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14 Hawaii Entertainment Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We have travelled Carnival numerous times, however we had little choice since Norwegian was the only ship with desired itinerary. Compared to Carnival, this ship was not good. Food rarely ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We have travelled Carnival numerous times, however we had little choice since Norwegian was the only ship with desired itinerary. Compared to Carnival, this ship was not good. Food rarely changed and we grew tired of the menu by day 3. If you wanted to eat different food, you would have to pay extra (a lot extra). There was a hidden fee of ~$16 per day per person. We got hit with an extra $448 service charge because we brought our 7 and 9 year old. This charge was to replace tipping and you can sure notice to service depletion as a result. This cruise was approximately 1.5 to 2 times the cost of other cruises. We did not find the value for these increased costs. We will not rebook with Norwegian again. I will admit the entertainment was better than some Carnival cruises I have been on. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Wanted to spend the holidays at sea since we couldn't spend it with our grandchildren. The embarkation process was the BEST I've ever experienced. Easier than checking into a hotel on Michigan avenue. No waiting for your ... Read More
Wanted to spend the holidays at sea since we couldn't spend it with our grandchildren. The embarkation process was the BEST I've ever experienced. Easier than checking into a hotel on Michigan avenue. No waiting for your group, just go up to an empty spot and get your cruise card. No waiting to get in the room AND miracle of miracles all four pieces of our luggage were already outside our room. We've waited till late evening on some cruises. The room was spacious with a shower and a tub. Loved to soak in the tub. Room was very clean and nothing was worn out. The balcony however was a disaster. Dirty and the furniture was all rusted. Paid for a balcony and really didn't really want to sit out there. Too depressing. Room steward was a disappointment, very aloof and even had a bad attitude at times. The ship overall is tired and old despite the refurb. Very clean throughout, although some of the bathrooms could use more frequent cleaning. Time to retire this one. Very health conscious. Crew members at the entries to all food venues with sinks and soap (more effective than hand cleaner). Bathroom receptacles by the doors so you can use a towel to open the doors. A lot of the men's room doors were left open. All food venues were very clean. No pens to sign bills to keep down transfer of germs (a real good idea). The BEST front desk staff I've ever experienced. A moderate line the first day (as usual) but after that you could just walk right up. Always had at least 3-4 crew members at all times except late at night. Excellent. Food was the big disappointment. Our waiter told us they had not changed the dining room menu in 4 years!!?? Really? Food in the dining room was mediocre at best. Actually got sick by the fifth day and started eating pizza and burgers. Lido deck buffet was never crowded but the food was generally cold and severely under-seasoned. Even the soup was cold. They use overhead heat lamps instead of heating with steam from underneath so the food gets cold quickly and the tops of the dished get crusty, ugh. All fish was frozen and when thawed out was awful. All the chicken dishes were bad except the chicken strips. Salads and fruit were fresh and my wife ate this most of the time. At times they ran out of ice. BIG BONUS the desserts were as good or better than any we've had. No matter where you got one, they were exceptional. (Watch that waistline). We started eating at the up-charge Crown Grill. Steak and food there was excellent. Onion soup to die for and the meat was expertly cooked. Great experience. Highly recommended. Other than that, pack a lunch. Our wait staff was superb, really excellent. A real bright spot. Crew in general were a little friendlier than most . Drinks. We drank mostly beer since we only found one bartender that actually knew how to make a drink. Complained to bar manager. Very inexperienced in general and need a lot of training. Best on board entertainment ever!! Almost Broadway quality. Specialty acts were unique and top shelf. All the entertainers, when encountered around the ship were friendly and engaging. Don't miss any of the shows. Great New Years Eve party, a real blast. What is there to say about Hawaiian excursions. You can't go wrong. Had a great time whale watching. Saw a lot the beasts on a Maui excursion. Great tender organization with tickets. No mass of people jamming the stairs and isle ways. Ship did not seem crowded. Lots of kids running around, but hey it was Christmas and New Years. Although I saw more motorized carts than at our golf club. Had to keep your head on a swivel. Other good items were the little deli in the main atrium. Great food and never crowded. Also the gourmet coffee (extra charge) shop right next to it was great. The pizza and burger areas were never crowded and the food was good. Also the pizza restaurant off the main atrium was excellent. Debarkation was well organized although a REAL mess once at the curb. Totally disorganized. Worst I've ever experienced. Not enough cabs and no way Uber or Lyft could get through all the traffic to pick you up. Took us 1 1/2 hours to get a ride to the airport. Ugh. Use Princess transfers. San Francisco is not our favorite port to sail out of. Won't be back. When sailing domestic we like Miami, New Orleans, and Vancouver much better. Future cruise director was in the wrong job, but I did book another Princess Cruise while on board for Alaska. We've made the exact trip in the past and just decided, why not! Happy sailing! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The cruise was 15 days spanning Christmas and New Years. It was an OK trip, but I expected more from Princess Cruises. The ship was over crowded and there were long lines for everything. Many of the shows and events (trivia, classes, ect) ... Read More
