Well we just got back...What a GREAT time we had. First off I want to say to all the people on the fence about this cruise....GO!!!!!!!!....Absolutely beautiful places we got to see.
The Ship...Pride of Aloha:
I read the reviews and was going into it as the ship was a "taxi"....let me tell it's WAY MORE than a taxi. My wife and I didn't have ANY complaints...The crew bent over backwards and was extremely friendly. We didn't see one unhappy or disgruntled crew member. The food was fine...everyday was a diffrent style buffet...mexican, cajun, japanese, chinese, BBQ.
Lots and lots of choices, so there's something for everyone at all times...DO NOT MISS the "Waffle Guy"...he's in the Hukilua Lania(back end of deck 11)..He sings all morning...so entertaining...also they make Omelettes...we ate there every morning...great food, people and views. The pools were awesome and clean...SALT WATER...so be prepared There was ping pong tables, basketball court(full size I think), golf driving nets...even shuffleboard. The Bars are really nice...although I was over the fruity drinks by the 5th day ...Vodka and Cranberry broke up the same ole Rum drinks The room is small just like you'd think but plenty big enough for 2...how long you gonna be in there anyhow? ..huge port hole(oceanview stateroom) cleaned everyday by a nice staff of stewards who will cater to your every need. Niiiiccceeee Clean, freindly, plenty of "free" food at almost all hours, (free room service anytime) good shows....dont miss the Not so new Newly Wed Game...hilarious!! ...Bring your voice for Karaoke...that how you spell it? ..Blue Hawiian Bar is the main music bar with DJ Mike....great guy. Stardust Theater(stage) in the back end of the ship....huge place with nice shows.
Shore Excursions: Now I can't speak for all of the excursions....but there are TONS to do. We took the Circle of Fire helicopter tour in Hilo over the volcano....great views....awesome if you can afford it.
We went on the Captain Zodiac snorkel in Kona....gorgeous cove in Hakelua Bay...nice guides...great sites.
Maui Ocean Center....absolutely a not miss if you dont want to snorkel and would like to see the native fish UP CLOSE....awesome place.
Lahainia On Your Own....wish we did this "on our own"...tour bus didn't give us enough time....great little whaleing village with streets of shops....perfect day if you like to walk and shop...ladies will love it...guys can always rent a Harley and let the ladies shop ..can also charter Deep Sea fishing boats(hint: get to the town and shop around for diffrent prices on tours) for instance Parasailing: one place was 49 a person...another was 9 a person....so be frugal and look around before jumping on the first one you see.
Now let me talk about Kauai...this was my favorite island...although we didn't book an excursion here....there's plenty to do right off the ship in walking distance(5-10 minute walk)easy. Shops and rentals...scooters, mini cars(we did that and got directions to Kipu Falls) a local swimming hole with a 60 foot waterfall and rope swings...plenty deep enough...fresh water. Had a blast jumping off the waterfall...be brave and try it ..FREE beach...clean and great sand. plent of stuff to rent right on the beach, snorkel, boogie boards and surf boards....I wish we'd have realized this was the best beach of them all. we figured they would only get better....but THIS is the best place to hangout all day with a Corona and watch the surf. Kanapali beack(right next to Lahaina is great too). Kona has a really nice port of shops also. HOT HOT place...Kona is known as the place of "merciless sun"...watch it you will get burnt if you dont be careful....again it's gonna be HOT outside. This is the only port you have to anchor off shore and take tenders in...hot boat ride...but not to bad.
AGAIN....Go on this cruise.....dont let a few bad reviews by people who think a bad day is not getting waited on hand and foot by a butler.
I'll answer as many questions as I can...so ask away
Mark and Donna Sullivan
Pride of Aloha
Thanks for your review and your answer to my question in the other thread about Kona.
Were you satisfied with the deck that your cabin is on? I'm booked in Cabin 4210 for the September 4 cruise. I usually go for a higher deck but got a good deal on this one. Is it reasonably quiet, etc.?
Finally! I have been waiting for a good reveiw! I am considering this cruise ship for a May 2006 cruise. I am so glad that you had a good experience. Sometimes when a ship gets a bad rap it tends to leave people looking for something to go wrong. I am curious about the helicopter tour. Just how expensive was it? Thanks!
Dont listen to Pietervan (ivana) I have been cruising for 20 years. I have been on both the Pride of Aloha and the Pride of America. I have sailed on several RCCL, Carnaval, Celebrity, Seabourne, Aida ships. This is a GREAT way to see Hawaii! I will admit if you come on looking for someone to wait on you hand and foot or a 5 star meal this isn't the vacation for you. However it is FAR from Motel 6. The ships are clean, safe, fun, and I never left hungry. The way I look at things I could be at work with people screamin in my ear, dealing with stress and deadlines, or I can be on vacation, relaxing, forgetting about work, drinking a mai tai and getting some sun.
It seems some people have forgotten what it's like to just let go.........
Bottom line...we didn't get what we paid for. Hawaii is absolutely beautiful. Next time, we'll stick to an inside cabin and then we won't be as disappointed.
A pity since we saved up for a long time for this trip because it was for our 20th anniversary. Our negative comments were not about being "waited on hand and foot by a butler" - common courtesy, clean towels and room, and unused butter at breakfast isn't really asking for too much.
I just got back from the POA and must say that I do agree wit the problems listed here. Seems that with so many sides of the story, this cruise is not ideal for some portion of the population and therefore people must be careful before they book this trip