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Gena

Age: 39

Occupation:Office

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Pride of America

Sailing Date: 2010-12-4

Itinerary: Cruise Hawaii

It is established that if someone has a difficulty, they are more likely to report or say negative things about their trip. The folks that had a great time will usually enjoy the memories and not say much. I plan to change that. We had a great time - see my list below!

Top Ten Things To Know About Your Hawaii Cruise With NCL/POA

10. This is the BEST way to visit Hawaii! Seeing several islands and sailing at night worked out wonderfully for us. Seeing the sunrise over the ocean as you sail into port is breathtaking and viewing an active volcano from my parent’s room balcony was beyond amazing.

9. POA staff go out of their way to help. We thought they may have even had some kind of incentive competition within their ranks for customer service. Elizabeth was working wait staff at the Cadillac Diner during the week we sailed. She went over and above to accommodate us! We discovered a mistake in our billing and we were a bit perplexed (and frankly, ticked). The front desk staff corrected the issue in record time and they were very professional and polite.

8. You never know what to expect from other guests. We encountered a real jerk during a football game in the Gold Rush Saloon, who believed he was the only person entitled to see the big screen and that, despite the large number of people wanting to see the game, he was to have no one sitting at the tables in front of him. On the other had we were also fortunate to meet plenty of other nice guests. Everyone asks “Where are you from?” in the elevators. We met people from around the globe and as close to us as 30 minutes from our house.

7. Never a dull moment. We heard we might have so much fun that we might not ever want to leave the boat. There were activities and shows planned all the time. We loved hopping off the boat but it would have been just fine to stay on. At first, my teens (13 and 16) didn’t want to go to the supervised teen club but after a few days it was the only place they wanted to be.

6. Excursions offered by POA are so much fun! They are pricey but we found they were worth every penny. We “Tubed the Ditch” in Kauai, “Snorkeled at Molokini Crater” and another site offered with the package (we saw whales and sea turtles), and took an “Island Tour of Oahu” on the last day. Wondering if we could have as much fun on our own we also rented cars in Hilo and Kauai and planned for a cheaper day. Still fun. Be sure to stop at Banana Joes for a refreshing treat.

5. Tendering (riding the smaller boats -100 people or less) into Kona is tough going. There were strong men to help you off and on but the ocean has a crazy mind of its own. It was really tough for my dad with Alzheimer’s but there were also folks with other disabilities that struggled too. We decided that, since we hadn’t planned an excursion, if we had the day to live over again – we wouldn’t have tendered in.

4. Freestyle cruising makes it easy to meet needs of family members. One person in our party had dementia issues and it was nice to be able have breakfast delivered early in the morning before he was up and going. We also sailed with a hungry teenage boy. He appreciated that at any time, he was able to head to an open restaurant to get 2nd meal or snack. They offer a good variety of healthy as well as rich and high caloric foods. (Go easy on the rich stuff if you usually eat healthy – double whammy on a boat).

3. There’s plenty of room in the bathroom. Our family chose to save money by reserving one of the smaller, interior rooms. I worried that it wouldn’t be enough as I am a big girl (5’6” 287 pounds) and I read that there were close quarters – perhaps not enough for a beefy girl like myself. I’m glad to say that I had plenty of room – even enough to shave my legs!

2. Seasickness will surprise you. Bring your sea sick meds – the first day or two were rough. I love roller coasters and car rides without issue – I was a little sick. My son is ill after 5 min in any car ride but he had no problems. You just never know.

1. No one will have the same experience as you do. Live it up! You’re on vacation for crying out loud. Expect sea legs to stay for a few days. Three days after arriving home, we were still feeling like we were on the boat; feeling that rocking sensation that we adjusted to. It was just fine though – It was the trip of a lifetime and pineapple is never the same again.

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