7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Great cruise. We had large balcony cabin. Was always clean. Food was good. Can order whatever and as much as you want. Nightly entertainment was excellent. East meets West restaurant is a must. Need to make reservation as soon as on ship ... Read More
Great cruise. We had large balcony cabin. Was always clean. Food was good. Can order whatever and as much as you want. Nightly entertainment was excellent. East meets West restaurant is a must. Need to make reservation as soon as on ship cause it fills up. Don't really need a shore excursion in Kona if you just want to shop, eat, and walk around. Small beach is there also. We stayed two nights before the cruise in Honolulu. Embarkation went smoothly as did leaving the ship. We took the road to Hana excursion. Booked Valley Isle excursions as was less expensive than what was offered through Norwegian. We were very pleased. I know a lot of people rent a car and drive on their own. The driver has to keep their eyes on a very narrow, winding and unfamiliar road. Keep this in mind if you want to drive yourself. We booked other excursions through Norwegian. Atlantis sub second day in Mauai was OK. Liahaina is shopping. Volcanoes national park and Lava tube in Hilo. Beach day in Kona. Should have done beach day in Mauai and Atlantis sub in Kona. Too late now. Kona beach you need water shoes as rocky. Beautiful to look at though. Best part was on Kauai. Kayaked and hiked to waterfall one day and horseback riding the next. Cruise should be two days longer. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
I sailed on this cruise as someone who cannot eat gluten or dairy. I was very skeptical that the staff and chefs could accommodate my food issues. I was very pleasantly surprised. I had contacted special needs several months in ... Read More
I sailed on this cruise as someone who cannot eat gluten or dairy. I was very skeptical that the staff and chefs could accommodate my food issues. I was very pleasantly surprised. I had contacted special needs several months in advance, and also since we upgraded to a suite, I contacted the preconcierge. She was able to tell me about all of the gluten free products available onboard. It took a couple of days to get the staff coordinated on my diet. As part of the suite perks, you get an afternoon tray of canapes. Well, the first tray we received was not gluten or dairy free. A card was attached which said, "compliments of the hotel director". I called the extension on the card and said, "I appreciate the gesture, but I cannot eat these". I reiterated my food intolerances, and he said he would note it down. Well, after that, everyone communicated my food issues, and I even received a visit tableside from Frank Deamico, the food and beverage manager. He assured me I would be taken care of. Boy, was I! I became sort of a celebrity. I had also mentioned to him that I write a blog on gluten free living. I am sure all of this had some kind of impact. I cannot speak for your experience if you are not in a suite. I would love to hear about your experience if you were in a regular cabin and have food intolerances or allergies. The food was wonderful. I had gluten free and dairy free french toast, waffles, pancakes, homefries, and eggs benedict (yes, dairy free hollandaise) at Cagney's. I also had a couple of delicious cooked to order burgers. Ahmed, the restaurant manager at Cagney's and Samantha at Skyline were wonderful I had Shrimp risotto and Duck a'lorange at Skyline. We had a special Filet Mignon dinner on our balcony from Cagney's with dairy free Bernaise sauce. I had Osso Bucco at La Cucina, and a marvelous shrimp and chicken dinner at Teppanyaki. The staff and chefs went out of their way to make sure I was happy. But there were a few minor glitches. The staff does not seem to be aware that they have gluten free bread, and it is not available at all venues. It sometimes took 20 minutes for me to get it. I was brought gluten free cheese bread at La Cucina even though they were aware of my dairy issue. There was a waiter at Cagney's who had no idea what gluten and dairy free means. He told me to "just leave off the sauce" and I would be fine. How arrogant! I was even able to have dessert. I had poached pear and lime sorbet, chocolate covered fruit (as a snack), tapioca pudding, and the last night, Samantha had cake with meringue made especially for me. I did not get sick once. I was in very capable hands. The shows we saw were great. The magician was terrible. Toby Beau did a great Eagles tribute. We went to Luau Kalamaku-we were very disappointed. I had gone to their website ahead of time to scope out safe foods. I also contacted them but got no response. When we got there, half of what was listed was not available. The food was not good and it was very hard to see. We were supposed to ride the train, but never got to. It was a zoo. Very hard to see the show and it was not that great. But we can say we did a luau. Norwegian ended up refunding the entire excursion. I would not recommend it for the price. We did the road to Hana through Valley Isle tours-it was spectacular. It is a very long day. Dennis, our driver, was very funny. A word about the Oheo pools-the pools are down a half mile, very steep hill. Steps are cut into the hill but are in very bad condition as there are a lot of loose rocks. My husband almost took a header. Be warned that coming up will be much harder than going down. Most of our group did not go all the way down. Once couple on our bus did and they were very overheated. Make sure you are in good shape and drink lots of water. We also did Blue Hawaiian in Hilo. We flew over the volcano-it was amazing. If you can, you should do it. We sailed by the lava that night, it was really spectacular. Our suite was on the starboard side so we got a great view. Could not capture on film, unfortunately. We wanted a port side table at Skyline for the Napali coast. We could not get it, but got the starboard side ( we made reservations but people had lined up early). This turned out to be a blessing because we saw a double rainbow. We got some great pictures also. I would highly recommend Norwegian if you have food issues. The staff was friendly and attentive. The food was excellent-I gained three pounds this past week. I ate so much and so well. Our butler, Guy, was ok. We did not use him much. Concierge Thomas did practically nothing. Don't expect the butler to know about your dietary issues-he didn't. Make sure you communicate with the staff in a friendly, non-demanding manner. It goes a long way. I would be happy to answer any questions. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Honolulu to Sydney - While we do not usually give extra tips money on this cruise our service was so good we gave extra to a number of the staff. We did not expect the greatest entertainment as this was a transpacific voyage but what was ... Read More
Honolulu to Sydney - While we do not usually give extra tips money on this cruise our service was so good we gave extra to a number of the staff. We did not expect the greatest entertainment as this was a transpacific voyage but what was presented was done well. The food was excellent, the wait staff was very gracious. All the staff seemed happy and more than willing to please. If they sensed there might be a problem they inquired and were attempting to correct the matter. The embarkation was a breeze. The disembarking was so easy and the taxi's well organized on our arrival in Sydney. The inside staterooms on the Solstice style ships are very spacious with plenty of storage. The entire experience was excellent. Even though the ship os due to be refurbished shortly it was still in good condition and the staff GREAT. We will continue to use the Celebrity line. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
Chose this cruise because of the destinations. Found embarkation could have been handled better ie. long time queuing. Hard sales for drinks packages which were extortionate compared to other cruise lines, speciality restaurants and always ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the destinations. Found embarkation could have been handled better ie. long time queuing. Hard sales for drinks packages which were extortionate compared to other cruise lines, speciality restaurants and always pushing for booking another cruise in the news letter received every evening in the cabin. Excursions were also expensive compared to other cruise lines and not always value for money. The staff were nice and we did enjoy the cruise but found not a lot to entertain us for the days at sea. Found the cruise director of entertainment very annoying couldn't talk without shouting. No he wasn't awesome as his catchphrase goes. This was a first cruise with celebrity and was a bit disappointed as recommended by a friend. Found the ship a bit tired in places and although there was a rule about reserving sun loungers etc. never saw his implemented at any time. Most annoying. Would be nice if at the buffet restaurant someone could show you to a seat. Hunting for one was a chore at times so avoided it most of the time. These are observations made by myself and not complaints as such. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
