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Czmzlz

Pride of America Cruise Report 9/1 - 9/8/2018

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Day 1 (Sunday) Maui

 

We woke up to a nice view of Maui as we came into Port.

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We ate breakfast in Skyline. It was good and the food came out rather quickly. I don't remember what time it was, but we were off of the ship right after we docked, so probably about 7:30. We rented a car at the airport, so we needed to take the shuttle to Avis. When you get off the ship in Maui, there is a big parking lot with signs on the right telling you where to stand for what you are waiting for. We thought we were in the car rental shuttle area, but is actually behind the sign and weren't far enough down the row, so we just missed getting on the shuttle (too full). We waited about 20 minutes for the next one. We rented a 4 door jeep, and asked if they had any soft tops. They had one that had just been brought in, so we had to wait while it was cleaned, but it was worth it! We headed to the Iao Valley first, and stopped at a roadside stand selling homemade breads and things. We got some Mango bread - it was one of the best things I ate on Maui! We got to the needle about 10, and the parking lot was busy and small, but we got lucky and found a spot. It was $5 to park in the parking lot I think. It was a pretty cool place.

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We then headed to the other side of Maui and went to Kaanapali Beach. We parked at the Whaler's Village for about 3 hours and it was $21. We ate lunch at Hula Grill with our toes in the sand and live music - nice atmosphere! We hung out on the beach and in the ocean for a few hours. The surf was rather rough I thought, but once you got out there it wasn't so bad. I had asked a vendor if he knew if we could rent umbrellas and chairs, and he said the hotel down the beach from Whalers Village had that available, but we ended up not doing that.

 

Driving to Kaanapali Beach

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Kaanapali Beach

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We then went into Lahaina, checked out the Banyan Tree and did a little shopping waiting for the Old Lahaina Luau to open.

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Sunday Night - Old Lahaina Luau

 

This was a big highlight of our trip! You need to reserve this several months in advance, as they give away the closest seats 'first reserved, best seats'. We reserved ours about 6 months before the trip. If you do it online, you have to pay for the luau at that time ($125 pp) but if you call them, they will reserve your spot and you can pay when you get to the luau. When we reserved our seats we chose to sit in chairs rather than the traditional floor seating, because we are old lol. We were in the first row of chairs/tables and were about 3 tables off of center - great spot! NOTE - they do not have fire dancers at this luau, so if that is a must have for you, this is not the luau for you. They focus on traditional Hawaiian hula dancing, which did not include fire dancing. We were given leis as we entered, and taken to our seats. We took some pics, drank some Mai Tais and Lava Flows (alcoholic beverages are included) and watched the pig being unearthed. The food was really good, but the entire experience was just awesome! I highly recommend this place and hope to go back someday. We chose this one because it was all outside and you didn't have to leave your table to go sit in theater seating to see the show. It was great!

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We drove back to the ship and dropped off our friends, then took the car to the airport parking lot - $15 overnight. We caught a cab for $10 back to the ship - you have to walk all the way down to the end of the airport to catch the taxi, so park down that way if possible. We parked in the extra parking, close to a walkway (construction going on) but were at the wrong end of the airport. It wasn't a long walk, we just weren't sure where we were going lol.

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Day 2 (Monday) Maui - Road to Hana

 

We got up early and ate breakfast at the Aloha buffet. We took a cab to the airport - they are waiting right outside of the ship, so just walk over and get in. We got to Paia about 8am, which was right on target for our plan. We downloaded the Shaka app on our phone, and purchased the Classic Road to Hana on it. I highly recommend this app - it was right on target and took us to this little cave that we would have driven right by. It was literally a hole in the side of the mountain. It rained several times, but usually not even hard or long enough to put the top up on the jeep. We stopped at Aunt Sandy's for some of the best Banana bread we've ever had. Go past Aunt Sandy's for some beautiful ocean vistas! We drove to the State park just a few miles shy of Hana and had lunch there. We made sandwiches at the buffet as we had read that there weren't many places to eat before Hana, but that wasn't true at all. There were several places we could have stopped, if you like roadside eating etc. Personally that is my favorite kind of food. The black sand beach and cave were pretty cool. We almost missed the cave - it is to the right of the beach when you are facing the ocean. The stairs down to the beach are basically on top of it. We didn't get car sick, but we did see a woman on the side of the road, her tour bus waiting on her..... poor girl. I am so glad we rented a car - we had a great experience and avoided most of the buses. I had made us a 3pm reservation at Mama's Fish House, to have a drink and appetizer just for the experience, but we missed it by 15 minutes and the place was packed anyway, so we just drove back to the airport and returned the car. The last shuttle back to the ship was at 4, and we must have gotten the second to last shuttle. That night we had reservations at Moderno. We didn't do the dining package, just paid for this one meal. It was the best meal we had on the ship! So much good food! Our waitress Shae was amazing, but she is leaving the ship in about a week to move back to Chicago. All of the staff we dealt with on the ship were very courteous and accomodating, btw.

