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Found 104 results

  1. Does anyone have a copy of recent MDR menus? We are trying to decide what days to eat at specialty restaurants vs MDR daily specials. Thanks
  2. Hello CruiseCritic Fam!!! It is great to be posting another review, but you may never have read any of my previous reviews. So far, all my cruise reviews have been about Carnival. In April 2008, DH and I were married on the Destiny (now the Sunshine). We were actually married on Limetree Beach in St. Thomas. We decided if all went well and “life” didn’t get in the way, we would celebrate our 10-year anniversary cruising around Hawaii. Thankfully we made it, and decided that the POA was the best way to go. The other cruise lines have too many sea days and although it sounds great, we just don’t have the vacation time. Cost was also a factor. When we started planning, I had no idea how expensive this trip would be… well, I surely had no idea 10 years ago when I said “Hun, let's do Hawaii for our 10th!” It’s a good thing we are doing this right now because when we retire, there’s no way we will be able to afford this. We’ll be back down to the cheap Carib if you know what I mean. A little more background on us. We love to cruise with friends and family. We sailed on the Carnival Pride in 2017 and we had 18 very dear friends on board. I called it the best booze cruise ever. We had so much fun my face hurt from laughing for an entire week. This week on the POA, I anticipated saving money on those pricy drinks because it was just the two of us and we planned tons of activities. No time or money for booze-cruising this trip. Or so I was thinking that during the planning process. After the cruise was booked, my biggest challenge was airfare and when to fly. The POA departs every Saturday so we decided to fly out from the east coast on Thursday. That would give us all day Friday to sight-see and hopefully recover from that excruciating travel. We had a choice to pay more money and fly non-stop from Newark, NJ or pay less and fly out of Philadelphia with layovers. DH ask for Philly because it is closer to home and that was more important when we return. I asked around and also on CC when would be the best time to book flights. No one could give me an answer. Around the 6-month mark, airfare continued to go up every time I checked so I panicked and booked. At 40 days left the airfare was about 200 less per person. I guess patience would have paid off in this case, but I had no idea. Did I learn a lesson? Probably not, I am an overplanner and a panick’er. My advice would be not to look at prices for flights every day, it will drive you nuts. When I only had about 1 week before departure, I told my boss about my flights. Going out seemed to be fine but he was very concerned with our layover in LAX. We would arrive at 11:13pm and (supposedly) depart at 11:50pm on the red-eye to Philly. He said that was not even enough time for the luggage to switch planes. I spent the entire morning agonizing over the issue and I called American Airlines 3 times. I was reassured time and again that this was in fact a valid connection and not to worry. DH said we should roll the dice. I cannot wait to tell you if this back-fired right in our faces.
  3. 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.
  4. I am beginning to make my "To Pack" list for our upcoming cruise on NCL Pride of America and need to know the toiletry situation. With baggage fees an unfortunate fact of life, I am looking to minimize. However, DD (17) and I do not want to wind up looking like Monica in The One in Barbados (Friends). We also do not want to wear ponytails for an entire week. We both have medium (me) to loooong hair (her) that is super thick and naturally wavy/curly. So.... What type of amenities are provided (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion)? What brand? And what was your experience with it? Thanks So Much!!!
  5. Shout out to my fellow smokers that have cruised on the Pride of America in Hawaii! I have searched NCL.com for information and called their help line to no avail. All I can find for smoking on board the Pride of America is the Waikiki Bar on Deck 13!!! My question is...Where are the smoking areas on board the Pride of America? Are there any smoking areas other than the Waikiki Bar? Where are the smoking areas located? Any help will be appreciated! My Hawaiian destination plans depends on the answers to these questions!!!
  6. Hi all! I’ve just booked Pride of America for July 2021 for the first part of my birthday trip (I will go to Disney’s Aulani for a few days after) to celebrate my 50th birthday! I’m in an ocean view cabin with the beverage package and the shore excursion credit as my perks. I’ve cruised Royal (3 of the Radiance class ships), HAL (once to Alaska), fathom (to Cuba and then Cuba/DR when it existed), and mostly Disney (all their ships), so I’m not new to cruising, but I’m new to Norwegian. I’m also gluten-free due to a wheat allergy. What tips do you have for a new NCL cruiser? Thanks!
