1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
I cant say enough for our room attendant, he was great. He always had a smile and more then willing to accommodate you. Our cabin was the standard Ocean View room, enough space for item for this long of cruise. Now to the real ... Read More
I cant say enough for our room attendant, he was great. He always had a smile and more then willing to accommodate you. Our cabin was the standard Ocean View room, enough space for item for this long of cruise. Now to the real concerns for the trip. Our first hour on ship went up to the Schooner bar, two bloody marys and a whopping $24.00 tab. That's robbery and prices that are charged in Vegas. No glitz or glamor. Then we inquired about drink packages, $22.00 a day per person for the cola, OJ, water package. It went up from there. Inquired about the Wi-Fi package, $20.00 per day, PP. That's what some pay at home, that is the $20.00 per month. Then we find out that the gratuities have gone up, $12.95 PP, per day. Our we subsidizing the cruise line employment compensation. Then every where you go, you are harassed by personnel to buy-up for a special food restaurant. And how about charging you $150.00 to take a tour of the kitchen, bridge, etc.. I have been on many cruises where this is offered as a compliantly tour. I have read that in 2011 they did a 11million renovations to the ship, where? There were chairs that were falling apart, stains of fabric. The ship look worn, tired. It is in a real need to being updated. Windows in the Quill bar, decorative, that were so dirty, you could not see the dishes behind by doors. The entertainment was just o.k. I'm sure that the dance/singing troupe was tired, at least that is what it appeared. The ports of call where great, and the fact that when we landed in Wellington that the museum stayed open was fantastic. The food in the dinning room was tolerable. The chicken specials were always to dried out. The thing that was very disappointing, was we did not get a special dinner, "Lobster" every cruise that we have taken, you are served lobster, now you could have bought it, for an extra "24.95". Tacky. The Dinning room officer was a real jerk when we asked about not having a lobster, he said "you should have been on the Vancouver to Hawaii trip" Tacky. Our dining room servers were great, could not have asked for better service, and he on several meals apologized for what he was serving. The worst was the Baklava dessert, at our table we had 12 guest, 8 ordered this dessert, and eight did not eat it. It tasted as if the nuts were old, rotten. In the last three years we have taken two RC cruises , One to Quebec Canada and the latest to Sydney. Enough of RC. We travel with a group of 12 persons and it has been agreed that has a group we have had disappointing cruise's with Royal. We are going to make a switch. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our 4th. cruise & we were very disappointed with this cruise. We chose NCL, thinking it was going to be the Ultimate Hawaiian cruise vacation to celebrate our 45th anniversary. When arriving, we were happy that we chose a ... Read More
This was our 4th. cruise & we were very disappointed with this cruise. We chose NCL, thinking it was going to be the Ultimate Hawaiian cruise vacation to celebrate our 45th anniversary. When arriving, we were happy that we chose a cabin with a balcony but the problem was a raw sewage stench inside our cabin that was never fixed or went away. I reported it Monday morning because I couldn’t stand the smell all night on Sunday, it seemed like the vent over the bed was blowing this on us. They sent people to fix it but it never got solved all week. You could smell it in the hall also. I asked our neighbor if he had the same problem in his cabin and he replied yes. Question: Was our cabin sitting on the Sewage Tanks? We have been on other cruises and never had a smell in our cabin like this. On our last day Friday, the toilet wouldn’t flush around 6PM so I flushed it again and that’s when the pipe behind the toilet started squirting water like a fountain out of the back and then it started to overflow. Water everywhere and it started seeping onto the cabin carpet, lovely. We called for a plumber and steward. Bathroom had to be sanitized and they fixed the mess. We also had a problem with our cabin steward. He didn’t clean our coffee pot three days in a row; and nothing changed even after I complained about it to Guest Services. Then I told him myself that he forgot again; but he didn’t seem to care, then he removed our coffee cups so we couldn’t have anything. That’s when I stopped bothering with him; I just gave up on the guy. Other people were complaining to him about things also, not just us. We were not impressed with the food in the two Main dining rooms, Skyline and Liberty. Same menu for the whole week in both restaurants, pretty boring. There were a few changes on the left side of the menu but over all food was bland and repetitive. Not impressed. We did have an excellent meal at the Jefferson’s Bistro and this is the kind of food I expected from all the restaurants on the ship. The breakfast and lunch buffets were fine but the dinner buffet was nothing special either. One thing we did enjoy was the entertainment. Upon arriving home we both came down with flu like symptoms and we’ve been sick for 10days. Don’t know if the sewage smell had something to do with that, not very good memories of our vacation. We would not recommend this cruise to anyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
