28 Honolulu Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

This was a beautiful cruise from the standpoint of getting off the ship and sightseeing on our own. We generally rented a car everyday and had a wonderful time sightseeing and adventuring out on our own. Oh, by the way, we had a lot more ... Read More
This was a beautiful cruise from the standpoint of getting off the ship and sightseeing on our own. We generally rented a car everyday and had a wonderful time sightseeing and adventuring out on our own. Oh, by the way, we had a lot more freedom and it was so much LESS expensive than booking an excursion through the cruise line! Generally, I was most unimpressed with NCL. I have sailed with a couple of other cruise lines and NCL is quite sub par compared to others. In fact, I will not cruise with NCL again! We missed a major portion of the beauty of Hawaii on the trip from Kauai to Honolulu (the Napali Coast) due to ship repairs while in Kauai. NCL gave everyone very little notice and a $100 shipboard credit, not nearly substantial enough to cover an excursion of the Napali Coast if you decided to do it yourself, and most tours were already booked. The dining room hours (NCL promotes their open dining policy as being unique) was poorly administered and confusing to everyone. The food and service, to say the least, was poor. It's like since they are the only cruise line that sails Hawaii, NCL only makes the minimal effort in regard to service and quality. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The food and drinks were awful including the specialty restaurants. Limited entertainment with poor after dinner shows. Minimal activities for children and teenagers. Alcoholic beverages extremely expensive. Ship is extremely outdated. ... Read More
The food and drinks were awful including the specialty restaurants. Limited entertainment with poor after dinner shows. Minimal activities for children and teenagers. Alcoholic beverages extremely expensive. Ship is extremely outdated. Mostly accommodating to senior citizens. Most bars closed by 10 or 11pm. Excursions were $100.00 more per person than vendors exciting the port. We cruise twice per year. This ship and cruiseline were disappointing to say the least. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We just completed a cruise on NCL Pride of America sailing the Hawaiian Islands. We are the reunion planners for a Navy ship and had 22 people joining us for this cruise and a tour of Pearl Harbor & military sites. While dealing ... Read More
We just completed a cruise on NCL Pride of America sailing the Hawaiian Islands. We are the reunion planners for a Navy ship and had 22 people joining us for this cruise and a tour of Pearl Harbor & military sites. While dealing with the Group Agent for NCL I kept asking for answers via email for my reference if needed which he never did. We, as a group, experienced poor food in the dining room and buffet; as well as in one of the specialty restaurants. Also, the service was extremely poor…….in the dining room we were told there was 1 server per 16 tables. Many dishes from one course were never cleared before the next course was served. There were many items out of order for several days…………ice machine, ice cream machine, drink machines, toasters, and some toilets. In the buffet there was just one person making omelets while 15 people waited; even tho there was a second omelet grill to use. One morning in the buffet an officer was reprimanding a staff person in front of passengers. We had a balcony cabin which was nice but the bed placement could have been better…….it was in the middle of the room so you had to constantly keep walking around it. The bathroom was very roomy with a good shower. Our cabin steward great……we voted him our “vacation hero”. I doubt we would cruise with NCL again as have had better experiences on other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Another not so good experience for NCL. My wife and I have done over 30 cruises with different cruise lines and I just don't get the attraction to NCL. This is the second time on the cruise line and again we were disappointed in the ... Read More
Another not so good experience for NCL. My wife and I have done over 30 cruises with different cruise lines and I just don't get the attraction to NCL. This is the second time on the cruise line and again we were disappointed in the cruise as a whole. Although we had some bright spots on our cruise like Jessica (Jess) and Sarah at the Aloha bar and our cabin steward Eric P., the crew just seemed to be going through the motions not doing anything to help the cruise experience. The ship itself is pretty nice and spacious but the balcony cabin we had was probably the smallest one we've had yet. Food was nothing spectacular which again made the experience so-so. Some waitstaff was good others seemed to be destracted by other things line cell phones or conversations with other waiters. When the cruise director made announcements over the PA system you could hardly understand what she was saying unless you were in a hallway under a speaker. The port excursions were good but expensive. I think the cruise started off bad with us walking into our cabin with separated beds champagne we ordered delivered not on ice and warming in a hot room with no champagne glasses. Another bottle of champagne under the same condition but not pre refrigerated at all, no excursion tickets for the next days early excursion and other things. Then silly and ignorant excuses from the front desk. Not a fan of this cruise ship or cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We (two couples traveling) wanted to see the other Hawaiian islands that we had not visited previously and we thought this would be a great way to do it. We have cruised in the Caribbean on various cruise lines but had never cruised with ... Read More
We (two couples traveling) wanted to see the other Hawaiian islands that we had not visited previously and we thought this would be a great way to do it. We have cruised in the Caribbean on various cruise lines but had never cruised with Norwegian. With all this being said, the only reason I did not rate this cruise line and ship as "terrible" was the location of the cruise and the excursions were pretty good. That's the only thing it did right! The ship needs to be updated, the service is very sub-par, the food is not good, entertainment is poor and the rooms are smaller than competitor's ships. If you do choose to cruise on this ship, do not waste any $$ on the specialty restaurants other than Cagney's. We tried the Jefferson Bistro (had to wait over an hour for our main course and no one seem to care! ..... unbelievable), Cagney's and East Meets West. Cagney's food was good and the service was great. Can't say that about the other two restaurants. The main dining room food was o.k.....we only ate there once. The general dining staff was not friendly at all .... bar staff was friendly and chatty as you would expect. The excursion staff was helpful and friendly. So bottom line, as another reviewer stated, if Norwegian had any competition in Hawaii they would be out of business in a heartbeat. In the future, I will plan my own itinerary in the Hawaiian islands and fly from island to island. I am sure I can plan something better and less expensive than what Norwegian charges for their poor service! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
I consider myself a young avid cruiser. I have cruised since the late 80's. This was the least favorite ship and cruise of all. I will mention a few things that spoiled the experience. Strong sewerage smell in the cabin ... Read More