  7. After booking this cruise over 2 years ago, it's hard to believe the time is almost here to leave for our first trip to Hawaii. It will be our first cruise with NCL as well. We will fly out tomorrow morning(20th) from Knoxville TN to Dallas then on to Honolulu. We are flying business class with American. We have a 3 night pre cruise stay on Waikiki in a condo at Waikiki Shores that we booked through VRBO. We are told this is the only condo building that sits right on the Ocean vs across the street from the Ocean. I will post about our stay and our planned excursions to the Polynesian Cultural Center, Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, etc... I plan on posting daily(I wake up a lot earlier then my wife-ha) as internet allows. My reviews tend to be detail heavy as I've found that others have helped me so much in the planning process that I like to provide as much information as possible for others in the planning process. I'm going to try for the first time to post pictures. We will be in the Deluxe Owners Suite so I will try to post tips about suite perks, butler, etc... For perspective on how I view things: My wife and I are 55 years old with 4 grown married children and 4 grandchildren(and 2 more on the way). We started traveling solo about 6 years ago twice a year with either some type of cruise or all inclusive resort. We have found we love river cruises(been on 3 with Uniworld) and found we love small ship sailing(was on Silversea last August). Have been on Royal Caribbean(200 ton ship) and sailed with Carnival a number of times 20+ years ago. We chose NCL for the fact that the POA is the only ship that sails in Hawaii only. The reviews of the POA have been mixed at best but it is the only game in town if you don't want the long sailing from the West Coast. I tend to be a glass half full reviewer when it comes to travel as I feel so blessed to do the trips we get to do in the way we get to do them so I really focus on the positives realizing there is nothing perfect. But I will try to give a balanced review. I'll be happy to answer any questions for those considering the POA or those who are already booked on the POA for a future cruise. I look forward to sharing our journey with those who are interested. Time for last minute preparations and then let the games begin!! Brian
  8. Would appreciate recommendations for the better cabin on the Pride of America. I've heard some say port side was better and others starboard better. Thoughts? Also, is a mid-ship balcony important because of rough water or would a large balcony forward be a better choice? I think the large balcony cabins also have more square footage inside. Thanks for any advice! Elaine
  9. We will be sailing on Pride of America in July in an SG Suite. Could someone tell men what the butler service consists of? Also, I read that we can eat breakfast at Cagney's for breakfast and lunch. If two other family members are staying in a balcony suite, I'm think that they cannot join us. Is that correct? Thanks for any help with suites!😀
  10. We'll be on the Pride of America on the 4th of July - any idea whether there will be any festivities?
  11. Either I don't know where to look, or NCL is really lacking on information on onboard activities available. Sure, if they are selling a drinks package or an expensive excursion, you can readily find the info and hook up with it. I'm specifically looking for information on POA Lei making classes for my wife. I have seen them mentioned recently on this forum and comments are very favorable. But I can't find anything about them on NCL's website or any POA information. Does anyone have specifics on the lei making classes, how and when to sign up, etc. Thanks!
  12. Hi All .... Going on our first family vacation on a cruise .... Pride of America in Hawaii this December. We are going to take advantage of some excursions at some ports but my kids would also love just a day to go to a resort and go swimming in a big pool. We have seen some nice resorts that have lazy rivers, waterslides and other. For whatever reason they are not really beach/ocean swimming kids. Are there ANY options at ANY ports to go swimming at any of the hotel pools? Either in Kona, Hilo, Kauai, or Maui? I understand we would need to get a car or take a taxi but wanted to see if anyone knew of any hotel we could go swimming in a pool at. Thanks!!
  13. 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
  14. Has anyone had a sail away balcony cabin? The description says it could be "fully obstructed" - what does that mean, no view at all? What's the advantage, then - I guess you can still sit on the balcony to get the fresh air? Thanks for your thoughts.
  15. Does NCL have luggage only delivery to the Honolulu airport? If so, how does it work? Do they let you know about it once onboard or does it have to be pre-reserved somehow? Flight leaves at 2:20 and would like to walk or sightsee around a bit before heading to airport. What time would you suggest to arrive at the airport? Are Uber, Lyft or taxi readily available at the port to go into town and where would be a good place not too far away to spend a couple of hours? Not so much into shopping, but wouldn't mind seeing something else interesting even if it's just a nice boardwalk area on Waikiki beach, Hawaii museum of some kind, or just an early lunch at a popular spot.
