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CruzinKristin

Pride of America Review: June 14-23, 2019

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Considering that this is my first review, I should probably give the customary background information.  We are a family of 3; me-37, Scott my husband 43, and our 7 year old Sam.  We travel often, but are relatively new to cruising.  I believe that this is our 3rd cruise - 1st on NCL; this is also Scott's 1st cruise.  We live in the middle of a cornfield (literally) in Indiana.  I'm a teacher and Scott runs the family business, so typically it is just Sam and I cruising.

 

We did not intend to go to Hawaii or cruise this summer; our plan was to go to the Grand Canyon, but like all good plans, they are always subject to change.  I was surfing the internet one Sunday afternoon in February and stumbled across this cruise.  I asked Scott how he felt about going to Hawaii on a cruise instead of the Grand Canyon and the rest is history.

 

This review will be written journal style, taken from my own travel journal.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Also note, this review will more than likely not include any pictures.

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Friday, June 14, 2019

 

Travel day.  We woke up around 3:30 AM to get ready to go to the airport.  Everything had been loaded into the car the night before and clothes for today had also been laid out.  I'm a planner like that.  I think we actually left the house around 10 til 4 and made it to IND around 5:45 AM.  The airport was busier than I previously experienced, but all the lines moved quickly and we got to our gate with about an hour to kill.  This is the perfect amount of time to potty and take advantage of some free wifi.  Our plane began boarding at 7:30 AM and we were in the air to DFW around 8:15 AM.  The flight was rather bumpy with quite a bit of turbulence.  We landed safely in Dallas around 10:30 our time 9:30 Central Time.  The flight to HNL is considered an international flight so we needed to change terminals once we arrived.  DFW is surprisingly easy to get around in.  We found our new gate, got a snack and did the customary potty break before boarding our flight to HNL about 90 minutes later.  The flight from DFW to HNL was 7.5 hours - loooooooonnnnnngggggg flight aboard a 777.   The plane was great, food was eh; Sam really enjoyed having a TV screen in the headrest that played games, showed movies  and such, but his favorite part was the map!  The flight was smooth and seemed to go faster than I had anticipated.

We touched down in Honolulu around 3:00 PM local time, walked down to baggage claim to meet our transfer to the hotel.  I had booked transportation with Roberts of Hawaii and they met us at baggage claim.  Easy peasy! 

The 6 hour time difference is starting to be noticeable.  We are all tired and hungry at this point.  It took about 30 minutes to get from the airport to the hotel.  We stayed at the Waikiki Hilton (Room 3204)our room was scheduled to be deluxe ocean front resort style room.  I was extremely disappointed with the quality of the accommodations - small room, no coffee make or fridge.  We stay at Hilton Hotels often and this was not up to par.  The hotel is about 2 blocks from the beach.  I could see Waikiki Beach and part of Diamond Head from the balcony - I did enjoy that.

After we got settled in and rested for about an hour, Sam was itching to get to the beach.  I felt bad for not taking him, but we were just too exhausted to take him.  We were officially hangry, so Scott and Sam went down to the hotel restauraunt to get something to eat while I took a shower.  I snoozed while they were gone.  Lucky for me, they brought me back a burger; I  ate about half of it before I was ready to go back to sleep.  We were all in bed by 7:00PM local time - 1:00AM Indiana time.

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Saturday, June 15, 2019

 

This time change is really a killer!  Sam and I were awake at 1:00 AM.  I knew we both needed to get back to sleep or we would be really tired later today.  I think we both dozed off and on until about 4:30 AM.  Yesterday, I had told Sam that we would go to the beach in the morning.  Sam was ready to go as soon as we woke up and was quite offended that I told him he needed to wait until the sun was up.  We made it down to the beach around 6.  I was surprised about how many people were already down there.  There must have been about 100 surfers!  We also saw a few homeless people sleeping on the beach.   The morning was beautiful and we enjoyed the beach.  We were at the beach for about 3 hours. Sam had the time of his life!  He loves playing the the water and was sad when it was time to go back to the hotel.  While we were there, we saw a sea urchin, crabs, lots of fish and even the POA sailing past as she was coming into port!

