This is my 2nd cruise sailing with Norwegian in a suite; still my favorite line but I can concur with what I've read about the Pride of America Hawaii cruise. Others said that this ship isn't as nice as most in the NCL lines, the food in specialty restaurants is substandard to other ships and the service is totally different. It was still fun, the food was not great but acceptable in the Liberty and the wait staff were rushed and hurried at times and while others went out of their way to be friendly and helpful in both the Liberty and the Skyline. We only dined there twice and that was enough for us. SAILORS BEWARE, NCL DOESN'T HAVE LOBSTER NIGHT ANY LONGER. That was the first I'd heard of that when we boarded and asked which night is was to take place. That was a huge disappointment.
On the Dawn our concierge service was totally different than on the Pride. We were not even given our concierge's phone number and all requests we were told were to be sent through our butler. That was different than what I had seen on the Dawn. On embarkation we had to stand in line with the passengers for security check point, and there was no help for bags unless you rounded up a steward with a cart yourself, after security we were escorted to the lounge area for suite passengers. From then on it went pretty smoothly.
I wouldn't recommend La Cucina. It was so wonderful on the Dawn and the Pride was so inferior to it. I had the pork scallopini with creamy polenta which I liked but no one else cared for their pasta dishes and they ordered a variety of different things. The suppa was very good as were the salads and bread. They served a gluten free roll and had gluten free pasta choices as well. We dined 1.5 hours and never got dessert because of another appt. we had to be at..
We loved La Bistro as always, the filet of beef tenderloin was about the best I've every had. Don't spend the extra on lobster, it wasn't worth it. Cagney's steak house was great as well. Their fillet Mignon was amazing with their roasted mushrooms.. My least favorite was East Meets West. I would have asked for my money back if I hadn't already prepaid. It was tasteless and what I ordered dry. The people behind us in Tepkeneky seemed to be having a good time. I didn't care for the food on the Dawn so I didn't go there on the Pride. It was very overcooked, dry and seafood was way to done. I imagine it's hard to cook for a crowd like they must do and it be great food.
One area that I'd read about being good was the Aloha Cafe. I totally disagreed with the positive comments. We only eat there once because it was so over cooked, over warmed, and just mediocre. We took all our meals in Cagney's and it had a great breakfast and lunch whenever we were able to go. Be sure to try the banana cream pie and carrot cake, both to die for. I was disappointing in the crab cake Benedict though. I would get the regular Benedict.
The wait staff in the ALoha were not knowledgeable about any area of the ship but what was right in front of them to serve or slice. I found that very frustrating. When you first board a new ship it's hard the first couple days to get used to which direction to go and not one of these guys could answer a simple question for us. I would question also if half of them were actually American citizens as NCL states.
The ship itself had a nice laid back feeling. Everything seemed less rushed, maybe the aloha spirit was present because we all took it a little easy and felt no need to hurry off the ship or back on. I did feel the stewards were a little stingy with bath products. We had to ask for more several times.
We were given daily treats, the typical dipped strawberries but we got chocolate dipped pineapple one time that was so tasty. Their crudities were just so so. Room service was on time, pizza not near the quality of what I had on the Dawn. I couldn't believe the difference but the kids will eat just about any cheese pizza. If you need gluten free things be sure to let them know. We got chocolate chip cookies one time, gluten free bagels for sandwiches, and mayo and mustard to take off ship a few times. They will even wrap to go up at Cagney's so don't be afraid to ask.
I won't tell about our adventures but will say plan well. We were riding back to the ship with folks who spent their whole first day on Kauai just riding around in their rental, lost. I will tell you know which I didn't know ahead of time, there is NO LAVA flowing on the Big Island. We booked the copter ride there and saw a lot of black rock; HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT!!!!!!!!!
It does rain in Hawaii but don't get discouraged. I couldn't get our son to believe that the sky would clear up in a matter of minutes and they all went back to the ship instead of great snorkeling because of rain.
Hope this helps anyone looking at the Pride of America.