1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise because I wanted to cruise the Hawaiian Islands. NCL was the only cruise line that offered what I wanted. It looked amazing on paper and it was more than amazing to actually be a passenger on the ship. We started with ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to cruise the Hawaiian Islands. NCL was the only cruise line that offered what I wanted. It looked amazing on paper and it was more than amazing to actually be a passenger on the ship. We started with 3 fantastic days touring Oahu with Polynesian Adventures, a tour company contracted by NCL. Our driver/guide, Kimo was the cream of the crop. We spent one day at the Polynesian Cultural Center, one at the Pearl Harbor (USS Arizona) Memorial and several museums associated with this including the USS Missouri which was a historical adventure all on its own. The third day we were at Kualoa Ranch where many movies of renown were filmed. Then we were dropped at the pier to board the Pride of America. The ship was beautiful and clean, the crew and service were quite extraordinary. The ship was very easy to navigate. The food in the Skyline and the Aloha Cafe' was delicious and especially the Skyline offered many choices to try new things. It did not disappoint. There was a wide variety of shore excursions and every single one of them was interesting and fantastic in it's own way. I had many new experiences and felt awed to be in such beauty. As always, on a programed tour, we always felt we could have had more time at each destination, but adequate time was provided for shopping on shore if the excursion got back soon enough. Our cabin was an outside balcony and it was perfect, especially for the day we sailed past the Na Pali Coast in Kauai. It was our last activity and it was stunningly beautiful to sit on our balcony and view the lovely scenery. I would travel Norwegian again and would definitely go to Hawaii again. Norwegian has the embarkation and disembarkation processes down to a science, everything went very smoothly and did not take much time at all. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I'm fairly new to cruising (but this isn't my first rodeo). I went on my honeymoon to POA — more so to see a bunch of islands without having to go through more than one TSA line. I, of course, saw the negative reviews and ... Read More
I'm fairly new to cruising (but this isn't my first rodeo). I went on my honeymoon to POA — more so to see a bunch of islands without having to go through more than one TSA line. I, of course, saw the negative reviews and like my french fries, took them with a grain of salt. But after having a pretty lovely vacation, I want to discuss some things: This is a floating hotel without the bells and whistles. It is clean, has pretty good food, fairly decent to excellent service, smaller cabins that are still serviceable and tidy, and a really nice pool deck. There are not a ton of pool games. A lot of the activities were cancelled because of disinterest. There's not a lively night life. If you cruise because you love the activities and the hustle and bustle of the ship, and prefer to spend a lot of time on a ship trying all different kinds of drinks and meals and experiences — this is not the ship for you! If you are, instead, looking to get all you can out of a variety of islands and want a nice, clean place to call home every night, I think you'd enjoy it. If you're looking for a new adventure while still having some familiar comforts of a standard cruise (a great breakfast buffet, nice variety of restaurants, a fun cruise director, nightly shows, etc), than I REALLY think you'd enjoy it. DEPARTURE CITY: Spent 4 days in Waikiki Beach at the Outrigger beforehand. Would definitely recommend it for a few reasons: beautiful beaches, nice walkable city with sights like Pearl Harbor and Diamond Head, Dole Whip, Loco Moco, and catching up to jet lag. I didn't do it with the ship, I preferred to do my own thing. EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION: Truly easy as pie. Probably 20 minutes from shore to ship both ways. We chose to walk off with our bags, and if you can swing it, do it. SHIP: Clean, except for the 6th floor hallway (by the library) that smells like sewage. I quickly walked through it, but I live in NYC so this is fairly normal for me. Otherwise, felt like the theme was a little antiquated but really kept very sparkling and nice. CABIN: Clean, fit a whole week's worth of clothing for two people no problem, had a nice couch, the balcony was small but offered beautiful views of the Na Pali Coast and was great to sit and drink champagne on. Bathroom offered soap, shampoo, and body wash but we brought our own. Shower curtain was a little finicky. Soft bed. DINING: We got the Ultimate Dining Plan because it