I consider myself a young avid cruiser. I have cruised since the late 80's. This was the least favorite ship and cruise of all. I will mention a few things that spoiled the experience. Strong sewerage smell in the cabin restrooms. This occurred throughout the trip. This ship for some reason doesn't stabilize very well, you will have very rough movements, especially at night. If you are prone to sea sickness, this is not the cruise to take. Cruise staff in the restaurants not that good. Some were inattentive. Buffet area: I heard more staff talking amongst themselves sounding like young immature teens. Some friendly and some definitely not. Dining in this buffet area is too small. It is obvious staff here do not have much experience in the hospitality industry as something was definitely lacking. Some were overworked in the seated dining rooms. NCL- shame on you for cutting staff. There were no busboys in the dining rooms to assist the waiters. Naturally everyone was always rushed and busy. This was the first time I ever cruised and never "cleaned my plate" for any meal. the food was mediocre at best. I was certainly not impressed and found food to be bland, cold, just blah. No special meal nights. No special waiters. I learned by taking this cruise that I don't care for freestyle cruising. That Cadillac diner had the weirdest greasy wings I have ever seen. YUK! Some items in the buffet was good, but overall I am so glad I didn't spend extra on any "specialty" restaurants. Cabin was ridiculously small. The little bit of furniture space to place your clothing items were broken - hard to slide drawers. However our cabin steward, Paul (I couldn't pronounce his real name so he said I could call him Paul) was extremely attentive and did an excellent job. Kept our room clean, tidy and responded to any requests we had. Not many activities on the ship. Entertainment - so-so at best. Just something to do at night. I enjoyed meeting many Australians on the ship as this seems to be a popular trip for them. The BEST thing about this cruise is the itinerary! What a way to visit many locations! I loved that the ship stayed overnight in Maui and the other port. Shore excursions are way too expensive. Some excursions, the guides just would NOT stop talking!! very annoying. I recommend renting vehicles on the days the ship will spend overnight. this is the most economical way to do this. One exception, do not try to drive the road to Hanna on your own. Let someone else do the driving. It is too treacherous. All ship excursions are overpriced, rushed tours that are crowded and don't allow for anything but quick hop on-hop off photo ops. You also run the risk of getting annoying guests on your bus. I recommend that you plan to rent cars for all locations for peace, quiet and your own reflections. Use guided tour apps if you can research what is available. Kauai was the most beautiful island. Take advantage of the wonderful narration by the ship after you depart. Get up on deck early to see that wonderful view of the Nepali coast, because it becomes crowded quickly. Waimea drive is awesome! Maui - you could easily drive there. We took the excursion to the resort beaches. Since you stay overnight, you could even book a room at one of the resorts there to spend a quiet night and use the pools/beaches. I would definitely come back to this island. Hilo and Kona on the big island of Hawaii- Hilo was good for the volcano tours. You can do that on your own by renting a car. the Volcano tube is fascinating. Kona is a bit kooky. Don't get suckered into the black beach on Kona. it is small and dirty. Bring beach shoes as the walk into the water is not easy barefoot. I didn't see many kids or kids activities, therefore I would say that it is not a good one for children. Not much information on the travel to and from the ship to embark and disembark. although because customs is not an issue, I would say embarkation and disembarkation was easy! Overall, I am glad I did this cruise. It taught me that I really don't care for the "freestyle" cruise and I will not try to use Norwegian again. I've got that out of my system. Back to Royal Caribbean! I paid over $3000 for this cruise alone and it was not worth the price. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This cruise was chosen because of the fact that you could fly to Honolulu and get on the ship and were able to stop at all the islands. The ship was fine but some of the employees were just a little lacked in their taking care of the ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because of the fact that you could fly to Honolulu and get on the ship and were able to stop at all the islands. The ship was fine but some of the employees were just a little lacked in their taking care of the cruisers. One of the bar staff in the Aloha Lanai didn't want to work in that area and was very verbal about it. Sad that she felt the need to tell the passengers. The dining room was under staffed and the food was not what I expected. The presentation could be better. The cabin steward was Gene and he was very friendly and attentive to our needs. Entertainment was good. Activities at the pool area were fun. Jimmy Mac and The Cool Kats put on a great show. Took excursions from Shore Trips and from the cruise line. Loved the trip with Shore Trips to Kona. Mauka Makai Adventures and Joshua did a fantastic job. Highly recommend them for this excursion. Very informative about Kona and all the surroundings. Never rushed us if we wanted to stay longer at our stops. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We travelled with a group and left the ship in Kauai. Although it was pre-arranged before we left and every day on the ship it was reaffirmed - Disembarkation was a disaster. The group had arranged to have tables together at dinner ... Read More
We travelled with a group and left the ship in Kauai. Although it was pre-arranged before we left and every day on the ship it was reaffirmed - Disembarkation was a disaster. The group had arranged to have tables together at dinner previous to boarding. The tables were together (sort of) but different sizes and so our pre-arranged seating arrangements had to be changed - thanks to the staff who helped in this endeavor. The cost of beverages on the ship was absolutely ridiculous. A bottle of wine on the ship that cost $43 and the same wine on shore cost $7.89. The port staff were very unfriendly. 1 of our group was getting back on the ship with her picture id and sea pass and the port staff said that he had to go on the ship and run her card to see if it was her, although she had a picture ID. We had completed a Baltic cruise in 2015 (including Russia) and didn't have the same hassles. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I chose this cruise due to a promotion by an oft listened to local radio station, sponsored by YMT Vacations. The price seemed attractive enough, since round trip air travel from Cleveland, Ohio, 4 nights hotel accommodation, and seven day ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to a promotion by an oft listened to local radio station, sponsored by YMT Vacations. The price seemed attractive enough, since round trip air travel from Cleveland, Ohio, 4 nights hotel accommodation, and seven day cruise visiting several Hawaiian Islands where included in the price of $8000 for two. Having had prior cruises ruined by night time chair rubbing, furniture moving, and thumping noise from an overhead activity area such as the Lido deck, I specifically requested that my outside balcony room NOT be directly under the such a noisy activity area in order to enjoy uninterrupted sleep. Lo and behold, the very first night I was awakened at 1 am by chair thumping from a popular bar area directly above my room. Each time a patron would sit at the bar, they would re position their chair so as to be able to talk with adjacent guests or to comfortably view the sports TV on the wall behind the bar area. Food in the Skyline Restaurant was pretty much tasteless with poor choices for appetizers, entrees, and desserts. My wife needed a special gluten free diet due to having been diagnosed as a Celiac so the buffet in the Aloha Cafe was out of the question having so many foods containing wheat gluten. At one particular breakfast my wife was served rye bread by mistake, which she at 1/2 slice before deciding it wasn't worth eating. The toast served with omelets are all small square, very hard and dense and tasteless. Only the servers can tell white toast from rye toast. We had 2 servers each morning, one was aware she needed gluten free food, the other was not aware. The second server gave her my rye toast, and failed to bring any to me, hence the mix up. On steak night, I was served a Steak Frites which I could not eat. I had no idea what it was, but the texture of the meat was somewhat like liver, and tasteless. The best food for myself was the Pizza bar and the Aloha Buffet, both off limits for my Celiac wife. Not wanting to eat those foods by myself, I chose to suffer through at the Skyline the same as she had to do. She was also unsatisfied with the Skyline, but had little or no choice. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This is the second Carival cruise to Hawaii with the twelve day itinerary. My first experience aboard the Spirit was an magical adventure. Unfortunately, I didn't get the same experience as last time. This voyage lacked a variety ... Read More
