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dhudd May 1st, 2014 05:13 PM

Hawaii 7 Day Cruise
 
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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...

Travelbuggs May 2nd, 2014 08:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dhudd (Post 1499701)
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.

storybookcruises.com May 2nd, 2014 12:20 PM

We did the Pride of America and had a wonderful time! Great way to see the islands. Plus, they give you longer time in port than the cruises leaving/returning to the U.S.

We spent several days on Oahu before the cruise, then did the 7-night cruise, then flew to Maui where we spent a week on Ka'anapali, which was awesome!

I wrote a detailed cruise review on our trip. If you'd like to read it, send me a private message and I'll send you the link. (CM policies won't allow me to post the link in a post.)

But we did not do any shore excursions, opting instead to rent a car in every port, which turned out to be a great decision.

We really loved the cruise. The ship was nice, the staff was great, and the ports were wonderful. The only thing we weren't crazy about was the food - rather disappointing for us. We had dinner with the Hotel Manager one night in the steakhouse, which we expected to be very good, but were disappointed in that as well. Then again, we didn't go for the food, we went for the adventure and were not disappointed in that! Besides, we enjoyed some wonderful local food in some awesome places in port.

If you want to see Hawaii, this is a great way to do it. Beats the alternative of only seeing one island, or seeing one island then having to fly to another one.

Pete

Dhill May 3rd, 2014 10:20 AM

Have not been on that cruise yet.We did do the 14 day on the Sapphire out of L/A tho.We currently have a Hawaiin cruise booked with Celeberty for 4/20/15. Its an 11 day cruise where you fly to Honolullu where you meet the ship and spend 2 days in port.Then you sail to Mauai where you spend another 2 days in port (sort of its tendered) Then you sail to Kona for a day then to Hilo for a day.Then you get five sea days while you sail to Vancouver B.C.Oh I forgot one night we sail by the volcaneo.We thought it was an interesting iteneary. Should be fun.:) Hope you Guys have a blast on your Cruise.

dhudd May 3rd, 2014 04:26 PM

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Thank you for all of your responses. We did book the NCL Hawaii cruise, sailing aboard the "Pride of America", on 05 December 2015. We booked an upgraded Balcony Stateroom, mid ships. This will be in honor of our 25th Wedding Anniversary...(OH My God)! We will fly from California, via the U.S. Air Force, (We're retired US Navy), so that will save us ALOT! in airfare. We plan to fly about 3 0r 4 days prior to the cruise, so we can play tourist. Then board the ship for a wonderful seven day cruise of the Islands. Thanks again...
Diane & Dave...

storybookcruises.com May 3rd, 2014 08:37 PM

I suggest renting a vehicle at the airport - cheaper than other places. That'll give you the chance to drive around and see the island. Be careful of the North Coast, because it can be extremely crowded during surfing season. But there are some amazing roadside shrimp restaurants up there that are awesome! They have their own shrimp ponds in the back, so your shrimp were alive 5 minutes before you eat them. Can't get any fresher than that!!

You can also pre-book reservations at Pearl Harbor, which is a must for those of us who are ex-Navy.

Pete

dhudd May 4th, 2014 01:38 PM

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Thanks Pete...We'll be staying at the "Hale Koa" Military Hotel located at Fort De Russy, In Waikiki. We do plan to tour the Island, especially the "USS Arizona Memorial" first. Yes we will rent a car from the airport, maybe the base they rent them. Then onto the " Polynesian Cultural Center", afull day there. And maybe tour the North end or "Hanauma Bay". Following up at the famous "Ala Moana Shopping Center"...
We love to shop. Thanks again...Diane & Dave...

maurice.cowell May 25th, 2014 04:06 AM

Some Hawaiian cruise deals mean you could be snorkeling in the aqua blue waters off Lanai one day, exploring the natural wonders of Volcanoes National Park i think in Kona a few days later and whale watching off Maui. I don't have any idea how much the price range but its worth it.

Travelbuggs May 25th, 2014 08:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maurice.cowell (Post 1500998)
Some Hawaiian cruise deals mean you could be snorkeling in the aqua blue waters off Lanai one day, exploring the natural wonders of Volcanoes National Park i think in Kona a few days later and whale watching off Maui. I don't have any idea how much the price range but its worth it.

