11 Day O'Ahu Explorer Cruise Tour Review POA

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#1
Southern New Hampshire
199 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Day 1 - Wednesday

After months of research and going back and forth between a land vacation or cruise, our family of three (mom, dad, and ten year old son) decided to do a combination of both. My original intention was to go on the Pride of America, but after meeting with a travel agent, my mind was changed. She thought we would get a bigger bang for our buck by picking two or three islands, and renting condos on each. The planning portion of this idea was overwhelming, and not the least bit enjoyable, so after a month or so, I went back to the cruise idea.

Several years ago, we went on a Globus tour of Europe, and loved how well planned everything was. We never stood in line, and were able to see SO much more than we would have had we been on our own. Based on our previous experience, NCL's 11 day Cruise Tour seemed like a good idea. As it turns out, I was wrong. I'll state up front that the land tour portion of the trip was disappointing, and I definitely wouldn't recommend it to others, but the cruise was good.

We were flying in from the east coast, so we spent several days in Los Angeles, sightseeing and getting used to the three hour time change. Wednesday morning, we boarded a Hawaiian Air flight for Honoulu. When we arrived at HNL, we started looking for the transportation arranged by NCL. Sure enough, there was a woman standing in baggage claim holding a sign with our name on it. Yay!! She gave us each a beautiful orchid lei. We gathered up our luggage and put it on her cart, then followed her to the van. There was another small group on the van already, but there was plenty of room for us.
The van pulled off, but then made another stop to pick up more people. I'm not sure what happened with their planning, but there weren't enough seats in the van to accommodate everyone. The van driver had everyone squish together, and then told my son to sit on my husband's lap. We thought he was kidding! My husband said this wasn't okay, but the van driver just kept pushing more people into the van. We all wear seatbelts on a regular basis, so this was incredibly uncomfortable for us. And those beautiful leis were trashed in this process!

After making a few other stops, the van dropped us off at the Marriott. I knew that NCL had a desk or an office, but I didn't see it, so I went to the front desk to check in. I was told that the NCL had our keys for us, and was pointed in the right direction so I could go pick them up. I greeted the NCL rep and said I was there for our keys. She condescendingly told me that it was only 1 pm and I couldn't have them until 3. Now, our plan all along had been to drop off the luggage and go explore Waikiki until our room was ready, but the people at the front desk made it sound like we could pick up our keys. I mentioned the issue with the shuttle, and how disappointed we were that we had paid for three seats but were asked to double up. The NCL rep said there wasn't anything she could do and suggested that I call customer service.

Ugh. Not the most impressive start! (Luckily, these minor things were not indicative of the rest of the trip.)

We ate a quick lunch at Subway, then walked to Waikiki aquarium. The aquarium gets mixed reviews on tripadvisor, but we were actually impressed with it. It isn't large by any means, but it was nicely laid out, and had a variety of fish. The employees all seemed to enjoy their jobs and were interested in engaging with the visitors.



After our visit there, we went back to the hotel to check in. We chose the cityview room since it was cheaper, but it was a good size, and we could still see the ocean from our balcony.



We unpacked out suitcases, then headed downstairs to the ABC store. There are two in the hotel, and many more nearby. Sodas were $.79 per can, so we bought a few to put in the room's refrigerator. We didn't buy any snacks, but I did snap a picture of the candy rack just to show the prices.


For dinner, we walked a few blocks to Teddy's Bigger Burgers. What amazing customer service!! Such friendly, helpful people. Totally impressed!!
Stay tuned- the land tour started on Thursday!
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Majesty of the Seas September 2001
Statendam August 2004
Pride of America August 2015 ----> review here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2252994
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#2
Minnesota
2,285 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Looking forward to more! Thanks for taking the extra time to include photos!
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#3
Queens, New York
600 Posts
Joined May 2012
Following
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#4
Southern New Hampshire
199 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Day 2 - Thursday



We were meeting our tour group early Thursday morning- I think around 7:30. We woke up early (not a problem for us, since we hadn't adjusted to the time change) and walked to McDonald's. We wanted a fast, easy breakfast, and I was curious since we'd been told that McDonald's served SPAM. None of us was daring enough to order it, but it was there!