Well, we just returned from a week's cruise around the Hawaiian Islands on the NCL's Pride of America. We researched this cruise, the itinerary, the excursions, the cabins, the food, the level of service, etc. So we went into ... Read More
Well, we just returned from a week's cruise around the Hawaiian Islands on the NCL's Pride of America. We researched this cruise, the itinerary, the excursions, the cabins, the food, the level of service, etc. So we went into this having read all the negative that had been previously posted regarding this cruise. We had doubts, and like others had said in past reviews we decided that we would make this cruise about the ports and not the ship. This was our 8th cruise and first on NCL. For the record, we had absolutely nothing to worry about. The level of service we experienced was the equal or better than that of service received on other ships we have sailed on. Granted, the balcony cabin was not huge but it more than adequately served our needs. Granted, the shower was not humongous, but it was no way so restricting that I touching all the walls while trying to shower. Now, some of the larger guests (and there were plenty of them) might have found the shower problematic, but for a normal sized adult, it certainly wasn't a deal breaker. Our cabin steward "Jack" was thorough, efficient, and friendly. As good as any cabin steward we have ever had on any of our previous cruises. Previously we have sailed Royal Caribbean and Disney. I have read a lot about the terrible food, long waits, poor wait staff in the various restaurants onboard. Baloney!!! We ate in the Aloha Buffet, Cadillac Diner, Skyline , Moderno, LaCucina, Teppanyaki, and Cagney's. The food was very good, well presented and the wait staff and hostesses were fantastic. Never did we experience a wait for a table and even when we were early for our reservation, we were promptly seated. I would equate the dinner we had at Cagney's as good as the dinners we have eaten at Palo on the Disney Magic, Wonder, and Fantasy. We both had the Ultimate Dining Package and felt we had value received for value paid. For those who complain about lack of activities on the ship, I question that. If one were to look at the daily activities paper left by the cabin steward each night on the bed, one would see that there are plenty of things to do during the day if one were not going ashore. But why the heck are you on this cruise anyway if you are just going to sit on the ship. This is Hawaii and there is so much to see ashore that complaining about nothing to do on the ship makes no sense to me. We chose to do all our excursions booked through the ship. Sure it is more pricey, but we wanted the comfort in knowing that if anything were to go wrong or the tour was late NCL would take care of it. And guess what, our tour bus had a tire blowout returning from the Waimea Canyon excursion. We had an hour delay waiting for a replacement bus, but NCL made sure we had a replacement and we were able to still make it to the Luau that night. All the excursions we booked were well done with knowledgable drivers. The Kalamaku Luau was done depicting a story. Not done like most luaus where dancers just come out and dance a variety of dances. We thought it was unique. Regarding the food, we have gone to luaus at the Polynesian Cultural Center, Germaines, and Paradise Cove all on Oahu. I think the food was better at this luau. Disembarkation was simple. We caught a cab at the pier and spent three additional days post cruise in Honolulu at the Outrigger on the Beach. So, I guess one can believe what they want about the cruise, good or bad. But, ultimately, just go into it with an open mind and try not to be swayed either way. Then, decide how things went. For us it was great and we would not hesitate to sail on the Pride of America again or any other NCL ship for that matter. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
I had so much fun on my 7 day Hawaiian cruise. My friend and I flew in from Phoenix on a 6 1/2 hour Hawaiian Airline flight. It took awhile to get through the Boarding Process; but once through, the week was so much fun. Two ... Read More