My wife and I were going on a vacation to Hawaii and my wife wanted to see all of the major islands (no children). Our choice was to pack up every couple of days and arrange flights between islands along with rental cars, or take a cruise ... Read More
My wife and I were going on a vacation to Hawaii and my wife wanted to see all of the major islands (no children). Our choice was to pack up every couple of days and arrange flights between islands along with rental cars, or take a cruise around the Hawaiian islands. We found only one cruise that originates in Hawaii and goes to all of the major Hawaiian Islands, the NCL Pride of America. You depart and arrive back to Honolulu. The itinerary is great. Two days in Maui with an overnight, one day in Hilo, one Day in Kona, and two days in Kauai with an overnight. The ship only sails at night so there are no full days at sea. As this cruise is a 100% American cruise and never leaves US waters, there is no casino and no bingo (for money). We took the cruise to see all of the islands, and were not disappointed! The excursions from the cruise ship were excellent. We only needed to use a tender from one port. All the others, we docked on shore. The cabin was very small, especially by the new cruise ship standards. The shower was barely big enough to turn around in! The one thing that caught our attention was that the crew were almost all 100% American Citizens or resided in the US. This was quite different than all of the other cruises that we have been on, as the crew on those ships was mostly international and had almost no crew from the US. On all other cruises, our room steward introduced him/herself as soon as possible and made themselves available to us. On this cruise, even after 7 days, we never met or knew the name of our room steward. Just not as hospitable as other cruises we have been on. I was quite surprised at the main dining rooms. These have typically been no charge dining facilities. Not so on this cruise. If you wanted something special on the menu, even in the main dining rooms, there was a charge. Now don't get me wrong, you can eat for no charge in the main dining rooms, but the better entrees are all for purchase! On all other cruises, there has always been an evening where we had a Lobster Tail. Not on this cruise. That is a for purchase option. As far as entertainment in the evening, this was great. The theater was more than adequate to hold audiences at 7 pm and 9 pm. We went only to the 7 pm shows so can not talk about the later night shows. There was a magician who was excellent as well as a comedian, and of course, the variety shows put on by the cruise company. All were fantastic. As we were most interested in visiting the islands, the service issues we had did not affect the way that we felt about the experience. It was really a great way to see all of the islands! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We were very pleased with our cruise on the Pride of America. I have to say it was much better than many of the reviews indicated. We are long time cruisers on other lines and were pleasantly surprised with POA. Embarkation was easy and ... Read More
We were very pleased with our cruise on the Pride of America. I have to say it was much better than many of the reviews indicated. We are long time cruisers on other lines and were pleasantly surprised with POA. Embarkation was easy and fairly quick. Upon arrival we ate in the dining room. By the time we finished lunch our stateroom was ready. We had an Aft cabin and it was very nice with a large balcony. The luggage arrived quickly. We met the cabin attendant and he was excellent throughout the trip. There were lots of activities during the trip. We enjoyed the entertainment. The singers and dancers put on good shows. We saw the comedian, Jeff Harms a couple of times and he was excellent. There was a tribute for the Four Seasons, "Oh What a Night". This very good music. We liked the informality of the dining experience. The Aloha Cafe had a wide selection of items. The main dining rooms provided efficient service and good food. Overall the crew was great, friendly and efficient. The ship never seemed crowded. We had little wait to get seated. The theater is a little small but we got there about 15 minutes before and were able to find good seats. I wanted to mention that before the cruise we stayed in Waikiki Beach and had some terrific tours (Pearl Harbor, USS Missouri, Polynesian Cultural Center). During the cruise we enjoyed several tours - the best was a visit to Volcano National Park. So go and enjoy! Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise for our honeymoon at it met or exceeded all our expectations... great entertainment, all the restaurants were excellent and the staff were top notch! We did have 2 hurricanes near islands but the Captain kept us ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our honeymoon at it met or exceeded all our expectations... great entertainment, all the restaurants were excellent and the staff were top notch! We did have 2 hurricanes near islands but the Captain kept us at sea and did not have the opportunity to visit kona due to the weather challenges but we were all kept safe and plenty of on board entertainment to keep the passengers satisfied. The shows were very entertaining for all ages to watch, especially the Jersey boys and the magic show. Arriving and disembarking from the ship was handled in an organized fashion ensuring everyone passenger was given ample time to register themselves and family members with ease. Disembarking was handled with ease having different times for passengers to choose to disembark. Dustin, the Entertainment Director did a marvelous job each and every day ensuring we; the customers had many choices to choose from daily to take part in and also each day our steward would ensure we had the next days activities on our bed to review the night before. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise through icruise.com. The service was excellent! The food was more than adequate. Skyline Restaurant was fantastic with their service and host and hostess. We had no problem making a reservation for a table for ... Read More
We chose this cruise through icruise.com. The service was excellent! The food was more than adequate. Skyline Restaurant was fantastic with their service and host and hostess. We had no problem making a reservation for a table for dinner. Their breakfast was great! There was plenty of choices. Our cabin was clean and adequate for two people. We would've appreciated having two seats instead of one stool to sit on. The bathroom toilet in our room needed some fixing and it was taken care of very quickly. The only need for improvement I see was that there was no headboard for our bed and our bed was too soft. We had lower back aches. We enjoyed the Oh What A Night Tribute to Frankie Vali! We used the fitness room and it had plenty of treadmills and ellipticals. The tender service to and from the ship to Kona was smooth and frequent. We got on and off the ship with ease. Everyone working on the ship were courteous and friendly. We would recommend this cruise for those who want to see Hawaii and not have to fly in between islands. Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose this cruise because this was our first trip to Hawaii and we wanted to experience as much as we could in 7 days. We had done a 12-night Mediterranean cruise with NCL a couple years ago, and found it to be a great way to see a lot ... Read More
We chose this cruise because this was our first trip to Hawaii and we wanted to experience as much as we could in 7 days. We had done a 12-night Mediterranean cruise with NCL a couple years ago, and found it to be a great way to see a lot in little time. No need to spend time during the day travelling to your next destination when you can go by boat and travel by night, not have to change hotels, pay for extra transportation, etc. We flew from DFW to Honolulu non-stop and, leaving DFW about 11:30AM and arriving in Honolulu about 2:30PM. We had enough time to stop by Walmart on the way to the boat (which is about a half-mile off the track on the route from the airport to the cruise terminal) and pick up a case of water and sodas (saving a small fortune onboard). We saved the Honolulu excursions for the return trip. The embarkation was about as smooth as I've ever seen. There were no crowds at all and essentially no line to board. I was almost thinking the cruise was half-empty. The ship is about average size for a cruise ship. You can tell it's an older boat due to the size/amenities, but very well maintained. It's comparable to the NCL Spirit, which we were on for our Mediterranean cruise. There is no casino onboard due to Hawaiian gambling laws. The boat stays in US waters at all times, so there is no international water maritime law being applied that would allow for gambling. The boat appears to be about 75% balcony rooms, which seems to be significantly above the norm (and also why you can get a relatively good deal on a balcony room). We took 4 NCL-sponsored excursions, and 3 DIY excursions. The NCL excursions included the following: Maui: Molokini Crater & Turtle Snorkel - unfortunately the weather was lousy, so we had to go to an alternate destination. The snorkeling was OK, but not nearly as good as we expected at the advertised destination. I don't know how often the