Sail Date: April 2015
Pride of America (someones's idea of a joke?) Boarded in Honolulu and this was actually quite a pleasant experience compared to some other cruises. Had booked a cabin with balcony but should perhaps have payed more attention to ... Read More
Pride of America (someones's idea of a joke?) Boarded in Honolulu and this was actually quite a pleasant experience compared to some other cruises. Had booked a cabin with balcony but should perhaps have payed more attention to dimensions, smallest wet room on any vessel I've been on and barely space to move around the bed. Catering was mediocre at best even in the paid restaurants, breakfasts were generally cold. Laundry came back looking like it was washed with the crew's coveralls and subsequently found (after the cruise) that wife's dress full of small holes. While some of the crew appeared to have a genuine interest in their duties most just seemed to shuffle around in ill fitting uniforms with a bored look on their faces. Only smoking out in the open on the wind buffeted aft end of 13th deck, perhaps in an effort to help people quit smoking. Mandatory cover/service charges a disgrace for what is being provided. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
We signed up for the 10d package with 2 pre-cruise nights at the Waikiki Beach Marriot. Due to a flight delay we arrived late and had to check in at the hotel rather than the NCL office. Day 1-2 Oahu: Marriott: We had an ocean view ... Read More
We signed up for the 10d package with 2 pre-cruise nights at the Waikiki Beach Marriot. Due to a flight delay we arrived late and had to check in at the hotel rather than the NCL office. Day 1-2 Oahu: Marriott: We had an ocean view balcony with a great view of the ocean and sunset. The room was clean, but there was no soap or bath products when we arrived. We called the desk who said they would send it right up - it never arrived until housekeeping came the next day. The carpet was worn, but otherwise things were nice. Breakfast at the hotel: Seattle's best coffee - not that great. Kuhio Beach grill - they have a buffet or menu options. The waffle with fruit and your choice of meat was fantastic. Mac nut pancakes were dry. Coconut syrup is fantastic! Beach - Nice beach, not very crowded. You can see a lot of tropical fish in the shallow water from the pier. There is a break-wall so it is good for kids. Dinner - Morimoto's was fantastic. Loved the Waygu Carpaccio and pineapple tofu cheesecake. Gyoza was disappointing. We took a taxi there on Friday. Since it is near the Hilton you can watch their fireworks show. Then we walked back - shopping along the way. Shopping - plenty of options. The Honolulu Cookie Co is everywhere - pretty good. The one in the hotel is a lot less crowded. Tour - We took tour 4B (Deluxe combo, Pearl Harbor and Circle Island) through Gray Line (Polynesian Adventure Tours). They picked us up at the hotel. Our guide was Ed -who was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Pearl Harbor was great, but could have used a bit more time (we went in the am to get our tickets, but our tickets ended up being for 3pm so we had to come back). We toured the gift shop at Dole Plantation, drove along the North Shore, briefly stopped at Sunset Beach, then stopped for lunch at the Kualoa Ranch (We were supposed to eat at the Polynesian Cultural Center, but had to rearrange our stops to make it back to Pearl Harbor so had to eat elsewhere). The food was ok - buffet or counter service. We had a small group of ~25. We also went to a Mac Nut stop - very good, the Byodo-in temple, and the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout. Drinks and snacks are not provided on this tour, but it was very enjoyable for someone having only 1d in Oahu. Embarkation: On Sat, we took the shuttle to the ship. We go luggage tags and our photo taken in the NCL office at the hotel. We left our bags in our hotel room for transfer. Embarkation was very smooth. We immediately went to lunch at the Aloha Café - it was good. We then wandered the ship for ~1-2 hours before our cabin was ready. It took another hour or so for our luggage to arrive. Ship: We had a 10th deck balcony cabin on the port side, forward. It was nice and very clean. Our steward was fantastic. We didn't get our chocolate covered strawberries or photos that came with our package, but didn't really miss them. Shows: We saw the show with songs from movie musicals - it was ok...We often ate dinner at times that did not allow us time to see any other shows, but that's ok. We weren’t there for the shows. Dining: Breakfast: we ate at the Aloha Café buffet for breakfast each day - it was good (esp the French toast w/ coconut syrup and fruit). Some options changed slightly each day (pancake flavor, type of scrambled eggs). There was always fresh fruit, omelet station, etc. It was never crowded. Lunch: Most times we ate on shore. See port reviews. Aloha Café was ok for lunch. Cadillac Diner - not my favorite - average burger and fries. Average cheesecake. Dinner: Main dining room: Skyline. Good food, good service. There is a set menu, as well as a page of rotating daily specials. They also have a chef's daily special with local specialties. Moderno: Excellent service from our waiter and the gauchos that carved your meats tableside. Good food, but a little salty. Buffet options prior to the main course are also good. Side dishes are served family style - also good. Desserts were excellent. Definitely pace yourself and don't fill up on the salad bar so you can enjoy the carved meat selections. La Cucina: Poor, slow service. The food was hit or miss and some entree options did not resemble Italian cooking. Desserts were very good - Mac nut ice cream affogato! Cagney's: Poor, slow service. However, the food was awesome! Each course was worth the wait (last seating). TIP: Make all of your reservations day one - use the app, it is much easier. Jefferson Bistro: Average, slow service. The food was ok, but not spectacular. Probably our least favorite of the specialty restaurants that we visited. Duck was tough and overcooked. Cornets - duck was ok, others bland. Scallops small and mushy. Swordfish was decent. When in Kona, they have fresh live lobster. Carlo's Bakery: excellent dessert, but very slow service. We came here after a disappointing dessert at Jefferson's Bistro. This time, it appeared that they were understaffed. One person was making coffee drinks, bartending, and getting desserts for those at the bar as well as those at the counter and those that were waited upon by the staff in the lounge. Aloha Café - We ate here for dinner on the last night since they advertised it to be Hawaiian themed. It was a disappointment. We should have eaten at Skyline or Liberty or even tried East Meets West. Ports: Maui: Day 1: We took the free shuttle to the mall, then the bus to Lahaina. It was very easy and very inexpensive. Our bus had a flat tire, but a new bus came in a reasonable amount of time. Definitely recommend the Ululani's Shave Ice! It is worth the long line. We had lunch next door at the Lahaina Luna Café. It was very good - fish and Korean tacos, crazy fries. They had lots of shops and a craft fair under the banyan tree. Bamboo shirts are very nice. Interestingly - at most ports the ABC stores (which are everywhere) had the best selection of items. TIP: Keep you receipts and you will accumulate free gifts (calendars, mugs, shopping bags, etc.). Day 2: Haleakala crater: This was a large bus excursion (no snacks or drinks provided) arranged through the ship. Very nice. Due to unpredictable sunrise conditions we chose to do this during the day. The trip to the summit was very scenic and we got to see lots of beautiful flowering trees and local plants. We also saw chukars, pheasants, the silver sword plants and cattle, but no nene. It was windy and ~40 degrees at the summit so a jacket is very helpful. We had plenty of time and there are 2 National Park gift shops where we stopped to make purchases. On the way down, it became very cloudy so our view was a lot more limited. Our guide had lots of very useful information. Hilo: It was very wet and cool (60's) during our visit. We took the Volcanos and Taste of Hawaii tour through the ship. It was a small group of ~10. It was run by an outside tour group which provided snacks, water, lunch, wine, umbrellas, and raincoats. The guide was very knowledgeable. The 1st stop was at the Hilo Coffee Mill. The coffee was ok. The tour was late because the previous group was still there. It was really only a brief photo and sampling tour - nothing really to see at the mill. However, waiting for the previous group really limited our time to make any purchases. They will ship and grind your coffee, but they are very slow and not really aware of your time restrictions. Next we made several stops in Volcanoes National park. We saw the crater, Jagger Museum, steam vents, lava field, and lava tube. It was very nice, ample time at each stop though the bathroom line can be very long at the museums and gift shops which eats away your time to see other things. Next was Volcano Garden Arts - you are greeted with Napa wine (not Hawaiian!!), then can browse the very nice gifts and artwork. We ate lunch here which was prepared at the coffee mill. It was a selection of wraps, Hawaiian soft drinks, fruit (pineapple and papaya), sweet potato salad, and chips. Not what we envisioned as a "taste of Hawaii", but ok. We spent a bit too much time here. Our last stop was at Big Island Candies. This place was very crowded and you had very limited time. If you plan on purchasing gifts, get a catalogue from the ship or online and know what you want before you get there. They will ship it for you. We wish we would have stopped at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory - we drove right past it. Kona - this is a tender port. It runs smoothly - esp if you have an excursion through the ship. We were going to take the Kona Mocha tour through the ship, but settled on the ship's Gold Coast and Cloud Forest Tour. It was another small group of ~10 and run through an outside group. They also provided walking sticks, water, and snacks. They had suggested long pants and a light jacket which was really unnecessary. Our guide was surprised when we all showed up overdressed for the 80+ degree weather. Our guide was nice, but we wish she knew more about the local birds and other wildlife. Our 1st stop was at the national park for an ~1 mile hike along the beach. We saw lots of sea turtles, geckos, lizards, and shore birds. There were lots of petroglyphs but some were worn and difficult to see depending on the lighting. A written