I had so much fun on my 7 day Hawaiian cruise. My friend and I flew in from Phoenix on a 6 1/2 hour Hawaiian Airline flight. It took awhile to get through the Boarding Process; but once through, the week was so much fun. Two days in Maui. One day in Hilo and one in Kona on the Big Island. Two days in Kauai. This is my third visit to the Hawaiian Islands and hopefully, far from my last. I love the islands and this was a wonderful way to visit 3 islands on one visit. Port & Shore Excursions: Big Island Snorkel. Our group was the first to be loaded on the Tenders at Kona to be transported to the Body Glove catamaran at 7:15 am, which was nice for us because we had the full day until 5:30 pm, to explore Kona after the excursion. This Excursion was exceptional. The staff was informative, helpful, friendly, and patient. The food was abundant and delicious. The coral reef where we snorkeled was about 45 minutes from shore. We saw a pod of Spinner dolphins as we to the reef. Once we arrived, the snorkeling was very well organized. The view of the reef and the ocean life was excellent. The only challenge I faced on the snorkeling excursion was that I decided to go down the water slide. It was nothing like the big yellow slides at a water park. I pulled a muscle trying to get onto the slide and when I landed in the water, it felt like a giant slap to my whole body. I can't think of any way to enter the water more gently from the slide. I imagine that it hurts because of the speed and distance of the drop. It's not necessary to go down the water slide, and I would just skip that experience if I had it to do over again. Other than my decision to use the water slide, the rest of the experience was fun and memorable. Also, I was generous with use of sunscreen which I highly recommend. I brought my own spray on 50 spf sunscreen, and there was also sunscreen available on board. Thank you to the Big Island Excursion staff. They couldn't have been more helpful and considerate to a snorkeler with limited experience. Entertainment: The shows were amazing. I went to all of the 7:00 shows except for Thursday, Luau night. Performers were highly talented and professional. Costumes were gorgeous. The 'Oh What a Night' Tribute was probably the highest quality of all; but every show was a 5 star performance for me. The Cast was fabulous. Each show lasted about an hour and left me wanting more. I definitely recommend taking advantage of the superb entertainment offered at 7 and 9 pm nightly in the Hollywood Theater. Summary: Thank you to Norwegian and to all the staff that made it such a fabulous experience. Thanks especially to our Cabin Steward, Henry. Actually, the whole Pride of America staff treated us so well. I highly recommend Pride of America to anyone who wants to enjoy the islands along with a Cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
I had read other reviews, so I knew what to expect. This is not so much a traditional "cruise" as a floating hotel that moved every other night. Because of this, things regular cruisers expect such as lots of shipboard ... Read More
I had read other reviews, so I knew what to expect. This is not so much a traditional "cruise" as a floating hotel that moved every other night. Because of this, things regular cruisers expect such as lots of shipboard activities during the day just aren't there. Heard a lot of people grousing about no casino too. If you're aboard POA during the day looking for something to do you got on the wrong ship. That said, we found service and food to be excellent except for terrible service once at Cadillac. We had the UDP, so ate at specialty restaurants 4 nights. We stayed at Marriott Waikiki a couple days before...a good choice because if you purchase through NCL you check in for the cruise at the hotel when you arrive, and you get leis. Embarkation day you leave your tagged luggage in your room, get on the NCL bus, and your luggage appears in your stateroom later. Check in at the port was then a breeze (priority because of Marriott). The entertainment was good but not as great as some NCL shows (again, most passengers were worn out and crowds were small...on the plus side, don't need to line up for good seats). Staterooms are smaller than usual, but we spent less than an hour a day awake in the cabin and went to sleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow. We rented a car in every port except Kona; there we took a tour with a taxi we found on the pier because it cost less than car rental + taxi to airport to pickup and return (no rental shuttle for Avis here, don't know about others). And the ports were the real reason for the cruise! Iao Valley, Old Lahina Luau and Four Winds II snorkel on Maui, Volcanoes National Park and Macadamia nuts in Hilo, coffee plantation, Painted Church and farmers' market in Kona, then Waimea Canyon (amazing) on Kauai. Was it a great cruise? Not great, but pretty good. Was it a great VACATION? One of our best ever. Lots and lots of time to see Hawaii. If you just want a great ship try Breakaway or Getaway instead. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