 

For a feel of the drive...

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just past Aunt Sandy's...

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This was a pull off with an overlook you took steps up to.

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the exit to the little cave we found thanks to the Shaka App. Have your flashlight on your phone ready and be ready to duck!

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lots of water falls!

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Edited by Czmzlz

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. . . The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai

. . .

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Love that movie! the overthruster! and all the guys named John. too funny.

 

Thx for the review; we plan to do this cruise in the future.

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Is there a minibar or minifridge in the room that can be used for our own items by removing what they put in it?

 

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Is there a minibar or minifridge in the room that can be used for our own items by removing what they put in it?

 

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Yes - it's right below the TV. There was just cans and bottles in it you could take out. We bought a few buckets of beer and kept them in there. It wasn't locked (the pic shows a lock). Our friends that had an Oceanview may not have had one though. We had a large balcony

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Thanks so much for the great review so far. We will be doing this cruise in December with family (7 adults) and are also staying at the Outrigger Ohana Waikiki Malia. We fly in 2 days prior to the cruise so also plan on hiking to Diamond Head one morning. Anxious to hear about the rest of your trip. If you have any other tips or tricks (like the Shakka app) please share! We appreciate it.

 

 

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Thanks for the great report so far. We are travelling from Australia to do this in January. Looking forward to read up on the rest of your trip.

 

Cheers

Belinda

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Enjoying this review so far. I am hoping at some point you will post pictures of the daily newsletter (sorry don't know what its called on NCL) Or at least post was some of the daily and nightly activities were.

 

We normally cruise RCI and spend some time each evening in the casino. So this will be a change for us. Just making sure there is plenty to do.

 

We just booked for next September. The same week you just did.

Could you share what airline you took and if you booked your flights on your own? or thru NCL?? Any hints to getting a good price?? We will be flying out of Ohio. Keep hearing rumors that Southwest is going to start flying to HAwaii. Sure hope that is true.

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Enjoying this review so far. I am hoping at some point you will post pictures of the daily newsletter (sorry don't know what its called on NCL) Or at least post was some of the daily and nightly activities were.

 

We normally cruise RCI and spend some time each evening in the casino. So this will be a change for us. Just making sure there is plenty to do.

 

We just booked for next September. The same week you just did.

Could you share what airline you took and if you booked your flights on your own? or thru NCL?? Any hints to getting a good price?? We will be flying out of Ohio. Keep hearing rumors that Southwest is going to start flying to HAwaii. Sure hope that is true.

 

 

 

Not sure what part of Ohio you’re from but if it is Southeast (Steubenville area where we’re from) Alaska Airlines just started flying out of Pittsburgh. We got a great deal for our December Pride of America cruise. We fly PIT to Honolulu with a stop in Seattle.

 

 

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Enjoying this review so far. I am hoping at some point you will post pictures of the daily newsletter (sorry don't know what its called on NCL) Or at least post was some of the daily and nightly activities were.

 

We normally cruise RCI and spend some time each evening in the casino. So this will be a change for us. Just making sure there is plenty to do.

 

We just booked for next September. The same week you just did.

Could you share what airline you took and if you booked your flights on your own? or thru NCL?? Any hints to getting a good price?? We will be flying out of Ohio. Keep hearing rumors that Southwest is going to start flying to HAwaii. Sure hope that is true.

 

If you want to email me at annjunk at sbcglobal dot net, I have access to some Dailies from end of July beginning of August that I can share with you.

 

We are from Columbus and sailing in Feb. We gave up on waiting for Southwest. We are flying Southwest to Oakland (they used to have a direct flight, but unfortunately it is gone now) and then flying Hawaiian Air to Honolulu.

 

Southwest is waiting on government clearance, so it is out of their hands.

 

Both Hawaiian and Alaska run pretty nice promotions with discounted or free fare for the second passenger when you open a new credit card.

 

Have fun planning.

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Thanks for doing this - just hovering over a booking for Feb and checking flights and accom in LA. This is very helpful.

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Is wifi available for internet without signing up for any special package onboard since we are in a "state" the entire cruise unlike going to Europe or the Caribbean?

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Thanks for your review and photos! Doing this cruise in January and gathering ideas and info from good people like yourself who find the time to share your experience. Certainly getting us in the mood and looking forward to it! (Apart from the very long flights from Scotland!)

 

Cheers!

 

David

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Is wifi available for internet without signing up for any special package onboard since we are in a "state" the entire cruise unlike going to Europe or the Caribbean?

I was wondering this too and interested in the answer.

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Thanks for your review and photos! Doing this cruise in January and gathering ideas and info from good people like yourself who find the time to share your experience. Certainly getting us in the mood and looking forward to it! (Apart from the very long flights from Scotland!)

