want to start off by saying that I read many reviews about this cruise prior to going. We had a Family & Friends Hawaii Cruise. There were 14 of us. We cruised from 11/26-12/03 on Pride of America. This review is going to be a tad bit long so, that I can cover everything.
DAY 1: We arrived at the ship at about 5pm Hawaii time. We took our picture and set up some type of payment account. We missed taking the first boarding picture and lei because, of the late arrival time. We boarded the ship and off the cabin. Those rooms are the smallest rooms I have ever seen on any ship. We were in cabin 4508, an ocean view room. There were 3 of us in that room. They said that 4 people could stay in that room but, I don't know where the 4Th person would have slept. It was really hard for 3 people to get around in the room. They need to make the rooms bigger. My left Honolulu at about 7:15pm. There was no party or whistle blowing to let you know that we were leaving. On other cruises I have been on they had something to let you know that you were on your way but, not Pride of America. I was unable to eat anything that night because, let me tell you this ship rocked more than any other ship I have been on. It rocked from being to end. I did make it to the Skyline for dinner but, with rocking and smells of food I got really sick and could not eat a thing. I went to the front desk to get some Sea Calm (motion sickness medicine). I took that and went to bed.
DAY 2: I woke up in Maui feeling refreshed and much better. I was starving to say the least. We processed to the Aloha Cafe for breakfast. They plenty of variety and 3 omelet stations. Breakfast was great! We suppose to do a Sunset Cocktail cruise but, it was cancelled due to water conditions. We just participated in the ship activities. On this day there wasn't much to do but, we did attend the "Aloha Polynesia Show". That was really nice. Earlier in the day my mother & I went to the "Gold Rush" to watch some football. We were going to have dinner in the Liberty Dining Room but, my shorts were above my knee. We went back to the Skyline which is the downstairs part of the Liberty. They have the same exact menu. I heard from other people in our party that they service in Liberty was horrible but, I don't know personally.
DAY 3: We are still in Maui. We left off the ship and went to do some shopping after breakfast. After our return we went to eat dinner again at the Skyline. We saw the "Lights, Camera, Music" show which was very entertaining. Afterwards we saw "Not-So-Newlywed Game" which was so funny. It's funny how we are married to people and don't seem to know the smallest things about them. On this day you had an opportunity to dress up and take pictures with The Captain. We choose not to do that. We did go back to the Gold Rush for Karaoke.
DAY 4: In Hilo we started really early with breakfast in the Skyline instead of at the Aloha Cafe. It was good as always. Then we left for our tour of the day "Volcano & Rainbow Falls". This was a fabulous tour. We saw rainfalls, many volcanoes, some lava tube, went to the Macadamia Nuts company, and the Orchid Gardens. We also received lunch while on this tour. I was on an air-conditioned bus. We made many stops along the way. The was a great way of seeing Hilo in different ways. There were also some shopping opportunities on this tour. We returned to the boat and had dinner at Little Italy. The food here was excellent! This is one of the specialty restaurants and you do have to pay a cover charge of $10 pp. It was worth every dime and some. It's all you can eat so, you can over more then one of things. The portions are plentiful! Everybody in your party can eat off each others plate. You will leave feeling full & satisfied. We the went on to see the Magic of Matt Marcy. He did a few tricks that we really amazing such as making a balloon sword that really cut things. He was okay but the best thing was Dancing with the American Stars. The is where 8 passengers are randomly selected to dance with 8 crew members. This was the funniest thing I have ever seen. You have to go see this if you are on the ship. I hear they rotate the crew people every cruise. Also, out by the pool they had a tribute to ABBA. I love ABBA! They was really fun and energetic. The performers was some of the crew members. They did an excellent job of getting the audience involved.
DAY 5: We are in Kona. We start off with breakfast again and then we go shopping at the Queen Kaahumanu Center. The first thing that you need to know about Kona is that it's "tendered". It means that they do not have a pier for the ship to dock so, you dock in the middle of the ocean and a ferry takes you back & front from the ship to island. I love water but can not swim so, when I go on a tendered trip I get very nervous. The staff was very patient and helpful when seeing that I was not doing good with the stairs and getting on the boat. The market had many shops. They were a tad bit expensive but, you can talk them down. We had lunch in the Cadillac Diner. It's like a hamburger shop. Their beef hamburgers and shakes are to die for. The only thing I didn't like about them is that you have to pay extra for the shakes. They should have been included since it's not an alcoholic beverage. That night we saw Terri & Steve Williams in the "Soul Satisfaction with the Blast". The performed Motown hits from the 60s and 70s. That is also something that you want to see. That did an good job with the music. We also attended the "White Hot Dance Party". The male crew performed a skit called the Ship n Male Dancers. That was entertaining. My suggestion for people attending this party is to please wear WHITE. That's why it's called the White Hot Dance Party.
