Just returned from the 9/1/12 sailing on Pride of America. Thoroughly enchanted.
Join Cruise Critic and the Roll Call for your cruise. You get to know some of your fellow cruisers and, if you're lucky, someone will contact the cruise line and set up a meet and greet with senior staff on your first day on ship. We had Len, SeaShark, who lead our roll call with a daily countdown and set up the meet and greet on the first day. The senior officers do remember you, supervisors check with you and there is a debriefing at the the end where everyone, including the captain and the cruise director, listen to your comments.
Embarkation and Checkout: Quick and painless. Very well organized.
Precruise: Our AAA travel agent booked our airfare and 2 nights in Waikiki through Pleasant Holidays - a good deal and and excellent service when flights were changed, included transfers from airport to hotel, hotel to pier, and pier to airport. On Oahu we booked a Pearl Harbor and Circle Island tour through Polynesian Adventure Tours - well worth it, great tour guide/driver.
Accommodations: Cabin was comfortable, had plenty of room for storage. Having a balcony on the port side was definitely a plus.
If you are a walker, the walking on deck 6 early in the morning is great to see the sunrises, only a few people out. 3 times around equals one mile.
Meals: We ate at the Aloha Buffet for breakfast, Skyline twice for dinner, once at Liberty and Teppanyaki. Lunches were usually on shore, but did have a shake at Cadillac Diner for a late lunch after a shore trip. All were very good in quality and service. The last night in the Skyline they appeared to be short staffed, but otherwise everything was delightful and delicious.
Excursions: We took the ship's Volcano National Park tour, which included Rainbow Falls, Orchid Farm and Macadamia nutshop on Hilo; Atlantis Submarine in Kona; the Luau in Kauai. All were well organized and very informative and fun. We rented a car on Maui and the first day on Kauai. Used Thrifty, join their Blue Chip club, which is free, for discounts and preferred service. Booked a helicopter ride on our own with Internet discount with Safari Helicopters on Kauai - FANTASTIC - a definite highlight.
Entertainment: We went to all the evening shows. Tim Kaminski was hilarious and we are not big stand up comedy fans. What he does is more interactive humorous performance art. Lights, Camera, Music production was amazing -so energetic, beautifully choreographed, performed and staged. The Rock A Hula was still energetic, but a bit lacking in concept. The singers and dancers also perform in the dining rooms and various other nights. Oh What a Night and The Blast were entertaining. Performers in the various clubs were very good. Randy Meyers, the piano man in Pink's, has great tribute nights to Billy Joel and Neil Diamond. Go early to the shows and tribute performances to get a good seat. If you go to the Mardi Gras for a show or class, it is a little chilly, take a sweater. DO NOT MISS the FABBA party on the pool deck with cruise director, Silas Cook, leading the dancing and singing , possibly with a wig.
It was an absolutely marvelous, enchanting cruise. Enjoy the Pride of America, it is wonderful.