Pride of America Cruise Review by Heavenlydm
- Sail Date: November 2016
- Destination: Hawaii
- Cabin Type: Balcony
We wanted to be able to see as much of Hawaii as possible with the least expense and number of sea days. This was definitely the way to go. Each port gives such a different Hawaiian experience from culture to climate, food, activities and beaches. Some ports are heavily "touristy," and others more preserved. The pictures we took were so beautiful they looked fake and photoshopped.
Honolulu: Pearl Harbor tour, Waikiki beaches and shopping. Not impressed with Robert's Hawaii Tours....which are everywhere. It's much like Miami or L.A. Rented a car and spent time on the north shore; the ocean waves were incredibly intimidating at the beach!
Maui: Rainforest and waterfalls hike with Aaron and Nakota of Hike Maui and did a local car rental taking in scenery on the road to Hana. Maui has so many areas where you can pull over to the side of the road and enjoy the beaches.
Hilo: Had the best local guides Marylou and Ken of Marylou's Big Island Tours. Volcano National Park, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory, Rainbow Falls, Thurston Lava Tube and Richardson Black Sand Beach Park were some of the places we went. Being on an active volcano and see lava flows was surreal.
Kona: Toured a coffee farm, snorkled, went to the place of refuge in the P.o.Honaunau National Park, shopped a local farmer's market and scored 100% Kona coffee for home and saw Captain Cook's monument. Lots of ABC stores and condos. This was Day two with our local guide Ken. Hilo and Kona were the best tour days by far.
Nawiliwili: Rented a car and drove to Waimea Canyon and saw its breathtaking views, spent a few hours at a local beach via free shuttle and had the best beach time of the trip.
As far as cruising goes, the experience on the POA was mediocre. Getting on and off the boat was easy. You can't bring your own bottled water on board anymore. The cabins and shows were pretty standard but I was unimpressed by the service. Previous NCL cruising had crew members that made cruising such a pleasant experience. The exceptions on the POA were the amazing staff at the customer service desk and a few folks in the dining service. The food wasn't good until the last day, with the exception of steak at Cagney's and the food at the East Meets West restaurant.
If you don't mind the floating hotel and water taxi type of stay, the POA is for you. If you want the best on-board cruise experience, perhaps you can try ships leaving from L.A. or Vancouver which won't allow you to see nearly as much of Hawaii but will not have difficulty topping the POA on-board time. To each his own.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Waimea CanyonGrand Canyonesque and breath taking.View All 96 Waimea Canyon Reviews
SnorkelingKen brought all the equipment and instruction. He was great and took my sister out who is a non-swimmer. It was a really good, safe experience.View All 55 Snorkeling Reviews