After breakfast, we met our group in the lobby. One of the two tour guides started calling names, and took those people aside to go on the smaller of the two buses. We were with Sam, on the large bus. It took about 45 minutes to ride to the Dole Plantation. Along the way, Sam introduced himself and told a few stories. We didn't have much time at the Dole stop. Just enough time to try a Dole Whip (yum) and walk around a little. The Dole Whip is pineapple ice cream. There's only one size. It cost $5.65 but could be shared between two people. (Not that we did, but you could!!) My son loved feeding the goldfish, and since we were there so early, they were starving. They were jumping out of the water to get to the food!



I would have loved to have had enough time to go through the pineapple maze or even ride the train. I believe a few people were able to ride the train, but they ended up almost missing the bus, so I'm glad we didn't try it. This was mostly just a shopping stop, but the prices on souvenirs was MUCH higher than in the shops near our hotel on Waikiki, so we didn't get anything.

Next, we drove toward the Polynesian Cultural Center. Now, the brochure for this trip lists all these neat things you'll visit on the drive- and it's true, you will see a lot of neat stuff through the window of the tour bus, IF you happen to be sitting on the right side of the bus to see them. Our tour guide pointed out a lot of famous beaches and gave information about them.
We arrived at the Polynesian Cultural Center around 11:45. It doesn't open until 12:30, so we went to Pounders for lunch. Plan on spending about $20 per person to eat there. There were also some walk up options, like food trucks, but it was so hot and muggy that we wanted to be inside. (We never did acclimate to the weather there!) The portions were large and could easily be shared.
A cheeseburger:



We met back up with our group at 12:15. Our guide walked us through the entrance and all the way to the back of the center so we could work our way forward and avoid the crowds. He had warned us in advance that we wouldn't be able to see everything. We had the option of staying with the group, or going off on our own to explore. At the beginning, we stayed with him.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is divided up into different areas At each area, a presentation is given every half hour or so, and then there are activities mostly geared toward kids.


I'd recommend taking plenty of water and sunscreen, as you are out in the open most of the time. We did go watch a twenty minute movie, which provided some relief from the heat thankfully.

We met back at the bus around 4 to head back to Waikiki. We had a good day, but if I could plan the whole trip over again, I would have rented a car and driven to the Polynesian Cultural Center myself. The NCL tour just didn't give us enough time. The best way to experience the PCC is to go when it opens, visit each village and do the activities, then stay for their evening luau. You really do need a whole day there to get the most out of it.

The bus got us back to the hotel around 6. We spent some time on the beach (the hotel is right across the street from it, which was nice.) Grabbed a quick dinner from Subway to eat in the room, and went to bed early.
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Majesty of the Seas September 2001
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Pride of America August 2015 ----> review here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2252994
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#5
Kentucky
517 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
I can't wait to hear the rest. We sail on the POA at the end of October. We are staying 3 days pre-cruise and 4 days post-cruise on Oahu. I thought about doing some of the group tours while on Oahu, but decided on renting cars instead--sounds like I made the right decision. I'm also renting cars most days on the other islands.....I really don't like to be on someone else's timetable and like the option to stay longer at the places I find interesting and leave if I don't
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Debbie

November 2017 - MSC - Divina (Eastern Caribbean)
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November 2016 - Princess - Caribbean Princess (Southern Caribbean)
October 2015 - Norwegian - Pride of America (Hawaii)
January 2014 - Royal Caribbean - Freedom of the Seas (Western Caribbean)
#6
Michigan
610 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Following along! We did the POA nearly a year and a half ago and it was so wonderful! I'm sorry the pre-cruise portion didn't live up to expectations, but it sounds like the cruise did. Looking forward to the rest!
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#8
Southern New Hampshire
199 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Friday

Today was the best day of the pre-cruise day tours.

We met our bus early- before 7:30 I believe. Due to the way the Arizona ticketing works, we wouldn't find out exactly when we were going to the memorial until today. When we got on the bus, we found out that our tickets weren't until the end of the day, which disappointed me at first, but it actually worked out nicely. We started with the city tour. The details are fuzzy now- but we drove through the Punchbowl Cemetery, which was a moving experience, and then made a stop at the Iolani Palace and the King Kamehameha statue. We got off the bus here and were given plenty of time for everyone to take pictures and use the bathroom. There's also a small museum inside the building behind the statue, but I didn't know if we'd have enough time to check it out, so we didn't do more than peek in. (I really should have taken a watch with me on this vacation!)



