Well, after much anticipation and a little pre-cruise anxiety, I sailed on the Pride of Aloha. I have cruised several times in the past on various lines so I believe I can give a pretty good assessment of the ship.
Embark/debark--An absolute breeze. I recommend going to the ship around 3:00 and you won't even have to wait in a line. We were on in about 5 minutes.
Cabins: VERY SMALL!!! Of course, you spend very little time in the cabins, but you definitely need to be prepared for the small space. If you have more than two to a cabin, I recommend taking as little as possible as there are only 4 small drawers and 1 closet. The beds are like a rock. I recommend requesting an egg crate as soon as you board. Our cabin steward was excellent!! Cabins were very clean. Pillows are small.
Dining: We ate at the buffet for breakfast and the food was acceptable. Definitely hit the omelet and waffle station outside. Other than that, there is a good breakfast selection More
and you'll be out in no time. We made the mistake of getting breakfast in the Palace dining room and it took way too long. On that note, dinner is a MAJOR problem. In the main dining room, it took us an average of 2-3 hours to eat dinner. The food is good, but the service is terrible. The waiters are trying, but the layout is a joke. You'll constantly hear crashing dishes! The specialty restaurants are better. We tried Pacific Rim and had wonderful service and food. On the last night, we ate at the italian restaurant and while the food was good, we were there for 2 and 1/2 hours. By the time you finally finish with dinner, you're too tired to do anything else.
Shows: The shows are pretty good, usual cruise ship fare.
Shops: There aren't that many, but they are adequate and the prices are about the norm.
Bar service: Expensive, as expected. They really try to give you the "special" glasses which run your drink cost from $6-10 dollars a pop.
Special arrangements: If you have made any special arrangements, you may have a problem. We were supposed to have wine delivered to a couple of our group members cabins and they did not show up. It took several calls to guest services to get credits applied to the accounts.
Cash accounts: If you are paying by cash, the $100.00 DEPOSIT is no deposit at all. It only activates your account. If you plan on paying cash at the end of your cruise, I suggest putting a significant amount of money on the account right at the beginning. Otherwise, you'll be making trips to guest services to make additional "deposits."
Ship movement: You really need to be prepared for this. This ship moves more than any I have ever been on. And, I am talking significant movement!! You will literally lose your balance walking in hallways. If you have any motion sickness problems, I highly recommend that you take ginger the entire time you are on this ship. It NEVER improves.
itinerary: This was a wonderful Itinerary. I do not have a single complaint. The islands are beautiful. I do recommend a rental car in Maui. It's a great way to get out and really explore the island. And, much cheaper than shore excursions that basically go to some of the same places. Rentals are easy and you park your car right at the dock.
Overall, I was satisfied with this cruise. They still have some problems, but based on past reviews, I believe there have been improvements. At dinner, plan for slow service and enjoy each other's company!! Less