Sail Date: May 2013
Husband and I planned this trip for about 9 months to celebrate our 40th anniversary. We had always wanted to visit Hawaii and felt like doing a cruise and visiting several islands was the best experience for us. I read every review on ... Read More
Husband and I planned this trip for about 9 months to celebrate our 40th anniversary. We had always wanted to visit Hawaii and felt like doing a cruise and visiting several islands was the best experience for us. I read every review on Cruise Critic and Trip Adviser for months! My sister says I could be the tour guide as I had learned so much. But that is the key to a good trip, learn as much as you can about the places you plan to visit so you will know what to expect and understand. We arrived in Honolulu on Thursday, May 2, 2013 from Dallas, Texas. There is a 5 hour time difference so we were plenty tired. We stayed two nights in the Wyndham Royal Garden. We are Wyndham owners so I used some points to book the hotel. It was very nice; about 2 blocks from the beach. We rented a convertible for our stay in Honolulu. Loved driving the island with the top down. Honolulu was our least favorite of all the places we visited because it was so commercialized. We walked Waikiki beach Thursday evening and it was beautiful. Friday we ate at IHOP (eating at fine restaurants is not a priority with us) then drove to the Dole Plantation; took the train ride; very enjoyable. We drove around to the North Shore, stopping at a fruit stand and buying fresh mango!! The we drove to the Polynesian Culture Center and visited for the afternoon. This was so enlightening of the many cultures of the islands. We drove on back to the hotel Saturday, we drove to Diamond Head and parked at the base. We walked through the tunnel and made some nice pictures. We then went to Bishops Museum; it was ok. We drove the car back to the airport off-site location and they shuttled us to the pier. That was a big plus!!! Embarkation went very smoothly. You could feel the excitement in the air. All the cruise staff were out to meet and greet you and make you feel special. Our cabin was on the 4th floor. I was very apprehensive at first and tried to change the room prior to sailing, but no rooms were available. The room was great. Some of the restaurants and Hollywood Theater are on the 5th floor, so we could walk to them. But we were low enough that we did not hear any noise either. So it was great. Karl, our room steward was so friendly and kept our room in top shape. We ate at the Liberty, the Skyline and the Aloha Buffet mostly. We ate at the the Cadillac Diner for their desserts:) Food was fabulous everywhere and service was very good with the exception of Thursday night in the Liberty. It was just a little slow that night, but nothing to gripe about. Shows: Oh What A Night was so entertaining. I have seen the musical 'The Jersey Boys' and realize this group is not quite that caliber, but these guys are not far from it. Do not miss this show. We Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
This was my third cruise on Celebrity. I chose Aqua Class because my traveling companions were booked on that level and they told me that their restaurant, "Blu", was phenomenal, both for its food and service. (More on Blu ... Read More
This was my third cruise on Celebrity. I chose Aqua Class because my traveling companions were booked on that level and they told me that their restaurant, "Blu", was phenomenal, both for its food and service. (More on Blu later.) We were informed before the cruise that that there was a norovirus outbreak on the prior cruise from Sydney, so our embarkation would be delayed. That's fine...let's keep as many people safe as possible. The line getting to the check in area was crazy long, and the bag drop off was hectic (at 3:30pm). Once inside the un-air conditioned terminal, we finally found our check-in point and were given a number that would be called when the ship was ready to receive us. We moved to a part of the terminal that was suppose to have provided us with water and something to eat, but all we found were two empty tables with crew members breaking down boxes that once held cookies. So, we received nothing to quench our thirst as we waited 10 minutes for our number (14) to be called. Once called, we waited on line 30 minutes until we could go up the escalator to join other passengers before we could get on the ship. That line was another 25 minute wait. We situated ourselves in the Cafe on deck 14, and sat to listen to numerous announcements saying that our crew was working hard to disinfect the ship BUT OUR ROOMS ARE NOT YET READY. OK...we are expecting a 5:30pm "all clear" based on Celebrity's earlier pre-cruise communication, so we continue