I highly recommend the Pride of America. Great cruise and great ports. All the staff was friendly, great trip overall.
We arrived the day before in Honolulu and stayed at the Best Western Coconut Wakiki because of points for a free night. Nice hotel, helpful staff.
Had made reservations to see Pearl Harbor at 8am on Saturday, the morning of the cruise. Took a couple hours and since we still had time before we could board the cruise, we drove along the road through Wakiki and East along the coast - very relaxing, pretty views. Returned the car to Hertz (they had a free shuttle from their airport location to the pier)
We had a balcony room on the 8th deck. Definitely recommend a balcony - totally worth it, and my friend kept saying she's glad I convinced her to get one. The cabin was bigger then I expected. Lots of room to store things - shelves in the closet, drawers, and other shelves in the cabin. Also included a couch. Plenty of hangars in the closet too. Then store your suitcases under the beds. Bathroom also was bigger then I expected, small but can move around even in the shower. I also recommend a cabin on the 8th or 9th deck since you have cabins below and above you.
Sunday (1st day in Maui): Booked a Road to Hana tour through Valley Isle Excursions. Got so many recommendations and helpful hints on this board, including this particular company. Definitely recommend them. Each bus holds 12 people - big comfortable seats. I was surprised only 3 buses came to pick up at the pier, thought there would be more from that company. Our driver was Tim - he was great, informative and interesting. Stopped at many places, he even told us the best views for good photo shots. Good lunch too.
Monday: (2nd day in Maui), we rented a car with Dollar, called but they had regular shuttles picking up at the pier. Left about 8:30am and there was virtually no traffic - drove to West Maui along the coastal road up to almost the end. Turned around and ate lunch at the Hula Grill in Lahaina in the Whalers Village shopping area. Great place to stop - gorgeous beaches, easy parking in the parking lots and shopping. The Hula Grill was great - terrific view and good food - at the barefoot bar - sand on the ground. Good stores in the shopping area too. On the way back stopped at Kmart to pick up sodas and snacks for the ship. Returned the car and got back on the ship.
Tuesday (Hilo) - rented a car from Avis and drove to the Volcano National Park - the road was closed 1/2 way around due to increased gases or something like that - but we were able see alot. Walked through the lava tube, crater and other stops. Ate at the Encounter restaurant, where a friend who lives in Hilo took us after going with us to the Park.
Wednesday (Kona) - didn't do any excursions, decided just to walk around Kona. This is the place where you get a tender from the ship to the dock. Took the $2.00 trolley to the end and back. Walked around the shops. Ate at the Kona Inn which also had a fantastic view and good food.
Thursday (Kauai) - booked a tour with "Kauai Photo Tours" which I highly recommend. Excellent and you don't even need to be a photographer to enjoy the tour. We had a great guide who took us to all these places for great photos and places we would have never found ourselves - in neighborhoods, at the end of dead end streets, etc.. Booked through Roberts Hawaii for a luau that night - which was at the Smith Family Luau. Definitely recommend this luau - great gardens, food and show. Our guide on the photo tour said this particular luau was the best one in Kauai. We saw 5 or 6 huge buses take cruise ship passengers to another luau that they booked through the cruise. There were only about 25 of us from the cruise being bused via Roberts Hawaii, but the Smith Family luau was packed.
Friday (Kauai) - since this was a short day, we didn't book anything. Got up early and went to the beach (can catch a free shuttle to the small outdoor mall nearby - and can actually walk to it too). Then had lunch at Duke's another great view right at the beach and at the Marriott.
Saturday - we booked transporation from the pier to the airport through Roberts Hawaii for $7.00 each - very easy and recommend using them.
We didn't book any excursions via the cruise too expensive and lots of other companies to use, especially with recommendations via this board.
All the staff was very helpful and friendly on the cruise. Our cabin steward was great - always friendly and funny, did a great job