2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first trip to Hawaii. We thought the cruise stopping at 4 Hawaiian islands would be a good way to get an initial taste for the islands. We opted for the three days in Honolulu prior to the start of the cruise itself. While ... Read More
This was our first trip to Hawaii. We thought the cruise stopping at 4 Hawaiian islands would be a good way to get an initial taste for the islands. We opted for the three days in Honolulu prior to the start of the cruise itself. While it was tough getting around Honolulu with the traffic, the Hilton Hawaiian Village and Waikiki beach did not disappoint. From Booking our cruise and selecting activities through meeting us at our flight, transporting us to our hotel, taking us on excursions, to the ship, embarking, ship board and port activities at the various islands, disembarking and transport from the ship back to the airport, Norwegian had their act together. The only delays we experienced were due to things like traffic and late cruise passengers. Norwegian and contracted support personnel were professional, competent, patient and upbeat. The ship was medium sized by current standards. It was clean and well maintained. Everything seemed to be working. It seemed like the ship sailed at much less than full capacity. This made getting services easy with minimal waiting - except for perhaps the breakfast buffet. It seemed like the average age of passengers on board was 65+. This obviously impacted activities on board the ship during the cruise. Our cabin was somewhat small but standard fare on cruise ships these days. The bathroom was small but functional. There was ample storage space. Everything in our cabin worked. The balcony was smaller than what we have seen on other cruise ships and had too much furniture on it for its size. I would rate our dining experience as good but not great. Overall the service in the dining facilities was excellent. Overall the food as good but not great. We had several meals that were warm (not hot) when they were served. Wait time for our entree in Le Cucina was and hour and a half. We had the meal package at three specialty restaurants which the restaurant greeter's seemed to point out in each case. If Norwegian provides these packages as an incentive to cruise with them they should not make customers feel like second class citizens for having them. Rank order from best to worst for dining experiences would be Le Bistro, Cagney's, Skylight, Liberty Dining Room, La Cucina, Cadillac Diner, Aloha Grill. As far as ship board entertainment was concerned, it was a surprise to us that there was no gambling. I must have missed that in the Norwegian Info provided about this cruise. We sailed on the Epic last year and were spoiled but the variety and quality of the entertainment provided on that ship. Compared to the Epic we felt the entertainment was limited. With very few exceptions, service on the ship was excellent and probably the strongest feature on the cruise. Staff was cordial, efficient and extremely helpful. Norwegian was well organized at each of our ports of call. Getting on and off the ship was straight forward. The port facilities were basic but adequate. The shore excursions were well done. Our bus driver was a pro. I had been looking forward to visiting Pearl Harbor for some time and it was clearly a highlight. Wish we had more time at the Battleship Missouri. The Polynesian Cultural Center was interesting and a learning experience. The trip to the ranch was limited by weather so we weren't able to experience all it normally had to offer. The ship used its own life boats to tender us to Kona on the big island (the ship had to anchor off shore). This was handled expertly. We did not travel with children. I think the cruise was more geared toward mature passengers. The excursions were geared toward older people with perhaps limited physical capabilities. We rented cars and did our own thing on Maui, the Big Island and Kawaii. This allowed us to focus on sites we were most interested in and spend our time as we saw fit. This allowed us to do, for example, more hiking than would probably been possible with excursion groups. Small cars were also able to access places large tour buses could not. I can see us visiting the islands again on the future. Not on a cruise but rather focusing on specific islands and points of interest. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We could not afford to take 15 days to sail from the Mainland. We spent a day and a half at a resort, sightseeing Honolulu, and boarded the Pride of America on Saturday, 27 Apr. We found the crew ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We could not afford to take 15 days to sail from the Mainland. We spent a day and a half at a resort, sightseeing Honolulu, and boarded the Pride of America on Saturday, 27 Apr. We found the crew to be very nice and friendly when you smiled at them and gave a greeting sorts. They smiled back. Funny how that works. Every job has a grumpy day so... If we ever go again, we will not do a bus tour. We did one on Maui and even though it was interesting, we we subjected to the Cries of the Angry Adolescent Tourist. The other islands we stopped at, we rented a car. That is by far the best way to see 'stuff'. It's all beautify. However, there are those who will choose the bus tour but be prepared, it is expensive. It's Hawaii, everything is expensive, just plan for it. The ports we stopped at were not a typical cruise port with cute kiosks to shop at; that most are expecting to see. They are working harbors. When you leave the ship, that's where the magic happens. We ate at three of the specialty restaurants; Cagney's Steakhouse, The Moderno (churriscaria) and Teppanyaki. The food was outstanding in all three, but at the Teppanyaki, the chef was extremely entertaining. A true showman! Because we were in a suite, we ate breakfast and sometimes lunch at Cagney's Steakhouse. It was a set menu daily. But, it was not as crowded. All in all, the we would do this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise was a gift from our son and it was the best cruise we have been on. We sailed on the "Pride of America" and stayed in cabin #12006. The cabin was in impeccable and exquisite. The balcony held 4 chaise lounge ... Read More