to wait...have a little bite...a beverage... At this point, the every-15 minutes communication on the loud-speaker is getting annoying, because there is nothing encouraging about them. FINALLY, at 6:15pm, we get the all clear. I'd like to suggest to Celebrity that if you are going to be so bold as to put a time down that guests can expect to get into their cabins (in our case, 5:30pm) that you stick to that OR you do something to make the who-knows-when-this-is going-to-end waiting period tolerable by bringing around trays of wine and beer, at your expense. That gesture would have brought you some goodwill and probably lightened the mood for most travelers on this cruise who had already been traveling 12 hours or more that same day, to get to Honolulu on time. So, finally in our rooms...let the cruise begin. Blu: I went to Blu Friday morning, solo, and the service was terrible. My understanding was that Blu is assigned seasoned servers, but you would never know this by my experience. The greeter, Anita, was great and personable, but the servers were bumbling for the most part. I get that we were still on "anti-noro" alert - I've been on other cruise lines that have had to deal with this issue - but this group had no clue what they were doing. My first morning took FOUR servers to get cream to me for my coffee (which was cold by the time they arrived.) I asked the coffee server, who had only coffee and milk....he said he would get the cream. I waited 5 minutes then asked a server who had bowls of sugar if they could find some cream...he left and so another 5 minutes goes by. (FYI - no one has asked me what I want to eat for breakfast yet, and only 15 other patrons were in the dining room at the time.) My next request was made to the (I assumed from his uniform) dining room captain, who looked to his left, then his right and then walked away to find someone. ANOTHER 5 minutes, and then some poor soul comes with a pitcher of skim milk and I was like, FINE, I'll take it. Ridiculous. For the next several mornings, the service was pretty much the same, but I was "armed" with more info based on morning one's experience. So, when I found the sugar person, I knew to ask for salt and pepper too. (Somewhere in their training, these servers were never taught to ask if you would like sugar, cream, milk with your coffee...butter and jam with your toast...salt and pepper with your eggs. They were all 'thrown' by the extra measures taken to avoid our contact while they tried to ensure the noro wouldn't spread to our cruise...these servers had no clue to ask if they could get us the basics you would expect for breakfast in a lovely dining room experience.) This experience was repeated every morning until I couldn't take it anymore and wrote to the hotel director. My comments were dealt with immediately and the service improved...for me. But, I wonder about those that didn't speak up? Many other cruisers spoke of the pitiful service in Blu when I was on different excursions in ports in Hawaii. I knew my experience wasn't unique based on these several conversations, but I kept my critical comments to my own specific experiences when I complained. (and, if you are wondering, dinner service in Blu was hectic and uncomfortable for at least one week. I don't know what was going on with this group of servers. Was it the Maitre d'hÃ'tel? Was it the training? All in all, it took at least a week before service seemed to be of the caliber I was expecting from Blu.) On the other hand, I had dinner one night in Murano, and it did not disappoint! (I've had dinner in Murano on other Celebrity cruises and it was also a fabulous experience.) To make a final food footnote here, the Oceanside Cafe on 14 was terrific. Very good food considering they are cooking for the masses and the bar service and busing service were very strong. My cabin (1525) was wonderful and I had terrific attendants who did a great job of incorporating items back into the room as the virus concern lifted. I had a manicure our first day at sea and I would say to you "save your money". Not worth it. The actual manicure (polish and top coat application) itself was botched and I had to go back for touchups...and for $60, I was not happy. It still looked pretty bad after that, but I wasn't going to waste any more time in the Spa on a manicure. All the bars were great and efficient with the bartenders at the Martini Bar being as entertaining as I've come to expect. The ship was very, very clean throughout and overall I would rate this a good experience...until we get to the disembarkation in Ensenada, Mexico. Ensenada: If Celebrity keeps the same itinerary as we had (Honolulu to Ensenada), I would say to you to be VERY careful about your flight plans from San Diego. Let me explain: You get on a bus in Ensenada, are driven at least 1.5 hours to Border Control in Tijuana by someone who does not really speak english and there is no Celebrity representative with you, go through Customs (thankfully for us, ON THE BUS) for 30 minutes, then another minimal 45 minutes to San Diego airport and/or nearby hotels. We were to be in Solstice theater at 8:30am for departure...and we were...and our bus was called at 11:00am! We pulled out of Ensenada port at 11:15am and arrived at our hotel (five minutes from the airport) at 2:30pm. Thankfully, I had a 'red-eye' and my traveling companions were staying overnight and flying out the next morning, so we had no schedule worries, just general aggravation. However, there was one woman put on our bus (#65 - the last bus) at the last minute who's luggage was on bus #59 and her handicapped husband on an entirely other bus. Our driver went to San Diego airport first...I saw bus #59 go by and stop about four buses ahead of us, and so this woman jumped off to at least get their luggage and then figure out how/when she was going to locate her husband. (I can only imagine the letter she is going to write to Celebrity!) ...and to say nothing about the fact that she left her passports, credit cards and other travel docs on our bus -someone found them on her vacated seat while we were stuck in airport traffic, handed them to me and so I raced off our bus to find her to return them to her. INSANE! I would definitely take a cruise with Celebrity again, (my other two cruises with them were superior to this one) but this itinerary was ridiculous. The funny thing is, our ship was in San Diego the day after we disembarked in Mexico. So, I don't understand, why we could not have disembarked there instead...why did we have to go through all that craziness in Ensenada? Celebrity never clued us in on what to expect at disembarkation. They left all of us stranded in the theatre for hour upon hour with no water, juice, Danish set-up. Everything was closed at 8:00am so we couldn't get coffee, sodas, etc even if we wanted to pay for it. (Although at one point it was announced that the Cafe would be open until 11:30am that, in fact, was not true.) The weather - rain - had been forecast and we were told that the disembarkation process was halted after the first five or so buses left at 6:00am because of the rain - they didn't want us to get wet waiting outside. What? So, grab the porters, all the large umbrellas in the state rooms and let's get going! They had no contingency plan for rain? Really? Celebrity left us in the hands of a lovely guy from Spain named Andres, who did whatever he could to keep us occupied during our long, long wait. He was fantastica and should get a raise and promotion plus additional port time for his efforts in keeping us engaged and not enraged. (Note: Not an officer in sight either during embarkation delay nor disembarkation craziness.) Oh...Celebrity...you let us down this time... I'll still love you, but I'll give you only one more time to redeem yourself. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2013
My wife and I are both seniors 60-564 years old. This cruise was to celebrate her 60th Birthday and retirement as well as our 40th anniversary. We never took a real honeymoon and have always wanted to have gone there.We looked at cruise ... Read More
My wife and I are both seniors 60-564 years old. This cruise was to celebrate her 60th Birthday and retirement as well as our 40th anniversary. We never took a real honeymoon and have always wanted to have gone there.We looked at cruise options on all lines but did not like the days at sea on other lines so we opted for the NCL Pride of America which was strictly limited to the major Hawiian Islands. We started out on Oahu with a week long stay at the Disney Aullani Resort in Ko-Olina during that week we visited Pearl Harbor as well as several other major attractions on Oahu. It was a great week in preparation for a great cruise. We arrived at Pier 2 at about 1130 am on embarkation day, 27 April 2013. The ship was shining in the sunlight and looked great. The check in began about 20 minutes later and by 1215 we were checked in and on board. The process was well organized, and hassle free . Once on board we began exploring the ship. Everything was clearly marked and we made out way to the balcony cabin. # 9120 Starboard side. It was ready for us and neat and clean. Our luggage was delivered by 200 pm and we put things away and continued our exploration. The staff was helpful, courteous and polite.We made our way to the forward pool deck for a sail away barbecue and a great music show,by the ship band. Later that night we ate at the Skyline dining room and had a waitress