Just wondering if anyone will be joining us on 11-18-06 on the America?? It will be our first trip to Hawaii andddd our first ever cruise!!!! I am so excited I can't stand it. What a way to "do" 50. I would LOVE ANY INFORMATION that you experienced travelers would be willing to share. What you enjoyed most and least about the ship, the Islands, your vacation?? Thank you and It's nice to have found you.
I know EAXCTLY how you feel! I was like a child at Christmas in the weeks approaching our cruise back in September to Hawaii and to be honest, I am still on a high from the experience!
I wrote an extensive review of our experience which will answer many of the questions you have asked. May I direct you to that? It is a thread on this board entitled First cruise aboard Pride of America just over half way down this first page. There's probably a way I can send you a link but I am at work now and haven't the time to play about with the website, and going by the three messages I have read from you, you seem desperate to get my insights!
The Old Lahaina Luau is DEFINITELY worth experiencing but you have to book that on your own through their website or by phone. NCL make it virtually impossible to get to it using the ship's excursions but I can tell you that it IS possible and worth the extra hassle of getting there.
I'm in the UK so hooking up with you may be a bit difficult if you're in the US, but I will do my best to answer any questions you have on the forum as that may be most helpful to other users.
I'm sure this will be the first of many messages between us!
THANK YOU Ms. First Mate !! And you're right, I'm probably going to drive you CRAZY !! OK, so we KNOW we want the Old Lahania Luau, now can you tell this "cruise virgin" which Island it's on lol I have sooo much infor swimming in my head I can't even keep my own notes straight these days!!! And is their site listed under just that name? I'm sure I can find it, butjust in case. I will re-read your post (that's how I originally spotted you) and see what other "must sees" you advise. Thank you again Tina
Haven't taken your cruise, but have visited the Hawaiian islands before. On Oahu, the Arizona is a must as well as the Punch Bowl and if you have time Hanauma Bay. If they still let you go out and around the point on Hanauma, you can walk around to the toilet bowl. Way fun, when the waves come in, it fills up a hole in the rocks, then "flushes" you quickly when the waves go out. The walk is tricky, but so much fun. There are also some awesome beaches on the north side of the island. On Maui, there is a beautiful botanical garden area or the helicopter tour is awesome. Lahaina is on Maui, which is what you were asking about for the luau. If you like snorkeling, Molkini or Kalaeloa are great snorkel areas. The ride to Haleakala is breath-taking. On the big island, we landed in Kona and drove around to Hilo, then across the middle of the island and visited Kilauea. We also stopped at Mauna Loa, a coffee plantation, and a really beautiful rain forest. The tour included the black beach and the green beach, we didn't stop, but drove by. This was a 10 hour land tour by motor coach, so probably couldn't do that from the ship's itinerary, but just giving you a few possibilities for excursions.
Like Penny, I haven't cruised the islands but have been there a couple times. On Oahu (Honolulu), I second the recommendation for Pearl Harbor ("the Arizona"), which includes the USS Arizona Memorial (you have to sign up for boat tour and wait your turn - meanwhile tour the visitor center there). If you have an extra full day on Oahu, take a tour to the Polynesian Cultural Center, which is a wonderful introduction to the various Polynesian island cultures, including Hawaii's own.
On Maui there are a ton of things to do & see. Some ideas besides the luau in Old Lahaina are (in no particular order): walking around & shopping in Lahaina (make sure to see the famous banyan tree - just ask where it is if you don't know); the Sugar Cane train ride; going up Haleakala & taking the bike ride down (do this on a tour, and only if the weather's clear); driving the road to Hana (allow a full day for this); visit Iao Valley & hike some of the trails. If you're into golfing, there are some great golf courses on this island. And Kaanapali Beach is fantastic!
The main attraction on the Big Island is the volcanoes; if you have port calls in both Kona and Hilo, do the volcano stuff (i.e. Kilauea) from the Hilo side, as it's closer. The Kona side has lots of sunshine, and some history (Hulihee Palace in Kona is a good stop if you are just walking around).
Kauai has wonderful Poipu Beach, and if you need a beach day, Kauai or Maui are the best islands for it. It also has Waimea Canyon, the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," and the Na Pali coast, both best seen by helicopter tour. Again, golf is good here, in the Princeville area - they may perhaps offer a tour to that area and to see "Bali Hai" (the beach where South Pacific was filmed - Jurassic Park was also filmed in the same general area), and this kind of tour would be a good idea if the weather isn't good for hanging out on the beach.
Have a great time! Don't forget to stop in at Hilo Hattie's! Her shops are on almost every island.
I am going to get into such trouble at work! Just joking. The Old Lahaina Luau can be found at http://www.oldlahainaluau.com/index_main.html Book early because they do fill up as the venue is not that large and that's what makes the experience more intimate. And as Penny said it is on Maui.
We thought that Maui was the most beautiful island and the trip up Haleakala is wonderfully breath-taking as Penny said.
Something that we did not do which I would definitely do the next time is a helicopter flight over Kilauea. Seeing it from the air must be spectacular.