This is the second Carival cruise to Hawaii with the twelve day itinerary. My first experience aboard the Spirit was an magical adventure. Unfortunately, I didn't get the same experience as last time. This voyage lacked a variety of entertainment. The Cruise Director Jen was to hung up on dressing like Dorothy from Wizard of Oz. She even brought out a Mad Hatter outfit one night equipped with tuxedo jacket. With five days at sea I would have expected entertainment to be set a high priority. i selected three health care seminars on my sea days, out of the selected two was cancelled. When I tried arts and crafts the instructor didn't show and a replacement showed up dumped a box of plastic door tags at us and said there you go Jacks couldn't make it. I felt insulted at how this was carried out. Another time we were making greeting cards they set out the supplies and then when we're all at our tables left with us holding the scissors, I decided one day to go shopping at the fun shop. I found a perfume I loved and asked a clerk náme Laura to explain more shout it. She rudely told me that wasn't her department, and turned her back on me, thus she lost my interest in shopping. There WAS some saving grace to this cruise, our dinner waiters/Waitress was exceptional. Jowie, Kadek, and Ako you truly out did yourself. Without you this cruise would have been hard to make memories. In al, if your looking for a budget friendly cruise to see Hawaij then look no further. If your looking for an elegant ship, you will find yourself disappointed. There is many nude painting with symbols on the walls. It was one of the worst themes I have seen on a Carnival ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I think this cruise was a great way to see Hawaii and what was wonderful about it is that you really got to spend alot of time in port and really explore the islands. However--thats really all I can say about this ship. This was my ... Read More
I think this cruise was a great way to see Hawaii and what was wonderful about it is that you really got to spend alot of time in port and really explore the islands. However--thats really all I can say about this ship. This was my first time on NCL and it will be the last. There were several ocurrances throughout the trip that brought me to that decision. The major issue that I found extremely upsetting is that the company did not separate smokers/non smokers. I spent extra money for a balcony that went to waste because I was next to a group of chain smokers. When I called the front desk to ask if possibly i could be moved to another room, the receptionist was very rude, curt, and let me know that there was absolutely nothing they could do for me. She made the claim that the ship was completely booked so for the next 7 days I would be forced to enhale second hand smoke. I don't tolerate smoke when I'm at home and to be forced while on VACATION i found unacceptable. What really irritated me though was that I later spoke with 2 other crew members who both informed me that the ship was NOT fully booked. I can not respect a company that lies to its customers and will certainly never reward that kind of behaviour. The other issue was that the music from the night club could be heard in our cabin into the wee hours of the night. So much for a relaxing trip. Also when we arrived the coffee maker in our room was filty, sticky, and looked as it had not been cleaned in quite some time. I also found hair in my shower and a water bottle from, I guess, the previous occupants. Never did I meet out cabin steward and as a whole I did not find the staff to be very friendly or eager to meet your needs. Not to mention I took a survey after the cruise alerting them of the issues and no one bothered to respond or even apologize. So I write this review as a warning to you all who are considering Pride of America. If you can, use any other line but NCL. They are only interested in taking your money and nothing else. The rooms are dirty, smoking is allowed in public areas, and the cabins are not sound proof so be prepared to hear the disco music until about 1-2am every night. Also the food is sub par, Lazy J's steakhouse being among the worst. And it seemded that every time I turned around there was a pushy staff member trying to get me to spend even more money than I already had. Aviod this company at all cost!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
This is our third cruise and the first to Hawaii. On the positive side, cruising on NCL's Pride of America is probably one of the best ways to see a little of most of the islands that make up Hawaii. Our cruise visited Oahu ... Read More
This is our third cruise and the first to Hawaii. On the positive side, cruising on NCL's Pride of America is probably one of the best ways to see a little of most of the islands that make up Hawaii. Our cruise visited Oahu (Honolulu), Maui, Kaui, and two spots on the big island of Hawaii (Hilo and Kona). I hope that someone with NCL monitors these reviews. If so, they need to do something about the food aboard ship. ABOUT THE FOOD The food overall isn't horrible, but with few exceptions -- at the restaurants included with one's ticket -- it's not good. Our opinion. Your mileage may vary. Specifically, the "cafeteria style" restaurant (I think it's the Aloha) is OK for breakfast. A lot of variety. Lunch is so, so. I heard that the Indian food was good, but the rest seemed like typical cafeteria fare. As an alternative, you might want to think about the Cadillac diner. The desserts there looked really good. 1950's food. The food in the nicer dinner dining rooms (Skyline and Liberty) features small portions of just about everything, and if you're a fan of beef, you'll probably be disappointed. It's practically tasteless. My advice is to ask your server for recommendations and follow that advice, rather than the menu. Also, if you're ordering appetizers, order 2 of them. You can also order two main dishes, perhaps one that you think you'd like, and one that the server recommends. That way you're likely to have at least one shot at getting something you'll enjoy. We only tried one specialty restaurant -- the Lazy J Steakhouse -- and were disappointed by the quality of the steak. Lobster lovers beware: It's not Maine lobster and the night we dined there, we discovered that we not only had to pay the additional cover charge for that restaurant but to get tough, practically tasteless lobster, we had to pay even more. SHORE EXCURSIONS As veteran cruisers know, shore excursions are pricy. If, however, you're taking this cruise while the humpback whales are in Hawaii to mate and calf, I'd definitely recommend the snorkeling excursion to the Molokini (sp) crater off the coast of Maui. This was a delightful surprise. The excursion is run by the Pacific Whale Foundation whose crew members refer to the waters around Maui as "whale soup" during that time of year, because of the large number of whales present. The snorkeling was great and so was the whale watching. We rented cars at the times we were in port for over a day. With a GPS, I think this is definitely worth it. The people at the rental car places will tell you what's worth seeing and the GPS will get you there because these places are pre-loaded into them. (Our GPS from home did not work in Hawaii. Again, your experience may differ.) Regarding Internet, check with your cell phone carrier to find out if they have coverage through a national plan in Hawaii. Verizon offers a mobile broadband plan that we were able to use to tether our phones to our laptop and avoid the price on board Internet charges. This only worked when we were near the islands or in port, which was most of the time. If you plan to use just your cell phone, make sure you also check with your carrier to make sure you won't be charged a roaming fee if you use the phone while you're aboard the ship. We were told that as long as our cell phones didn't show that we were roaming, that it would be the same as using our cell phones at any other time. Hope this helps someone and bon voyage! Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We enjoyed our trip to the various islands. Disappointed that we did not get to see the Na Pali Coast; they did give us each $100 for on ship credit. The food was good, I was hoping for a variety of horderves to try. The coffee in the ... Read More
We enjoyed our trip to the various islands. Disappointed that we did not get to see the Na Pali Coast; they did give us each $100 for on ship credit. The food was good, I was hoping for a variety of horderves to try. The coffee in the Gold Rush lounge was always barely warm. The staff was very nice and helpful. Laundry service was more expensive than other cruise lines but they did do a good job. We played checkers and shuffle board on deck, that was fun. The pools were nice, one hot tub never worked and several of them worked to well, pushed water into your face. They had nice shows for entertainment, the show on the last night was amazing. Having more options for when your on the ship at night would have been nice, like cooking classes, etc. I liked the ability to store luggage under the bed and there were a few drawers which limited how much we had to access the suitcase. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