After we got back to the hotel, we all had showers and got ready for the day.  Scott and Sam went down to get something to eat.  I stayed in the room and got things packed up and ready to go.  I also enjoyed some peace and quiet out on the balcony.  We checked out of the hotel around 11:30 AM and went to the designated spot to wait on our transfer to the pier.  Getting to the pier was a huge cluster!  I had scheduled a pick up for noon with Roberts of Hawaii and they never showed up!  We met a nice couple from Dayton, Ohio that were scheduled to be picked up at the same time we were.  Around 12:30 PM, we were starting to get anxious because we still had not been picked up.  Sharon from Ohio, called Roberts and explained our plight.  After much back and forth, the person on the phone told her that we had been marked as a "no show" and that the person picking us up came into the hotel looked around the lobby and didn't see us so they had left!  The pick up spot listed is not even in the hotel and we were outside of the hotel and had not seen any Roberts vehicles!  It was now 1PM and we were still sitting curbside.  Roberts offered to come pick us up around 2, we said that was absolutely unacceptable and asked for a refund.   Side note:  A mom and a daughter from Australia / New Zealand; had scheduled an airport transfer with Roberts as well.  Roberts was over an hour late to pick them up as well.  I hope that they did not miss their flight.   Moral of the story : Don't use Roberts of Hawaii!!

Lucky? for us, another couple was being picked up by VIP tours to take them to the ship.  We had seen several VIP vans come and go while we had been waiting.  The driver offered to take all of us to the pier for $20.00.  Needless to say, we took him up on his offer and will be trying to get a refund from Roberts.  VIP dropped us off at the pier around 1:30.  This is the 1st cruise that I have been on that porters were not waiting curbside to take the luggage.  No big deal really; we took our bags to the designated spot, completed the health form -another 1st for me - and were checked in by 2:00PM.

I was worried about the lines and no appointment times when we arrived, but everything moved quickly.  We got our key cards and a lei upon arrival.  Mine was made from fresh flowers and was absolutely beautiful!  Scott and Sam got one made out of shells.

After the customary picture, we boarded the ship and went to the Skyline for a lovely lunch.  Our waiters were Blake and Jade who offered great service.  During lunch, they started announcing that rooms on various floors were ready.  Just as we were finishing up our lunch, there was an announcement that rooms on floor 10 were ready.  Yay!  Once we were finished eating, we went to our room to drop off our backpacks and rest for a bit before muster at 4:45.  Our muster station was located in the Liberty Dining Room.  I thought it was odd that they did not scan our cards when we checked in for muster, only marking our names off on a sheet.  They also did not announce any names of those who were not there.   It would probably be easy to skip muster.   Muster was quick and easy, but poor Sam fell asleep.

We then went down to deck 5 forward to the "This is Aloha" show, that gave information about the history of Hawaii, how the islands were made and different things to do at each port.  It was a nice presentation.  Unsurprisingly, Sam slept through the entire thing.  We tried to persuade him to stay up, but nothing worked, so back to the room we went so he could go to bed.

 

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Sunday, June 16, 2019

 

We were up before the sun this morning.  We all sat out on the balcony and watched the sun come up as we were sailing into Kahuli Harbor.  I think this may be one of the few times I have ever watched the sun come up.  I decided that it was dumb for me to be up this early, so I went back to bed for a little bit before we needed to get ready for our tour.

At 7:45 I got back up and packed a bag for our tour today.  We were off the ship by 8:10 and had to walk to Long's Drugs to meet our tour for the day.  Long's is a couple blocks from the ship.  We were 10 minutes early and the last people there so that meant we had to sit in the back of the van. 😒  Today's tour was the Road to Hana with Dynamic Tours.  Our driver's name was Sean; he had a big personality, but it felt like he was trying just a little too hard to be cool.  We saw some Sea Turtles on a black sand beach, many waterfalls with the opportunity to swim in them.  Several people in our group, Sean included jumped off the rocks into the waterfall pools.  We drove past the Bamboo Forrest, the Painted Forrest, a few black sand beaches and lots of pretty scenery.