This cruise was a gift from our son and it was the best cruise we have been on. We sailed on the "Pride of America" and stayed in cabin #12006. The cabin was in impeccable and exquisite. The balcony held 4 chaise lounge chairs, a table with 4 chairs and a jacuzzi. The main highlight of the cruise was the Renewal Vow Ceremony. Everyone who participated made it a very special day. Ellen, our butler, exceeded her duties and became our friend. The special dining was excellent in service, the food presentation was very appealing and an A+ in taste. All of the entertainment was great, The dance contest and the Las Vegas show were the highlights. There aren't enough words to say about the service from the staff. Everyone was very welcoming, friendly and showed warmth, kindliness and proved to be very genial. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. The ports and shore excursions were good with our favorites being the Blue Hawaiian helicopter in Kauai and UFO parasaiing in Maui. We were treated like royality. It was great having two stressfree weeks. We highly recommend this cruise iine. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
There is no better introduction to Hawaii than this cruise around the islands, and NCL must know this so they run this wonderful itinerary on a poorly rehabilitated ship. Everywhere I looked I saw rust, cabin toilets broke down and ... Read More
There is no better introduction to Hawaii than this cruise around the islands, and NCL must know this so they run this wonderful itinerary on a poorly rehabilitated ship. Everywhere I looked I saw rust, cabin toilets broke down and guest services, while they talked a good game, only seemed to half care. Noise complaint about adjacent cabin was countered with earplugs and chocolate covered strawberries. Food was only fair and even premium restaurants lacked what one would expect on a cruise like this one. The pool deck is small and crowded and deck service was lacking. With all that said, it still was one of the most amazing cruises I have ever been on but only because of the itinerary and not much to do with NCL. Excursions offered by NCL were good but there are better offered from the many other excursion operators. The pre-cruise hotel, Park Shore Waikiki was in a primo location but is not a food hotel as it lacks amenities and is in need of an upgrade. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We took NCL Pride of America for a 40th birthday celebration and it didn’t disappoint. (Almost) everything was fantastic. Would highly recommend anyone interested in an overview of the main HI islands take this cruise, then do a deep ... Read More
We took NCL Pride of America for a 40th birthday celebration and it didn’t disappoint. (Almost) everything was fantastic. Would highly recommend anyone interested in an overview of the main HI islands take this cruise, then do a deep dive later on their favorite island. The food was mostly very good, with the exception of the embarkation day meal in the Aloha Cafe and anything at the Key West Bar and Grill. The specialty restaurants do a better job overall but Liberty, Skyline and East Meets West we’re also quite good. The entertainment was sweetly hokey but fun, and the production crew is very talented. Also enjoyed the Hawaiian-centric activities led by Kaulana, they were fun and informative. Speaking of crew, both Casey’s in Jefferson’s Bistro were fantastic, as was most of the rest of the crew we interacted with. In most cases they were far friendlier than our fellow passengers! The only exception was our interaction with the “internet manager”, while I am sure she gets the same dumb questions every week, she should never come across as dismissive or condescending, which she did. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We love aft facing balconies and 9 out of 10 times you will find us in one. The ship is quaint. Not too big or small, easy to learn. Bed was not at all comfortable. Shower small but water pressure and temp was great. Colors were ... Read More
We love aft facing balconies and 9 out of 10 times you will find us in one. The ship is quaint. Not too big or small, easy to learn. Bed was not at all comfortable. Shower small but water pressure and temp was great. Colors were soothing. Found the staff to be very nice and attentive. Food was adequate. Nothing really special but not terrible. Entertainment was ok. They need to get rid of the minibar items like most of the other cruise lines. Best blackout curtains on the seas! Water packages were crazy pricey. And the drink packages are priced terribly high. We were not fortunate to receive those free. Specialty dining is a must in our opinion. Since the Iridescent if America is the only game in town for sailing from and back to Honolulu you have to be willing to pay a premium for this cruise. It's not a cruise I wish to repeat for that price. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We picked this cruise since we didn't want to spend days on a ship sailing from the west coast. The itinerary was amazing. Some general tips to help make your trip more enjoyable. Daily drink specials save you money on your alcohol ... Read More
