We go to Hawaii every year and believe the NCL Pride of America (POA) is the best way to see the islands. We sailed POA in Dec 2011, we enjoyed it so much, we returned again in Nov 2012 and stayed in the same cabin. We plan to return again next year. We also cruised Pride of Aloha in 2009 for the 10-night sail when this was offered in the past. Hawaii, as well as the Pride of America, is our home away from home. We can't wait to see the changes once complete next year after it goes into dry dock and has the 13th deck turned into large suites and a few single suites.
This year we stayed at Outrigger Reef on the Beach for 3 nights in Waikiki before embarking on the ship. Next year we may elect to use one of NCL's hotels to take advantage of the luggage handling since it is difficult for us to manage our 2 suitcases without help.
We enjoy the POA and this way to see Hawaii. In the past we tried island hopping but didn't like the long days in the airport and having to pack and unpack in a different hotel. We also tried a couple of trans-Pacific cruises but don't like the long sea days and only 4 days in Hawaii. With Pride of America, you get 8 days and 7 nights in Hawaii and you get to visit each island.
The staff on the ship who were there last year all remembered us, so it was like a family reunion. Everywhere we went we knew people who we met and made friends the year prior. We even ran into our waiter, Steven, from Pride of Aloha in 2009 who is now a waiter at Jefferson's Bistro. We want to return every year, especially after the changes are made next year. Seeing a flat screen TV and new carpet in our cabin would be nice. I also heard there will be better signage to help direct you around the ship.
Please see my complete review, with lots of pictures and what we did for shore excursions:
To read my review from Dec 2011 with even more pictures and lots of ideas for shore excursions, please visit: