Pride of America July 27 - August 3, 2013
This was my family's first visit to Hawaii and we wanted to see the most in the shortest period of time. The Pride of America seemed to be the best option since it visits 4 islands in a week.
Boarding - Arrived about 2:00 PM and had moderate line. The line moved steadily and it took about 1.5 hours to embark. Our Stateroom was ready when we arrived and we me our cabin steward. We elected to book an inside stateroom to save money and found it to be nicely arranged with good storage. Our cabin steward did an excellent job of cleaning the cabin every day and would check with us frequently to see if we needed anything.
Dining - We enjoyed Freestyle dining. It gives you greater flexibility in dining times and doesn't force you to sit with at assigned tables at specific times. Our last cruise we ended up assigned to a table with the same slow waiter every night, so this was a big improvement.
Skyline and Liberty dining rooms serve the same food and for the most part the meals and service were good. Chief specials and seafood dishes seemed to be consistently good, but beef dishes tended to be dry and tuff. We found the wait for the Liberty dining room was often less than the Skyline due to the dress code.
We ate in the Aloha Cafe for most breakfast meals and some lunches. It can get very busy, but the crew did a good job of clearing tables. For breakfast they open up La Cucina dining room and we often found a table in that dining area. The Aloha Cafe has good variety of entrees and we could always find something we wanted to eat. Key West Bar & Grill is near the pool and is open for lunch and dinner has good hamburgers and hotdogs etc. We also enjoyed the Cadillac Diner for dinner one night.
We ate at two pay restaurants during our trip. Jefferson's Bistro has excellent food and service and was worth the cost. Maderno Churasscaria has a great salad bar, but we only liked about half the meat dishes and did not care for the desserts.
Shows - We ended up only seeing about 3 shows, but we enjoyed them all. We spent two evenings in the Sonoma Bar and the singer one night was very good.
The main reason to take this cruise is to see the Hawaiian Islands and we were not disappointed.
Maui - We rented a car and drove the road to Hana. This was a long trip, but we enjoyed coastline, waterfalls, and rain forest. The national park with the seven pools was the highlight of the trip. Due to a tropical storm we spent only one day in Maui, so we will have to come back some day.
Hilo- Used Roberts Hawaii for our tour of Volcano National park and Rainbow falls. It was a good trip, but we ended up spending too much time in gift shops.
Kona - Again we used Robert Hawaii. Took a tour of Kona, coffee plantation gift shop, Place of Refuge Park and the Painted Church.
Kauai - Rented a car the 1st day and took a tour with Blue Dolphin Charters on a catamaran to the Na Pali Coast. This was a great tour and I highly recommend seeing the Napali Coast up close by boat. The views are spectacular. The crew of Blue Dolphin charters did an excellent job serving the guest aboard. The 2nd day in Kauai we went to Kalapki beach and enjoyed a beach day since the ship departs in the afternoon.
We arrived in Honolulu Saturday morning. Disembarkation from the ship was quick and our luggage was already on the pier. Since our flight left at 8:00 PM we used Roberts Hawaii again for a tour of Pearl Harbor and Honolulu. They keep your luggage on the bus and drop you off at the Airport and the end of the tour. This worked out great for since we were flying home that day.
We all agreed that this was the bests overall vacation we have take as a family. As with all great vacations they are over to soon. A big Mahalo to the all the Crew of Pride of America for your hard work and service.