Will you be staying in Honolulu before or after the cruise?
You've taken me back and now I can't concentrate on my work.
I took Ncl on Pride of Aloha, I had such a great time I am already booked again to go in May back to the Hawaiian Islands. It gets in your blood, so be aware! LOL! I stayed 2 nights on Waikiki beach. It was so much fun for people watching and a lot of shopping, restaurants and night life. But truly I loved the more secluded and laid back islands. Atlhough each Island was beautiful in their ouwn righ, Kauai was my favorite. It was like going back in time. The Napali coastline is a must do , providing you don't get motion sickness, and not have a bad back or pregnant. WOrds cannotexplain the beuty of this mountain range up close. IN fact when i go back we are going to hike above it looking down into the ocaen to gain a different perspective. Buy Kauia reveled and Mauui reveled by Andrew Doughty. I has given me alot of insight for things to do with websites. I also got on line adn found great numbers of Hawain sites and talked to them a lot of what to do and other suggestiosn. I did research on some of the helicopters on Kauai and Air Kauai and Will Squires have perfect flight records, ie. no crashes, so that is why I would book with either of them. I spoke to both co. I went with Will Squires and yes, they were ethical enough to cancel the flight due to bad weather with a full refund. Rent your cars ahead of time and go to thrifty. It's free online. It's not hard to get around on any of the islands. ANd if you are used to windy roads, especailly byt the coast then do the Road to Hana on your own. We wish we did because then you can take your time and stop where you want to. Buy a cd at walmart and it will guide yo on all the highlights to stop at. If you prefer to do a tour of it , you will indeed enjoy that as well. The Old Lahaina Luau is fabulous. Great ambience, book quicky as it is sells out fast. We will go hiking on the leeward side this time as we been to the windward side last time. The Haleakala crater is a must do! ON Kauia drive up to the North shore all the way past Hanalei, Princeville up to the end of Kee Beach. If you are a good hiker you can go on the first leg of the hike 2 miles that overlooks the Napali coastline, but be careful with hiking as the footing can be tricky if your not careful. I wouldn't hike if it rains. NOt only is it muddy but parts of the ground may not be stable, especially if your walking close to edge of the trail. Tragedies have occured, as mother natured is to be respected. Read about the hiking on the 2 books I suggested. I love to hike and will be keeping all these cautions in mind when I do. On Hilo I went on a horseback ride in Waipo valley and loved it. It has awesome views and trails. On the Kona side we did a guided hike called the waterfall adventure. Lisa was our guide and is highly recommended. You walk under a 500 foot waterfall and the hike up is carved from the mountainside. I thought I'd be nervous but it was great. Again just be respectful of your footing and dont go all the way to the edge as Lisa said, the ground (Lava) may crumble. They never lost anybody! On Oahu we did the full circle tour. Had a great guide named Eric. This trip I plan to do mainly hiking and snorkeling. Be mindful of the ocaen as well in Hawaii. Not to dampen your vacation, but the riptides can be strong there. I sure you have common sense and all will go well. You are in for a real treat! The sights, the smells and the people. I can't wait to get back there in May 2007.
Yopu can't help but to have fun!!! Enjoy!
THANK YOU THANK YOu.......one and all. Your info and tips are priceless!!! We got our NCL package/papers yesterday and had a blast looking reviewing and just plain getting EXCITED even MORE!!! We have picked some excursions (or used their suggestions and will do schedule ourselves)and want a shout out as to what you think?? Maui : snorkeling (Molokini), Kona: Snuba-ing, Kauai: Ziplining and the Mokihana helicopter ride.Also doing the rd. to Hana. NOW I have a question.....and a BIGGIE !! We want to book a rest. on board,for my birthday dinner night. WHICH was your FAVORITE venue on board????????? Cap't, Karen, Penny and Kim THANK YOU again......I can't wait to go back and haven't even gone yet hahaha
You have chosen quite different things to us but I'm sure that whatever you do on Hawaii you will have a splendid time.
We found that the Jefferson Bistro was the best restaurant both in terms of food quality and ambiance. We were unable to get in there for my Birthday however, because it was all booked up. Make sure and book early if you want to go there because it is quite small and very popular.
We actually ate at Lazy J's Steakhouse on the big day and the food was good but took longer to come than in any other restaurant. One curious thing that happened that evening was that I was asked to present a Birthday voucher to the maitre d' on entry and I expected that there would be some acknowledgement of it being my birthday. But nothing ever happened... They had over-booked that evening and they couldn't give the same level of service that we had at the Jefferson.
I should mention that both of these restaurants carry a surcharge but are well worth it. Any more questions?
Thank you Captain. I had heard that the Lazy J was very good, but as you say slow. We were also looking into the Bistro so thanks for that tip as well. What kind of Birthday Voucher were they referring to?? And I'm SORRY they didn't acknowledge your B-Day!! We all need a lil something special on our special day............. As far as doing different activities...........WHAT am I THINKING!! ?? Ziplining????????? hahaha Well might as well start 50 with a bang, right. Thanks again Tina