My wife and I are Honolulu residents and recent retirees. For our very first cruise experience, we decided to take the NCL Pride of America cruise around our home state because we expected it to be a safe and relaxing way to see the ... Read More
My wife and I are Honolulu residents and recent retirees. For our very first cruise experience, we decided to take the NCL Pride of America cruise around our home state because we expected it to be a safe and relaxing way to see the neighbor islands of Maui, Hawaii and Kauai; my wife had previous problems with seasickness when on smaller boats so we thought that if she got in trouble on this large and stable ocean liner, we would be close to home and medical facilities if needed; and really, what could go wrong? Boarding takes place at Honolulu Harbor's Pier 2. My daughter and son-in-law dropped us off at 11:00 for our noon boarding. We waited in line for about a half hour, the quickly went through security and check-in. We finally boarded shortly after noon, but learned we could not go to our cabin until it was announced on the ship's PA system. Decks 13, 12, 11 and 9 were called before our deck, which meant we finally got into our cabin on deck 10 around 4:30 p.m. I noticed a letter by my door, which informed me that due to a computer problem, my 5:30 dinner reservation at the Teppanyaki restaurant was rescheduled to the last seating at 8:30. I should have been upset, but wasn't because until 4:30 we sat in the Aloha Cafe eating lunch, snacks and sipping drinks while we busied ourselves on the Internet service that would vanish when at sea. We got mid-ship balcony cabin 10100, which turned out to great in terms of size, quietness and location. The stairway was just steps away. We rarely took the elevators. It was an easy walk from deck 10 to Aloha Cafe on deck 11, to the spa and fitness center on deck 12, and down to decks 6 and 5 for the main and specialty restaurants, as well as guest services and shore excursion desks. Our cabin steward, Michael, was terrific. Whenever he saw us, he asked if he could do anything for us. We appreciated his asking. Here's my take on the restaurants: Aloha Cafe (complimentary): Our most frequently visited dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Most items stayed the same each day, with the main entree changing daily. Desserts were the biggest disappointment. Cadillac Diner (complimentary): The only 24-hour dining option. Menu does not change. French toast breakfast was fine. Cheeseburger lunch was fine. Extra-cost milk shake was worth the money. Desserts were very good, but avoid the apple pie. You'll thank me. Teppanyaki (extra cost): Not worth the money. Chef and hostess were personable and made the experience enjoyable. Food was very disappointing. Cagney's Steakhouse (extra cost): Definitely worth the money. Service and entrees were very good. Desserts were very good, but the cheesecake was disappointing. Skyline Main Dining Room (complimentary): All in all, the best in terms of food and service. They take reservations, but always had a table for my wife and I when we walked up. Our shore excursions: Maui Day 1: We had never visited Hana, so we took the all-day Hana bus tour. The process of leaving the ship was quick and easy. A short time later when our bus stopped at a traffic light, a motorcyclist told our driver that our brake lights were not working. The driver quickly stepped out and confirmed it. He called his dispatcher and arranged for a substitute bus to meet us at our first rest stop. We switched buses there and the driver immediately noticed the substitute bus had bad rear shocks. He apologized for the bumpy ride, but I didn't mind. The driver was fantastic, very personable and knowledgeable, and really was a highlight of the tour. After lunch at a small hotel (a decent buffet included in the cost) and a quick drive through tiny Hana town, we proceeded on a rough country road to return to the ship. About an hour short of the ship, our bus lost its coolant and we were stranded for two hours until a replacement bus reached us. So instead of returning at 4:30, we staggered in at 6:45. The ship's shore excursion director met us, offered bottled water and cookies, and asked us to fill our incident reports. He contacted me the next day and offered a 50 percent refund, which I gladly accepted. I praised the driver for his professionalism throughout the incident. Our comfort and safety were his top priorities throughout the ordeal. Even with all the problems we faced, I would recommend this tour for those who do not get