With no previous experience of cruises we went with no expectations but we were pleasantly surprised. Thoroughly enjoyed the cruise particularly as we were able to leave the ship each day for excursions. The ship excursions were very ... Read More
With no previous experience of cruises we went with no expectations but we were pleasantly surprised. Thoroughly enjoyed the cruise particularly as we were able to leave the ship each day for excursions. The ship excursions were very expensive so we booked through Roberts Hawaii...best decision they were great. Plenty of places to choose from for dining. Buffet was generally ok but we preferred the Skyline which was a little more up market, quieter and a little less frantic. Pool area is very busy and we actually never made use of these facilities preferring to do the day trips. Shows were fun and well presented. Recommend to anyone wanting a taste of the main Hawaiian islands. Gift shop was very well priced compared to the port shops got some good bargains. Biggest criticism would be the mandatory drill at the beginning we were left standing for so long one lady fainted...just seemed to go on and on without needing to...no doubt waiting for inconsiderate passengers. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Went on this same cruise, same ship, several years ago... Boarding okay, yet had to wait about 6 hours after previous passengers departed for cabin to be ready. Cabin ok - with exception that they have stinkin' bunks above. ... Read More
Went on this same cruise, same ship, several years ago... Boarding okay, yet had to wait about 6 hours after previous passengers departed for cabin to be ready. Cabin ok - with exception that they have stinkin' bunks above. Great for those who need 'em, yet in the way if you only have 2 people in a cabin. Dining ok. it would be greatly improved if they had a lobster night, escargot, and rib eye all missing - they do have N.Y. cut in Skyline/ Liberty Dinning rooms (which evidently share same menu, galley. Although Liberty less informal- NOTHING is formal on NCL). Went to one of their 'premium' restaurants - Cagney's - good steak (& did have ribeye), yet mushrooms too gamey and service not exceptional, either! Aloha Cafe, their buffet, hasn't got egg whites or substitute eggs for omelets during breakfast... Service - with possible exception of cabin - poorer than previous cruises; yet staff at least friendly (not as much as before there, either, though) Entertainment was fine, with good Polynesian show, comedian, magic, and variety/ dance/ singing shows. Can't vouch for shore excursions - we rented cars. Yet the ports of call & scenery such as the Na Pali coast (Kauai) and active Volcano lava (Southern area of Big Island) make this a very desirable and worthwhile cruise, which could be improved, though! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Overall it was a great first cruise. The ship employees were very accommodating. Our room steward was wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed our off ship excursions; segway tour on Maui-we absolutely loved this! We had such a wonderful time, ... Read More
Overall it was a great first cruise. The ship employees were very accommodating. Our room steward was wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed our off ship excursions; segway tour on Maui-we absolutely loved this! We had such a wonderful time, would do it again in a heart beat. Crater at sunset on Maui-our bus driver was wonderful, so full of amazing information and so entertaining. We did the snorkeling at Kona and the tastes of Hawaii tour with Chelsea at Hilo-she was also very amazing. Mug bogging on Kauai - fun! The better shopping is on Maui fyi! Not much to shop at on Kauai. The food was good on ship but definitely check out the skyline restaurant and the Liberty. They serve a very nice dining experience. The evening entertainment was very good, take a sweater the big theater is chilly. We really enjoyed the dancing at the Mardi gras. Unfortunately i underestimated my ability to handle the sea sickness - I wish I had known about bonine on the first day. They sell it in the gift shop, great for motion sickness. If you plan to do any serious drinking, 4 or more per day get the drink package. We stayed at the Aqua Waikiki Wave in Waikiki pre and post cruise, nice hotel for just off the main strip a block. If you get a state room they will pick you up at your hotel and handle all your luggage for you. That was a nice perk. Recommend the staterooms, nice with king bed and balcony. Enjoyed being able to open the door. Looking forward to another cruise someday. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My husband and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this year. In lieu of a hokey party, we wanted to take the party on a cruise to Hawaii. We brought along our 3 sons, my son's girlfriend, my brother in law, his wife and ... Read More
My husband and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this year. In lieu of a hokey party, we wanted to take the party on a cruise to Hawaii. We brought along our 3 sons, my son's girlfriend, my brother in law, his wife and their 2 sons. We had an amazing time. 4 of the 6 are in college; 5 different schools between the 6 kids. They are starting to make their way, look for jobs, etc; my nephew may go to school out of state next year. As we knew our time with the kids was limited so we splurged for that one final all out trip to celebrate our anniversary. My husband said this was our most "error free" vacation. He was right. Every cruise member was outstanding, every excursion on time, every tour guide a perfect fit for our large crew. We couldn't have had a better experience and already know that our next cruise will be on Norwegian. This is the second cruise for both families and the NCL staterooms and suites were beyond compare. There was plenty for everyone to do on board which allotted for family events, couples dinners and personal time in the spa and fitness center. Thank you for the vacation of a lifetime with our kids! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We were celebrating our 47th year Wedding Anniversary & my (Three scores + 10) . This was our first cruise we didn't know what to expect, our Hotel accommodations was very nice. I was very surprise of how humongous the ... Read More
We were celebrating our 47th year Wedding Anniversary & my (Three scores + 10) . This was our first cruise we didn't know what to expect, our Hotel accommodations was very nice. I was very surprise of how humongous the ship was. I have never seen anything so large. We attend one show, which we enjoyed. The service was superb in the restaurants and the food was excellent. Port and shore excursions we really enjoyable on the islands and going into the neighborhoods by the guides . Travel to embarkation port was very fast moving. Inside the ship I was in awed how beautiful everything was, the workmanship and décor. Our room was very comfortable, Our steward was very attentive to our needs, he went above and beyond .We were disappointed about the WIFI-internet we were trying to get. My greatest regret is not taking more advantages of the ships activities. We would do it again. We thank the Norwegian's Pride of America cruise line for your accommodations. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We selected this cruise because we wanted to visit several of the Hawaiian islands and the cruise allowed us to do this without taking days of our time packing up, island hopping by plane, and unpacking to do it all over again in a couple ... Read More
We selected this cruise because we wanted to visit several of the Hawaiian islands and the cruise allowed us to do this without taking days of our time packing up, island hopping by plane, and unpacking to do it all over again in a couple of days. We enjoyed the excursions we selected and felt each port had something for everyone. The food provided on the cruise was very good as the different venues offered different selections. We did upgrade for 3-nights of optional dining venues for variety but thought that if we did this cruise again, we would just use the dining package that was included as those options were very satisfactory to us. I loved the Spa and had one of the best massages I have ever received. We did not attend any of the nightly entertainment shows as we chose the evenings to relax. We enjoyed the cruise so much we are talking about going on another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
i really enjoyed this cruise - lots of on board activies and friendly staff the only thing i didn't like was the blow dryer in the cabin had to plug in at desk area and cord didn't really stretch to sink are where there was a ... Read More