The cruise was 15 days spanning Christmas and New Years. It was an OK trip, but I expected more from Princess Cruises. The ship was over crowded and there were long lines for everything. Many of the shows and events (trivia, classes, ect) could not accommodate the amount of guests on board. The food was eatable, but disappointing as well. You could not find tables to sit and eat because the overcrowding and lack of space drove people to lounge and congregate at the tables in the buffet and café areas. The amenities were lacking; they definitely fall into the "No Frills" category. The service staff were good and tried to be very helpful and attentive. They did their best to make the vacation smooth and enjoyable. The holiday events left something to be desired and we kept finding ourselves lucky to have gotten a seat, but merely waiting for it to end. Christmas passed with minimal notice, and New Years was very disappointing. I think I will stick to Royal Caribbean for my cruises. They were a much better experience for the same cost. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
First cruise on Carnival. Twelve other cruises on different lines. We purchased a suite for this adventure. Just a joke that afternoon food was basically only served from 12 to 2:30. Really enjoyed standing in lines because Carnival ... Read More
First cruise on Carnival. Twelve other cruises on different lines. We purchased a suite for this adventure. Just a joke that afternoon food was basically only served from 12 to 2:30. Really enjoyed standing in lines because Carnival is too cheap to keep dining choices open, while not having various eating establishments open for their patrons. It was great coming back from a shore excursion and just a pizza joint and a grill available. The buffet was total garbage. The Tandora, on the Lido was enjoyable, at least. The decor must have been created by people on acid. Pink and copper colors everywhere. It needs a makeover. My time dining was generally a joke. You had to line up before five, or you were given a buzzer to be called to dinner. Usually a 30 to 40 minute wait. Dining room food wasn't too bad most of the time. It was hit or miss. The ship is not clean. In 15 days, we never saw an employee cleaning the handrails. What few sanitary dispensers there were, weren't filled. No one was in front on the eating establishments offering to spray your hands. Same for when you come back from a shore excursion. They don't seem to care about germs. Of course, we both got sick during the end of the cruise. Suite was nothing to get excited about. Our steward was good. Entertainment was ok. Liked the theater. Enjoyed the lectures. Tom Parks and Nancy Caruso were great with their lectures. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We had been looking forward to this cruise for several years. We were celebrating a significant anniversary and we had had a wonderful experience on a previous Princess cruise. The ship sailed from Vancouver to the Hawaiian islands and ... Read More
We had been looking forward to this cruise for several years. We were celebrating a significant anniversary and we had had a wonderful experience on a previous Princess cruise. The ship sailed from Vancouver to the Hawaiian islands and back. It was a 15 day cruise. The ship itself was clean but not maintained all that well. There were mysterious wet spots on the carpeting in some areas and the occasional funky smell. There were also a lot of burnt-out or non-unctioning lights, which may seem trivial but often indicates a general lack of maintenance that may extend to areas not so visible. The seating in the Princess Theatre was atrocious. Any of you who are large might consider that there is only an 18" width to the seats and the sides are hard. (Picture sitting in a box 18" wide.) EVERYONE that we discussed this with felt that those seats were awful! To give you some idea of the width, 18" is even less than the 18.5" that airline seating allows. The food had also gone downhill siginificantly, as had the service. Everything appears to have been cost-cut to the point where it is obvious to pretty much all of the passengers. The staff in the dining rooms is running to keep up, the wait times between course servings is frequently a half hour or more, and the food delivered may, or may not match the descriptions in the menus. Much of the hot food or soup is luke-warm at best. (The Princess chefs need a Truth-In-Advertising refresher course.) In addtion, the food is generally just plain bland. The pace and working conditions of the staff show in their attitudes. Where you never used to encounter an "attitude" with the crew and service people, these days you hear not-so-subtle complaints and encounter mediocre service on a fairly regular basis. Worse yet, every where you turn somebody is trying to sell you something at an additional cost. This encompasses not only all of the regular shops and over-priced drink packages, but also periodic sales in