guide of the petroglyphs would have been helpful. From there we went to the cloud forest which is on private land and was planted ~35 yrs ago - mostly with non-native species. It was still a very nice, and fairly easy, slow paced hike - ~1 mile on uneven ground. A faster pace or more strenuous hike would have been nice, but the guide was very good about letting everyone of varying ability keep up with the group. The last stop was Mountain Thunder Coffee for a tour of their factory. It was a nice stop - good coffee (Vienna roast) and tea (made from the skin of the coffee cherry). After being dropped off at the tender port, we walked around town for some shopping and lunch at Kona Brewing Co. It was very good - the poke, fish sandwich with papaya slaw. The farmers market was just ok - lots of fruit, flowers, and random trinkets. Ice cream (Big Island Ice Cream) was good - esp the lilikoi cheesecake. Kauai - Day 1: We arrived ~1hr late due to engine problems, but they were good about adjusting everyone's schedule when necessary. We took the free shuttle to the Anchor Cove Mall for some shopping. Lots of good stuff here (Red Dirt Shirts, Maui Rainbow Jewelry, etc.). We even tried the spam musubi at the ABC store - it was actually good. From here you can walk to Kalapaki Beach which is very nice. There is a small botanical garden at the Marriott where they have Koi and Nene. We had our best lunch of the trip at Duke's. The fish tacos (ahi) and Korean street tacos are amazing. After returning to the ship, we attended Luau Kalamaku. Upon arrival, they take your photo and show you your table. There are no bad seats. The drinks weren't that good. The Mai Tai tasted like straight rum while the non-alcoholic version was watered down. Prior to the show, they have several vendors - mostly stuff that you've probably already seen or purchased elsewhere. More variety would be nice. They also have traditional games, but very little explanation. Once seated, the had a band, hula demo, etc. They served salad, taro rolls, and pineapple/coconut/pink salt family style. The buffet was great - plenty of options both traditional and non-traditional. Several dessert options were also available - the rice pudding with rum sauce was the best. The show itself was about an hour long and very good. While waiting for your bus back, you can mingle with the performers if you would like. Day 2: We took the Journey to Waimea Canyon through the ship. This was a large bus tour - no snacks or drinks provided. Our guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. We stopped in Hanapepe at the Mariko store. It was a long stop - it could have been shorter. They did have the Niihau Shell jewelry - it is beautiful and very expensive. They also have the Red Dirt Shirts, snacks, etc. Next we drove past several historical sites, stopped at a scenic lookout, saw movie locations, and drove up to the canyon lookout. There was a nice waterfall and a vendor with drinks, fresh fruit, nuts, and cookies. Plenty of time at this stop. On the way back, we stopped at Kauai Coffee. The coffee wasn't as good as Kona, but it is a nice plantation. Lastly, we stopped at the spouting horn. Back on the ship, we sailed the Na Pali Coast. You get pretty close and they start with a narration when they sail by on the port side. Even though we had a port side balcony, we went up on deck to hear the narration. Disembarkation: 1-2 days prior, you can pick up luggage tags on deck 5 with your desired disembarkation time (starting at 8am). You can walk off earlier if you carry your own luggage, have an early flight, or an excursion. It was very smooth and our bags were easy to pick up. Taxis are waiting outside if needed. We got to the airport ~3hrs prior to our flight - there is lots of last minute shopping at the airport. The Kona Brewing at the airport has a scaled down menu and isn't as good as the one in Kona, but not bad. Overall it was a nice intro to Hawaii. We would definitely do it again and see/do some different things at each port. While it is like a floating hotel, the service was way more attentive and better than any hotel. The only place the service could be improved was in some of the specialty restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Pride of America is the only ship that is stationed in Hawaii and embarks from Honolulu rather than having to spend days at sea to arrive there. We had more days to spend on the islands and therefore were able to visit more ports. Choosing ... Read More
Pride of America is the only ship that is stationed in Hawaii and embarks from Honolulu rather than having to spend days at sea to arrive there. We had more days to spend on the islands and therefore were able to visit more ports. Choosing any cruise gives you the opportunity to see several of the islands without spending the extra money on flights to and from islands. We found this much less stressful than finding our own way around. We had previously sailed on the Norwegian Pearl. Once on the Pride, we found the ship less cared for than the Pearl. This was noticeable in the cleanliness of the carpets and also of our stateroom. Upon arriving, we found our floor not vacuumed, our bathroom floor not clean, lights not working and a drawer that would hardly open. We reported these items and they were taken care of. This will benefit those to follow but it would have been nice to have had those items fixed prior to our arrival by performing a thorough inspection. We realize the ship has a very short turn around time each Saturday but it was our first experience on thus ship and we found it less than wonderful. Food was adequate but not outstanding to say the least. Hand sanitizing was hit miss. Ports were outstanding and tendering was handled efficiently. Entertainment and activities were good. Sailing past the Napali coast was a not to be missed extra of Pride of America! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We were first time cruisers. We didn't know how to do manuever the restaurents, the activities, the services, disembarking, etc. Our Conceirge - Thomas Meier, Butler - Christopher and cabin porter - Larry were top notch. If we ... Read More
We were first time cruisers. We didn't know how to do manuever the restaurents, the activities, the services, disembarking, etc. Our Conceirge - Thomas Meier, Butler - Christopher and cabin porter - Larry were top notch. If we needed help while walking through the ship, all NCL employees we encountered went out of their way to help guide us. We had a spectacular cabin that was clean and well maintained. We were basically spoiled by your staff. The ship size was perfect. I went to the salon twice - again, great staff and stylist. The waiters in the specialty restaurants were terrific. We had such a nice experience on the Pride of America. Our excursions were well run, on time and offered plenty of bathroom stops - which for me is a prerequisite. The only regret was I missed meeting the Ships Captain. Thanks for a great vacation! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
My wife, son and I decided to have a big trip before he leaves the nest, as he is 17 yr. Stayed in a 2 bedroom suite on the Pride of America. The rooms were large and comfortable. Our view was obstructed which wasn't apparent on ... Read More
My wife, son and I decided to have a big trip before he leaves the nest, as he is 17 yr. Stayed in a 2 bedroom suite on the Pride of America. The rooms were large and comfortable. Our view was obstructed which wasn't apparent on the booking but we seldom spent time in the room with all the activities and wonderful views of the islands so it was not a problem. The crew was majority Americans so compared to some our other cruises there was a little less exoticness but they treated us well, attentive and friendly. Our best excursion was the helicopter tour on Kauai. Trip of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
My husband & I had the best vacation ever in Hawaii on the Pride of America. The staff and crew were very attentive and their number one goal was to make sure we were happy and satisfied. As we sat relaxing on our balcony one ... Read More
My husband & I had the best vacation ever in Hawaii on the Pride of America. The staff and crew were very attentive and their number one goal was to make sure we were happy and satisfied. As we sat relaxing on our balcony one afternoon, my husband turned and said "This is the most relaxing vacation we have ever had." The excursions were great, the ship was great. There were many things to do is you were inclined or sitting by the pool or on deck relaxing in the sun or shade having a beverage offered to you, was just so relaxing. We signed up for the pre-cruise package for 3 days and stayed at the Waikiki Marriott. The tours we went on were well organized and we were able to see and experience things in three days that would have taken us 5 -7 days if we had done it on our own. The tour guide was informative, friendly, and funny. He made us feel like we were part of his "ohana" family. People ask what was our most favorite part or island. We have to say the entire trip from start to finish was our favorite. Everything just exceeded my expectations. We already are planning to do this same trip again with different excursions within a few years. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Overall it was a great first cruise. The ship employees were very accommodating. Our room steward was wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed our off ship excursions; segway tour on Maui-we absolutely loved this! We had such a wonderful time, ... Read More
Overall it was a great first cruise. The ship employees were very accommodating. Our room steward was wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed our off ship excursions; segway tour on Maui-we absolutely loved this! We had such a wonderful time, would do it again in a heart beat. Crater at sunset on Maui-our bus driver was wonderful, so full of amazing information and so entertaining. We did the snorkeling at Kona and the tastes of Hawaii tour with Chelsea at Hilo-she was also very amazing. Mug bogging on Kauai - fun! The better shopping is on Maui fyi! Not much to shop at on Kauai. The food was good on ship but definitely check out the skyline restaurant and the Liberty. They serve a very nice dining experience. The evening entertainment was very good, take a sweater the big theater is chilly. We really enjoyed the dancing at the Mardi gras. Unfortunately i underestimated my ability to handle the sea sickness - I wish I had known about bonine on the first day. They sell it in the gift shop, great for motion sickness. If you plan to do any serious drinking, 4 or more per day get the drink package. We stayed at the Aqua Waikiki Wave in Waikiki pre and post cruise, nice hotel for just off the main strip a block. If you get a state room they will pick you up at your hotel and handle all your luggage for you. That was a nice perk. Recommend the staterooms, nice with king bed and balcony. Enjoyed being able to open the door. Looking forward to another cruise someday. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We went on our first and LAST cruise ever on the Pride of America that cruised all 4 major Hawaiian island during April of 2015. The boat is on the medium/smaller scale compared to the larger newer boats. We paid extra and got the larger ... Read More
We went on our first and LAST cruise ever on the Pride of America that cruised all 4 major Hawaiian island during April of 2015. The boat is on the medium/smaller scale compared to the larger newer boats. We paid extra and got the larger balconies on towards the front of the ship. The balconies were bigger, maybe 10x10 ish and the room was fine except the bathroom was super tiny. If you are over 6 foot good luck taking a shower, it will be almost impossible. The pools on the ship are a joke, more like wadding pools smaller than a backyard pool. The food was bad to horrible, the activities were boring. Food just seemed like a college food hall nothing special. People buzzing all around headed in different directions very confusing. Beers were $8 for Miller Lite. Every time i got off the ship the only reason i got back on was because of family, i was so pissed every time i had to get back on. All the islands were great but because of time constraints you always felt rushed. I guess it was a good way to quickly see all the islands but after this cruise i am done with cruising. For the price, i could of rented a house on the NS of Oahu, ate like a king and stayed twice as long. The boat seems way small, older, bad food options, tiny bathrooms, you just don't want to get back on after you see how awesome Hawaii is!! Never again, any cruise Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
We upgraded shortly before we left to a Penthouse for an extra $600. So worth it. We were part of a precruise at Marriott. We were transported to the ship and taken to a special small room to check in with food and drinks available there. ... Read More
We upgraded shortly before we left to a Penthouse for an extra $600. So worth it. We were part of a precruise at Marriott. We were transported to the ship and taken to a special small room to check in with food and drinks available there. Our consignere , Thomas, took us up to Cagney Steakhouse where only the penthouse and suite people could eat breakfast and lunch daily. It was the highest of quality food and we rarely missed breakfast. Our suite was huge, full bathroom with a huge tub, dressing area outside of the bathroom, tons and tons of drawers, flat panel tv, huge sitting area, secretary area, double deck area, champagne, water, flowers. Our butler, Chris, brought us appetizers, chocolates and fresh fruit almost daily. He was available to help us book anything we needed. The tours were great. We did one everyday. The road to Hana should end halfway. It is 50 miles and takes 9 hours. It got to be a really long day and there is nothing to see in hana. Don't miss banana bread at halfway point. Whale watching was great but if I did it again I would go to Lahaina early and take it out of there. We missed booking the National Volcano park and instead did the Puna trip which was a big disappointment. We did walk on the old lava fields going to the black beach. Submarine was fantastic at Kona! Helicopter ride over Kauai was amazing and should be on everyones bucket list. My husband got the opportunity to golf on the Kauai right on the edge of the cliff. Probably one of his best golf experiences. The shows on board were amazing and I did not have high expectations at all. Four Seasons tribute had people on their feet applauding. They did one full show and were part of two other shows. Magician very good and funny. We were pleased overall. As far as the food, again, I was surprised. We did all the extra fine dining and loved almost all of them except the habaci. That was okay. Otherwise even the buffet food was very good. It was better than some other ships we have been on. The people who worked the ship really put forward their best. We met so many of them and heard their stories of why they are there. That was really part of the highlight of the cruise. So many great people. Loved all the bar areas. Pool too small. Back of ship on deck 11 was great for watching the world go by. I hated for this cruise to end. I hated to leave Hawaii. The blue waters of all the islands will always stay in my head. So breathtaking. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
About us: We are a married couple in our 30s from the USA. This was our 11th cruise and first with NCL. Embarkation: This was the easiest embarkation we have ever had. It was probably less than 30 minutes from the taxi drop off to when ... Read More
About us: We are a married couple in our 30s from the USA. This was our 11th cruise and first with NCL. Embarkation: This was the easiest embarkation we have ever had. It was probably less than 30 minutes from the taxi drop off to when we boarded the ship. The lines were well organized and were always moving. (We arrived about 12:30pm at the port.) Upon Boarding: The entrance of the Pride of America leaves a lot to be desired. There is no wow effect like on the other larger cruise ships we’ve sailed. We checked to see if our room was ready, but the hallways were blocked off. We went to the dining room for lunch where the staff actually talked us out of eating there telling us the food would be better at the buffet (little did we know at the time, they were actually right). We had lunch at the buffet and waited for our floor to be called that it was ready…and we waited…and waited, until 3:15ish when our floor was called…it was nearly 4pm by the time they called the last floor. Stateroom: We had an inside room. This was a small room, but was manageable. We weren’t planning to spend much time there, just sleep and shower. Our room steward called us by name all week each time he saw us, which was impressive. However, he only cleaned our room once a day. We were often without towels each evening because he never came by for the turn down service. Ship Layout: This is was the worst layout we had ever seen for a cruise ship. There were several floors where you could only walk the length of the ship on one side and not the other. This lead to the theater filling up fast on one side and few people sitting on the other. Entering the buffet in one area the passengers have to walk through a galley pass through. I can’t tell you how many times a staff member almost ran over me running through the pass through. It was just odd. Buffet: The buffet area flowed nicely. Even at busy times in the morning when people were rushing to eat before excursions the lines moved fast and we could always find a place to sit. The food was average for cruise ship food. Nothing special, but also nothing terrible. Other Dining: We did not go to any of the restaurants that were an extra fee. However, we really enjoyed the 24 hour snacks at the bars including the popcorn. And we really enjoyed the 24 hour Cadillac Diner. That was a great place to get an appetizer between meals and also when we came back from excursions and the buffet was closed between lunch and dinner. Dining Room: Skyline & Liberty were the two dining rooms. One was supposed to have more of a dress code than the other, but we thought people looked the same in both. We liked that we were always able to have a table for two next to a window. The menu was just plain boring with not as many choices as what you get on the other big box cruise ships. (The worst was on Easter where there was only one choice for the dinner meal! We ended up having Easter dinner at the buffet.) The servers were hit and miss, some were very professional and others were not. Entertainment: The Oh What A Night Frankie Valli show was great! That is a must see! The comedian was good as was the magician. But the shows with the cast from NCL were terrible. We gave each of them a shot, but ended up walking out of each of those shows. It was like watching a middle school performance. As for the cruise director, she was a little dull and lacked enthusiasm as did her entertainment cruise staff. We won prizes at trivia because we were the only people who showed up. American Crew: The main difference with having a mainly American crew that we noticed was they were more willing to actually engage and hold a conversation with you. Overall, they were likely less professional than what we’ve experienced on other cruises, but overall they got the jobs done and it really wasn’t as big of a deal as others have mentioned in their reviews. Napali Coastline: We went out to the promenade deck about 30 minutes before the narration started to secure a good spot for photos. The narration started about 5:15pm and we took our best photos about 5:30-5:45pm. One the ship sails past the coastline, it turns around and sails back past it again. The first time by there were hundreds of people out on the promenade deck, once we turned, we switched to the other side and there were six of us out there. The scenery was spectacular, I’m not sure why everyone else when back inside. Debarkation: We chose to walk off with all of our luggage around 7:45am. This was very easy without any lines. Excursions: Kahului, Maui - We booked with Valley Isle Excursions for the Road to Hana tour. It was a great way to see a lot of Maui on our first day there. After taking this excursion, we were so glad that we hadn’t booked a rental car because the driver never would have seen anything (as the driver has to focus so much on driving) as well as many rental agencies force renters to turn around at Hana. (There is nothing to see in Hana. And, the “fun” part of the road is really just beginning after Hana!) Our driver was great, super friendly, laid back, and knowledgeable. Anytime he thought something might be of interest or if a waterfall was running really good, then he would stop and for us to take photos. Our bus had 10 people and was a nice size group. Lunch was salad, roll, and barbecue chicken breasts. There was always water and coke available on the bus as well as at lunch. The scenery on this trip is spectacular, lots of steep rocky coast lines and a few water falls here and there. Well worth the price! The cruise ship offered