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puddles99

Cruisin' Like a Hawaiian - Pride of America 05.04.2013 Review

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Chapter 8: Ziplines, Luaus, & Helicopters (continued)

 

We practically floated back onto the ship and I discovered that I was STARVING but we happened to hit a time between meals when very little was opened on board. But Travis in the Cadillac Diner hooked us up with some appetizers and two delicious milkshakes (Note: the milkshakes cost $4.50 each). After wandering the ship, doing a little shopping, and browsing our pictures in the photo gallery, we headed to the 7th deck for the Latitudes Silver / Gold / Platinum sail-away party on the bow. What an AMAZING view and unique opportunity!

 

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Edited by puddles99

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Chapter 8: Ziplines, Luaus, & Helicopters (continued)

 

We then returned to our balcony to enjoy the foggy Na Pali coast sailby. DH had his binoculars out and we took turns spying and pointing out various sites along the shoreline as I peered through the telephoto lens of the camera.

 

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Chapter 8: Ziplines, Luaus, & Helicopters (continued)

 

We had decided to have our final dinner at Cagney’s. DH had the lobster bisque while I started with the wedge salad. We then each had a steak with sides of truffle fries, creamed spinach, and gratin potatoes. For dessert we had the apple crisp and raspberry creme brulee. It was a wonderful meal that we savored - and for dinner, we didn’t mind the slow service at all.

 

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We then sadly finished packing, placed our bags in the hallway, and pre-ordered our room service breakfast one last time.

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Chapter 9: Circling Oahu & Sad Goodbyes

 

While on board we made the decision to book the much recommended Circle Island Tour - through NCL which includes luggage storage & airport transfer. Our flight didn’t depart until nearly 11:00pm, so we had all day to say a long goodbye to Hawaii. This tour includes buffet lunch at Kualoa Ranch, drives by Diamond Head Crater, and stops at Hanuama Bay, Halona Blow Hole, Aloha Tropical Farms, Sunset Beach, North Shore, and Dole Pineapple Plantation. It was a nice way to see the areas of Oahu we had not yet ventured to, but if I had to do it again, I would just get a day room and laze on the beach until it was time to head to the airport.

 

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When we got to the airport, we discovered that we had to wait outside for about 45-minutes because the US Airways terminal / agriculture checkpoint didn’t open until 6:15pm. We sat outside with our luggage and enjoyed the breeze. Once the check-in opened, we got through pretty quickly and then headed to the Kona Brewing Company for dinner. Service was slow, but we had all the time in the world. We had wings to start and DH had a burger while I ordered an encore Hawaiian Luau pizza - I was so happy that I didn’t have to leave the islands without having another!

 

Our flights & car service home were uneventful and we arrived home around 6:00pm on Mother's Day (May 12th) to lots of hugs and with many fond memories and dreams of someday returning to paradise.

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The Epilogue

 

I wanted to be sure to share details about our cabin, a few shout-outs to crew members who made our experience phenomenal, & some tips about the ship (but feel free to ask questions about anything I don't think to cover here.

 

Our Cabin - Deluxe Forward Penthouse With Large Balcony - 10000

 

What can I say? This was an awesome cabin. It was spacious, had all the amenities we had any use for, and quickly felt like "home." The only thing that was a little off was that the balcony door in the bedroom didn't shut properly (but we just used the door from the living room). Because of the room's location, it has a little private alcove at the entrance. You can only access this cabin from the starboard hallway on deck 10.

 

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Edited by puddles99

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The Epilogue (continued)

 

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Bedroom door closed & curtains drawn for privacy.

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The Epilogue (continued)

 

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I also wanted to note that the pre-cruise concierge notes all seemed to make it to the on board crew, our pillow & extra towel requests had been taken care of, our spa and chef's table requests were addressed as soon as we boarded, our afternoon snacks were just as we requested (no canapes, mostly fruit instead), etc. Our Butler, George Rodrigues, was a true Vacation Hero and took care of us throughout our cruise.

 

Our room steward - Erlito Zata - was also a Vacation Hero. He was friendly, quick to serve, and had a great sense of humor. He quickly figured out how much I adore a towel animal zoo & he did not disappoint!

 

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I'd also like to give a shout out to Travis in the Cadillac Diner, Darnell in Liberty, and to Silas Cook who was a fantastic Cruise Director. After an upcoming vacation, Silas will be relieving Sinan on the Gem and we're hoping he's still aboard when we sail the Gem in November. He really was great.

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Hey Puddles99, thank you for a fabulous review! I have a question for you, do you happen to recall if the Italian specialty restaurant was open on your cruise? It doesn't appear in the dailies from an April cruise (from another CC cruiser) and I wondered if it was open in May when you were there? We were hoping to eat there. If not, I appreciate your food pics from Cagney's and Jefferson's Bistro to compare.