After reboarding the bus, we headed over to the Mighty Mo (USS Missouri.) If you are going to visit these sights, they are VERY serious about the no bags policy. We all wore cargo shorts for our visit, which allowed us to easily carry the cash and cameras that we needed. Once you have cleared through security, you can get a bag from the gift shop to use for your stuff. Actually, now that I think about it- we were allowed to use a clear ziploc bag for our things. I used a gallon sized bag to carry our sunscreen and a few snacks. (Taking different sizes of ziploc bags is the best packing tip ever. I always find a use for them.)


This tour day was timed perfectly. I don't remember how much time we had at the Missouri, but it was the more than enough time to tour the ship, go to the gift shop, visit the restrooms, and see the memorial to the USS Oklahoma, which is right next to the Mighty Mo. When you first enter the Missouri, a photographer will snap a picture of you. Ours turned out nicely, but it was $30 for just the one photo, so we passed on it. You can tour the ship with a guide or go on your own. We chose to go on our own, but there were plenty of volunteers along the route who were more than happy to answer our questions. There are a lot of stairs (which are more like ladders), so if you have trouble with mobility, you might want to pass on this tour.

The lower decks of the ship are air conditioned, which made the tour much more comfortable. It was set up to show what life on the ship would have been like for the sailors. Here's one of the kitchen:



After touring the Missouri, we boarded the bus and drove a few minutes away to the Pacific Aviation Museum. Thanks to someone here on cruise critic, I knew that we should hit the cafeteria ASAP before a long line formed. They had several sandwich choices, each costing around $9. After lunch, we toured the museum. This portion of the tour was again well timed in that we had enough time to see everything, eat lunch, refill water bottles, and use the restrooms. I'm not a huge fan of aviation, but it was all still interesting. A LOT of work has gone in to restoring these plans and helicopters.



Next we headed to the USS Bowfin. As you board the submarine, another photographer will take your picture. As you leave, they will show it to you- it's actually pretty neat. They print it as a photo on a replica of the newspaper from Dec. 7. It was $11. Anyway, I did not go on the Bowfin because I am claustrophobic, but my husband and son enjoyed it. I wandered around the gift shop while they were looking at it. (This gift shop was reasonably priced, considering it IS Hawaii!)

The area around the Bowfin has a few other displays, as well as a gift shop and several food stands selling hot dogs, nachos, and sodas. There was also a visitors center/museum, but we didn't make our way into it.

It's important to keep track of your timed ticket to the Arizona so you don't end up missing the shuttle. We walked over there to meet our group a few minutes early. We were shown a short video with footage from the attack, then we boarded the shuttle to go to the Arizona. I believe we had about fifteen minutes at the Memorial, which was a good amount of time. It was a very somber place.


The oil is still dripping.


Someone on here suggested sitting at the back of the shuttle as you leave the memorial in order to get some great pictures of it.



After seeing the Arizona memorial, we visited the museum next to it. There were some interactive displays, but they weren't working, which was frustrating. There were some other neat models though, so it's worth visiting if you have the time.

We were back at the hotel before 5, which gave my husband time to take our son back to the beach, and allowed me to do some laundry and repack everything for the cruise the next day. The laundry room at the Marriott is on the third floor (in the other tower from where our room was.) IIRC, it was $3.50 per load. The machines do take cash or credit cards, and there's also an app for your phone that will tell you when your laundry is finished. There were maybe 10 machines, all of which were being used the entire time I was there. I lucked out and got the last one.

The luggage will be taken directly from our hotel room to the ship while we are touring tomorrow.
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Majesty of the Seas September 2001
Statendam August 2004
Pride of America August 2015 ----> review here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2252994
NCL Getaway February 2017
#9
Southern New Hampshire
199 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Saturday

We woke up and made sure our luggage was all ready to go to the ship. We met our group at the bus, and headed to the Nu-uanu Pali Lookout. Our driver, Sam, had bought some poi donuts from a shop near his house, so we all tried them.



When you first get off the bus at the lookout, you will see tons of chickens roaming around. Sam made fun of us for taking their pictures. He says every group he's ever had does this! 


After visiting with the chickens, we headed up to the lookout. The view is incredible. Everything in Hawaii is so lush and green. I don't even know how to describe it. It's crazy windy up there though!