pretty much the same tour, but they had more people per bus than what we had for more money per person. We had a great time and enjoy having more flexibility than with the cruise ship tour. Kahului, Maui – NCL excursion to Haleakala Crater. This is the second most popular excursion for the Maui port (Road to Hana is the most popular). This was a big bus excursion with about 50 people. There were many switchback turns going up to the crater. It was cool once we got above the cloud line and saw the clouds below. At the crater we got some nice photos. Hilo – NCL excursion Akaka Falls & Volcano National Park. This was a big bus excursion with about 50 people. Originally we had signed up for Rainbow Falls and Volcano National Park, but NCL changed us to this excursion because the parking lot at Rainbow Falls was being redone while we were there. We were at Akaka Falls for about 30-40 minutes. The falls were large and flowing well. The down side was that it was raining while we were there, so our photos are not very good. We had several stops at Volcano National Park, at a larger crater, steam vents, a large lava tube to walk through and a lava field. It did rain on and off while we were there, but that is the nature of this part of the big island. We also had two bathroom/shopping stops on this excursion. One stop at an orchid farm and one at a macadamia nut factory. We were given a box lunch of a turkey sandwich, apple, chips, cookie, and water that we ate on the bus. Kona – NCL excursion Captain Zodiac Snorkeling - You tender from the cruise ship to the pier and then the Captain Zodiac crew meets you there. First you sign your life away with a waiver, and then you are off for the fun! On the zodiac boat, you sit on the side and do not where a life vest. On the way to the snorkeling site which took about 45 minutes we did see one whale, which was pretty neat considering we were at the end of the whale season. The snorkeling site is in a cove area and other companies take guests there too. It wasn’t too busy the day we were there. They did have a few prescription masks on board too, which was nice for those with glasses. You enter the water by going over the side of the zodiac boat and then they have a ladder to use to get back in the zodiac. The snorkeling site was pretty good. We’ve seen better other places in the world, but this was decent. We saw at least a dozen or so different type of fish and even a free swimming eel. We were at the snorkeling area for over an hour. When everyone finished we were offered a snack of chips, fruit, water, and coke. On the way leaving the snorkeling site several pods of dolphins showed up, so we watched those for a while before going back. On the way back, we hugged the coast line and lava features were pointed out. The following morning we woke up with sore butts. You don’t realize how much you are bouncing around on the zodiac boat until the next day. This is definitely not a trip for those with any back issues. We had a good time and the captain Andy and his assistant Liz were both friendly. Nawiliwili, Kauai – NCL Heaven and Earth Quest excursion – this excursion included a helicopter sight seeing as well as sight seeing on land. First we were taken to the airport for the helicopter tour. The helicopters each hold 7 guests, 3 in the front and 4 in the back, so not everyone gets a window seat. The company assigns seats by weight so you do not have a seating choice. Also, if you wear lighter color clothing they will force you to wear a black t-shirt that they provide to prevent glare in photos. I had a seat next to the window and there was a lot of glare in my photos. The scenery was spectacular! The photos we took do not even begin to show the depth of what we saw. I would highly recommend a helicopter tour of Hawaii! It was well worth the price. The land tour portion of this excursion was a little dull, but we did get to see most of the east side of the island including Hanalei Bay and Kilauea Point. Lunch was provided and was a turkey sandwich, chips, and water that we ate at a park beside the ocean. Kilauea Point was beautiful with lots of birds and beautiful rocky coastline. We got some great photos there. Nawiliwili, Kauai – NCL Waimea Canyon excursion. Our primary goal was to see Waimea Canyon by land since we saw it by helicopter the previous day. There was only one lookout point for the canyon and it was gorgeous and worth the trip. We also had a couple of bathroom/shopping stops on this excursion including one at a blow hole. According to our driver this was the best blow hole in Hawaii and compared to what we saw else where it was! We also stopped at Kauai coffee. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
This was my first cruise and as you can imagine I was filled with excitement and anticipation. This was one of my life's ambitions and I was not disappointed with it's fulfillment. A Hawaiian cruise of the Islands was our first ... Read More
This was my first cruise and as you can imagine I was filled with excitement and anticipation. This was one of my life's ambitions and I was not disappointed with it's fulfillment. A Hawaiian cruise of the Islands was our first choice and the greatest one that Geraldine and I could have made. First of all the Hotel stay was great. Every aspect of the cruise was very well planned. Welcoming was warm and hospitable. The cabin we had was beautiful with a window view. and kept clean. The food was very good and plentiful at all times. The planned choice of the Islands visited and time of travel was great. Activities met our desire with adequate time for excursions for every day. Not a day was idol. Nighttime entertainment was varied and great. Getting onto and off the ship was planned with great precision. But have some ready cash if you love to (have a few) in augmenting your vacation! and not having a big charge account at checkout. THIS WAS A GREAT LIFETIME EXPERIENCE! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
After reading so many negative reviews I was a bit concerned if we had done the right thing but I'm glad we didn't take heed. People have to realise we all have different expectations and some people are more demanding than ... Read More
After reading so many negative reviews I was a bit concerned if we had done the right thing but I'm glad we didn't take heed. People have to realise we all have different expectations and some people are more demanding than others. We travelled from the UK which was exhausting, got up in the morning to go on the Pearl Harbour tour with Polynesian tours. Got back to hotel around 1.30pm went and had lunch then got a transfer about 3.30 so we arrived at the harbour at approximately 4.00pm we went straight through we no queuing as we had printed our luggage tags (those without had to queue). We went straight to our balcony cabin which was decorated as it was our 30th Wedding anniversary (this was organised by us). Room was good clean and roomy, shower was good enough I say you get for what you pay and this was a reasonably priced cruise. You have to realise the ship sails every Saturday so the turnaround on cleaning etc is really quick and i say they do a great job for the time that they have. Getting on and off the ships was easy at each port even the day it was tendered. Just make are you have your ship card and photo id (we used our UK driving licences). We sat by the pool a few times only thing that was a little annoying is that they had live entertainment by the pool sometimes you just wan to sit and read and you couldn't really I know there are other areas but we liked to hop in and out of the hot tubs and pool. Pool drinks service is excellent. There is something going on every moment of the day you get a whats on guide every evening for the following day. We tried the American diner that was ok if you want a quick fried meal, milkshakes are great though. We also tried Moderno (not our thing really) food came slow and too far in-between and the accompaniments were not to our taste, excellent decor and service though. We loved Cagneys well worth the additional charge. We also tried the Teppanyaki that was great too. We used the buffet other nights as we were really jet lagged for the first 3 nights. WE never used the other main dinning room. Breakfast and lunch was great too in the buffet. Entertainment was good something to do in several different locations each night. We only went on one ship excursion which was the Lua which was great. I'm sure I'll remember more once I close but all in all it was a great way of seeing Hawaii and we are glad we have done it. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Just returned from the Hawaiian Pride of America Cruise and i can't begin to tell you how disappointed i was . The first & foremost if your a smoker don't go on this cruise. We we stuck on the 13th floor way in the back of ... Read More
Just returned from the Hawaiian Pride of America Cruise and i can't begin to tell you how disappointed i was . The first & foremost if your a smoker don't go on this cruise. We we stuck on the 13th floor way in the back of the ship. This was the ONLY designated smoking area . Our cabin was on deck 4 at the other end of the ship so if we wanted to smoke we had quite the journey to go have one. On the 13th floor is where the smoke stack to the ship is and the venting for the food. Their is NO way you can get away from the smell of grease from the food being cooked, It was so bad it would actually turn my stomach . Their was no entertainment on the 13th floor at any time besides a DJ t certain times. The lack of cleanliness was mortifying. The coffee on the 13th deck was always cold so u had to travel to deck 11 to refill your cup. The public bathrooms around the ship were disgusting !! The activities on the ship were very limited. The entertainment o.k but very limited. The 7 days we were on the ship we went to 1 magic show 1 movie in the theater and saw 1 comedian . We were in bed by 10 that's how boring it was. The food .... OMG !!! Awful in the buffet . First & foremost it closed at 9 . One night my husband & i went for a crepe @ 10 of 9 , 2 people in front of us and we were told she closed at 9 and couldn't make us one. I was mortified being told she wouldn't make us one especially when we were the last 2 in line. The variety of choices were extremely limited and most of the time was a lot of repeat items . We spent a lot of time in the cafe that was open 24 hrs and a good duration of my cruise i ate peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and chicken wings . As far as Hawaii... Well that was just AMAZING !!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Just returned from our cruise on the Pride of America. We found the ship to be very clean and well maintained. They seemed very organized and had security measures in place making sure that ID was checked before anyone was allowed even ... Read More