the dining rooms between meals under conditions that would make a discount store blush as well as the purported "activity" programs offered to pasengers which are thinly disquesed sales programs. It gets really, realy old in a hurry. Lastly, the premium restaurant that we tried was the steak house on board. Bearing in mind that this meal cost an additional $29 per person, (although ours was part of our tour package), one would expect a really fine steak. However, the steaks we ordered, while beautiful and beautifully cooked, had no flavor whatsoever! Yes, there were some really fun surprises and a few really memberable dishes in the dining rooms. Yes, some of the shore trips were great. But overall, I'm thinking that this was probably our last Princess cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was a great way to see the Hawaiian Islands with a great itinerary but if you have cruised on other cruise lines you will likely be disappointed in the quality of the service and the quality of the food. While we experienced several ... Read More
This was a great way to see the Hawaiian Islands with a great itinerary but if you have cruised on other cruise lines you will likely be disappointed in the quality of the service and the quality of the food. While we experienced several very good staff members the quality of the service overall is well below what you would expect compared to many other cruise lines. Food quality was eatable but nothing to write home about and the Freestyle dining while it sounds great is inefficient since they are trying to do everything all at the same time. The excursions were good but overpriced. The embarkation and disembarkation processes at the beginning and end of the cruise were good but at ports the disembarkation process was very inefficient. The ship was nice but difficult for those with mobility issues with narrow corridors and the staff kept leaving things sticking out into the corridors so we had trouble negotiating with a wheel chair. Not the quality of other cruises we have been on but it is Hawaii and they are the only cruise line that does this so make sure to get a good deal on you fare and lower your expectations and have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I am TOTALLY FRUSTRATED with NCL at the moment and I would love the opportunity to speak with their CEO or someone from upper management. Pride of America is a relatively small ship compared to the rest of Norwegian’s fleet. The ... Read More
I am TOTALLY FRUSTRATED with NCL at the moment and I would love the opportunity to speak with their CEO or someone from upper management. Pride of America is a relatively small ship compared to the rest of Norwegian’s fleet. The ship is clean and the crew is, for the most part, very friendly. The cost of the cruise, however, was the most expensive I’ve experienced with NCL coming in just shy of $5100 for my wife and I for a balcony cabin located on the 10th level. I kept telling myself this is Hawaii and you get what you pay for. I can only imagine that NCL spends hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars to acquire your business and maintain your loyalty, but they missed the mark in our particular case. We have been loyal customers of NCL since switching over from another line several years back. Here are a few things to mull over. We were on the ship for only several hours when a women tripped and fell while exiting a bathroom near the pool area. She landed on my wife’s legs as my wife was entering the bathroom. NCL has a metal ramp going into the bathroom, but there is no similar accommodation as you exit. Next, I don’t believe an Unlimited Beverage Plan is available on POA due to Hawaiian law. However, a waiter at Teppanyaki thought otherwise and questioned where I had heard this. (Just a little embarrassed in front of my friends) Drinks, in my opinion, are very expensive. A Jack Daniels and Coke was $12.35, a Michelob Ultra was $8.63, a can of Pepsi was $4.28, and our friends ordered two Stoly doubles that cost them nearly $50. Next, the food at Cagney’s and Teppanyaki was very good, but both my wife and I were really looking forward to a nice lobster. Sorry, I couldn’t find lobster anywhere, not even in the specialty restaurants. Shrimp and scallops were found, but only on select menus and somewhat limited. Overall the food was pretty good, but the repetition of the same foods made for boring meals. Next, Kevin Brando on piano and a group called These Guys Worldwide were both exceptional entertainers and I wish we had seen more of them. However, the other entertainers on board were in my opinion average at best. Oh, I almost forgot, one group from a local island boarded the ship to entertain us and they were pretty good too! Here I go again telling myself it’s Hawaii. Well, if so, what happened to the visions I had of ample Hawaiian music and dancers? Maybe I was on shore and missed them. Now, I have to come full circle and express why I’m really frustrated. Remember I earlier spoke about the vast amounts of money that NCL spends on advertising to acquire your business and maintain your loyalty through their Latitudes Reward program. The good news is, they have now enhanced their CruiseNext program by allowing you to Double Up, or by applying two deposits towards a cruise that’s at least six months out. However, my frustration and the feeling that I’m being punished is due to, in my opinion, a silly policy that prohibits your use of this incentive if you already have a deposit on that future cruise. Yes, my wife and I, and five others already have $50 deposits on a