My husband and I just returned from our 7 day cruise around the Hawaiian islands on the Pride of America. This was our very first cruise so I had nothing to compare it to...which was a good thing.
Everything went quickly and smoothly from the minute we got off the plane. Even though there was a crowd checking in at the ship at one time we probably waited 30 seconds at the most in line. We didn't even have to wait to have our first picture taken when we were on the way to board the ship. When we checked in with the first security check and he said "welcome aboard" I just looked at him and said...ok...so what do we do now? And he looked at me like I should know that and started telling me places I could go on the ship. What I was trying to say is...which way to our rooms, elevators, do we need to check in somewhere else or what? He finally realized what I was asking and pointed the way to the elevators.
The room was small as I expected, but it wasn't so small I felt cramped. The balcony really helped make the room look larger. Now the bathroom is another matter. You REALLY don't want to drop anything while you are in the shower. I don't know how overly large people shower in it, but we have a horse trailer with living quarters, so this was nothing new to me. The only thing I didn't like about the bathroom was the awful sound the commode made while flushing. I literally had to hold my ears I dreaded the noise so much! I was glad to read other reviews about the hidden medicine cabinet in the restroom, or I would have never found it. The cabin had plenty of room for our clothes although I'm glad I brought extra clothes hangers for I packed WAY too many clothes. Our luggage arrived about 10 minutes after us. The room was clean and always kept that way every morning. Towards the end of our week our cabin steward would even come in and turn our bed down (without requesting it) and leave us a mint on the bed and one night left us some kind of animal made out of our towels! We were very pleased with room service.
We didn't see much of the entertainment because we had trouble adjusting to the time change. Towards the end we watched the Not So Newlywed Game and that was very funny. They had Bud Anderson as a comedian and he was funny. We didn't see much of anything else. We did watch some of the shows on TV at night (we went to bed real early most nights). We never once got into the pools or hot tubs. We never had time, nor did we really want to. They looked inviting even though the pools looked a little small.
The food, well is another matter. My husband enjoyed it, but I'm just a meat and potatoe gal so I didn't get the variety of foods like he did, but I didn't go hungry. What I did eat I got enough of. We ate at Lazy J one night and it was really good and bistro the other and it was pretty good as well. I made my reservations when we first got on board as people suggested. We mostly ate at the Aloha cafe because we would eat on the deck. We didn't get to eat at Little Italy or the Liberty, mostly because lack of time. The service was good, although the tired looking waiters/waitresses weren't the most friendly. The older ones were friendly but it seemed the majority of the young staff where just waiting to get off shift.
We had a wonderful time doing the excursions. I booked all but one through the ship and I am so glad I did because I didn't want to have to worry about getting to and from the destinations and getting back on time. I wish there was a section just about excursions. I booked our excursions before we left home and it was a good thing, the lines were long on the ship. We only had one that was a waste of money and that was the waterfall and nature hike on Maui. For $140 I expected a little more, but the downhill bike rides, snorkeling, ziplining were great. I wish they would have had more afternoon excursions because on some we had plenty of time for other excursions after we left so early from the first excursion. We didn't get to see a lot of the islands that we were in port just for one day. The weather was nice the whole trip, we got rained on just a couple of times and it was just lightly.
We carried our luggage off the ship ourselves because we were staying at Honolulu but we had no problem leaving the ship, just a pain to carry so much luggage through so many people while waiting for our shuttle outside.
All in all, it was a wonderful trip. You have to remember it was all about Hawaii and not the ship. No, things didn't go perfectly and I didn't expect them to. But the majority of the cruise was money well spent. You get out what you put in, and I was determined I was not going to let the small things ruin the whole trip. The most disappointing thing on the cruise was the people on the ship with us. This was the most rudest bunch of people I have ever been around. 99% of the people had no manners or courtesy what so ever. We are from Texas and we try to speak when we are in the elevators with someone or passing them by. Some people would look at you like you were crazy for speaking to them. We only had one older couple speak to us first and I would imagine they were from the South. At the buffet lines, no one bothered to say excuse me when they bumped into one another, much less tried to move out of the way! It was like a shark feeding frenzy at meal time. Gesh people...where has good ol common courtesy gone???? Much less the love. It was very disheartening to say the least. I hope you don't let the negative reviews stop you from this cruise. If you want to see the islands, this is the best way. Aloha