Our family of 12 sailed on Norwegian's Pride of America on the 12/28/19 cruise. We had a wonderful trip and I can't say enough about this ship, crew and itinerary. Our family was 6 adults (ages 39 through 64) and 6 kids (ages 4 ... Read More
Our family of 12 sailed on Norwegian's Pride of America on the 12/28/19 cruise. We had a wonderful trip and I can't say enough about this ship, crew and itinerary. Our family was 6 adults (ages 39 through 64) and 6 kids (ages 4 through 12). Our vacation package included 1 night pre-cruise at the Hawaiian Hilton Village, pre-paid gratuities, specialty restaurants, and $50 per port excursion discount. We used the Norwegian Master Card prior to the cruise and had some onboard credit to use on the ship.
We arrived in Hawaii on 12/27 our flight landed in Honolulu at noon and we were in our rooms with our luggage at the Hawaiian Hilton Village by 3:30pm. We had pre-scheduled Roberts Hawaii airport shuttle for transportation from the airport to the hotel. They met us at baggage claim with a sign and helped with all of the luggage. Registration at the hotel was easy, although we did wait in line. Norwegian had a booth at the hotel and we checked in with them too, they offered us extra luggage tags and answered our questions. They were so sweet and helpful, they got our vacation off to a great start. The complex was massive and interesting, there were shops everywhere and pools and a beautiful beach. We wandered around the shops, had sushi and shaved ice. That evening we sat in the sand on the beach and watched the fireworks. We were exhausted from travel so we ordered pizzas for dinner and ate in our rooms. We were all just so excited to be in Hawaii.
On Saturday we had a 1/2 day Pearl Harbor tour booked through Viator. They picked us up from the hotel at 7am and we arrived at Pearl Harbor by 0830. We had time to tour the USS Bowfin and go through the museum before the movie and boat ride to the USS Arizona. This was a powerful and sobering tour, the movie was so well done. We were so glad that we did this excursion before our cruise At 11:30 we were picked up and the tour driver took us to the port. NCL transferred our luggage from the hotel to the ship and we never even had to go back there. We arrived at the port around 12:30, check-in was easy; there was a lounge for suite guests that we hardly had time to enjoy, we were on the ship and having lunch at Cagney's by 1pm. While we were eating they announced that our cabins were ready. We were in suites, 12008 (starboard), 12058 (port) and 13012 (starboard), and these suites were great! Roomy, beautiful, lots of room to unpack, an attendant (Larry) an a butler (Georgia). 13012 was bigger than the other 2 suites and worked well for a family of 6. It has a huge balcony! There was sparkling wine and flowers in the suites as we checked in. Having lunch at Cagney's and the gifts in the room set the stage for the entire vacation. We went to the Welcome Aboard show, to dinner in the Skyline and to bed early.
The next morning we woke up in Maui. 2 of us scheduled a helicopter tour of the road to Hana (we knew we couldn't drive it with 6 kids). The tour was spectacular! We aw caverns, the coastline, multiple waterfalls, Jurassic Rock and George Harrison's home. This tour was through NCL and the $50 immediately showed up on our account. We were back on the ship by noon, had lunch and then went off to the beach to catch up with the family. They were at, Kihei, Kamaole Beach Park II (a 30 minute Uber ride) and it was a great beach; we swam in the warm water until about 3 then headed back to the ship.
The next morning at 2:30am we were up and ready for the sunrise Haleakala Crater tour. Nettie was our driver and she got us to the top of the crater by 5:45, so we had a great viewing spot by the rail, sunrise wasn't until 6:50. It was crowded up there! It was pitch dark when we arrived and the night sky was amazing. I saw 4 shooting stars! We had about an hour of standing in windy 30 degree weather before the sun came up. Even though we dressed warmly, it was freezing! I wore a long sleeved t-shirt, a heavy sweater, my North Face jacket, hat and gloves, but only my sneakers. By the time we were back in the bus, my feet felt like frozen blocks. Despite the cold this was an experience that we will remember the rest of our lives. Only 2 adults went, I think it would have been difficult for the kids. We were back on the ship by 9:30, in time for breakfast. Then we got an Uber to meet the family in Lahaina. A beautiful little town (full of interesting shops) and the Uber ride to the town was great too! That evening we used our restaurant perk and had a wonderful dinner at La Cucina and saw the Lights, Camera, Action show. We enjoyed all the shows, our surprise was there were always seats in the theater (even for 12), it wasn't crowded like other cruises we've been on.
The next day was New Years Eve and we woke up at Hilo. We had the Volcano National Park tour for all 12 us, our guide's name was John and we all enjoyed it. We saw steam vents, a lava flow from the 70's and on the way back we stopped at a orchid nursery. They had an orchid that smelled like chocolate. That evening in the Gold Rush Saloon they did the New Year's Eve count down for every time zone. We are from the East coast so we got to scream happy new year at 7pm! Then we went to Liberty Dining Room for dinner with our cruise supplied New Year's Eve swag. The show that evening was Wonders! A Magical Experience... it was fantastic!
We were meant to be in Kona the next day and had a kayaking tour scheduled. We were up and ready to go when the captain announced that we were leaving because the tender service was cancelled because of rocky seas. We had an unexpected sea day to enjoy the ship. We sailed by the Molokai sea cliffs and saw whales and dolphins from our balcony. The men in our party when to the Whiskey tasting in the Napa Wine bar. They had fun! Dinner in Jefferson Bistro that evening....also wonderful.. We loved all of the specialty restaurants..so glad we had that perk.
On Thursday in Kauai, we had a beach day at Poipu Beach Park The best beach ever! There were giant sea turtle sleeping on the beach. We all snorkeled and saw the most beautiful fish, probably 30 different varieties.. Plus the water was warm and calm. We spent about 6 hours at this beach. When we got back to the ship we had massages scheduled at the Mandarin Spa. Fantastic experience! Dinner at Cagney's, with a delicious chocolate cake for dessert. Kauai was our favorite island and this was such a memorable day.... perfect really.
On our final cruise day we had the tubing experience with/Kauai Backcountry Adventures scheduled, only 10 of us could go, because you have to be at least 5. This tubing experience is through caves and the kids loved it. On the trip up the mountain we saw some of the settings for the Jurassic Park movies. We had to get back on the ship early and my Grand daughter who took 3 hula dancing classes on the ship was in the pool side hula show. We also all went to the lei making classes, don't miss them, they were surprisingly fun and we all still have the leis we made. As we sailed by the Napali, there were double rainbows in the sky. I know I've said this a lot but the coast and the rainbows were absolutely incredible! We saw this from my son's baloney while sipping a lovely red wine. I don't know how this could have been more perfect. Dinner at Tappanyaki that evening. It's a show and the chefs were awesome!
We had our luggage in the hallway by midnight, had breakfast at Cagney's the next morning and were off the ship by 09. We had one more day in Honolulu, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Beach Club, went to the aquarium (it's run by the University of Hawaii) and had an impressive display of Sea Horses and then we hiked up Diamond Head. 9 of us made it to the top. We were seriously proud of this accomplishment. This was easily the best cruise we've ever been on. It all exceeded our expectations. Read Less