Category Archives: Hawaii

Chile Earthquake & Tsunami impacts on Cruise Vacations

Current updates from the Cruise lines in regards to the 8.8 magnitude Earthquake in Chile and the Tsunami warnings that followed.   The best news is that the Hawaiian Islands and the NCL Pride of America which was due to be in Honolulu yesterday were not damaged.  The Pride of America and Naval Vessels stayed at sea because in the case of an approaching Tsunami, ships are safer out at sea.   If you are scheduled to sail on the Star Princess departing out of Valparaiso you’ll want to read below and stay in contact with your Travel Agent in case Princess has to change plans.   I will update the when I become aware of changes, so you can subscribe in the top right hand corner of the page. 


Info for Norwegian Sun & Pride of America Guests (updated)  

Miami   –    Feb 27, 2010   —   
Pride of America Guests
Pride of America will dock in Honolulu at approximately 3 pm HST. Guests embarking on today’s cruise should arrive at the pier between 7 and 9 pm HST. The ship will depart later this evening for its seven-day inter-island cruise. We appreciate our guests’ cooperation.

Norwegian Sun Guests
Norwegian Sun is in Montevideo, Uruguay today as scheduled. The ship will arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina tomorrow as scheduled and embark guests on the February 28, 2010 cruise. We are closely monitoring the situation in Chile and will keep guests updated as to any changes to the current scheduled itinerary.


Star Princess Sailings in South America

Star Princess is currently sailing in South America and is en route to Valparaiso, Chile, where the cruise is scheduled to conclude on Tuesday, March 2.

Voyage 9005: Arriving Valparaiso Tuesday, March 2

We have been in close communication with management onboard Star Princess and, where possible, our contacts in Chile. Based on the information we currently have obtained, we do not anticipate any changes to our arrival in Valparaiso on March 2. The ship’s call to Puerto Montt tomorrow is scheduled to proceed as planned. The authorities in Puerto Montt have confirmed that the port is open and fully operational. Officials have also advised that the city and surrounding area has suffered minimal damage and virtually all tours will operate as planned.

We are aware that the airport in Santiago is currently closed and appears to be closed through Monday, March 1. We are reviewing the impact of that closure and will provide updates as they become available.

Voyage 9006: Departing Valparaiso Tuesday, March 2

Star Princess is still scheduled to arrive on Tuesday in Valparaiso, Chile on Tuesday, March 2. Based on information that the Santiago airport will be closed for the next 72 hours, at this time we expect embarkation to commence as planned.

However, this is a very fluid situation and could change at any time. We encourage passengers to make any necessary adjustments to plan their flight to arrive in Valparaiso on Tuesday, March 2.

Pacific Tsunami Warnings

The Princess ships cruising in areas of the Pacific Ocean rim that have received tsunami warnings, are not adversely affected. As necessary we are making itinerary adjustments to ensure the safety of our passengers and crew. The location of our ships and their status is as follows:

Coral Princess is at sea, en route to Costa Rica and is unaffected.

Dawn Princess is in Auckland, New Zealand today, and has had to make operational adjustments.

Diamond Princess is at sea in Australia waters and is unaffected.

Golden Princess is in Ensenada, Mexico today and is unaffected.

Island Princess arrived at Huatulco, Mexico today but had to depart because of the sea surge.

Pacific Princess was slightly delayed arriving into Suva, Fiji, but is otherwise unaffected.

Sapphire Princess is turning around in Los Angeles today, but because the Port is currently closed embarkation will be delayed.

Sun Princess is at sea in New Zealand waters and will visit Fiordland National Park tomorrow as scheduled, however the time will be reduced.


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Pride of America Cruise Ship Conference Facilities

Have you thought about doing an Incentive Cruise for your Sales Organization? Or training your company at Sea? Or Industry  Trade Shows/Conferences at Sea? Then you need to check out the potential of NCL Pride of America for your next event.

The NCL Pride of America cruising weekly around the Hawaiian Islands has the best set up for conferences at Sea. On the top deck at the front of the ship, the Pride of America has a huge circular room with large flat screen TVs facing all sides of the room. In the center of the circular room the floor is wooden and has been used by Square Dance Groups for dancing lessons/practice. The Lighting and sound system in the room rivals the best night clubs. On the exterior of the room there are windows that can be used for viewing the scenic night cruising.

Circular Conference Room Pride of America

Circular Conference Room Pride of America











The Pride of America also has another large conference room that can be used for presentations, classes, meetings etc. with room for about 60 people. It also has 5 other smaller breakout rooms for groups of 15 – 20. In the same area, they have a lounge/bar that is not used for the public. The Lounge is used for the VIP party with Captain and it is ideal for post-conference cocktail parties.

