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Czmzlz

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

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Day 3 - Hilo (contd)

 

Next Mary Lou took us to a black sand beach, and I bought a shell necklace for $5 and a bracelet from a guy named Dave for $20. It has a 'velvet seed' in the bracelet - it's my new touchstone lol - love that bracelet! We hiked just a bit to the beach, which was basically gone - not sure if it was because of the rains, or high tide or what, but it was still very pretty.

 

Dave of the jewelry design...

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Walking to the black sand beach

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We then went to a local place for lunch and had some great fish. We also went to a coffee plantation and Rainbow Falls. It rained for a bit, but for the most part wasn't too rainy. Our weather was actually pretty great for the entire trip. We also drove by the Banyan trees and King Kamahamaha's statue. After Rainbow Falls we stopped at the Black Sand Beach close to the port - we could see the ship from there. We saw a turtle there and some interesting trees and flowers. Mary Lou is a font of information on the local plants - I really missed her on Kauai later on the cruise - I got spoiled with her telling us what was what.

 

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This was our anniversary, so we parted ways with our friends for the evening and had dinner at the Liberty restaurant. The choices were ok, nothing really jumped out at me. I had the Teriyaki dish and my husband had the sirloin (I think that was the cut). They were good, but we could tell the steak wasn't from the midwest... We had told them when we made the reservation (which we didn't need - the place was half empty at 7:30) that it was our anniversary, and we got a rather large cake after we ate dessert. It was really nice. The lava was not flowing into the ocean unfortunately, so our cruise didn't do the southern route to Kona.

 

Here is a picture of my $5 shell necklace - such a great deal and I love it!

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Great pictures! We plan to take Mary Lou's tour in Hilo and Kona too! Made reservations back in March for our November 3 cruise. How long did it take to get on the tender? I'm worried half the day will be gone! Thanks for your report.

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Great pictures! We plan to take Mary Lou's tour in Hilo and Kona too! Made reservations back in March for our November 3 cruise. How long did it take to get on the tender? I'm worried half the day will be gone! Thanks for your report.

 

Thanks! You are going to love Mary Lou! It didn't take us very long at all. I'm attaching a pic of the info we had on tendering. It worked really well for us! Thanks for following and I hope you have as great of a trip as we did!

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You are awesome! Thanks for posting all that info! Love it!

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Day 4 - Kona

 

We were scheduled to meet Mary Lou at the dock at 8:30, so I followed the directions in the Freestyle Daily (see my post above) and went to Pink's at 6 am and got 4 tickets to get on the tender between 8-8:30. We were group 3. They announced at 7:50 that group 2 and 3 could board the tender, so we headed that way and got right on a tender. Easy peasy! Here is a pic pulling away from the ship.

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Mary Lou was waiting for us at the dock, and we all followed her to where she had parked her mini van. The first place we stopped at was a small local craft market that was set up on the grounds of a hotel. There was some great shopping there - local handmade things. I bought some baby things for new grandbabies made with Hawaiian material, knowing I wouldn't get to a fabric store myself. My friend bought some jewelry and her husband bought a beautiful wooden knife. There was some knives with shark teeth in them. Very cool and a great place to get some local handmade items.

 

Next we went to a beach where you could see the Captain Cook memorial across the bay. It was a nice place for some good photos. Here is the memorial. enhance

 

We then went to the 'City of Refuge' - the main place I wanted to go. The tikis were very cool and we had some great photo ops there too - we saw another turtle and a barracuda that is trapped in a lagoon area - he was washed in there in a storm.

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We also went to another coffee plantation, a honey farm, the painted church and a small lava tube. Mary Lou was once again a font of information, and very accomodating. She was going to take us to the Kona Brewery, but everyone else wanted to get back to the ship, so she took us back, but we saw a shaved ice place that was across the street, so she drove around and took us over there. We had ice cream in the center of the shaved ice - definitely try that!! We walked back to the ship and waited for the tender, while eating our shaved ice. We didn't have to wait too long for the tender, but it was about 3:30, so maybe it got busier later. The last tender was at 5pm. We went to the Margarita tasting at 5 and had a great time! They also had Mojito and Martini tastings on other nights. I think they were all $19.95 a person. We got 5 different margaritas and they were pretty good sized - not just a 'tasting'. Plus they had extras so we got a few extras.... here is a pic of the table next to ours.....

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We had reservations at East Meets West at 6:30 but they were backed up and we didn't get to our table until 7:15! I was excited to eat here, but we weren't that impressed. The wait didn't help any. Ended up at the Waikiki bar and then back on our balcony. All in all a great day!

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A few more pics from Kona

 

Coffee Plantation - completely different from the one we visited in Hilo.

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Honey Tasting! If you buy some and it's bigger than a liquid size carry on, don't put it in your carry on like my husband did - it didn't make it through TSA... :(

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The Painted Church - we just stopped for about 10 minutes, but it was a nice stop

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Small lava tube below a coffee place

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Day 5 - Kauai

 

Hello Kauai! <3

 

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This was my favorite day of the entire cruise! We had breakfast at the Cadillac Diner. The menu was somewhat limited compared to the buffet (obviously) and we were used to the buffet by this time, but it was still good. I would recommend eating here early in the cruise, so you don't get spoiled by all of the choices at the buffet lol. We headed out and took a shuttle to the airport to rent a car. We rented another jeep, a hard top this time, so only the top above the driver and front passenger came off. The car rental place told us to go back to the shopping center by the ship and prepay for a parking spot overnight, in case they were all taken later, so we did that. Turned out later that we could have parked on the street for free, but better safe than sorry.

 

We headed to Waimea Canyon, once again using the Shaka app and it did not disappoint. We got into Waimea town and headed towards the canyon.

