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Okay, this is my first review, so go easy on me - A little background on us. This is our tenth cruise, one with Holland America and nine with NCL, three of which were on the POA. We are 62 and 65 years old. Celebrating our 25th anniversary, we decided to go all out and get a suite. We selected room 11500, port side Owners Suite with Large Balcony. We wanted the port side so we could enjoy our private hot tub on our deck during the NaPali sail by, but more on this later. We flew in on Friday with the NCL/Marriott free room program. This was a very good idea as the long flight and time difference was very tiring. The Marriott staff was friendly and helpful. Check in was quick and easy. We were in our room within half hour of arrival. The excursion area was busy, but the attendant quickly took our name and brought our packet. It had our transfer time listed, luggage tags if we needed, and full instructions. The next morning we left our luggage in our room and it was transferred to the ship for us. Bus transfer of us with our carry-on bag was organized and easy. Check in at the pier was also quick and easy, partially because we had a suite. Rooms were ready by about 3:30 PM The room was beautiful ! Nice flower arrangement on the table, a small bowl of fruit, 3 bottles of wine (selected on the first day), and a bottle of Champaign. Plenty of room in the living area, and a very comfortable king size bed. There was a walk-in closet between the bedroom and the bathroom. The jetted tub in the bathroom was nice, but we mostly used the shower. Our deck was kind of crowded, with the hot tub taking up most of the room, then two chase loungers and a small table. The tub on the deck was one of the best we have ever been in. Jets were strong. With the room being right under the bridge, it was always quiet. The butler had ginger ale and plenty of bottled water set up for us. Our room steward was Conrado Domingo, and he was fabulous! Room was always cleaned and supplied. Ice bucket was always full. Towel animals every night. We would let him know our plans for the day, and he worked around them. I posted a video of the room on YouTube: https://youtu.be/oh8II92Jjl8 Or search for: POA Room 11500. Excursions – Being our third time on the POA, we pretty much knew what we wanted to see and do. First day in Maui. The ships Deluxe Hana tour was already full three weeks before we sailed, so we went with Roberts on the Heavenly Hana tour. Same tour, same stops. Cheaper than the ship. The Road to Hana is one of those tours you do once. I can’t even imagine why anyone would repeat. Some beautiful scenery, but not so comfortable. And quite tense. Rain on and off didn’t help. (I thought the roads in Michigan were bad.) Not sure why they call it the Hana “Highway”. LOL Second day in Maui we did the Whale Watch and Lahaina through the ship. Being overcast, the whale activity was limited, but we did see mom and her baby, and a few more. Afterwards, a nice lunch in an open-air café and a stroll through the Banyan tree area and it was time to return. In Hilo we went with Rickys Tours. This was the best tours on the trip. (2nd time with Ricky, and would do it again). 12 passenger van with 10 on board, very comfortable. Visited most of the highlights of Hilo: Volcano National Park, Thurston lava tube, the steam vents, Jaggar Museum, Banyan Drive, Liliuokalani Garden, Rainbow Falls (Wailuku River), Macadamia Nut Co., Akatsuka Orchid Garden, and Richardson Ocean Beach Park (black sand beach). He would alter his itinerary so we wouldn’t be at each place the same time as the group of busses that did similar tours. In Kona we went with the Big Island Snorkel through the ship. The Body Glove catamaran is a nice comfortable narrated ride to the snorkel site. They provide 2-3 hours of water time, be it snorkeling, swimming, or just playing on the slide, tubes, or rafts. A nice continental breakfast and a BBQ lunch are also provided. They had a full bar that opens at lunch time. This was a very nice tour, we would do it again. In Kauai, we didn’t schedule anything. We did take the shuttles to K-Mart and Anchor Cove. Had an awesome Roast Port Saimin lunch at the Bamboo Grill at Anchor Cove. Spent most of our time enjoying our room and the almost empty ship. I asked our butler (Patricia Conaster) about a Behind the Scenes tour, and about ship pins. She said they do not do ship tours because of safety reasons, and she would get back with me if pins were available. I assume they weren’t, as I never heard back on them. Kind of disappointed about the ship tour. Our last cruise on Holland America, they had an actual excursion that took us everywhere on the ship. Pictures on the bridge with the captain, and (I hope I don’t get anyone in trouble), we actually toured the engine room, all while the ship was underway. We never even met the captain on this trip. Dining – being our 3rd time on this ship, this is kind of a comparison between this time, and 8 years ago. One of the suite perks was breakfast and lunch at Cagneys. Very nice perk, quiet, and good food. A couple mornings we made a plate in the buffet, and went to the back of the ship. We remembered this from our last time, it was just as nice. We had a couple dinners at the buffet and the Main Dining Room. Both were crowded and unorganized, but food was okay. Cagneys for dinner a couple times was very nice. Food was great. Modernos had an awesome salad bar, and a large variety of selections brought to our table. Decent quality. Teppanyaki was a disappointment. Of all the times we ate there on all the NCL ships, this was the worst. Our “chef” must have been new, as the “show” wasn’t as good as the rest of the tables in the room, and the food was under-cooked. I just don’t eat raw scallops. By the time I discovered, the grill was being cleaned. We also didn’t appreciate the street talk and swearing by our chef. Didn’t feel it was appropriate with women at the table. Wanted to try East meets West, but they were always busy. Overall, except for Teppanyaki, the food was as good as every other time on NCL. Overall, the ship was clean and in great shape. The crew wasn’t as friendly or outgoing as other ships, even as friendly as it was the last time we were aboard. They really didn’t go out of their way to make guests feel welcome. Entertainment on the ship was nothing to write home about. Most shows there was plenty of open seating. We only saw our Concierge a couple times in Cagneys in the morning, as was with our butler (Patricia Conaster). I imagine she would have been more available if we needed. The only time we really used her was to schedule our 3 specialties dinners. Totally my mistake, but I scheduled Teppanyaki on our last night of the cruise. I wish she would have asked if we were sure and reminded us that this was the NaPali sail-by time. I got the feeling she was more concerned with filling the restaurant at a normally slow time. We had a good time, after all, it is Hawaii. But for what we paid, next time it will be on another line, like Disney or ??? Happy Cruising !