was our honeymoon and there would be no more pictures of me in white so I wanted to gorge myself up like a tick. MDR: was nice and the Liberty Dining Room had the best, best service of the whole trip. Really friendly waiters ready with recommendations and customizations. Food was pretty good, but there were some misses, so don't be afraid to order a few extra dishes. BUFFET: Always busy and hard to get seating, and the variety wasn't that strong (typically pizza, American station, fruit/cheese/cold cuts, one specialty section, Asian, and Indian/veg section), but the breakfast was fantasticccccc and the ice cream machine always worked well. If you were looking to get snacks on off hours, the choices were limited, but who can resist mac and cheese? SPECIALITY: Moderno was our least favorite — the salad bar was amazing but there was too much food cooked either wildly over- or underdone. That being said, if you want to load up on meats, go for it. Cagney's was the best. The sides were fantastic (mash! creamed corn!) and the meat was cooked exactly as requested. Felt like something you'd find onshore. La Cucina was also pretty great. A ton of food that was very rich, so come hungry and don't be scared of butter or cream. Finally, Teppanyaki was a must-do. Really fun show and the food was quite tasty. If I could do it again, I would have just done a 3-meal package because the MDR was better than I expected and would have loved to try it one more time. DRINKS: The bartenders were the high point if they liked you! Some of the best drinks were made by some of the friendliest people, which is good because you're paying a ton for them. Other bartenders were a little bit ornery, but in a fun gruff way that you can at least expect in NYC. Be prepared to wait for drinks for a bit at the pool bar, but idk man! It's the pool! It's relaxing! I wouldn't get the unlimited package. You'd have to drink more than 8 drinks a day for it to be worth it, and this is not a late night ship. We are not afraid of a few drinks on vacation, and we still came in almost 500 under what the total price would have been. I suggest ordering champagne to the room. Best bars were the pool bar and the Gold Rush Saloon. ENTERTAINMENT/ACTIVITIES: Not the ship for it. Went to see the magician and did the '70's dance party, and found that we much preferred loafing on our bed watching movies. It gets quiet and they cancel a ton of stuff (trivia and Mr Sexy Legs at least) because nobody shows up. I didn't mind that because I was getting up early and am not really an activities girl, but if this is big for you I don't recommend this ship. Clay was a fun cruise director though! SERVICE: Sometimes good, sometimes meh. Never horrible. Mostly just slow, but again, you could probably pour a beer on my head and I wouldn't complain to the manager. I mean, I would, but quietly. I wasn't offended by the service in the slightest, and there were some great shining stars throughout the trip. PORTS/EXCURSIONS: The best part!!! Did a few with the ship and one on my own: 1. Maui Day One — did Molokini Turtle Snorkel with the Pacific Whale Foundation. My goodness, do this one if you're even slightly interested! Swam right next to a turtle, saw a ton of fish, met really smart, informative guides, had the time of my life. Water was blue and beautiful and lovely. 2. Maui Day Two — did Atlantis Submarine/Lahaina. I MIGHT do this separate from the ship next time because it's really just a disorganized bus ride to a town where there's plenty of amazing things to see and do, but the Submarine was really cool and we saw sharks and fish. You could definitely sign up right in town. The town was great and had lots of fun shops. I wonder if you could take a cab there (or arrange for your own transportation) and skip the bus ride, but because the ship leaves on day 2 I'd recommend trying that on the overnight stay (day 1) so you don't need to worry. 3. Hilo — we did the black sand beach tour, went to the waterfalls and visited some of the steam vents from the recent eruption there. Very cool. Also visited the mac nut factory. Our tour guide Traven was so interesting and fun. It was a great reminder that Hawaii isn't just all beaches, it's got gorgeous, lush, Jurassic Park land. 4. Kona — Just tendered. Easy tender process but get a ticket early. I'd say try to get back to the boat by 2pm — no lines then. We just went to Kona Brewery and enjoyed a walk through town. Absolutely beautiful water, so I almost regret not booking a snorkel. There IS a public beach right by the tender boats though. 