cruise scheduled for November. It’s my understanding that we meet all of the requirements for this program except for the nominal deposit that’s in place. When talking to the CruiseNext Manager she suggested that we contact our travel agent and see if we could cancel our booking then rebook at the existing rate so we might be able to use the program. My response, Why should we have to do that? Understanding my frustrations she contacted her superiors to see if there was an alternative or exception to this rule. I subsequently received a letter saying there was no relief in this matter. So, here we are. NCL has spent enormous amounts of money to acquire our business and maintain a loyal relationship, but they are unable to overlook the $50 deposits that we have in place towards our next NCL cruise. Not only was that frustrating to accept, but imagine the shade that it cast over the POA cruise that I was currently trying to enjoy. So much for the investment that you’ve made to acquire and maintain our loyalty. Well, loyalty is a two way street. My Mom used to be great with all sorts of old adages. There are many I can think of, but “penny wise and dollar foolish” is perhaps the best in this particular instance. A future relationship with NCL is now very doubtful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Chosen as the only one leaving from San Francisco --Hawaii Although clean, our room was much smaller than our staterooms on previous cruises . The ship is very tired dark & depressing , not how you want to feel on holiday . There ... Read More
Chosen as the only one leaving from San Francisco --Hawaii Although clean, our room was much smaller than our staterooms on previous cruises . The ship is very tired dark & depressing , not how you want to feel on holiday . There was a lot of ceiling leaks with buckets catching drips all over the ship quite a few of the restrooms were out of order . The entertainment was poor . We were at sea for 4 days going & 4 days at sea on the return & this ship does not have the facilities to entertainment to keep you occupied for this long at sea . With 2500 passengers & the facilities were first come first served , so you would stand in a queue but may not get in . The best place to sit in the evening was the Piazza area where it was lighter but not enough seating . The best things about this ship was the staff & the food . Grand Princess badly needs attention Thank goodness our trips ashore in Hawaii was worth the journey . Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Cruise the Hawaiian islands, NCL placed fees and charges at every turn. Daily service charge was 40% higher than other cruises. There was a “corking fee” for the one bottle of wine packed for use in the stateroom. No other cruise ... Read More
Cruise the Hawaiian islands, NCL placed fees and charges at every turn. Daily service charge was 40% higher than other cruises. There was a “corking fee” for the one bottle of wine packed for use in the stateroom. No other cruise line has done this in the past. Fees plus tips were added to bar orders. Stateroom and balcony were very small.Cabin steward was attentive and friendly. Food at the buffet (especially for breakfast) was better than the dining room. However, guests had to get their own coffee, juice, and water. The ports of call were interesting and shore excursions were expensive, but usually worthwhile, Helicopter ride was cancelled due to weather, so we were taken on a very long van ride and charged $100. We were unable to cancel this part of the tour. Much rain in the month of March. Would recommend a drier month. Their daily newspaper was minimally informative. Didn’t have information about a special dress night until it was over, I would not recommend NCL. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We had hoped for a few sunny sea days and some island tours for enlightenment of the areas. The Tours were okay, but not great. Scenery was spectacular on the 3 tours. The Sea Days were cloudy and coolish. Deck days were a non starter ... Read More
We had hoped for a few sunny sea days and some island tours for enlightenment of the areas. The Tours were okay, but not great. Scenery was spectacular on the 3 tours. The Sea Days were cloudy and coolish. Deck days were a non starter (weather is not guarantee, that is understood. First night waves were severe enough to modify route, but it was a expensive and scary amusement ride. A stench emanating from the bow the ship lasted several hours during the hard weather on the first night. The food service for the most part was good, sometimes great. Ice Tea tasted like coloured ice water. Pastries plentiful and tasty. Evening dining Service was good and very good. My menu likes and dislikes and desire for simpler foods, made it difficult for me to enjoy the good presentations of food on evening menus. But the waiting staff was very accommodating.for special requests. The entertainment was for the most part very enjoyable. The TV presentation and shows, sucked, and repeated the same schedule for two days in a row in some cases. Most were old shows, but surprisingly had some new shows. The TV guide on the tv was hard to read. The Cruise director and his staff were everywhere and did a good job of keeping the masses amused and busy. (the passenger age average was close to 70 and not many young people and fewer children). But the ship is in dire need of a makeover, but rumours have it will vanish from the fleet within the year. There were leaks between the floors noticeably and I am sure the crew did their best to cover up/fix other problems. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was a family trip chosen by other family. After reading reviews I was optimistically hopeful and for my second time in Hawaii, I thought it was a great way to see as much as possible. Day 1: The Welcome is everything you expect of a ... Read More