Lunch was provided with this tour.  We stopped at a state park to eat our lunch and had the opportunity to explore and swim at another black sand beach.  The water was rough, but Sam enjoyed his time there.  The roads were so twisty, bumpy and turny and Sean thought it would be fun to take the hills like a roller coaster.  Somewhere alongside the road in a field of lava bombs, we had to stop so I could throw up.  The road just got too bad and Sean was a crazy driver-maybe he really wasn't but it sure felt like it.   We still had a little bit to go before we got back to the ship.  Our last stop was a honey farm, then it would be about 30 minutes before we would be back to the ship.  The road improved significantly, and was much smoother so I closed my eyes and before I knew it, we were back at Long's Drugs.

We ran into the drug store to get some, Tums, Lip Balm and snacks before our walk to the boat.  After we got back to the ship, we got cleaned up and went down to the Skyline to get some supper.  After supper, Scott and Sam went to go swim.  I went to bed!

Overall, the day was good.  I'm not sure that I would want to do the Road to Hana again, nor would I recommend many others to do it either.  It felt like there really wasn't much to see or do after Hana.  I'm not sure what I was expecting with this tour, but what we did, just wasn't for me.

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Monday, June 17, 2019

 

We are starting to adjust to Hawaii time a little bit.  I was awake before the sun was up, but decided to just roll over and rest for a little bit longer.  I think we were all up and dressed before 7.  Today is day 2 in Maui.  Thank goodness that our day should not be as long or as intense as yesterday.

Our tour today was scheduled for a 9:30AM start with a 9:15 AM meetup.  Lucky for us, there were only 5 people on the tour today.  We were 3 of the 5 on a mini bus.  No back seat riding for us today!  We were on the Best of Maui tour with Roberts of Hawaii.  Our guide's name was Patricia, but instructed us to call her "cousin" per local custom.  The 1st stop of the day was an unscheduled one.  We stopped at Kepaniwi Park at the base of the Iao Valley for about 45ish minutes to kill because we were not scheduled to enter the Iao Valley until 10:15AM..  Kepaniwi and the grounds are very beautiful with different areas representing different parts of the world representing mostly Asian and Polynesian cultures.  A favorite of ours was walking through the paths of bamboo.

Next stop was the Iao Valley, famous for it's needle lookout point that was used by royalty in times of war as a lookout.  There are 133 steps that allows you to go up to a platform to see down into the valley.  It had started to sprinkle at this point and I did not want to walk up all those steps and get caught in the rain. I looked around the grounds for a bit on the way back to the bus.  Scott and Sam walked up the steps and as soon as they got to the top, it started to pour!  Everyone arrived to the bus within the next 10-15 minutes.

We then traveled to the Maui Tropical Plantation; a former working Sugarcane Plantation that is now used for tourism.  We were scheduled for the noon plantation tram tour so we had about 40 minutes to look around the gift shop and grounds before our tour.  The tram ride lasted about 45 minutes, the driver of the tram, explained the history of the plantation and showed us the various plants that growing.  The baby pineapple were super cute.  He also demonstrated how to husk and cut a coconut.  After the ride, we were treated to some fresh pineapple and were free to look around for a while longer.  We decided to visit the ice cream shop before it was time to go.

The final stop of the day was the Maui Ocean Center.  The aquarium was small, but fun.  My favorites were the Green Sea Turtles and listening to the naturalist talk about the different types of fish.  We did a little bit of shopping then it was time for cousin to pick us up to take us back to the ship.

We got back to the ship around 3 and headed to the Cadillac Diner for a late lunch.  The wings were yummy!  I went to a lei making class and Scott and Sam went swimming.   Supper was in the Skyline again tonight.  Everyone was early to bed.  It was a good day.

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Taking this same cruise July 27th. Looking forward to any other tips and hints you have to share.


Sorry to hear about your adventure on the road to Hana. The fun of that trip is getting there, you're right, there's nothing actually in Hana itself worth seeing. Just past it is the 7 sacred pools, but you need to be mindful of the time if you want to get back in the daylight on those roads.

