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norcalgal

Back from the P of America - where to start?

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I'll give a few of my negatives first (since that's what people usually want to hear!). They scheduled the "Chocolate Buffet" while we were on the "Chocolate Lover's Excursion". Pretty petty, huh?! I guess if that's my main complaint, we must have had a pretty good week! I have never heard of a cruiseline scheduling a chocolate buffet in the afternoon. They apparently didn't have a lot of people at it, because there were tons of desserts leftover. When we were being seated at the Liberty Restaurant that evening, I was asked how our day went - I just had to share my disappointment. (I think the man seating us was a waiter or an asst waiter, but we weren't seated at his table.) He listened and said he'd see what he could do for us. He came back a little later and said he had a couple of plates of goodies for us to take back to our room - to just let our waiter know to get him when we were done eating. So, even though we didn't get to attend the chocolate buffet, we were able to get a sampling of the goodies! We gave him a tip and mentioned him by name in our end-of-the-cruise survey.

The buffet rarely had fresh-cut pineapple when we went (we WERE in Hawaii!)

Excursions: they'd tell us to meet in the Hollywood Theater at 10 AM for an excursion - we got in there at 10 of 10, only to be told to go on down to the pier - the busses were waiting for us. We tendered to Kona and met at 7:15 for an 8 AM excursion, only to wait on the Pier for over 1/2 hour. Crowd control was definitely in the testing phase.

We hadn't made our late-in-the-week dinner reservations by Wednesday evening, so we couldn't eat at the Italian restaurant at all - eeked out an 8 pm Friday reservation at East Meets West.

The song-and-dance reviews were OK (ya know how Simon Cowell of American Idol is always telling singers to go sing on a cruise ship? - yeah we had those performers) The 9:30 show ran late on the night we saw the lava flow on Hawaii, so we didn't see the first sightings of the lava.

 

A few quick positives: Barry Johns, the juggler/comedian was terrific! Great show! They did the "Liar's Club" one evening - very funny.

The food, mostly, was very good.

Plenty of lounge chairs around the pool.

Every excursion we went on - top-notch drivers/tour guides.

 

I'll add more later - we came home on a red-eye & I need a nap!

 

Ask questions - I'll try to answer them!

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Glad to hear you had a great time. We were curious which dining rooms you enjoyed the most? We were on the Pride of Aloha and found out you need to make reservations early, so your advice is appreciated.

 

Thanks, Greg

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We really liked Jefferson's Bistro - probably the best food on the ship ($10 each). Lazy J Steakhouse was good ($15 each) but the night we were there, the place was freezing! I think we were confused at "East Meets West"($10 each) since you could eat in the Tepanaki (sp?), Sushi or the traditional Chinese fare. We had the Chinese food, but probably could have ordered more (yes, I said more!) dishes, but we weren't sure of the portion sizes.

I believe that the two non-fee dining rooms (Skyline and Liberty) have the same menu - which was good when we ate once in each.

We really wanted to eat in Little Italy, which is the only non-fee specialty restaurant.

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How much are you supposed to tip extra in the specialty restaurants, if any?
You're not supposed to tip anything in the specialty restaurants. You can if you think it's warranted, but it's not required. The $10 per person per day service charge covers tips for the staff in all the dining venues.

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You're not supposed to tip anything in the specialty restaurants. You can if you think it's warranted, but it's not required. The $10 per person per day service charge covers tips for the staff in all the dining venues.

 

 

I've tipped once or twice in Le Bistro, because the service was way beyond what was expected :) Not only did we have excellent service, but we were entertained as well :)

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We had a balcony room on Deck 9 (I believe it was a BC). It was big enough for the two of us - empty suitcases fit under the bed.

Our room was always clean. A few things were missing when we first got there (bathroom glasses, coffeepot) We usually got ice every day. We asked to have our duvet taken off, but we didn't explain that we would have still liked a sheet or the duvet cover left on. Since my husband liked no cover at all, I just used my pareo as a cover!

We tipped in Jefferson's Bistro & Lazy J Steakhouse and I think in the Skyline one night also. I still think that the whole tipping thing is confusing. They tell you to tip for exceptional service, yet you're charged $10 per day per person for gratuities.

Also - I saw a 15% service charge on my spa receipt - it was called a service charge - not gratuity, so I wasn't sure if the person who rendered the service actually recived it, so I added a tip in the "tip" line.

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We had a balcony room on Deck 9 (I believe it was a BC). It was big enough for the two of us - empty suitcases fit under the bed.

Our room was always clean. A few things were missing when we first got there (bathroom glasses, coffeepot) We usually got ice every day. We asked to have our duvet taken off, but we didn't explain that we would have still liked a sheet or the duvet cover left on. Since my husband liked no cover at all, I just used my pareo as a cover!

We tipped in Jefferson's Bistro & Lazy J Steakhouse and I think in the Skyline one night also. I still think that the whole tipping thing is confusing. They tell you to tip for exceptional service, yet you're charged $10 per day per person for gratuities.

Also - I saw a 15% service charge on my spa receipt - it was called a service charge - not gratuity, so I wasn't sure if the person who rendered the service actually recived it, so I added a tip in the "tip" line.

Did you book your excursions with NCL or do your own thing? If you did book with NCL I would appreciate any info you can provide. We like snorkeling and want to do at least one great snorkel trip. We are also thinking about a sunrise bike trip down Haleakala Crater in Maui. We will have two days in Honolulu with a pre cruise package and want to go to Pearl Harbor. We cruise Sept. 17-24.

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Can you order second and third entrees in the specialty restaurants?

Any upgrade success?

Did you hear any stories about sneaking wine/booze on board?

 

Thanks

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What port were you in when the had the chocolate buffet during the day? The chocolate buffet is one of the highlights of an NCL cruise. I think having it during the day when most people are not there is terrible! We have plans to be off the ship everyday, all day.

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What port were you in when the had the chocolate buffet during the day? The chocolate buffet is one of the highlights of an NCL cruise. I think having it during the day when most people are not there is terrible! We have plans to be off the ship everyday, all day.

 

 

It's usually held on a Day At Sea in the afternoon.

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The Chocolate buffet was on the day we were in Kona. There are no days at sea on the Pride of America. We booked all of our excursions through NCL. Looking back, that's what we were most comfortable doing, but if I went on this cruise again, I would look into renting cars on my own (especially on Maui & Kauai, where we docked overnight.)

If you plan on going to Pearl Harbor, make sure you get there early. We arrived a little after 8, stood in line for 1 1/2 hours and got tickets for 11AM. When we left at noon-ish, there were people walking right up and getting tickets for, what we assume, were the last tours of the day, which stop at 3 PM. We had heard that the day before, there were no tickets left at 1 PM.

All of our excursions were bus trips - nothing adventurous. We had been to Maui before, so didn't go up to Haleakala. We had heard that the people who went to the sunrise trips to the crater (either to see the sunrise, or to see it and ride the bike back down) left ths ship at 3 AM!

We didn't hear about any booze being "sneaked" onboard. In fact just before debarkation, they made the announcement of where to pick up your booze if it was being held for you.

No upgrades - full ship!

I never ordered two entrees, but I imagine they wouldn't refuse if you asked for more than one!

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Hi norcalgal, we booked a BC category as well; actually cabin 9028 towards the front of the ship with the bigger balcony. Our daughter will be joining us and we're wondering whether the sleeper sofa next to the bed is a single seated sofa or a double seated sofa??

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The sofa is "loveseat" size. I'm sure it would be comfortable for one person, two might be too tight. Our bed was very comfortable, both in terms of firmness and size - hope the fold-out bed is comfy too.

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One more chocolate buffet question. Do you remember what time it was? We are thinking about cutting our Kona day short if the buffet is not too early. Thanks for your response.

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Donna,

 

We'll be joining you on the sailing. We leave Friday morning. I'll also post a review when we return.

 

Have a safe trip....see you on board!

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Certain sailings on POAMERICA do have a day at sea. On most sailings, there are two days at Kuaui. However, some sailings have one day on Kauai and the next day is a day sailing around the island. We will have the opportunity to experience that on the sailing of the week of October 1.

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I wondered about a day at sea, bryanc1967 - we just didn't have one and I think it would have been nice. Enjoy that day!

 

The Chocolate buffet was at 2:30 in the afternoon on our Kona day; I hope that they change it - that was a lousy time!

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Donna, I'm envious that you will get there before I do--we'll be on the Aug 27 cruise. I've enjoyed all that you've written and will look forward to hearing your after-cruise reports. Have a ball!

Jim & Norita

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If you want to meet us on board for a drink, give us a call. Tried to start a meet and greet to no avail.

Hope you have a wonderful cruise!

Cabin 11026

Donna Anderson

 

Hi Donna, I'm new to the boards-this is my first try-excuse my mistakes. I noticed you have cabin 11026 on your cruise. I have just booked cabins 11024 & 11026 for June 17, 2006. Please let me know what you think of your cabin. These boards are wonderful. All of you are so helpful. Have a wonderful trip. Will look forward to your comments on your return. Thank you, Debbie

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We just got back from the Pride of Aloha and we too were on the Chocolate Excursion... and missed the Chocolate Buffet! Dumb Dumb Dumb!!

 

But, on the Chocolate Excursion, wasn't the Vanilla Family great? We had a great time at the Vanilla Farm.

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Those kids from the Vanilla family (sorry - can't remember their name!) were so cute. There were 5 kids serving parts of the meal - some of it we got up and served ourselves. They seemed so happy to see people.....did the 7 year-old try to stow away on your bus? The food there was great - but I think that it was sooo far around, wouldn't it have been better to get there from Hilo, not Kona?

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