Pride of America just so-so

Pride of America Cruise Review by Mich49505

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2018
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Owner's Suite with Large Balcony
Okay, this is my first review, so go easy on me -

A little background on us. This is our tenth cruise, one with Holland America and nine with NCL, three of which were on the POA. We are 62 and 65 years old. Celebrating our 25th anniversary, we decided to go all out and get a suite. We selected room 11500, port side Owners Suite with Large Balcony. We wanted the port side so we could enjoy our private hot tub on our deck during the NaPali sail by, but more on this later.

We flew in on Friday with the NCL/Marriott free room program. This was a very good idea as the long flight and time difference was very tiring. The Marriott staff was friendly and helpful. Check in was quick and easy. We were in our room within half hour of arrival. The excursion area was busy, but the attendant quickly took our name and brought our packet. It had our transfer time listed, luggage tags if we needed, and full instructions. The next morning we left our luggage in our room and it was transferred to the ship for us. Bus transfer of us with our carry-on bag was organized and easy. Check in at the pier was also quick and easy, partially because we had a suite. Rooms were ready by about 3:30 PM

The room was beautiful ! Nice flower arrangement on the table, a small bowl of fruit, 3 bottles of wine (selected on the first day), and a bottle of Champaign. Plenty of room in the living area, and a very comfortable king size bed. There was a walk-in closet between the bedroom and the bathroom. The jetted tub in the bathroom was nice, but we mostly used the shower. Our deck was kind of crowded, with the hot tub taking up most of the room, then two chase loungers and a small table. The tub on the deck was one of the best we have ever been in. Jets were strong. With the room being right under the bridge, it was always quiet. The butler had ginger ale and plenty of bottled water set up for us. Our room steward was Conrado Domingo, and he was fabulous! Room was always cleaned and supplied. Ice bucket was always full. Towel animals every night. We would let him know our plans for the day, and he worked around them. I posted a video of the room on YouTube: https://youtu.be/oh8II92Jjl8

Or search for: POA Room 11500.

Excursions – Being our third time on the POA, we pretty much knew what we wanted to see and do.