named Jessica she was great and also told us the ship had just underwent a 30million dollar facelift . She was great and we gave her an extra cash tip for her great service, we subsequently had her several other nights by request and she was great each time. We also met our cabin steward that night gave him 20.00 the first day and told him another 20.00 on the last day. Need less to say our room was made up quickly each day with plenty of fresh towels and turned down each night great service. The excursions were all great and booked thru NCL a little pricey could maybe have done it cheaper myself thru tour companies. All the included food stops,were ok, at least a B grade the exception was the Cadillac Diner which was mostly slow service with so-so food. The staff their seemed to be dis-interested, they needed a good Greek Restaurant owner to manage that staff. All the entertainment was great and the cruise director Silas and his staff were entertaining. With all the shows and bar entertainment on board you were overwhelmed with activities . All the negative reviews about this cruise must come for people who expect the moon. This cruise met or exceeded all my hopes and expectations. With the exception of the Cadillac Diner negative experiences it was great, imwould highly recommend it to anyone who wants to experience the islands without the headaches of airports. Leaving the ship was easy, simply place the colored luggage tags corresponding to the time you wish to depart ans your bags are waiting for you in the terminal. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2012
Since I live in Hawaii I was very excited that American Safari Cruises was adding a Hawaiian itinerary to their unique yacht adventures. My friend was visiting from Vancouver and since we both love being on the water we decided to take ... Read More
Since I live in Hawaii I was very excited that American Safari Cruises was adding a Hawaiian itinerary to their unique yacht adventures. My friend was visiting from Vancouver and since we both love being on the water we decided to take this cruise, our first small-ship experience. We absolutely loved it! We flew from Honolulu to Kona and were met at the airport by a representative from American Safari Cruises and taken to the Courtyard King Kamehameha Hotel in Kailua-Kona. There they had a large meeting room available for us to store our luggage as we had a few hours to wander around the town and have lunch. At 4pm we were all taken by bus to where the Safari Explorer was docked, about a 40 minute drive. We were greeted by a very friendly crew and escorted to our stateroom on the B deck. Since we were 2 women traveling together, we had requested a room with 2 twin beds. They were a little narrower than a regular twin bed but worked out fine. We unpacked and headed down to the bar for drinks and pupus. At first we were surprised at the age of our fellow passengers which averaged about 60 yrs old. The youngest guest was 45 and the oldest was 80. This being the last cruise of the season (the Safari Explorer is now on its way to Seattle for the Alaska season, but will be back at the end of October), we only had 23 guests and 13 crew. By the end of the week we felt like family! We were up early every morning around 6:30 and enjoyed coffee and fruit on the deck, followed by yoga at 7am then full breakfast around 8:30am. The first 2 days we spent on the waters off the Kona coast which was amazing. We saw pilot whales, kayaked with dolphins, snorkelled, explored caves and inlets, and did a night snorkel with manta rays. Then we crossed over to Lanai (this was an overnight crossing and was very choppy but luckily we did not get seasick) where we had some fun water play time using the paddleboards, sailboat, kayaks, and snorkel gear. In the afternoon the skiffs took us over to Lanai city for some sightseeing. On Monday we had an amazing snorkelling experience with sea turtles off Maui, then after lunch we docked at Lahaina and went paddling on an outrigger canoe. The last 2 days were spent on Molokai for some more cultural experiences. Activities included visiting a plumeria farm and making leis, macadamia nut farm, some beach time (with an amazing lunch) and a trip to the Kalapaupa lookout. A few of the guests opted to take the mule ride to Kalapaupa that day for a tour of the settlement. Our last day we drove about an hour to Halawa Valley which was gorgeous. About half of our group then hiked to a waterfall where we had lunch. If you'd like to see my photos I have them posted at https://picasaweb.google.com/vivianthornhill/SafariExplorerCruise?authuser=0&feat=directlink Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2011