i really enjoyed this cruise - lots of on board activies and friendly staff the only thing i didn't like was the blow dryer in the cabin had to plug in at desk area and cord didn't really stretch to sink are where there was a mirro - other wise everything else was really goo - i had one of the single's staterooms and was really surprised at the size - had a full size bed and plenty of storage for your clothes and other items meals were really nice and all the staff were so nice and friendly and smiling- really enjoyed the art auctions and the shops on board were very reasonably priced - liked all the trivia and games and crafts which were really fun - food was really good and the specialty restaurant teppanyaki was really good and enjoyed the chef and his show - crafts were kuki nut lei's and ribbon lei's along with bead fish and origami folding and alot of other crafts Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise because this was our first trip to Hawaii and we wanted to experience as much as we could in 7 days. We had done a 12-night Mediterranean cruise with NCL a couple years ago, and found it to be a great way to see a lot ... Read More
We chose this cruise because this was our first trip to Hawaii and we wanted to experience as much as we could in 7 days. We had done a 12-night Mediterranean cruise with NCL a couple years ago, and found it to be a great way to see a lot in little time. No need to spend time during the day travelling to your next destination when you can go by boat and travel by night, not have to change hotels, pay for extra transportation, etc. We flew from DFW to Honolulu non-stop and, leaving DFW about 11:30AM and arriving in Honolulu about 2:30PM. We had enough time to stop by Walmart on the way to the boat (which is about a half-mile off the track on the route from the airport to the cruise terminal) and pick up a case of water and sodas (saving a small fortune onboard). We saved the Honolulu excursions for the return trip. The embarkation was about as smooth as I've ever seen. There were no crowds at all and essentially no line to board. I was almost thinking the cruise was half-empty. The ship is about average size for a cruise ship. You can tell it's an older boat due to the size/amenities, but very well maintained. It's comparable to the NCL Spirit, which we were on for our Mediterranean cruise. There is no casino onboard due to Hawaiian gambling laws. The boat stays in US waters at all times, so there is no international water maritime law being applied that would allow for gambling. The boat appears to be about 75% balcony rooms, which seems to be significantly above the norm (and also why you can get a relatively good deal on a balcony room). We took 4 NCL-sponsored excursions, and 3 DIY excursions. The NCL excursions included the following: Maui: Molokini Crater & Turtle Snorkel - unfortunately the weather was lousy, so we had to go to an alternate destination. The snorkeling was OK, but not nearly as good as we expected at the advertised destination. I don't know how often the weather is lousy, but it's a bit of a risky proposition due to the price paid. Maui: Waterfalls & Rainforest Hike - this was nice, although again, I'm not sure if it was really worth the price. The location was Wailele Farm in Ho'olawa Valley. I think this is actually a free site to visit, so if you're paying that price for a guide and transportation for a dozen people, I think it's considerably over-priced, but it was nice nonetheless. Bring water shoes for this, as several parts of the footpaths are across shallow stream areas and there is plenty of mud as well. Hilo: Hilo Bay Waterfall & Kayak - this was also nice and probably better for relative value, though slightly overpriced. You essentially have a 10-minute van ride to Hilo bay, and use a two-man kayak to go across Hilo bay and up a short river tributary with falls. The ocean was at low-tide and was probably 1-2 ft lower than the river source. As such, there was a small area requiring portage to get to the upper part of the river containing the falls, and a subsequent rougher-than-normal ride back down the river. Although quite fun from my perspective, one of the 8 kayaks dumped it's crew on the way down the short drop. No injuries, but plenty wet. Honolulu: Pearl Harbor w/USS Missouri (Airport Dropoff) - This was probably the best value, because it included a full day at Pearl Harbor, admission to the USS Missouri and USS Arizona Memorial and they took care of your luggage all day and provided airport transportation. The USS Bowfin submarine was extra, but there was time for that if you desired. There was not enough time, however, to visit the Pacific Air museum. The trip to Pearl was followed by a short visit to the Punchbowl Crater Memorial. DIY excursions included the following: Kailua-Kona: We wanted to do the Kona brewery, but the tours are limited to 17 people. If you want to do this, book early. We walked around Kona, and stopped by Kona Canoe Club for a couple beverages. The view was great. This is probably the best location on the cruise for souvenir shopping. Kauai: Smiths Family Garden Luau - we had seen mixed reviews on the cruise-ship-recommended Luau Kalamaku, so we opted for Smith's Family Garden Luau. It was about half the price and was great! They even provide round-trip transportation to/from the cruise port for a nominal price. Kauai: Instead of using the cruise line's surfing excursion, I opted to wing it and go to the local Kalapaki beach and see what I could scrounge up. Turns out this was a great option. Free transportation using the Anchor Cove/Beach shuttle, and surfing lessons at Beach Boys for 1/2 the price. Ask for Marlo - he's great. Eveyone in our party got up on the board the first time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We recently returned to the Pride of America (POA) for another spin around the islands. We had sailed on her in 2007, about the same time of year, so the weather conditions were similar. We were once again greeted with an orchid flower lei ... Read More
We recently returned to the Pride of America (POA) for another spin around the islands. We had sailed on her in 2007, about the same time of year, so the weather conditions were similar. We were once again greeted with an orchid flower lei for me and a shell lei for my husband. They had Hawaiian music playing and water available. Since we were returning cruisers, we were able to get in the ‘short line’ so had our photos taken for our key card and were walking across the gangway in a short amount of time. Since our cabin was not yet available, we decided to go to the Skyline Dining Room for lunch rather than the buffet for a change. We were ushered to Table 1, a great little table for two in the corner at the window. I had a FABULOUS marinated shrimp salad and my husband had a cobb salad and fish and chips - the salads were brought promptly, but the fish and chips took quite a while to be served. After lunch we went back out to see if our cabin was ready and they were announcing that cabins were ready floor by floor - there didn’t seem to be any logic or reason to the order as the first deck to be announced was Deck 4, then Deck 9 then us on 11 - I would have thought it would have been the deck with the suites, but apparently not. We were on Deck 11, cabin 11536, so we went up and checked it out. We had never been in a cabin on that high of a deck nor that far forward before so we knew it was going to be a different cruise experience. The cabin interior was the same, with even the same foot protector, but new carpeting. I had forgotten how beautiful the woods are on the POA! I also liked that the murals of various spots and landmarks around the country at the head of the stairs were still there. Apparently the refit was to add 4 studio cabins and more suite cabins and move some areas around to do so, but the rest of the ship was the same, which was good - it really didn’t need improving! The one thing I really questioned was the large overhang from Deck 12 that extended out about 10 feet farther than our balcony, that obstructed the view upwards - it didn’t seem to be that much of a deal, but as the day progressed, it DID turn out to be a liability. At 4 p.m. we heard a VERY loud noise and realized that it was the Blue Angels doing their performance at Pearl Harbor! It was SUCH a delight to watch the angels doing their amazing flying, but again, having that overhang REALLY got in the way. About the time they were finishing up, it was time for the Muster Drill, or as they call it Assembly Drill. I have never participated in a more organized, detailed, quick muster drill in my life! They had even lowered one of the life boats down so folks could look inside. Very impressive! Since we were there as a part of a group, there was a cocktail party at the Lanai on Deck 11, aft. It was nice to be out there as the sun set and we sailed away. We had hit it