This was a family trip chosen by other family. After reading reviews I was optimistically hopeful and for my second time in Hawaii, I thought it was a great way to see as much as possible. Day 1: The Welcome is everything you expect of a cruise ship, smiling, friendly faces all happy to have you aboard. Day 2: That's all over, you're now a captive audience and have no where to go and service is no longer a priority. 3 Hour Dinners, that were not worth the wait, 90 minute late night snacks at the overstaffed non attentive all night diner. Only item on limited menu worth getting is the 25-30 minute burger unless you are the cruise director or staff. When asking about details of a menu item, you can get a response like I'm not sure what is on it other than the description, but if you don't like it, you can order something else". What kind of response is that? Being the only ship allowed to cruise "just" Hawaiian islands we found out it is more a detriment than the exception to the rule. We were told by a key staff member due to that reason a specific percentage of employees must be US citizens thus inferring issues with being able to hire great staff. In the mornings we would be given tidbits of what to see on each island (always starting off with the same 3-5 vendors) then some key sites to see. The problem with this is that we took the maps with us and drove like crazy to see as many sights as possible including one beach that we were told we had to see, but what the hostess on the ship failed to mention was that it was landlocked by US military stations and inaccessible through the 3 different GPS routes we tried to take losing almost 2 hours of our limited time on that island. The ship has a daily newsletter that must be printed out prior to each cruise as the weather was always wrong for every day, so check your own weather apps before going ashore. The off shore excursions are extremely inflated for price, you are much better off and can afford to do so much more if you check ahead. For example, the last day they make it sound so convenient to take a $140/pp trip to Pearl Harbor and they will store your luggage, transport you there and get you to the airport. If you store your luggage for 5$/bag at the pier, go outside the pier gates and get one of the competing shuttles to Pearl Harbor for $5 early. You get the Pearl Harbor early to get one of the free tickets that they give out in the morning until they run out. When your done, get another shuttle $5 -$10 (we always got $5) down to Waikiiki beach for lunch and $10 back to the pier to get luggage and to the airport. We got a whole day in for less than half of the cost of that trip as a convenient ship excursion. Our cabin steward was great, very attentive and responsive. The comedian and illusionist were great, the remaining entertainment was typical cruise type fill in the gaps options. You could never understand the announcements on the pool deck or the entire ship as the speaker system muffled everything. The ship could be going down and you not know b/c you can't decipher the messages Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This cruise was selected by another family member, but we all felt the same way and will not be cruising Norwegian again. Check in was exceedingly slow, even though we had checked in "online" in advance. Our individual was ... Read More
This cruise was selected by another family member, but we all felt the same way and will not be cruising Norwegian again. Check in was exceedingly slow, even though we had checked in "online" in advance. Our individual was typing with one finger at a time, we'd had a long flight and were tired. All decks were called as being ready before ours at least an hour before ours and by the time we finally got to go to our room at 4:30, we immediately had to leave for a fire drill. Cabin steward was not receptive to notes to leave for replacement items (soft drink replacement from the mini-bar, ice, a replacement for an empty lotion -- of which you get one at the beginning of the week and that's it). They fail to tell you until the night before that there is a tender which transfers you from the boat to the port because the ship is too big to dock. This was a problem because we had an excursion booked and individual with limited ability to ascend the 12 steps to the tender, rather than be able to wheel them directly out a ramp. A lot of sections of the ship required considerable pushing to get a wheelchair over a hump. An elevator got stuck with us inside for a few minutes when trying to disembark in one port and we were unable to take the stairs down due to mobility issues. You are literally charged for everything, even after paying a hefty price for cabin and meals. Extra charge for "specialty' restaurants, mandatory 18% gratuities on everything, all alcoholic drinks and soft drinks (which we expected because it's a great money maker for them), photos, USB drives for the photos, etc. Shops are highly overpriced for American products which can be obtained in the American ports. Daily service charge per room, per person of almost $15 which is alleged to be used as "incentive pay" for employees, on top of the 18% mandatory gratuity, and on receipts there is yet another line for you to add a "tip." One bartender told us that the reason they