take it if not much a chance to use it. Any snorkeling thoughts appreciated.
  11. Colorfulco2

    Beach in Kona from the Pride of America

    Hi all, we are going to be on the Pride of America and are considering 2 beaches, Kahaluu Beach Park (would need to Uber there), or King Kam beach area (walking distance) . Does anyone know the Uber approx. price and is it worth the price or is the King Kam Beach just as good for snorkeling?
  12. Here is a question about NCL Pride of America, which does a lovely circuit around the Hawaiian Islands each week, starting and ending in Honolulu. Would NCL allow us to board the ship at the first port stop, which is Kahului, Maui? We had wanted to explore in Maui for a few days before the cruise. If we could board there for the cruise, we'd save the time and money we'd expend to make the trip to Honolulu for embarkation, only to sail right back to Maui the next day! Tonight I called NCL to ask this question, and was transferred to someone who said NO right off the bat. When I asked why, the explanation was that would be a violation of the Passenger Vessel Services Act and subject to stiff fine. But when I looked up this law on Wikipedia, I learned that it applies to foreign-flagged vessels stopping in US ports. It turns out that the Pride of America is a US-flagged vessel, possibly the only one in the NCL fleet. So now I am wondering if maybe our proposal would NOT be a violation of this law after all, and while I am no lawyer, if there might be a way to board in Maui, if we could work this out with the right people at NCL. Does anyone have any related experience or know of someone who has done this?
  13. Hi all, We will be renting a car in Maui when we dock at Kahului. Does anyone know what time the POA docks and what time you can get off the ship? We need to book a car but I'm not sure what time to make the pickup time. Thanks in advance.
  14. I'm taking my 3 older sisters (their average age is 52) on their very first cruise this coming March. I have tried to explain that even though it is a smaller older ship by today's standards, how enormous it will be with more things to do then they will have time to experience. I was hoping someone had some recent Freestyle Guides from this particular ship so I could share with them the types of daily activities and how each night they will get a chance to decide what they want to do the next day. If anyone has some pictures they could share, that would be great. Thanks! Joshua
  15. I’ve just heard a rumour that our ship, the pride of America, which we are due to board today is delaying its departure from Honolulu by 24 hours - now leaving 7.pm on the 23rd. I have booked through a UK travel agent, closed due to time difference, have received no phone call, email etc. Is anybody else more in the know? Thank you
  16. I had an open mind when I boarded the Pride of America on December 29th. My husband and 11 year old daughter were delighted by the general ambiance of the ship. Having read many, many reviews on cruise critic, I was fully prepared to withhold all judgment until experiencing it myself. I also did not telegraph my research findings with my family. When we boarded, we all anticipated a positive experience, but our day-to-day actual experiences left a lot to be desired. The cabin was small, but that was expected. What was not expected was the lingering offensive odor of varnish or paint that washed over us as we rested in the cabin late afternoons and overnight. Not sure where the odor originated but it caused significant nausea issues. The barely-operable toilet was a problem from day one. By the third day, we were all using public restrooms on a regular basis because the flush in our cabin restroom was completely unreliable. That was frustrating for three people and particularly for a pre-teen who has privacy concerns. This plumbing situation is a chronic problem for the entire ship, having read legions of postings about the toilet problems on the Pride of America. By week's end, most of the public restrooms had out of order signs in them. The food was pretty mediocre. We've been on a number of cruises, and honestly, our family is very easy to please. On the Pride of America we were always able to find something on the buffet that was passable: oatmeal and toast at breakfast, a hamburger on the deck if we were around for lunch, and a salad for dinner was generally palatable. The dining room food in Skyline and Liberty was sub-par. Presentation