Conference Area Private Bar & Lounge

Conference Area Private Bar & Lounge

We are a leader in Conferences at Sea, check out Social Fresh Social Media Cruise as an example of our conference cruise planning, promoting, and organization.   If Hawaii is not the destination of choice, we can plan your conference cruise on most other ships.   Conference Cruises are a great value because lodging, food, entertainment, and meeting space is included in the total price which will be less than at a Hotel.  The Pride of America has the best set up at Sea for conferences considering technology, square footage, layout and privacy. Most agents do not even know that this space exists on the Pride of America. You have any questions about conference cruising, email me I am happy to answer them:




Large Rectangular Conference Room

Large Rectangular Conference Room

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Pride of America Hawaii Cruise Videos

I have been busy trying to get caught up on everything since our Hawaii Cruise vacation on Aug. 8th 2009. I got caught up on the Hawaii daily journal of our cruise right when we arrived at home. I got all the photos up on Flickr this past weekend, and now I am uploading all of the videos. I uploaded the first Hawaii Cruise video this evening and I have several more video coming on Thursday and Friday. I am uploading them in chronological order. I will also be writing my final comprehensive review of the Pride of America Cruise…the good and bad.

I know a few of you have been waiting on the videos, so this post is just to let you know that the first video is up and more are coming tomorrow!

Happy Sailing!
Rich Tucker

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NCL Pride of America Hawaii Cruise Photos

I have uploaded the pictures from the NCL Pride of America Hawaii Cruise at my Flickr Account:

I still still have to put descriptions on a few of the photos. The beautiful scenery should be enough to get you excited about your upcoming Hawaii Cruise or about booking a Cruise on the Pride of America, today!


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Hawaii Cruise – Kauai Luau

When we got back to the ship in Kona, I had received a Tweet from a twitter friend who fully recommended the Kauai Luau. Immediately after reading the Tweet, the bartender started telling us that the Luau in Kauai was not to be missed. I sometimes believe in things happen for a with the timiing of these two events we could not miss the Kauai Luau. So we went down to the shore excursion desk and bought 2 tickets to the Luau. By the way, you can go to the same exact Luau in a separate shuttle for $30 less per person if you book it ahead of time through Shoretrips.

As recommended by the bartender and on twitter, you can’t cruise Hawaii and not go to the Kauai Luau. It was cool to see the Discovery Channel at the Luau taping. I heard some in the crowd suggest that the performers were on their “A” game because of the Discovery Channel taping. I have watched videos of their performances for other cruises. They bring their “A” game every night. Many people that I talked to, especially families with kids and teenagers, this was their favorite excursion. The food is OK, the open bar is good(very important note: it shuts down when the show starts), and the show is excellent!

The Kauai ATV Ranch Tour that I will write about in my next post was our favorite excursion. But the Luau was a close second!

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Hawaii Cruise Day 6 – Kauai

Nawiliwili Harbor in front of Marriott

Nawiliwili Harbor in front of Marriott

The NCL Pride of America concludes with a day and a half at the beautiful Island of Kauai. Recognized as the landscape in several major movies such as Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, etc. 80% of Kuaui is uninhabited, so her natural beauty goes mostly untouched.

When we arrived in Nawiliwili Harbor, there were low level clouds and the water in the harbor was a deep brownish-red. We learned that this area of Kauai had not received much rainfall in the last three weeks and the tropical depression brought in some needed rain. Unfortunately for us, this muddied the water from all of the water flowing down the mountainous Island.

A free shuttle to Anchor Cove Shopping area or a 15 minute walk to the shopping center got us to the beach in front of the Kauai Marriott at Nawiliwili Harbor. This is the closest beach to where the Pride of America docks. At the Marriott, we found 3 professional sand volleyball nets set up at the beach. Almost all of the couples and singles on the beach were good volleyball players. Volleyball is one of my favorite sports, so I had to jump in a few games. For a couple of hours, Jess layed out in the sun and watched me play. When it came time to leave Jess jumped in the bay water. Due to all of the run off from the tropical storm rain, she said the water was pretty gross. The Marriott guests said that this was the first day that they had seen the beach water brown. If you or someone in your family loves volleyball, the Marriott has a great set up!

Next Post: The much recommended Kauai Luau

Photo taken by my Samsung Instinct Phone

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Hawaii Cruise Day 5 – Kona

We did not have plans for Kona. We were lured in by the Beach Shack to go to Turtle Bay to snorkel with Sea Turtles and tropical fish. We paid $10 per person for shuttle to Turtle Bay and $10 for the Snorkel Gear. We were not the only people lured to Turtle by the heavy marketing by the pier. Turtle Bay was packed with people. We found a spot on the beach headed out to snorkel in the bay with hundreds of other people. We were not expecting to see much because of so many other snorkelers. To our surprise, there were tons of different kinds of fish. Jess cut her foot on the coral and had to head back in to get a bandaid. I continued snorkeling and found myself alone in about 2 ft. of water with a giant sea turtle. For ten minutes, it felt like the sea turtle and I were the only two in the bay. I was not paying attention and got washed up on to some coral. Luckily, I did not get cut and was able to make it back in without stepping on too much of the fragile coral.
We headed back after an a couple of hours to do some shopping in Kona. I am glad we made it to Turtle Bay because it would be a travesty to come to Hawaii and not go snorkeling once while there.

It is 6 PM on our last day of the cruise as I post this article. I have many more posts, videos, pics, reviews and advice coming from this trip. Make sure you subscribe to ensure you do not miss any of them!

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Filed under Hawaii, NCL Pride of America, Shore Excursions