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  1. On the inside cabins, are there mini fridges?
  2. Hi all, sorry if I posted this in the wrong place.. I couldn't find a thread with the same topic.. new cruiser here! So.. I'm hyper confused about the documentation we need to bring for Pride of America and a bit anxious because the cruise is in almost 2 months. I know for US citizens the driver's license is enough but I've read that you also need to bring a second photo ID? And also I have 3 non-citizens in my party, 2 of them with residency and one in the process of residency (but will have a valid government issued photo ID in time for the cruise but maybe not the green card yet). Everybody is currently in the US so nobody needs a passport but I would like to know if: A) its true that you need a second photo ID to board B) what would that second ID be for non-citizens (with expired passports.. also) Thanks! Btw I contacted NCL online and thats where my confusion started because they said we do need to bring passports but it doesn't seem right because its a US cruise with only US ports so its always national... so I started to google around and found out about the second ID and things got crazy! lol I need an expert!
  3. KeithJenner

    Pride of America review

    Hi. It’s Monday morning and we are in Maui on the POA. I’m not doing a live review as such this time, but I thought I would just make a few notes as we go. Firstly, I have to say that I really like this ship. The layout is a bit different from the other NCL ships and there are some quirks, such as not being able to access the deck 6 MDR from that deck (you have to use the aft stairs or walk out onto the promenade deck to get to it). As expected, the ship itself appears very quiet. The ship is in port a lot and the bars are very quiet as people are resting after busy days ashore. The fact that very few people have the UBP also means that people are spending less time there. We spent three nights in Honolulu pre cruise. We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, which I believe NCL sometimes use for people who book accommodation through them. It was very nice. We used the bus to get to Pearl Harbour which was really easy. We caught it from just outside the hotel (number 42 bus) and it took about 45 minutes to get there. Coming back was about an hour as the traffic was busier. Based on our taxi from the airport as the same time the previous day, that was probably about 20-25 minutes longer than a taxi would take. The cost was $5.50 each return compared to about $100 return in a taxi. The Arizona memorial is still closed at the moment (with no sign that I could see that it will reopen soon ). It was still worth reserving a place though, as the boat takes you right out to it. Yesterday in Maui we hired a car from Dollar. The shuttle bus was prompt (and make a journey specifically for us on our return, which I though was excellent service as I was expecting a wait). We drove up to the top of Haleakalā Crater and then a little way along the Hana Highway after stopping in Pa’ia for some lunch. There were lots of places to eat there, and we also stopped at Twin Falls, about 10 miles along the highway. Well worth a stop but don’t risk the toilets. That section of the Hana Highway is very easy driving. I believe there are a lot of sharp bends etc as you go further along. Overall it was a great day. We are having a rest day today, although I am planning to go out for a walk later. Onboard, we have the dining package as well as our platinum meals, so have meals booked in speciality restaurants on 5 nights. We have done Moderno and Teppenyaki so far. We have been to both of these many times before, but I thought the food in Teppenyaki was the best we have ever had there. Moderno was also above average, and the location (at the back of the buffet overlooking the aft seating area was quite good for sail away as we could see Honolulu as we sailed away. I’ve read mixed comments about the staff, but we have found them to be very good so far. The bar service has been a little slow a couple of times (not a problem, but a bit slower than we are used to on NCL), although one of those times was because the bar was filling up for trivia. We particularly like the Gold Rush Saloon in the evening (although they were doing karaoke last night so we didn’t hang around). The Napa wine bar outside Cagneys is good for a pre meal drink and seems to always be very quiet. Anyway, that’s it for now. I don’t know how often I will report back in, but feel free to ask any questions and I will see what I can do. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. Does anyone know how early we can give our bags to the porters on POA? I was thinking of maybe doing a downtown tour before embarking but we would need to be free of luggage. I thought I read somewhere that we won't be allowed to board until noon, is that correct? This will help me determine if we need to wait and do downtown Honolulu after we disembark to kill time or if I will need to plan something else. TIA.
