Just thought I would let everyone know how it went. First of all Hawaii is the most beautiful place i've ever been. We got to the Pier and we were in line for some time to get on the ship. Once we got on the ship I expected the worse. But to my surprise someone was coming around filling the ice buckets and our excursion tickets were in our cabin. I would highly recommend booking these excusions over the phone and not the internet. It took me a long time to book them but it was worth it. Someone else in our party booked over the internet and it was a headache for her thru the entire trip. I highlly recommend the Rainforest hiking/waterfall adventure on Maui. You will have to sign waivers for this hike. Just a tip if you have bad knees or allergic to insects etc. Although I never got bit or anything. The waterfalls were awesome and its worth the trip! If you like to hike its awesome. There are steps and ropes to help you thru this hike. Another great shore excursion is the Body glove and snorkel. We went out in the morning. It was beautiful but if you want to catch a glimpse of a dolphin I recommend going in the afternoon (the 1pm trip). Another nice shore activity is the Luau on Maui. A tip for everyone get your picture taken at sunset the pictures turn out awesome! I could go on about the shore excursions but I think I've said enough.
At the front of the boat on deck 12 you will find a waterfall with a hot tub in front of it. Its really nice after a long day on the islands! I highly recommend it! We never had a problem with towels. They are trying their best to make everyone happy. We didnt have any problems on the cruise but the other party we were with did. The best show we seen all week was the Magic show. It was awesome! I would highly recommend seeing it if you get a chance! The first restaurant that we ate at was the crossings. Okay the 2-3 hour dinner is to be expected! The rest of the week we ate at the Palace. The service was a little faster. Emilio was a wonderful waiter. We had him the last day! The breakfast and lunch buffet was good. It had some variety . Another tip the line at the back of the ship on level 11 is faster. Also if you have kids that like Shirley Temples or soda make sure you get a soda sticker on their card. That way they have unlimited soda usage. The ice cream bar is only open from like 3-5pm everyday. Very limited for the kids!
We had the chance to see the active volcano. I highly recommend seeing that too. The perfect spot to see this is at the Outrigger Lounge. It was so cool to see the lava run into the ocean.
All and all it was an okay cruise. Of course it doesnt compare to the other line I've been on, but it gives you the chance to see different islands in Hawaii.
Be prepared for the disembarkment. You have to set your luggage out before 2am and then you'll find it on the pier. For anyone who gets the beige tags on their luggage expect some problems. If you cant find your luggage expect that it will be on the other pier with the hotel luggage. The tags look a like.
The scenery in Hawaii was breathtaking the cruise line was okay. Hope this helps a little for future sailers on the POA. If you have any questions just let me know and I'll try and answer them.
Surf Angel, Thanks so much for your review! We are booked on the POA for the Nov 7th cruise and have been a little nervous after reading some of the reviews. Can't wait to see the Hawaiian Islands as we were in Honolulu for a week in '80, but haven't been to any of the other islands and are really looking forward to that. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it so much and things seem to be improving on the ship. Should be a great 21st birthday gift for our daughter! She is so excited to be going to Hawaii and we want it to be a great birthday. Hopefully there will be lots of other young people her age. Thanks again for your review. SueZ
Sounds like things are getting better all the time. How was the food in the buffet? When we were on the Sea last winter, there really wasn't that much variety, and very limited seating. Also the service in the main restaurants. Sounds like it is still slow, but getting better. We are getting very anxious to get going.
Since I am a vegetarian I'm kind of limited on what I'll eat. I only had the breakfast and lunch buffet. It was okay! As I could see they never ran out of anything. The deserts were very good! For breakfast they had the cereals,toast, pancakes, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, muffins, fruit, etc. For lunch they had some variety, salads, pasta, chicken, bread, potato's etc. In the main dining room I lived on the Alfredo and baked potato. It was pretty good. One night they were suppose to have the soy beef burrito and beans but they didnt have it. I was pretty bummed! Oh well. But like I said the deserts were good! I didnt get the chance to try out other restaurants. You have to book a day ahead. And if you book too late on the last day you wont get in. I tried but it was too late.
Not to get off that subject but some people mentioned the spa. The first night my daughter and I got pedicures. This was my daughters first time. I think the ladies name was Lashem or something like that. She did a wonderful job! My daughter loved it. Both the ladies were very informative on what to do.
SueZ your daughter will have a great time! They have a hula hoop contest that was a big hit with everyone. Tell her to practice! Ha! Ha! They have karoake if she likes that. And there will be plenty of young adults her age there. They have activities going on every night.
SurfAngel...thank for taking the time to write a concise review of your experiences aboard the POA. It looks as if things are improving. We sail in a few weeks so your review was not only informative for me to read but a sigh of relief as well. Thanks again.
"All and all it was an okay cruise. Of course it doesnt compare to the other line I've been on, but it gives you the chance to see different islands in Hawaii."
"The scenery in Hawaii was breathtaking the cruise line was okay"
Originally posted by mikefast:
"Sounds like things are getting better all the time"
Compared to other posts that I have read it is getting better. I was expecting so much worse from previous sailors. One of the complaints was not having ice. They filled my ice bucket twice a day. Another complaint was towels. I never ran out of towels. I ordered room service and it took less than a half hour. And if by chance I had to ask for something I didnt have to wait long for it. So yes in my eyes things are getting better.