After this stop, we drove to the Kualoa Ranch. This is the place where most of the tv show LOST was filmed, along with tons and tons of other movies. But instead of seeing all that, we were taken to a shelter, to sit for an hour and learn about Hawaiian culture. This is interesting, but it wasn't anything that we couldn't have learned by watching a dvd on the bus ride. I would have much rather been seeing and doing stuff ON the ranch! (We actually ended up renting a car at the end of our trip, and coming back to this ranch to do the movie tour.)



We were given our boxed lunches, and taken by boat to an island to eat. (We had chosen our lunches on Thursday. The choices were roast beef sandwich, santa fe chicken, chicken ceasar, or turkey wrap.) Here is the shelter where we ate lunch:



We also had a fifteen minute catamaran ride, before we got back on the bus to head to the ship.



(I'm not sure why my photos are showing up at full size. I've resized and saved them on photobucket- hopefully it's just a glitch and they'll show up correctly soon!)
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Majesty of the Seas September 2001
Statendam August 2004
Pride of America August 2015 ----> review here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2252994
NCL Getaway February 2017
#10
Southern New Hampshire
199 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Originally posted by AryMay
Looking forward to more! Thanks for taking the extra time to include photos!
Originally posted by Kattus
Following
Originally posted by Keith1010
Enjoying your review so far.

Keith
Thanks for following along! I learned so much from reading other peoples' reviews of the ship, but before we left, it was nearly impossible to find info about the cruise tour, so I wanted to help other people in their planning.

Originally posted by CruisnDeb
I can't wait to hear the rest. We sail on the POA at the end of October. We are staying 3 days pre-cruise and 4 days post-cruise on Oahu. I thought about doing some of the group tours while on Oahu, but decided on renting cars instead--sounds like I made the right decision. I'm also renting cars most days on the other islands.....I really don't like to be on someone else's timetable and like the option to stay longer at the places I find interesting and leave if I don't
Neither my husband nor I wanted to drive, so renting a car wouldn't have worked for us (unless we hired a driver LOL!) but I think I could have found group tours that were better suited for what we were interested in. Have a great trip!!

Originally posted by greatlakesgirl
Following along! We did the POA nearly a year and a half ago and it was so wonderful! I'm sorry the pre-cruise portion didn't live up to expectations, but it sounds like the cruise did. Looking forward to the rest!
It wasn't horrible, but the whole time, I just kept thinking about how much better it could have been!
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Majesty of the Seas September 2001
Statendam August 2004
Pride of America August 2015 ----> review here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2252994
NCL Getaway February 2017
#11
Southern New Hampshire
199 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Saturday afternoon- Time to board the ship!!

Our driver took us to the port around 2:30. We had priority boarding from our stay at the Marriott, so we whisked right through, got our leis and pictures taken, and boarded the ship. Our room was ready, and our luggage was already there.



We were in room 10648, which ended up being a great spot for us. Our travel agent suggested this room because it has a slight bump out on the balcony. It was nice because we could see out to the side, but we could also look straight ahead to see where the ship was heading.



Being on the port side was also ideal for the Na Pali Coast viewing, and it was convenient to be so close to the buffet and elevators. I had worried a bit about noise and hallway traffic from being so close to the stairs and elevators, but we didn't hear a sound inside the cabin.

We explored the ship, and unpacked our suitcases. We found there was plenty of storage. I had spent the last year reading negative reviews about the ship, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw our cabin. It was so much bigger than other people had described! Our three large suitcases fit easily under the bed, and our clothing fit into the drawers and hangers. We even ended up with a few empty shelves inside the closet. The storage space is well designed. We asked our steward to empty the contents from the refrigerator, but we ended up doing it ourselves. The fridge was small, but sufficient for our purposes.



At 4:40, we reported to the MDR for the muster drill. It seemed a little disorganized at first because some of the signs were broken or missing, but we figured out where we were supposed to be and waited. It didn't take long to run through the safety procedures.

We had planned on going to the sail away party and cookout, but we ended up getting dinner at the buffet, and then sitting on our balcony as we sailed away. I had planned on getting an inside room, but my husband wanted the balcony, and I'm glad we went in that direction. With three people in the cabin, it was really nice to have the extra space. It was especially nice for me, since I was waking up ridiculously early. I enjoyed sitting on the balcony and reading before everyone else was awake.