motion sickness and can go long distances without a restroom break. But my wife and I would not do it again. Once was enough. Maui Day 2: We took the bus tour to Haleakala Crater. We left at 8 a.m. and returned by 1:30 p.m. Some people went directly to their afternoon excursions, but I had decided we would board the ship, get lunch and relax in our cabin. We liked this tour and would recommend it. Hilo Day 3: We took the half-day tour to Volcano National Park. We visited only two sites worthy of being called highlights: Halemaumau Crater and Thurston Lava Tube. My wife and I agreed the tour was skimpy and not worth the money. As the day before, we returned to the ship for lunch and rest. Kona Day 4: We took the half-day tour to a coffee plantation/factory and chocolate plantation/factory. These are small enterprises, with each having less than 10 employees. Delicious samples plus interesting and educational information made this a tour I would highly recommend. Kauai Day 5: We took the full-day Director's Tour of movie/television sites. Great driver and a really fun trip. The tour included lunch at a restaurant in Hanalei. Lunch choices limited to hamburger, fish burger or vegetarian. We crossed the street and bought delicious homemade ice cream at a small shop. We recommend this excursion. Kauai Day 6: We scheduled a morning helicopter tour. A bus transported us to the heliport, where we checked in, were weighed and sat through a safety presentation. Then just minutes from boarding, we were told the flight was canceled because storm clouds had closed out Waimea Valley and the Napali Cliffs, two of the top highlights of the tour. We got a full refund, but were very disappointed. We returned to the ship and, to make up for our disappointment, scheduled an afternoon massage session. I am a veteran of massage services and I was slightly disappointed in what I received. However, I knew the therapist was doing the best she could and maybe a 50-minute session could not melt the knots and tension I had in my neck and back. A massage is a highly personal experience, so please try it if you feel like it. But it is very expensive. Disembarking at Honolulu Harbor was quite efficient. We attached colored luggage tags to our bags the night before. We used the gray tags for an 8 a.m. disembarkation. We left the bags outside our door before midnight and, next morning, waited for the call to get off and find our luggage. If you're willing to carry your bags yourself, you can leave as early as 7:45. All in all, the disembarkation process was easy and smooth. We did not participate in any onboard entertainment activities and events, so I cannot comment on them. The swimming pools were small and always crowded. The fitness center was warm (don't know what happened to the a/c) and well used. Lots of machines but not enough barbells and space to use them. Cleanliness was stressed throughout the cruise by staff with alcohol sprays and dispensers everywhere. In summary, it was a once in a lifetime cruise for us around our home state. It was quite expensive, but something we expected so we had saved for it. I don't think we will do it again, but I would recommend it as a great way to see the best of Hawaii in a short time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
This trip was on my Bucket List! This was our second cruise with NCL and I do like the free style feeling. We only brought casual wear. The Pride of America ship was nice but this one seemed little older than the Jewel that we took last ... Read More
This trip was on my Bucket List! This was our second cruise with NCL and I do like the free style feeling. We only brought casual wear. The Pride of America ship was nice but this one seemed little older than the Jewel that we took last year. We upgraded to balcony and LOVED it. We had jet lag for several days and some times we just chilled on our patio and looked over the water and ordered room service. The room was ok but the bathroom seemed so tiny compared to the Jewel Ship, and on the Jewel we had the best pillows ever! They were like those Gel Pillows and we didn't expierence those on the Pride of America. For some reason we weren't crazy about the food, I realize they have to feed over 2,000 people and basically how do you keep it all warm and different. Many times the food just was never hot, and by the end of the week it just wasn't applealing anymore. Same O Same O. We did enjoy the free dining rooms and never did upgrade to the the paid ones. I figured we paid enough for this cruise. The East meets West Dining was very good if you like Asian Food. Because of our Jet Lag We never could stay up very late for some of the entertainment but overall it was a very relaxed cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Inside Superior cabin fine although a few bits and pieces were coming apart. The main dining room was claustraphobic and disorganised, although our table stewards were great the service was slow. We were also seated right next to open ... Read More