My husband and I just returned from a 7 day Pride of America cruise in the Hawaiian Islands. This was a trip I planned for 25 years. In 1986 I flew into Honolulu with anticipation of visiting 4 islands in 2 weeks. Unfortunately, I was ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from a 7 day Pride of America cruise in the Hawaiian Islands. This was a trip I planned for 25 years. In 1986 I flew into Honolulu with anticipation of visiting 4 islands in 2 weeks. Unfortunately, I was quarantined for 10 days of that 2 weeks with the measles. I vowed, like MacArthur, that I would return. After much research, we determined that the most effective way to go in the time allowed would be on NCL Pride of America. We decided to use the ship as a floating hotel and avoid airports and checking in and out of hotel rooms. We were traveling from Maine, so we decided to arrive 3 days early to enable our senior citizen bodies to recover from jet lag. Our stay at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach was wonderful. It is well located within walking distance to most everything on Waikiki Beach. Our ocean view room had a great view and we actually saw Pride of America arrive in port. Much of the fun in planning this trip involved joining and participating in the Cruise Critic Forum Group. There were members from Canada, Australia, and points north and south in the US. We had months of trading ideas, making excursion plans, and getting to know each other. We all finally met face to face on the first day on board POA at a Meet and Greet set up by Rachel, the POA Group Service Coordinator. I will have much more to say about the hospitality shown by the POA Staff to our Cruise Critic Forum members later in this review. First, before actually beginning to give a review of the POA, I would like to explain why this cruise is impossible to rate against any other ship or itinerary. It is very unique. Everything is expensive in Hawaii. Everything must be shipped, so you pay freight for almost all consumables. By law, this American flagged ship must have a high percentage of US citizens. They must earn a minimum wage and overtime. There have been complaints on this Member Review Site about the shortage of help and poor service. Carey, the POA Hotel Manager, explained his dilemma. Hiring and training is an on going process, needing to adhere to US rules and regulations. It takes 90 days or more just to get the proper security clearance for a new employee. Then training begins. Many new employees have been using this as a stepping stone, so it is a constant turnover process with periods of help shortages. This is a unique situation in all of the cruise industry. It is the price we pay to have the US port of Honolulu and not need to spend 3 sea days on sometimes rough seas from a foreign port. Pre-Cruise: We spent 3 days in Waikiki. This gave us time to adjust for jet lag and recover from the 18 hour flight from Maine. First morning we had a delightful, if expensive breakfast at the Outrigger Reef. For dinner we arranged to eat at Duke's Canoe Club. The view there was lovely of Diamond Head, but the food was only mediocre for the price and it was very noisy. Second day we made arrangements with Paradise Cover Luau to be picked up to attend their luau. My only advice about this is don't do it if that is what you are planning for your trip. Save your money and go to the luau offered by NCL. The Paradise Cove luau was just short of a carnival and the drinks were watered down. Not worth the high price charged. We received lots of good feedback from those who attended the one on the cruise. The third day my husband went to the Arizona Memorial while I did the a 5 hour Hummer Movie Set Tour. Both tours were set up through Tom Barefoot's Tours on line. The company picked us up at our hotel and made all necessary arrangements for us. Both tours were well worth it. The Army Museum next to the Outrigger Reef is a good take. We only allotted ourselves an hour before embarkation to do this and wish we had more time there. It is an excellent museum about the history of Oahu and the military in Hawaii. Embarkation: We arrived at the dock at 1:30 PM. We splurged on this trip and booked a penthouse suite, so we were escorted onto the ship to meet our concierge and butler. They offered Champagne and snacks while Jim, our concierge explained the suite experience. Cruising in a suite is really worth the price. You get special treatment and rarely need to wait in any line. Form our initiation meeting with Jim and our butler, Mathew, we were escorted to the Lazy J for lunch. If you are a suite dweller you have the advantage of breakfast and lunch served there every day. It is a wonderful advantage. They have the best breakfast on board the ship. Our suite was a bit smaller than other suites we