I recently returned from my trip on the Pride of America. I had a great time in Hawaii but the cruise excluding the ports was the worst I have ever been on.
Boarding was quick and easy as I am a latitudes member. My cabin was ready at 1:45. I traveled with my 2 young kids aged 3 and 9 months. NCL required for me to have a cabin with 4 beds even though the baby would not sleep in a bunk. NCL informed me that my 3 year old could sleep on the bunk because it had rails. What a joke. I don’t think the tiny rail went higher than the mattress. So unfortunately I was stuck in a tiny cabin with 2 bunk beds attached to the wall that I was not using. The room is so small you have about 1 foot on each side of the bed to walk down. Now when you have bunk beds that stuck out of the wall about a foot it was very difficult to get into bed. I banged my back at least 4 times. If you had single beds you would not have this problem. I noticed that every room on the 4th deck had these bunk beds. So be warned. Due to this problem this was definitely the worst cabin I have ever stayed in.
The service is not cruise ship service. Most of the crew on the boat just do not care and do not look happy. Most crew only work for a few months. At the end of the cruise several crew just quit. In the buffet area you will get no help. In fact one day my wife asked for a high chair and the crews response was “ they are in the kids buffet area”. I then responded by asking if I should go get it? Only after I said this another crew member said he would get it. The service in the sit down restaurants was also way below cruise ship standards.
The entertainment was the worst of any ship I have been on. They even have the audacity to charge you for a show on board.
The food in the main dining room was ok not great. I never saw them serve steak except the everyday strip steak. This is a first of any cruise I have been on. The best food was in Jefferson’s bistro. The steaks in the Lazy J were not too good. I went to the specialty restaurants after 8:30 so they were half price. In addition to the service charge they also expect a tip which I gave because the service was better in the specialty restaurants.
The ship has a great gym. Unfortunately I was not able to use it.
The kids camp was ok. I was surprised that they only have camp in the morning and at night. You have to pay in the afternoon.
Hawaii is a beautiful place. I liked all the ports. Kona is definitely the least interesting. I went on a tour of the volcano in Hilo with affordable tours. They only charge $21pp. I rented cars in Maui and Kauai with thrifty.
Despite the cruise experience it may be the best way to see all the Islands. If I were to go back to Hawaii I would probably go again with NCL because it is the best option. I paid $800 pp for an outside cabin. I actually spent very little time on the ship.
Most other guests I spoke to could not believe how bad the service was and said they would never sail with NCL again.