Just returned from our cruise on the Pride of America. We found the ship to be very clean and well maintained. They seemed very organized and had security measures in place making sure that ID was checked before anyone was allowed even near the ship. This was our third cruise and second time in Hawaii. We had a balcony cabin and the space was fine for two people. Our cabin steward was outstanding. He always had a greeting and a smile. This ship is used as a "floating hotel". It does not have fancy rock climbing walls, huge pools and surf riders like some of the ships that are "at sea". I would estimate that 95% of all passengers leave the ship when it is in port. It sails in the evening and night and pulls in around 7 am every morning. The only time we were "at sea" was the last day when we left Kauai at 2 pm and sailed past the fantastic Napali coast decorated with a rainbow. Just beautiful! We arrived the day before the cruise and stayed at the Park Shore, a well priced hotel in a great location across from Waikiki Beach next to the Honolulu Zoo on the Diamond Head side of the beach. Saturday we boarded the ship around 2:30 and our cabin was ready by 3:30. The ship sails at 7 pm, everyone has to be on board by 5 pm. There are a lot of activities offered on the ship and tons of shore excursions that you can sign up for either before the cruise or on the ship. I did not take any of the shore excursions because I preferred to rent a car and do my own thing. The people I talked to had positive reviews of the shore excursions. We found the breakfast buffet to be very good. It gets crowded so you have to go early. Sitting outside on the Aloha deck in the fresh air was just great. The only funny thing is that spoons are hard to find. They have a fork and knife wrapped in napkins at all the tables, but you have to find a spoon if you need one. We ate at one special restaurant, the Italian one, but only because we had on board credit. I actually do not feel it was worth the extra money. The complimentary restaurants are fine. The special restaurants add on an 18% service charge. You already are paying $12.95 a day gratuity. I found the appetizers, bread, desserts, pastries and specialty salads to be very good. The entrees were hit or miss, some good and some not so good. Sign up to dine with the captain and officers. If selected by lottery you are treated like royalty. We were selected and were quite impressed. We were treated to champagne in the Napa Wine Bar, and served wine with our meal, had excellent service. They even made us a special cake since we were celebrating an anniversary. It was very interesting speaking with the two officers who were at our table. The first stop was Maui for two nights. We drove the scenic highway to Lahaina, visited some beaches and also drove up to the Haleakala volcano. Be aware that is a long drive on a steep and very twisty road. If you are going up there for sunrise or sunset I suggest you go on a tour. I think the observation deck is at 10,000 feet. We had been to Maui before so we had already driven the "Road to Hana". The cruise ship has a free parking lot near the ship for rental cars. The third night we docked at Hilo on the Big Island. It was raining and a bit chilly in the morning and most people wore windbreakers or a fleece. We drove to Volcano National Park and viewed the two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa. We did not see a lava flow, but we did see smoke and steam. We also walked through a rain forest to a lava tube, a really unique experience. The next stop was Kona on the other side of the Big Island. We did not rent a car here, but walked around the town and visited some historic buildings and took a glass bottom boat tour. Had some delicious Kona coffee ice cream. My favorite island was Kauai. We docked there for two nights. A highlight was the helicopter tour of the island through Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, which we booked ourselves. We rented a car and drove up to the North Shore, saw fabulous beaches and on Friday morning we drove to Waimea Canyon, which we had seen from above on our helicopter tour. If you keep your car overnight you will have to pay $20 to park in Anchor Cove shopping area near the ship. There is a beautiful beach within walking distance of the ship in front of the Marriott. You can see it from the Aloha Deck of the ship. Just some suggestions: bring some Post-It Notes and a pen to leave messages to your room steward, bring a reusable water bottle to fill with ice and water before you leave the ship. If you like bar soap you will have to bring it. The ship only provides liquid gel. We had a great time and would recommend this overview of the islands. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
This was the Best vacation we ever had! Did not want to leave. Freestyle dining is the only way to go, no Reservations, eat when you want to eat. Food Quality was excellent! 2 days at each island we really got to see what each island ... Read More
This was the Best vacation we ever had! Did not want to leave. Freestyle dining is the only way to go, no Reservations, eat when you want to eat. Food Quality was excellent! 2 days at each island we really got to see what each island had to offer! Thank you Norwegian for making this the best Vacation we ever had! We rally want to do this again!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
I was awestruck when entering the ship and seeing the initial view of the lobby ...the whole ship is fabulously decorated and very clean and with so many friendly happy people on board, it seemed like paradise. The saleswoman we talked to ... Read More
I was awestruck when entering the ship and seeing the initial view of the lobby ...the whole ship is fabulously decorated and very clean and with so many friendly happy people on board, it seemed like paradise. The saleswoman we talked to on the phone before leaving Texas had the most bubbly personality as she described how we would be treated like princes and princesses on board the Pride of America and when she discovered this was my 60th birthday gift she told us she would have them place a card in the room so that we could get free birthday cake. Being suite customers (there were 5 adults in our party) she explained, gave us many privileges that would really make a huge positive difference in our stay. We were also promised a never ending fruit bowl in our cabin. We signed up for the ultimate dining experience. First disappointment came when we entered the room and there was no birthday acknowledgement. Then, I tried to sleep on the fold out couch the first night. Horribly unbearably hard and uncomfortable and I didn't get any sleep. Desperation provided a solution...by robbing two mattresses off of the single fold out beds in the adjoining cabin that we weren't using. I was afraid the Cruise people would not approve so left a note on the bed to please leave the mattresses alone, which thankfully they did. These mattresses were still not at all comfortable. The fruit bowl ended after the first day. We did get a plate of small appetizers/desserts each day...maybe that was in lieu of the fruit. The big huge coffee maker in the room caused us to be overjoyed at first, since we assumed we could make Lattes and frothy milk toppings for our coffee...it looked like it would do the job... it ground the beans and made coffee..but didn't have a frother. The spout we assumed was for that purpose was solely for dispensing hot water. So it was a big fancy coffee maker that wasn't special other than it ground the coffee. We opted for Starbucks....very expensive option. The gourmet dining areas are definitely the places to eat the best quality and flavored foods...however...there is a trade off. Dining in these places will zap a ton of valuable time the wait staff is very slow even if there are very few customers...and you still have to pay extra for certain items...like soft drinks, drinkable water, and Lobster...on Lobster night...which to me, is insanity on the part of the cruise line. Why? Because we spent a huge amount of money for meals that we didn't know...but they did... that we wouldn't even eat..because we would be on the islands and purchasing local food. We deserved that Lobster. We deserved to be able to drink on board without having to pay extra. We are not talking about alcohol...we just wanted water and soft drinks to be included in the enormous price we paid for the trip. The 'free' table water was really good until on the way back from the last island... I assume they had to refill their tanks with bad water...because it was so bad I could not drink it and was forced to purchase Hawaiian water at our fancy dining meals to have something drinkable. The main dining hall at first seems heavenly...because you serve yourself and the food appears to be delicious. The bacon is the most horrible excuse for bacon I have ever eaten...thin, greasy, not salty...bland crunchy nothing like bacon is supposed to taste. How can you prepare beautiful food that is tasteless... I don't know..but they have it down pat. We got so sick of it that anything at all was a better option. They need just a plain ordinary McDonalds to serve breakfast and it would be ten times better than the Aloha cafe. Also... another big complaint...is that you have to get your own drinks at only one area of the cafe and the general area is so big and congested, the traffic flow is terrible and it is actually very inefficient and hard to do...much easier to do without a drink, or especially a refill. They need at least two drink stations..four would be better...and they need wait staff going around to refill drinks for the tired tourists who are supposed to be treated as princes and princesses. Hidden costs everywhere...just turns that happy cruise vacation mood into a worried and distrusting one fast. I can't fault the cruiseline staff for anything... I really enjoyed the cruise itself and as far as the events...they did a great job. The shore excursions are very expensive....but everything is expensive in Hawaii. To rent a car is expensive unless you plan way far in advance, which we didn't do. Make sure if you rent a car in Honolulu that you do it well in advance and that you reserve a GPS in the car. We managed without the GPS with cell phone apps...but the batteries were eaten up quick. We were actually quoted 1400.00 $ a day price for a minivan at two different locations because we waited until the day before we needed one....supply and demand, I guess. We finally found one at a fairly reasonable cost at Hertz. We stayed at the Marriott Waikiki...awesome place, highly recommend. As far as the cruise line, I was disappointed in hidden charges, poor quality of food in main dining, having to purchase common ordinary drinks, horrible mattress on couch, and promises not kept. What I liked... the appearance of the ship (although the top swimming pool water was never cleaned out and was very dirty by the last day..which made me leery of the hot tubs). The cruise director's enthusiasm, the music...although sometimes wayyyy too loud. Everyone enjoyed the Jefferson Restaurant and the Brazilian one where they bring out all of the skewered meat...that was delicious..excellent service and an awesome experience. Loved the itinerary of the ship... loved the islands... loved the excursions... but it would be nice if we really knew what happened to James Cook...we heard three entirely different versions of his story. Oh yeah, we booked the Road to Hanna excursion late, while at the Marriott, at the Norwegion Cruise line office...and paid for it at the time...and when we arrived at the tour bus to get on..they didn't have the record of it and we didn't have tickets delivered to our room as we did with the other excursions..so it was a foul up..and we were double charged but it was fixed, at least I think/hope it was. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