Inside Superior cabin fine although a few bits and pieces were coming apart. The main dining room was claustraphobic and disorganised, although our table stewards were great the service was slow. We were also seated right next to open service area which was disgusting we complained. It seems as though they have tried to push to many tables into the main dining room. The entertainment was great with the ships crew giving it their all. She is showing her age yet compared with the Rhapsody its chalk and cheese. Overall a bit tatty. Did not start too well Very late departing due to maintenance on propeller. Terrible at Papeete as we arrived on mothers day and Sunday so everything was shut, they could have swapped with Moorea which was excellent (leaving Moorea they dawdled to Papeete so it could have easily been switched). Excellent service from Service Desk so helpfull,a wheel came off our suitcase they tried repairing it to no avail, they gave us a brand new suitcase Not enough waiters at bar area also prices a bit steep, apparently price rise before we embarked. Disembarkation was excellent. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
GETTING ON THE SHIP - We arrived at the embarkation dock at 1:30 and crowded on the ship along with 900 other early passengers. By 2:00 we were checked aboard, but our room on deck 9 was not ready. So we sat in the Aloha restaurant and ... Read More
GETTING ON THE SHIP - We arrived at the embarkation dock at 1:30 and crowded on the ship along with 900 other early passengers. By 2:00 we were checked aboard, but our room on deck 9 was not ready. So we sat in the Aloha restaurant and waited to be called. At 3:00 the rooms were ready. The Room was the smallest balcony stateroom I’ve ever seen on a ship. It was larger than the prison cells at Alcatraz. We moved the table and chair out onto the patio so that we had more room to walk in the room. Our steward, Ceilo was always at our beck and call, always smiling, and always one step ahead of us. Kudos to Ceilo. He made our cruise a pleasure. Then we waited in our stateroom until 7:00 for out luggage to be delivered. Rumor had it that all luggage was delayed because security was scanning it. And later we met a gentleman that had one of his bags impounded until he showed them that the alcohol that security detected was no more that a bottle of after-shave. The bed was covered with a quilt that weighed approx 10 lbs and would come in real handy if Hawaii were ever hit with a chilling blast of arctic air. We brought along a roll-up shoe bag with 20 pockets and hung it from the towel bar with shoe laces. It held our mouth wash, bottles of this and that, brushes, combs, etc. The sink does not have a lot of room, but does have a mini medicine cabinet in one corner. You can’t hang the shoe holder on the shower stall which goes all the way to the ceiling. Next night, we danced in Pink's bar to live band playing ballroom music (cha cha, rhumba, and swing) on a 15-foot round dance floor. Just the right size for two couples. The 4-piece band (Wave) was great. 95% of the staff were helpful, friendly, and courteous - answering the most trivial questions with a smile. However, my wife became annoyed at one of the Aloha bus-girls that repeatedly tried to pick up my wife's plate before she had finished eating. MOVING ABOUT THE SHIP - I've been on three other cruises and I had very little trouble moving about those ships. However, on Pride of America, there are blind alleys and barriers blocking your ability to get from here to where you are headed. Some elevators do not go to all decks. For example: to walk to the Hollywood theatre (in the bow) start at the stern of the ship and stroll along deck 6 ‘til you hit the Hollywood Theatre. To walk to the Mardi Gras Theatre start walking on deck 7 and you end up in Pink’s bar where you have to back track to an elevator, go down to deck 6, walk under Pink’s bar and take an elevator back up to deck 7 to the Mardi Gras Theatre (just above the Hollywood theatre). The four shows we attended at the Hollywood Theatre were all top shelf. I rated one show (a tribute to MGM) better than anything I've seen on Broadway. If you opt for the Ultimate Dining (UD) experience, I recommend that (before you unpack) you make reservations at your preferred restaurants, at the preferred times and preferred dates. If you wait two days and try to make a restaurant reservation you'll likely find that the time, day, and restaurant you prefer is booked solid. For you non-UD diners there is always the cozy Cadillac Diner open 24/7 no reservations needed. The railings in various parts of the ship were being re-varnished which made some stair wells unusable as WET