Pride of America Cruise Review by darienill
- Sail Date: February 2019
- Destination: Hawaii
- Cabin Type: Penthouse with Large Balcony
NCL has reps at the hotel on Wed 1-6, Fri 2-6, and Sat 730AM-930AM. The desk is in the main lobby around the corner near the concierge desk and Avenue store. see picture. You have to check in with them to get scheduled for bus 1 or 2 on Saturday. Plus give them your room number for luggage pickup. Tips are included.
We checked in at the main desk and told them we were on a NCL booking. They gave us the upgrade pitch and we bought it to get in the Rainbow Tower facing the ocean. $60 extra per day. Daily resort fee on private bookings is $40. Covered by NCL bookings. Hotel was nice bed comfortable, coffee machine, balcony with chairs. When it was time for our Arizona tour we had to find our way to the Bus Terminal which is at the far corner of the Grand Islander Tower. there were signs along the way to "bus terminal". This turned out to be the same place to meet for the NCL bus on Saturday.
The hotel has fireworks on Friday at exactly 745 which is very intense and lasts exactly 5 minutes. There was quite a crowd.
We booked a small group tour which included a drive through town pointing out some of the other sites. Half day trip. We had assigned times for the boat ride and had time to visit the other exhibits. There was a 22 minute film and then on to the boat. The Arizona dock has been damaged so we couldn't dock. what we got was a drive by in the boat and they told us not to stand up so that was very disappointing. Didn't see much.
On Thursday and Friday there were sprinkles each day a few times.
On Saturday we had the 11AM bus so we made our way to the bus terminal lobby, look for the rep with the paddle. lined up, boarded the bus off to the ship. Long line to chek in through security then get the ID card. The on board we heard about the wine and drink packages.
Drinks on POA
Info I found while on POA cruise in February 2019. The ship being American flagged is bound by all local laws so they have to purchase goods at the same places that the hotels on land do. All drinks include a 20% tip and about 5% local tax depending on which island you are at. So the drink prices are as high as you would pay at the land hotels.
We are two seniors that drank whatever we wanted which included wine, beer, cocktails, and cappuccinos on the trip. A dos Equis beer came in at $8.40 total. My wife liked the Rose wine which wasn't on the wine package list so we just bought it as desired. A bottle was $46.00 total with tax and tip so 5 glasses was about $9.40 each equivalent. The cocktails were from $12 to $15 each. I had a double vodka which was just over $30. There is no extra shot discount that is available on other NCL ships, and no bucket of beer discount. We could purchase a bottle of wine in the dining room and then carry it to the other bars after dinner or back to the room or in one case we left a bottle at Cagney's because we were returning two days later.
The drink of the day was $8.95 + T&T = $11.18
There were wine packages available for 3,4,5 bottles but we passed. The drink package was offered at $99 a day per person. So 99 times 7 plus T&T of 25% is $866 total per person. Our total bill for the week includes beer with lunch, pre dinner cocktail, wine with dinner, drinks after dinner came to $900. So for 2 people we spent $65 a day each total or just a little more than the package price for one person.
We had a penthouse suite which was a beautiful large room with a double balcony. Note that the step in tub has a step over of about 21 inches with a grab bar.
We booked a private tour for four with mauiislandtaxitour . Our driver Nick Crowley drove us around about 5 hours a day on Sunday and Monday to see the island. we choose not to do the road to Hana but keep to the other sites. Nick was very informative and showed us some places you wouldn't normally see . Stopped in town for lunch and shop tours. When you compare prices of the NCL tours for the four of us, we actually saved some money and got to come and go as we saw fit. Didn't have to wait for 40 people to get on the bus and 40 people to get off the bus all day.
We didn't have any big plans except maybe going into town. It poured rain all day long and we never left the ship.
Kona is pretty cool and you pull into the pier and are right in town. It's a short walk to visit the Hulihe'e Palace which was $16 for seniors. Then further down was the Kona Inn shopping center where we wound up having lunch and buying some souvenirs. Then down the street was the flea market for some more souvenirs for the grand kids. No rain today, they did get it yesterday though.
Had another private tour booked today with KauaiIslandShuttle com . Got a late start because the ship was late. saw the Waimea canyon, falls, coffee plantation, had lunch, spouting horn etc.
Friday half day we took the free shuttle to the hotel area, had a dink at Dukes. Walked through the hotel . Looked around and bused back. The in the PM it was the slow cruise by the Na Pali coast. spectacular site. Then they turn around so you can see it from the other side. also a few whales showed up.
Saturday they start the announcements about 730 and go on and on every ten minutes. It's a quick walk off and we went right to the airport for our 2 PM flight. Cab was $30.
Airport has no curbside check in and you have to have your bags x ray'd and tagged to check them in. The AA counter doesn't open till 1115 per the sign and there was no place to sit. So there we stood for about 2 hours and we sat on the luggage drop scales.
Honolulu was very crowded and seemed like there were bus load after bus load of tourist from China. The flight time from China is more reasonable. All the other islands were a lot more peaceful. I think we had some rain every day except two. Cagney's was still th best, everybody went to dinner at 7 PM.
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