off with another couple, so all four of us went to dinner at the Liberty Dining Room. This is an elegant room, done in rich navy and maroons with large paintings of presidents and other patriotic items as decor. I had the caesar salad and the mahi mahi, which was served with couscous and mango salsa - it was very tasty! On our way back to the cabin, there was a pianist playing at “Pinks” the Champagne lounge on Deck 6. Michael Masci was exactly the type of pianist I enjoy - talented, yet with enough personality to be interesting but without being corny. He was delightful! Day 2 was the first day on Maui (the itinerary had changed from the 2007 itinerary - for the better I might add). We went for breakfast at the Aloha Cafe - we have learned to go ALL the way to the back where we can enjoy our breakfast outside (I’m actually always surprised that there is usually room out there, which for us, are the best seats in the house, ESPECIALLY in Hawaii!). After breakfast we went down to catch the shuttle to the Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center. On the way back we struck up a nice conversation with one of the many Australian passengers - apparently there were about 300 Aussies on this sailing. There were also a lot of Japanese as well as a handful of other folks speaking languages I didn’t recognize. There was probably an event at the theatre that told how many from the various countries, but we must have missed that one. Once back on board we went up to the Aloha Cafe for lunch, where we again sat outside and enjoyed the warm, but humid, windy and cloudy day (Hawaii was also going through a heat wave, so it was unusually warm). On the way back from lunch we stopped by the spa and made our massage appointments and came back to the cabin. We decided to take advantage of the sauna and steam room prior to our massages - that totally started the relaxation process and by the time my massage with Jesse was over (who was EXCELLENT I might add), I was pretty much a giant blob. Since we hadn’t had dinner yet, we decided to order room service, which was perfect because we ended up turning out the lights at 9:30! Are we the life of the party or what? Maui - Day 2 - Since we had done this cruise before, we had already done the Sunrise at Mt. Haleakala excursion, which I would HIGLY recommend. It is truly a bucket list item that should be done at least once, but having someone else drive and the warmth of a bus is even better. If you do go, make SURE you take plenty of warm jackets as it is VERY cold at 10,000 feet! After our outdoor breakfast at the Aloha Cafe, with today’s weather being a little calmer and sunnier, we went back to the cabin. Since there was a session with my group right after lunch, we really didn’t have time to do too much so it was nice to just have a leisurely morning. We did enjoy watching the activity of truckload after truckload of sand was being loaded onto a barge. After my session, we changed and went down for dinner at the Skyline Dining room. This room is done with a New York theme, with contemporary chairs, mirrors, and etched glass mimicking the skyline of New York. Very simple and elegant. My husband had the french onion soup and I had the caesar again and we both had the special, which was a coconut crusted mahi mahi with a raspberry sauce, along with plantain mashed potatoes and carmelized onions - it was FABULOUS! The service wasn’t so hot, but the food was GREAT! Tonight’s entertainment was the “Not So Newlywed Game” which is one of MY personal favorites on cruise ships. Usually there is one couple that is especially entertaining, but all four of these couples had a particularly entertaining answer at one point or the other, so it was especially good. Norwegian even stepped up a bit more than just congratulating the couples with a bottle of champagne - the winning couple got a gift certificate for a set of bamboo sheets at one of the bedding stores on Kauai! Good for Norwegian! Hilo - Day 3 We were up early and had breakfast so we could do the Volcanos National Park excursion. John was our tour guide/driver and was FABULOUS! Not only was he good at his job, he had just returned after having taken 3 weeks off to move his 75 acre ranch, including family and animals, out of the way of the advancing lava flow. He was amazingly calm after having spent 3 weeks moving, but as he put it, you accept that when you live on Pele’s island. The first stop was the Big Island Chocolate Factory, where we were able to watch the workers make the chocolate. They also gave out plenty of samples and of course, there were lots of sales! We drove by a beautiful Japanese garden and then up to the park. Our first stop at the park was the Kilauea Iki Trailhead, where we were able to look down into the Kilauea Iki Crater, formed in 1959. From there we went to the Thurston Lava Tube, where we got out and were able to walk through the lava tube - what an amazing experience THAT was! We then went on to the Kilauea Caldera, which is where the Halemaumau Crater was formed in 1974 when it erupted. This was also the site of the Jagger Museum, named after the first volcanoist who started collecting data and studying volcanos. It was a very good excursion but warranted a good nap back at the cabin upon our return! Dinner was back at the Skyline Dinner with more friends from our group. Kona - Day 4 Since we were unable to dock, today we were anchored off the coast and had to tender in. After breakfast we got our tender tickets and were shortly on our way to Kona. Kona is a completely different climate than the rest of the islands and it was VERY warm and humid there, and today was no different. We caught the shuttle to Hilo Hatties and loaded up on Hawaiian shirts and macadamia nuts and returned to the pier. Lunch was at a new restaurant , Paradise Cafe, upstairs overlooking the harbor (and ship). Dale had hot chicken wings and I had pulled pork with a mango salsa. It was quite good. Tonight we splurged and paid the surcharge for the steakhouse Cagney’s. Dale had the St. Louis ribs and I had the filet - both were excellent! For dessert, Dale had the raspberry creme brulee and I had the oreo cheesecake. So much for that diet! From there we hopped in the hot tub to warm up a little and then got dressed and went down to the Hollywood Theatre for a Tribute to Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons by the group, Oh What A Night, four guys that were VERY good, both vocally and in their performance. Kauai - Day 5 Today was our excursion to Wiamea Canyon so we met our group at the Hollywood Theatre and we walked down to the busses - all four of them! A young Hawaiian lady was our tour guide/driver, but she was not as good as John. Our first stop was the Spouting Horn out at Poipu Beach. This is a natural formation of lava that spouts water when the waves rush in. It also hosts some local vendors with hand crafted items and rest rooms. We then headed out to another store, which had a variety of refreshments and of course, another opportunity for shopping before heading up to the canyon. The drive from the store to the canyon is a winding road that takes about 20 minutes before you actually arrive at the lookout point. I had forgotten how beautiful the canyon is. So many striated layers of earth, some waterfalls and of course, helicopters and planes doing tours of the canyon. We got back to the ship and had a couple of hours before it would be time to meet to go to the luau. We had the 4:30 meeting time for the Luau Kalamaku - apparently there was a 4, 4:15, 4:45 and 5 p.m. meeting time as well! We found out later that there were about 750 from the ship in attendance!!! WOW! We had been to luaus before so figured it would be about the same - boy were we wrong! This was WAY more than your usual luau! This was a performance that included lights, costuming, make up, props and for lack of another explanation, would call it an opera, done in Hawaiian style. They followed a story line depicting a father and his daughter that had fallen in love. The story followed the father and boyfriend as they went to find the new land and then returned, the couple married and then ended with the birth of the new generation. It was VERY well done - in ALL ways. Kaui - Day 6 My husband left early for his helicopter ride of Kauai - this was his third and his favorite thing to do on Kauai. Since I was involved with my group the entire morning, I met my husband for lunch at the Cadillac Cafe, which is the 50s diner on Deck 6 midship - they had the usual diner menu, so he had a hot dog and I had a cheeseburger and fries, then we split a hot fudge brownie - it was all very tasty, although the service was a little odd. As Platinum members of Norwegian Cruise Lines, we had been invited to a special event held out on the bow of the ship at 2 p.m. as we