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Pride of America Live Feb 23-March 2 with Waikiki precruise


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You get a welcome bottle of champagne and you get to pick 3 bottles of wine. Our travel agent sent an additional bottle of wine.  I think for the amount of time you are off the ship it would be difficult to buy enough drinks to justify the costs.

 

Also in the suite you get unlimited bottled water and sparkling water and you can choose from a number of sodas all included.

 

Drinks are expensive by the glass but I couldn't see the value in buying the new package

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Wow cabin looks great, we will be in a suite on deck 12 but not the DOS unfortunately.

 

I do hear a lot about plumbing issues, glad yours got fixed quickly.

 

I’ve been snorkeling on Maui but never to Molokini, glad it was such a great day.

Edited by Beachiekeen
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Thank you so much for posting this.  I am loving reading it, getting tips, and getting an idea of what to expect.  I am still finishing planning my excursions and shore time, so all the info is so very helpful.  Have a wonderful rest of the trip and I will be reading along.

 

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9 hours ago, papa B me said:

I understand that there are all kinds of opinions on what people like and don't like regarding cabins.  Many feel that since there aren't in the cabin long they would rather have an inside or less expensive cabin so they can travel more often. While others like myself find the right cabin/suite/room can make or break a trip.  There are also many diverse opinions(sometimes strong on the NCL board) regarding Butler service(I'll share our butler experience later in the week).  So I'm reluctant to share much regarding our suite but have decided that there may be others like me out there that were looking for information about this suite.

 

We are in the Deluxe Owner Suite.  There is only one of these on the ship.  It has a large living room, dining area, and bar area.  It also had a "player" baby grand piano(this is even a little over the top for me-ha).  It has a half bath at the foyer entrance and an extremely large bathroom with jacuzzi tub, separate shower, and separate water close with additional sink.  There is also a makeup are(my wife enjoys) and a walk thru closet. However the highlight for me is a 400 square foot balcony with 4 loungers, table and 4 chairs and large jacuzzi(that I just got out of to post this - stupid me-ha)

 

It is on deck 12 on the starboard side(so far in Honolulu and Maui this has been a positive).  There are only a dozen or so suites in this section so it is very quite.  I love the location.

 

It does come with a butler(ours is Peter).  I'm going to wait till the end of the week to post on this subject.  But I will say Peter cares for I think a total of 11 cabins all on deck 12.

 

I wish I took pictures before we moved in but thankfully my wife doesn't read this so she won't know I posted pictures with our stuff laying around.-ha.

 

The next few posts will be a few pictures

Maybe they changed it up, but they used to have a butler for port and one for starboard on 12.  Not sure what other rooms they serviced.  Maybe they now have one butler for 12 and one for 13.

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8 hours ago, HBCcruiser said:

 

Thanks for this great thread and all the cabin pics! We will be in that same suite in 2020 so any tips/advice appreciated! Question: Will the sofa bed sleep 2? We have our family of 4 (older teen girls) staying there and would love to know if we should request a roll-away or if the sofa will suffice. Also, we had a great butler named Peter on the Breakaway. Same person or different I wonder?

There have been mentions of rollaways being gone on NCL over the years and then a mention once in a blue moon about someone getting one.

 

When we we on POA after the 2016 drydock and George the butler (from Texas) was doing intro the first day, he realized we had a boy/girl combo and promptly offered a rollaway.   Whether still an option, IDK.

 

The rollaways are actually pretty comfy.

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15 minutes ago, LikeAllCruiseLines said:

Why leave Hilo so late? Skipped Kona! Where is ship heading to now?

 

FB says medical emergency.  I'm assuming they will head straight to Kauai and be there tomorrow as scheduled.  Today is a sea day instead of Kona.  

Edited by Beachiekeen
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Yesterday was our day in Hilo.  We booked an excursion through NCL called Volcanos and tastes of Hilo.  It began with a stop at a coffee farm on the way to Volcanos National Park.  This was primarily a "buying" opportunity but you did get to taste some HIlo coffees.  Then we went to the park where we stopped at several different sites in the park.  The guide was really informative.  For some reason I wasn't overly excited about going to the volcano but after going I would highly recommend you incorporate a visit one way or the other on you day in Hilo.  We've tried to schedule different experiences each day of the trip as opposed to snorkeling/beach every day, shopping every day, etc...  

 

After a stop by the visitor center we stopped and a unique garden/gift shop to have lunch that consisted of wraps, salads and up to 6 glasses of wine.  Back in Hilo we went to a candy store then ended the day at Rainbow falls.

