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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our first cruise. My husband and I went with my brother and sister-in-law who had been on a cruise before. It was suggested that we take the cruise out of Honolulu as that way we would get to experience more time on the Islands ... Read More
This was our first cruise. My husband and I went with my brother and sister-in-law who had been on a cruise before. It was suggested that we take the cruise out of Honolulu as that way we would get to experience more time on the Islands of Hawaii. Overall it was a great experience! We had a room with a balcony which made it so nice to be able to open the door and listen to the waves as we set sail to another island. We also got ample opportunities to take sunset pictures which were breathtaking! The bathroom was a little tight maneuvering around, especially for my husband who is a fairly large man. We disembarked onto the islands at every opportunity. We found that talking to natives on the islands provided us with the best prices for exploring the many attractions it had to offer. We save over 40% off what the ship prices provided and we got the experience of the people that live on the islands. Disembarking and embarking went pretty smoothly. You always have to have your ship card on your person as well as a photo id to get on and off the ship. There was many different food offerings on the ship. The buffet was pretty good. It offered the biggest variety and there were several stations serving the same food so that lines were minimal, even at the busiest hours. We did eat at a couple of the restaurants that were not included in our package, and I would say the Steakhouse was the best meal we had on the ship!! The service was excellent and the food was phenomenal. There was a crew member who sprayed your hands with hand sanitizer any time you entered the food buffet area. I reasonable precaution given all the people on board and hearing of illnesses on past ships. The Cruise Director was so friendly, enthusiastic and informative. There was plenty to do on board the ship. Entertainment included comedy shows, magic shows (for adults and children), plenty of music and dancing that varied each night as well. Also, other types of entertainment that involved the travelers such as a "Not So Newlywed Game" which was very funny! Given all the free food offered, I was glad to see this ship had a wonderful fitness center that included many of the latest treadmills, elliptical machines and other fitness equipment as well. I used them daily!! The pools were clean and we also enjoyed the experience of the Jacuzzi and meeting new friends!! Overall, our cruise on the Pride of America was a dream come true for my husband and myself. We would definitely go again, and I would recommend this trip to any of my family and friends! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We are NCL Platinum, 10th cruise on NCL. Never been to Hawaii before. Seniors. We took this trip to meet relatives from Australia. We flew from Chicago to LAX then on to HNL on Wednesday. We booked Charleys Taxi for a flat rate ride to the ... Read More
We are NCL Platinum, 10th cruise on NCL. Never been to Hawaii before. Seniors. We took this trip to meet relatives from Australia. We flew from Chicago to LAX then on to HNL on Wednesday. We booked Charleys Taxi for a flat rate ride to the hotel and saved about $5. The cab was right there, no waiting. We booked the precruise night through NCL and additional two nights with credit card points. The NCL provides the room and transport to the ship. Breakfast is not included. The Hilton Village is really too big. First question the cabbie had was which tower do you want? Main Lobby I guess. 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. Arizona Tour: 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. Sunday Maui 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. Tuesday Hilo We didn't have any big plans except maybe going into town. It poured rain all day long and we never left the ship. Wednesday Kona 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. Thursday Kauai 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. Read Less
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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Pride of America has a nice itinerary to get a taste of the islands. It is good to have a place to call home while exploring. We had a cabin with an ocean view. It provided nice natural light, although the windows are always streaky so you ... Read More
Pride of America has a nice itinerary to get a taste of the islands. It is good to have a place to call home while exploring. We had a cabin with an ocean view. It provided nice natural light, although the windows are always streaky so you never have a clear view. Our stateroom size was adequate. We had to watch our heads due to the overhead bunks ( which weren’t in use). The outside decks provided enough areas to view the scenery without feeling over crowded. We always found a spot to sit or lounge, even poolside. If you do sit poolside, the loudspeakers are very loud when announcements are being played. Our dining experiences were good...enough food to eat at any time of the day. The buffets are average, with the biggest complaint being Luke warm food. Some dishes were quite bland; I would probably bring a shaker of some seasoning from home if we would do this cruise again. Entertainment was excellent. Bar service was mediocre with long waits between ordering a beverage and finally receiving it. My observation was they did not have enough bartenders to make the drinks for the wait staff, as well as walk up cruisers at the bar. The drinks were also over-priced. An average beer if over $8/ bottle; a mixed drink $8-15+ with an automatic 20% gratuity added. Maybe this is their way of not letting anyone's Drinking get out of control. We used shore excursions thru the cruise line. We enjoyed Whale watching ( we saw several). We did the Atlantis submarine which was a unique experience. Our National Volcano Park tour was a bust due to heavy rains and cloud cover. We paid over $100 pp for a bus ride and never saw a bit of the volcano except for one steam vent. We felt this tour should have been cancelled. We also did the Mudbugging which was great fun! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We usually cruise the Caribbean because the East Coast ports are close to us. For our 25th anniversary we decided to return to Hawaii where we spent our honeymoon. The last time we were there, we were constantly packing and unpacking for ... Read More