5. Kaui — Did the Smith's Family Luau with bus transportation independent of the ship. Life changing. DO IT. The food was incredible, as was the show. Really authentic, family oriented, and gorgeous. The grounds were amazing and we saw tons of animals, too. Listen, we had an amazing honeymoon. Hawaii is a gorgeous island. WHEN we come back, we'd probably just stay in Maui a few days as it was our favorite island. But if you want a once-in-a-lifetime look at a bunch of islands, please push some of the negative reviews aside, come with an open mind, and enjoy the beauty of this state. If you LOVE cruising and mostly cruise just to be on the ship, though, I'd stay away from this trip. Otherwise, you'll have a great time! :) Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We were invited to cruise with a couple celebrating their 40th anniversary. The Hawaiian islands are beautiful and the intinerary allowed us to get a good feel for many of the key islands. Service and friendliness of staff was top ... Read More
We were invited to cruise with a couple celebrating their 40th anniversary. The Hawaiian islands are beautiful and the intinerary allowed us to get a good feel for many of the key islands. Service and friendliness of staff was top notch. Ala crate drinks are ridiculously expensive in in attempt to get passengers to buy the unlimited drink package which is also very expensive. The dining experience was fine but not top notch. NCL passengers wanting an upgraded dining experience must pay for it by dining in specialty restaurants. Make no mistake: this is a very expensive cruise but many things in Hawaii are more expensive since many items must be shipped in. Entertainment was acceptable. The Divas3 were very good. We were blessed with great weather. Most sailings occur in the evening which might offer a better visual experience during the months with more daylight hours. Overall, this was a good experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The destinations we visited was AMAZING! To be able to spend 1-2 days on 4 of the Hawaiian Islands was perfect! I really enjoyed the layout and the activities on the ship. The entertainment was GREAT! However, most of the ... Read More
The destinations we visited was AMAZING! To be able to spend 1-2 days on 4 of the Hawaiian Islands was perfect! I really enjoyed the layout and the activities on the ship. The entertainment was GREAT! However, most of the "customer service" we received was substandard compared to other ships. The quality of food and service in the formal dining room was also lacking. All of the cruises I have been on in my life have always been staffed nearly 100% by International Employees. The Pride of America is an exception. Apparently they must staff 75% with Americans. As an American myself, it embarrasses me to say that I believe this is what was lacking on this ship. The level of service received in all of the Bars dining room and buffet staff was sub-standard compared to other ships. Also the food offered in the dining room was disappointing. We could have spent a lot more in these areas, if someone would have actually "served us." In past years I have heard really good things about Norwegian Cruise Lines, so I am believing that this particular ship is an exception......based on the employment percentage of Americans. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We were on our honeymoon and decided to go all out. We did the 10 day Oahu explorer trip so we were put up in a hotel in Waikiki for the first 3 days. The bus trips were fun and very well planned. Getting on and off the boat was a breeze. ... Read More
We were on our honeymoon and decided to go all out. We did the 10 day Oahu explorer trip so we were put up in a hotel in Waikiki for the first 3 days. The bus trips were fun and very well planned. Getting on and off the boat was a breeze. The activities on the boat were a little lacking. There is no casino since Hawaii is a non gaming state. Most of the entertainment was geared towards an older crowd, which most of the boat was. Even most of the bars closed early. For as much fun as the trip was I would not cruise Hawaii again. It’s was a long flight and older crowd. I would definitely do the Caribbean again before Hawaii. The shore excursions were fun but again it was an older crowd. The highlight of the trip for us was having the penthouse with our own butler. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Of all the cruises we've sailed (26 total) this was the first and last on NCL. Have never encountered more rude employees with bad attitudes from the Shore Excursion Desk to the buffet to the Liberty dining room. Service is ... Read More
