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loves Spike

Hawaii and Pride of America Review 8-3-05/8-13-05

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Hawaii is breathtakingly beautiful and there was little to complain about the ship. If you’re looking for criticism, you won’t find much in this review.

 

We arrived three days before the cruise and could have used a forth or one day post cruise. Leaving at 7am from JFK, we were delayed on the runway and thereby missed our connection on Hawaiian Air (booked through Amer. West) in Phoenix by only 10 minutes. America West transferred us to LAX an hour later and then they arranged space for us on Delta leaving at 5pm. We arrived in Honolulu at 8:30pm instead of 2pm, so we lost a half day. I would definitely plan on arriving early, others on our plane were not so lucky. Out of twenty on the JFK flight, only 8 of us made the Delta connection. Everyone else had to spend the night in California and leave the next day.

 

We used Charlie’s Taxi for round trip transfers, regular taxi is 35-40 dollars and the pre-arranged service, with Leis greeting was only $90.00, well worth the little extra after a 15 hour day of traveling. We stayed at the Marriot Waikiki Beach and it was two blocks from the beach with a great view. It had the most comfortable hotel beds we have ever slept in.

 

Oahu- Circle Island tour with Pearl Harbor with Enoa Tours

Great day with guide Cliff L. He new just where to place us in line at P.H. Memorial so we would be the second or third boat trip, leaving us just enough time to visit the ground and be done by 9:30am to continue our tour.

He was extremely knowledgeable about the island.

-Spent a morning in Chinatown, closes in afternoon. Lots to see and buy.

-Great shopping at International Marketplace, 4 blocks from hotel

- Dinner Show at Princess Kaiulani Hotel: Creation - A Polynesian Journey, A wonderful history of customs and dance.

 

Cruise Embarkation was easy and fast. Taxi to pier $22.00. We were on board by 1:30. The ship is big and beautiful. We had a balcony room on 7th deck forward. Could slightly hear music after 10pm, if cabin was quiet, from club on 6th deck.. Luggage came promptly. Ate at East Meats West- Teppanyaki – Fabulous meal. Make reservations early for rest of week, you’ll want to go back.

-Only went to three shows, but they were good. Ships dance company has some great voices.

-The crew in general was very cheerful and always had a smile or a hello for us. Main dining staff were not polished but tried very hard to please.

 

-Heard good things about shore excursions from others. We booked our own tours in Oahu and Hilo and rented cars on Maui and Kauai. Our daughter did take a surfing lesson through the ship. $103.00 for a three-hour lesson with transportation. Lessons on the beach run $85/hour. Driving is no problem and for three people, we were able to do most of the NCL trips on our own for less, including the rental of the car. You just need to do a little research..

- I highly recommend Green Travel & Tours in Hilo. For $60.00/person we had a full day tour including Volcano National Park, a black sand beach, Rainbow and Akaka Falls, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Farm and an orchid garden with pick up at the pier. It had recently rained and the falls were flowing.

-Not to be missed is the Napali coast at sunset and the sail by the volcano at night, spectacular!

 

I will be glad to answer any question. Lisa rcarkner01@snet.net

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It sounds like you had a wonderful time. I think we'll use the tour company you used in Hilo. Seems like a great tour for the money. We are really looking forward to our PoAM cruise in August 2006.

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I would like to eat at all the specialty restaurants. Is there a special way to make dinner reservations? I heard they sell out quickly.

Any we should skip or go more than once?

 

Were you able to get back off ship after boarding in Honolulu? How close is Wakiki beach to the port?

 

Was the lava flowing at VNP in Hilo?

 

Thanks

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CRUZIN 4 SUN

 

We ate three times in East Meets West, twice in Teppenyaki. Food was great. I would make all reservations as soon as you board; main reception to the right. You can make them for the whole week that first day, otherwise it may be hard to get in. Besides the main dining rooms, we only ate in Little Italy and I was not impressed. They did not use fresh tomato for their sauce and the bread was the same as the main dining rooms, but my maiden name is Carnaroli.

 

You are able to get off once you board, we we checked in very quickly and in our cabin by 1:30pm. There is shopping gallery on the pier with a nice selection of stores. Waikiki is a $20 taxi ride. You do need to be on board for manditory Life Boat Drill at 4:30pm or they have you mke it up at first port, Hilo. All aboard is 7:30pm.

 

The lava was flowing at the end of a 5+ mile hike and they were keeping people back a half mile because of an unstable lava shelf. Good night viewing by ship, and it turns so both sides have a great view. Hope this helps, I'll answer anything else I can. Lisa

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I'm Italian too (Lentini) so I will stay away from Little Italy .

 

Was the 5 mile hike worth it if you can't get up close and personal to the lava?

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We ate breakfast at the Seattle Coffee which is on the main lobby floor of the Waikiki Marriott; loved it; much better than Starbucks and that surprised me; loved their mocha cold coffee drink.

There are many shops and a good size ABC store in the lobby.

Enjoy!

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Hello, I am from Tucson(Oro Valley) also. We are going on the Pride of America on January 14th of 2006. I am very excited and appreciate your info. Mike and I have two teenagers that will be going with us. I just wanted to say hi! I also am a Realtor but I do very little sales. My husband builds custom homes along with managing our commercial real estate. I may have some questions for you later. See ya around! :) :)

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CRUZIN 4 SUN

 

It is not a smooth path, probably not. Perhaps If you could get closer and you have a lot of time to spare. Conditions change daily. Good Luck. Lisa

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Let me know if you have any questions.

Tucson is a great place to live and when I visited Hawaii, although I loved it, I was still glad to call Tucson home. It has gorgeous scenery that is different from Hawaii but still as beautiful.

There was a 3 hour time difference from here to Hawaii and you will be tired the first night you get there; it was easier for me to adjust to Hawaii time than it was to come back to Tucson time; I guess it was because I was so busy coming back and we were unable to make our connection in LA, so had to do an unexpected layover at the Sheraton LA. NCL made our reservations and they did a poor job in this regard; our plane was delayed, but had it been on time we still would not have made the connection since the flight from LA was scheduled 1 hr later and we had to change from American to United and the areas were not close and we had to go through security again.

I missed my daughter's orientation at Ventana Vista and it was a new school for her, so I was disappointed. She had to start school the day after we got back and that was just to close for us; I needed the extra day.

It is a hassle filling our insurance forms--they ask for so much info and your travel agent has to get involved. What a hassle; I wish NCL would have been more careful. This was par for the course with every step of the way with NCL off the ship so it did not surprise me that the connection did not work out for us. We thought we were so lucky that we did not get a red eye flight but it ended up sort of like that since we arrived back to Tucson even later than we would have had we had a red eye flight.

The AMerican fllight from Hawaii was awful; the United flight they booked us on going over was very good for coach class. There was a big difference between the quality of the service and the newness of the plane, etc.

So if you can, do not book American even if you have to fly from Phoenix. I hear ATA has cheap flights from Phoenix and I think they go through Las Vegas on their way to Hawaii. It was funny that even though the time on the plane was long from LAX - Hawaii, they did not serve food and the $5 food United served was very eatable vs the horrible food American offered without a plate or a napkin too.

Hope you have a great cruise; even with the problems; we had a good time.

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