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juicyfruit_85

Few questions for Pride Of America - first time cruisers

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Hi

 

We're first time cruisers and booked the 7 day POA Hawaii cruise for Sept 2019. Whilst I have had a scout around the various threads on various boards there are some things we're still not 100% clear on and were hoping someone could help with our specfic questions.

 

1. Will UK GHD hair straightners work on board (may sound strange but they didnt work in our condo in Waikiki earlier this year - I'm not blessed with hair that doesn't need help!!)

 

2. We don't usually hire a car on vaction. We use public transport/Uber/walk. I've read that public transport on the other islands isnt anywhere like that on Oahu. Does anyone know of any shuttle buses from the ports to the nearest town or any "hop on/hop off" type of buses?

 

3.CE UK Free Pre-Paid Service Chargers Per Day in Mini-Suites and Below - this is included in our packages but (forgive me for lack of understadning), we're not entirely sure what this means

 

4. Tipping/Service charges  - This appears in our holiday summary packages: Service Charge on Beverage, Water & Coffee all inclusive. I understand that NCL now add a nominal fee per person per day for service charges unless you opt out by filling a form out when you board. Is this correct, and if we opt out how does this affect the service charge mentioned further back?

 

5. Methods of ship to shore transfer for each port - re they docking or tendered?

 

Thanks in advance

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Kona is tendered. It looked like where we got off the tender was in the middle of everything.  We did a half day tour of Kona but if I went again, I would take the tender and walk around that drop off area.   Check out whatsinport.com   and see if they have anything on the ports.  They tell you what is in the port area.

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 #2 is is the per day charge. It is inclusive with your package as described in #3. You can not it out.  

 

You would need a European adaptor for your hair straightener. If it didn’t work with your transformer in Waikiki, it won’t work using the US outlets on the ship. 

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Kona is the only port where you are tendered. All others are docked, which is very helpful at the 2 ports where you overnight (Maui & Kauai).

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We just went on our first cruise and it was on the POA 2 weeks ago. We're in the US so I can't answer most of your questions, but I can say Kona is the only port where you use tender boats. Also, we didn't rent a car at any port. We just didn't want to deal with driving if we wanted a few drinks at lunch. It worked out pretty well, but I'll admit we didn't see all the "important" parts of the islands as a result since we mostly stayed around the ports. On Maui, the port is next to a great beach and a short walk from some shopping centers, but I feel like we didn't see much of the island since we stayed within 2 miles of the port. We did do the snorkeling excursion there on the second day, and the tour bus for the excursion took us from the north part to the southern area, so we saw a little more of the island by bus I guess. But I think that's the only island where I wished we would have rented a car. 

 

In Hilo, we took the Hoppa On/Hoppa Off bus for $20 per person and got to see the downtown area, Rainbow waterfall, the Big Island Candies, and a few other landmarks. And the downtown area was very walkable so we stayed there for a couple hours. In Kona, the tender boats take you to a very touristy/walkable area with tons of shops and bars right on the coast, so we had a lot of fun there without renting a car. Finally, on Kauai, the port is a 5 minute walk from some shopping centers with gift shops and restaurants on the beach. And right in front of those shops is a great little beach in front of the Marriott Hotel where we swam for hours. I wanted to go to Poipu Beach because I heard it was good, but it would be a $23 Lyft ride there, so the closer beach was fine by us! We did the horseback riding excursion on Kauai, and due to the 20 minute ride through the island to the stables, we got a glimpse of the center and southern part of the island (and then we saw a few miles of the southeastern area by horse!) I would have liked to see the northern and western parts because Kauai was my favorite, but we still had a great time! So basically, yes, all the islands appear to have Lyft and Uber, plus I know at least Hilo and Kona have the Hoppa on/Hoppa Off tours. I would also recommend an excursion or two in nature so you get that experience while you're there. So while renting a car allows you to see more of the islands, it's definitely not necessary if you mainly want to visit some beaches, shops, restaurants and a few great landmarks. 

 

Edited by DelanaeK

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3 and 4. Basically this means that the daily service charge and any gratuities on the beverage package are included in your cruise fare, so you don’t have to worry about any of these things.

 

you will still pay the 20% gratuity on any purchases outside of the packages you have (ie if you buy a coffee at the coffee bar) or on meals in speciality restaurants, but otherwise any tipping you do is totally optional.

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2 minutes ago, Silver Sweethearts said:

 

Just curious where that beach is?  Could you please give directions?  Thanks!

It's Kanaha Beach Park. It's right next to where the Pride of America docks in Kahului, just east of it. We got a Lyft ride to the parking lot of the beach, but we were able to walk back to the ship since it's like 2 miles away. I didn't see any services there (like a restaurant or store) so first we went to Long's Drugs across the street from the port and got some snacks and drinks, and then took a Lyft to the beach for a few hours. It's a beautiful beach. 

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You need to determine-  WHAT you  want to see and do in Hawaii.  In my opinion,  I would - never-  be without a car.   There is so much drive up touring to consider.   Frankly the above report-  missed a significant amount of possibilities for some real lackluster time usage.  None of the "port areas"  offer even a fraction of the grossly superior places.  

 

I was just sailed this ship -  again -=in July.  (I've cruised NCL multiple times,  plus multiple land touring-  20+  visits. )     

 

Figure out what YOU want out of your trip and realistically know, how often you are going to go there.    I'm a firm advocate of not compromising.   :)   

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3 hours ago, Budget Queen said:

"You need to determine-  WHAT you  want to see and do in Hawaii.  In my opinion,  I would - never-  be without a car.   There is so much drive up touring to consider.   Frankly the above report-  missed a significant amount of possibilities for some real lackluster time usage.  None of the "port areas"  offer even a fraction of the grossly superior places.  

 

I was just sailed this ship -  again -=in July.  (I've cruised NCL multiple times,  plus multiple land touring-  20+  visits. )     

 

Figure out what YOU want out of your trip and realistically know, how often you are going to go there.    I'm a firm advocate of not compromising.   🙂  "

 

Yep, you do need to consider what you want out of the vacation. For us, it was a great time to get away just us without the kids, for our anniversary, so we wanted lots of free time to just walk around and explore, stopping at whatever bars, stores, museums, old churches, beaches, etc that we wanted to check out. I didn't want to spend much time in the car, navigating the streets of a city I didn't know (I particularly wouldn't want to do this if I was from another country like OP!) especially if we planned to have any drinks (which we do on vacation). We did get out of the port areas 2 days due to excursions. Maybe one more excursion or a rental car for one day would have been slightly better. But otherwise, we did feel we got to see a lot, and now we know which islands we'd return to in the future. I found it very easy to step outside the port and pay for a bus tour or order an Uber any time we wanted. I didn't want to deal with getting to a rental car office and figuring out where to park, esp. overnight. Of course, if we had specific areas we really wanted to see on the other side of the island, renting a car would have been worth it! But that's not the case with everyone. It was a very relaxed vacation and we loved it! 🙂

 

Edited by DelanaeK

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Being  Hawaii is more costly for both the transit and cruise-  it could be of significance to tour-  Hawaii       It is very easy driving  from the port areas.    I would  think some people would want more of what Hawaii has to offer.    Otherwise,  the Caribbean is a lot cheaper.  :)    

 

Something for everyone.   It's your trip-  have a great time.  

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