could never compensate for the poor quality of the food. We didn't mind the miserly portions as we don't generally over-eat at dinner anyway. But really, we think NCL misses the mark overall on its dining offerings. The Teppenyaki dinner was very well presented, but the food here was less than appetizing. Our chef was funny, but he was way, way too heavy handed with the garlic. It ruined the entire meal. The John Adams coffee bar was staffed by a very capable woman who we really appreciated. The coffee there was okay, much better than that served in any of the dining rooms. But paying for it was painful after having spent a significant chunk of money for this cruise. Our daughter enjoyed very much the Kid's Splash Academy. She rushed there immediately upon finishing her evening meal and stayed until the last possible moment (usually 10:15 pm). The staff at the Splash Academy was very energetic, upbeat, and hard working. They made up a lot for her lousy dining experience. She literally ate toast and bacon every morning because her preferred food choices were terribly prepared at breakfast. Thank goodness for fresh fruit, which was fine. We grabbed snacks and water at Whole Foods in Maui, which was a Godsend. And by the way, we were not banned from bringing on a case of sparkling water when we returned from shore. We didn't try to hide it, we simply carried it through security and on board and nobody said a word about it. We paid a premium for internet service that did not deliver with any consistency. I feel like we should have asked for a refund because it was so spotty, and when it did connect, it was unreasonably slow. It sounds to me like this is a continuing problem for NCL across the line. The NCL "upgrade" program is positively sinister. Why do you "invite" guests to upgrade on a sold out cruise, dangling the possibility of suite accommodations to magically appear 48 hours before sailing. I communicated with our personal cruise consultant on the telephone and by email multiple times begging him to put us on a waitlist for a suite, and was simply told that it was a sold out cruise and not possible. We had in five different bids for last minute cancellations. NCL should not offer the upgrade bidding process on sold out cruises. It's really poor PR. None of us could figure out why on earth young children and babies are allowed in the hottubs. It was kind of ridiculous. The pool seating was pretty easily available, which was nice on arrival day. We didn't often use the pool except for the last day on Kauai, which was then jam packed onboard. The single "water aerobics" class was a total joke. The woman who "taught" it, was clueless about what water aerobic activity even means. 15 minutes long in total and it started 10 minutes late. She was completely incompetent and "taught" the class wearing long pants and a polo shirt and sneakers from the deck. They need to find someone who knows the meaning of water aerobics on future cruises. I think people would take a daily offering of that if it were given early in the morning by a real instructor. The Hawaii itinerary is lovely. We thought it was fun going to the different islands. This was the saving grace of the entire trip. We took two NCL shore excursions - Captain Zodiak snorkel and surf in Kona - it was awesome; and the Volcano Eruption Encounter in Hilo, which did not disappoint (although one of the guides from Arnotts (which was the tour operator NCL uses in in Hilo) was a horror show. We were so thankful not to have landed in her group!) Our guide was really good. Other shore excursions we booked on our own. Paddle On! Maui, is highly recommended. 2-hours of stand up paddleboard lessons at Makena Cove - what a treat! We rented a vehicle in Maui through TURO, an app that allows you to book a car through private owners. Fully insured, fantastic experience. Note to those looking for overnight parking in Kahuli: leave the car at Whole Foods/Longs Drugs overnight. Its free and a short walk to the ship. We had an aft facing balcony cabin and paid about $10,000 for this cruise. An exorbitant price for what amounted to pretty meager amenities. Can anyone give me one good reason to sail with NCL again after this experience? I welcome the opportunity to hear it.
  17. so we have an inside cabin and they did us a "favor" and upgraded us to deck 11 with the pool but its in front of ship. not sure I want this level and do I want the front of ship? sailing in month thinking of asking to go lower?