 

We'll have a car the first day in Maui and will do the trip ourselves. My sister already said he has to be the driver or else she'll be the one puking on the side and we won't make it halfway for shaved ice. 😉

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

 

Hello, Hilo!

 

The water was rough last night.  I got up at some point last night to shut our patio door that slid open.  As usual, we were up before the sun.  I sat out on the balcony and watched the sun come up while Scott went in search of coffee.

 

Our tour today was with Mauka Makai Adventures (they are awesome!) at 8:30AM.  We easily got off the ship at met our guide Josh.  He was born and raised on the big island, so he knows all the local folklore and great places to visit; coincidentally, he is also the owner of Mauka Makai.  There were 12 of us in a 10 passenger van.  It was a little bit cozy, but totally.  We knew a couple on this tour from New Zealand who we had been with on the Road to Hana tour.  We ran into them several times over the next few days.  Funny how with such a large ship, you see the same people over and over.

 

The 1st stop of the day was right down the road from the port at a black sand beach where we could see the turtles.  Just as we were walking up to the beach, it started pouring down rain.  We stood under a shelter awning for a couple of minutes until the showers had passed.  Josh explained that the rocks that we would need to climb over to get to the turtles were probably slippery.  I have a fear of falling and getting hurt, so I chose to explore the beach and look at the tide pools.  Scott and Sam went to see the turtles.

 

Next up, was Rainbow Falls.  Because of the overcast day, there unfortunately was not a rainbow.  I did get some nice pictures.  Josh was standing on the bridge with me while I was waiting for Scott and Sam to come down from the lookout and explained the local legend regarding the falls and how there is a giant lizard that lives in the base of the falls.  There is even a rock formation in the water that looks like a lizard.  Many of our group got caught in a sudden downpour of rain.  Lucky for me, I was dry.  It started raining while I was in the bathroom.

 

We then went to Volcanoes National Park.  This is the place that I have been looking forward to visiting the most.  After entering the park, we made a quick stop at the visitors center to look around and learn about the park.  This is also the place to buy tschotskes.  We then went on to the Kileaua Crater.  This giant hole in the ground at one time was once a mountain that collapsed onto it's self during an eruption.   It was entertaining to watch Josh get annoyed with some of the other guides who were not local and were giving false information about the park.  We walked a little farther down the path to the steam vent that was close to the pathway.  I got to experience a vent up close and personal.  The wind was blowing just right and blew that hot steam right in my face.  I got a volcano facial!  Back to the van we went to a lava field from the 1969 eruption.  The lava rocks look heavy, but a actually light.  Lunch came with today's tour, so we ate while sitting on the rocks.  Unfortunately, a big portion of the park is still closed due to the 2018 eruption.  I was sad that we were unable to see the Thurston Lava Tube.  Josh said that he thinks that everything will probably be open again soon.  We drove through crater drive on our way out of the park.

 

The next stop was Akostuka Orchid Gardens, where you can look around at all the different plants.  If you choose to buy, the plants can be shipped back to your house.  The plants were all very beautiful.  I enjoyed looking at them.

 

The last stop of the day, was a coffee and chocolate place that was very crowded.  We enjoyed the free samples, but it was really too crowded to look around.  At some point, I lost Scott and Sam; I later found them outside eating ice cream.

 

We arrived back at the ship around 3.  Scott and Sam went swimming and I enjoyed the quiet and the light breeze on the balcony.  We sat out on the balcony and watched sail away before we went to eat.

 

Supper tonight was in the Skyline, noticing a theme here?  The service was very slow tonight.  We ate with a couple of ladies from New York state.  After supper, I was tired and went to bed while Scott and Sam went to a magic show.

 

Kona tomorrow.   I wish that I would have scheduled a tour with Mauka Makai for Kona as well.

 

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1 hour ago, Sailing12Away said:

Taking this same cruise July 27th. Looking forward to any other tips and hints you have to share.


Sorry to hear about your adventure on the road to Hana. The fun of that trip is getting there, you're right, there's nothing actually in Hana itself worth seeing. Just past it is the 7 sacred pools, but you need to be mindful of the time if you want to get back in the daylight on those roads.