Looking down on Waimea Town

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There was some amazing pull offs, each one better than the one before. The red dirt waterfall was especially cool...

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We got some homemade bread when we got to the main lookout for the canyon and walked up to the look out. It wasn't a big hike or anything and there was handicap access for most of it. There was a LOT of people there when we were there.

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We stopped at the next stop after the canyon, which was a cool state park shop etc, thinking we would eat lunch there, but weren't super impressed with the menu so we decided to just eat at a shrimp place in Waimea town that we had seen earlier. We didn't head down yet, as we knew there were more things to see going up the canyon road. We followed the app to the end of the road for an amazing view of the Napali Coast/Valley.

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Day 5 - Kauai (contd)

 

Ok if you go to Waimea Canyon, you HAVE to eat at the Shrimp Station (if you like shrimp, that is). I had the best Coconut Shrimp of my LIFE! The Papaya Ginger dipping sauce was the clincher. There were chickens and roosters everywhere. At one point, I felt something on my foot, and looked down to see 4 baby chicks pecking at my foot! They scurried off and I fed a rooster a french fry...

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My coconut shrimp

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Day 5- Kauai (still contd)

 

After lunch we headed to Poipu beach. We found a parking place (not an easy thing to do) and found a picnic table and put our Monkey Mats there (these things are cool - lighter weight than taking a blanket to the beach etc. I saw them on GMA deals and steals. They were also on Shark Tank). This was a great beach. There was a protected area that was pretty shallow, and then open areas where there were a lot of surfers and beautiful waves crashing in.

 

More chickens....

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At one point, we heard a car alarm going off, and turned to each other and said "wonder if that's our car lol". Well it turned out it was - someone hit our bumper and left, no note etc. Luckily we had the extra car rental insurance. We usually don't get it, but since our friends were taking the car the next day by themselves, and it was just for the car itself, my hub got it. Thank God he did, or we may still be dealing with that. As it was, our friends just dropped it off and showed it to them.

 

We had 6:15pm reservations at the Beach house, so we changed in the bathrooms at the beach and headed that way.

We had time, so we stopped at the Blow Hole just down the road from Poipu beach. If you go to any blow hole, go to this one - it was very cool. It made this incredible noise, like a giant groan. No wonder people used to think there was a god or mystical creature underneath it.

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Day 5- Dinner at The Beach House

 

This was a highlight of the trip. I checked when the sun would be setting when we would be there, and scheduled our reservation a half hour ahead of that time approximately. We had great seats ( I don't think there was a bad one there) and went out on the lawn with everyone when the sun was setting and got some spectacular pictures. It was a little sunny until the sun set, and pricey, but I feel the experience was worth it - and the food was great too lol.

 

My Mai Tai...

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Lobster Deviled Eggs

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The views from our table

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Best picture of the night

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The afterglow..

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Day 5 (Thursday) - Kauai (end of the day)

 

We headed back to the shopping center and we caught the shuttle from the shopping center to the ship. Such a great day!! NCL kept promoting the Luau for this night, but I'm so glad we did the Old Lahaina Luau on Maui and had this day to spend as we did!

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You are awesome! Thanks for posting all that info! Love it!

 

Happy to help! Sorry it's taking me so long to get this done lol!

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May I ask you what time you got to Waimea canyon? I was worried about getting there too late and the clouds rolling in but it looks like it was perfect for you.

 

Another question I have is about Mary Lou Tours. It seems like they make a lot of shopping type stops (from several reviews I’ve read). Did you feel like there were too many or were the stops interesting and worth doing?

 

Thanks so much for the tender info.!

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Thank you so much for the amazing photos and review. Do you remember which stop on the way up to the canyon had the waterfall over the red dirt? Was it visible from the pull out, or did you find it while exploring a trail? That looks really cool.

 

Also, approximately how long from the time you got off of the ship until you were back in Waimea eating lunch? We are thinking of doing this the morning of day 2 and I want to make sure that we have time to get back to the ship by 1pm when our rental car company closes.

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Loving your review. We are using Ken and Mary Lou for Hilo and Kono in December. On Kauai we are renting a car, but we have to be back by 3:30 for the luau. Can you tell us if we would have enough time to go to Wameia Canyon, lunch and the blow hole? Did you run into traffic?

 

Thank you for the great information!

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Also looking forward to seeing more,  booked on POA this coming July. 

 

Was it easy to navigate the car rentals? The pick up and returns? The overnight parking situation? Worth it or did you waste several hours of back and forth?

 

We're also booked on deck 9 in a large balcony room. Did you ever get sun out there to lay on the loungers in the sun? It looks pretty covered up with just fresh air blowing through.

Edited by Sailing12Away

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Hi,

      Not sure if Czmzlz is going to post replies as not been on since October 8th. We are just back from this cruise a few weeks ago and did car rental in all of the Islands. On Maui the courtesy bus for each rental company picks you up near the cranes, just outside the terminal, there are signs for each one. A 5 minute drive and you are at the rental area at the airport. If keeping the car overnight then return to the main airport car park and either take a taxi back to the ship or walk across the road to the rentals and get the courtesy bus back. The cost is $15 for the overnight. At Hilo and on Kauai similar arrangement and very easy. Would recommend car rental if you like to do things at your own pace. Certainly saw lots more this way. Would recommend a sat nav as mobile phone reception not always good out of Town or in the mountains. Never had trouble with traffic and the roads are well maintained. Never spent more than 30 minutes at the rental company sorting out the car but we had an advance booking. 

We had a balcony on deck 10 midship which had plenty of storage space, was clean and everything worked. Can't help with the large balcony I'm afraid.

If I can help with any other questions then just ask. 

Cheers!

David  

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