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The Epilogue (continued)

 

Here are some other tips about the ship & crew:

  • The forward and aft stairs are marked in red starry carpet while the mid-ship stairs have blue starry carpet.
  • Fresh popped theater style popcorn is available - self serve - in the Gold Rush Saloon starting at 5pm each day.
  • As has been reporting in the past, no laundry special was offered.
  • You can save state tax on ship purchases if you wait until the ship sails out of port to finalize your transaction.
  • Securing a window seat in one of the MDRs requires that you eat dinner at 5:30pm or be prepared to wait.
  • Attend your Cruise Critic Meet & Greet and end-of cruise follow-up session if at all possible. This crew really does want to hear from you and takes feedback seriously.
  • The crew on board has no control over what corporate does or says - including the mis-information about Moderno. They feel horrible when it happens and it frustrates them to no end. So if you're not happy with bad information you receive pre-cruise, don't take it out on the cruise; they're just as unhappy about it as you are.

The Coast Guard was aboard the week we sailed for an annual inspection which was keeping the crew a little extra busy, but from what the Captain told us at the end of the cruise, the ship & crew passed with flying colors. This doesn't surprise me in the least and we found this to be a great crew. No, they don't dote on you quite the same way as you may find on other ships that don't employ such a high ratio of US-citizens, but they still care about doing a good job & want their passengers to have a great vacation. Kudos to the crew of the Pride of America for ensuring we had a wonderful vacation. We hope to return someday!

 

THE END

Edited by puddles99

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Hey Puddles99, thank you for a fabulous review! I have a question for you, do you happen to recall if the Italian specialty restaurant was open on your cruise? It doesn't appear in the dailies from an April cruise (from another CC cruiser) and I wondered if it was open in May when you were there? We were hoping to eat there. If not, I appreciate your food pics from Cagney's and Jefferson's Bistro to compare.

 

Yes, it was open - we just didn't happen to eat there. DH is of the mind that he can get plenty of good Italian at home and didn't want to pay the upcharge at sea. I'm going to get working on scanning in the dailies from our cruise and will check to see if its listed - I never actually looked! :)

Edited by puddles99

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Puddles99...fantastic review....and like your photos too!

 

I would also be interested in your posting of the dallies .... and also, the pre sail away get-together on the bow for latitudes was neat-o !

 

What time did that take place?

 

 

Chuck and Mary

Edited by Molokai-Chuck

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Thanks Puddles99 for a great review!! Great photos too!!

Good to see you and your hubby were fond of the 'amber nectar'. How much was it for a beer onboard the POA?

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Just figured out how I might get DH to Hawaii...... He's obsessed with war movies :rolleyes:

So....... Pearl Harbour and Helicopters!

 

Jo :)

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Thank you for the great review! I am going to start working on DH today for the trip! :D

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I was wondering if the luau with robert was with smith or not. Did it say smiths when you booked or did it say islands best luau?

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Puddles99...fantastic review....and like your photos too!

 

I would also be interested in your posting of the dallies .... and also, the pre sail away get-together on the bow for latitudes was neat-o !

 

What time did that take place?

 

Sorry for my delay in posting the dailies - life got in the way yesterday :rolleyes: I'll get to it this week, I promise!

 

The Silver / Gold / Platinum Sail-Away party was at 1:45pm on Friday and lasted for about 45-minutes or so. Once we got out to open sea, the Captain asked the crew to bring everyone back inside. There was also a Latitudes Cocktail Party on either Sunday or Monday, but we missed that one.

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Thanks Puddles99 for a great review!! Great photos too!! Good to see you and your hubby were fond of the 'amber nectar'. How much was it for a beer onboard the POA?

 

I'll pull out my receipts and let you know (I don't have them here in the office with me ;))!

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Just figured out how I might get DH to Hawaii...... He's obsessed with war movies :rolleyes:

So....... Pearl Harbour and Helicopters!

 

LOL! I love it - I bet you could come up with all kinds of ideas. There is a "movie tour" on Kauai and there may be one offered on another island, too.

 

Thank you for the great review! I am going to start working on DH today for the trip! :D

 

You won't regret it!

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I was wondering if the luau with robert was with smith or not. Did it say smiths when you booked or did it say islands best luau?

 

When we booked, it said, "Islands Best Luau" but I confirmed with Roberts that it would be Smith Family for our dates. I would recommend confirming before booking - just in case!

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Just figured out how I might get DH to Hawaii...... He's obsessed with war movies :rolleyes:

So....... Pearl Harbour and Helicopters!

 

Jo :)

 

 

Woohoo to thinking outside the box!! Pearl Harbour is an amazing experience. Hubby would be a dolt to miss it. hehe

 

Puddles - amazing job! And heroic effort weeding through thousands of photos to post the best of the best! Next time you go to HI, I'm so in!!! :D

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Loved reading every one of your posts and viewing your photos. We both live in eastern PA. I can't wait til I get home tonight and show my DH your

fabulous photos. honeymoon27 posted the dailies from April. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1841259

Now I have to get my excusions approved by my DH and booked!!

Thanks again for all you have given back to this CC board.

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