  5. Ok, so I'm confused and hoping the very knowledgeable folks here will be able to clarify for me. For sailings on the Pride of America, is alcohol included with the "Hawaii Beverage Package" (up to $15) or not? I know the rules were changed for sailings starting in 2019, but still can't clarify if alcohol is included. When I booked my upcoming sailing just last night, the cruise consultant and I were joking about needing to have the free alcohol package and at no point did he say that alcohol was excluded on the POA sailings. On the details page from NCL's website though, it specifically does not state that alcohol IS included. So now I'm confused, and concerned that I've promised my other 3 travelers something that isn't there. "Enjoy a wide selection of beverages including fountain soda, juice, and non-alcoholic beer up to and including $15 USD during your entire cruise."
  6. I have still got to finish my POA review, and will do so when I get chance, but before then I thought I would just post the reviews from our cruise last month (11th August). I hope these links work. Day 1: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0exu3s4ti6btlkx/POA%20Day%201.pdf?dl=0 Day 2: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hz21tf0kanh52f9/POA%20Day%202.pdf?dl=0 Day 3: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ggb0ziyrdu3beks/POA%20Day%203.pdf?dl=0 Day 4: https://www.dropbox.com/s/w9i338iheodixp8/POA%20Day%204.pdf?dl=0 Day 5: https://www.dropbox.com/s/q97969si6xx0xcw/POA%20Day%205.pdf?dl=0 Day 6: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ad3qsonta1pvyhi/POA%20Day%206.pdf?dl=0 Day 7 (and disembarkation): https://www.dropbox.com/s/bmqvoezarn27o73/POA%20Day%207.pdf?dl=0
  7. We embark 5 weeks from today on the POA and will be in the DOS. I've read that fresh flowers will be in the suite. This is an anniversary trip(36 years) and I was thinking of ordering a flower arrangement from NCL. But if there is a nice arrangement in the suite already don't know if it makes sense to order another. Has anyone had personal experience in a DOS that can comment about the fresh flower arrangement in the room and particular ladies should I go ahead and order another or do you think the included one is sufficient? I appreciate the help.
  8. Hello, I'm hoping to receive some help in picking a cabin for a future cruise on the Pride of America. I'm planning a trip to Hawaii in 2020 and looking to get some insight on which suite cabin to choose. Currently, I am considering either the Owner's Suite or Deluxe Owner's Suite. I might consider other types of suites on the ship but that will be based on your input and what you tell me about your experiences in those suites. I am hoping that past cruisers that have actually stayed in these type of cabins will come forward and give what they consider their "pros and cons" for why they picked the cabin they had and what they would have done differently in hindsight. Let me know things about why you picked the suite on a particular floor (good & bad). I'm trying to get a feel for things to consider for when I finally make a decision on the actual cruise I choose. Generally, I am hoping to get a wide range of feedback about what was enjoyable for you, what did you not like (and why), and what would you do differently knowing what you now know about cruising on the Pride of America. As a bit of background, I have sailed on NCL 3 times previously... 1 time on the Pearl and 2 times on the Epic. In all cases, I sailed in a 2 bedroom Villa in the Haven. There will only be two of us at the current time, but that could change. Okay, I look forward to hearing from you. :)
  9. I see there is no all inclusive drink package. Is there a specialty dining package available? On their website it seems to only let me book each restaurant individually. Thanks!
  10. Hello, Everyone! My husband's family is planning a family reunion vacation on the Pride of America in the fall of 2019. It's a medium sized group of about 20 people including some young kids. I haven't found very many posts about travelers with toddlers on this particular ship, so does anyone have some reviews of Guppies or port activities that would be good for toddlers? The youngest little cousins will be, at the time of travel: a 15 month old, then a 2.5 year old, and an almost 3 year old. There are some kindergartners and older kids as well. Also, we recently sailed on Carnival and they had a messaging system inside their app that used ships WiFi and it was fantastic for communicating with everybody in our travel group. Is there anything like that for NCL or will be soon? If not, what has worked best for communicating with a large group? The last time I sailed on NCL we didn't have kids, so anything at all would be super helpful while I'm in these early planning stages. Thanks in advance!
  11. Hi All, Holiday planning for the next 8 months has begun in TheSmashingCruiser household, one idea we have is Hawaii. My question is, is there enough time to see the key sites in Hawaii on the Pride of America cruise. We would do a pre/post night stay in Oahu, so this is covered, but how about the other islands? Is a cruise the best way, or would we be better flying island to island? I'm interested to hear your thoughts. Thanks in advance!
