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Old March 2nd, 2007, 11:50 PM
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Default Just returned from Pride of America

People ask me since I have been back if I would recommend this cruise. My answer is always if you want to see Hawaii this is the way to go BUT if you like the cruise experience You will not get it on Hawaiian cruises. Shore excursions are lengthy and you are not on the ship much. The absence of the casino is definitely missed. We heard LOTS of people saying this would be the last cruise they went on without a casino. The lines at the dining room were long. People waiting an hour. Once you get in the main dining room you will spend 2 hours in there. The service is so slow. Not all rooms get the towel animals in the room at night depends on if your room person knows how to make them. The menu in the main dining rooms were the worst I have ever seen. I have been on many cruises and always found something I wanted to eat but this cruise our table was trying to decide which sounded the best. We have always eaten in the dining rooms and looked forward to this about cruising. We decided to eat buffet on the lido deck. I think since all the specialty restaurants they have they want you to pay extra to eat in them, where it use to be the main dining rooms had the best food. Not on this ship... Hawaii is a beautiful place and if you are going to see the islands you will enjoy this cruise, but if you want both the cruise experience and see the islands you will be disappointed. We heard so many people complaining. People were lined up to take the gratuity off their bill and they had a hard time doing this. Some got bigger discounts than others even though you would hear a lot about the slow service in the dining room. Americans work on this ship and they do not treat you as good as foreigners that work on other cruise ships.( go figure) They dont seem happy, some rude. Be prepared to spend money on excursions. In Kona you will port where all the shops are and you can walk to the beach and shops. The other ports you will have to take a shuttle to get anywhere. There is always a free shuttle to walmart and hilo hatties (shop). If you want to buy souvenirs go to walmart. At the front of walmart they have the t-shirts, hawaiian shirts, dresses. There is also another section that has lots magnets, postcards, and many many more hawaiian souvenirs and they are a lot cheaper. We did the easy fly and it was wonderful. It cost 20.00 a person but worth it (if your flight leaves at night). We had a balcony room and this was nice, we could see the lava flowing sitting on our balcony. Beautiful place to visit but missed the bingo, casino, friendly staff, good food. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. We had the package deal . We stayed at the Marriott in Honolulu (NICE), walk to Waikiki Beach and they have a NCL office inside the Marriott. We went to the free breakfast and they were having a talk about the excursions. When we arrived at the airport and got on the bus to transport us to the Marriott someone that works either for the bus or NCL got on the bus and made an announcement that if you go to this meeting you will get a discount on shore excursions whether you have booked or not and when we got to the meeting there was no such thing. Someone talked about the must sees. They definitely recommend the helicopter tours (we did not do this).Most people on this cruise went on the volcano tour. This was amazing to see. But NCL forgot to tell us you will be going up on the mountain to see this. The weather was nice on the ship. Almost everyone had on shorts, short sleeve shirt when they got on the bus to see this. It rains a lot on the mountains and it was COLD. A jacket and long pants would have felt real good. I like to froze. Wind blowing, rain and just plain cold. They feed you on this excursion and they have a shop and they sold long pants, jackets and people were looking at them including me, but I did not buy anything. I had a rain pouch I just happened to have in my bag and wore this for warmth and it helped. When we left there the weather was nice (no jacket) I guess it depends on when you go but I would at least take a jacket. Another excursion he said is a must is the road to hona. But this tour is 9 hours long. It is not Hona that is the attraction it is the view of the ocean while riding. It was gorgeous but 9 hours is a long time. You can see the ocean from the road and it has beautiful views. Depends on if you want to be gone that long. We wanted to see whales in Kona so we did the Kona by land and sea. We did see 2 whales but on the last night of the cruise on the cruise ship we saw dozens of whales, this was neat to see. We did the Pearl Harbour and USS Missouri tour on the day we got off the ship and they had us at the airport at 4:00pm. We did not snorkel this cruise but some of the passengers we talked to did and enjoyed it. The rainbows are numerous and beautiful. It was nice having cell phone service on the ship. When we would travel at night from island to island you would loose service but regain it when you got close to the island. A luau is definitely A MUST.. We did this at Paradise Cove in Honolulu on the night before we got on cruise ship and it was so much fun and everyone we talked to that did the luau the ship offers had a wonderful time too. I would definitely do this.....
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 11:03 AM
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your opening statement put eveything into perspective: best way to see Hawaii, not the best way to enjoy the true cruise experience. I think listening to people complaint can be catching on occassion.