One of the hotels on Waikiki has a fireworks display, so we watched that as we sailed away.





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Majesty of the Seas September 2001
Statendam August 2004
Pride of America August 2015 ----> review here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2252994
NCL Getaway February 2017
#12
Southern New Hampshire
199 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Sunday - the Road to Hana with Valley Isle Excursions

I cannot say enough positive things about our trip along the Road to Hana with Valley Isle. We were supposed to meet shortly after 8. A representative from the company was standing right where he said he'd be, holding a sign. There were probably 6 groups going out from Valley Isle that day. We were assigned to a driver named Pu, who was just wonderful. She grew up on the island, and seemed to know everyone and everything. She truly enjoyed her job and loved sharing her island with us. Another thing that I appreciated about our driver was that she knew which bathrooms were clean and which ones we should avoid. She always let us know how long it would be until the next bathroom break (a fact that comes in handy when you're drinking tons of water and trying to stay hydrated!) I am SO glad that we chose this company!

This is what the port looks like:

After you walk off the gangway and get your picture taken with whichever silly costumed character they have, you'll walk through the building and out onto the parking lot to find your group. Once we were all settled on to our van, we still had to wait for the van in front of us to fill up because it was blocking us in. Fortunately, everyone showed up on time so we could get moving.

The buses were very nice- they had HUGE windows all around, which made it easy to see no matter where you were sitting. Our bus had 8 people on it, so there was plenty of room to slide to a different seat for a better view. but even if every one of the twelve seats had been filled, we still would have had a clear view.



I know many people say it is better to rent a car and do this drive yourself, and for a lot people, that's probably true. Neither my husband nor I wanted to drive, so we enjoyed having someone else drive so we could appreciate the scenery. Since Valley Isle takes such small groups, the tour ends up being customized to whatever the passengers want. There were a few times when Pu offered to stop, but none of us was interested, so she kept going. There were other times when she'd stop and just a few of us would hop out to get some good pictures. She had the trip timed perfectly though. When we stopped at the Pools of Oheo, she gave us half an hour, which was plenty of time to walk on the trail and look around the visitors center. When she stopped for waterfalls, she had us meet back after ten minutes, since that's all you really need.

I felt very safe riding with her, and enjoyed the stories she told along the way. We stopped at the black sand beach, and while we were admiring the view, Pu set up our lunch. She even had a table cloth to cover the table. I was skeptical when the website said that lunch was included, but it was actually very good.



Every time we got on or off the bus, Pu had the cooler open and offered us bottled water or cans of soda. She also had chocolate covered macadamia nuts for us.


After our excursion, we returned to the ship and ate dinner in the MDR. The food was actually pretty good. My husband had the salmon special and I had the steak. My son ordered pizza from the kids' menu. The service wasn't phenomenal, but it wasn't bad at all. Our meal probably took us an hour total.

Here are the dailies from this day.


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Majesty of the Seas September 2001
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Pride of America August 2015 ----> review here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2252994
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#13
desert SW
9,923 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Thank you so much for your review! We're on the repositioning (SFO to HNL) cruise in March so your review is very much appreciated.

We've been to the Polynesian Cultural Center. My advise is to wait until 4:00PM or so to enter, you'll still have plenty of time to see the various displays and will see the fire dancers. Food was pretty good, considering they feed 1,000's of people. FYI - It is owned and operated by the Mormon church, therefore no alcohol.

We stayed a month on Oahu, so we've also done the other sites you mention - with the exception of Pearl Harbor.

Looking forward to reading the rest of your review. Thanks again!
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OceanDreaming2 <--email
Mary

** Platinum Plus Norwegian Cruiser with 427 Latitudes Points **

Coming up:


#14
Ontario, Canada
357 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Whoo, gonna follow this!
Anytime I can revisit Hawaii through someone's review is a good time!
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#15
Queens, New York
600 Posts
Joined May 2012
Following Thanks to both you and Miicah again for quelling my fears about Valley Isle excursions leaving without passengers. Looking forward to taking Road to Hana with them (and my husband will be the first one out when the driver opens the cooler with sodas haha)
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#16
Southern New Hampshire
199 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Monday

Today was the midway point of our entire trip, so we planned a "do nothing" sort of day. Being on a cruise ship though, it still ended up being busy busy busy!

We started with breakfast at the buffet, then moved on to giant chess and giant checkers.