  18. Pride of America October 27 - November 3, 2018 Including Our Own Pre Cruise Stay & Tips, (and how we did it) for 10 Days for $3,500 per person including Air from the East Coast My wife and I are empty nesters both in our early sixties. We are pretty much just average folks who clip coupons, save our pennies, and squirrel away a little bit here and there so we can go on a vacation now and again. Hawaii has always been on our bucket list, but it seemed so far out of reach. So after a lot of research it did seem to be a possibility. Two years ago we purchased a NextCruise certificate, (we always do as we found it a useful and cost saving tool to cruise). Now we learned years ago on the in's and out's of being able to cruise on a budget. First of all if your never in your cabin other than to sleep and change, why spend all that money for a balcony when you can put the extra savings into the fun stuff. The Pride of America is a great way to see the Hawaiian Islands. Each island is so different from the other. No two islands are the same. As I said we never thought we would get there but this is how we did it. We live in New England and flights are rather tough to get and expensive from Boston. Having to change planes, making connections, decisions of nonstop or stop over flights can complicate one's plans. However, there is hope on the horizon. Hawaiian Airlines will be starting nonstop service five days a week from Boston's Logan Intl, to Honolulu starting April of 2019. This will become the longest domestic flight in the US. The good thing is you leave at 8:00 am and arrive at 2:00 pm HST, still leaving you time to unwind on your first day. If you don't mind stopping, starting, and and changing planes a couple of times Southwest will soon be starting flying to Honolulu from the west coast and will eventually offer inter island flights to Hilo and Kona, (on the big island) as well as Maui and Kauai. We flew United out of Providence Rhode Island, connecting at Newark/NYC to Honolulu, as to the previous mentioned flights have not started as of yet. We were unsure just how do this trip. We had originally thought about getting in the day before the cruise and spending a night in a hotel. Get up the next day and head to the ship, spend six and a half days and then after the cruise, head out to the airport and home. Well, it didn't take long to realize that our trip of a lifetime should be done right. We decided when we booked our Pride of America Cruise aboard, the NCL Dawn on a cruise to Bermuda that we would not take a vacation in 2017 and 2019 to pay for our little piece of paradise. Our first recommendation is don't listen to anyone!...yet. People mean well, however, It will blow your budget and your vacation sky high. Not knowing where to stay…?, "Oh you have to have“....a minimum of a 3 star, or a 4 star hotel?... Where to eat?... How to get around?... You have to do this... go there...STOP! The whole idea is to destress not get stressed. One of the things I learned was NCL offers a four day pre-cruise stay at a hotel in Waikiki so I looked into it and found out that really adds to the cost, and not to your benefit. We scouted out a lot, and I mean a lot of hotels. I had days when I had a good find, and then days when there were a not so good find. I found myself going in a vicious circle. Well being the age that I am, I have trouble dealing with new thing's I just don't trust. I still feel more comfortable placing a file into a grey metal cabinet than I do putting it into a folder and clicking an X. Then I found this new thing. It was midnight and I was just about to call it a day, (I should have about two hours earlier) when I came across a website for online vacation rental properties. I put in Waikiki and started looking. I couldn't believe what I was looking at. That was a game changer right then and there. I was able to get a full condo in Waikiki on the marina for five days for a price that was a little more than a day and a half at one of the major named hotels. Doing this it allowed us to extend our stay on Oahu by five days. Here's the kicker Honolulu greeted a lot of travelers with a Hotel Strike, leaving a lot of unhappy campers. Imagine 14 hours of travel only to have to lug your bags up to your room n the 21st floor. I am so glad that I came across that condo rental. I will never stay at a big name hotel resort again. Our condo was as good as any five star with NO resort fee. We made reservations to be picked up at the airport by Johnny Cab. They were there and waiting for us right outside the baggage claim. Johnny Cab charged $25 from the airport to the condo in Waikiki for the both of us. They even called to see how the trip went. We rented a car about a block away on Ala Moana and pre-paid for in and out parking for three days at a nearby parking garage. This allowed us to rent a car for 3 days and not have to return it to the airport, (we didn’t rent it for our first full day because we planned that as a beach day, again why pay for an extra day). All the pre planning we did worked out better than we thought. I wish I could take credit for the weather. The weather for our vacation left us with only a half a day of rain, (except for up in