weather is lousy, but it's a bit of a risky proposition due to the price paid. Maui: Waterfalls & Rainforest Hike - this was nice, although again, I'm not sure if it was really worth the price. The location was Wailele Farm in Ho'olawa Valley. I think this is actually a free site to visit, so if you're paying that price for a guide and transportation for a dozen people, I think it's considerably over-priced, but it was nice nonetheless. Bring water shoes for this, as several parts of the footpaths are across shallow stream areas and there is plenty of mud as well. Hilo: Hilo Bay Waterfall & Kayak - this was also nice and probably better for relative value, though slightly overpriced. You essentially have a 10-minute van ride to Hilo bay, and use a two-man kayak to go across Hilo bay and up a short river tributary with falls. The ocean was at low-tide and was probably 1-2 ft lower than the river source. As such, there was a small area requiring portage to get to the upper part of the river containing the falls, and a subsequent rougher-than-normal ride back down the river. Although quite fun from my perspective, one of the 8 kayaks dumped it's crew on the way down the short drop. No injuries, but plenty wet. Honolulu: Pearl Harbor w/USS Missouri (Airport Dropoff) - This was probably the best value, because it included a full day at Pearl Harbor, admission to the USS Missouri and USS Arizona Memorial and they took care of your luggage all day and provided airport transportation. The USS Bowfin submarine was extra, but there was time for that if you desired. There was not enough time, however, to visit the Pacific Air museum. The trip to Pearl was followed by a short visit to the Punchbowl Crater Memorial. DIY excursions included the following: Kailua-Kona: We wanted to do the Kona brewery, but the tours are limited to 17 people. If you want to do this, book early. We walked around Kona, and stopped by Kona Canoe Club for a couple beverages. The view was great. This is probably the best location on the cruise for souvenir shopping. Kauai: Smiths Family Garden Luau - we had seen mixed reviews on the cruise-ship-recommended Luau Kalamaku, so we opted for Smith's Family Garden Luau. It was about half the price and was great! They even provide round-trip transportation to/from the cruise port for a nominal price. Kauai: Instead of using the cruise line's surfing excursion, I opted to wing it and go to the local Kalapaki beach and see what I could scrounge up. Turns out this was a great option. Free transportation using the Anchor Cove/Beach shuttle, and surfing lessons at Beach Boys for 1/2 the price. Ask for Marlo - he's great. Eveyone in our party got up on the board the first time. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This is a great way to see and get an overview of the Hawaiian Islands. Overall cruise was great and we saw a lot! Service as has been reported was mixed. We were exposed to a lot of "new" service crew members and some tried ... Read More
This is a great way to see and get an overview of the Hawaiian Islands. Overall cruise was great and we saw a lot! Service as has been reported was mixed. We were exposed to a lot of "new" service crew members and some tried harder than others and others were just plain "new" and not experienced. Some had language problems but as the week went on the service improved. I must say the upstairs complimentary dining restaurant was much more polished than downstairs, though we did get some great service downstairs too - as I said it was mixed. We did not try any of the speciality restaurants. The Buffet had great variety and quality of food, but its layout was confusing and did not flow well making for a lot of traffic and making it difficult to find what you wanted. Cabin was great located on the starboard side above the life boats which were used to go a shore in one port. Fun to watch them maneuver them into place from our balcony. We were traveling with my parents and had adjourning cabins. We have been on other ships that had a better set up. Only one door between the rooms, not two as in other ships, so we left the door closed for most of the trip. There was tons to do on the ship and we really enjoyed all of our excursions. Ship had just undergone a refurbishment and everything seemed ship shape. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was a cruise we picked for our 30th anniversary. My wife wanted to see a volcano, I wanted to experience a longer cruise and we both wanted to see Hawaii. It was a perfect cruise for us! For background, we are fairly recent ... Read More
This was a cruise we picked for our 30th anniversary. My wife wanted to see a volcano, I wanted to experience a longer cruise and we both wanted to see Hawaii. It was a perfect cruise for us! For background, we are fairly recent cruisers with our first cruise being on the Monarch for our 25th anniversary. This Hawaiian cruise was our 8th cruise, all being with RCI except one with Disney. For this cruise, we spent 4 nights at a resort on Oahu and took a cab to the port. Embarkation was fairly easy but the wait was longer than on our previous cruises, but not an unrealistic one. It was a little hap-hazard in how the lines would snake but the staff was friendly and everyone was in a pre-cruise euphoria. I’ll say that the cruise terminal was large, not that modern and no-thrills. Once on board, we went to our cabin and dropped off our luggage. We had cabin # 7658 which was a balcony cabin located in the aft quarter on the starboard side. The first thing that hit us was a sewage smell in the hallway to our room, which put us in a foul mood (we experienced this on Enchantment before as well). Once inside, the cabin didn’t feel as large as what we had on Freedom or Oasis but was probably larger than Enchantment. The balcony was funny. It was a double-deep balcony, being about 6’ deep. However, only about 3’ of it had a divider between our neighbors’ balconies, so any of our cruise mates could easily peak into our room. That we didn’t like at all. Also, this was an older ship and our balcony had parts of rusted metal visible and beat-up flooring. Our cabin did have lots of storage, which was a pleasant surprise. We found the bed to be very hard, the pillows flat and the refrigerator didn’t seem to work. The room was clean though and didn’t have that bad smell that was in the hallway. After that we went to the Windjammer and were underwhelmed there. I think there was only one protein offered at the buffet, except for their always available hamburger and hotdogs. Selection was minimal we thought. Our impressions grew more positive after each day. The first 5 days of the cruise were port days and we had an excursion lined up on each of them. We had incredible times! On the ship, we had a great time with our table mates at the main dining room for suppers. The staff on the ship was great, and while the ship was showing its age, many of the public spaces had a very comfortable, warm feeling to them. Of the RCI ships we’ve been on, we like the Schooner Bar on Radiance the best. Also, the Colony Club was very nice and the Solarium and spa areas were top notch. Each day on the ship made it feel more like home to us. We knew that this would be an older-person's cruise, and it was. There were many in the 50 to 70 year-old category but a fair amount of 30 to 50 year olds. The kids club had only 20 kids registered. This ship wasn't a golden girls cruise though and adults were older but active in general. Still, there were more than a few people snoring away at the seats in the Centrum or the Schooner Bar during the afternoon. This cruise had 100 or so members of a square dancing club and also maybe 200 hearing impaired cruisers on a group cruise. The ship did well to accommodate them by giving the square dancers places to practice and by having closed captioning and general assistance to those in the hearing impaired group. Most of the shows and events had an ASL interpreter and there were event a few ASL classes offered. I don't think the staff was coached on ASL as I didn't see any of then sign even a basic "thank you". That would have been a welcoming touch to all those on board who were hearing impaired. While the strength of this ship for us were the staff, overall ship cleanliness and the ambiance of many of the public spaces, the negatives for us were the generally low food quality, the mediocre entertainment and the slightly beaten-up condition of the ship in various spots. On cruises, we typically have dinner at the MDR and have most other meals at the buffet and this cruise was no different. What made our dinners at the Cascades dining room great was our tables mates, who we loved talking to (all are very experienced cruisers with a couple being on a back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back Radiance adventure). MDR food was fine, nothing top shelf but no duds either. The service was very good and the venue was beautiful. We had breakfast once at Cascades but the eggs were powdered and the toast was actually very crusty, like it was sitting out for more than a few days. We left and went up to Windjammer. We only did one specialty dining and that was at the Samba Grill, which we have never experienced before. The food was very good but we wouldn’t call it a top shelf experience. The location is funny and the tables were