We usually cruise the Caribbean because the East Coast ports are close to us. For our 25th anniversary we decided to return to Hawaii where we spent our honeymoon. The last time we were there, we were constantly packing and unpacking for each island, so a cruise was a logical choice to avoid that. The Pride of America is a smaller ship, but we like that. We don't gamble, so no on-board casino doesn't bother us. As non-smokers, we also like the fact that there's only one place on the entire ship for smokers - on the 13th deck all the way aft. A major storm was passing through the islands, so when we got on board, we were told that the itinerary was reversed and we would go to Kauai first instead of Maui. Any pre-booked Maui tours were automatically refunded, and we were still able to get the same Kauai excursion. After visiting Kauai and the big island, we were still unable to stop at Maui for 2 days due to dangerous wind and waves. The crew apologized many times, and did everything they could to arrange activities for the 2 additional sea days. They even reprinted the Freestyle Daily with new activities and made sure everyone got a copy. Instead of port calls, we sailed along the Molokai sea cliffs, did some whale watching, and cruised around the islands. We heard some passengers complaining about not getting to see Maui, but it isn't NCL's fault that the weather was bad. After all, February is the coldest and wettest month in the state, so you have to expect something other than sunshine. We took lemons and made lemonade and had a great time. We had a lot of relaxation time. We found the crew to be very friendly, and even had two dining room waiters look us up and say hello whenever we weren't seated in their section. Since it's a U.S. flagged ship, much of the crew consisted of college age kids from many states. There were also folks from Guam - a U.S. possession. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We had crappy weather which resulted in several itinerary changes. While disappointing, the captain and crew did Everything in their power to make it enjoyable and give us decent alternatives. My one complaint is how they handled the ... Read More
We had crappy weather which resulted in several itinerary changes. While disappointing, the captain and crew did Everything in their power to make it enjoyable and give us decent alternatives. My one complaint is how they handled the cancellations of the pre-booked excursions when they switched the itinerary around. Rather than cancelling and making everyone start from scratch, they should have simply changed the dates based upon the revised itinerary and only cancelled those which were not available and allowed guests to cancel if the revised plan did not work. It made for a lot of unnecessary chaos. Food and service was good. The ship feels a bit dated, although its more as a result of its traditional style, than its age. I would suggest that they ask if people have food allergies as part of the onboarding process, then have their system pull it up for the wait staff, which would allow them to simply verify, rather than inquire each and every time - small touches like that set the service apart. I overheard some passengers criticizing about the lack of amenities, which I guess if you spend a lot of time on the ship may be valid, but for us it was fine. The excursions were awesome! This cruise is a great way to experience the beauty and diversity that each of the Hawaian islands have to offer. The spa was also lovely. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose the Eurodam because of its destination. We left a chilly and windy San Diego CA on February 2 sailing to Hawaii and back. The weather did not cooperate as we encountered rough seas all the way. It was necessary to cancel three of ... Read More
We chose the Eurodam because of its destination. We left a chilly and windy San Diego CA on February 2 sailing to Hawaii and back. The weather did not cooperate as we encountered rough seas all the way. It was necessary to cancel three of our ports for safety concerns. The ship staff and crew made the trip very enjoyable anyway. Entertainment was very good. No food complaints about the main dining room. Service and food were were fine. Selection was amazing. The captain is to be commended for taking excellent care of his passengers in rough weather. Our cruise director came up with several on board activities when we were unable to go ashore. We learned a lot in the America’s Test Kitchen where Annnette cooked up some great dishes. I would not hesitate to take another cruise with Holland America. This was our third and longest. They are a cruise line serving seniors well. If you want water slides and rock walls you will need to look elsewhere but if you want excellent service, food, and a spotless ship consider them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Embarkation and disembarkation were pretty much the same as the three prior cruises we have taken. Don't bother getting to the pier until after noon unless you are intent on having lunch aboard ship. The crew was outstanding. ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation were pretty much the same as the three prior cruises we have taken. Don't bother getting to the pier until after noon unless you are intent on having lunch aboard ship. The crew was outstanding. Always friendly, smiling, anxious to please. The language barrier was seldom a problem, and when it was, simply asking for a repeat solved it. This ship has a capacity of around 2,000 passengers. I bet there were no more than 100 under the age of 65. There were literally more mobility scooters and walkers than children on the ship. That's one reason we selected HAL--a quiet, peaceful environment in which to enjoy our days at sea and meals in the dining venues. A huge storm hit Hawaii the same time we did. That meant that three of the five port calls in Hawaii were canceled. We were disappointed, but not terrifically so; we have been to Hawaii enough times to have experienced it pretty thoroughly. If it had been our first trip to the islands, I would have been seriously bummed. The ship itself was in very good shape. The furniture, decor, and cabin amenities were in excellent condition. The big TV in our Verandah cabin had useful ship's