We opted for a more expensive aft balcony cabin on the POA, but it comes out to about $300 per person per day for the two of us ( cruise only ). Not bad when you consider it includes your food and entertainment as well. But, You could do it for less money in an inside cabin or ocean view. You will hardly be in there after all! This will by far be the most expensive vacation we have ever done, a once in a lifetime perhaps, but for a once in a lifetime milestone anniversary, so some celebration was required!

We think the POA has the BEST itinerary for seeing Hawaii! Pretty much two full days on each of 3 islands and we are tacking on a post cruise vacation in Oahu as well, so will see 4 islands total. Of course, add ons like excursions will increase our expenses, but the sights on the islands are easily accessible by inexpensive rental cars, so except for a snorkel trip in Kona and a once in a lifetime helicopter tour on Kauai, it is not that bad.

In Maui we will drive ourselves up Haleakala, eat dinner at Mamas Fish House ( top 10 in US list ), beach day on Kaanapali. In Kauai, take a scenic heli tour of canyons, waterfalls and Napali Coast; drive the north shore, Hanalie Bay, watch the sunset over the Napali coastline with champagne on the outdoor patio of the St Regis; ( all on our anniversary ). In Hilo, tour Valcanos National Park and other sights with a small group tour, in Kona, catamaran snorkel tour. There is nothing like Hawaii!

Hope someday to be able to see a tiny bit of your great country Australia.

dhudd May 26th, 2014 03:42 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Yes...we too upgraded to a "Midships Balcony Stateroom". My wife sometimes has a problem with the motion. She always uses the patch, It helps alot, (she was U.S Air Force). But Middle Middle, Midships is much better for her. I'm use to being slamed about while at sea...(I'm an ex Destroyer Sailor). Thanks for the Info...Diane & Dave..."Aloha".

storybookcruises.com May 26th, 2014 11:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dhudd (Post 1499886)
Thanks Pete...We'll be staying at the "Hale Koa" Military Hotel located at Fort De Russy, In Waikiki. We do plan to tour the Island, especially the "USS Arizona Memorial" first. Yes we will rent a car from the airport, maybe the base they rent them. Then onto the " Polynesian Cultural Center", afull day there. And maybe tour the North end or "Hanauma Bay". Following up at the famous "Ala Moana Shopping Center"...
We love to shop. Thanks again...Diane & Dave...

Well, if you love to shop, forget the shopping centers! Head to the famous flea market at the Aloha Stadium. They're open Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays and encircle the entire outside of the stadium! It's huge and there's everything you ever wanted. We wished we would have bought more things there because we saw things we did not see elsewhere in our travels over the following 3 weeks.

If you're going to Pearl Harbor, it's just up the road from there.

Pete

TimmyK May 27th, 2014 06:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dhill (Post 1499798)
Have not been on that cruise yet.We did do the 14 day on the Sapphire out of L/A tho.We currently have a Hawaiin cruise booked with Celeberty for 4/20/15. Its an 11 day cruise where you fly to Honolullu where you meet the ship and spend 2 days in port.Then you sail to Mauai where you spend another 2 days in port (sort of its tendered) Then you sail to Kona for a day then to Hilo for a day.Then you get five sea days while you sail to Vancouver B.C.Oh I forgot one night we sail by the volcaneo.We thought it was an interesting iteneary. Should be fun.:) Hope you Guys have a blast on your Cruise.

That does sound like a great itinerary

TimmyK May 27th, 2014 06:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dhudd (Post 1501094)
Yes...we too upgraded to a "Midships Balcony Stateroom". My wife sometimes has a problem with the motion. She always uses the patch, It helps alot, (she was U.S Air Force). But Middle Middle, Midships is much better for her. I'm use to being slamed about while at sea...(I'm an ex Destroyer Sailor). Thanks for the Info...Diane & Dave..."Aloha".

Hale Koa, great hotel. I was stationed at Hickam when the hotel was built. Have stayed there several times since; also retired from AF


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