very close together. Service was efficient but seemed a little scripted and impersonal. At Windjammer, the selection did develop over time. There were always Indian food and British food it seemed and I was very happy the day that BBQ chicken was offered. We really enjoyed the Park Café at the solarium as it offered a good assortment of sandwiches and treats in a very relaxing environment. Entertainment is a hard thing to review because it is very subjective. I am not enthralled by song and dance shows and a majority of the evening events were just that. I saw 2 comedy shows and one was quite good but another fell very, very flat (at this show, the audience actually heckled the comedian, something I have never seen on a ship before). We like relaxing at poolside but on Radiance the poolside movie screen wasn’t working right (to compensate, they offered free in-room movies). Other entertainment was the Quest and the Love and Marriage show, both of which were great as always. Of course, there were various trivia contests on the ship and there were a few enrichment talks that reviewed Hawaiian history. The Centrum is often the hub for activities like cake decorating, musical performances, lectures, dance events and so on. However, there is limited viewing space on the floor or on the decks above. Still, the staff does a great job utilizing this space and there is enhanced sound and lights that really help add excitement. For us, we loved the first 5 port days as our “let’s explore Hawaii” time. The remaining sea days were our time to relax. It was a perfect vacation for us. Yes, we felt the age of the ship at times and, compared to Freedom or Oasis, the entertainment was very junior varsity, but as I mentioned the staff was super and many parts of the ship had a level of comfort that just can’t be easily explained. I won't review all the excursions we did but only one would I call "average" and the rest were above average. This was a our first trip to Hawaii and the weather was perfect, so it isn't hard for us have fond memories of our trips. I will give one shout out to the Body Glove catamaran excursion we did. The staff was great, they had prescription snorkel goggles on hand and we saw dolphins, whales, sea turtles and more. Would we go again? That is a tough question. For the right price we would. We won't be able to afford another Hawaii trip and Alaska trips are even more, so I don't think we'll be on Radiance again. Still, we would love to go back on this thoroughly relaxing ship some day. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Let me preface this with this is NOT our 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or even our 5th cruise. Norwegian is by far the least customer service orientated cruise line. Our main complaint with Norwegian ....DINNER ! Virtually every night except 1 ... Read More
Let me preface this with this is NOT our 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or even our 5th cruise. Norwegian is by far the least customer service orientated cruise line. Our main complaint with Norwegian ....DINNER ! Virtually every night except 1 we had difficulty with the meals. The chief works wonders with leftovers. Each night the salad was wilted, and entries lacked quality. One evening the entree was "Lump Meat Crab Cake", should have been labeled "Crab Paste" lightly grilled. Not eaten. As with other cruise lines Norwegian also has a side menu, for additional costs. HOWEVER, this side menu fails to take into consideration that the customer has already PAID in advance for the meals, yet NORWEGIAN doesn't take this into account and charges $$$$ more for this instead of discounting for the cost of the meals already paid for. For instance Norwegian charges $24.00,add'l, for the Bone in rib-eye steak { not the gourmet restaurant( which is a normal price )} w/o consideration for meals already paid. Norwegian could have and should have charged somewhere in the neighborhood of $12-$14 for this w/consideration still making a profit, for the meals already paid. Instead they charge full price for this w/o any consideration. It's an insult to every customer, does Norwegian believe that their customers are that naive? Breakfast & Lunch buffets nice Restaurant meals leave something to be desired. When difficulties arise Norwegian's answer is to offer a beverage, REALLY..... Cabins well kept but the cabinets need work, drawer slides broken and hard to open, this after this ship just returned from an overhaul! Cabin steward very attentive. Entertainment average, crew very polite and appear pleasant. Went to CS Desk asked to print out boarding passes for flight, customary with virtually all accommodations and was told....., well if you have purchased the internet package you can use that and print your passes, otherwise the'll be an additional charge. NORWEGIAN attempts to squeeze every last dollar they can.... Never had this problem Royal Carrib, Holland, or even Uniworld River Cruses. Fool Me Once, shame on you, fool me twice.......etc! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We have cruised on Holland America (not happy with them), Royal Caribbean (good, except for embarkation and debarkation nightmares in Port Everglades, Fl.), Carnival (good value), Disney (excellent, but too expensive), Celebrity (good ... Read More
We have cruised on Holland America (not happy with them), Royal Caribbean (good, except for embarkation and debarkation nightmares in Port Everglades, Fl.), Carnival (good value), Disney (excellent, but too expensive), Celebrity (good cultural programs etc., but not worth the money), Cunard (very good cultural programs, etc.), Princess (very good cultural programs and food, but need to improve the shore excursions and the tiny balcony cabins on many ships). This was our 1st NCL cruise and we gave it 5 stars, not because it was perfect, but because it was one of our very best, and a great value. We loved the buffet food as well as the dining room food. Of course, the service everywhere was lovely, as well as the decor. I think the ship was recently renovated. Most impressive of all: all the shore excursions were PERFECT. The tour guides and companies are caring, informative and efficient. Only one small van was uncomfortable and had poor AC, but I am pretty picky about that. The guide and tour were wonderful. Maybe NCL contracts with better companies than the other cruise lines? This is my major complaint on our other cruises. Usually, unless we book a semi-private tour, there is not even a 50/50 chance of having a good one. The fitness room is also large and well-equipped. Entertainment was excellent. There should be more enrichment activities. For example, shore excursion talks should be given the day before, not the day of the visit to the port at 8 AM. There was only 1 very good lecture by the cruise ship director on the origins of Hawaiians . It would have been so wonderful to have had a lecture per day on each island and on the language itself, as Princess, Cunard and Celebrity would have done. The embarkation and disembarkation were fast and efficient. Sign up for one of the post-cruise tours that take you to the airport or hotel.The one with Kemo of the North Shore leaving us at the airport was better than 5 stars. He was knowledgeable and witty. Thanks for a wonderful time NCL!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This is not our first cruise and we would have given an excellent except for the fact that the ship was not really 100% ready for people to cruise on after being in dry dock. I AM glad our trip did not get postponed as a result because ... Read More
This is not our first cruise and we would have given an excellent except for the fact that the ship was not really 100% ready for people to cruise on after being in dry dock. I AM glad our trip did not get postponed as a result because that would have been even worse than the few inconveniences we faced during the trip. Prior to boarding we received an email that certain areas of the ship were not completed during dry dock time due to weather. The spa was one area still a work in progress along with some outside areas. To compensate, we were given a $200 room credit which was nice towards a good meal. Some way we lucked out and were in room 7542 which is a handicap room so our room was probably wider and the balcony larger than most in our category. We had nothing to do with the choice as it was selected by the cruise line months ago. My travel agent told us she did not request it either. It was strange in the closet but everything else was great. Now, they put down new carpet so it should have been vacuumed daily and it was not but it was nice to know there wasn't other dirt on the floor! The room was much better than one I had on the last NCL trip so cannot complain at all! One complaint - our room steward never came and introduced themselves?? We never knew who was cleaning our room and never have had that happen on a cruise. The beach towels were not replaced when we placed them on the floor (twice) and had to call but never met anyone. As far as what activities we chose: Day 1 - Maui - Molokini Crater and Turtle Snorkel - pretty ride but you can see more fish if you just go in Oahu to Hanauma Bay (it was awesome). The captain and crew were good. Someone saw a shark after we departed the crater and were going to try to swim with