Pride of America Cruise Review by jluiz: Hawaii Island Hopping
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Hawaii Island Hopping
Second time on this cruise, we are a couple in our mid-thirties and enjoy this cruise because it easily covers lots of islands. Cab from airport to port was quick even in traffic, and embarkation was very easy. We had a balcony room and it was pretty standard, and the room service was excellent. Didn't get to too many activities but the ones we did attend (sushi, meet the staff, etc.) were interesting. Buffet food was good and the sit-down restaurants were good as well, though the service tended to be a little slow. Only saw a couple of shows and they were good. Gym was adequate and the ship was well-maintained. Disembarkation was very quick and painless, and we got a shuttle to the airport for our Oahu car rental easily. We mainly take this cruise for the different ports, and rented cars to get around at each. We will probably take this cruise again at some point.
Maui - drove the road to Hana by ourselves, having had a guided tour previously. Very nice to travel at our own More pace and stop when we wanted to this time. Several great parks along the way, including Waianapanapa, Koki, and Ohe’o, as well as several stops on the south side of the island. We would not have done this by ourselves if we had not done this before - you think you are lost driving on these windy one-lane roads at times. There is parking overnight for rental cars by the port if needed. Drove to the Haleakala sunrise (amazing) and then to Lahaina for lunch on day 2.
Hilo - drove to Waipi’o Valley. Walked down into the valley (make a right at the bottom of the hill) and strolled along the beach. The view from the beach into the valley is absolutely stunning. The walk back up the hill (not really a trail, but a paved uphill road) was extremely strenuous – definitely be prepared for the walk, rent a 4X4, or take a tour. We had time to make a quick stop at Akaka Falls on the way back to the ship as well. We had previously taken a volcanoes/Rainbow Falls tour and were much happier with our itinerary this time.
Kona - took the lifeboat shuttle to port and just casually walked around town.
Kauai - drove up to Na Pali coast and hiked to Hanakapi’ai Beach/Falls. The 2-mi hike to the beach is OK as it winds along the coast (there is a nice view about a quarter mile in for a quick view of the coast), but the 2-mi hike from the beach to the falls was at times muddy, steep/rocky, and wet (we had to cross the thigh-high stream several times). There are pink markers along the way when the trail becomes confusing. The falls are worth the hike, and the hike itself is half the fun (about 6.5 hours total time with stops for snacks/photos along the way and a dip in the falls), but definitely wear sturdy shoes, bring/find a walking stick, and bring enough food/water. On the second day we drove up to Kalalau lookout and Waimea Canyon for some nice views. The ship does sail by the Na Pali coast when it leaves Kauai, for some pictures of the coastline from a distance. Less
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