 

We'll have a car the first day in Maui and will do the trip ourselves. My sister already said he has to be the driver or else she'll be the one puking on the side and we won't make it halfway for shaved ice. 😉

 

I hope your trip is as wonderful as ours was. 

 

We did the entire road Hana and got to see the 7 sacred pools. Did you know that the 7 sacred pools was named that as a gimmick from the local posh hotel to draw in customers and that there are actually more than 7 pools?

 

Drive safely!

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4 hours ago, CruzinKristin said:

The flight to HNL is considered an international flight so we needed to change terminals once we arrived. 

 

For those who may be reading, just FYI that American does not consider HNL anything close to an international flight. The flight often leaves out of the Terminal D which serves as the main international terminal, but countless domestic flights arrive/depart Terminal D too...it's just the only one that has immigration/customs, so all flights arriving from (and most departing to) non-pre clearance international destinations use Terminal D.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

 

We actually did not sit outside and watch the sun come up this morning.  I was awake, but decided to just lay in bed.

 

Around 6:30, I got up and went downstairs to get tender tickets.  The man at the table suggested getting tickets for a time at least an hour earlier than  your tour.  I got tender group 6; that should leave around 8:30 or 9ish.  We actually left closer to 8:15, so by the time we got to Kona, we had some time to kill.  We went into the ABC shop to get some drinks and enjoy the air conditioning.  Then we just hung out by the Banyon tree until it was time for our tour.

 

Today's tour was at 10 with C Big Island Tours; our guide's name was Edmund and we were on a mini bus with about 15 other people.  The 1st stop of the day was Kaloko-Humokohau National Historical Park where we mostly stood out in the hot sun and listened to Edmund talk about Hawaii.  We then drove over to the marina and walked down to the beach to see the turtles that weren't there.  By this point, I was hot, tired and already regretting booking this tour.  Sam was hot and complaining that he just wanted to go back to the ship.  I really wanted to see the coffee portion of this tour, so I was hopeful that the tour would get better.  Sadly, it didn't.

 

The next stop was at Royal Kona Museum and Coffee Mill.  I was disappointed again, because this is just a shopping stop.  I was hopeful that we would see the entire coffee process explaining how the beans were grown, roasted and ground.  There was a pretty cool lava tube that we could walk through.

 

We then traveled to our lunch stop at Super J's to get some authentic Lau Lau.  We had the pork and white rice.  The food was awesome and super cheap.  This stop was absolutely the best part of the day.

 

After lunch, we traveled to the Painted Church to take pictures.  Then it was back to the port area.  Edmund gave everyone the option to be dropped off in town for shopping, at a brewery or back at the port.  We considered going to the brewery, but it was already 3:30 and the last tender was at 5.  We were afraid of getting stuck in the long lines waiting to get back and being even more miserable, so we decided to get dropped off at the port.   We did a little bit of shopping at the ABC store and at Del Sol before hopping a tender back to the ship.

 

When we got back, I was hot and yucky and just wanted to take a shower.  Scott and Sam of course headed to the pool.  They got back, took showers and we went to supper in the Skyline.  We had the best waiter tonight; I wish that I would have got his name.

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1 hour ago, Zach1213 said:

 

For those who may be reading, just FYI that American does not consider HNL anything close to an international flight. The flight often leaves out of the Terminal D which serves as the main international terminal, but countless domestic flights arrive/depart Terminal D too...it's just the only one that has immigration/customs, so all flights arriving from (and most departing to) non-pre clearance international destinations use Terminal D.

 

Just reporting what I was told by the fight attendant... That it was considered an international flight because of the long period of time over the water.   Sorry if this information is not correct.

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9 minutes ago, CruzinKristin said:

 

Just reporting what I was told by the fight attendant... That it was considered an international flight because of the long period of time over the water.   Sorry if this information is not correct.

 

I've never flown AA to Hawaii, but I'm wondering if it has to do with the catering - if you got a full meal, she probably meant that catering met the international longhaul guidelines. No need to be sorry, I was just clarifying that the terminal change (assuming you went out of D) didn't have to do with international versus domestic.

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

 

Hello, Kauai!

 

We slept in more today than usual.  Still up early, but not with the sun.  Coming into port today, we saw a bunch of baby dolphins jumping around next to the ship.  Exciting! 

 

We docked around 8 and were off the ship soon after.  Our tour today was Journey to Waimea Canyon with Roberts of Hawaii.  Our guide's name was Larry and he drove us on a motor coach out to the canyon.  It took a little bit to get to the canyon up some twisty roads.  Once we got there, we had about 45 minutes to explore. There is a short walk up a ramp to a lookout point. The canyon is absolutely beautiful, with all of the different shades of green and red.  We bought some drinks and snacks from a vendor before reboarding the bus to take us to the South side of the island to see a horn spout AKA a blow hole where the pressure of the waves was making a geyser type spout come up from a hole in the rock.  It was really a cool thing to see and probably one of the highlights of the day.  We then got back on the bus to go back to the ship.

 

We arrived back to the ship around 1:45 and went to the Cadillac Diner to get some more of those yummy wings.  Sadly, the service as terrible so we were disappointed.  Our plan was to eat then go up to the pool, but Sam was being grumpy so we made him take a nap.  Scott and I sat out on the balcony and enjoyed the quiet.  He worked for a little bit and I read by book.  It was really the perfect day, not too hot, not too cold with a light breeze.

 

After Sam woke up, we all changed clothes and headed up to the pool.  Scott and I hung out in the hot tub for a bit and then switched to the pool.  Sam was in and out of both places and found a little baby friend named Henry to play with.  We swam for about 2 hours.  It was nice being up on deck, it was pretty much deserted.  I was expecting the pools to be crowded with kids, but there was only a handful of people.  We started to get hungry, so we went back to our room and got cleaned up for supper.  Per our usual, we went to the Skyline.  The place was absolutely dead tonight!  I'm guessing that most of the people went to the Luau because the place was totally dead!  I actually asked when we arrived if they were open.  One of the appetizers tonight was Matzah Ball Soup.  I was excited as this is one of my favorite foods and we have this at home often.  OMG!!  It was so GROSS!  It tasted like Ramen Soup broth with a tiny dense little ball in it.  I'm not sure the ball was actually made of out Matzah.  I had the Rotisserie Chicken, Sam had the steak-again and Scott got the lamb.  Our supper was good.

 

After supper, we went  back to the room to let our tummies settle.  I fell asleep - no surprise- and Scott and Sam went back to the pool.

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Friday, June 21, 2019

 

Today is the 1st day of Summer!  We all slept in today.  I don't know what it is about vacation, but the longer we are gone, the more tired we seem to be.  We are still in port today in Kauai.  The plan is to leave port around 2 and sail the Na Pali Coast.  According to the paper, we should sail past around 5:15 PM with a narration of what can be seen.  The paper said that viewing can be seen from Port side decks, and lucky for us, we have a port side room.

 

I saw in the paper this morning that for people like us with later flights, we could purchase Early Bird Pearl Harbor tickets and visit there before going to the airport.  I asked Scott his thoughts about doing something like this and he said he would rather take a tour instead of sitting in the airport all day.  I agreed and was glad that we would get to visit Pearl Harbor.  It made me sad to think we went all the way to Hawaii and would not get to see it.

 

Today was the only day that we did not have anything planned.  Sam was excited about this because I told him earlier in the week that he could pick what we do today.  Of course, he chose to go to the beach.  Scott and Sam took the trolley to the beach that is a few blocks away.  I went down to the shore excursion desk to see about getting on the tour.  Lucky for us, there were 4 seats left on the Pearl Harbor and Honolulu city tour.  The guy at the desk was very nice and helpful.  He gave me the tickets for the tour and explained the luggage process.  It was all very easy.  I then went to guest services to ask about getting refunded for my prearranged travel to the airport now that I had a shore excursion.