turtles so we did not get to snorkel in the spot the turtles were spotted earlier. These things happen so cannot complain. Dinner - Cagney's - not good at all the first night. They had new staff, new menu and VERY long wait for food even though we had reservations and seated right away. We loved Jeffrey who took care of us and tried to make it right (not his fault). We promised to come back. We brought our own wine and drank an entire bottle before the food arrived if that tells you - about 2 hours. Day two Maui - Road to Hana Tour (through Viator) which we took a small van (6 people) to Hana and went to helicopter to ride back to Maui (near port). Our tour guide was Steve with Temptation Tours (maybe could have booked through them too). We found a cab driver (Arnold 808-250-9539) who picked us up at the pier and we called him upon return and he picked us up and returned us to the ship. Some people rented a car but this worked for us. The helicopter was Air Maui (we could have probably just booked through them but didn't). Blue Hawaiian also does tours like this and their helicopters were bigger/nicer. Wine/Cheese tasting - pretty fun and informative Repeat customer cocktail party - free drinks - nice time Dinner - Liberty - decent dinner - request server David Main and he can also give you good ideas on places to go along the way. We spoke to him a few times in the breakfast area as well. You can request him when you check in to eat. Day 3 - Hilo - Ricky's Tour (found on Trip Advisor) $70 per person and small group tour of the island. Informative and saw lava vents, lava rock, many historical stops, gardens, etc. and ended on black sand beach. Dinner - boat - Eat Meets West - pretty good but nothing to write home about Day 4 - Kona - Big Island Spectacular - GREAT Trip.. Did book through the cruise line and it was expensive but worth it! We got to see live lava flows and lots of waterfalls. Clear days are great! We lucked out! Dinner - Skyline - nothing too exciting there.. Day 5 - Kauai - what a pretty island! We did the Heaven and Earth Quest tour through the cruise line and it was a smaller group (about 12) and we went on a land tour and then continued on to a helicopter flight which was also very pretty. We rented a car and ate dinner on land Day 6 - Kaui - Golf a Poipu Golf Club - awesome place with about 6 holes along the ocean! We went early and returned rental car in time to be back on boat Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Booked owners suite for a very special occasion and was very disappointed with quality and service provided. Stayed overnight in Marriot hotel was good but maid started cleaning our room before we had checked out, removing our travel ... Read More
Booked owners suite for a very special occasion and was very disappointed with quality and service provided. Stayed overnight in Marriot hotel was good but maid started cleaning our room before we had checked out, removing our travel doc's for both cruise and stay in Vegas, got doc's back after frantic search. Checkout was at 11:00 maid had started clearing our room at 10:30! Boarded ship at 12:00, bags finally arrived 4 hours later, crew explained 1500 bags to bring onboard, I expected better service when we had paid for the most expensive cabin on the ship. Owners cabin was nice but had definitely seen better days, couch was well worn and both arm rests were worn through. Both sinks in the bathroom and WC were damaged and marked. Breakfast was just for suite guests in Gagneys resturant. Food was ok but nothing special, steak and eggs were good though. Pleased we did not have to endure buffet breakfast, it appeared a complete free for all with little organization from the crew. We booked tours on line prior to the trip and generally they were good, however the shore organization for these trips by NCL was zero once we left the ship. For the first trip we all stood in the sun whilst the bus was empty and just waiting there, the tour description number on the bus was different from our tour number. Our Atlantis submarine tour was cancelled one hour before we were due to leave, which can happen but we were offered no alternative, just a refund. The Kilohana manor house & Kalamaku show was very good, recommend this tour because the Kalamaku show only tour is just a buffet meal which according to people who ate this was poor quality, the meal in manor house was excellent. Entertainment onboard was average, DJ Mr W spent more time playing with his mobile than actually seeing if people were listening to the music he played. White Hot party should be renamed to White Hot crew party. After 1 hour people started to leave and the off duty crew took over the dance floor, music was defiantly not music that people wanted to hear, after 2 hours all guests had left but the crew still enjoyed the night. Great disappointment, wife even had a white dress made for this party. Entertainment very poor quality. Do not pre pay tips, we did but was informed on the last day that the pre paid tips did not go to our butler, concierge or drinks staff, so we were pestered for tips because the people we expected to receive the pre paid tip do not get it. General comment is NCL have the monopoly for this cruise so quality not really number one priority for crew, they need training in customer care. This cruise is good to see Hawaii but book the cheapest accommodation with NCL because you will not get improved service if you pay more. Do not expect normal cruise standard of food because this is very basic stuff, Disappointed Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
My 50th birthday was in September, and for years I have wanted to go to Hawaii. I should also mention that I have been to the other 49 states, so getting to Hawaii was big deal. After taking a cruise to Alaska 15 years ago, I swore ... Read More
My 50th birthday was in September, and for years I have wanted to go to Hawaii. I should also mention that I have been to the other 49 states, so getting to Hawaii was big deal. After taking a cruise to Alaska 15 years ago, I swore I'd never cruise again. It just wasn't my thing. After doing some research, it really seemed like a cruise was the best way to see Hawaii for the first time. Because this was a freestyle cruise, I thought I'd give it a try. My boyfriend and I are low-maintenance. We did not go on the cruise to be pampered. We were mostly using the ship as a floating hotel and restaurant. We had an obstructed ocean view room. It was always clean upon our return from our daily excursions. We didn't see Norman, our steward, very often, but he was always friendly when we did. When we ate on board, we are at the buffet every meal except for one. We found the buffet to have plenty of variety. We never had to wait, and we only shared a table once. I loved the fresh fruit and Asian/ Indian dishes. We especially enjoyed breakfast. We loved the freestyle aspect of this cruise and the ability to be casual for the duration of the trip. One night, we ate at the Skyline. The service was excellent, and the food was delicious. Before embarking, we had decided we were not going to patronize the bars much, but with beer only about a dollar more than anywhere we visited on land, it didn't seem like a bad deal. We were on east coast time and went to sleep pretty early. We did not attend any of the onboard entertainment. We enjoyed the Atlantis submarine, Lahaina, Volcanoes National Park, Rainbow Falls, and Waimea Canyon. I've read other reviews where people complain about some of the tour bus drivers and the various stops at gift shops. Some of the drivers DO talk a lot. I didn't mind the stops at gift shops, but 1) I like kitschy Hawaiian junk 2) I was drinking a lot of water, so bathroom breaks were welcome. I can't think of any staff member who wasn't cheerful or helpful. Had I not read reviews, there are things about the ship I wouldn't have noticed. Yeah, some areas need a little sprucing up. Yeah, some of the windows could've been a little cleaner. I didn't care; I was in Hawaii! Now, I am 50. My boyfriend is older. When we went in mid-January, it was definitely an older clientele. If you were looking for a party cruise, you would be disappointed. Overall, if you're looking for a laid-back, friendly way to see Hawaii, this is a great way to do it. If you are looking for a luxurious experience where you will be waited on and treated like royalty, this isn't for you. My experience exceeded my expectations so much - especially after reading so many less-than-stellar reviews. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
From first booking until disembarking after the cruise, we enjoyed the Pride of America cruise of the Hawaiian Islands. Communication was good, getting on and off the ship was easy. The destinations were fantastic. Entertainment in the ... Read More
