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coyboy1971

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  • Content Count

    467
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About coyboy1971

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Kailua Kona, Hi
  • Interests
    Adopted greyhounds, cooking, reading, travel.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Azamara, NCL, RSVP
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Santorini

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  1. You will enjoy the Brewery. It's a bit uphill from the pier, which means a cold one will taste good. If they have it and you like coffee flavors, be sure to try the Black Sand porter. It's like a Guinness meets a Starbucks cold brew. Yum! I would suggest you stroll Ali'i Drive from the pier, south toward Huggo's and back again. There are lots of shops, galleries, and restaurants to explore. Something right near the pier that's a very special historical place where you can see what life was like in the Kingdom before the overthrow and annexation is Huliheʻe Palace.
  2. Just completed the June 15-22, 2019 Pride of America Hawaii cruise... feel free to ask me anything while my memory is fresh. The ship is still in great shape from it's 2016 refurbishing. In fact, all of the bedding has just been replaced, and it's soooooo comfortable. (The crew bedding was also being replaced and upgraded on our cruise, and the crew was very happy about that.) The crew were exceptional, with excellent service from start to finish. On port days, the ship empties out and you will get completely spoiled if you stay aboard. I enjoyed a nice Spa and pool day, and it felt like I was on a much smaller, posh ship. We splurged on a massive owner's suite, 13500, which was enormous and felt very luxe with all the relatively new furniture and the muted "Norwegian Edge" beige tones fused with some tasteful Hawaiian touches. The balcony was even more expansive, with 4 sun lounge chairs with thick pads, a table for 5, and 2 more chairs with side tables. This port side, forward facing suite was perfect for viewing the Na Pali coast, and our absolutely fantastic butler, Georgia, made sure we had a big spread of snacks and wine so our family traveling with us could all come up and enjoy the views. In fact, Georgia frequently timed her appearances to escort us to dinner, and would take our dessert orders to be served later in the suite, so we would not miss the shows in the evening. She also expedited us to the front of the line for the tendering at Kona, and just wowed us more than any butler we have experienced on NCL or any other line. She was definitely our "cruise hero" and I can say many other wonderful things about Christopher, the very amiable and ever present Concierge, and Jenny, the CruiseNext/Latitudes representative who took me and my dad and 13 year old nephew on a private behind the scenes tour of the ship (another Platinum perk). Some of the things I enjoyed most took place around 4 p.m. each day - lei making classes were a lot of fun and they didn't skimp on the supplies. Origami folding was challenging and satisfying. Hula classes were fun to watch. Cooking demonstrations were fascinating. Keep an eye on your daily for these. The dress code in the evenings was very relaxed. The only place we saw it being followed was in Jefferson's Bistro, which was nice, because it preserved the elegant atmosphere and the top notch service. This was also our first time experiencing our free dinner and bottle of wine in the Bistro as a Platinum perk, and the list of complimentary wines was surprisingly comprehensive and included many bottles that would retail over $20 at a wine shop. The Liberty dining room was supposed to have the same dress code as the Bistro, but we saw people every night in shorts, t-shirt, sweat pants, you name it. Every other venue was this way, and you saw everything from adults in nice Hawaiian shirts and sun dresses to dressy dinner attire to raggedy tee shirts and short shorts. Hawaii is very casual, but this was more like college beach town on spring break casual. We also enjoyed dinners at Cagney's and La Cecina, which were slow paced but high quality. Allow a good two hours if you are doing 3-4 courses. Disembarking was a snap, with easy walk-off. The terminal is very nice, but DO NOT arrive early for check in unless you like sitting around. We used Blacklane to arrange our transfers to and from the ship, and their drivers know the processes and terminal very well. You know those NCL cruises where you are shocked at the end to find out there are 750 kids on board? Not this one... you will experience their presence in abundance when the ship is not in port if you are sailing while American kids are on summer break. The POA just isn't set up for sea time like other ships. This is very family oriented cruise, and there were lots of times when kids were running around Cagney's like sugared-up banshees during the suite guest breakfast and lunch times, or teens roaming the ship in the evenings with dripping soft serve cones, or thundering around the sun deck on deck 14 at 10 p.m. If you're an older couple celebrating your special anniversary, bear this in mind. Some people like having to wade through a pack of 5-8 year olds dressed as pirates on a scavenger hunt while trying to walk to dinner, others might find this a bit much. On a practical note, if you are traveling from outside of North America, most of the electrical outlets are the US 110v style. Our suite had one European style 220 outlet. Since its a port heavy trip, you will have good cellular/wireless service from Verizon and AT&T on board except for overnight and the last day. Kona and Kauai have easy access (walkable) to beaches, shopping and restaurants, but Maui and Hilo are container ports and you will need to take a shuttle or taxi if you are not on an excursion. Hope this is helpful... I would definitely recommend this ship and itinerary to families who want to sample the four main Hawaiian Islands and to couples who don't mind having lots of kids and families around them.
  3. Aloha... you can buy it once you get to Hawaii. Our ABC stores carry a vast array of reef safe sunscreens, as does Target, Wal-Mart, and Costco. You will also find that most of the snorkel boats provide sunscreen on board that is reef safe. I'm very fair skinned and haven't found it hard to find one that works...most of them are mineral based (e.g., titanium dioxide) and are just impossible to fully rub in, so I've gotten used to being a little bit powdery white. Pro tip: in the water here, you will see that most locals wear a rash guard, which offers sun protection and lets you avoid having to completely cover your body with sunscreen. You can pick them up in the same stores.
  4. Agree with poster below for an iconic dinner. Best lunch: the “B Double El T” (bacon, lobster, lettuce, and tomato) sandwich at the nearby Moana Surfrider’s Veranda (start with hamachi crudo). The Moana shares room charging privileges and elite guest perks with the Royal Hawaiian. Best Thai: Noi Thai on level 3 of the Royal Hawaiian shopping center is the best Thai food I’ve had outside of Bangkok.
  5. I had a very good experience booking with Viking Air today... I did the business class upgrade w/Viking Air Plus. Customer service agent was extremely friendly. It was a complicated itinerary with the extensions, but she was able to get me on my preferred carriers (my husband and I are both United Global Services/Star Alliance Gold) by playing with code shares and by my willingness to be flexible and take a short connecting flight on the outbound. It all came in under the contract with no add/collect. I ended up with: SFO-LAX-LHR on United Bergen to Oslo on SAS Oslo to FRA on SAS as a LH codeshare FRA to SFO on United as LH codeshare I tried booking the same exact flights directly with United and the business class fare was coming in at $17k per person, so using Viking was a huge savings, and once booked, everything immediately populated in my United App so I am confident my FF status carried thru. That being said, I had to be patient and work with her as she bid the flights... the call was 1 hr 4 minutes long! LOL.
  6. I really like Bite Me Sportsfishing charters. They offer 4, 6, and 8 hour charters. The boats and people are really nice. Remember, you don't have to go more than 10-15 minutes out of the small boat harbor to be in 2000' of water so the 4 hour trip from 10:30-2:30 will probably be fine.
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