started charging the 18% was because non-Americans don't tip. Non-Americans don't tip because good service is should be expected for the prices already charged. You are basically paying the employees wages with the service charges and gratuities so the ship's company can make more profit. There is a huge marketing push to book another cruise and obtain their credit card. Wine is $42 a bottle minimum, beer is $8, soft drink can is $3.51. And, of course, you can't bring any of that onboard with you. Disembarking is a nightmare with only two elevators which go down all the way to the gangway and 2,000+ people trying to exit at a port at any given time. Elevators are extremely slow with some pre-determined computerized attempt to service, which skips floors altogether, or opens it's doors with a semi-full load of 5 or 6 people and then indicates it's overloaded, even if the elevator claims it can take 13 people. I don't know what they consider when they estimate an individuals weight to come up with the number of people it can hold. The cabin appears to be smaller than cabins we've been in on other ships, even though we had an upper deck more expensive one with a balcony. The entertainers at shows were actually great. Service desk could use some work as twice we were provided wrong directions and wrong areas to report to. Our cabin steward could use some tweaking, others didn't have the same problem with theirs -- but it might explain why our deck was the last one ready so much later than the other decks. Bartenders were always pleasant. Assistance with wheelchair disembarking at final stop left us as the last five passengers on the ship quite some time after all passengers had left. And while we weren't expecting special privileges, we had been told that they would be happy to help us. There is a certain lack of empathy or accommodation when it came to our particular party. While the food in the East to West Asian restaurant was very good, the matre d' appeared somewhat snobbish towards us. Our age group ranged from 35-80 and we come from a large family. We will not recommend this cruise to any of our family or friends. Maui did not have many excursions available and not much to see in the port we were in; you were required to take the taxis as they were lined up (I thought this was an American cruise and we could choose who we wanted?) If you want to take an Uber or Lyft driver, you literally have to walk half a mile to get to them. Another huge inconvenience if you have anyone in a wheelchair. The stay there is too long considering the lack of available off-ship entertainment options. Kona does not dock at a pier, but you have to transfer from a tender and then wait 30-45 minutes in mostly sun to reboard for a return trip. NOT wheelchair or elderly friendly. Nawiliwili is the best port, with the best excursions (don't book them through the ship excursions; at this port at least you can be picked up right outside a decently short walk terminal.) Hilo is okay, but expensive excursions. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
If you have high expectations then this is NOT the ship for you...If you're more into the onshore activities and seeing the Hawaiian Islands then this may be the cruise for you. My husband and I have taken this cruise twice within a ... Read More
If you have high expectations then this is NOT the ship for you...If you're more into the onshore activities and seeing the Hawaiian Islands then this may be the cruise for you. My husband and I have taken this cruise twice within a two year period. We'd expect improvements from the first cruise, rather we were quite let down. The shows are exactly the same, you'd think they'd update their entertainment! How does this accommodate frequent cruisers? Their food sucks unless you purchase the specialty dining packages. If you have an expensive palate like mine then you're forced to pay that extra fee for the dining package, if not then you'll be disappointed. The wait staff on this ship are nothing compared to the service you'd get on other cruises. We missed a show due to the extensive time the main dining hall took on our dinner one night and almost missed a second nights show due to the same reason. We dodged the ball on this night because we walked out having to wait 20 minutes for our dessert, after waiting that long we did without the dessert and hurried to the show. Service lacks and food sucks, again unless you dine in the specialty restaurants. The room stewards are exceptional. They seem to have a passion for what they do, both cruises we've loved the service from our stewards. They make coming back and leaving the room pleasant. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I always like to read reviews from experienced vacationers. Because of that here is a brief history of our vacations. We have been married for 18 years and have been lucky enough to do a tropical vacation every January of our marriage. All ... Read More
