Pride of America Cruise Review by DuaneBrn
- Sail Date: August 2019
- Destination: Hawaii
- Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Oceanview Picture Window
I need to mention that there is only one 'cruise port' in Hawaii in Honolulu. All the other stops are at decrepit freight ports and there is little to nothing nearby any of these stops (except Kona, which is tendered and has shops nearby). Our cabin was on deck 4 (ocean view). We weren't willing to pay an additional $1000 for a balcony. Most of the cabin was in good repair. (one of the shelf rails fell off so we put it up out of the way) We were mid-ship Starboard side just far enough from the elevators so we couldn't hear them. The remainder of the ship was in decent repair. The food was just OK. The buffet station layout was nothing short of pure chaos, forcing people to constantly cross paths to find their selections and similar food items were scattered about. (sausage on one station, bacon on another; bread on one station, pastries on another) the main dining rooms were nice and the 'anytime dining' went well with minimum wait times.(we ate later at 7PM to avoid the rush)
Day 2 Our first stop was Kahului, Maui. We opted for the shore excursion 'Lahaina On Your Own'. This is a 30-40 minute bus ride to (and from) Lahaina. HA. Lahaina is a fairly typical tourist town that you might see on any cruise. One main street lined with the usual souvenir, clothing shops and restaurants. The town was nice and clean and right on the ocean so a cooling breeze was prominent even though it was quite hot that day. We did some shopping, ate lunch and returned to the drop off point to wait for the bus back to the ship.
Day 3 was at Hilo, Hawaii. We chose the land based Hoppa on- Hoppa off bus ride for $20 per person. As we drove through town, there seemed to be more closed store fronts than open ones. The first stop was at a park across from a few (open) shops and a farmer's market. There were 7 stops total, 2 at beaches. Read more about it here: http://www.hop-onhop-offhilobus.com/Trolley-Tour.html
Day 4 was Kona, Hawaii, a tendered stop. There were shops near the drop off pier but we opted for the 'Kona by land and Sea' tour so were not able to shop near the pier but were immediately loaded onto a bus instead. This tour went to a Kona coffee factory, a national park, a church, then back to the pier for a cruise on a catamaran (that included lunch). The buss tour portion was cut short because the driver managed to get the bus stuck on an incline at the coffee factory. We had to wait for an hour and a half for another bus to pick us up. This delay caused us to skip the church stop altogether and cut the available stop time at the national park down to 30 minutes. NCL did refund a whopping $9 for this sponsored tour issue.
Day 5 we arrived at Nawiliwilli, Kauai. We rented a car there because there is basically nothing else available at this port. Our travelling companions had been to Hawaii several years before and wanted to go to a particular beach (again) on this island. After driving for 1-1/2 hours we discovered that the beach was available on a reservation basis only. We were not aware of this change so we were turned away. We were able to stop at a different beach a ways down the road. After some swimming and snorkeling, we stopped at Hanalei Center, ate lunch and did the usual tourist shopping.
Day 6 was CRUISE NAPALI COAST (more or less a sea day). Beautiful coastline with high cliffs and many 'sea caves'.
Day 7, disembark and transfer to airport.
All in all it was a nice vacation. If I visit Hawaii again, I will do something different. This cruise was nice but it's a "been there, done that" sort of thing not worth a second try.
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