After a mediocre cruise on the Epic we were not looking forward to going on another NCL cruise....but we wanted to go to Hawaii....and it seemed Pride of America was the best way.
So we took a deep breath and booked the Hawaiian cruise. Cannot praise it enough. Food at the buffet with such variety did not leave us wanting to go to any of the restaurants free or otherwise. Cabin was small but it worked just fine. The little couch did leave a bit to be desired. We enjoyed the balcony more than on any other cruise. Did not like the Epic balcony at all(or the cabin).
Shore excursions: did only one of the ship sponsored ones. Felt safe to do private or small group tours in Hawaii unlike other countries/places. There are many to choose from. We did not enjoy the Sunset tour...so cold and miserable at the peak. Wear heavy clothes for that one....or best to just skip it.
Went on a tour in Maui with husband and wife owners. Eight of us in a mini bus. Informative, fun, driver would take us anywhere we wanted to go, saw a lavender farm, the winery...try the pineapple wine, had a nice picnic on the lawn at the winery...so comfortable and friendly. Seems to go under two names A taste of Maui and something like Maui Farm Tour...recommend this one.
Went to Smith's farm luau. Nice but think the ship sponsored one might be a tad nicer.
Ended with the Circle tour that took us to the North Shore,Dole's pineapples, passed Pearl Harbour. Ate in a restaurant there but not the best food. The ship's buffet was better.
Stayed three nights at the Sheraton Waikiki pre cruise. Loved it. Ocean front room with sea turtles right in front of our room. Nice place.
Fellow cruisers found many private/small tours that I had not found...mostly via Cruise Critic...they really enjoyed them...recommend scouring the reviews to find those excursions.
Will we do this cruise again? Well it is the first cruise we ever considered repeating..b to b and b to b...what a dream. It was the best.
Should mention you can have a great day on the ship without going on tours.Do try visiting nearby beaches though...Hawaii is beaches...Yes.