Another great NCL Hawaii cruise!: Pride of America Cruise Review by Budget Queen

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Budget Queen
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Another great NCL Hawaii cruise!

Sail Date: February 2012
Destination: Hawaii
Embarkation: Honolulu
This was another excellent NCL Hawaii cruise!!! My 6th time sailing Hawaii, all NCL, and 74th cruise overall. I booked this cruise shortly after returning last year, going in the same timeframe. These cruises are more costly than a lot of itineraries, but well worth the cost to me. I spent three weeks in Hawaii, 1 week on Big Island prior to the cruise, 2 days in Honolulu, and 4 days in Maui following the cruise.

I flew into Kona and drove over to Hilo for two nights. Spent time at Volcanoes National Park, booked a helicopter tour for the following week. Back to Kona for 5 nights with kayaking to the cpt Cook monument, and snorkeling daily. Stayed in motels and B&B's, had a rental car with Thrifty.

Flew to Honolulu day of cruise. Had booked a cheap inside cabin per usual. :) Smooth embarkment and fast luggage delivery. Nice buffet lunch.

Next day in Maui with a rental car, drove up the volcano for great views and clear skys. Took an afternoon More whale watch, picked up at the Lahaina harbor. Booked a Molokini snorkel trip for the next am, which was excellent and included a snorkel at "Turtle Town". Did a LOT of shore side whale watching. Binoculars were definitely necessary.

Hilo, enjoyed a clear sunny day volcano helicopter tour. About $100 less pp than booking with the cruiseline. :)

Kona- was not able to tender, so the ship continued on to Kauai with some "drive by" whale watching. Had had a car rental lined up and my friend was planning on the Sea Horse farm again. I was going snorkeling again at Two Step.

Again had a rental car in Kauai, drove to the lighthouse for some bird watching. Spent more time, land whale watching. :) Enjoyed the Kauai Coffee Farm, and had another beautiful drive at Waimae Canyon. Stopped at the Blowhole. Overnight parking was $20 with dock shuttle service, but we walked.

The Na Pali coast sail by was superb with clear skys. More good whale watching. :)

Disembarked the ship early in Honolulu, in line for another Thrify rental car and off to Pearl Harbor. Got tickets for a 1pm boat trip for the Arizona. Left the area and dropped my friend off at the Aquarium, I continued to the "Dog" shop for my son. Timing worked perfectly and arrived back at Pearl Harbor about 12:40pm. They are supposed to start timed tickets available online shortly, but had not started when we were there.

I stayed at the Stay Hotel which were rock bottom rates for a very nice room. Very good value.

Next day snorkeled at Honaunau Bay had an awesome encounter with a sea turtle, that hung around for 30 minutes. However it was disturbing the behavior of some people walking on coral. I wished there were staff stationed in the water to stop this.

We flew to Maui and stayed near the airport. Another Thrify rental car. :)

Took two more snorkel boat trips and two whale watchers. Did get some nice discounts going with the same company. Also did some decent shore snorkeling and had more good turtle and whale sightings from shore.

I again find the NCL itinerary superb, plenty of port time, great service. I didn't go to any show, which is my usual. I expect nothing more than meals lodging and transportation, and am intolerant of passengers who expect perfection. It was a GREAT trip. And I'm ready to book the next!!! Less

Published 02/26/12

Cabin review: IC9539 Inside

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Budget Queen
Member Since 2000
49,980 Forum Posts
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