We picked this cruise since we didn't want to spend days on a ship sailing from the west coast. The itinerary was amazing. Some general tips to help make your trip more enjoyable. Daily drink specials save you money on your alcohol bill, getting the bottled water delivered to your room is a big time saver, nix the transportation package. You can get a uber, lyft or taxi for a few bucks and save yourself time and money. Unless you are a foodie, don't bother with the dining package but it would be worth it if you are, since the restaurants are fabulous, especially Cagney's. Pro tip, even if you are eating in the main dining room (on floor 5), make reservations, it eliminates a wait, you can do this on the first day at guest services on floor 5. The breakfast buffet is good, it gets very crowded after 8am, if you want an omelet go early. I read some reviews that the employees were rude and unprofessional, that wasn't our experience at all. If you treat people with respect they will treat you with respect in return. Regarding going ashore; we booked rental cars in each port to explorer the islands on our own. Since you have to go to the airport to pick up your car, make sure your rental company offers transportation to and from the cruise ship, this saves you $15-20 on taxi/uber each way. Spend the money to rent a Jeep Wrangler. You are going up mountains, driving on sand and some of the most amazing spots are hard to get to in a regular car. Plus you can make your own parking spots in some of the more tourist heavy locations. If your goal is to stay on the ship and not enjoy the islands the isn't the cruise for you. The ship is smaller without all the bells and whistle of the larger ships. But it is clean and fit our needs perfectly. Also, make sure to stay on the Port side. Each port of call is just an industrial park so the view isn't worth it, looking out into the water would be. Plus sailing along the Napali Coast, you would need to be on the port side. Unlike some reviews I read, maybe for our cruise he went the opposite way, but I was disappointed I couldn't enjoy the coast from my balcony. I always get a balcony when I sail, but we would have been ok without one, since you are in port every day. We got the internet package, which was over $200 per person, per device. It was nice in the evening to have access to the ship's wifi, but since you are in port everyday, we really didn't need it (or could have just gotten it on one device). I can't stress enough how amazing it was to see all of the islands. As a first time traveling to Hawaii, this was the ultimate vacation. Now I know what islands I would come back to (Kauai and Maui) and what islands I would skip (big island of Hawaii and Oahu). Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose Pride of America because I’m an NCL cruiser. I know what I’m going to get with NCL. I also travel suite or Haven class, and I think that makes all the difference. Easy embarkation and disembarkation, escorted right through. ... Read More
I chose Pride of America because I’m an NCL cruiser. I know what I’m going to get with NCL. I also travel suite or Haven class, and I think that makes all the difference. Easy embarkation and disembarkation, escorted right through. The speciality restaurants reserved for suite guests are outstanding. My suite was perfect, with a wide deck so my lounge chair faced the ocean straight on. My suite was 12008. Entertainment was very good, especially the last night, the Las Vegas review. The cabin staff was great, as was the butler and the concierge, although I really didn’t make use of either of those gentlemen. All the specialty restaurants were excellent, but I also enjoyed East Meets West, and the buffet for certain things. The tours were excellent. I took two helicopter tours which were amazing. The land tours was informative and fun. All the guides were good. I took 8 NCL tours. I saw and did everything I wanted to do. The luau and the Manor House dinner was excellent with seats right up front. I would recommend the cruise to anyone and everyone, but I don’t see myself going again. I live in Florida, and that’s a long flight. But, I saw and did everything there was to see and do. My memories will be with me forever. I’m 73, and I traveled by myself. NCL is the best line, in my opinion. My only small complaint was, since a pre cruise hotel was included in my package, the shuttle from the airport should have been included in that package. Strange airport, I had to get a taxi on my own. $45. The shuttle should not be tied to the air reservation. I shouldn’t be penalized for securing my own air. I still love NCL. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see all the Hawaiian islands which we did accomplish. However, upon returning Norwegian double charged our credit card, when I called for resolution they explained they put a hold on certain ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see all the Hawaiian islands which we did accomplish. However, upon returning Norwegian double charged our credit card, when I called for resolution they explained they put a hold on certain percentage of what you spent meanwhile they charged me full amount of bill. When I asked them to remove they stated nothing they could do but wait three days. Meanwhile these funds are tied up until this waiting period is over!!! Less than helpful will never cruise with them again. Overall ship was ok but disappointed no Hawaiian decor just was a plain old cruise decor. They only served Hawaiian cuisine on the last night of the cruise which was great, the rest was boring cruise cuisine, less than thrilling. Pasta is often undercooked, repeatative buffet menu. Tv in the room only worked half the time when I called they told me just to unplug and that should fix it which it didn’t so I just gave up! Most staff was pleasant but bar staff did minimal to impress. They know gratuity is included so they do very little to go out of there way except for Waikiki bar, the only bartender who appears to know how to make a really good drink and was very personable. Gratuity charged and overpriced drinks not worth it Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Pride of America: The good, the great, and the needs work I would like to start by saying we loved the cruise and would definitely go again. I was going to use the old "good bad and ugly" cliche but none of it was bad or ugly. ... Read More
Pride of America: The good, the great, and the needs work I would like to start by saying we loved the cruise and would definitely go again. I was going to use the old "good bad and ugly" cliche but none of it was bad or ugly. I would also like to address those who say that the service isn't as good on this ship because of the 75% American crew, we found this to be far from the case. Our room steward was excellent, main dining room staff was on point, and guest services staff were very friendly, in fact more friendly than we've encountered on other ships. Any problems we experienced were due to organization or layout issues (more on that later.) Our free at sea package included a pre-cruise hotel night in Oahu at the Hyatt Regency and also free air from San Diego. We live in Atlanta but were able to get flights to San Diego with hotel for less than NCL was offering at the time. The transfers were $45PP which included all three stops (to hotel, to ship and to airport.) The flight was non-stop on Alaska Air, we got our flight details from NCL with 50 days to go. Initially we were not able to get seats together without paying an extra charge but a few days before the flight they released some of the premium seats so we were able to make a last minute change. An NCL agent greeted us at baggage claim, but due to traffic and several incoming flights it took over an hour before we were on the bus and then another 45 minutes to the hotels (there was one stop before ours.) We spent a lot of time standing around at the baggage claim and it was a fairly long walk to the bus. No problem for us but be aware if you have mobility issues. The bus pickup area had plenty of seating and it would have been nice if they would have directed us there before waiting for the other flights but once we were at our hotel check in went smoothly and there were no issues with the reservations or flights. We were instructed at check in to our room at the Hyatt that we should stop by the NCL desk set up at the hotel and where to find it. Our transfer to the ship went much more smoothly than the one from the airport. Two large buses met us at the hotel, there were much smaller ones at the airport. We left the hotel at 11:30 and it took about 20 minutes to get to the ship. Embarkation was a breeze, probably one of the easiest ever. We were on the ship before 1 and had a nice lunch and cocktails at the Key West Grille overlooking the pool. My Aunt was traveling with us as well as my Sister and her family. We had initially booked two obstructed ocean view rooms on deck 7 but my wife and I were able to upgrade bid to a balcony on deck 9. My sister did not win her bid, we assume because she had four in her room and most of the balcony rooms are for 3. My Aunt had one of the four studio rooms on board. The rooms are similar in size to the Jewel class except for the Studio which was slightly larger than her room on the Escape. The studio lounge was fairly laughable (a windowless room with four chairs) although they did serve coffee and pastries every morning. They called staterooms by deck, I have not experienced this on other cruises, they were usually all ready at once. Our deck(9) was the last to be called so we didn't get to our room until after 3. Our room was very clean and everything was in good working order. The OV and balcony room did not have nearly as much storage as on Jewel or Breakaway class but the studio was comparable and actually had a larger refrigerator and shower than our room. The fixtures aren't the same as the other ships (no adjustable shower head) and there was also very little shelving and some sort of odd stainless serving dish used for a trash can. The balcony was also rather small but had two seats, foot rests and a small table and was very nice while at sea. Besides the layout and storage issues the cabin was comfortable and roomy enough for 2 people. There are two main dining rooms on Pride of America (Liberty and Skyline) and they are on top of each other on decks 5 and 6 aft. It is easier to get to Skyline from the deck 5 elevators and if you are coming from the mid section you have to enter Liberty from