the mountains). Another great tool for finding your way around if your going to a place you have never been before is Google Earth. Long before we ever set foot on Oahu we had an idea of just what the neighborhood was like. It was great for getting your bearings. One thing we noticed was there was a Red Lobster and an Outback Steakhouse nearby. Now some may say you are in Hawaii why go there? The last thing we wanted to do after flying for 12 hours is to go find a supermarket and do food shopping. We had been up since 4:00 am east coast time. Time to sit down and regroup, no more, rushing through airports, you know the crash is coming. Across the Street was an ABC store. We picked up a few things for breakfast so we could get out and get going on Waikiki Beach our first day. That was what we did everyday a quick breakfast and off to somewhere. Some people start right in after landing and you can always spot them on the beach the next day, Zombies. TIP: For Christmas and Birthdays friends and family would ask us what we would like. We would tell people we would like a gift certificate for Red Lobster and Outback. It was a great way of getting a sit down meal and a drink after a long travel day. It made it simple and easy. One note Red Lobster adds the tip into the bill so don't fall into the tip trap and over tip! Check your receipts. Now sure you could do an Island tour, and there are many tour operators willing to take you to all the popular sites. We understand that some folks may prefer to take organized tours and that’s good. Shop around, prices can be very steep. The best way to see Oahu is by car. It also gives you more freedom to spend time at places, or find something off the beaten path. For example: you may find something that is on the North Shore and you may want to re-visit. The Boyodo Temple in the Valley of the Temples is a place not to be missed, and you don't want to be rushed or herded like cattle to get to the the next stop on schedule. Pearl Harbor is really worth the visit. The USS Arizona was sobering. The National Park Service, and the US Navy has done an excellent job. Another place that should be seen is the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island. They still have bullet holes in the windows from the December 7th, 1941 attack. TIP: If you are Handicapped and rent a car during your stay be sure to bring your handicapped placard with you. You will be entitled to all the privileges of your home state in Hawaii. On Maui and Kauai, your placard will allow you to park right at the port in the secure area where the ship is docked, Be sure you have your ship card, drivers license, and a photo ID for everyone in the vehicle when you approach the port security gate or you will be turned away. THE NCL PRIDE OF AMERICA This cruise was Our anniversary cruise. We learned long ago to work our way down from the very little extras that the cruise line offers when you have a suite or a balcony and put it into an inside cabin, (doing this little step allows us to cruise more often). This was our seventh cruise with NCL. Being from New England it used to mean if you wanted to cruise you had to cruise out of Miami for a caribbean cruise, or catch a cruise out of New York for Bermuda. As luck would have it NCL started doing seven day cruises to Bermuda out of Boston sometime around 2007. . We were bitten by the cruise bug on the first day of our first cruise. We enjoy cruising so much that we became latitudes members. Every cruise like clock work we know, and Norwegian Cruise Lines know, yes a future next cruise will be added to our bill. Anyone who has ever cruised before surely knows that once you set foot on the deck, you are on vacation. There is nothing else you can do about it but relax. Don't worry about your luggage it will be delivered to your cabin. Those who are new to cruising tend to have a quizzical look on their face as they explore the ship only to find people at the pool and with cocktails in hand, and wonder how is that possible when you can't get into your cabin. Don't worry about it...your on vacation. TIP: Put your bathing suit on before heading out to the ship for embarkation. Women can wear a fashionable wrap and guys can wear shorts that double as a bathing suit. The bars on the pool deck will be open and all you need is your ships keycard. On our first cruise in 2008 to Bermuda, all passengers were accosted by the obligatory pre-cruise picture with the guy in the dolphin suit as you made your way up the gangway. Only after setting foot on the promenade deck of the NCL Dream all passengers were greeted "Welcome Aboard" with a glass of champagne. On Wednesday night at 12:00 am in the main dining room did the chefs, sous-chefs and pastry chefs present their masterful epicurean delights of "The Midnight Chocolate Buffet". Much like the disappearing complimentary ships stationary and pen that once graced the desk top in your cabin, or the mint on your pillow, have all been banished to another place and time. Then came the Pride of America….. However, this time it was a little… a lot different. We bid a farewell to Our beloved condo and into the cab for the short 10 minute ride to Honolulu’s Pier 2. Entering the terminal