sailed from Kauai, so headed out with hats and sun glasses. Boy was it hot out there and the reflective light from the white of the ship seemed to make it worse. As you might expect, they were serving champagne and mimosas, so it was a very nice event. After the welcome speeches and actual sailing, it got a tad breezy, although that was welcomed as it did cool us down a little bit, but we lasted about 1/2 hour before it got just too hot. We went back to the cabin and started packing so that we could enjoy sailing by the Napali Coastline, which would happen at about 5 p.m. Since we had already unzipped the expandable part of the main suitcase in order to come, we had to do some real organizing but we got it all into the suitcases and went back out to the balcony to enjoy the beautiful scenery! Sadly, the wonderful narration of the coastline was only available through the public address system on open passenger decks, not through the Navigation channel, bridge channel or even through the loud speakers in the hall, so we missed out on that, but we were NOT going to move from our balcony to one of the crowded open passenger decks just to listen to the narration. After the ship turned around and headed back, we went upstairs to the Skyline Dining Room for our last dinner. We noticed ‘Table 1’ was in the process of being cleared, we asked if we could sit there, knowing it would be a quiet table and were soon ushered to our table. The waiter had a bit of an attitude but we ordered and got through dinner and went upstairs to the Mardi Gras lounge for “The Perfect Couple” Game - since we had never seen this, we really didn’t know what to expect. It was not as good as the Not So Newlywed Game, but it was entertaining. From there we went down a deck to the Hollywood Theatre for the final ‘show’ - the Variety Show. The magician (whom we had missed before) was back, as well as the Oh What A Night guys for some more Frankie Vallie tunes and then the crew did their thank you’s by bringing up on stage as many folks from the various areas of the ship to wave and say good-bye. This is always an emotional event. We pulled into Honolulu Harbor and had our final breakfast. We met for the last time in the Hollywood Theatre and joined the rest of our group at 9 a.m. and disembarked for the last time and boarded the bus. Since our flight wasn’t until 11 p.m., we had the whole day to kill, so this tour would take us 140 miles around the island of Oahu, with a stop for lunch and various places along the way. Leo was our bus driver/tour guide and he was delightful and had 35, 40 and even 80 point questions throughout the day (of course no one was keeping score and the points were random, but it added a sense of fun to the day). It was well worth the money for the tour AND was very informative. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Flew non-stop from ORD United Airlines to HNL day before (Friday, June 6)POA cruise. Arrived 2:30 PM Honolulu time. My group (17 cruisers) planned this cruise over a year in advance. Some of our group left several days early but the ... Read More
Flew non-stop from ORD United Airlines to HNL day before (Friday, June 6)POA cruise. Arrived 2:30 PM Honolulu time. My group (17 cruisers) planned this cruise over a year in advance. Some of our group left several days early but the majority of us were on the same round trip air schedule. Since we had very early tickets (8 AM Arizona) to Pearl Harbor, we did not want to stay far from our first excursion. Note: we reserved our tickets to Arizona online 6 months prior to trip We stayed at the Outrigger Honolulu Airport Hotel which had a free shuttle from airport. Did not want to cab to Waikiki for dinner as it would have added another $100. After check-in at hotel, we got cabs to eat dinner at Nico's Pier 38. This restaurant got good reviews from previous CC members. . Saw a large signed picture of Guy Fieri from Food Network. Dinner was great and we enjoyed sitting outside watching the tour buses go by and looking out over the pier area. There was entertainment inside the restaurant with a live band that we could hear outside. Went back to hotel 3 hours later. Easy to get cabs from restaurant. Caught a cab back to hotel to get some rest for busy embarkation day. Note: we spent a great deal of time and money in cabs on this island. Be prepared to spend more money on cabs in Honolulu Saturday June 7: we had pre ordered tickets to Arizona 6 months prior online for Pearl Harbor 8 AM . Early check out from hotel and had bellman lock our luggage in storage. Took cab to Pearl Harbor and arrived by 7 AM. Walked around till time to line up for short movie presentation and then took shuttle to Arizona. Pearl Harbor brings out many emotions and we were so thrilled that we were able to see this remarkable historic place. Stayed at Pearl Harbor for 3.5 hours and then took another cab back to hotel. Freshened up in lobby bathroom and then got luggage and cabs to Pier #2. Embarkation: When we arrived before 11 AM we saw no Porters at the pier so we wheeled our own luggage to the place where everyone was dropping off luggage for X-Ray. Then we got into line with carry-on luggage, passports and e-Doc’s. Went through security and then into line for boarding passes. Got Group A. Had our Lei Greeting and Embarkation Photo’s taken with family and group. While waiting to board ship, we were entertained with Hawaiian group that sang and danced for the passengers. It was before 11:30 AM that Group A was called and we were on our way to the POA. Our group went straight to the Aloha Buffet but you could go to the Skyline for lunch. We just liked the variety of food at the buffet. After eating we lounged outside on Deck 11 until they called our Deck 10. Cabin 10062 Family Stateroom Category B2. This is a very tight fit for 4 adults – Mom, Dad, Son (24), & Daughter (19). We were able to put our clothes away in all the drawers and closet. We always bring extra hangers and also 2 hanger tree’s that has eight clips each. Luggage came after Muster drill. Bed arrangement: 1 pull-out couch (single), 1 bunk bed that comes down from ceiling which extends over pull-out couch and part way over double bed. There really was not any room for the ladder to go up on bunk, so if you had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night the double bed people had to make room so they could get down. I just could not justify getting a suite when I knew we would not be spending much time in the stateroom and really no Sea Day’s. We have traveled on other cruiselines with 4 in the room, but this arrangement was extra tight. If we wanted to get to the Balcony we had to step on the beds. We knew this upfront but experiencing it was extra special. LOL Room Steward(ess) name was Nicole. At Embarkation we found our room clean, no dust on shelves and flat surfaces, ice bucket filled, enough towels for 4. We did ask for 2 more bathrobes which were promptly put in our room. She did a fine job all week which we showed her our appreciation at the end of the week. Room Service: Almost every morning we ordered room service. They were always on time. Twice we ordered room service at peak hours for late lunch/late night snack and they quoted a 45 min. wait. That was what we expected because of prime times that we ordered. Food was always on time and good. I must comment that the people who brought our food got a chuckle when they saw how crammed it was in our room. The trays had to be left on the double bed because there was no way they could get to any surface to put down. Our small table had to be put on the balcony otherwise they could not open single couch. Dining: We did not have time to try specialty dinning. Dinners were mostly in the Skyline Dining Room after our exhausting shore trips. Service was generally acceptable, once it was very slow, but conversations about our activities during the day made the time go by. Our meals were enjoyable. We did not expect fine dinning so we were not disappointed. Excursions: We planned our own excursions from tips learned on CC. We rented cars from Discount Hawaii Car Rental. Shuttles were there to pick us up to take us to the Car Rental Terminals at Airport locations. Exceptions to Shuttle service was in Kona. After tendering from POA, our pick-up was at King Kam Hotel located near the pier. We rented 2 days in Maui and parked overnight at pier parking lot (free). Next day it was very easy getting off the ship, walk to lot, and drive to our next adventure. In Kauai we rented only 1 day since the following day is short in Kauai and parking has a $30 charge. Maui Day #1: Started our day with visit to Hookipa Beach and watched the surfers. Got some welcome sun (we had an awful winter in Chicago and no Spring season) then drove south to the Tedeschi Vineyards for the wine tasting from a selection