The last time we went on a cruise was back in 1993 on the P&O Fairstar so we knew POA was going to be something special and it was. We took a package that gave us 3 nights at Waikiki at the Hilton, facing the mountains. The room was great and the hotel service is too. Mac's 24/7 is THE place for Maitai's and Blue Hawaiins and really decent food too. The beach is fantastic and the water warm at this time of year but extra salty, according to my wife, as it stung her eyes. We took an open bus tour around the island which was great , as well as a tour to the USS Arizona and Pearl Harbor which was quite moving. We took a tour of the North Shore of Oahu to all the famous beaches, like Turtle Beach and Waimea Bay. Drove through where Paul Walker lived. Had fun shopping in Waikiki. Prices are cheap compared to Australia for most things. ABC stores everywhere sell most things a tourist needs like a pair of thongs (flipflops) to replace the 2 pairs that broke on me within 15 minutes of each other lol. Met up with some parrot handlers at the beach who posed us with their many and huge parrots for photos. Incredible! We embarked 24th May on the POA after a wonderful stay in Waikiki!
Embarkation was a little slow but we got there! Cabin with balcony is great in both size and appearance. 1 robe was missing as were the beach towels and some bottles from the minibar but that was taken care of quickly by our friendly steward, Lawrence. We ate at the Aloha Café for breakfasts and lunch and at specialty restaurants for dinner every night. We preferred Jefferson's Bistro, for it's French cuisine and atmosphere and were treated wonderfully by their waiter, John on several occasions there. Coffee was weak unless you ordered it from the McAdams Bar on level 5. Mmmm Mocchachino to die for!
We'd planned our shore excursions for a long time prior because we came to see Hawaii more so than do a cruise, but the cruise became more of a magic home away from home as you explored the islands and returned to set sail to another one next day. Our rainforest hike and waterfall excursion with Krichelle was amazing. She is a local and knows all the history and nature of her island. we did an incredible rafting and snorkelling tour of Lanai for my birthday. Going to places so desolate and untouched was incredible and the weather was magic too. Onwards to Big Island and Hilo! Big Island Volcanoes National Park was next. Mt. Kilouaea and walking through a lava tube, steaming vents in fields and a bus breakdown at the tourist stop all part of the adventure. The rainforests are surreal.
Back onboard and to Kona and the seahorse farm. Truly unique and worthwhile. had lunch at Quinns almost at the beach and we ate mahimahi and oni battered fish and chips that were yummy. Then back to Kona for the Atlantis sub tour! That was truly different and incredible. We went to 105 feet below sea level!
Onwards to Kaui on the POA! Our last day of shore excursions we went horseback riding by the sea at the CMJ ranch. Gorgeous scenery everywhere! Back to the ship and a return cruise to Honolulu port via the incredible Napali coastline. We were quite surprised at how quiet the ship seemed later at night as we recall nonstop parties on the last one we were on but it seemed the majority of passengers on this trip were over 40's. The daily shore excursions did require you to get up early often, another reason for early nighters! Met some lovely people from the US on the cruise. If you truly want to see paradise and experience real American and Hawaiin hospitality in one go, then cruise Pride Of America soon!