Originally Posted by dhudd
Has anyone cruised aboard the "Paide of America" for a 7 day Hawaii cruise? We're thinking about booking a 7 day cruise aboard this ship for our 25th Wedding anniversary. Any thoughts? Thanks Dave & Diane...
We have sailed on 6 other NCL ships and it has become our favorite line. We are booked on the POA in August, so thus far only know what we can find out from reviews and comments on various cruise boards. The POA is really a different animal from the rest of their fleet. It is an American flagged ship, ( the only one?) as you may already be aware, and sails 52 weeks a year from Honolulu. For awhile, the fact that the crew was primarily American seemed to cause some service issue complaints, but now that they are allowed to hire a mix of nationalities, the service apparently has improved. The ship was recently refurbished and what was once a forward observation lounge has been made over into suites.
We chose the POA because we did not want to waste vacation days sailing to and from the mainland, but to spend those days on the islands themselves. Some cruises we book for the ship and all it has to offer, like the Getaway or the Epic. This cruise we are booking for the Islands. Overnights on Maui and Kauai and two port days on Hawaii. Every day a port day, and very long days spent off the ship. No expectations that it will resemble any other cruise we have done. We are expecting to use the ship as a floating hotel only and anything beyond that will be iceing on the cake. If we have a few good meals, manage to stay up long enough to see a few shows and meet some nice people, we will be happy.
That said, I think Freestyle, no set dinner times, eat when and where you want, and casual dress code are perfect for a port intensive itinerary where you never know what time you'll get back to the ship. We really enjoy the specialty restaurants, and NCL has recently upgraded their MDR menus to rave reviews. We have always loved the crews on the other ships, primarily Filipino, and the senior staff are very visible and proactive. But if this cruise does not quite meet the standards I have seen on other NCL ships, will it ruin my cruise? No way.
I say go for it! No better way to see the islands, in my opinion.