While my husband and son played, I decided to catch the free shuttle to the K-Mart to pick up a few toiletries and things we had forgotten to pack. While docked in Maui, there are two shuttles to take passengers shopping. One goes to the mall and the other goes to K-Mart. I managed to get on the wrong shuttle at 9 am, but the driver was really nice and took me to the K-Mart after dropping everyone else off at the mall. I had twenty minutes to shop, then went outside to find the correct shuttle to get me back to the ship. K-Mart has a huge selection of souvenirs, and sunscreen and beach stuff, along with all the regular stuff. I was back to the ship by 9:35. It's important to remember to take your photo ID along with your ship card whenever you leave. At every single port, security boarded the bus or shuttle and checked everyone's ID and ship card.

At 10:30, we went to the atrium for the Wacky Putt Putt Challenge, which wasn't anything more than a strip of astroturf set up. My son enjoyed it though, and played over and over until someone else showed up wanting a turn. He won a wooden key chain for getting the ball in the hole.

Next stop was Pink's at 10:45, for the arts and crafts activity. Apparently, these events are not very well attended. The girl running it had to call to have an extra table set up. She said she never has more than four or five people come, so when thirty people showed up to make masks, she was a little overwhelmed. It didn't take them long to get ready for everyone though.

At 12:15, we went to the pool for Diving for Pearls, which consisted of the six volunteers jumping in to gather up 6 or 7 ping pong balls to see who could do it the fastest. There was an ice carving demo scheduled for 3, but it was raining so heavily that it ended up being cancelled. Next up was the hula dance class in the Mardi Gras. Holy Moly- that was exhausting! We didn't stay long, because there was a Ping Pong tournament scheduled at 3:30.

At 4:15, we went to the Hollywood Theater for the nut lei making class. They turned out great! It took us over an hour to make them, but they turned out so nice. Well worth the time spent! We had hoped to make it to the Family Balloon Twisting activity, but missed it because we weren't finished making our leis.

From there, we rushed to our 5:30 reservation at Teppenyaki. It was entertaining, but it wasn't the greatest teppenyake show. It was good, but I didn't think it was worth paying extra for (although I didn't think any of the upcharge dining venues were tat much better than the MDR.) The food was plentiful. None of us were able to eat everything we were given.



The fruit plate for dessert was delicious!



The green tea cake and ice cream was odd to me, but it was probably awesome to people who like that flavor!



After our day of "relaxing," we were exhausted and headed to bed early. (This became a daily occurrence!)

I was worried about the room configuration for three people. The two twin beds pushed together to make a large bed, then there was a sofa bed. My concern was that the sofa bed, when opened, would block the door to the balcony. We discovered this wasn't the case. The bed CAN be opened all the way for adults, but if you have children, they can sleep on it set up just like this. (Pardon the mess, I took this picture when we were getting organized and starting to repack everything at the end of the trip.)



We found that we had plenty of room for the three of us, but we didn't spend that much time IN the cabin on this port intensive cruise.

Here is the daily:
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Majesty of the Seas September 2001
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Pride of America August 2015 ----> review here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2252994
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#17
Illinois
6,750 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Nice report. Thank you. I loved the lei making classes last time I did a Hawaii cruise. We were able to do a flower lei one day and the kukui nut on another. Of course, this was back when the ship (the Star) still went to Fanning Island.
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#18
Queens, New York
600 Posts
Joined May 2012
Originally posted by carmzav
Monday

Today was the midway point of our entire trip, so we planned a "do nothing" sort of day. Being on a cruise ship though, it still ended up being busy busy busy!

We started with breakfast at the buffet, then moved on to giant chess and giant checkers.



While my husband and son played, I decided to catch the free shuttle to the K-Mart to pick up a few toiletries and things we had forgotten to pack. While docked in Maui, there are two shuttles to take passengers shopping. One goes to the mall and the other goes to K-Mart. I managed to get on the wrong shuttle at 9 am, but the driver was really nice and took me to the K-Mart after dropping everyone else off at the mall. I had twenty minutes to shop, then went outside to find the correct shuttle to get me back to the ship. K-Mart has a huge selection of souvenirs, and sunscreen and beach stuff, along with all the regular stuff. I was back to the ship by 9:35. It's important to remember to take your photo ID along with your ship card whenever you leave. At every single port, security boarded the bus or shuttle and checked everyone's ID and ship card.

