Pride of America Food and Excursions: Pride of America Cruise Review by adamsrib2010
Overall Member Rating
Pride of America Food and Excursions
On the positive side, cruising on NCL's Pride of America is probably one of the best ways to see a little of most of the islands that make up Hawaii.
Our cruise visited Oahu (Honolulu), Maui, Kaui, and two spots on the big island of Hawaii (Hilo and Kona).
I hope that someone with NCL monitors these reviews. If so, they need to do something about the food aboard ship.
ABOUT THE FOOD
The food overall isn't horrible, but with few exceptions -- at the restaurants included with one's ticket -- it's not good. Our opinion. Your mileage may vary.
Specifically, the "cafeteria style" restaurant (I think it's the Aloha) is OK for breakfast. A lot of variety.
Lunch is so, so. I heard that the Indian food was good, but the rest seemed like typical cafeteria fare. As an alternative, you might want to think about the Cadillac diner. The desserts there looked really good. 1950's More food.
The food in the nicer dinner dining rooms (Skyline and Liberty) features small portions of just about everything, and if you're a fan of beef, you'll probably be disappointed. It's practically tasteless. My advice is to ask your server for recommendations and follow that advice, rather than the menu. Also, if you're ordering appetizers, order 2 of them. You can also order two main dishes, perhaps one that you think you'd like, and one that the server recommends. That way you're likely to have at least one shot at getting something you'll enjoy.
We only tried one specialty restaurant -- the Lazy J Steakhouse -- and were disappointed by the quality of the steak. Lobster lovers beware: It's not Maine lobster and the night we dined there, we discovered that we not only had to pay the additional cover charge for that restaurant but to get tough, practically tasteless lobster, we had to pay even more.
As veteran cruisers know, shore excursions are pricy. If, however, you're taking this cruise while the humpback whales are in Hawaii to mate and calf, I'd definitely recommend the snorkeling excursion to the Molokini (sp) crater off the coast of Maui. This was a delightful surprise. The excursion is run by the Pacific Whale Foundation whose crew members refer to the waters around Maui as "whale soup" during that time of year, because of the large number of whales present. The snorkeling was great and so was the whale watching.
We rented cars at the times we were in port for over a day. With a GPS, I think this is definitely worth it. The people at the rental car places will tell you what's worth seeing and the GPS will get you there because these places are pre-loaded into them.
(Our GPS from home did not work in Hawaii. Again, your experience may differ.)
Regarding Internet, check with your cell phone carrier to find out if they have coverage through a national plan in Hawaii. Verizon offers a mobile broadband plan that we were able to use to tether our phones to our laptop and avoid the price on board Internet charges. This only worked when we were near the islands or in port, which was most of the time. If you plan to use just your cell phone, make sure you also check with your carrier to make sure you won't be charged a roaming fee if you use the phone while you're aboard the ship. We were told that as long as our cell phones didn't show that we were roaming, that it would be the same as using our cell phones at any other time.
Hope this helps someone and bon voyage! Less
Great service from the stewards.
Port and Shore Excursions
Best prices on all varieties of macadamia nuts are at Walmart! Your GPS will take you there on the way back to the airport.
Careful getting in the water, though. Lots of rocks which aren't a good combination with waves.
There is a sandy entrance on the right side of the beach (looking at it from the road), where you can more easily "wash ashore" when getting out.
It may be better to enter on the left side. Ask someone when you get there.