7 Night Hawaii (Honolulu Roundtrip) Sail Date: April 02, 2007 Ship: Pride of Hawaii Cabin Type: Inside Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 10 years ago
This newest addition to the NCL Hawaiian fleet is bright, beautiful, and nicely appointed with Hawaiian art and memorabilia. Of special beauty is the art glass work in the atrium and lounges.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
A great selection of dinner options exist on NCL ships. However, if you think that "freestyle dining" means that you can just drop in any time to eat, you will be dissappointed. Except for the main dining rooms and the buffet, reservations are a must. I had good luck eating where I wanted, but I saw many dissappointed people who could not get into their restaraunts of choice because they were always full.
The food in all the specialty restaurants in which I ate, was excellent, as was the service. The main dining room had good (albeit typical) 5 course meals, and the service there was excellent, as well. The buffet was not as good as other ships on which I've traveled. The dishes were generally not labeled, and there were little (if any) "heart-healthy" choices (fresh or sauce-free veggies or lean meats). On the up side, even when very busy, you could still get a quick meal in the buffet restaurant.
3 out of 5
The evening entertainment was typical cruise ship stuff--song and dance, comedian, and magician. We enjoyed some of that. We did not participate in the daytime activities as we were typically off the ship.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
We had read many reviews complaining about the service (due to an American staff). We had nothing but EXCELLENT service throughout the ship. Many of the wait persons were young men and women (early 20'), and they were cheerful, careful, respectful, consciencious, genuine, and full of life. I didn't have a single moment where I felt ignored or unhelped by any of the staff throughout the ship.
5 out of 5
The ship holds to the usual cruiise ship layout, which is a good thing for those who want to find services quickly. I like, however, that the many restaurants on board are spread around the ship, which leads one to explore more of the ship, takes advantage of the different views, and reduces congestion at dinnertime. I also really liked the shopping boutique, which is a huge room unto itself. The ease of shopping and the selection of merchandise was better than any other ship on which I've traveled (and it was open most of the time).
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
Other than being a bit tight (we had an inside cabin on deck 10), the stateroom was a nice retreat. Quality wood-finish closets held all of our ample supply of clothing, and my oversized suitcases fit nicely under the bed. A safe, fridge and coffee maker are included, which is always a plus. A small corner table and chair is really only good as a catch all. No couch--sitting is done on the bed. I liked the bathroom-nice tile and shower. My husband thought there was too little leg room when sitting on the toilet. That part was a little "camp-trailerish." White bedding was a reftreshing change from the bright decor of the rest of the ship.
Valcones National Park and drives to the waterfalls filled out our days at this port. The stop at the Macadamia Nut Factory is just a stop at a gift shop. You could not really watch any production, and if you want the nuts, they are sold all over for less money.
Kauai has the most beautiful beaches of all. The drive north to Hanalei and beyond is a must do. We drove up Waimea Canyon. It was...well...a canyon. I was glad I went, but I don't feel the need to return.
We rented a car for two days and were able to travel all over the island (except the road to Hana). The beaches are very swimmable, and we did a lot of snorkeling. A visit to LaHaina is an absolute must (for most people), but parking can be a problem.
Don't Miss: If you get a chance, take a trip out to Molokini in the morning to snorkel.
There is a lot to do in this port, and everything is close at hand. You do have to take a tender into the port, but then you have shopping, a beach, transportation, and such right near the pier. We opted for a taxi ride up and down the immediate coast to various popular sites (Kona Joe's coffee plantation, Painted Church...), and my husband spent the day marliln fishing.
Don't Miss: I reccommend a visit to the City of Refuge, a national park that holds an interesting part of Hawaiian history...not ot mention sea turtles.
Pros: The itinerary was great. Two days on each island with 2 overnights.
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