  12. Has anyone ever taken their own snorkel equipment when sailing on the Pride of America. We have cars rented for Honolulu precruise, Maui, and Kauai. Thought it might be nice to have the equipment in the car while exploring but wondered if it would be better to rent equipment as we go. We are flying first class so can take plenty of luggage and are in a suite so storage on the ship isn't an issue but at the same time don't want to take it if not much a chance to use it. Any snorkeling thoughts appreciated.
  13. Here is a question about NCL Pride of America, which does a lovely circuit around the Hawaiian Islands each week, starting and ending in Honolulu. Would NCL allow us to board the ship at the first port stop, which is Kahului, Maui? We had wanted to explore in Maui for a few days before the cruise. If we could board there for the cruise, we'd save the time and money we'd expend to make the trip to Honolulu for embarkation, only to sail right back to Maui the next day! Tonight I called NCL to ask this question, and was transferred to someone who said NO right off the bat. When I asked why, the explanation was that would be a violation of the Passenger Vessel Services Act and subject to stiff fine. But when I looked up this law on Wikipedia, I learned that it applies to foreign-flagged vessels stopping in US ports. It turns out that the Pride of America is a US-flagged vessel, possibly the only one in the NCL fleet. So now I am wondering if maybe our proposal would NOT be a violation of this law after all, and while I am no lawyer, if there might be a way to board in Maui, if we could work this out with the right people at NCL. Does anyone have any related experience or know of someone who has done this?
  14. we eat whole food plant based and while I can not control the way the food is cooked etc I at least need to eat Vegan. I don't want salads the whole time. is dining in dining room going to be an option?
  15. I'm taking my 3 older sisters (their average age is 52) on their very first cruise this coming March. I have tried to explain that even though it is a smaller older ship by today's standards, how enormous it will be with more things to do then they will have time to experience. I was hoping someone had some recent Freestyle Guides from this particular ship so I could share with them the types of daily activities and how each night they will get a chance to decide what they want to do the next day. If anyone has some pictures they could share, that would be great. Thanks! Joshua
  16. I’ve just heard a rumour that our ship, the pride of America, which we are due to board today is delaying its departure from Honolulu by 24 hours - now leaving 7.pm on the 23rd. I have booked through a UK travel agent, closed due to time difference, have received no phone call, email etc. Is anybody else more in the know? Thank you
  17. I had an open mind when I boarded the Pride of America on December 29th. My husband and 11 year old daughter were delighted by the general ambiance of the ship. Having read many, many reviews on cruise critic, I was fully prepared to withhold all judgment until experiencing it myself. I also did not telegraph my research findings with my family. When we boarded, we all anticipated a positive experience, but our day-to-day actual experiences left a lot to be desired. The cabin was small, but that was expected. What was not expected was the lingering offensive odor of varnish or paint that washed over us as we rested in the cabin late afternoons and overnight. Not sure where the odor originated but it caused significant nausea issues. The barely-operable toilet was a problem from day one. By the third day, we were all using public restrooms on a regular basis because the flush in our cabin restroom was completely unreliable. That was frustrating for three people and particularly for a pre-teen who has privacy concerns. This plumbing situation is a chronic problem for the entire ship, having read legions of postings about the toilet problems on the Pride of America. By week's end, most of the public restrooms had out of order signs in them. The food was pretty mediocre. We've been on a number of cruises, and honestly, our family is very easy to please. On the Pride of America we were always able to find something on the buffet that was passable: oatmeal and toast at breakfast, a hamburger on the deck if we were around for lunch, and a salad for dinner was generally palatable. The dining room food in Skyline and Liberty was sub-par. Presentation could never compensate for the poor quality of the food. We didn't mind the miserly portions as we don't generally over-eat at dinner anyway. But really, we think NCL misses the mark overall on its dining offerings. The Teppenyaki dinner was very