This was our first cruise and the first time in Hawaii. The Pride of America is a beautiful ship. It is clean and very well appointed. We arrived in Honolulu 3 days before our cruise date and I'm glad we did. It gave us time to get acclimated to the time change and time to absorb the flavor of Hawaii. We stayed at the Marriott Waikiki pre cruise and post cruise and had a room with a great veiw of Waikiki Beach from our hotel balcony. We checked in at the NCL office in The Marriott Waikiki the morning after we arrived in Hawaii and had our photo taken for our ship keys and received the information on what we needed to do on Saturday, the day the cruise began. On Saturday we were transported by bus from the hotel to the port after our luggage was collected from our hotel room by the porter. We didn't see our luggage again until it was delivered to us on the ship. That's the way to go, no luggage to haul around. Once we arrived to the ship, we had our group photo taken then were escorted to the priority area for a 15 minute processing appointment where we were given our stateroom keys and a hearty welcome. Since we had a Penthouse stateroom we didn't have to stand in the long lines to check in, that was a blessing for sure. We were escorted to the ship by one of the staff members and we checked out the ship while waiting for our cabin to be ready for occupancy. We had a Penthouse cabin with large balcony. The cabin was fantastic and the balcony was huge. The cabin had plenty of space for the 3 of us and we had more storage space than we were able to fill. All the empty luggage fit under the bed, the walk-in closet had lots of drawers and hangers. We had a refrigerator, capuchino machine, a bottle of champagne in the ice bucket and we met our butler George who was absolutely fantastic!! Whatever we needed, Goerge was there to take care of our needs, sometimes before we even knew we needed something. He checked with us several time per day. He delivered coffee and pastry to our room every morning at 7. He was helpfull in so many ways. Gave us the information we needed on the days we were in port, he reserved a table right in front of the stage at the Luau for us. It is well worth paying an extra $20.00 for a priority upgrade reservation at the luau. This upgrade is offered on the ship and is on a first come first served basis.
We had breakfast every morning in the Lazy J Steakhouse which is reserved for the penthouse guests for breakfast and lunch. It is quiet, not crowded and the service and food is excellent. We ate at the Cadillac Diner several times, the Aloha cafe for dinner and mid day snacks and had a birthday dinner one night in Little Italy. All of the restaurants were excellent. There is something for everyone no matter what your taste is like.
The entertainment also is diverse enough that you should find something to occupy your leisure time on the ship. We spent quite a bit of time in Pink's Champagne Bar listening to a wonderful singer Pamela Stanley. She is a great singer and puts on a wonderful show. There are a variety of shows offered and many times we had to hurry from one venue to the next and ended up eating dinner at 10 pm in the Cadillac Diner.
The Internet access on the ship is pretty non existent, it is slow and very expensive. You can find wi-fi service while on shore if you need to but don't count on having it available on the ship. Apparently, that is pretty much how it is on all cruise ships not just the Pride of America.
After a wonderful week on the ship, it was time to say goodbye. That was a simple and quick disembarking process. We put our luggage outside our cabin by midnight on Friday night and it was delivered to our room at the Marriott Waikiki before we got to the hotel. We kept an over night bag with us with what we would need for Saturday and were off the ship with no problem by 9:15 Saturday morning. We were driven by bus to our hotel where we spent another 2 days in beautiful Hawaii.
The whole cruising experience was a delight. We're ready to go cruising again and we think to Alaska next time. Aloha.