2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2005
We were a family group of 5 that booked one of the new family suites this ship has to offer. This was our 5th cruise (2 of which had been on the SS Independence). To start with, the Ship is absolutely beautiful, inside and out and we had a ... Read More
We were a family group of 5 that booked one of the new family suites this ship has to offer. This was our 5th cruise (2 of which had been on the SS Independence). To start with, the Ship is absolutely beautiful, inside and out and we had a wonderful time in paradise. However, our experience was not all we hoped it would be. When we arrived, our suite (a little smaller than anticipated) still had debris (half eaten banana, dirty dishes, etc.). But to the cabin stewards' credit, they jumped right in and cleaned everything quickly, including the "debris" left by seagulls on the deck chairs. We also found storage to be an issue in our family suite (Deck 10, cabin 10178). However, while storage isn't exactly what I expected, the room was very well appointed and easy to get around in -- we just moved the extra chairs, etc., out to the wonderful, incredibly enormous, balcony this suite has. We found the bathroom adequate but the beds (probably because they are so new) were very, very hard. It took a couple of days for our cabin steward Sharon to get everything down -- 5 people need 5 towels, etc. Once she did things were fine except that we never saw a towel animal at any time, even for my 9 year son who truthfully, I don't believe missed it. As to the dinning -- we tried all but Le Bistro (menu didn't appeal) and truthfully this is where we had issue. Service for us was slow -- we never were able to finish any meal under 2 and half hours -- any restaurant, any time of day -- excluding, of course, the Aloha Buffet. However, as time went on, it seemed that this wasn't an issue re waiters/waitresses but rather, servers waiting for the food from the kitchen. I second the opinion on the lack of spice -- overall I found the food in all the dinning rooms we visited to be good but the menu didn't vary enough and by the end of 10 days I was definitely in mood for something else. Kudos to the Aloha Buffet -- the all you could eat lobster night (the night we left Kona) was a wonderful treat, especially as it also offered shrimp, salmon, cat fish and other tasty items. Some disappointing items: our beautiful balcony was never cleaned in any way. This might not have been an issue to others but since our balcony was directly under the outside eating area of the Aloha Buffet (which they washed down every morning) it really became an issue to us. We went through one complete electrical blackout for our area that was a minimum inconvenience. However, our appliances (refrigerator, coffee pot, hair dryers, some lights) experienced many more outages -- it seems the fuses kept going. But with all things during our trip the ship's crew was completely responsive, helpful, incredibly sympathetic or apologetic as needed. We had heard rumors of staffing issues (I heard they lost 100, my husband had heard more like 30 of the crew in San Francisco) but whatever the issues, this crew is incredibly gracious and accommodating, the one acceptation, the whinny pastry girl in Skyline. And although I realize that its not the crew's fault that people flush what they shouldn't, it really is a bit much to have to tolerate three days in a row of your toilet being out of commission, sometimes for hours on end. We took a variety of shore excursions in every port and were pleased with all our choices except for the Body Glove snorkel on Kona (not as beginning as was billed) and the Luau at the Sheraton on Maui (rather a pasteurized version of what I had previous experienced when I had cruised with the SS Independence in 2000). A good tip is to plan all excursions in advance and book as early as you are certain of your plans. The upside of things: first, I cannot state this strong enough -- this is one beautiful ship. The card room, internet cafe, library area was design beautifully not to mention the Reception/Capitol Atrium area. Truthfully, I was truly amazed at the incredible amount of detail and care given to the appointments of all the areas on the ship. Secondly, the staff/crew of the ship were always accommodating -- with one or two very minor exceptions. I was not overly fond of the Cruise Director (he made a couple of comments that bordered on rude rather than funny in my opinion) but you can't fault him and his assistant Shona (sp?) for how hard they worked. I don't think they got more than a handful of hours of sleep the entire cruise. Will I cruise PO America again -- yes, in a heartbeat. Will I sign up for the repositioning cruise with Pride of Hawaii -- don't think so. I loved the five days at sea, but I think I'll wait for any potential kinks to be worked out first. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2005
