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My wife and I, from Australia chose this cruise as a way of seeing several of the Hawaiian Islands without the dramas of repacking each night and inter island transfers. As such this cruise met our needs, but having been on an NCL cruise in January 2019 the Pride of America cruise around Hawaii didn't have the same service standards. Embarkation was quick and straight forward as once checked in there were escalators up to the level 6 gangway on the ship. Compared to other cruises hand washing upon entry to dining was rarely enforced. Staff levels in the dining rooms were too low and large sections of the two dining rooms were unused , leading to long waits at popular dining times. We were some of the few non US passengers and while some waiters were friendly, the majority paid less attention to us once they recognised we were from outside the US. This cruise was expensive relative to others, maybe because staff costs for US crew were higher than normal. The best service was from our Filipino room steward. NCL excursions were overpriced relative to other excursions we prebooked through our travel agent back home. In some cases the smaller tour operators used minibuses rather than coaches that both enabled smaller groups to see places easier, and in the case of the Maui Road to Hana excursion return via the remote south coast and see Charles Lindberg's resting place rather than return the same route. We only went to evening shows on two evenings and weren't impressed with the offerings, some of the musicians playing in the bars and lounges were a better option.

More a floating hotel than a cruise

Pride of America Cruise Review by nonscenic

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
My wife and I, from Australia chose this cruise as a way of seeing several of the Hawaiian Islands without the dramas of repacking each night and inter island transfers. As such this cruise met our needs, but having been on an NCL cruise in January 2019 the Pride of America cruise around Hawaii didn't have the same service standards.

Embarkation was quick and straight forward as once checked in there were escalators up to the level 6 gangway on the ship. Compared to other cruises hand washing upon entry to dining was rarely enforced. Staff levels in the dining rooms were too low and large sections of the two dining rooms were unused , leading to long waits at popular dining times. We were some of the few non US passengers and while some waiters were friendly, the majority paid less attention to us once they recognised we were from outside the US. This cruise was expensive relative to others, maybe because staff costs for US crew were higher than normal. The best service was from our Filipino room steward.

NCL excursions were overpriced relative to other excursions we prebooked through our travel agent back home. In some cases the smaller tour operators used minibuses rather than coaches that both enabled smaller groups to see places easier, and in the case of the Maui Road to Hana excursion return via the remote south coast and see Charles Lindberg's resting place rather than return the same route.

We only went to evening shows on two evenings and weren't impressed with the offerings, some of the musicians playing in the bars and lounges were a better option.
nonscenic’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BF 7668
This room was either smaller or used space less well than the Balcony we had had on the Norwegian Sun. Of note was the intermittent sewage like smell that permeated the portside aft cabins and promenade deck. Presumably the sewage vents are somewhere nearby and with the ship moored for a lot of the time the prevailing wind can blow the odours back onboard.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Road to Hana
    Our tour driver Bjorn gave a very complete day, and he excelled at providing a history. Unlike the cruise line tours that use larger coaches and can only go on the northern road to Hana, our tour returnred via the remoter south coast road that is unsealed and off limits to self rental cars. Even with our small group many of the stopping points were crowded (and we were in the off season!).
    View All 95 Road to Hana Reviews

We had prebooked several of our shore excursions through our travel agent, rather than with NCL. Not only were the independent tours cheaper, on several occasions they had smaller tour group sizes. For example, the Road to Hana tour run by Roberts was in 18 seater mini buses which could fit into smaller parking spaces along the windy northern road to Hana, but could return by the south coast road (visit Charles Lindbergs grave) which would be impossible on a larger coach. The NCL tours we did take were to the Submarine at Kona, (disappointing not for the adventure in going down to 100 feet but that there wasn't much to see down there, compared to semi submersible tours of coral in other places around the world), a Friday morning Waterfalls and Gardens tour on Kauai (very interesting history of the Botanic Gardens) and the post cruise tour of the Northern Shores of Oahu. As it turned out the post cruise tour that dropped off at the airport without the included lunch was operated by a luxury minibus rather than a large coach, probably just how the bookings worked out on the day, but we did stop at places along the busy north shore where a larger coach would be unable to park.