I was a huge fan of the old Norway and sailed on it four times. I would be still be a passenger if it was still in service. It was a great ship with wonderful ambiance and a crew that really took care of it's passengers. It's very hard to find that these days.
The Pride of America (henceforth POA) is not a very large ship. It is, however, easy to figure out and get around. There are plenty of elevators and stairways and the layout is plainly marked on diagrams near the stairways. Our stateroom was small but well organized. We had a balcony which made the room seem bigger. We enjoyed the balcony at night quite a bit and I enjoyed my morning coffee there. An expensive option but worth it if you use it.
Dining was hit and miss. Let me say right off the bat that we are not fans of free style dining. One of the things I most enjoy is the experience of formal dining. Unfortunately it is not to be had on POA. Despite the rules regarding what can and cannot be worn in the dinning rooms, some passengers look and act like they are going shopping at Wal-Mart. (The specialty restaurants are better. I guess Maw and Paw Kettle are afraid of the cover charge! I thought the Italian was very good.) Service in the Liberty Dining room was slow. One night our entrees were very late and cold. We sent them back and endured another 15 minute wait. I spoke with our waiter and she told me that they were short staffed and she had 5 tables. We did not have an assistant waiter that night. That is unacceptable. There was not a wine steward in either dining room and we were not offered bar service. Overall the selection and variety of food offered was good. Service at dinner was poor but surprisingly good to excellent in mid morning.
The Buffet or "hog trough" as my wife refers to it, was good. I did not see kids with dirty hands coughing and sneezing while serving themselves which is a constant problem on many of the Caribbean cruises (of all lines). The selection was good and hot foods were served that way. Taste was very good. The staff was kept busy cleaning tables and seeing that people were comfortable. Frankly I was impressed with the Buffet and I didn't expect to be.
The halls and staterooms on POA are kept spotlessly clean. The room stewards are excellent. Everyone in our group bragged about the efficiency and professionalism of the room stewards/housekeeping. POA is probably the cleanest ship overall we have sailed on in the last 3 years.
We saw all of the shows and enjoyed them. Particularly good was the Four Seasons Tribute group "Oh what a night". I met and talked with one of the dancers during one of our trips ashore. She was a delightful young lady and represented POA well. She also was very talented as we watched her performance the following night.
Having been to the islands and cruising (another line) several years ago, we opted to do our own itinerary on each island and planned well in advance for it. On two occasions we encountered people that we recognized from POA who were on ship excursions. We hired our own guides on Maui and both ports on the Big Island. We got to see some things that most people don't get to see because of our planning and the guide's knowledge.
Overall POA is a great way to see the islands. I may do it again next year or the one following.