Of all the cruises we've sailed (26 total) this was the first and last on NCL. Have never encountered more rude employees with bad attitudes from the Shore Excursion Desk to the buffet to the Liberty dining room. Service is practically non-existent compared to Princess Cruises and the food......that was a whole other story. The food was so awful except in the Cadillac Diner, that we ended up eating most meals at restaurants in port. The shore excursions were so over-priced it was laughable and 2 that we signed up for were cancelled for lack of interest. My better guess was for the pricing. Our NCL initial contact person "assured" us that the cabin we chose would be comparable to the mini-suite we usually book on Princess. Good Lord---my walk-in closet at home is larger than the cabin we got. My knees are still black & blue from hitting the wall every time I got out of bed. Wouldn't recommend this line to my worst enemy. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We had a group of 12 adults that wanted to see the Hawaiian Islands. The itinerary of the NCL Pride of America looked good and we got a decent deal. After getting on board we were surprised at the lack of amenities on the ship ... Read More
We had a group of 12 adults that wanted to see the Hawaiian Islands. The itinerary of the NCL Pride of America looked good and we got a decent deal. After getting on board we were surprised at the lack of amenities on the ship compared to other cruise lines. We were also completely disappointed in the quality of the food in the main dining room. We thought that maybe they were trying to force us to use the pay per meal restaurants on the ship? My wife has a shellfish allergy and the food she received from the chef was awful. I think that NCL has completely let this ship go to pot. The service from the staff was also lacking. I guess poor leadership is reflected by the staff. It seemed like they got our money and now we were just trapped on the ship. Be prepared to be underwhelmed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this NCL Pride of America cruise because we planned to visit Hawai for or 30th anniversary. This cruisde seemed to allow us to visit more places in the short time than other travel options we investigated. We have previously ... Read More
We chose this NCL Pride of America cruise because we planned to visit Hawai for or 30th anniversary. This cruisde seemed to allow us to visit more places in the short time than other travel options we investigated. We have previously cruised with another cruise company twice before to different locations,. This was our first trip to Hawaii and our first cruise with NCL. We cruised with another couple and choose adjoining balcony cabins for this cruise. We where happy with the cabin layout, size and cleanliness and service throughout the cruise overall. We did notice that there appeared to be a bit of delatyed maintence on the ship, in particular the handrailings on our balcony needed a bit of a refresh. We had selected excursions in Kona, (gold coast and cloud forest) and Hilo (hawaiian botanical garden) and on Kauai (Waimea canyon and the Luau) before setting sail. We felt all these ship excursions were wonderful and providers very good. The ship exit and return went well and each stop had a good amount of transportation waiting to get you where you needed to go whether or not the excursions where connected with the ship. The remaining days we rented a car and explored Maui and Volcanoes National Park on our own and booked a private tour not associated with the ship the final morning on Kauai. For us this was a great mix of ease and the ability to adventure on our own and stop when and where we wished. while on the cruise ship we tried a variety of dining options from buffet, when we were concerned about expediency, specialty restaurants (brazilian and italian) and dining rooms. The service at each location was quite good and the food quality was good. We did not find the food to anything which I would consider outstanding. We did find the cost of the specialty dining to be a bit expensive but not unreasonable. We did not attend much of the entertainment on this cruise, nor use the exercise facilities or pool area to any great degree. We listened in a couple of times performers but did not attend any of the larger shows. This was in part because we were booked with excursions etc as there is so much to see in Hawaii and in part we did not see anything that looked particularly inspiring. Overall we were quite happy with this trip. we turly loved the variety of ports we where able to explore during this time. Our goal was to check out as much as we could since retirement is on the horizon and we are looking for options of places to visit once that comes. We found the Hawaiian people to be lovey and definitely would plan to go back again. I think the next time, this cruise gave us enough of a feel for the islands that we would be confident in going on our own. This cruise was good for allowing us to choose areas which we would like to spend more time when we do return. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The cruise was amazing it was great to see Hawaii this way! The activities were a blast our cruise director Jami was the bomb we met at disco night she came up to our table and asked if were ready to dance and of course I said absolutely! ... Read More
