The ship is unique in that it's the only large cruise ship sailing under a U.S. flag. "We want to ensure that we are continuing to enhance the guest experience on this one-of-a-kind vessel," CEO Kevin Sheehan said in a written statement announcing the refurbishment.
During the refit, which will take place in Honolulu beginning March 23, 2013, workers will add the line's buzzworthy Studio cabins for solo passengers that debuted on Norwegian Epic, as well as new suites, restaurants and more.
Here are the details on the multimillion dollar refurbishment:
Four Studio cabins will be added for solo travelers. Pride of America is the first ship since Epic premiered the Studios to be refitted with them. The four 100-square-foot Studios feature a full-size bed with separate bathroom area, funky interior design and lighting, and a window view onto the corridor. In contrast to the Studios on Epic, which has 128 of them, there is no Studio Living Room space for passengers in the Studio cabins.
Twenty-four suites will be added on Deck 13, but unlike on many other Norwegian ships, the suite space will not be branded as The Haven as there are no exclusive spaces reserved for suite passengers and no required keycard access to Deck 13. Two of the 24 suites will be 566-square-foot Deluxe Owners Suites, which sleep up to four passengers and feature a large bedroom, separate living area and oversized bathroom. The remaining suites will be Family Suites ranging from 363 to 416 square feet, most sleeping up to six people. Two of the Family Suites will be ADA compliant. Balcony sizes in the 24 suites will range from 245 square feet in Family Suites to 410 square feet, making them the largest balconies in the Norwegian fleet.
Four inside cabins will also be added on Deck 13.
The number of restaurants onboard will be expanded by one with the addition of the for-a-fee Moderno Churrascaria, Norwegian's signature Brazilian-style steakhouse. The cost is $20 per person. Additionally, Lazy J's Steakhouse will be converted to the line's signature Cagney's steakhouse.
Pride of America will be wired for bow-to-stern Wi-Fi.
Other aspects of the renovation include: new carpeting throughout the ship; flat-screen TVs in all cabins; upgrades to the fitness center; new directional signage; renovations to the gift shop, photo gallery and art gallery; and updated decor in the Aloha Cafe, the ship's buffet restaurant.
All of the new suites and cabins go on sale October 1, 2012 for sailings beginning Sept. 7, 2013. Pride of America will return to doing seven-day Hawaii sailings out of Honolulu when it returns to service in early April 2013.
The ship was seen by millions of TV viewers in January 2011 when CEO Kevin Sheehan went undercover on an episode of "Undercover Boss."
--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor