The people of Hawaii treat each other, their visitors and their country with love and respect. On September 25 my daughter-in-law and two friends set out for a seven day cruise in Hawaii. After a one day flight delay aboard American Airlines we boarded NCL's Pride of America on September 26, 2010. This ship began a seven day cruise, in Honolulu to four Hawaiian islands; Kahului (Maui), Hilo and Kona (on the Big Island and Nawliwili (Kauai). Let me backtrack the first night of our cruise September 25 was actually spent in the Makena Resort on Maui because, as I stated earlier, our flight was delayed and instead of boarding the ship in Honolulu we were flown to Maui and boarded the ship there.
The ship was beautiful and clean. I had heard beforehand that the crew aboard the only American ship in NCL'S fleet were not as gracious as the crew aboard other NCL ships, I did not find that to be true. The crew on Pride of America was wonderful, everywhere we went everyone was friendly and courteous. My cabin steward Errol was so pleasant and responded to every request with courtesy and timeliness, I even became friendly with the cabin steward in the next section, because I would pass her everyday in the hall and on my last night there she gave me a postcard with dolphins on it to remind me to remember Hawaii with a smile. I thought that was kind of her, her name was Lula.
As far as the transportation and shore excursions go. I only did one excursion with NCL and that was the glass bottom boat because NCL shore excursions are too pricey. I read other reviews before I went to Hawaii and contacted Roberts Hawaii at gorabbitgo.com and booked my airport to pier and back transfers thru them because they only charge six dollars and NCL charges twenty dollars for the same bus ride in the same coach buses. They also offer great deals on shore excursions.
In Maui we met Reynolds who has a SUV taxi and we booked our Road to Hana tour with him; we chose this instead of renting a car because that road has about a hundred curves some of them are very narrow and we preferred to let an expert handle that driving. If you go to Maui that tour is a must, you will see the beauty that is Hawaii. Hawaii has all types of shuttles taxis and tour buses. You can also rent your own car if you like because at Maui and Kauai the ship is docked for two days.
Because Hawaii is so beautiful and there is so much to see we didn't spend a lot of time onboard the ship, but I did manage to get to the pool every morning and have breakfast which was good. My one complaint about the pool and the area surrounding it, is it is not large enough to accomodate the close to three thousand people that are on the ship and when the children arrive they just take over and you cannot enjoy the pool at all because they are throwing the ball and hitting folks in the head. Also there are not enough poolside lounge chairs.......just saying.
There was a Hawaiian couple who taught us all things Hawaiian. Some days we were taught to make different types of leis, including an orchid lei and one evening the lady (or wahina) taught us the history of Hawaii which was interesting for me because I am a history buff.
The food was pretty good, I didn't try any of the specialty restaurants this time but I did eat in the dining room every night and the food was delicious and I ate at the Cadillac Cafe a couple of times, I like it there because they serve comfort food. Wednesday night NCL hosted the Hot White party in the Mardi Gras lounge which was fun and Thursday was the luau. Now I didn't go to the NCL and I'm glad I didn't because everyone complained that the food was horrible. I didn't go because some reviewers said the food was horrible. I chose Smith Tropical Paradise for my party's luau and it was wonderful. The food was very good, except for the purple sweet potato and the show was outstanding.
One thing I observed about Hawaii the people of Hawaii are very proud of their country and they keep it very clean. I didn't see a scrap of paper or broken glass anywhere and they host thousands of tourists everyday but they kepp that place clean. I enjoyed sailing past the erupting volcano and the Na Poli coast was awesome. So that was my experience and I gotta tell you I love Hawaii, the Hawaiian people were wonderful and I can't wait to go back.