The cruise was amazing it was great to see Hawaii this way! The activities were a blast our cruise director Jami was the bomb we met at disco night she came up to our table and asked if were ready to dance and of course I said absolutely! She smiled and said I’ll be coming to grab you first. We went out and danced and laughed it was such a fun night!! I found out the next day she was the cruise director. We did nightly activities and saw her at them all. She has such a great personality I felt like we were immediate friends! She was so sweet and sent a beautiful container of chocolate covered strawberries to our cabin! I wasn’t able to find her the last couple days but on disembarkment she was standing there with that big smile. I hugged her and thanked her for being so warm and fun and for the strawberries of course! Back to the cruise. The excursions were good we got to see a lot of things. The ship is beautiful and the food was great at most of the places we dined. I have only two issues with the Cruise overall the first is that the upper decks were wet with pooling water at times and I did fall twice due to that. I learned to be very careful walking on them lol. The 2nd is that we chose the service charge and gratuity package but it didn’t apply to drinks and a 20% gratuity was automatically added to each bill. Our bartenders were awesome though so they deserved it but I’d have preferred to decide the tip and not have it decided for me. Over all it was a fabulous experience and I’d definitely travel with NCL again! The bartenders we got to know were all so much fun I enjoyed seeing them everyday! In closing “washy washy, happy happy” Thanks for a great time everyone! Cheers! Anne Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose a family cruise to make memories together. We met in Honolulu before the cruise to be sure we had no difficulty embarking. Half of us had not experienced Hawaii. Half of us had spent leisurely time on Oahu and Kauai in the past ... Read More
We chose a family cruise to make memories together. We met in Honolulu before the cruise to be sure we had no difficulty embarking. Half of us had not experienced Hawaii. Half of us had spent leisurely time on Oahu and Kauai in the past and lived in the tropics. The cruise was very busy. It felt hectic and crowded except midday when most guests were ashore. By mid-cruise, the patterns in the dining spaces were more obvious to be able to select less-busy times. The food was plentiful with variety and quality in the Aloha buffet. One should make reservations in the general seating restaurants before sailing if possible. The one specialty restaurant that was visited was comparable to a shore restaurant and nothing special. The cruise director was personable and available. I found the guest services people poorly informed about anything beyond the gangplank. I recommend the cruise line hire a tour expert to assist guests going ashore. The entertainment was average but this is a "go ashore" water bus. The spaces were clean and the crew personable and efficient. There is a septic smell mid-ship of which the staff is aware. The ship is maintained and had on-going maintenance in progress. Because it is an island hopping cruise, don't forget to add the expense of shore excursions (either ship-sponsored) or otherwise, rental car/transportation and food ashore. Beverages are very expensive. Cocktails for two was typically $28 with a drink of the day and well liquor before "additional tip". A service charge is added to the price of the drink and then there is an additional line for "tip" which ship's company says is for "extra service". Shore access in Maui is a 2-mile walk. Kauai shore access is very convenient for walkers. Kona is a 6-minute tender ride. We had no mishaps, bad weather, or cause for complaint. I cannot imagine not having a room with a balcony to get away from the hustle. Our sail around the Napali Coast was spectacular. Book port side if you wish to stay in your stateroom. There was plenty of room topside for viewing. The ship turns away fairly quickly. We booked the Pearl Harbor to hotel event and enjoyed a bus ride to Punch Bowl Cemetery and around the City. Staying an extra day gave better airline connections. There was nothing objectionable about the service. It is a very expensive cruise. It has a "popular" feel as compared to my other experience on Princess Lines which I felt was a better value. I would not take this cruise again and would caution that it is too hectic to feel the romance of the tropics. Read Less
Pride of America Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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