have had, but it was quite nicely laid out with a large bathroom with a full tub, separate dressing area, king sized bed and a living/dining area. Our suite was really special because the deck was located beneath the Bridge. We could see the officers through the side and floor windows of the Bridge. We have several pictures taken of the Captain and his officers. The Captain even waved a couple of times. Our butler, Matthew and stewardess, Lucia were absolutely wonderful. I just wish I could have brought them home with me. I do not know when Lucia ever ate or slept. Every time I opened our suite door she was in the hall as though she were there just waiting for us to make a request. Meet and Greet: Rachel arranged our Meet and Greet for 3:00 - 4:00 in the Napa Wine Bar. It was wonderful finally meeting our new friends from the Cruise Critic Forum. Rachel Donnelly was wonderful to have arranged for so many of the POA Staff to take the time to introduce themselves to us. We were invited to attend the VIP Cocktail Party the following afternoon and then received an invitation to dine with the officers at the Liberty Restaurant on Tuesday evening. Rachel and the other officers really outdid themselves to make our experience with POA truly memorable. We had VIP treatment the whole way. They were very concerned about changing the image given sometimes on the Cruise Critic reviews and arranged to have all of us meet with them to give a critique before disembarking. For the most part all comments at this meeting were favorable. Dining: We had 2 dinners in the Liberty Dining Room. Both experiences were very nice. Food and service was good. Our second dining experience there was with the Hotel Manager, Carey and the Paymaster, Tom. These officers could not have been more hospitable. This was a fun evening and very memorable. Dinner and service was impeccable. Little Italy was good, but not worth the extra surcharge. Service was very good, but the food was nothing to write home about. Jefferson Bistro was a huge disappointment. We were looking forward to experiencing a great meal and it was less than mediocre. My husband swallowed very hard when presented with the bill. We are moderate drinkers and only had 2 glasses of wine with our meal, but it was an outrageous price. We get 4 or 5 star meals in New England for the price we paid. We do not mind paying the price if it is worth it. This was not. Aloha Cafe was like having a go home place to run to. We were usually so tired after our days on the islands that to have the Aloha to pick up a bite to eat was wonderful. We found the food very good. The atmosphere is a little crazy and uncoordinated. There is a huge variety to choose from and everything I tried was very good. I would recommend offering some more variety of desserts. I enjoyed Freestyle Dining given the itinerary we had. This was our first experience of true Freestyle, so it was a day of two to get accustomed to it. I missed the social sharing of sitting with the same people and sharing the days' experiences with them every evening though. It is also a nice thing to have the same wait staff every day too. We adapted nicely. Overall the ship is really beautiful. She is showing her age and getting a little tattered around the edges. She is in need to refurbishing soon. We had maintenance issues almost every day in our suite. They were always promptly addressed, but this should not be issues the cruise passenger should be made to deal with. I have been on many cruises and this was the only time there were so many maintenance issues in our suite. This is a clue, to me, that POA needs to take her time off and get refurbished. She is a lovely ship and the staff is very proud of her. She should get her face-lift and sail proud. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2009
After months of researching vacation options for my spouse and I, we decided to try cruising with NCL's Pride of America. First off I should state that this was the first cruise we have ever been on and that our ages are between ... Read More
