First off I want to say that we had a wonderful time on the Pride of America and this cruise was a great way to see a lot. We had an inside cabin, 10059 midship. It was very comfortable for 2 people with lots of storage, we had plenty of room for all of our belongings plus room left over.
Our flight landed at about 3:10 pm and we were met right away by Norwegian but waited forever for the shuttle, so we were late checking in and they were putting away the greeting table. We still received our lei’s from some good looking Hawaiian men. The man at the check in desk rushed us a bit and by that time we were very tired and a bit groggy from such a long day on the plane. At the time I thought he was a bit rude but looking back it may have been that I was just tired. We never did find out why the shuttle was so delayed.
We entered the ship just fine, there was no line because we were so late. We were welcomed by a women who said we could go right to our room, we had no idea what direction to go too so we had to ask. Maybe earlier there was someone directing people on where to go but by the time we arrived we had to ask.
There are more positives than negatives on my cruise. The ship is beautiful and well maintained. There was always someone cleaning or vacuuming. I never saw anything out of place. I did wish that the ship was more Hawaiian than America themed, but then again it is the “Pride of America”. The flowers on board are fake, it would have been nice to have fresh flowers, but I suppose that would add to the cost of the cruise so fake are ok too.
The food was good, especially the fresh fruit. Nothing tastes better in the morning than a cup of coffee and fresh fruit delivered to your door . We ordered room service the night before and it was always delivered on time if not a few minutes early. The coffee was always hot too, just ask for extra cream and sugar because they do not send it if you do not ask for it on your order card. We ate dinner at the Liberty or the Skyline during our cruise , we did not try any of the specialty restaurants on the ship, there are plenty to try, we didn’t want to pay extra since we had already paid for our cruise. We never had to wait for a table, and usually got the table we requested near a window. I didn’t think that the staff in the restaurants were overly friendly, but if you had a question they were more than happy to answer any questions or find out the answer. My friend did not find out until we were well into our cruise that you could order a bottle of wine and they would keep it for you. You can ask for it at any time and they will get it for you. It seems like a good idea if you like wine and will have more than a glass at a time. I thought the food was good, not great or outstanding, each night I tried something different. We did go to the buffet for lunch and snacks, there was never any sort of line for any of the stations when we went and the fresh fruit was amazing. I loved the pizza and salad too. Upon entrance to the buffet they had someone stationed to spray your hands with sanitizer, again I thought it was annoying at first then decided it was a good idea since we were all touching the tongs to get our food. The seating area always had enough tables even the next to last day when we were all back on the ship. They were great about cleaning the tables and taking away used plates. I really have no complaints about the food, either at the restaurant or buffet.
Excursions- Maui-Roberts Hawaii Heavenly Hana Adventure it was a long day but totally worth every minute. We rode through rain forests, saw the ocean, had lunch at the beach. Our tour guide really made the trip more enjoyable. He was quite a talker and did a great job at telling us the history of the Road to Hana. There was plenty of stops for picture taking.
Hilo-Roberts Hawaii-Volcano National Park and Rainbow Falls, this also included a stop at a macadamia nut plantation and factory store. It was a great excursion and the National Park was amazing. The stops seemed quick but there was always enough time to get enough pictures and see everything.
Kona- We had to catch a tender to get off the ship and Norwegian didn’t make it easy to do. . We had to get tickets at the Pink Champagne Piano Bar and we had no idea if there would be a line so we arrived way too early. Once on shore we grabbed a coffee to wait for our excursion bus. Roberts Hawaii again, Beach day. This was a quick excursion to a local beach. The road to the beach was scenic and the flowers were beautiful. We only spent about 3 hours on this excursion but my goal was to snorkel from the beach. It was good snorkeling but getting in and out of the water was a challenge because of rocky beach. I rented the equipment for what seemed to me like a fair price of $14.00 for the day. My friend rented a beach chair too. For this excursion I wouldn’t recommend it for snorkeling because it was so hard getting in and out of the water, but the fish were beautiful and some others saw sea turtles.
Kauai- Roberts Hawaii Wailua River and Luau Comb-- The River tour was ok, I added to the excursion because we were going to the Luau anyway and it seemed like a good way to spend a few hours before the Luau. In all reality we could have skipped it. It was fun and the tour guides were nice but not worth the extra money at that point. The Luau was through Smith Family Luau and it was great. At first with that amount of people I never thought we’d all get our food in a timely fashion, but they have it down to a science and it worked out get. I had never been to a Luau so I can’t compare it to others but the food and the show after were fantastic. I highly recommend Smith’s Family Luau as a must see.
I also went on Journey into Waimea Canyon by the cruise line. It was a rainy day so we didn’t get to see the canyon at all. Instead we went to Kauai Coffee Plantation. We also stopped at Spouting Horn Blow hole. That was quite a site to see.
I am not much of a show person and only attended the Magic show on the last night. It was well done and enjoyable. At the end of the show some of the Cruise staff came out and said thank you to all of us, which I thought was a great touch. I do wish they had a movie night outside or maybe something other than shows and Karaoke at night, but again I am not much of a night person and maybe I am a bit hard to please in that area.
Once back in Honolulu we took the Norwegian Blue Skies of Oahu excursion, it was a helicopter ride over Honolulu and the coast. It was great fun and worth the price.
We had a great time and have lots of great memories. Yes there were times when Norwegian contradicted themselves and there was some rude staff, but over all I think they do try hard to make sure everyone has a great time.