At 10:30, we went to the atrium for the Wacky Putt Putt Challenge, which wasn't anything more than a strip of astroturf set up. My son enjoyed it though, and played over and over until someone else showed up wanting a turn. He won a wooden key chain for getting the ball in the hole.

Next stop was Pink's at 10:45, for the arts and crafts activity. Apparently, these events are not very well attended. The girl running it had to call to have an extra table set up. She said she never has more than four or five people come, so when thirty people showed up to make masks, she was a little overwhelmed. It didn't take them long to get ready for everyone though.

At 12:15, we went to the pool for Diving for Pearls, which consisted of the six volunteers jumping in to gather up 6 or 7 ping pong balls to see who could do it the fastest. There was an ice carving demo scheduled for 3, but it was raining so heavily that it ended up being cancelled. Next up was the hula dance class in the Mardi Gras. Holy Moly- that was exhausting! We didn't stay long, because there was a Ping Pong tournament scheduled at 3:30.

At 4:15, we went to the Hollywood Theater for the nut lei making class. They turned out great! It took us over an hour to make them, but they turned out so nice. Well worth the time spent! We had hoped to make it to the Family Balloon Twisting activity, but missed it because we weren't finished making our leis.

From there, we rushed to our 5:30 reservation at Teppenyaki. It was entertaining, but it wasn't the greatest teppenyake show. It was good, but I didn't think it was worth paying extra for (although I didn't think any of the upcharge dining venues were tat much better than the MDR.) The food was plentiful. None of us were able to eat everything we were given.



The fruit plate for dessert was delicious!



The green tea cake and ice cream was odd to me, but it was probably awesome to people who like that flavor!



]


MMMMMMMM Teppanyaki's green tea and cake. If we didn't have an awesome hibachi place nearby, we'd have dinner there for our next cruise on the PoA when we get the dining package. Mmmmmmmmm again
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June 2018- Norwegian Epic Western Mediterranean
May 2017 Norwegian Breakaway- Bermuda
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#19
Whitney Point NY
472 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by carmzav
Saturday afternoon- Time to board the ship!!

Our driver took us to the port around 2:30. We had priority boarding from our stay at the Marriott, so we whisked right through, got our leis and pictures taken, and boarded the ship. Our room was ready, and our luggage was already there.



We were in room 10648, which ended up being a great spot for us. Our travel agent suggested this room because it has a slight bump out on the balcony. It was nice because we could see out to the side, but we could also look straight ahead to see where the ship was heading.




Being on the port side was also ideal for the Na Pali Coast viewing, and it was convenient to be so close to the buffet and elevators. I had worried a bit about noise and hallway traffic from being so close to the stairs and elevators, but we didn't hear a sound inside the cabin.

We explored the ship, and unpacked our suitcases. We found there was plenty of storage. I had spent the last year reading negative reviews about the ship, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw our cabin. It was so much bigger than other people had described! Our three large suitcases fit easily under the bed, and our clothing fit into the drawers and hangers. We even ended up with a few empty shelves inside the closet. The storage space is well designed. We asked our steward to empty the contents from the refrigerator, but we ended up doing it ourselves. The fridge was small, but sufficient for our purposes.



At 4:40, we reported to the MDR for the muster drill. It seemed a little disorganized at first because some of the signs were broken or missing, but we figured out where we were supposed to be and waited. It didn't take long to run through the safety procedures.

We had planned on going to the sail away party and cookout, but we ended up getting dinner at the buffet, and then sitting on our balcony as we sailed away. I had planned on getting an inside room, but my husband wanted the balcony, and I'm glad we went in that direction. With three people in the cabin, it was really nice to have the extra space. It was especially nice for me, since I was waking up ridiculously early. I enjoyed sitting on the balcony and reading before everyone else was awake.

One of the hotels on Waikiki has a fireworks display, so we watched that as we sailed away.





We will be staying in room 10636. Glad to hear it's spacious
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#20
Southern New Hampshire
199 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Originally posted by bsblindab
We will be staying in room 10636. Glad to hear it's spacious
Using the word "spacious" might be pushing it a little. LOL! I had read so much negativity about the size that I was really expecting something like a closet. We aren't frequent cruisers, so we don't have much to compare it to, but I thought it was a perfectly fine size.
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