the promenade deck. Also you will sometimes have people standing in front of the windows at Liberty. This didn't bother us but the other ships we've been on had the promenade or waterfront decks above the MDR so there was nothing to block the view. Both dining rooms have very nice decor and the service and food were excellent in both. The menu was the usual NCL fare with a standard menu and specials every night. I always like the steak and fries but I especially enjoyed the Asian style pork and cabbage. We only did one up-charge restaurant-Teppenyaki- had a great chef and excellent food. The Teppenyaki is larger than the Jewel class, the ones on Jade and Pearl tend to get overly loud due to the small size which was not the case on POA. We did not have the dining package so we did not make reservations for any other restaurants although I recommend doing so in advance of the cruise. We tried to get in to Jefferson's Bistro several nights and could not get a seating time that was good for us. The buffet layout and food choices were similar to Jewel class and the ship also has very nice outdoor and indoor seating but the placement of the bar and drink stations created traffic issues during busy times. The gold rush saloon is right next to the buffet and was the quiet zone for breakfast and also late-riser's breakfast and had tea time every day around 4. Cadillac Diner is similar to O'Sheehan's on other ships and was open 24 hours and also had self-service coffee all day. Activities were similar to other ships although some of them did not have as much production effort. This is a very port intensive cruise with two overnight stops and no sea days and it is reflected in the daily offerings. The morning trivia was at the John Adam's coffee bar and the MC did not have a microphone. The afternoon and evening trivias were usually at Mardi-Gras which is similar to bliss lounge on other ships and was also where the white hot party and sock-hop took place. We also saw deal or no deal, not so newly wed and some other activities listed in the Freestyle Daily but we were in port most days so we did not spend much time on the ship during the day. The cruise director's staff were all a lot of fun although we did not see much of the cruise director (again we were off the ship a lot.) We only saw one main theater show, Lights, Camera, Music which was good but not great. There were shows every night but we were usually too tired to go after being in port all day. The pool and sun decks are very large and there was no shortage of lounge chairs even after all-aboard. There is also a small oasis pool and bar in the back of the ship which was quiet and usually had no children, probably because it is also the only smoking area. The last day there was a very nice pool side BBQ for lunch and we watched an officers VS guests water volleyball game, the officers were all in uniform while in the pool. Unfortunately I did not have my camera for that but it was a lot of fun to watch. We did not do any ship excursions, it is very easy to rent a car or take a shuttle or walk to shopping in every port. Getting on and off the ship was easy in every port except Maui which has a very long walk through the pedestrian area with double fencing around the path. The shuttles are a lot closer than trying to exit the port through the pedestrian walk way but besides that Maui was easy to explore, we did Lahaina on day 1 and half way to Hana on day 2. Hilo was a shorter walk through the pedestrian area. Kona is a tender port so we did not rent a car there. Kona has the best shopping of all the ports within walking distance although also very nice shops in Lahaina on Maui. Kauai had the easiest walk and had overnight parking at the local strip mall with a shuttle for the rental car ($20.00 fee.) ...And now for the "needs work part: The ship itself is very beautiful but is showing age in a few areas. The railing on our balcony was badly in need of varnish. They were working on the railings on the pool deck while we were in port and replaced a few of them. I will also add that it rocks more than any ship I've been on. Nothing terrible but when we cruised in 2007 on what was then the Pride of Hawaii (now the Jade) the ship did not rock as much. Disembarkation was chaotic and probably the worst of any cruise I've been on. Due to some sort of mechanical issue with the gangway we had to disembark on deck 3. Although they made several announcements there were people clogging decks 4 and 5 and traffic jams on the forward and mid stairwells. The last transfer was at 9:30, we were on one of the earlier ones but getting off the ship itself was a nightmare. I feel that in spite of the mechanical issue which could not be helped, the staff could have done a better job of directing people off the ship and had more people been encouraged to checked their bags it would have gone smoother. The baggage claim area is large and once we were off the ship things got more organized. The agent had our name on a register and we were directed to our transfer. Overall we loved the cruise and had a great time but I missed being on a Jewel class ship. I think it's a matter of preference and sentiment because that was our first and best cruise and was also our honeymoon so I will always have a soft spot for the Jade. We might try one of the longer Jewel class cruises to Hawaii in the future but I would definitely cruise on POA again. 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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