After months of researching vacation options for my spouse and I, we decided to try cruising with NCL's Pride of America. First off I should state that this was the first cruise we have ever been on and that our ages are between 25-38. I feel it is important to mention this because we had high expectations of night life on this cruise which is few and far in between. Night life consists of magic shows and comedians; not parties and bar life. This was disappointing for us. When we arrived, check in was somewhat annoying. The lines seemed to go on forever and we waited until 8:00 for our luggage to arrive at our stateroom. The first evening we ate at East Meets West. This is deemed a specialty restaurant, but I must warn you, I did not find anything special about it. The temperature in the restaurant was so cold that people were wearing sweatshirts over their dresses. The food was average at best. It was a disappointing way to begin our vacation. I had been to Hawaii before with Perillo tours ( this is a land tour). My experience with Perillo was professional and top notch all the way. I am not going to sit here and complain about the size of the stateroom (I was expecting small). The room was cleaned throughout our trip and I found the staff on the ship to be professional and courteous. Not the same can be said for the guests who were on the cruise. The second day we ate breakfast ate the Aloha Cafe (the buffet). While the food was tasty and plentiful, the guests on the ship were rude. People were bumping into each other rushing to get their food. It was not relaxing and more stressful than anything. This was not something I was used to dealing with while on vacation. We booked 3 excursions with NCL. My advice is to do your research. In most cases it is cheaper and more enjoyable to rent a car and see things on your own. We did this twice and loved every minute of it. During the day there is not much to do on the ship. The live music is almost nonexistent. Before I went on this cruise I was told that there is food available at all times. This is NOT the case with NCL POA. In fact after 9:30 at night nothing is available to eat besides room service. Between 4:00 and 5:30 there is also nothing available to eat. We did zip lining in Maui (cheaper if you booked on your own), Captain Zodiac Raft and Snorkel in Kona (worth going with NCL) and the Pearl Harbor tour in Honolulu. The Pearl Harbor tour was awful and a waste of time and money. They ended up taking us to McDonald's for part of the excursion time as they ran out of things to do. We payed $55 a person and the tour of Pearl Harbor was free so it was a real waste of time and money doing this tour when we hardly saw any of Honolulu. Save the money, rent a car and do this yourself. As for the rest of the cruise experience. Little Italy, Jefferson's Bistro, and Lazy J's Steakhouse were all excellent and worth the money. We ate in the Liberty Dining Hall one night and that was so/so. Although they tell you reservation is not necessary, my advice is to make a reservation if you don't want to end up eating after 9 every night. I loved Hawaii, but rent a car if you decide to go on this cruise and do it yourself. If you are on the fence about going on this cruise, I would say look into other ways to see Hawaii that will leave you with the experience I had with Perillo. Vacationing should be relaxing and I did not find this cruise to be relaxing at all. This was our first and last cruise vacation. Hopefully if you do decide to go on this cruise you will have a better experience than we did. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2009
This was my second cruise on Pride of America, but it was a first for my sister and mom.  I began planning the trip from east Tennessee to Hawaii in January 2009, and the cruise was in April.  I had arranged to fly to Houston, then ... Read More
This was my second cruise on Pride of America, but it was a first for my sister and mom.  I began planning the trip from east Tennessee to Hawaii in January 2009, and the cruise was in April.  I had arranged to fly to Houston, then non-stop to Honolulu, only to discover at 3:00 am (the morning of the flight AND cruise), that our flight had been cancelled due to Houston airport being closed because of bad storms!  Fortunately, Continental Airlines made other arrangements for us, using Delta.  If there is a next time, I will make plans to arrive a day early to Honolulu. I had called the cruise line and found out that they did not provide a "lei" greeting, so I had made arrangements with "VIP tours" not only for a "lei" greeting, but also for transportation to the port. The lei was $16.00 each, and the transport was $6.00 each.  At the port, we were able to check in using the "Lattitudes" line, as I had cruised with NCL before, and had my card.  There was no wait in this line. We took our bags to our room, and ate at the Aloha cafe.  Afterward, we settled into our room, and went to bed promtly at 7:00pm (it was 1:00 am eastern time!).  The room was nice and clean. We had a wonderful room steward named Catalina.  She always took very good care of us and our rooms. The room had hangers and plently of drawer space for the three of us. There was a safe, and a small fridge full of drinks you can purchase.  We took them all out and put our drinks in (much cheaper if you bring or buy your own off of the ship). Read Less

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