Eight of us (in 4 cabins) planned this trip and it was totally enjoyed by all (ages 40 - 70) There were activities on board ship, shore excursions, things to do on our own. Hawaii is beautiful and being on the ship to be able to make ... Read More
Eight of us (in 4 cabins) planned this trip and it was totally enjoyed by all (ages 40 - 70) There were activities on board ship, shore excursions, things to do on our own. Hawaii is beautiful and being on the ship to be able to make port at all the islands is the only way to go! Our 2nd week was spent in a condo on Kauai which was fantastic. I definitely recommend the cruise for first time visitors to Hawaii. Each island is unique and you get to see them all without the hassle of flights and hotels (to say nothing of packing and unpacking on a daily basis!!!) I have been on several other cruises and I wouldn't rate the food on Pride of America as being the best I've ever had but it was very good, beautifully prepared and the employees on the ship couldn't have been any nicer. I had read reviews that the service wasn't up to par compared to other ships but we did not find that to be true at all. It was a fun, relaxing and totally enjoyable week. Some did miss not having a casino on board but not being a gambler that didn't bother me. There was a pool, music and a spa! We booked directly with NCL receiving top service, even getting upgrades to balcony rooms when we had booked inside cabins. Now I am spoiled and will always want a balcony!!! A great time was had by all and we can't wait to return to Hawaii Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
I am a first time cruiser traveling with a parent in a wheelchair. Direct flight from eastern US (Atlanta) with no stay in Honolulu before the cruise, straight from the airport to the ship. Flight landed about 2:40, got to the ship about ... Read More
I am a first time cruiser traveling with a parent in a wheelchair. Direct flight from eastern US (Atlanta) with no stay in Honolulu before the cruise, straight from the airport to the ship. Flight landed about 2:40, got to the ship about 4:00. Note that EVERY shuttle and shore excursion tour bus driver is a comedian, get used to it. Getting off of the airport shuttle, NCL/Pride of America was supposed to have a wheelchair for my mother to take her on the ship. So I asked the first person who checked IDs in the terminal, she got on the radio and called for a wheelchair. Before you get to the gangway, there is a person to spray sanitize your hands. He steps in front of me holding a spray bottle and says "washy, washy?". I said "excuse me, what?". He holds his hand out palm up and said again "washy, washy?". Me; "oh, wash hands, ok". And he sprays my hands. I am thinking to myself- So your job is getting in front of people, say "washy, washy", and spray their hands. Where can I apply for that job?. I did not realize there were a lot of things going on already before we got to the ship. The Skyline restaurant serves lunch Saturday until 2:00, and both the Aloha Cafe (buffet) and Key West Bar and Grill (outside on deck 12, overlooking the main pool/hot tub area on deck 11) serve lunch until 4:00. There is a Pride Of America ship tour at 3:00. And a mandatory life boat drill at 4:45. The hula welcome / blessing / sail away party starts at 5:15 at the main pool area. I did have a signal on my phone (T-Mobile) in the ports, but not at sea. The Internet cafe costs money (I did not ask how much). There is Wi-Fi, but it's not free either. There is a library on the ship. We went so my mother could get several books to read while I was doing shore excursions every day. There is one hour in the morning (9 to 10) and one hour in the evening (8 to 9) when you can check out books. The doors to library are open 24 hours so you can return books, but the book cabinets are locked except for those 2 hours a day. The cabins are very small. After asking the cabin steward, we kept the wheelchair folded in the hallway outside the cabin door because there is not enough room in the cabin. Fortunately we did get a cabin with a balcony, at least there are two chairs and a small table on the balcony. Beside ship information, the TV has news (CNBC, MSNBC) but not regular broadcast channels (ABC, CBS, NBC). The cabin steward was very friendly and attentive. Although he was not very forthcoming with important information unless we asked a direct question. Like when we asked for more glasses, he said "Housekeeping and kitchen are two different departments. So don't put glasses on the room service tray in the hall for the kitchen to pick up. Just leave them on the desk and I will wash them for you". Because my mother is in a wheelchair, we decided it was easier to order room service for breakfast. The room service breakfast order form that you hang on the cabin door handle does not have eggs or meat on it. So our breakfast was yogurt, fresh fruit (the fresh pineapple is fantastic), juice and coffee. I was out on an excursion every day and ate lunch on the excursion, except Wednesday after going to the beach I ate at Aloha Cafe. So we just went to the ship's restaurants for dinner. We had the Ultimate Dining Package. My stomach is picky but I found something I could eat at every restaurant. We went to Liberty on Saturday, East Meets West Sunday, Cagney's Monday, Teppanyaki Tuesday, Cagney's again Wednesday (liked Cagney's enough to go twice), Moderno Thursday and La Cucina Friday. We did not go to Jefferson Bistro. Liberty and Skyline both have the same menu, just the decor / ambiance is different. Cagney's is the best, but it is colder in that restaurant so bring a jacket or sweater. Teppanyaki is my 2nd favorite, it is Benihana style where the chefs cook the food at the grill in front of the table. And it's also a good way to meet other passengers at the table around the grill, each Teppanyaki chef cooks for 8 passengers. I don't understand why a ship that stays in Hawaii would have a french specialty restaurant (Jefferson Bistro) and not a seafood specialty restaurant. However each restaurant does have at least one seafood item on the menu. Shore excursions I did: Haleakala crater at sunset on Sunday, Best of Maui on Monday, Volcanoes National Park and Akaka Falls Tuesday (Akaka replaced Rainbow Falls on the tour because of work being done on the parking lot at Rainbow Falls - This tour also included a stop at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut factory), Beach trip Wednesday (not an actual excursion), Best of Kauai Thursday, Director's Cut Friday. Haleakala crater was the best excursion but also a little more strenuous. There is a point near the crater where the tour bus has to stop at a parking lot, it's not allowed to go higher than that parking lot. But you can walk up a lot of steps to go to a higher lookout point. It's cold up at the crater from the 10000 foot elevation. When we left the ship it was 80 degrees in the port. After the 37 mile bus ride up to the crater, it was about 45 degrees and windy. Where we were standing across the road from the bus parking area, there was a photographer with two assistants shooting wedding pictures for a couple. The photographer would take a pic, then say "nailed it" to the couple. Finally the bride said "we're not doing anything", The photographer just laughed. So I said "If you're not falling off the mountain, then your nailing it". The bride said "Ah, okay, got it". Kona is the only stop where the ship does not dock. It anchors off the coast and you take the little "tender" boats to the dock. After breakfast there are about 400-500 people in line to get on the tenders. Each of the tenders can hold about 95 people and they can load two at a time, but then you have to wait a few minutes for the next two tenders. When I went with about 9 other people from the cruise on a trolley car to a beach at Kona, there was one native Hawaiian (besides the driver) on the trolley. When we got to a shopping center where the driver took a smoke break, the other Hawaiian went into the market, bought some apple bananas and handed them out to us on the trolley saying "try it, apple banana, very sweet, very good". We asked if we could pay him, he said "no, no, that's ok" The best of Kauai was my 2nd favorite excursion because of the amazing view of Waimea Canyon. There are so many wild chickens running around you might think that they are part of the shore excursions. The ships leaves Nawiliwili at 2:00 on Friday afternoon in order to go around to the northwest coast of Kauai called the Na Pali coast to see the cliffs that fall from the clouds down 4000 feet to the ocean. The ship starts passing the cliffs at 5:15, after about 30 minutes it turns around and starts the overnight journey to Honolulu. There is a good early morning view of Diamond Head coming back into Honolulu. The guest services desk people were friendly and helpful. The sea was very rough Monday night going from Maui to the Big Island and I got sick. I asked guest services if the medical clinic on deck 3 had the motion sickness pills. They said "Yes, but the clinic is closed now. However we have those pills here at the guest services desk also". The ship's gift shop does have things that you actually need, like sunscreen lotion. But it is very expensive. As an example, Banana Boat Sport SPF30 3oz at Wal-Mart is $6.44, on the ship it is $13.99 Friday afternoon there is an art auction in Pink's Champagne Lounge. I think having an art auction on a cruise is stupid, but I am not into art. When debarking the ship Saturday morning, they request that you are out of your cabin by 8:45 and off the ship at 9:00. The last airport shuttle is 9:30. So if you have a late afternoon flight, you have a long wait at the airport. Of course, what they are hoping is that you will sign up for another excursion on Oahu before going to the airport. So I signed up for the Early Bird Pearl Harbor excursion. The Pearl Harbor excursions include going to the USS Arizona memorial, but they don't include the cost to tour the USS Bowfin submarine. There were only two times during the cruise when it was a pain being on a big ship with so many other people: 1. Saturday is seems that everyone is starving when they get to the ship. So everybody tries to go eat as soon as the restaurants open for dinner. We were guilty of this as well. We had already made reservations for 8:00, but at 5:00 we were hungry enough that we could not wait 3 more hours. 2. The line for getting on the little "tender" boats after breakfast at Kona on Wednesday. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