From first booking until disembarking after the cruise, we enjoyed the Pride of America cruise of the Hawaiian Islands. Communication was good, getting on and off the ship was easy. The destinations were fantastic. Entertainment in the theater was excellent, especially "Oh What a Night" The quality of food and service in the main dining rooms was varied, healthy choices, and attentive wait staff. The EXCEPTION was the La Cucina Italian restaurant. The waitress could neither speak nor understand English. Menu choice were limited. The ones we did chose were prepared with spices and ingredients which resembled no other Italian restaurant we had been to, and we could not eat them, Left on the plate. Steak was totally full of gristle. We left, and promptly cancelled all other specialty restaurants that we had reserved for the remainder of the cruise, returning to the complimentary ones. The buffet items were well prepared, and good choices. However, getting a seat in the Aloha Cafe, even a handicapped one, was taking our lives into our own hands. The other ship's guests seemed to have no regard for the disabled. And the staff did nothing to aid us in getting food or a table. Our stateroom steward was great, quick response to all our requests. The one area where we feel that this and all cruises could come up with a better plan for a non-alcoholic beverage plan that is more economical for soft drinks, greater selection of sugar-free, and full glass of soda, that is not 2/3 ice for the prices they charge and not even a single refill! Also, if the only free beverages served were coffee, tea, ice tea and lemonade, they should be available in all restaurants and bars at all times of the day. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This was our first trip to Hawaii and thought a cruise going to four islands would be a good way to get a overview of Hawaii. Here are the high and low points of our travels. Good Our cabin on deck 4 port had ample space for clothes ... Read More
This was our first trip to Hawaii and thought a cruise going to four islands would be a good way to get a overview of Hawaii. Here are the high and low points of our travels. Good Our cabin on deck 4 port had ample space for clothes and our steward (Gerry) was fantastic. Shore excursions were well organized and left within five minutes of the meeting time. The actual excursion varied from extremely good to miserable. Our three best were Maui Ocean Center, Maui Beach Day and Blue Hawaiian Helicopter tour on Kauai (self booked). OK tours were Volcano National Park, Kona Mocha and Way To Long was the tour to Plantation on Maui. Entertainment in the Hollywood Theatre was very well done (for the most part). Food on the ship was good and at specialty restaurants it was exceptional. Bad !!! They say the Pride of America was built in 2005. If find that very difficult to believe. 90% of the windows we saw had cracked seals on the outside which made seeing the beautiful water difficult to impossible. In addition none of the windows looked like they were washed since 2005. Tile work on deck 11 in the pool area was chipped and dirty. Ceiling heights in dining rooms and buffet area were low compared to other cruise ships. Staff in the dining rooms did not learn about proper serving and often reached over and in front of us to serve and clear dishes. Easy to fix if someone would give them training. Lots of rocking during movement between islands. Not sure the stabilizers were working or adequate for the ship. Very bad !! Laundry service was down for 2 1/2 days. The ship came into Kauai 2 hours early so sheets, towels, linen could be sent out for cleaning. Our toilet and the toilets on deck 5 (not sure about the rest) were non functioning for 6+ hours. I reported it to our steward and the front desk. There was a sewer smell in the hallways on and off throughout the entire trip on deck 5 and 6. The smell was usually by the elevators. NASTY Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This was our 5th cruise, second with Norwegian. We used Roberts of Hawaii for shuttle service from the airport to the hotel. We stayed pre cruise at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel in Honolulu. This met our needs perfectly as we spent 5 days ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise, second with Norwegian. We used Roberts of Hawaii for shuttle service from the airport to the hotel. We stayed pre cruise at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel in Honolulu. This met our needs perfectly as we spent 5 days touring Oahu before the cruise. It was close to the beach and away from the hustle and bustle of the Waikiki strip. Enjoyed our one dinner and one breakfast in the hotel. The room was clean, bed comfortable and staff friendly. We walked down the strip and dined at various restaura for our other meals. We did not pre-book our shore excursions for Oahu and ended up booking them with the consultant in the lobby. This was a big mistake. She told us tours were almost sold out and sold us the most expensive options. Our first tour bus was almost empty. We really enjoyed the North Shore tour however, but could have done without the bland buffet provided. The second tour, the Polynesian cultural center was ok, however, the tour guides used the same jokes, same information that the guide the day before used. The acts at the Center also used the same jokes and provided the same information as the 2 tour guides on the buses. The Big Kahuna luau was just ok. The setting was at a previously private estate on Tantalis . The food was so so and similar to the buffet lunch from the first tour we took. The jokes and information at the luau were the same as the previous two days. We were getting so we could have performed for them. Then, when we got on the ship the first Hula act in the theatre was the exact same group that performed at the Big Kahuna luau. Same jokes , same information....oh my! Embarkation was good. Took a taxis to the port from the hotel for $27. We went right at 1230 , so the line up was long. Our inside cabin was small but ok. Had to wiggle into bed every night as the bunk prevented me from standing upright beside the bed. This is the first time we have stayed in a cabin with a bunk. The bed was comfortable and other than the cabin steward throwing away personal items and walking in on us after only a brief knock on the door 3 different times, we have no complaints. The food was below par in all venues , including Cagney's. My lobster was tough, my shrimp tasteless and food in general was only luke warm . Had to send meals back twice in the main dining rooms for being too salty to eat or under cooked. There was a strong smell of sewage on several floors of the ship and the tables in the Mardi Gras lounge were falling apart. I wore my pina colada one night because of a tippy table. The aggravating thing is, that the same thing happened the night before to another table of 4. When we pointed out to staff that the table we were sitting at that night was also unstable, they replied " we can't change all of the tables". Most of the entertainment took place in this lounge. The ship is definitely due for refurbishing! Absolutely loved the Road to Hana tour. We went with Valley Isle. Small comfortable van, tour guide was great, stops were awesome and the lunch provided by the guide at the flower shop stop was very good! The road is not as scary as others would have you believe. The road is narrow at times, but I sat on the left and got fantastic shots of the ocean and valleys. Parts of the bumpy portion of the road have been repaved and the areas that were not are really not that bad. Very very long day but sooo glad we did it. The Haleakala crater tour on Maui was awesome. We also enjoyed Volcanoes National Park onthe big island of Hawaii. We took a trolley to a nearby beach in Kona for $2 dollars each each way and enjoyed a day of snorkeling in Kona. The variety of fish was amazing and some people were lucky enough to see large sea turtles. On Kauai , don't miss Waimea Canyon! It is truly breathtaking. The fern grotto and river cruise were only so so. We did 5 tours with Roberts for $150 . Great price, well organized. We booked these in advance of the cruise.The only negative about these tours is the shopping stops disguised as washroom breaks. The day of disembarkation, we walked off the ship at 0730 with ease, met the Robert's tour bus at 0900, and enjoyed a tour of Pearl Harbor. Our luggage was safely locked on the bus for the duration of the tour. We were dropped off at the Airport Hotel at approx. 2pm. Checked in for a shower and a nap and took the free shuttle from the hotel to the airport for our flight at 1130pm. The Airport hotel was clean. The bed was comfortable. We were well rested for our 26 hour journey home! All in all, we really enjoyed our trip. The cruise itself was a means to an end. Somewhere to sleep while we toured Hawaii. It was very tiring with very long days. I will now appreciate sea days! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
I had a wonderful time sailing POA. This was my second cruise, the first being the Epic when it was the newest ship in the Norwegian stable. POA is an older and smaller ship. It is quieter and more sedate than the bigger and newer ships. ... Read More