  16. Has anyone used the NCL luggage storage at the Honolulu port for the Pride of America at the end of the cruise? is it easy to find? Our flight isn't until late and we don't want to cart our luggage around with us for the day. :):)
  17. I will be on this Hawaii cruise in August. Just a few questions: First transportation AFTER cruise to airport--- Usually, I arrange my own transportation after the cruise to take to airport. Out of laziness, I am thinking of just using the ship's transfer. I want to be at airport around 11:00-11:30 am ish-- If I do this, what NCL shuttle time would be the best?-- I think the latest one is at 9:30 am-- -- I will add the one time I did do an NCL shuttle, it was from Miami, and it was very annoying- waited an hour for bus to fill up, ac shut off while waiting,---vowed never again. Anyway, just want to know for those of you who did this in Hawaii, how it went, and what shuttle time to request. Other questions: Regarding restaurant reservations-- I noticed when looking at the one set of dailies that someone was kind enough to post: There was an Italian night in the buffet the second or third night of the cruise and La Cucina was closed for that night. Is this the norm? If so is it always on the same night of the cruise? I bought the 4 night specialty package and want to pre book the day and time next month when the restaurants are available to book. Does the booking site "know" which night La Cucina isn't available for reservations? I don't want to be surprised on the ship, if I can help it, and then have to re arrange reservations. Last questions: Regarding towels---- Does NCL hand out a towel per person when going on their beach and snorkel excursions? We are doing 1 beach morning, 2 snorkel all day excursions for this cruise. 1 day beach on our own. Should we check out a bunch of towels in the beginning of the cruise, pay the deposit up front for all of them, then return as they are used when we come back from each excursion? I can bring my own beach towels, but hate to use up valuable luggage space for that. Anyway, thanks in advance for any answers to my questions. Anita
  18. 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."
  19. I’d like input on this category of stateroom on the POA. Would you consider this a good choice for two? Forward or aft and which deck? Any other choice you’d recommend in the same price range? Thanks!
  20. 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!
  21. Napali coast viewing is at 5:15----Late farewell show is at 8:30 ---- I can only fit in this restaurant on the last night of the cruise- My question is if I make reservation for 6:00 in restaurant,, would we be able to be finished by 7:45 or so, allowing 1 hour and 45 minutes for dinner?
  22. We will be cruising on the Pride of America in April and signed up for their drink package "Aloha Beverage Package" I would like to confirm whether or not this package includes alcohol......I've gotten a few different responses.
  23. Here is my recent POA review, if anyone is interested & would like to ask me questions. Sail date 2nd Feb. I gave it 3 out of 5 stars. Our youngest daughter had wanted to go to Hawaii for years, and when an irresistible package deal came up on my Facebook wall I booked for my husband, myself, my 18yo daughter & her 2 best friends. We flew to Honolulu from Australia and spent 3 nights at Waikiki before the cruise. The first day we walked along Waikiki beach, went shopping, watched a beautiful sunset & dined outdoors at the pink resort. Second day was cold & wet so we bused to Pearl Harbor. Next day did Diamond Head walk which I really enjoyed, and watched the Friday night fireworks on the beach. Embarkation on 2nd of Feb went smoothly. My husband and I had the unlimited beverage package included in our deal, which was a treat this cruise. We had balcony cabins 9646 and 8544. Cabins were clean, but tiny, especially the bathrooms. Our steward, Marta was polite & friendly. We've only sailed RCCL before, on 5 two week long cruises. This ship was smaller & less grand than others we've been on, less onboard activities, small pool. But I did like the outdoor area behind the Aloha buffet where we often sat for a pre-dinner drink and watched the sunset and sail away. It was a FAR older group of passengers than our previous cruises. Almost no one around the age of our 18 year olds. A lot of people in gophers. Made my husband & I, in our early 50s, feel young. It was a bit hard to figure out how the freestyle dining worked. All of the included restaurants were booked out for the evenings for the whole cruise, until about 9pm. The reservations lady explained that people could book tables up to 3 months before they cruised. But a lot of people don't turn up to their booking, so you could get straight in, or if no tables available, they give you a beeper that works anywhere on the ship to let you know when a table is available. We ate at the Skyline restaurant the first couple of nights, then thought we'd try the Liberty, which has a dress code. I waited and was given a table there, and called my husband and girls to come. BUT when the girls turned up, looking gorgeous, we were quite rudely advised that their skirts & dresses were too short to be allowed into Liberty, so we had to go back downstairs to Skyline, and wait again for a table. Our 3 girls were insulted & upset. When we were finally able to enter Skyline, staff asked us how we were & I let them know we weren't happy. People apologised, which was appreciated, and a restaurant manager, Felix, offered us a sushi meal as compensation. It turned out that the only evening we didn't dine in Skyline was the night we ate at East Meets West. We didn't enjoy the food on the regular (included in fare) menu very much, finding it bland. There was no vegetarian sushi on the menu, but the chef made us some absolutely delicious vegetarian sushi. Staff Taylor & James were lovely. There have been quite a few complaints on cruise critic about the food on POA, but we found the Skyline to be great. Enough vegetarian options. The mushroom ravioli on the last night in Skyline was divine. The service