 

Cheers!

 

David

 

Which cruise are you on in Jan. we are travelling from Australia and cruising on the 19th. First trip to Hawaii, first NCL cruise, first overseas flight...lol

 

Cheers

Belinda

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Which cruise are you on in Jan. we are travelling from Australia and cruising on the 19th. First trip to Hawaii, first NCL cruise, first overseas flight...lol

 

Cheers

Belinda

 

A little earlier. On the 5th January one and staying for a few days after at Waikiki. Will be in San Francisco by the time you arrive. Enjoy your adventure!

 

Cheers!

 

David

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Thanks so much for the great review so far. We will be doing this cruise in December with family (7 adults) and are also staying at the Outrigger Ohana Waikiki Malia. We fly in 2 days prior to the cruise so also plan on hiking to Diamond Head one morning. Anxious to hear about the rest of your trip. If you have any other tips or tricks (like the Shakka app) please share! We appreciate it.

 

You're going to love the cruise! A tip for the hotel and the trolley - if you want to head to Waikiki Beach, don't get on the trolley directly across the street from the hotel- go around the corner (away from IHOP) and catch it there. You'll miss the extra 45 minute ride we took going to the mall etc

 

Tip for the Shaka app - I kept reading about taking a car charger and the aux cable so you can listen through the speakers, but we also needed the jack for the lighter plug. We are so used to having a USB in our cars, we didn't think yo bring one, and neither keep that we rented had a USB - ended up buying it at an ABC store I think.

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Enjoying this review so far. I am hoping at some point you will post pictures of the daily newsletter (sorry don't know what its called on NCL) Or at least post was some of the daily and nightly activities were.

 

We normally cruise RCI and spend some time each evening in the casino. So this will be a change for us. Just making sure there is plenty to do.

 

We just booked for next September. The same week you just did.

Could you share what airline you took and if you booked your flights on your own? or thru NCL?? Any hints to getting a good price?? We will be flying out of Ohio. Keep hearing rumors that Southwest is going to start flying to HAwaii. Sure hope that is true.

 

 

I still have the dailies! I will take pics of them and post - do you just want the times etc or all of it?

 

We were on United/American from Springfield Il to Dallas, then Dallas to Honolulu. It was a super long flight, we were in the back of the plane, and it wasn't very comfy at all lol. We talked about how a break in LA may have been a good idea, but we talked to a couple who flew Chicago to San Francisco, got delayed and missed the next flight. Had to fly to LA and then Honolulu the next day. Ugh.

 

We went through a travel agent with Operation Vacations (online, her name is Amy - wonderful help!). She got us the free hotel night with the flight so we could use the NCL freebie for the service charges which she said was the most bang for our buck. We also had $25 credit each from some deal only a travel agent could get us. Our friends that went with us used her for the flight but booked the cruise themselves and didn't have a credit.

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Thanks everyone for your kind comments! I'm glad this is helping you! I'm sorry I haven't finished this report yet! My laptop is still on the fritz but I'm planning on confiscating my hub's laptop tonight and hopefully getting it done or at least mostly done :)

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A little earlier. On the 5th January one and staying for a few days after at Waikiki. Will be in San Francisco by the time you arrive. Enjoy your adventure!

 

Cheers!

 

David

 

 

Enjoy your cruise, we are so looking forward to it. We will be in WIkiki from the 14th taking in all the sights before the cruise. Can’t wait

 

Cheers

Belinda

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Is wifi available for internet without signing up for any special package onboard since we are in a "state" the entire cruise unlike going to Europe or the Caribbean?

 

You need to buy a package - you will have cellular service in ports, but out at sea you are too far away from the towers, etc.

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Day 3 - Hilo

 

We woke up to a beautiful sight off of our balcony!

We ate breakfast at the buffet, and sat out in the back enjoying the view.

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We booked Mary Lou's Big Island tours for both of our days on the Big Island. Mary Lou and her husband Ken were both in the building you enter when you get off of the ship. We had booked a private tour, so it was just the 4 of us with Mary Lou and her husband had 6 people with him. We were on our own, but did go to most of the same places as Ken and his group. I can't say enough great things about these 2! If you don't have plans yet for Hawaii, contact them - we had a great time! We were planning on going to Akaka Falls, but with the hurricane and rains wreaking havoc from the week before, the road was slow going and so we went a different direction. We drove past the checkpoint for the active Fissure 8, where you couldn't go any further unless you lived in the area. Mary Lou too us to an area where buses couldn't go - we drove over lava that had covered the road, past steamy ditches where people were not allowed out of their cars due to the emissions etc. We ended at a neighborhood that was covered in lava in 2014. It was like walking on the moon - unbelievable. And people are rebuilding homes right on the lava!

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It was an amazing experience.

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