Pride of Aloha - Hawaii: Norwegian Sky Cruise Review by luv2tr@v3l
Overall Member Rating
Pride of Aloha - Hawaii
Id like to start off by saying that I was a little worried, having read all of the poor reviews of the ship. If youre looking for the ultimate in cruising, then dont bother taking this cruise. If youre looking for a great opportunity to see all of Hawaii, enjoy awesome shore excursions and have an excellent vacation, then this is the way to go!!! This was our second cruise, our first being a 14 day Mediterranean cruise aboard Princess. I must admit, food was definitely not as good as our first and I felt frustrated at times with the security staff (yes, they did confiscate our iron and two bottles of wine-which was obviously meant for souvenirs;; not to cheat NCL out of money on alcohol) and onboard activities were a little&dare I say&boring?
But then again, we were also in Hawaii, on a great deal that we would have had to pay at least double for if we had done without a More cruise. The cruise ship was by no means dirty, smelly or worn as many people have described. Our room steward was awesome and we had no problems getting clean towels, turn down service, etc.
In the dining room, we rarely waited for a table (I think it was 5 minutes wait max). Yes, the waiters werent the greatest and Im not sure that I prefer the freestyle dining, but food ranged from fairly good to moderate. Dining in the specialty restaurant was nice&try to stay away from the Hukilau Buffet, yes it does get pathetic, but who wants to gain all of those extra pounds while in Hawaii anyway?
The Spa service was fairly good, the gym was well equipped and staff pleasant, finding your own Jacuzzi out of the 5 available was fairly easy. We didnt take much advantage of the drinks and visited Karaoke one night, only to leave early.
However, the best part by far was taking the shore excursions!!! The ones we took were reasonably priced and were not overcrowded (but it looked like the luau on Maui was a huge one). Day 1 in Kauai we did intro scuba diving in the Sheraton Lava Tubes. What an awesome experience. My husband saw two white-tailed sharks and we both saw Moray eels green turtles. Neither one of us have ever dove before, so we couldnt go below 40 feet.
Day 2 in Kauai we did the Mudbug Trip. We had mud everywhere, everyone on the excursion had a great time. I was still cleaning out mud from my toenails after we returned home.
Day 3 in Hilo on the Big Island we took the Circle of Fire helicopter tour, it was amazing!!! We flew directly over the lava flow and were able to see the lava in the crater, as well as the flow into the ocean.
Day 4 in Kona, we took the Fairwind snorkel cruise, having read all of the rave reviews about it on this board. The conditions were perfect and the tour was awesome. Thanks to everyone who recommended this trip!!!
Day 5 and 6 on Maui we did on our own. We rented a jeep from Alamo (around $100 for two days with the Costco discount -- thanks again for the recommendation). We did the road to Hana which was beautiful, ate at Mamas Fish House (I would definitely recommend this restaurant for food and its sunset views, again thanks to this board), went to the Whalers Village and checked out prospective hotels for our next stay.
I have to say&&the best fish and chips you will ever get in your life is at the Blue Marlin which is in the harbor next to the Maui Aquarium. The fish is deep fried mahi mahi (try getting that anywhere in the states or Europe) and the chips were just as good. We washed it down with a pint of local beer and must say we had the best meal, second only to Mamas fish hours, for around $30.
Embarking and disembarking were far superior to our last cruise experience. Color coded luggage and numerous check-in areas made for a very smooth transition. We purchased airfare along with our cruise and so got the free transfers which made getting to and from the airport effortless. I called our airlines ahead of time to make sure my husband and I were seated together, Im glad I did because both there and back we were assigned to opposite sides of the plane.
Overall, this was an A+ vacation. For those of you who grumbled about the cruise (you know who you are) you only made it slightly less enjoyable for the rest of us who were out to have a blast. Would I cruise NCL in Hawaii again? ABSOLUTELY! You cant beat the price or the itinerary. Would I recommend this cruise? OF COURSE!! Were people aboard the ship complaining? Of course&but then again is there a cruise were there arent people complaining? Stop whining and you may have the time of your life!!! Ive been to numerous countries and yes this was only my second cruise, but this was one of the most enjoyable weeks of my life. Less
Lovely room, "old school" crui...
A great way to visit Havana!
Cuba was Exciting, The Ship Wa...