I had a wonderful time sailing POA. This was my second cruise, the first being the Epic when it was the newest ship in the Norwegian stable. POA is an older and smaller ship. It is quieter and more sedate than the bigger and newer ships. There is no gambling nor all night discos. The ship closes down by midnight thus this is not the ship for everyone. This cruise is more about the ports that the ship. We sailed to three other islands besides Oahu and four ports. There was plenty of time to explore the ports. I would describe it as a Taste of Hawaii. I loved my studio stateroom. Food was good and plentiful. I appreciated that there was a no sugar added dessert both lunch and dinner. Entertainment was mostly in-house, none of the exciting shows of bigger ships which was ok with me. There was very little shopping, only three stores. One of the stores was a jewelry store with beautiful products but expensive. It was an interesting group of passengers with a large number being from Japan and Australia. I have many warm memories of meeting many nice people. One couple had sailed on this ship 35 times and another couple was on this ship for the third week in a row. (Maybe they own stock in NCL). I am not ready for this voyage just now but in years to come, I might like to do it another time. I was satisfied with the shore excursions offered but they were often long and I was exhausted by the end of the day. I do not believe that I was the only one. I chose to book all my excursions through NCL but Roberts offers the same or similar excursions at less money. The cruise was pricey. POA is the only ship that sails Honolulu to Honolulu. There is no competition, thus, you pay more than if you were sailing in the Caribbean where there are lots of companies vying for your dollar. I felt my cabin was a little costly. The Port of Honolulu has no food or drink to purchase. Eat a big breakfast before going or bring some food. You will be getting on the ship about noon and food will be available. I recommend POA. It was a great way to see Hawaii for the first time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
I was interested in going to Hawaii and this is the only ship that leaves from Honolulu sailing to three other islands. You get a lot of time at four different ports. This cruise is more about the ports than the ship. I sailed before the ... Read More
I was interested in going to Hawaii and this is the only ship that leaves from Honolulu sailing to three other islands. You get a lot of time at four different ports. This cruise is more about the ports than the ship. I sailed before the ship went into dry dock for refurbishing so I do not know how it may have been improved. It is a small and older ship. It seems to attract more sedate cruisers. There are no nightclubs or the gimmicks of the newer and bigger ships. The food was good but not as good as The Epic. The entertainment was average -- mostly house bands. You do not get the Broadway Shows or big names that you would get on the bigger and newer ships. The ship seems to shut down by midnight which was ok with me. There is very limited shopping, only four or five shops but they sell some interesting Hawaiian Products. The cabins are expensive because there is no competition. I booked my excursions through NCL. Others preferred Roberts. Excursions were good but the drivers talk all the time and it can get tiring. You learn a lot but at times it is overload. The drivers were also a little greedy when it came to tips. They expected a big tip and even looked at what you gave them. It made me a little uncomfortable. I have read some negative reviews about POA but I do not believe they are deserved. The cruise is more about the ports than the ship. If nightclubs and water parks are important to you, this will not be the right ship. You are going to be in port almost every day. Now, that I have been once, I would;d love to go at least one more time. This is great way to get a taste of Hawaii. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We have been on many cruises, two previous on NCL which were very good. Never have we felt compelled to write a review before. Please, if you have never cruised before, do not make this one your first, for you will have poisoned, in ... Read More
We have been on many cruises, two previous on NCL which were very good. Never have we felt compelled to write a review before. Please, if you have never cruised before, do not make this one your first, for you will have poisoned, in your mind, what is normally a grand experience. Take my advice and make your first cruise on the highest quality line that you can afford; you will then be better prepared to understand the shortcomings of this ship if you should be unfortunate enough to take it later. For the sake of expediency, I shall list its attributes and shortcomings in point form. FYI, our cabin was midships deck 8 with a balcony. Shortcomings: A serious stench of sewer gas greeted us upon opening the cabin door the first time. At frequent intervals this stench returned, not only in the cabin but in the corridors and lasted for hours. All night long we were lulled to sleep by a defective ball bearing in some large piece of equipment tapping away all night. This was not the most stable ship we have travelled in and might cause problems for any who are prone to seasickness. She rolled significantly in a moderate sea, not that it bothered us. A very strange design for a ship with views of the water obstructed by the lifeboats. Deck 8 balconies overlooked the lifeboat roofs. Deck 7 cabin windows were completely obstructed by the lifeboats. Never before have we seen lifeboats outboard of the balconies. The "Garden Cafe", the buffet dining room, was usually overcrowded and chaotic. Usually finding a vacant table was difficult. The cabins are small as are the washrooms, the shower being tiny. A miserable selection of TV channels were provided, half of which were pixelated to the point of being unwatchable. News and weather for Valparaiso being the best. There is no casino, not that we wanted one. There is no duty free on board. The layout of the ship is akin to a rabbit warren and the decor stuck in the sixties. The pursers desk and shore excursion desk staff were unhelpful and unfriendly. Most often there were no ship's people to facilitate passengers getting on board the correct ground transportation to take them to the various shopping locations in town. Often there were many busses on the pier at the same time. The ship always docked in a container port with no facilities or interests for passengers available without taking an excursion or shuttle to a dismal excuse for a shopping mall. The one exception was Kona where it stood off shore and ferried people in tenders into a nothing little town. The elevators were inadequate in number and repair, often having false floor indicator and hall lantern information displayed. The evening shows were terrible unless you enjoyed a rehash of the Jersey Boys at decibels high enough to injure. As usual we were nickel and dimed to death - $5.00/min for a local phone call, really? Attributes: The ship was reasonably clean. The cabin steward friendly and efficient. The dining room staff excellent. The food, especially the main courses, were very good but the desserts uninspiring. The wine selection although overpriced was reasonable. To summarize, this ship has a captive audience, being the only one that is legal to service Hawaiian waters and it shows it. There are too many people crammed into too small a ship with too many cabins. I am appalled that NCL would sully its good name in such a way! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We (two couples traveling) wanted to see the other Hawaiian islands that we had not visited previously and we thought this would be a great way to do it. We have cruised in the Caribbean on various cruise lines but had never cruised with ... Read More
We (two couples traveling) wanted to see the other Hawaiian islands that we had not visited previously and we thought this would be a great way to do it. We have cruised in the Caribbean on various cruise lines but had never cruised with Norwegian. With all this being said, the only reason I did not rate this cruise line and ship as "terrible" was the location of the cruise and the excursions were pretty good. That's the only thing it did right! The ship needs to be updated, the service is very sub-par, the food is not good, entertainment is poor and the rooms are smaller than competitor's ships. If you do choose to cruise on this ship, do not waste any $$ on the specialty restaurants other than Cagney's. We tried the Jefferson Bistro (had to wait over an hour for our main course and no one seem to care! ..... unbelievable), Cagney's and East Meets West. Cagney's food was good and the service was great. Can't say that about the other two restaurants. The main dining room food was o.k.....we only ate there once. The general dining staff was not friendly at all .... bar staff was friendly and chatty as you would expect. The excursion staff was helpful and friendly. So bottom line, as another reviewer stated, if Norwegian had any competition in Hawaii they would be out of business in a heartbeat. In the future, I will plan my own itinerary in the Hawaiian islands and fly from island to island. I am sure I can plan something better and less expensive than what Norwegian charges for their poor service! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
My husband and I did the Pride of America cruise for our honeymoon. It was both our first time to Hawaii, but only my husbands first time on a cruise ship. This was my third. My first was with NCL Star for my 16th birthday 15 years ago. My ... Read More