The ship is beautiful! The inside state room are small. It has a refrigerator in the cabinet under the TV. Queen size bed which we found out can be separated into two. A desk, closet w/safe, and the typical stateroom bathroom. As far as the entertainment, we seen the "The South Sea Island Spectacular" and the Magic show of John Shryock. We truly enjoyed the magic show. Like I said before the food was okay. The deserts were wonderful! During the day we usually were off the ship, so I cant say how it was during the day. The galleria shop is usually open in the morning and then again in the evening. I heard from other passengers that the Pacific Heights is a good restaurant. I also recommend going to the Kuma Cultural center. They usually have a new educational video running daily. Its interesting to watch if you get a chance.
I hope that helps a little. Are you sailing in the future?
Hope you didn't take my post as a remark on your review. It sounds to me like you gave a balanced and helpful review. It's just that when someone says "It wasn't as bad as I expected" It doesn't really sound to me like a cruise I'm in a hurry to get on.
Given some of the reviews up to now though ,I guess it is an improvement and I think you have given good hints to help those going on upcoming cruises.
Thank You SurfAngel. Tentatively we have a reservation for November but have come awfully close to cancelling. I'm so glad to hear you had a good time. It's up to my husband at this point, but I think we will stay as planned.
There is a post on another board where someone off the 7/25 stated that everyone on the ship was being refunded 50% of the resort fee-did you get this as well, or just some people on the ship? He posted a letter from NCL saying it was due to long waits for service in the restaurants.
I was on 7/18 and want to know where to line up for my refund...party of 6, that equals $210, which I believe that I am entitled to as well. I think I will copy his post in a letter to NCL and see what comes of it.
This just keeps getting more confusing.
If it is true that the July 25th cruise passengers got a reduction in the service fee, one has to ask why this is happening now, if things are getting better, but didn't happen before when service was apparently worse.
SurfAngel, thanx for your answers to questions. We are getting so anxious to go. One more question, did they serve the chilled soups for dinner? We have sailed two NCL ships and they had chilled soups like Cream of Mango, Roasted Peach Soup, and Guava, Cream of Coconut. Those by themselves were almost worth the price of the cruise.
For me personally the service was okay. But obviously others had long waits. Like I said in another post we went early to the restaurant most days and we had a large group, so I kind of expected the 2-3 hr dinner. Our actual wait time to be seated was at most 20 minutes. The only other cruise line I've been on was Royal Caribbean.
I did the ATV adventure on Kipu Ranch in Kauai. It was a lot of fun. We started out kind of slow to get to know our vehicles, but the last 45 minutes or so of the ride, our guide let us "let loose". I was actually afraid of bouncing off the ATV we were going so fast and on such rough terrain. Very exciting. The scenery will literally take your breath away in spots. Our guide just let us take our time and take all kinds of pictures and he even told us stories about the hurricane that went through Kauai. It was amazing and worth every penny (even what NCL charged). I would definitely do it again. Let me know if you have any questions.
Yes, all of the hot food arrived cold, but the onion soup was hot and it was the only thing I really enjoyed. Too bad that I'll never go on NCL again, Hawaii was so beautiful and I loved getting to see so much of it in only seven days.
I'm booked on the POA on Sept. 19, and these message boards have caused me a lot of grief. What do you think about all the negative postings? Are these people just complainers? Did you experience any of the awful things they describe? This is our very first cruise and I just want it to be reasonably enjoyable.
KCGreg, these boards can bring out the best and worst of people, cruises and experiences. I consider these baords to be no different than movie and restaurant reviews. I would never change a cruise (and I have been on over 30) as a result of what I read here. Rather I use them for insight and a heads up. They can be very informative but also you have to take into account that some people use different names to post many good posts about a ship and also many bad things to try to swing perception. I would read these posts, make some posts on your own and learn a little from them. But...that said, I would not change your plans because of them.
I am goign in a few days, I'll post also for you to read.
Yes, there are possibilities for a land vacation. I'm already booked on the POA for Feb., AGAIN! I am going to get out of that one. I went on a "girls" vacation on the 7/18 trip. My husband and I are booked for the Feb. one. The girls did the "active" trip and my husband is (was) looking forward to golfing his way through the islands. Now, we'll have to look at different ways to get to all the islands for his golfing adventures. We were looking forward to the cruise so we wouldn't have to keep packing and unpacking at different stops. I'm sure I can get my deposits back, already sent my letters to NCL. We booked both trips directly through them.
I am not a golfer (although my husband is). When my daughter and I went to Kona we stayed at a resort that was right in the middle of the golf course,our lanai overlooked one of the fairways. It seems to me there were quite a few golf courses in the area. Unfortunately because of my disinterest, I didn't get any info on the caliber of the courses. We were staying at the Kona Coast rRsort and there were other resorts in the area.
Do you think your husband would be satisfied with a number of different golf courses on just maybe two different islands?
He's not very tough to please, he'll gladly accept one or two islands. He's never been there and it's a gift for his retirement. He'll be thrilled with whatever I come up with. I just know that it wouldn't be fair to give him the POA knowing what I do now. I'll check out that resort you mentioned. THANKS!
That resort is basically a time share but I know they do rent units out too. I found it on the net.
There is a phase 1 and a phase 2 ,we were in the phase 2 (the newer part and I think that is a bit better just because it is slightly newer and closer to the larger pool / restaurant area.
The unit we stayed in had 3 levels, we were on the top one. It was really nice for the view and the breeze but you did have to walk up the three flights. The only time it bothered us was at the beginning and end when we had to carry all the luggage in and out. They offered to change us to a lower unit if we wanted but after we saw the third floor one ( it had cathedral ceilings which I guess you wouldn't get in first or second levels and the better breezes) we decided to stick with that.
Judging from the excursions you said you did in Hawaii (if I'm remembering the correct post) I don't think the 3rd floor would be a problem for you.