I was on the POAm SF to Hawaii. We had a wonderful trip! The ship is beautiful with a lot of attention to detail. This was my first cruise, so I can only compare this to a land vacation. The room was small, but after reading the posts ... Read More
I was on the POAm SF to Hawaii. We had a wonderful trip! The ship is beautiful with a lot of attention to detail. This was my first cruise, so I can only compare this to a land vacation. The room was small, but after reading the posts here, I was pleasantly surprised. It is nicely done - would've liked a larger balcony. We were on the 10th floor and if I were doing it again, I would not choose that floor because the supports for the pool deck block your panoramic view. It was still very nice to sit out and enjoy the ride. The bed was comfy - I slept like a baby. The service was fine. We don't require a lot of attention. We always had our room done before noon on our sea days, and by the time we returned on port days. Beds were turned down while we were at supper. We always had ice and tp. Only had a towel animal one night, but no biggie. The restaurants were beautiful and the food was fine. Not great, but fine. By the end of 10 days I was ready for some spice. I'm sure they cannot spice it up too much due to restrictive diets and such. We ate in all of the restaurants except Lazy J. Jefferson's Bistro was good and very romantic. The hot spinach salad was very good, and my husband's seabass was excellent. My surfnturf was fair. I didn't eat the steak. The Tappanyaki was good. We really liked the stir fried rice with a little garlic. Skip the Italian. That was the worst meal I had. All of the soups I had on board were very good. I couldn't eat the scrambled eggs at breakfast, they didn't taste fully cooked, but you can get omelettes in the main dining room or there is plenty to choose from on the buffet. If you like David Schwimmer (Ross from friends), you will like the cruise director. My husband found him annoying, but he was fine with me. The Hollywood Theater is nice, but COLD! The Mardis Gras nightclub is HOT. We still had fun. The Tahiti dancers were good. W.T. Greet was good in the piano bar, but I think he is coming back to Dallas. The 1st comic was good, the 2nd we left. We enjoyed massages, but felt the price was misleading. They add a 15% service charge, but it is not a tip. We loved freestyle and freestyle disembarkation. Embarking wasn't bad. We did have a wait in a room without AC, but it wasn't too long. We felt all the employees did a good job overall. We had our worst service the last night. Maybe that was why. We met some homesick kids. A little gal from TX gave me a huge hug when she found out we were from her home state. The ports are awesome. We rented cars on each island and could do what we wanted. On Hilo went to Volcano Nat. Park, Waipaio Valley Lookout, a beach park, and Akaka Falls and hiked around. Be sure to take the Onomea scenic road - about 4miles. Had a great lunch at What's shakin. It rained a lot. At Kona, we went to Place of Refuge (cool) and snorkeled right beside it. Saw turtles and lots of fish and coral. Rocky entry, but fairly calm for fraidy cats like me. Had an awesome lunch at the Coffee Shack - with a great view of Kealakua Bay. We then went to Kahaluu Beach Park to snorkel. It was dirty (couldn't see anything) and rough. Too rough for me. Sailing past the volcano at night was a highlight!On Maui we drove over to Kapalua Beach and snorkeled. Saw a MOOrish Idol (like a angelfish). This was nice. Then we went to Kaanapali Beach and ate at the Hula Grill. Another good choice. Wandered around and headed south to Kihou (SP?) beach park to watch the sunset. Kauai was my absolute favorite!!! We went north, stopped at the Lighthouse and saw spinner dolphins on one side and a seal on the rocks on the other. Not to mention birds and the most incredible view (all of the views on Kauai are). Then we drove to the end of the road to Kee Beach on the Napali coast. We changed to swimsuits (nasty bathroom), but the snorkeling was awesome!! Saw lots of fish, swam in a school with lots of big ones. I never knew there were so many colorful fish. The snorkeling here is great for chickens,, because the reef breaks the waves before they get to you. We stopped at the Princeville Resort on the way back because I have been wanting to go there. I can't wait, the place is gorgeous!! Didn't have lunch, because there was so much to do. I didn't like Honolulu. Dallas by the sea. The East shore was nice. The trip home on the red eye was a pain, but I'd do it again. I loved Hawaii and the ship. My biggest complaint was the food got old after 10 days. I might not have noticed it if I hadn't eaten the great food I did off the ship! I am glad we had 5 days at sea, because I'm Type A and want to see everything and the port days were exhausting. My husband says he drove 500 miles on a 400 mile island (not really). It's a great way to taste the islands to decide where you want to go back and stay. Enjoy!!! 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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