Awesome Family Trip: Pride of America Cruise Review by Opalmoon
Overall Member Rating
Awesome Family Trip
Having cruised before, we knew what to expect. The cabin was a little smaller than on other cruises, but comfortable and well designed with plenty of storage space. Per recommendations on Cruise Critic, we emptied and stored all the goodies in the 'fridge and put in our own to avoid the high prices.
Our cabin steward was unobtrusive and met all our needs. The first night, he made a towel animal and left it on the bed. My husband dressed it up in a comical way. The steward got the joke which started a "top this" creative contest with the animal towels! We looked forward to each day's new creation.
We loved the buffet set up in the Aloha dining area. The kiosk method of presenting different courses made even busy times seem less chaotic. Much better than the traditional cafeteria-style line. There was always plenty of seating. More There is an open deck on the aft end of the Aloha cafe, complete with its own buffet. We ate there every morning. It was never crowded. The food was typical of what it takes to feed hundreds at one time. Some things were outstanding, others just adequate, but we don't expect gourmet food in this setting.
We did not try any of the other restaurants on board, but my 18 year old became a big fan of the milk shakes ($3.50) from the Cadillac Diner.
This was the first time we experienced free style cruising and enjoyed it. This particular cruise is packed full of activities and we appreciated being able to have meals per our schedule. Many times in the evening we were tired from an active day and were content to grab something at the Aloha Cafe and spend the evening relaxing by the pool.
Disembarkation was organized very well also. There were several choices, guests could leave anytime if they carried their own luggage. Two days before the cruise ended, guests could pick up luggage tags for the time they wanted to disembark. We took an after-the-cruise tour and had special tags for our luggage. It all went very smoothly.
The ship is older, but is well maintained. We found the staff to be friendly and helpful.
My husband and I had been to Hawaii before, this was a great way to take our sons and see as much of Hawaii as possible in a short time. Less
Cabin review: BA Mid-Ship Balcony
The best amenity in the shower: several small racks stacked in the corner of the shower. The lowest one at the perfect height for propping a foot for shaving legs! Our cabins were located aft on level 10, which meant we were under the Little Italy restaurant. I was concerned when I found out it might be noisy, but except for a few late night short-lived cleaning noises, it was fine. Anyone on level 10 aft on the starboard side probably had lots of noise from the Aloha Cafe. The port side was best for views in port and leaving port, except for Maui.Read All Mid-Ship Balcony (BA) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
Pearl Harbor is a must-see for anyone who visits Hawaii. New for us this visit was the Bowfin Submarine tour and the USS Missouri, which is now a permanent museum at Pearl Harbor.
On the way back to the ship, we stopped at the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Preserve. My husband thought it was the most beautiful place he had ever seen.
The next day, son #1 played golf, son #2 went surfing again and my husband and I drove to the Waimea Canyon. It was foggy, so the view was blurred, but the scenery driving down the mountain was beautiful.
That afternoon the ship left port and we cruised the amazingly beautiful Na Pali coast.
We took the Body Glove snorkel tour. The boat was very nice and the crew very helpful. There was plenty of food. The boat included a slide and high jump for anyone who got tired of snorkeling. The snorkeling was okay, it wasn't a great spot to see lots of underwater sites.
We rented a car so we could visit some of our favorite places.
We booked a waterfall hike through an independent tour group that was recommended in a tour book. My sons wanted to jump off waterfalls. The hike was not for the faint-of-heart. It was a couple of miles of challenging trail. The boys got to jump off several waterfalls after the guide checked to be sure the water was deep enough. We had a great time!
We went to a luau and Lahaina that night.
The next day, I had scheduled surfing lessons for the boys. They had a blast and were surfing well after a couple of hours.
My husband and I had eaten at Cheeseburger in Paradise in Lahaina several years ago. We were delighted it's still there and enjoyed our meal there.
Lahaina has some of the best shopping in Hawaii, we did most of our gift shopping here.