I always like to read reviews from experienced vacationers. Because of that here is a brief history of our vacations. We have been married for 18 years and have been lucky enough to do a tropical vacation every January of our marriage. All have been to 4 or 5 star All Inclusive resorts except for 4 cruises including this one. Along with that we have done several other trips at other times of the year around the USA as well as Europe. Now for the Pride of America Food: This food was in the bottom 2 or 3 of all our vacations. I have heard many people complain about cold food on a buffet, but in 18 years I have never once complained that the food was too cold. Sometimes not super hot but always warm enough to eat. Well not on the Pride of America. We did every breakfast, many lunches, and one Dinner at the buffet. I never once had any hot food and only a couple times had even somewhat warm food. On top of the buffet food never being warm it was almost always tasteless or of very poor taste. I am not a very picky eater and always find food I like at a vacation buffet. On the Pride I was just eating something to fill my stomach, not because it was good. The main dinning rooms were no better. The food was hot but was not good. A couple of the soups were OK but nothing else was. On a cruise I usually have 2 or 3 entrees every night that I would like. This time I had a hard time finding 1 I wanted, and when I did get it I was sorry. I never went hungry but nothing was very good. The big attraction to cruising is usually the fantastic food. This was so disappointing I can't say enough about it. It is pretty sad when a cruise ship is getting blown out of the water, food wise, by an All Inclusive resort. That is the case with all AIs compared to this ship. If you wanted something for a snack between meals there was never anything more than basic pizza or plain hotdogs and hamburgers. A major problem I had was the extra charges for food. For dinner, any restaurant other than the main dining room were an extra charge, as well as many items on the menu in the main dinning room. Presumably this is were any of the decent food was. Well on a cruise I shouldn't have to pay extra for good food. Ship/Cabins: The ship is smaller than some of the monsters they are building now. Because of that there isn't the grand entry or the large open shopping/promenade down the center of the ship like you see in more modern ships. Not an issue at all for us, just different. Like most ships there are different bars and lounges that have different vibes where you can spend your evenings. Most will have different live music, DJ music, live game shows, comedian, ect. One problem we had with the layout of the ship is the area for the buffet where everyone goes for breakfast is too small. Many times we had a very hard time finding a place to sit and eat. There were times we had to carry our food outside by the pool to eat breakfast. The cabins were everything we have had on all other cruises. The cabins as well as the bathrooms are small but that is what is expected on cruise ships. This ship did have larger decks off the cabins than what we have had in the past. The cabins, bathrooms, and decks were all in good repair and we had no issues with anything there. Crew/entertainment: For the most part all the servers were very nice and professional and did a good job. Ben, one of the bartenders and was usually at the bar on the 5th level, was a great guy. There were a few servers in the main dinning room that seemed less than happy to be there and always had a sour look on their face. That is something I have never seen on any cruise or at any AI resort. The Cruise Directors staff which organized events and games, mostly in the evenings, seemed inexperienced and didn't always know what to do or what to say. It was often uncomfortable watching them trying to figure out what to do next. We had one comedian which did 2 different shows with completely different material on 2 different nights and was very good. All the live music we heard either on the pool deck or in the bars in the evenings were of pretty poor quality. Not a lot of talent there and some times hard to listen to. The main problem we had with the entertainment was the volume of the music on the pool deck. Now we are only in our mid 40s so you wouldn't think this would be a major issue. Well it was so obnoxious we couldn't take it. It was so loud that my wife and I would yell to each other and we still couldn't hear each other. The only day we tried to lay around the pool was the last day. When they were playing prerecorded music it was pretty loud but we were able to deal with it. It was kind of hard to have a conversation but we made the best of it. As soon as they started the live music we had to leave because it was so loud. I am talking hurt your ears loud. When they were getting the live music ready, tuning their instruments, people were yelling "It's too loud turn it down". When they started I went up to the assistant cruise director and asked her why it was so loud and could they turn it down. First of all she couldn't hear me and I was yelling. When I repeated it as loud as I could her response was that it was live music and that is how it is. We had to leave. All in all this was a pretty bad experience. It was nice to see several of the islands but there are other and better ways to do that. Getting on and off the ship wasn't too bad but you do have to use a tender boat for one port. That is a major hassle and takes a LONG time both ways. I would definitely suggest to people to do a hotel a few days on each island. I think you would have more time to see things on the island, you would get a better feel for what the island is like, you could eat more local food which I know would be better than what is offered on the ship, and I think price wise it would be about the same. With the time spent cruising between ports and getting on and off the ship, it would be faster and more efficient to fly between islands and stay in hotels. That way you would have more time per island to do and see things. This all comes from a pretty experienced vacationer. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017

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