well presented, but the food here was less than appetizing. Our chef was funny, but he was way, way too heavy handed with the garlic. It ruined the entire meal. The John Adams coffee bar was staffed by a very capable woman who we really appreciated. The coffee there was okay, much better than that served in any of the dining rooms. But paying for it was painful after having spent a significant chunk of money for this cruise. Our daughter enjoyed very much the Kid's Splash Academy. She rushed there immediately upon finishing her evening meal and stayed until the last possible moment (usually 10:15 pm). The staff at the Splash Academy was very energetic, upbeat, and hard working. They made up a lot for her lousy dining experience. She literally ate toast and bacon every morning because her preferred food choices were terribly prepared at breakfast. Thank goodness for fresh fruit, which was fine. We grabbed snacks and water at Whole Foods in Maui, which was a Godsend. And by the way, we were not banned from bringing on a case of sparkling water when we returned from shore. We didn't try to hide it, we simply carried it through security and on board and nobody said a word about it. We paid a premium for internet service that did not deliver with any consistency. I feel like we should have asked for a refund because it was so spotty, and when it did connect, it was unreasonably slow. It sounds to me like this is a continuing problem for NCL across the line. The NCL "upgrade" program is positively sinister. Why do you "invite" guests to upgrade on a sold out cruise, dangling the possibility of suite accommodations to magically appear 48 hours before sailing. I communicated with our personal cruise consultant on the telephone and by email multiple times begging him to put us on a waitlist for a suite, and was simply told that it was a sold out cruise and not possible. We had in five different bids for last minute cancellations. NCL should not offer the upgrade bidding process on sold out cruises. It's really poor PR. None of us could figure out why on earth young children and babies are allowed in the hottubs. It was kind of ridiculous. The pool seating was pretty easily available, which was nice on arrival day. We didn't often use the pool except for the last day on Kauai, which was then jam packed onboard. The single "water aerobics" class was a total joke. The woman who "taught" it, was clueless about what water aerobic activity even means. 15 minutes long in total and it started 10 minutes late. She was completely incompetent and "taught" the class wearing long pants and a polo shirt and sneakers from the deck. They need to find someone who knows the meaning of water aerobics on future cruises. I think people would take a daily offering of that if it were given early in the morning by a real instructor. The Hawaii itinerary is lovely. We thought it was fun going to the different islands. This was the saving grace of the entire trip. We took two NCL shore excursions - Captain Zodiak snorkel and surf in Kona - it was awesome; and the Volcano Eruption Encounter in Hilo, which did not disappoint (although one of the guides from Arnotts (which was the tour operator NCL uses in in Hilo) was a horror show. We were so thankful not to have landed in her group!) Our guide was really good. Other shore excursions we booked on our own. Paddle On! Maui, is highly recommended. 2-hours of stand up paddleboard lessons at Makena Cove - what a treat! We rented a vehicle in Maui through TURO, an app that allows you to book a car through private owners. Fully insured, fantastic experience. Note to those looking for overnight parking in Kahuli: leave the car at Whole Foods/Longs Drugs overnight. Its free and a short walk to the ship. We had an aft facing balcony cabin and paid about $10,000 for this cruise. An exorbitant price for what amounted to pretty meager amenities. Can anyone give me one good reason to sail with NCL again after this experience? I welcome the opportunity to hear it.
  18. Which side of the ship is best for viewing the Na Pali coast on a Pride of America cruise ? This is important because I will be with a handicapped person with that may not be comfortable outside. Second question......will it be warm while out to sea and not feel cool with the breezes from a moving ship? Thanks!
  19. I read on another website that the Pride of America is having to undergo maintenance in Kauai and as a result the ship must stay in port longer and for past 3 weeks did not sail by the NaPali coast. Can anyone tell me if this is true? I wrote NCL and was told that this was not correct; however, people who are on board are saying that they were given $100 per room on board credit. Was hoping to get more experiences from those who sailed.