My husband and I did the Pride of America cruise for our honeymoon. It was both our first time to Hawaii, but only my husbands first time on a cruise ship. This was my third. My first was with NCL Star for my 16th birthday 15 years ago. My second cruise was with a friend on Royal Caribbean 2 years ago (I forget the name of the ship) which was really fun with plenty of shows, nightlife, parties, ice skating, rock climbing, surfing, etc... But the busy life is no longer something I enjoy and I was so glad we didn't go on a ship with all those frills. The Pride of America is VERY elegant, grown up and is a smaller ship so less people. There is no casino, few children are running around. There were A LOT of seniors on the ship which I was fine with as I wanted my husband and I to be left a lone but I quickly found out that seniors like to talk a lot lol! But it was still fine. My husband booked us a suite and it is well worth the money. It comes with a butler, you have priority access and private tenders when at Kona (you take take tenders to the island) and when getting off the ship at the end of the cruise, room service is free, there is a DVD library you rent from for free because your room has a DVD player. Your balcony is huge! The suite has a vanity area, spacious bathroom with tub and great water pressure, the works! My husband and I don't drink so our butler provided us with a bottle of non alcoholic "champagne" as well as sodas and juices. Fresh fruit came daily along with canapes in our room. AND breakfast and lunch at one of the specialty restaurants is included and the quality of food is much better than the buffet. Our first day on the ship the buffet was amazing, but its a different menu everyday and we were very disappointed after that day and ended up sticking to the main dining rooms and room service for dinner. Both dining rooms are delicious! This boat is very low key so if you're looking for several onboard activities like virtual golf and bowling this is not the cruise for you, but I found it to be very romantic and classic for me and my husband to spend our honeymoon on. On the other ships I've sailed with I never had a suite. I'm going with suites and specialty restaurants from now on. Totally different experience that is well worth the money. We didn't go on any of the cruise excursions so I can't comment on that. We rented a car and drove ourselves everywhere which saved a lot of money. What I can say is excursions are probably the most pain free way of getting to/from the piers as they are a little far from most things and parking can be a pain. In Maui we didn't get back early enough for a space at the pier so parked in the park nearby for free. In Kauai there is street parking that goes pretty quick or parking over night at this place called something Anchor for $20. Also, the piers are not like the Caribbean. They are industrial and smelly so don't expect anything pretty. We mostly stayed to ourselves so no comments on passengers and entertainment but the staff we encountered were all amazing, food was great in the dining rooms and private lunches and breakfasts, suite is AMAZING, ship can get rocky (REALLY rocky) with the pacific ocean waves. Overall all it was my favorite cruise so far (maybe Im biased cause of the honeymoon) and will do again ONLY if I can get a suite. Can't go back to a regular cabin after that. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We are a family group of 6 that have traveled/cruised together before. My husband and I have taken the re-positioning cruise from Hawaii in the past. For the others this was truly a "Trip of a Lifetime". We flew to Honolulu in ... Read More
We are a family group of 6 that have traveled/cruised together before. My husband and I have taken the re-positioning cruise from Hawaii in the past. For the others this was truly a "Trip of a Lifetime". We flew to Honolulu in advance and stayed for 6 nights prior to embarkation. We took some down time at the pool & on the beach at the Ilikai, as well as visited the Kualoa Ranch, climbed Diamond Head & the guys went to Pearl Harbor. It was during the end of rainy season and we had some cloudy days as well as some spectacularly sunny days. The Ship Embarkation was speedy and smooth. We took taxis from the hotel 3 per cab and it cost less than $20 USD. Norwegian did a great job of moving people through and we boarded the ship in no time. We went for lunch in the Aloha Buffet, checked out our cabins and then roamed the ship. We had dinner that night at Moderno. It was a fun unique experience for most of us. Too much food but tasted great. We had the Dining Package and used it as well to go to the Jefferson Bistro and La Cucina. At both of these restaurants the food was great. We ate at the buffet a fair bit and food seemed to be absolutely fine. We had a couple of casual dinners in the Skyline Dining room. Food was good and the wait staff was great. Some of the group had lunch at the Cadillac Diner and said it was good and plentiful. We did not attend many shows or inside entertainment. We love the Aft deck seating area outside the Aloha Cafe. We had breakfast out there and cocktails there most nights. Some evenings we just sat out there and enjoyed the moonlight and ocean views.Yes getting reservations at some of the specialty restaurants can be difficult at times but we booked 3 restaurants at different times during the cruise. We weren't sure of our scheduling while in the various ports to book in advance. The staff encounters we had seemed fine. Everyone seemed happy and very agreeable, ready to help.Norwegian is indeed nickel and dime-ing their guests. But it seems to be happening everywhere these days. Drinks were expensive and perhaps not the best we have ever had. The service charge is 18% - annoying to pay when one gets their own drink. But hey, its a vacation. Relax and Enjoy! Our Cabin The first time we entered our cabin we could hear a really loud whistling sound coming from the bathroom vent/fan. As well there was a nasty odor in the room. This smell has been mentioned in previous reviews. We have cruised enough times for us to know that this is not normal. We waited for the next day and the smell did not go away nor the sound. I spoke to our steward about it and he had someone check it out. It still was there the third morning and I mentioned it again. That afternoon the smell was gone but the only answer to the whistling seemed to be to remove part of the vent/fan. This created a really cold strong draft so I asked for the piece to be put back in. Amazingly the next day the sound was gone. Some other members of our group then complained that the nasty odor was on their side of the ship now and on their deck. The Pride is going into dry dock soon and I hope that the venting odor issue is resolved. To top it all off, on the last night our smoke detector went off at 3:00 a.m. which had the bridge call us. Made for a good story upon returning home. Yes the cabins are small but we managed - it is only a week. The ports: Maui - we rented a car for the first day & went up and down the west coast. Stopped for lunch in Kihei. Then went to the IAO Valley-a sacred/mystical place. The second day, 3 of our group took the Maui Sunrise Bike Tour down the volcano after sunrise and two of us took the ship's Sunrise Tour. (Take a small flashlight). It was an awesome sunrise. Not to be missed. The bike tour was a huge hit and enjoyed immensely by the riders. Hilo - we took a Robert's tour of Volcano National Park and Rainbow Falls. The lava tubes and active crater holes are remarkable. We also did a stop at the Macadamia Nut Factory. Kona - we just enjoyed the beautiful port and wandered around. Two in our group swam in the bay near the pier - they said the water was wonderful. Kauai - The first day we took the private air van flight with Wings Over Kauai. Words cannot describe this flight. The weather was awesome and views were unbeatable, our pilot was very informative. The scenery is out of this world. The flight was fantastic and at half the price of a helicopter tour! That night two of our group went on the ship's excursion to The Luau and said that it was a very good show. Two others of our group swam at Kalapaki Beach near the port. Wonderful little bay. We wandered into Dukes there and the music was good as well as it was Happy Hour. Day two we took the Roberts Fern Grotto & Wailua River tour. Again amazing scenery, great entertainment and the grotto is not to be missed. A very special place. Lastly was the sail past Napali Coast by the ship. We managed to be upgraded from Ocean View to a Balcony. We took advantage of the balcony to enjoy the sail past. The ship sails around the whole island. It is definitely a sail past to remember forever. From our balcony we could hear the guide on board explaining the sites and mystical magical places of Kauai. On disembarkation day things went smoothly. Although if I had been a first time cruiser the bag labeling and leaving times may have been a bit confusing. Half of our group went straight to the airport. The rest of our group had a late flight. Using points we rented a hotel room for the day. The Marriott Waikiki Resort and Spa was full so we couldn't get into our room until 3:00 pm but we were able to use the pool area. We relaxed, had lunch, & enjoyed some much needed down time. Later in the afternoon we went across the street to the public beach and took our final swim in the ocean. Fabulous Itinerary. A Most Amazing Trip of Lifetime! Read Less

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