I don’t want to get into a long, drawn out review. There are already enough here and I’m glad I was able to read them all before my family and I got on this ship. I just want to touch on a few aspects of the cruise that stood out ... Read More
I don’t want to get into a long, drawn out review. There are already enough here and I’m glad I was able to read them all before my family and I got on this ship. I just want to touch on a few aspects of the cruise that stood out for us. My wife and I although not rabid cruisers, have been on enough to know what to expect. Along with what is good and what is bad. As far as the ship goes. I liked it. I don’t think it was run down like some cruisers are suggesting. It was not a brand new ship but all in all it was good. There are a few things that need to be looked at but not horrendous enough to point out in this review. Getting on the boat could not have been easier. We arrived at the port a littler before noon and were on the ship about 12:30 ish. The rooms were not done, (of course), but there was free food. That’s all I was looking for at the time. On the subject of food. This is where NCL either has to pick up its game. Or get out of the game altogether. I read quite a few reviews before we set sail and I am sad to say they were mostly dead on. I don’t believe one should expect too much from the Aloha Buffet. It was standard buffet food where quality and imagination should not be expected. HOWEVER, I will say that for the rest of my life I will remember the French toast. Drizzled with Caramel Banana Syrup, and a blob of whipped cream. (what are they thinking?) The MDR’s for the most part are an embarrassment to the ship. The food is lack luster at best and the service is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE. The service is WAY TOO SLOW. To the point that it may keep me off of NCL ships in the future. I have never been a fan of the automatic $15 per day, per person gratuity system. These Dining Rooms are the reason that for the first time. I went to the front desk and ask for my money back for 3 days per person. NCL is aware that service is terrible in these rooms and is not able to rectify the problems. For this I have no reason to believe it won’t spread to other ships. I will however mention 2 servers that should be promoted to other ships so that they may prosper in their positions. Luis and Rose were the 2 shining stars in these rooms. However they could not shine enough to change the overall opinion of these rooms. On the other hand. The “Cadillac Grill” on deck 6 is the bomb. Best chicken wings on any ship floating. Fresh hot hamburgers. Fries, Fish and chips. And on. There are only 15-20 things on the whole menu, but from what I was able to taste and hear about. They were all very good. One thing that is memorable (not to the extent of the French Toast though), is the Chocolate Brownie Sunday. My wife and I would pass on desert in the MDR to go to the Cadillac for this. Over all. We paid too much money for this cruise. We were in a balcony cabin on deck 10. Balconies ARE more money. And on this cruise, even more so because it was Hawaii. The only things you will see from a balcony cabin are shipping containers. They are in the ports of Kahului, Hilo and Lihue. Kona is a nice view since you are moored off shore. The Na Pali coast is a must see but you can see it from the deck. You don’t need a balcony. This cruise is a great way to see Hawaii. I would not shell out the money for a balcony and keep your expectations low. This way you won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
Always wanted to visit Hawaii and thought cruising the Island's would be a good way of doing it. The Pride of America ship is a nice ship and in the main all the crew and staff were pleasant and willing to help. The excursions that we ... Read More
Always wanted to visit Hawaii and thought cruising the Island's would be a good way of doing it. The Pride of America ship is a nice ship and in the main all the crew and staff were pleasant and willing to help. The excursions that we chose we very good with very pleasant and knowledgeable drivers and that made the trips enjoyable. The food in the Aloha buffet was in the main good but for evening meals we used the complimentary dining, skyline and Liberty restaurants which we found a more pleasant way of enjoying your meal rather than the unorganised method of buffet eating. Did not see either the point or need to use the other restaurants that had a supplementary cost as the food served in the restaurants mentioned was good and the cost of the cruise was expensive enough without paying extra when you get on board. Only real complaint is the NCL policy on "gratuities"we found it outrageous that they add an extra18% plus tax to every purchase in the bar. That was even if you went to the bar to get your own drinks. Where is the service in that. ? The entertainment was ok, the ships resident singing and dance group were at best average but the "o what a night " tribute group were excellent. We did not participate in the on board activities but found the loud music on the poolside deck very off putting when you are trying to relax and get some sun. weenyoed seeing the islands which were beautiful and overall enjoyed the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
The food and drinks were awful including the specialty restaurants. Limited entertainment with poor after dinner shows. Minimal activities for children and teenagers. Alcoholic beverages extremely expensive. Ship is extremely outdated. ... Read More
The food and drinks were awful including the specialty restaurants. Limited entertainment with poor after dinner shows. Minimal activities for children and teenagers. Alcoholic beverages extremely expensive. Ship is extremely outdated. Mostly accommodating to senior citizens. Most bars closed by 10 or 11pm. Excursions were $100.00 more per person than vendors exciting the port. We cruise twice per year. This ship and cruiseline were disappointing to say the least. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
I was a little concerned about this cruise as the comments given weren't very positive but each to there own. This is my take on the cruise and it was a special birthday that was wonderful. We arrived in Honolulu a day before the ... Read More
I was a little concerned about this cruise as the comments given weren't very positive but each to there own. This is my take on the cruise and it was a special birthday that was wonderful. We arrived in Honolulu a day before the cruise and stayed at the Ala Moana hotel which was very close to the port and a great hotel. We had our transfers booked before we left so it was a confirmation call to confirm pick up which was with Speedi Shuttles. Prompt and always on time. We arrived at the port around 11.30 we checked in our luggage and filled in a health form and waited till the embarkation started. Embarkation was quick, we were greeted by 2 hawaiian dancers who presented us with lei's, flowers for the ladies and shells for the guys, followed by a photo. Then the usual card issue and we were ready to board. It was a very warm welcome. The ships foyer was very patriotic with the red, white and blue strips and stars with a beautiful white staircase. We were not allowed into our rooms till later that afternoon but there was plenty to explore and lunch was offered in the Aloha Cafe. It was a buffet lunch with plenty to choice from, this was the beginning of a food fest. After lunch we explored the ship and tried to get out bearings it was a big ship with lots of facilities, entertainment venues, Restaurants, a Library, and shops. We pre-booked our shore excursions which were great. We did the Volcano & Akaka Falls, Historic Kona and Journey to Waimea Canyon. We didn't book anything for Maui but we disembarked and used the courtesy bus which took us to Queen Kaahumanu Center and caught the public bus which cost $4 return all day, to the outlets of Maui - Lahaina. It was a bit of a drive but great shopping. Not really much there but a nice little town with strip shops too. The Hard Rock cafe is a great place to eat. We returned back to the ship around 4pm. We had an overnight stay in port in Maui. The next day we walked to the Queen Kaahumanu Center and bused it back. Dinner each night was usually at the Skyline Restaurant it was a 3 course meal each night with great service. We didn't eat at any of the other restaurants as we were happy with what was offered at the Skyline Restaurant. The great thing was you could eat when you felt hungry. Breakfast was usually at the Aloha Cafe. We ate at the Cadillac diner for lunch once and it wasn't that good food was pretty average but the milk shakes were great. The key West Bar & grill was also a good place for lunch too. The night of my birthday we had dinner at the Liberty restaurant. The dress code was smarter than the usual casual wear but the food was just as good as the Skyline Restaurant. To make my birthday celebration a little special a birthday cake was brought out and the staff sang happy birthday which was a really nice surprise. The great thing is they offered Gluten free meals and Gluten free bread. The Volcano National Park and Akaka