 

 

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37 minutes ago, LikeAllCruiseLines said:

Why leave Hilo so late? Skipped Kona! Where is ship heading to now?

We left Hilo on time but during the night they had a medical emergency and the best way to help the passenger was to return to Hilo.  We left Hilo at 3:30 am which made it too late for Kona.

 

So the captain headed back towards Maui for a sail by of the Molokini crater then down the coast in the whale sanctuary for whale watching.  Have seen one so far.  So we are making good use of the balcony today. 

 

He is then going to do a sail by the Molokai(sp?) cliffs this afternoon.  

 

They have also added a few more ship activities today such as a barbecue on deck and various other activities.  

 

It is always disappointing to miss a planned stop but hopefully the efforts of the medical staff and ship crew has give this passenger a good chance of survival as it sounded pretty serious.  So always good to keep these things in perspective.

 

I do commend the captain for coming up with a way to make lemonade out of lemons

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3 hours ago, papa B me said:

We left Hilo on time but during the night they had a medical emergency and the best way to help the passenger was to return to Hilo.  We left Hilo at 3:30 am which made it too late for Kona.

 

So the captain headed back towards Maui for a sail by of the Molokini crater then down the coast in the whale sanctuary for whale watching.  Have seen one so far.  So we are making good use of the balcony today. 

 

He is then going to do a sail by the Molokai(sp?) cliffs this afternoon.  

 

They have also added a few more ship activities today such as a barbecue on deck and various other activities.  

 

It is always disappointing to miss a planned stop but hopefully the efforts of the medical staff and ship crew has give this passenger a good chance of survival as it sounded pretty serious.  So always good to keep these things in perspective.

 

I do commend the captain for coming up with a way to make lemonade out of lemons

Sorry you missed us here in Kona.  "Cruise Ship Wednesday" is my favorite workday of the week!

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Hi papa B me -

 

I've thoroughly enjoyed your thread and especially all of the photos you have painstakingly shared with us. I'm very much looking forward to finalizing our decision on a 2020 itinerary. It is likely to be in a Deck 12 cabin.  🙂

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Although we still have two days left I thought I would spend some time posting about some of the issues I've seen in reviews both pro and con and what our personal experience has been.

 

The Ship:

 

I think how one views the ship has a great deal to do with what their other cruising experience has been.  This is definitely an older ship and layer out much different then many of the newer vessels.  You won't find all of the bells and whistles as far as amenities that new generation ships have.  It is a very traditional cruise ship.  There are 3 elevators at forward, midship, and aft.  Once you get a handle on which one to use for where you are going it is a fairly simple ship to get around.

 

There are plenty of spaces to sneak away to read a book or spend some quite time if you walk around and look.  We also like that on Deck 6 there is a promenade that goes all the way around the ship.  Three times around is a mile.  With about 2000 passengers we haven't experienced a line up more then about 3 minutes to get off the ship.

 

Being a sea day today there are certainly a lot of people around the pools, on deck, and in the included restarurants. But we did find chairs even though we didn't go out until after breakfast which was around 10 am or so.  We have found chairs several times today as we don't plant our stuff in a chair and keep it all day.  But if you are planning on walking out near the pool and instantly finding chairs without some looking you are likely to be disappointed.

 

I'm not sure why there are quite a few reviews saying that the ship is dated and in need of sprucing up.  Grant it that I'm probably not overly picky in this area but I haven't seen anything glaring(although I'm not looking that hard)

 

Most of the shows/big activities are held in the Hollywood Theater or the Mardi Gras lounge.  We have been in both with no problem finding good seats if there 10 minutes before starting time.  Came into one show late and still had not issue finding seats.

 

Many have referred to the POA as a floating hotel.  I would agree with that assessment as maybe a 3.5 star hotel to maybe as high as a 4.

 

It isn't a luxury ship and isn't billed as one.  So if you come with the proper expectation you aren't likely to be disappointed.  I came expecting a 1 to 2 star based on some of the horrific reviews I've read and that's not at all how it comes across.  It comes across as a main line smaller ship which is fine with me for the purpose of this trip.

 

Feel free to ask questions about the ship and I'll do my best to answer them.