was the easiest arrival for an embarkation we ever had. Once we entered and were checked by TSA, guest services were quick and easy. While waiting to be called to board, we were treated to a traditional Hawaiian dancing and music performance. The ladies were adorned with orchid laie’s and the gentlemen were bestowed with a necklace made from seashells. After about 40 minutes we were able to board. Now the ship sails at 7:00 pm but, again we like to get on board early so we can relax. The first day started off like our other cruises had. Finding our way around the decks, where is this, where is that. Within a hour we were in our cabin and 10 minutes later our luggage arrived. Our cabin steward was fantastic and his service was over and above. Tip: To save yourself from being in the center of a stampede. Find where your lifeboat (Muster) station is. During the Muster drill the elevators will not be working, so if your on a lower deck or an upper deck, you have may have a lot of stairs to climb. A half an hour prior to the muster drill all the bars and shops will close. We like to find a bar as close as possible to our lifeboat station so when the drill is called we are already there nursing our painkillers and avoiding the "Legions of the Lost". It's also very entertaining. Just a little background on myself. As a kid I was brought up in a hospitality and restaurant household. My father was a chef, who rose up through the ranks of being a pastry, sous, head chef to finally an executive chef. He worked for Country Clubs,and Classic Hotels. He could be very demanding yet fair. His motto that was drilled into me was: "If it is not right it doesn't leave here". I could go on and on about presentations and service. I say this because you may find somethings to be negative in which you will hear about, but I will give praise where it is due. The makeup of the passengers on the Pride were quite diverse. I would guess about 50 % of passengers were from the US, 30 % Australians & New Zealanders, 10% Japanese and 10% German and other nationalities. We also made conversations with other passengers. One evening we met two other couples from Australia. We were making conversations about the Islands, and the cruise in general. The gentleman said that they were disappointed with the crusie. Overall the food and service was below par. That was exactly what had been going through Our minds too. They agreed with us that it was a great way to see the Islands, and the cabin staff were great but that's where it ended. He said: " I don't mean to be a Wegger", to which I had to ask him what " a Wegger" was. After trying to find what American term is, (with much laughter) we came to the conclusion that a Wegger is Australian for a whiner. No one is whining. As our new found friend put it, “I haven’t had a hot meal yet on this cruise”. They had cruised several times on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity and they would do it again, but not with Norwegian. First and last time for the folks down under. We joined the Latitudes program on our first cruise in 2008. The whole premise of the program is to continue to guarantee repeat business for Norwegian Cruise Line. In other words you get something, they get a lot. On previous cruises the Latitudes Presentation begins with a private party for the members. Complimentary cocktails, and passed hor dourves are served. The house band plays there are door prizes to be had, and the Captain and staff officers are introduced. It is a mini version of buying a timeshare. When you purchase a NextCruise certificate you get an instant onboard $100-$500 dollar credit for the cruise you are currently on. On our 2016 cruise that was the first year that you could book a cruise for any NCL cruise directly on board. We did it on the NCL Dawn. It worked out as planned. We booked the Hawaiian Cruise. That stroke of marketing genius. Good presentation, boom....money right in the pocket of Norwegian Cruise line. So why didn't we buy one. Why? The invitation came to our cabin on the second day of our cruise. We were looking forward to it 5:30pm on the aft deck Aloha Lanai Bar. We caught the tender back from Kona a little on the early side so we could grab a shower and change for the Latitudes Party. We sat with a couple from Washington DC. They too were avid cruisers coming off their last cruise in the Mediterranean with Norwegian. So we had some small talk and the lady asked if they were offering any hor dorvs, we said we were wondering the same thing. The drinks were weak and served in soft sided plastic cups. As luck would have it the side gave way enough that it spilled all over my hand. I asked a waiter passing by for a napkin (of course why would you want a cocktail napkin to go with your drink) to wipe up the spilled drink. The response came swift and curt. "We don't have napkins on the outer decks they blow off" as he continued on his way. The whole table had the old "Deer in the Headlights " look. So what do I do wipe them on my pants? Can't figure this one out My wife and I have breakfast out on the Aloha Deck aft right where we are sitting every morning and we have a napkin. So didn't the Dream, The Spirit, and the other 5 times