There is no better way for first timers the islands to see Hawaii than on a cruise. The itinerary of the cruise allows you to visit all the major touristy areas of each island and gives you an idea where to go on your return trip. NCL Pride of America offers nice transportation to allow people to accomplish their main goal: seeing Hawaii. Compared to other cruises, this one falls short in terms of service, food, and entertainment but your here to see Hawaii!
Here are tips that some may find useful: 1. Arrive at least 2-days early to get used to the time change and see Oahu (Honolulu,Pearl Harbor, Sunset Beach, Waikiki). You can stay inexpensively at the Holiday Inn (~$120/n) at Waikiki beach directly across the street from the Hilton 'mega resort/hotel' right on the beach. If you decide to rent a car, National Car is located right next to the hotel (in the mini-mall next to McDonalds) and will provide free shuttle transportation to the pier. 2. Drinkers, you can 'smuggle' More
booze on board by dumping liquor in plastic soda bottles. There are several grocery stores around the area to stock up at. Don't use water bottles as security will shake them up to see if its water or liquor (liquor will froth). They wont shake a soda bottle out of fear it will explode on their boat. Security will allow 12-packs of soda if you keep it in your luggage. I replaced all the soda cans with beer except the top layer. Bring large insulated mugs.
3. If you receive good service; tip your bartender, waiter, and housekeeper in cash. Charging the tip to your room account means it gets put into a pool that gets divided among the staff.
4. Remember that the crew are !Americans! on a working-vacation and expect to be treated differently compared to someone from a 3rd world nation who needs this job to keep their family from starving to death like the crew on other cruises. If you treat the crew with respect, you might be surprised how nice most of them are. If not, at least they will understand your english when your yelling at them. Less