I only have issue with one thing you wrote: NCL didn't tell you about going up the mountain to see the volcano; I wouldn't think that would be necessary.

thanks for a good, honest review.

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Old March 3rd, 2007, 12:12 PM
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nmita. You may not think it would be necessary to tell people that it would be cold at the volcanoes but only about 3 people were dressed appropriately (out of 2 bus loads). I asked them how they knew what to wear and they said they had been there before. The bus driver said our bus was not the only bus that was raised this issue. He said he hears all the time that NCL does not inform people that the temperature is so cold. Everyone thought pretty much the same thing. You are in Hawaii and you "thought" the mountains in Hawaii would be different than the mountains in other states. This may seem logical to some people to wear warmer clothes but not on the 2 buses that went that day. NCL did tell you to wear comfortable shoes. It was a beautiful experience but would have been more enjoyable if dressed appropriately. I know we went in Hawaii's rainy season (their winter) but anyway it was something to see. Thanks
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northofraleigh
nmita. You may not think it would be necessary to tell people that it would be cold at the volcanoes but only about 3 people were dressed appropriately (out of 2 bus loads). I asked them how they knew what to wear and they said they had been there before. The bus driver said our bus was not the only bus that was raised this issue. He said he hears all the time that NCL does not inform people that the temperature is so cold. Everyone thought pretty much the same thing. You are in Hawaii and you "thought" the mountains in Hawaii would be different than the mountains in other states. This may seem logical to some people to wear warmer clothes but not on the 2 buses that went that day. NCL did tell you to wear comfortable shoes. It was a beautiful experience but would have been more enjoyable if dressed appropriately. I know we went in Hawaii's rainy season (their winter) but anyway it was something to see. Thanks
I am sorry, I guess I shouldn't have said that, the way I did. I think I would just assume if I were going up a mountain it would be chilly plus I have alway seen referances on how to dress in the excursion brochures.. Again, I am sorry for my comment.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 04:05 PM
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If I could make a tiny suggestion? Break up your review into paragraphs with a line separation. Makes it easier to read.
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Old March 9th, 2007, 05:25 PM
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The crew was american ? I had heard that NCL had fired all of the americans due to their terrible attitude and work ethic and that the Senator from Hiwaii had gotten NCL a special exemption for foreign crews while still being allowed to have the entire voyage stay in hiwaian waters.
I know when ncl first deployed the 3 ships with american crews the results were a diaster.
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Old March 9th, 2007, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paa5481
The crew was american ? I had heard that NCL had fired all of the americans due to their terrible attitude and work ethic and that the Senator from Hiwaii had gotten NCL a special exemption for foreign crews while still being allowed to have the entire voyage stay in hiwaian waters.
I know when ncl first deployed the 3 ships with american crews the results were a diaster.
No, that isn't quite the way it went or is. There is a new law, which I beleive goes into effect next year stating that only 75% (I think that's the figure) has to be American. Not only that, but even though the service isn't as good as most of us are accustom to, not all American workers on the ships are a disaster. NMnita
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Old March 11th, 2007, 12:09 AM
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We traveled on the Pride of America in October of 2005 for our honeymoon. Would I recomend it .......yes most definitely. I agree with most of what was stated here(you can read my review in the review section) except I would stay at the Hilton Hawaiin Village than the Marriot. We stayed at both and the Hilton has more of a private beach, all beaches are open in Hawaii but if you are not staying at the Hilton it is tough to get to the beach there. The Duck Tour in Honolulu is a great way to pay your respects at Pearl Harbor. Don Ho's show was great! The only thing we didn't do is put on a Detroit Tigers hat and rent a red ferrari to drive around in, we did all the typpical Hawaii tourist things and had a great time. So good of one that we are discussing retiring to Hawaii.
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