Falls was very interesting, lots of people. We visited the Jagger Museum, The Thurston Lava Tube and the Kilauea Iki Creater. We visited the Akatsuka Orchid Garden which was beautiful and the Mauna Loa Macadama Factory. Lunch was provided which was a Turkey Roll, Cookie and an Apple with a bottle of water which was a great lunch pack. The next Day we visited Kona. The one thing l liked the most was the fact that we had to take the tenders to shore as the ship was so big and very shallow. We traveled along the coastline of the big island to the Kona Coffee Museum, St Benedicts historic painted church, Kealakekua Bay and to the Puuhonua O Honaunau National Park. The next day we sailed to Kauai which also was an overnight stay. We did the Journey to Waimea Canyon. Known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. We also visited the Koloa area with blow holes and great ocean scenery. Beautiful area with tropical vegetation. Entertainment on board was excellent especially the "Fabba" dance Party, 50's & 60's Rock and Roll Party, and White Night Party. The theater had some great entertainment but the best night was the Oh What a Night Tribute - Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. It was a spectacular night. Entertainment poolside was great too. We did the lei making classes and joined in the Trivia afternoon but there was always plenty to do. Overall l can say that it was a very enjoyable cruise the staff were excellent. Edwin our housekeeper prepared a different towel animal each day, really cute. My birthday celebrations had a special touch and enjoyed the trip. I would highly recommend Pride Of America, awesome cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
This was the first cruise for me and my husband (we are recently retired) and it was amazing! This was my first, and probably only time, to get to see Hawaii (I live in Ohio) and I knew I wanted to see several of the islands. By taking ... Read More
This was the first cruise for me and my husband (we are recently retired) and it was amazing! This was my first, and probably only time, to get to see Hawaii (I live in Ohio) and I knew I wanted to see several of the islands. By taking this cruise we didn't have to make reservations at multiple hotels and, best of all, didn't have to pack/unpack every other day. Also, we could spend our time exploring each island rather than waiting for flights from island to island; Norwegian did the "traveling" for us at night while we were sleeping! The entire staff was exceptional. Each one made me feel like I was the only person on the ship. They are polite, friendly, and take their time no matter the request. We never took any of the shore excursions so I can't give any reviews of those. We rented a car on every island except Maui. Maui has excellent public bus transportation so we used that. We arrived in Honolulu the day before our cruise so if flights were delayed we wouldn't miss the cruise. We took public bus transportation ($2.50 each)to within a short distance of the cruise ship. After the cruise we rented a car for two days so we could see more of Oahu. There is so much to do on each island and on the ship; you'll never be able to do everything. Several times I was torn between doing something on an island in the afternoon or going back to the ship early because I wanted to do something on the ship! I guess the only negative is there are lots of "side sales". Every day there's a photographer taking pictures, for cost of course. We also thought thought the shore excursions were pricey. We didn't buy the soft drink package and I'm glad we didn't. There is coffee, both regular and decaf, iced tea, and lemonade available everywhere at no cost. Also, at the buffet, there is a flavored water that's very tasty! When we signed up for our cruise, there was a promotion to get an upgrade to the Ultimate Dining Package at no cost. We loved it! This package let's you eat at any of the restaurants without paying the cover charge (except for the sushi). The food was fantastic! However, the food at the other restaurants (we went to those for breakfasts and most lunches) was excellent too, so don't feel like you have to pay for the UDP. We had no children with us so I can't attest to children's activities. The cabin seemed very roomy. We got a room with a window with a guaranteed unobstructed view. The sink includes liquid hand soap and the shower includes liquid body soap and shampoo, so you don't need to pack any of those. There's also a hair dryer at the vanity part of the room. I hope I've helped answer any questions for anyone reading this. We had an absolutely wonderful time on this cruise and plan on taking more! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
The Pride of America's Deluxe Owner's Suite (Grand Suite 12006), largest suite on the ship, made our vacation memorable. We sailed on March 21, 2015. Here's our review: The Suite: Beautiful large living room with baby ... Read More
The Pride of America's Deluxe Owner's Suite (Grand Suite 12006), largest suite on the ship, made our vacation memorable. We sailed on March 21, 2015. Here's our review: The Suite: Beautiful large living room with baby grand piano and huge dining table, which we used for breakfast every morning. The sofa bed opened into a large kind size sleeper. 2 refrigerators in the suite, which our butler stocked (complimentary) as we wished. We opted for three very nice Greg Norman Estate bottles of wine in lieu of hard liquor. The separate bedroom was large and comfortable as was the bathroom with separate shower and tub, and two sinks. Every room, including the bathroom face out onto the one of the largest balconies at sea. Used the jacuzzi on the balcony every day. Three large loungers with nice cushions on the balcony as well as mid-size round table with four chairs on the balcony. The Service: Service was the best we have experienced with one small exception. Peter, from Kenya, was our butler and we found him to be the best ever. He came by every morning to check on what we needed. We asked that he bring breakfast from Cagney's, which arrived promptly every single day. He stocked the refrigerators daily always checking on what we were consuming so that he could replenish it. On top his terrific service, he has the greatest attitude which was only rivaled by Thomas, our concierge. Thomas is the most knowledgeable concierge we have found. Although we had booked cars in advance, he helped us plan our daily adventures and even saved me a car rental in Kona, where the airport was far away from the cruise port and we really did not need a car. Thomas told us about the botanical gardens in Hilo, which were outstanding and gave us a plan to combine the gardens with Volcano National Park. Thomas also helped us with specialty restaurant reservations, especially at Cagney's where the lady Maitre'D was less than hospitable. Our cabin steward, Jonathan, completed the trifecta of outstanding service we received. We are Platinum status on NCL and Jonathan made sure to tell us he knew that and would be taking great care of us, which he did. I cannot say enough great things about Peter, Thomas, and Jonathan except that they are the best in the cruise industry. The only small negative with service was the Maitre'D at Cagney's who had no clue what she was doing. She had us wait in the lounge for 20 minutes past our reservation time while she took others who came much later than us. She made no effort to try to accommodate reservation requests (time changes) from Suite passengers. I eventually bypassed her by going through Thomas, who knew how to get things done. Overall, the service and perks Norwegian provides to its suite passengers is far superior to those offered by other lines. We travel frequently in HAL Neptune Suites and can say NCL has them beat by a mile. The service on NCL Suites is far more personal than those offered by other lines. I wish we could always travel in the Haven, which sometimes is too expensive especially on the newer ships. The Food: Only ate at specialty restaurants and found them to be outstanding. One special treat, which is not advertised anywhere, is the lobster that is offered on Kona night only in the Bistro and Cagney's only. Although there is $20 surcharge, it is the freshest and best lobster we have ever had. They bring them in live in Kona and prepare them on the spot. You have to try this. The Ports were great as everyone else has posted. Easy self-debarkation at the end of the cruise. Only got to see the comedian, who was excellent. Could not stop laughing. Motion Sickness Warning. On the first night and last day of the cruise, the ship's movement made staying in the forward areas of the ship (including this suite) uncomfortable. If you ever get chance to go on the Deluxe Owner's Suite on the POA, do not pass it up as it will be memorable. After we got home, we booked the Escape for New Year's. Can't wait to ring in the new year. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
Amazing crew. We were always greeted along the corridors by any staff present, often by name. All staff were patiently willing to give direction and information to bewildered cruisers. Plenty of activities and wonderful shows were ... Read More
Amazing crew. We were always greeted along the corridors by any staff present, often by name. All staff were patiently willing to give direction and information to bewildered cruisers. Plenty of activities and wonderful shows were provided; so many, it was sometimes difficult to choose. Being a group of hula students, we were particularly honored to be invited to participate in the Kamakapelia show. Having karaoke every night was a real treat. We booked shore excursions through NCL, the most secure way, in my opinion; so easy getting reimbursement for a canceled 'copter flight. Sure the cabins are small, but so well laid out, and soooo much storage space. Larger than expected bathroom. Room service on this, my second, trip was not quite up to par. This may have been an isolated incident, as last trip room service was phenomenal. The food was amazing and plentiful. Included eating areas were beautiful, and all we needed. You must try the Liberty Main Dining Room for a fantastic dining experience. All and all, a magical journey through a tropical wonderland. We really felt we were part of the family. Read Less
Pride of America Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 3.9
Dining 5.0 3.5
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.0
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 5.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 3.0 3.7

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