info (menus, weather, etc.) as well as TV shows and movies. My wife discovered that closed caption can be turned on in all the movies, not just those under the Closed Caption menu. We had Open Seating dining. We traveled with another couple. We would show up at the Main Dining Room around six each evening that we ate there, telling the maitre d that we wanted a table for four, not shared with others. On one formal night we had to wait about 20 minutes for a table, but in every other case we were seated either immediately or within five minutes. One disadvantage to our method is that we usually ended up at a table in the back, right above the azipods, where there was significant engine noise. Speaking of engine noise, I explored the various decks to see whether there was a location to avoid to get a quiet cabin. Surprisingly, the only areas that I could hear mechanical noise (at least in the passageways) was on the lower decks (A and 1), midship. I believe it was exhaust noise from the diesel engines. I was surprised that there wasn't mechanical noise near the aft cabins, since there sure was a lot of it in the main dining room in the tables at the back. Our cabin was nice, although the cabin I selected (5039) had a substandard size balcony. Our friends on the fourth deck, in the same class of cabin, had a regular-depth balcony. Speaking of balconies, we noticed that when we took the glass elevators midship, we could see the entire balconies for the cabins adjacent to those elevators. I would have been very unhappy to have such a public balcony. Overall, a great cruise. The staff, the ship, and the food were outstanding. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Ports and excursions. Great way to see 4 islands in Hawaii without the hassle of plane rides, car rental, accommodations, food, etc. Each island is unique. Maui had an unbelievable number of whales. There were about 10,000 in the area ... Read More
Ports and excursions. Great way to see 4 islands in Hawaii without the hassle of plane rides, car rental, accommodations, food, etc. Each island is unique. Maui had an unbelievable number of whales. There were about 10,000 in the area and we were there in peak whale watching season. Oahu was crowded but we did the hop on hop off experience. Saw and climbed Diamond Head, Boy for snorkeling as well as the north part of the island with the blow hole; past the area where Obama grew up and went to school. The big island of Hawaii was probably the most disappointing. Because of the recent eruptions, the tour could not get to where we were expecting to go. Not the cruise line's fault. If you like to be at sea the 4 days going and 5 returning were as expected. In all a great way to see the islands without the hassle mentioned earlier. The days at sea were filled with the usual cruise activities. There was plenty of trivia. Tai Chi was offered early in the day followed by a 45 minute Zumba class that was geared to all people (with various physical levels within the song ). Line dancing was very basic; but the learn to dance classes (7 dances - waltz, tango, swing, etc) were well taught. The entertainment by the cast was well done (Magic To Do is great); the guest performers were average but the 2 comedians were among the best we have seen. The room steward was excellent and very attentive ; the food at the fixed dining was excellent as was the service. In all a very enjoyable cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Would have been a really great Cruise if it wasn't for the weather. The rain in LA caused Princess to really fall down on the job as far as caring for it's customers during this storm. We were forced to line up outside in the ... Read More
Would have been a really great Cruise if it wasn't for the weather. The rain in LA caused Princess to really fall down on the job as far as caring for it's customers during this storm. We were forced to line up outside in the rain to get through security before check-in while our luggage was left out in the rain for over an hour. Unpacking was a nightmare looking for places to hang up all the wet clothing. Once underway, things calmed down abit but we battled rough seas for the first two and a half days. The food was actually much better than we anticipated since the last time we were on a Princess ship (The Ruby) we were very disappointed in all the food including the specialty venues. The internet was vertually non-exsistant and minutes were used with no actual results. Laptop worked best when I took it to the internet café. The cabin was in need of refreshing but the layout is very well thought out. Room could use more electrical outlets. Fortunately, I brought my own extension cord so I could use my CPAP each night and not have to unplg it. Entertainment was very good including some very talented individuals. Enrichment seminars were very well received.Our room steward was excellent and overall the service was very good. We were very happy to be able to all the scheduled ports and enjoyed all our shore excursions especially in Kauai where we had never been before. This was our second trip to Hawaii, our first being on the Celebrity Summit in September. The weather was much better and we felt that the ship and the service was much better on Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
This was a round trip cruise to Hawaii. Great itinerary. PROS We have done 44 cruises and this was the first time I could understand the captain, he was excellent in his reports and explanations. The whole crew was very friendly and ... Read More
This was a round trip cruise to Hawaii. Great itinerary. PROS We have done 44 cruises and this was the first time I could understand the captain, he was excellent in his reports and explanations. The whole crew was very friendly and helpful. A great attitude by all of them.Probably the best service we ever had. The public areas are well maintained, traditional, and comfortable. Entertainment par to other cruises. Food typical cruise quality and maybe slightly better than Celebrity. CONS Embarkation in San Pedro was a disaster due to weather. People lined up outside in the pouring rain. Our mini suite balcony was a rusted mess, it was very depressing and we did not use it! Cruise director a shrieking annoyance. Debarkation aimed at getting you out of the cabin, but no off the ship. We were told to meet in the theater at 7:45, sat there for 45 minutes. Read Less

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