on the Dawn. So I excused myself and off to the Bar I went and I did get a linen napkin. The presentation on CruiseNext was a about as informative as "why is there air?". No live music, No Staff Officers, The CruiseNext agent gave a three minute talk on how NCL is now cruising to Tahiti,and told everyone to drop by her desk across from the front desk on deck 5. None of us heard anything about the $100 to $500 instant on board credit, (a selling point), We saw the NextCruise consultant sitting there over the next three days, but no takers that we could see. NCL needs to look and remember where they are. Hawaii... the place can sell itself. Sell It! It's easy it's a lifestyle for someone for seven days. There is no reason why you can't have a 30% return rate on that cruise and every cruise. You don't know it but the goose that is laying the golden egg is headed for life support, and when you discover it, it will be too late. It is really too bad because the Pride of America is full of potential, but it is left by the wayside. There seems to be a case of bad service, or no service becoming the norm. We sat at a table waiting for drink service. Where was the waitress? sitting with a party having a good time and ignoring the other passengers. After 20 minutes we got our own cocktails. On the pool deck service was just as bad. Anyone who drinks a painkiller will tell you the garnish for the drink is pineapple. My wife brings the drink over to the table from the bar, (again no sense of urgency rather bad for the being in the hospitality business), I said where’s the pineapple I thought she was joking “ they’re all out...what do they mean they're all out...that’s what she said” off to the bar with painkiller in hand. Do you know what I got for an answer? Oh we’re all out. And I said…”We’re in Hawaii pineapple capital of the world. I know the ship isn’t out of pineapple”. The bar staff managed to find some. How does this happen?, good question for the Beverage Manager. Midway through the cruise we bought a bottle of wine for dinner. We finished it the next night, the last night of our cruise my wife orders a glass of wine the same kind as the bottle we bought. Towards the end of dinner she ordered another glass, they brought her the wrong kind. I know it is not that way on other NCL ships. You don't have to go to far to see things that are not good. Aloha cafe, dirty coffee cups in the racks, dirty silverware in the napkins, tables not cleared, there was a time when there wasn’t a washy washy girl at the entrance to the Aloha Cafe at peak breakfast time. This is a simple question, why? Hand sanitizer globe empty at the aloha aft deck to the cafe, told the cafe Officer about it. Refilled but still didn’t work. Why wasn’t a portable unit brought in? Biggest problem of the whole cruise industry is Norovirus. It is cheaper to bring in a portable unit than to disinfect a whole ship. So that’s the bad. Well what about the good? Our Cabin steward Owen did a great job. He was as good as any of the other stewards we have had over the many years. He works hard and is a real professional. Stacy was our waitress in the Liberty Dining Room. She was a gem who we always had a fun conversation with. She would always give us a good tip on what to see and what to do. In short a peach with a Boston accent. As I had mentioned this was Our anniversary and like all the other cruises we have been on we always celebrate our special day. This day was really made by Stacy who made it so. As we had our cake we were Serenaded to with Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” sung by Emilee. Immediately this was not just someone singing. It was divine. She had a voice as good as anything that ever came out of Julliard.The dining room was quiet.Toby Beau’s Show was great, don’t miss it. The Pride of America is a great way to see the real Hawaii. It is beautiful. However, Norwegian Cruise Lines needs to seriously look within itself and make some changes. Will we go back, most definitely. We decided to put up a map and throw a dart, whichever Island it lands on we will go to. Will we ever cruise again yes, but there are other Lines to try. We feel let down in by Norwegian, and it’s just too bad. TIP: Rent a car on Maui it’s nice to drive. Road to Hana take a tour you won’t see anything because you need to pay attention. Renting a car on Kauai only rent it for one day. The Pride sails at 2:00 pm on the second day. The only parking near the ship is at the mall and it’s $20 overnite if your over 50 and have stuff to carry it’s a long walk. It doesn't leave too much drive time.What we did was pull out all the stops for one day rent a Mustang convertible. Nice for touring do the northside of the Island it’s dryer more top down time. Last Alamo Shuttle is 8:00pm Hilo & Kona offers the Hoppa on Hoppa off trolley well worth it $20 pp. Pain in the neck to rent a car last tender in Kona is 5:00pm remember LAST TENDER IS NOT THE SAIL TIME. Don’t miss it. Drink Water, Water, Water dehydration can be a real problem. The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau offers free soft bound tour books or online edition on Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai at gohawaii.com.
