Loves2Learn
Second Mate

Joined: 07/29/2013
3
Cruises
2
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23
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Loves2Learn's Past Cruises

Pride of America

May 2014 - Pride of America to Hawaii

Great way to get a taste of the islands

The main reason that I decided to take this cruise was the convenience of visiting the major islands without the hassle of making my own transportation and lodging arrangements plus being able to travel to each island overnight, therefore not wasting any precious daytime for travel. As far as this goes, this cruise was great. In regards to the rest of the experience onboard, it was just OK. This was my second cruise on Norwegian, and again I only chose Norwegian for the itinerary of this cruise. The stateroom was cramped for 3 adults (buyer beware--the same category of cabin is not comparable to the same on another Norwegian ship, nor is the amount of obstruction with an obstructed view), although it was clean and the beds were comfortable. The room steward kept us supplied with clean towels twice daily, but the ice in the ice bucket was only replaced once a day and was usually melted by the time we returned to the cabin at night. The ship did supply beach towels that you could take off the ship which was a nice surprise! The ship itself was nice and clean. This crew was not as obsessive about cleanliness and sanitizing as our previous Norwegian cruise which was worrisome to some degree, especially when it came to cleaning the tables in the buffet. Don't choose Norwegian and expect good food. The food is only average to mediocre. We didn't eat at any specialty restaurants as I refuse to pay extra for meals on a cruise! We ate all breakfasts in the Aloha Cafe buffet to save time, although it was very crowded. We ate several evening meals in the more casual main dining room (Skyline) and once in the Cadillac Diner. Meal service was slow in both venues and we got very little attention from the wait staff other than taking our orders and bringing our food. Again, don't expect much from the food. We enjoyed the little bit of Hawaiian cultural information that we got from the few activities we were able to attend. I wish the lei-making classes had been scheduled a little bit later in the day as we were only able to make it back to the ship for one of them. The best entertainment, by far, was the "Oh, What a Night Tribute". It was fabulous! If you ever get a chance to see this anywhere, do it! If this is your first time to the islands, I strongly encourage you to take tours either sponsored by Norwegian or other vendors. They were reasonably priced considering and were well worth it. Again, if you want to see a bit of the main islands, I would recommend this cruise for that reason alone. Just don't have too high of expectations for the rest.

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Norwegian Jewel

June 2013 - Norwegian Jewel to Alaska - Inside Passage

If Only Food Was Better

This could have been a 4 or 5 star review if only the food was better. The ship was very nice and clean, and our ocean view stateroom was fabulous! The room was a very nice size and the bathroom space was wonderful--much roomier than the bathroom on our previous cruise with Carnival. Even though we had a partially obscured ocean view, it was a nice view. You couldn't even see the obstruction of the lifeboats when looking out the window from across the room. We got some nice pictures through the window. The room was clean and kept that way by the steward. The entertainment was excellent. We especially enjoyed the comedian, the magician/comedian, and the aerialists, although the singers/dancers were very good, too. We didn't miss a show! The food quality and offerings were a major disappointment, however. Since we were going to Alaska, we expected more seafood options based on what we had heard from others who'd been on Alaskan cruises. There wasn't much in the way of seafood, except a lot of salmon which was good, but we would have liked others. The food and options overall were just OK, not very special as we had experienced on Carnival, and no better than in some restaurants at home. Although we never spent the extra money to eat in the "specialized" restaurants on this cruise, looking at their menus didn't impress us with better options. I consider one of the main benefits of cruising is that you are paying an all-inclusive price, so it bothered me greatly that you were expected to pay more for a "better" dining experience. Although the staff worked extremely hard in the main dining room (Tsar's) and buffet, we didn't feel the special attention we felt on our previous cruise in the main dining room. Although we liked being able to eat when and where we wanted, we also missed getting to know the wait staff and other diners. Another annoyance was the feeling that passengers were always being "hit up" for money to be spent on extra things. We were very satisfied with the shore excursions we took, both in what we saw/did and the price. I was disappointed that the tour to the Saxman Native Village that I wanted to take was cancelled due to not enough interest unless you wanted to combine it with the Lumberjack Show which I didn't. We took the Misty Fjords boat tour instead which was nice. We went to the Hatchery, Glacier, and Gardens In Juneau--probably my favorite. We took the Yukon Scenic Tour in Skagway which was terrific, too. We stopped twice along the road to watch bears! All in all, we enjoyed this cruise very much but wished the food was better.

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Carnival Fascination

July 2002 - Carnival Fascination to Caribbean - Western

Loves2Learn's Tips

Honolulu, Oahu - We didn't spend a lot of time here since we'd been to Oahu before. We went to the beach at Waikiki and walked around that area. Previous trips saw us visiting Pearl Harbor, Pali Lookout, Dole Pineapple Plantation, Queen Emma's Summer Palace, and the Mission Houses to name a few.
Kahului, Maui - We didn't stay around the port city, but took excursions to other parts of the island.
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii - We took the Coffee and Chocolate tour which was very interesting, then walked around the town.
Hilo, Hawaii - Enjoyed the Volcano National Park excursion and the macadamia nut store, but didn't have time to view the factory.
Skagway, Alaska - Enjoyed the Yukon Scenic Tour; was able to see what the train ride saw but more intimate and got to go into the Yukon Territory.
Juneau, Alaska - If you like flowers, don't miss the Glacier Gardens! Gorgeous!
Norwegian Jewel Norwegian Jewel - Make sure you visit the buffet and see the Washy-Washy guy!

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received a helpful vote on their Pride of America cruise review - Great way to get a taste of the islands

received a helpful vote on their Pride of America cruise review - Great way to get a taste of the islands

received a helpful vote on their Pride of America cruise review - Great way to get a taste of the islands

received a helpful vote on their Pride of America cruise review - Great way to get a taste of the islands

received a helpful vote on their Pride of America cruise review - Great way to get a taste of the islands

received a helpful vote on their Pride of America cruise review - Great way to get a taste of the islands

received a helpful vote on their Pride of America cruise review - Great way to get a taste of the islands

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Jewel cruise review - If Only Food Was Better

received a helpful vote on their Pride of America cruise review - Great way to get a taste of the islands

received a helpful vote on their Pride of America cruise review - Great way to get a taste of the islands