 

After all that hubub, I enjoyed sitting out on the balcony and watching the boats come in and out.  There was a little bit of a rainstorm that lasted about 10 minutes.  It was a lovely morning.  I also got the majority of the room packed up.  Scott and Sam came in around noon, the got cleaned up and we went to the Skyline for lunch.  We came back and hung out on the balcony for a little bit because the pool was too crowded to be enjoyable.  Around 3, they went back to the pool.  I packed away my suit because I didn't want to have wet things in my luggage.   I stayed in the room and finished packing, read my book and enjoyed the quiet.

 

Around 5ish we sailed past the NaPali Coast.  It is very beautiful to see the jagged peaks and all of the colors.  It would be fun to spend the night on one of those deserted beaches and explore the caves. There were some dolphins swimming next to the ship as we were sailing by.  The narration going on as well, but I couldn't hear a thing because of the neighbors.  Scott and Sam returned near the end of the sail past.  Scott was striped sunburned.  It looks like he used sunblock, but didn't get it applied evenly.  I had a good laugh.  They got showers and we went to the Liberty Dining Room for supper.  I was expecting a different menu than the Skyline, but it was exactly the same.  There isn't much difference between the 2 dining rooms.  I think I actually prefer the Skyline.  Scott and I both had the Prime Rib.  Sam of course had the NY Strip for the 6th time this week.

 

After supper, we just decided to hang out in our room and get the suitcases out in the hall.  We were all sad that this was our last day.

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Good information! Looking forward to the rest of your review. We are booked on POA the last week in August. We have booked two of the excursions you reviewed....Best of Maui and Volcanoes National Park. 

The brewery you mentioned at .....is that the Kona Brewery? We have booked a tour of the brewery and plan to have a few cold ones.

Thanks for the info!

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Sunday, June 22, 2019

 

We were all up and dressed around 6:30 this morning and then up to the Lido to get some breakfast before meeting our tour.  After eating, we went back to the room for a potty stop and a final walk through.  We grabbed our backpacks  and went down to the nightclub on Deck 6 forward to meet our tour.

 

Today's tour was Pearl Harbor and Honolulu City.  At promptly 8:00, our group was called.  Debarking the ship was super easy.  We walked on the outside of Deck 6, swiped our card and off we went.  Down 2 escalators in the port building and we were at baggage claim.  All the bags were separated by color coded tags; ours were black because we had purchased a tour through the ship.  It was super easy to find our luggage and the tour met right beside the baggage claim.

 

We handed our bags off to the porter by the bus, who separated the bags by airline.  We then boarded the motor coach.  It was a full coach and I was smooshed next to the window.  Our driver's name was Leo and he was very nice- he really made the trip fun.

 

It was a short ride to Pearl Harbor.  We arrived around 8:30 and were given tickets for the 10:30 tour.  Leo explained that all bags, including backpacks, purses, fanny packs, camera bags, etc. were not allowed in Pearl Harbor and must stay on the locked bus.  We walked around the grounds of Pearl Harbor and before we knew it, it was time to go to the movie portion of the tour.  We watched a short documentary about the bombing of PH and all the events that took place that day.  We then boarded a small boat that cruised Battleship Row and past the USS Arizona Memorial.  Unfortunately, the Arizona is still closed to visitors due to repairs being needed so all we could do is sail by.  Visiting PH is such a moving experience.  I am so glad that we had the opportunity to visit.

 

Our instructions were to meet Leo back at the bus at 12:15 to begin the city tour portion of the excursion.  The 1st stop was the Punchbowl Cemetery.  We then traveled downtown Honolulu, to see the government buildings, and the formal royal palace.  We then had the opportunity to get off the bus and get a picture of the statue of the queen and get a hotdog from the street vendor.  Sam was tired, so I stayed on the bus with him.  Scott got off and got a hot dog.  After everyone was back on the bus, we then were on our way to the airport.

 

It is recommended that people arrive 3 hours early for flights out of HNL.  Leo dropped us off right at the ticketing counter.  We checked in for our flight and checked in our bags fairly easily.  We then faced a long line getting through security.  We ended up changing security lines because the one we were in got shut down.  We moved to the next line that was even longer, but it went surprisingly fast.  We still had a little bit of time before our flight so we decided to look around the shops and get something to eat.  We still had about an hour before our flight, so we waited at the gate and enjoyed some free wifi before boarding the flight to Dallas.

