We arrive in Honolulu 3 days before our Cruise to maximize the time in the islands. We wanted to discover Oahu and all it has to offer. So many things to do! We stayed prior to getting on the ship at the Aqua Wave in Waikiki. Great location easy access to the bus and enabled us to get around to all the places we wanted to visit. The hotel was clean and people were very helpful and friendly. Unlike some of the shop clerks. They need to work on their people skills. It took us a day and a half to find someone who would answer our questions when out and about without making us feel like we shouldn't bother them. The bus drivers were extremely friend and helpful.
On Ship Embarkation day we arrived at the port about 2:00 pm. Since we are past cruisers with NCL we were entitled to stand and register in the Lattitudes Line for faster service to the ship. I had also organized the Meet and Greet for our Cruise Critic Roll Call. After registration I was met by Olivia Sturm the Group Service Co ordinator for Pride of America. She welcomed us and said she would be meeting with our Roll call at 3:30.
Our meet and greet was very informative and was attended by the Roll call member as well as several staff from the ship. We were able to ask questions, given business cards and made to feel welcomed. If you had questions or concerns they were very approachable. The Pride of America has something for everyone. We found quiet places to sit and talk and we could find places to mingle and meet new people. Plenty of activities to participate in or a deck chair to do nothing. Best part for us was the very few places people were allowed to smoke. It almost felt like a smoke free cruise.
The food as usual was plentiful and delicious. There is something for everyone. You should never be hungry. Our one minor complaint was that the dining room staff were always in a hurray to get us out of the dining room. We would tell them that we were not in a hurray but soup and salad came at the same time and by the time we put the salad fork down our main course was there. We told them when we sat down to please slow things down and by the 3rd dinner they listened. Hardly a complaint but we were there to enjoy each other and celebrate our 30 years together.
Being part of the Cruise Critic Family on this trip made it very special for my husband and I. We met and were invited to many special events that only added to the wonderful experience we had. Each time we cruise with NCL it gets better and better.
I would like to thank Kaj Turunern, Hotel Director, and especially Olivia Sturm for making this trip more memorable.