Pride of America Cruise Review by tgb: Pride of America - Hawaii
Member Since 2009
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Pride of America - Hawaii
My wife and I went on this cruise for our Honeymoon. This was my second Hawaiian cruise (the first was with Celebrity 11 years ago), and her first. It was my third 7-night cruise, and also her first. I will break this down into three categories - The Very Good, The Good, and The Ugly (there really is nothing that falls between the last two - when things were bad, there were VERY bad).
The Very Good: Embarkation and Departure: Swift and painless. We boarded about 1:30 PM, and our cabin was available within half an hour. For departure I opted for Easy Fly - for $20 a person our bags were checked into the airport for us and our boarding passes delivered to our cabin by 8PM Friday night. Considering that we would be off the ship 7:30 Saturday morning and our flight home wasn't until 11PM, it was nice to be able to go on our planned excursions without worrying about luggage.
Dining:Some have complained about Freestyle, but we had no problems. We never had to wait more More than 5 minutes for a table in the Skyline Room (one of the two main free dining rooms). I followed the advice I read here, and booked our reservations for the specialty restaurants as soon as we boarded. Again, we had no problems getting the reservations we wanted for Jefferson's Bistro (French), East Meets West(Fusion), or the Sushi Bar. In fact, we were the only couple in the sushi bar, and had the full attention of the chef, who prepared a couple of delicacies that were not on the menu.
Service: Everyone (with one notable exception) was friendly, courteous, and helpful - especially the guys at the excursion desk. I had some oddball questions (like where to purchase a professional quality Ukelele on Kuaui), and they went out of their way to help.
The Good: Ships entertainment was good, but not outstanding. None of the shows in the main showroom interested us. Surprisingly, there was no crew show, just a passenger talent show. We stuck with the smaller lounges in the evening. The Champagne Bar had a very good pianist, and the well-hidden Lanai Bar & Lounge up on Deck 13 had an excellent blues-rock guitarist, something you would not expect. We also enjoyed the Goldrush Saloon, and the duo playing poolside.
The Ugly: Housekeeping was a disgrace, to put it mildly. They would bring in clean towels and make the beds, but that was about it. Dirty glasses and coffee cups were routinely left behind. At one point they put a paper cap on top of a glass that still had wine in it from the night before. I had to chase down a cart to get toilet paper. And when I couldn't reach anyone in housekeeping to complain, constantly getting a busy signal, and called down to reception, was told that housekeeping "must have the phone off the hook". In addition, I smoke cigars. It took 7 calls over 2 days to get an ash tray sent to the cabin.
Another area that falls into the Ugly category is the Cadillac Grill. Touted as a 50's-style diner, we were looking forward to lunch there. Instead of 50's music and ambience, the jukebox was playing disco and hip hop. Not artichoke dip my wife ordered tasted like Campbell's Cream of Spinach Soup, and the tortilla chips with it were stale. The wait staff not only got my order wrong, they argued the point with me when I complained.
Overall we enjoyed the trip. I would have rated the whole experience 4 stars, but the problems with housekeeping and the Cadillac set them back a notch. Less
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