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3 minutes ago, vulcan1971 said:

Hi papa B me -

 

I've thoroughly enjoyed your thread and especially all of the photos you have painstakingly shared with us. I'm very much looking forward to finalizing our decision on a 2020 itinerary. It is likely to be in a Deck 12 cabin.  🙂

I think Deck 12 is a great location.  It is amazingly quiet.  Good luck with your decision

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13 minutes ago, finest14 said:

Sorry you missed us here in Kona.  "Cruise Ship Wednesday" is my favorite workday of the week!

We certainly wish we were there today but this has been a nice day.  I've been able to utilize my balcony and just relax.  

 

Within a span of about 5 minutes I saw a whale breaching about 100 yards from the ship, a pod of about 6 whales, and several with their tails in the air.  

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Service:

 

Let me be up front and say this IS NOT in the class of Silversea or Uniworld or even Sandals resorts where we have had a number of vacations/sailings with.(with the exception of Peter our Butler which I'll describe later)

 

With that said, I've had no meal go longer then an hour and a half.  I've had no one not help when I ask.  There have been a number of things forgotten, incorrect orders, etc...  But again, a simple reminder and it was there.  Not every person I've come across oohs and ahs over me but I haven't experienced anyone hostile rude, or unaccomodating.

 

Nothing has happened or not happened that would make me regret booking this cruise or even possibly selling NCL if there was another unique cruise such as this one.  The best way I can explain the difference is that on some of the more 5 star type trips I've taken the service is "Intuitive".  With this cruise it is more reactive.(again with the acception of the butler and the concierge which I'll discuss later)

 

I certainly enjoy the service of a 5 star ship/resort.  But the service on this ship has in no way taken away from the overall experience.  Once again I think it is having the proper expectations.

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Food:

 

Boy is this a hard one to deal with.  On this trip alone I've run into people that say this is the worst food they've ever had on a ship and others that say this is the best they have ever had.

 

So all I can say it is somewhere in the middle.  Our group of 4 feels we haven't had one bad meal.  We have also found plenty to choose from in the MDR.  They always have a certain number of things that are offered every night then they have their features of the night.

 

There's no doubt that the Specialty Restaurants are a step up in quality and service should you either have the "free at sea" package or choose to pay the up charge.  We have eaten at both Jefferson Bistro and Cagneys and they are both outstanding.

 

The aloha cafe is somewhat chaotic but there was a great deal of choice if you didn't like something to find some else.

 

If you are in a suite I highly recommend you take advantage of the free room service.  The good has been good and the butler has been very timely.  We've used it every morning for breakfast other then this morning.

 

If you like hot dogs/hamburgers etc... at lunch time they are grilling them near the pool.  Make sure to note that you can request chicken breast and a few other things that aren't on the grill buffet.

 

Again, I would say more of a 3.5 star food experience in the included restaurantes and 4-5 star in the specialty.

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All great tips! I have been on one other NCL cruise and I found the service different on that ship too. No one was rude, they just weren’t overly attentive. They were polite and certainly served us, it just wasn’t what I was used to. I told my husband it was like they didn’t expect a tip so they didn’t go overboard, they just did what was required, but if you did tip, they were appreciative. It wasn’t bad, just different.

 

Cant wait to hear about Kauai!

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8 hours ago, papa B me said:

Feel free to ask questions about the ship and I'll do my best to answer them.

 

Pappa B me - thank you so much for your reviews.  We go on board at the end of March so all information is very welcome.

I have two questions, although they are quite basic.  Is there a "good" hairdryer in your suite ?  (we are in a suite too although not at the same level as you) and what are the electrical outlets ?  110 AND 220 ?

Many thanks again and enjoy the rest of your time on board.

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47 minutes ago, LikeAllCruiseLines said:

Beachiekeen. Where's the FB you mentioned? Can't seem to find the right one!

 

I'm on two general NCL POA groups, not specific to any sailing.  Where people just share general info, but they will post about their sailings occasionally.

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6 hours ago, cruiselover40 said:

Pappa B me - thank you so much for your reviews.  We go on board at the end of March so all information is very welcome.

I have two questions, although they are quite basic.  Is there a "good" hairdryer in your suite ?  (we are in a suite too although not at the same level as you) and what are the electrical outlets ?  110 AND 220 ?

Many thanks again and enjoy the rest of your time on board.

There is a strong hair dryer in the suite.  The two issues my wife has with it is that it is heavy and you have to continuously hold the buttons.  But as far as drying it has done the job well.

 

The outlets are 110.  In this particular suite there are a lot of outlets.  This is something I found surprising vs other ships I've been on.  But I don't know if this is unique to this suite.

 

You're welcome and I hope you have a wonderful trip.

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