DAY 6: We are in Kauai. We went to breakfast. After breakfast we got in the hot tub and swimming pool. The water in the hot tub felt nice but, the swimming pool felt like ice water. The water was freezing cold. I didn't stay in it too long. My mother had a drink by the pool, she had a mimosa and I had a Spicy Bloody Mary. We went to look at and purchase some photos from the Photo Gallery. My issue with the Photo Gallery is when you send out a flyer that says 20% off all photos, that all photos should be 20% off. When you get to the gallery then you find out it's 20% off 8x10 photos only but, that's not what the flyer says. Later this is the day for the train ride & Luau. The train ride was very informative. The Luau was not what I expected. I thought we would be on the beach but, we were in a banquet facility looking place that held about 500 or more passengers at tables. If you were in the back like us, you spent most of your time standing in order to see. The pig is the highlight of the Luau. I have to say that the meal was not tasty to me at all. I did not enjoy any part of the meal. The pig was salty to me. I was ready to go back on the ship to eat. The Luau itself was very entertaining. He was wonderful. I just hate that I had to stand during the entire Luau. It was telling a story. loved it. We went back to the ship and we saw "Rock-a-Hula Luau" and "Pride of America Crew Ohana Talent Show". The Luau was okay but the talent show was good. You have to arrive at anything held at Club Mardi Gras early because that place will fill up fast. After that we went to the Pink's Champagne Bar to see Benjy King, Terri Williams and Steve Williams perform on the piano. That was really nice. The audience got to join in and pick some of the songs. We drank and song well into the night.
DAY 7: Still in Kauai we woke up early and off to Walmart we went to finish up the last of our shopping. We took the shuttle bus to Walmart and spent a lot of money. They had a nice souvenirs shop and their T-Shirts were reasonably priced. After shopping we went back to the ship for lunch. Today was barbecue ribs day and it rained on and off all day. We went to book our excursion for Saturday before boarding the plane, we purchased a few more photos and made reservations for another speciality restaurant Lazy J Steakhouse. We went to the Grand Finale Art Auction but the we pulled out and started getting sick. We had to leave the auction to take some medicine for motion sickness. Pride of America rocked everyday it was on water. I had to stay on some type of medication to get through this cruise. No other ship I have been on rocked like Pride of America. I took a nap and then started packing to the next day. We went to Lazy J to eat which was also a fabulous meal. The steaks there are huge. If you have a chance and don't mind spending the $25 cover charge, please dine here. You will not be sorry. After dinner we went to the show "Oh What a Night". They did a nice job of performing hits by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and then we went to the Farewell Variety Show. After that we went back to the room to finish packing for our trip home. Overall Hawaii was fabulous! I didn't have any bad experiences with the staff. They were all pleasure and respectful. Some of the passengers on the cruise were very rude!!!! I don't know if I would go on Norwegian again because it rocked to much for me and I stayed on some type of motion sickness medicine. If I do it will not be in November. It was a trip of a lifetime.
The journey to Maui was rocky and our excursion was cancelled because of it. The weather was rainy and cool. The shopping was nice.
I loved Hilo. The history and the weather was very nice. The Macadamia Nuts were so fresh! I normally don't like them but, I loved them in Hilo. The trip through the Lava Tube was breathtaking. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable. We even had several shopping opportunities. The Orchid Garden was beautiful! The was my favorite port of them all.
We weather here was a mix of rain and sun. We didn't do any excursions but we did do a lot of shopping. The only thing I didn't like about Kona was the it was tendered. I am very nervous on tendered ports. I have to say the staff was very patient and understanding of my situation.
I loved the train ride. The Luau itself was wonderful but, the food and seating situation was not the best. I thought we would be on a beach. The grounds were stunning. The Walmart is a great place to shop because they have good, comparable prices on the items. The weather was great with no rain on Luau day.
On and off rain but a great 2 days.
You have to get a late flight home. If you do not go to Pearl Harbor, you will be missing a real treat. This excursion was very sad & touching. What happened to those soldiers was clearly a tragedy. The was very educational and should not be missed. The 70 year anniversary for Pearl Harbor is coming up on 12/07/11 so they were preparing the grounds for several ceremonies over the next week. Also while we at the airport, 11 surviving members of Pearl Harbor arrived for the ceremonies. I was speechless! You had to be there, it was so touching.