  19. A Feast For Your Senses: Fuel for your sense of wonder and sense of humor We did a tour in every port using both NCL ship and private companies. Enjoy and please feel free to ask any questions here or on the blog.
  20. Which side of the ship is best for viewing the Na Pali coast on a Pride of America cruise ? This is important because I will be with a handicapped person with that may not be comfortable outside. Second question......will it be warm while out to sea and not feel cool with the breezes from a moving ship? Thanks!
  21. I read on another website that the Pride of America is having to undergo maintenance in Kauai and as a result the ship must stay in port longer and for past 3 weeks did not sail by the NaPali coast. Can anyone tell me if this is true? I wrote NCL and was told that this was not correct; however, people who are on board are saying that they were given $100 per room on board credit. Was hoping to get more experiences from those who sailed.
  22. Anyone who has been a recent POA passenger can you please tell us what the status is of the Kilouea area? Are excursions going that way? Does the ship still sail past the active volcano from a distance so that the activity can be seen at night? We are currently booked on a shore excursion called "Big Island Eruption Encounter" Has anyone been on that? Thanks for any and all updates on the Hilo stop. We sail on 12/29/18
  23. Hello, Next summer we will be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary. We got married in Maui, and now we have 2 kids, (5 and 6 years old). We want to go back this time with the kids and perhaps renew our vows. We are experienced Hawaii travelers, 5 trips but never with kids. Right now I am thinking of staying 1 week in the circle hotel in Waikiki, a then a week of cruising. Thoughts on Waikiki with kids? Have not been in 3 years, and it was a bit seedy at times. I like that the hotel does not have a pool, and we have the protected "walls" beach across the street. Plus it's cheap! I have booked my recent cruises through cc.cruises.united.com and got huge mileage bonuses! Now Hawaiian Airlines fly's direct from Boston I was going to get their credit card, but their cruise site is only offering 3,000 mile bonus for a 7 day cruise. I could get 35,000 miles through united, but wanted to get rid of the card. Looking for booking advice? Every place has the same price, but many offer different Perks. Have always booked a balcony, but there are very few the can hold 4 people on POA, and spots are running out. I was going to book a direct flight on Hawaiian Boston to HNL. Then use my United miles to fly home red eye HNL to Newark, to Boston for "free". Thanks in advance for any advice! Aloha.
  24. Prior Hawaii cruisers: Since this is a US State, do I need to sign up for the ship's wi-fi or will I be able to get online using my own phone's hotspot throughout cruise when on ship but in port?
  25. Good morning fellow cruisers! I am finally getting around to writing up my latest cruise review on my blog. We are frequent cruisers and sailed many lines but this was our first NCL experience. I share the good, the bad, and the humor in all of my travels to give everyone an honest report of our experiences. Thanks for checking it out and I hope it helps inform and entertain. Please feel free to ask any questions here or in the blog comments. A Feast For Your Senses: Fuel for your sense of wonder and sense of humor