First day in Maui. The ships Deluxe Hana tour was already full three weeks before we sailed, so we went with Roberts on the Heavenly Hana tour. Same tour, same stops. Cheaper than the ship. The Road to Hana is one of those tours you do once. I can’t even imagine why anyone would repeat. Some beautiful scenery, but not so comfortable. And quite tense. Rain on and off didn’t help. (I thought the roads in Michigan were bad.) Not sure why they call it the Hana “Highway”. LOL

Second day in Maui we did the Whale Watch and Lahaina through the ship. Being overcast, the whale activity was limited, but we did see mom and her baby, and a few more. Afterwards, a nice lunch in an open-air café and a stroll through the Banyan tree area and it was time to return.

In Hilo we went with Rickys Tours. This was the best tours on the trip. (2nd time with Ricky, and would do it again). 12 passenger van with 10 on board, very comfortable. Visited most of the highlights of Hilo: Volcano National Park, Thurston lava tube, the steam vents, Jaggar Museum, Banyan Drive, Liliuokalani Garden, Rainbow Falls (Wailuku River), Macadamia Nut Co., Akatsuka Orchid Garden, and Richardson Ocean Beach Park (black sand beach). He would alter his itinerary so we wouldn’t be at each place the same time as the group of busses that did similar tours.

In Kona we went with the Big Island Snorkel through the ship. The Body Glove catamaran is a nice comfortable narrated ride to the snorkel site. They provide 2-3 hours of water time, be it snorkeling, swimming, or just playing on the slide, tubes, or rafts. A nice continental breakfast and a BBQ lunch are also provided. They had a full bar that opens at lunch time. This was a very nice tour, we would do it again.

In Kauai, we didn’t schedule anything. We did take the shuttles to K-Mart and Anchor Cove. Had an awesome Roast Port Saimin lunch at the Bamboo Grill at Anchor Cove. Spent most of our time enjoying our room and the almost empty ship.

I asked our butler (Patricia Conaster) about a Behind the Scenes tour, and about ship pins. She said they do not do ship tours because of safety reasons, and she would get back with me if pins were available. I assume they weren’t, as I never heard back on them. Kind of disappointed about the ship tour. Our last cruise on Holland America, they had an actual excursion that took us everywhere on the ship. Pictures on the bridge with the captain, and (I hope I don’t get anyone in trouble), we actually toured the engine room, all while the ship was underway. We never even met the captain on this trip.

Dining – being our 3rd time on this ship, this is kind of a comparison between this time, and 8 years ago. One of the suite perks was breakfast and lunch at Cagneys. Very nice perk, quiet, and good food. A couple mornings we made a plate in the buffet, and went to the back of the ship. We remembered this from our last time, it was just as nice. We had a couple dinners at the buffet and the Main Dining Room. Both were crowded and unorganized, but food was okay.

Cagneys for dinner a couple times was very nice. Food was great.

Modernos had an awesome salad bar, and a large variety of selections brought to our table. Decent quality.

Teppanyaki was a disappointment. Of all the times we ate there on all the NCL ships, this was the worst. Our “chef” must have been new, as the “show” wasn’t as good as the rest of the tables in the room, and the food was under-cooked. I just don’t eat raw scallops. By the time I discovered, the grill was being cleaned. We also didn’t appreciate the street talk and swearing by our chef. Didn’t feel it was appropriate with women at the table.

Wanted to try East meets West, but they were always busy. Overall, except for Teppanyaki, the food was as good as every other time on NCL.

Overall, the ship was clean and in great shape. The crew wasn’t as friendly or outgoing as other ships, even as friendly as it was the last time we were aboard. They really didn’t go out of their way to make guests feel welcome. Entertainment on the ship was nothing to write home about. Most shows there was plenty of open seating.

We only saw our Concierge a couple times in Cagneys in the morning, as was with our butler (Patricia Conaster). I imagine she would have been more available if we needed. The only time we really used her was to schedule our 3 specialties dinners.

Totally my mistake, but I scheduled Teppanyaki on our last night of the cruise. I wish she would have asked if we were sure and reminded us that this was the NaPali sail-by time. I got the feeling she was more concerned with filling the restaurant at a normally slow time.

We had a good time, after all, it is Hawaii. But for what we paid, next time it will be on another line, like Disney or ???

Happy Cruising !
Mich49505’s Full Rating Summary
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