  20. Anyone who has been a recent POA passenger can you please tell us what the status is of the Kilouea area? Are excursions going that way? Does the ship still sail past the active volcano from a distance so that the activity can be seen at night? We are currently booked on a shore excursion called "Big Island Eruption Encounter" Has anyone been on that? Thanks for any and all updates on the Hilo stop. We sail on 12/29/18
  21. Hello, Next summer we will be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary. We got married in Maui, and now we have 2 kids, (5 and 6 years old). We want to go back this time with the kids and perhaps renew our vows. We are experienced Hawaii travelers, 5 trips but never with kids. Right now I am thinking of staying 1 week in the circle hotel in Waikiki, a then a week of cruising. Thoughts on Waikiki with kids? Have not been in 3 years, and it was a bit seedy at times. I like that the hotel does not have a pool, and we have the protected "walls" beach across the street. Plus it's cheap! I have booked my recent cruises through cc.cruises.united.com and got huge mileage bonuses! Now Hawaiian Airlines fly's direct from Boston I was going to get their credit card, but their cruise site is only offering 3,000 mile bonus for a 7 day cruise. I could get 35,000 miles through united, but wanted to get rid of the card. Looking for booking advice? Every place has the same price, but many offer different Perks. Have always booked a balcony, but there are very few the can hold 4 people on POA, and spots are running out. I was going to book a direct flight on Hawaiian Boston to HNL. Then use my United miles to fly home red eye HNL to Newark, to Boston for "free". Thanks in advance for any advice! Aloha.
  22. Good morning fellow cruisers! I am finally getting around to writing up my latest cruise review on my blog. We are frequent cruisers and sailed many lines but this was our first NCL experience. I share the good, the bad, and the humor in all of my travels to give everyone an honest report of our experiences. Thanks for checking it out and I hope it helps inform and entertain. Please feel free to ask any questions here or in the blog comments. A Feast For Your Senses: Fuel for your sense of wonder and sense of humor
  23. Prior Hawaii cruisers: Since this is a US State, do I need to sign up for the ship's wi-fi or will I be able to get online using my own phone's hotspot throughout cruise when on ship but in port?
  24. Sailing on this ship on January 19th. The wording on this is a bit different. Does this include Alcohol? It states it includes non-alcoholic beer. It's $99 per day so I would assume so, but just wanted clarification. If not, it's no different than the $7.95 per day soda package. They put this out today. Hawaii Beverage Package is applicable to Pride of America sailings only. Applicable to guests 1-2 on the reservation. Eligible guests are entitled to two beverages per person per transaction. Includes a variety of beverages up to $15 USD retail price. Anything consumed above the promotional benefit will be the responsibility of the guest at prevailing rates. Also includes fountain soda, freshly squeezed juice, bottled water (flat and sparkling), non-alcoholic beer, and specialty coffee (specialty coffee inclusion shall be limited to dining rooms only). Does not include: specialty coffee outside of the restaurants, room service, mini bar purchases, or vending machines. Guest is responsible for 20% gratuities on the retail value of the Hawaii Beverage Package ($19.80 USD per person per day) prior to cruise. Retail value of Hawaii Beverage Package is $99.00 USD per person per day. Package price is subject to change. The purchase of any alcoholic drinks within the Hawaii Beverage Package may, in certain individual circumstances, be restricted in accordance with Hawaii’s Intoxicating Liquor Law and applicable local rules and regulations. No substitute for package if guest cannot consume all beverages included.
  25. Hello Fellow Cruisers, I just arrived home from Hawaii, did the 7 day cruise with NCL on Pride of America. I traveled solo, I'm 50 years old and love to travel. I've been on several cruises and I'm not loyal to one line just look for the best deals. I try not to be negative or overly critical but some things happened on this cruise that really got on my nerves. I flew into HNL three days early to sight see and and stayed two days after. I stayed at Aqua Palms the first three days pretty nice hotel, not in the heart of Waikiki closer to downtown. I wished I would have stayed further into to Waikiki but what can you do. The Waikiki shuttle has the "pink line" this is the shopping shuttle it's $2 each ride. The other lines/colors are more of a narrated tour and they charge $25 per day plus those lines don't come as often as the pink line. I used the pink line a couple of time, rented a car to head over to Pearl Harbor and the Bishop Museum. Paid for one night of parking at the hotel which was $25. Since the ramp to the USS Arizona was damaged while I was there I chose the Pacific Aviation Musuem instead got a guided tour off of Groupon. I got there at 9am and I was the only one on the tour. The tour guide let me sit in the cock pit of the C47, pretty cool. Picture of Waikiki from the condo I stayed at Atrium deck 5 Pride of America Pacific Aviation Museum