of pineapple wines made from locally grown Maui Pineapples and their grape and sparkling wines. The grounds were very nice and we all purchased some bottles to enjoy later. Then we backtracked north to the Alli Kula Lavender Farm near Kula. $3.00 per person entrance fee. The grounds are carpeted in lavender and we toured ourselves around the beautiful grounds. Bought several souvenirs of lavender products. Next we drove to Haleakala to experience the summit. Words just cannot describe the view. Spectacular does not even come close. We spent several hours in the park and decided not to do the sunset. Just was hesitant to drive down on pitch black roads with the sharp turns and going downhill very slowly. Maui Day #2: Iao Valley and Iao Needle. Kaanapali, and Lahaina. Hilo: Volcano National Park ( weather was cool and rainy), Akaka Falls Kona: Puuhonua O Honaunau National Park, Painted Church, Southernmost Point of the US, and almost to Green Sand Beach (long story, but you have to hike 1.5 mi each way or have vehicle that can drive on any surface. We went part way but road too treacherous). Kauai Day #1: Helicopter Tour with Safari. Book online and save. Excellent Tour of Island and everyone we met from Safari company were wonderful. Drove to Poipu Beach and stayed several hours, then to nearby Blowhole. Kauai Day #2: No rental car. Took shuttle to Anchor Cove and went to beach at the Marriott. We toured the grounds and shopped. From all our daytime activities, we were exhausted by 9 pm. We did see the Frankie Vallie show but we strained to stay awake. Did not miss the casino. The live bands that played near pool area were very good and enjoyed listening to music and having a cocktail as we left ports. One area that I usually spend money is the gift shops, but I did not purchase anything. What is wrong with me??!! Disembarkation: we had an extra day in Oahu, so when they put out the luggage tags a few days before Saturday, I took the purple tags which were for later times (9 AM). By Thursday night no more purple tags were available so get them as soon as they put them out. We took our time getting off the ship and the lines went quickly. Found our luggage right away and waited in line for shuttle to get rental car. Big mistake to rent car. The traffic that weekend was even worse because of Parade honoring King Kamehameha and festivities. We ended up paying extra to drop off car near our hotel as we were not going anywhere with blocked streets and congestion. Our group had originally planned to drop off luggage and tour Oahu. We stayed at the Outrigger on the Reef and enjoyed our time there. My group really did not want to leave as it was very comfortable and lovely at the hotel. They had entertainment at night near lobby/pool area. We walked to restaurants and shops. Enjoyed hanging out in open lobby area. Sunday: Took cabs to Diamond Head. Made it to the top though a struggle for me. I had gotten a bad cold and was running a fever by Saturday night. Glad I made the effort. It was fun to finish the climb! Check out of hotel at 12 Noon, and enjoyed pool area for the afternoon. Used complimentary hospitality room to get ready for trip back to airport. Had to leave early for 7:25 PM flight because more streets blocked off. Luckily the cab driver to Diamond Head gave us the "heads up" of the situation. Outrigger staff were outstanding and went out of their way to get us information and made our stay with them very enjoyable. Summary: Loved seeing Hawaii for the first time on the ship. We saw so much on the islands but little of our POA. If you are able to get time off of work, stay several days before and after the cruise. We so so many sites in 10 days. I am so glad we choose to cruise on POA for our first trip to Hawaii and would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
A little about us, we were part of 14 Aussies who spent time in Hawaii before boarding this lovely lady of the sea. My daughter and I arrived early and spent 8 days staying at the Outrigger Waikiki, I have stayed there previously on 6 ... Read More
A little about us, we were part of 14 Aussies who spent time in Hawaii before boarding this lovely lady of the sea. My daughter and I arrived early and spent 8 days staying at the Outrigger Waikiki, I have stayed there previously on 6 occasions and can say that it is location,location. Our cruise left Honolulu 11pm Sat 2nd Nov 2013. We arrived a little later than most to board, approx 2.30ish and it went very smoothly. We were met on board with a beautiful drink of Champagne and from then on it just got better and better. I have previously cruised on Princess and NCl, this was our first time on Celebrity. Loved it so much we just booked our next 18 night cruise on Celebrity Solstice, Perth, Port Hedland, Australia up to Bali, Indonesia then back to Darwin, Australia, Cairns,Brisbane, Newcastle and back to Sydney. Our cabin was spacious and very well looked after by Jose, a very special man. Spent most of our day out by the pool as we were sailing the Pacific and the weather was magic. Entertainment was great but would have liked to see more of the Celebrity Dancers and Singers. The food, well what can I say, the Metropolitan Dining Room, never had a bad meal..steak, crab cakes, french onion soup, creme brulee to name just a few. The Grill by the pool had the nicest hamburgers and fries..Cafe Al Bacio had the best pastries..the Ocean View Cafe provided you with everything you could wish for. Freshly cooked pasta to which you were able to ad garlic or whatever you chose. Freshly cooked fish and chips....yum, sushi to die for..we had not one complaint out of our group of 14. The ship was so clean and she has class all over her, the crew just great, always there with a smile and again no complaints about anyone of them. Met the usual whingers, cannot understand how you can constantly whinge over such minor little things, aren't you just so glad to be cruising and grateful for the experience. Ports of Call Papeete, Tahitit Disappointed with the capital of Tahiti, it was not the cleanest of places and the living conditions for most very poor. Sad to see people living that way, having said that they were lovely and you could not find a more friendly race. Bora Bora, Tahiti, oh this was just a beautiful island, we did a tour that we picked up when we arrived, half the price of Celebrity tour and went to the same places. Sad to see most of the hotels and holiday places were closed down due to lack of visitors. Moorea, Tahiti Did another local tour and went out swimming with stingrays and reef sharks, have already experienced swimming with dolphins so this was another highlight. Our tour guide was so funny..he made our day. Suva, Fiji This was sadly a let down, had been there in 1976 and it has got worse, very dirty, sad to see again the local Fijians struggling to survive. We also found it to be very smelly. Noumea, French Polenesia I loved this place as it is so clean, very expensive but a smaller version of the French Riviera. Overall the whole experience was fantastic and I have no reservation in saying that I love sailing with Celebrity. Gwenda (64yrs) Lisa 41 (yrs)   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This was a 17 night crossing of the Pacific from Honolulu to Sydney via Tahiti and New Zealand. The service was great, the food was great. We went to Chops Grill, Giovani's and the Samba Grill. Food and service was top notch. The ... Read More
This was a 17 night crossing of the Pacific from Honolulu to Sydney via Tahiti and New Zealand. The service was great, the food was great. We went to Chops Grill, Giovani's and the Samba Grill. Food and service was top notch. The ports in French Polynesia were beautiful. Wellington was windy and it rained in Picton but you can't do anything about the weather. Most of the crossing was calm with 1 night of 4m swells between Tahiti & NZ but the 1st 24 hours after we left Picton was a little wild (up to 7m swells I heard) but Raidiance seamed to handle the seas very well. After 1 slight slow down due to the weather the Captain put the throttle on hard and we did about 24knots for most of the next day or so. Great thrill. In Bora Bora we did a Tour organised via another Cruise Critic member that was fantastic.. Caught up with a few staff from our previous cruise on Radiance and renewed friendships... Overall it was just a great time and I was sorry to disembark. Small items of critisism. The dance floor in the colony club was not as well utilised as we had experienced on our previous cruise. The "Big" production shows were virtual repeats from last year... You'd have thought RCI could have come up with some new shows in 12 months... Still good shows, just repeats. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013

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