was hit and miss in Skyline. Some staff were really friendly, like Gino. A few a little rude. I prefer the regular seating on other cruises where you have the same staff each night & get to know them, and don't have to wait for a table, but the advantage here is there is no one trying to hurry you up to leave before the next lot of customers arrive. We had an afternoon snack and a late breakfast in the Cadillac diner too which we enjoyed. The Sunday in Maui we had booked the ship's Molokini snorkel and turtle tour with Pacific Whale Foundation. The sea conditions were too rough to snorkel at Molokini so they took us to a more sheltered area. Snorkeling was quite good, didn't see turtles, BUT we were there in humpback whale breeding & mating season, and saw an amazing number of whales & calves. A magical experience. We got back just before the superbowl half time performance, so my husband & I went to the "party" in the Hollywood theatre where they had a buffet of junk food, and the game on the big screen. Couldn't really understand what was happening, but was fun to have experienced. We went to the Aloha Polynesia show. The dancers were great but the presentation was really cheesy & I thought disrespectful towards Polynesian cultures. Monday we walked to a beach that we could see from our balcony and sunbaked, swam & read , and watched the colourful parasurfers. Afterwards the girls went to find free wifi in a little shopping centre near the pier. That night was 70s FABBA night in Mardi Gras. Dancing was fun, especially while the entertainment staff were there. Tuesday in Hilo we had booked a tour with Mauka Makai tours, to see the black sand beach (no turtles that day), volcano national park, orchid farm, the Rainbow falls, and a chocolate factory. A good day out. That night my husband & I went to Lights Camera Music in the Hollywood theatre. It was OK. Then we headed to the Mardi Gras for 80s night & were surprised to find that our daughter had been a team leader in Battle of the Sexes, & she & one of her friends had somehow signed up for a dance off competition! Once the main show was over the DJ started up and he was dreadful. The floor cleared quickly and people soon left the lounge. I wonder whether he was trying to get us all to leave so that staff could close up & go to bed. And that's really the only option of where to go to party at night. There are so many fabulous 80s dance tracks to chose from, its hard to understand how bad his playlist was. Wednesday was Kona. We were tired so slept in and waited for the open tenders, that you didn't need to get up early & book, which started around midday. I had done some research, so we took an Uber and our sets of cheap goggles & snorkels to Kahaluu beach. Its about a 10 minute drive. I tipped the driver & asked him to collect us in a couple of hours to take us back & he came right on time for the return trip. It is a shallow, safe, black sand beach, with life guards. The snorkeling, on the left hand side by the lava rocks, was fantastic! A lot of the coral was dead & damaged by people having trodden on it, but there were soooo many tame, colourful tropical fish, sea urchins & anemones. And just as I was thinking it was time to get out, I realised a giant turtle was swimming along beside me! At last I saw an Hawaiian turtle! I swam behind and watched it for a while, feeling really happy. Back in Kona we ate delicious shaved ice at a place by the pier that our Uber driver had recommended. Found some free wifi. The girls stayed back for a while to swim in the beach beside the pier. Didn't have to wait long for a tender back to the ship. That night was the White Night dance party which was fun until again the DJ took over and most people left. On Thursday, in Nawiliwili, I had booked us on an adventure tour with Outfitters Kauai. We had to walk about 2km to the small boat harbour, and met up with our guides and group (about 15 of us, only 2 others from POA, the rest were people staying on the island). We Kayaked a couple of kms up a beautiful tree lined waterway. Next we hiked a couple of kms through jungle, with the guide teaching us about some of the flora and history. We could swim in a waterfall. Then we got onto a seated trailer behind a tractor, which drove us through beautiful country side to a hill with amazing views, where we had lunch. After lunch was zip-lining over breathtaking views. Then we had to hike a few more kms along a very muddy path (wear old shoes that you can throw away later if you book this) through beautiful jungle. Most people swam in a waterhole that you could take a flying fox into. Another hike followed, until we were taken back in a boat to the start. You need to be agile & fit if you want to do this tour. We loved it, despite feeling exhausted and muddy by the time we'd walked back to the ship. We went to bed straight after dinner that night. Friday I was still tired and only managed to drag myself out of bed by midday, and sat in a hot tub for a while. Later we sailed past the spectacular Na Pali coast line. Was lovely to be able to enjoy it from our balcony. We ate our last meal in the Skyline & my husband & I competed in the Majority Rules game show. Hardly anyone was in the Mardi Gras that night. Our bills were sent to the cabins overnight & luckily my husband checked them because we had been accidentally overcharged $400. But he managed to sort it out fairly easily after lining up at guest services. Disembarkation went smoothly. We chose to carry our own luggage, & left the ship at about 9.30. We were really lucky with the weather conditions during our holiday. Most days were lovely and sunny. The following day, Sunday, when we were due to fly home, the weather was cold, wet & windy, making it easier for us to say goodbye to Hawaii.
  24. Anybody know why? She’s near McGregor Point on the southwest coast. Very unusual to see her over this way. I snapped a photo, she was there for at least 20 minutes that I saw and was still there a few minutes ago.
  25. anyone been on Pride of America in & out of Honolulu recently and can give a review thx
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