 

Our plane took off from HNL around 5:15 PM.  Those 777's are nice with the TV monitors, but for us lowly folk in the back, it sure seemed cramped.  The inflight meal was a yucky Buffalo Chicken Wrap that none of us ate.  I did not sleep at all, but Sam was out for the majority of the flight.  I think Scott dozed off and on.

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Sunday, June 23, 2019

 

We landed in Dallas around 5:15AM about 30 minutes ahead of schedule.  The plane ride was pretty smooth until we got closer to DFW, then it got rather bumpy.  I could see lightening off in the distance, so I am sure that there were some storms moving in.  We pulled into Terminal D and our connecting flight was in Terminal C, so we hopped on the tram that took us around to Terminal C.  That tram is super fast, however, I am not at all confident that it was being c

controlled by an actual person.  It took maybe 10 minutes to get to where we were going, so per the usual, we sat and enjoyed the wifi for about 30 minutes before it was time to board the flight to Indy.

Our new plane was a nice 737.  We were in row 8 - a great location close to the front of the plane.  Sam slept the entire flight again and I think Scott slept for a while as well.  I was wide awake.  My ankles and legs were really swollen from flying and it was hard to get comfortable.  The flight was a little bumpy, but went quickly and before we knew it, the 2 hours were up and we were landing in Indy!

 

We claimed our luggage and then hopped on the shuttle to Economy Parking to find the car.  That took a hot minute.  We lost the car for a bit.  Scott took a picture of the lot number we were in, but sometime during the trip, his phone died (literally) and he was confused about which section we were in.  I ended up just standing in the middle of the parking lot with the luggage while they looked for the car so we didn't have to keep dragging suitcases all over the place.  The car was soon found and loaded up, for the 2 hour journey home.  I slept the entire time!

 

 

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1 hour ago, rtread said:

Good information! Looking forward to the rest of your review. We are booked on POA the last week in August. We have booked two of the excursions you reviewed....Best of Maui and Volcanoes National Park. 

The brewery you mentioned at .....is that the Kona Brewery? We have booked a tour of the brewery and plan to have a few cold ones.

Thanks for the info!

 

Thanks for reading!  I hope you will enjoy the trip as much as we did.

 

I'm not remembering if the brewery was the Kona Brewing Company - it sounds right, but I'm not 100%.  It is either that or the Paradise Brewing Company.  Both are within a few blocks of the port.

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Thanks for your review CruisinKristin. I'll be on the POA mid September.  I do have a question for you. On the Pearl Harbor / Honolulu City Tour,  do you remember what time your flight had to be after to do it?  Were there any other tours available that day? We depart from HNL @  4P.  Thank you!

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9 hours ago, sue402001 said:

Thanks for your review CruisinKristin. I'll be on the POA mid September.  I do have a question for you. On the Pearl Harbor / Honolulu City Tour,  do you remember what time your flight had to be after to do it?  Were there any other tours available that day? We depart from HNL @  4P.  Thank you!

 

You can do early bird Pearl Harbor if you have a flight that departs after 2 PM.  There is also a North Shore tour, but the flier doesn't say how late flights need to be.

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Thanks for the review....will be there in August.

 

Question, first day in Maui...you had to walk out to the pharmacy..were there any Taxis about?

Or for that matter shuttles to the rental car agencies?

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2 hours ago, B-52 said:

Thanks for the review....will be there in August.

 

Question, first day in Maui...you had to walk out to the pharmacy..were there any Taxis about?

Or for that matter shuttles to the rental car agencies?

I did see lots of taxis in the port area.  I’m sure they will take you wherever you need to go.  Not sure about shuttles for rental car agencies.

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15 hours ago, CruzinKristin said:

 

You can do early bird Pearl Harbor if you have a flight that departs after 2 PM.  There is also a North Shore tour, but the flier doesn't say how late flights need to be.

 

Thank you!

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Great information! Looking forward to the rest of your review.

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