PAINT signs were everywhere. The smell of drying varnish spread through the entire ship. The last day, leaving Kuai, the ship made a double pass by the Napali coast. Frantastic at sunset time. Don’t make the mistake I made by packing your camera in the luggage to get off the ship. Fortunately we had shots of Napali from the plane tour. GOING ASHORE- To help resolve the lack on gambling on-board, they've installed an ATM machine on deck 3 as you leave or return to the ship. Sometimes it accepts your card and other times it ignores your card. When it finally took my card after four attempts, there was a $5.50 service charge. Welcome to Hawaii. In port there are protected walkways at Maui, Hilo, and Kaui. At Maui the walkway leads to Whole Foods and Longs Drugs and takes maybe 15 minutes. Whole Foods has WiFi and giant pizza slices (the perfect combination). At Hilo, greeters met us on the dock and explained the local bus schedule, the taxis, tours available, and pointed out the walkway that leads to a security gate. Outside the gate is the HOPPA-ON HOPPA-OFF Bus Terminal. For $20 you can jump on/off the bus all day, stopping at Rainbow falls, Hilo farmers market, and the magnificent coast line. At Kuaii, there were free shuttle buses to K-Mart and the Harbor shops (and ABC store). Be sure to ask what time the last shuttle runs. At the back corner of K-Mart is a set of stairs up to a fairly large Mall. The mall has WiFi at the large patio in front of the small McDonalds. My Kindle picked up WiFi from Macys and Famous shoes. The patio also had 110 v for charging your devices. At the Bamboo Bar and Grill in Kaui we had the best breakfast sandwich EVER. Eggs folded into a perfect cheese omelet, with bacon done to a break-apart crispness, with a soft gluten bread holding a light crust. And - it was priced reasonably. We took the Big Kahuna 6-place plane for an hour flight around Kuaii and up Waimei canyon, along the Napali Coast, and over Julia Roberts house. Each passenger had his or her own window. Also less expensive than the helicopter. Air Adventures picked us up at the ABC store at Harbor shops, and because we were early, took us on an impromptu tour of the hotels and coast including a history of why there are so many roosters on the island. . WiFi on the ship is outrageously expensive. I passed on that. GETTING OFF AND AWAY- We Waited for 80% of the passengers to exit the ship all at once at deck 5. Then we got off the ship and walked right up to our baggage under the Gray sign in the shed. On other cruises I spent 45 minutes hunting our luggage in a jungle of black bags. I bumped into a porter and was out of the terminal and on our VIP bus to Honolulu airport all in 20 minutes. A record in the cruise industry I’m sure. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
This cruise was absolutely wonderful!! Me and my husband decided to celebrate my 50th Birthday in Paradise, the decision of taking the cruise, was the best...with this cruise you go the main islands and you get to see the best of Hawaii ... Read More
This cruise was absolutely wonderful!! Me and my husband decided to celebrate my 50th Birthday in Paradise, the decision of taking the cruise, was the best...with this cruise you go the main islands and you get to see the best of Hawaii with their shore excursions, the ship is great, very well manteined, beautiful, comfortable, very clean, crew members were awesome, very helpful and friendly; food was great, a lot of variety for all tastes, entertainment was fabulous. My only recommendation for those who may get seasick, wear the patch behind the ear, for balance. Pacific Ocean is ruff!!! I will highly recommend this cruise to anybody as well as NCL, they really know the meaning of the word "PERFECTION" Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
We boarded easily in Honolulu without any difficulty even though a trainee checked us in (under close supervision by a manager). Unfortunately, after entering the ship, there was no one accessible to guide us-thank goodness we were ... Read More
We boarded easily in Honolulu without any difficulty even though a trainee checked us in (under close supervision by a manager). Unfortunately, after entering the ship, there was no one accessible to guide us-thank goodness we were familiar with cruising and knew what to do, but it missed the Welcome Aboard factor. We had a superior balcony and it was just a bit larger than we expected. It was neat, clean, and well prepared. The only downside was that the rail on the balcony was badly chipped and in need of a sanding and additional varnish. All the rooms adjacent to us had rails with similar conditions but the public areas were all well in tact-in fact they were sanding and painting during part of the cruise. The ship while not the newest was still in good shape and was cleaned very well all the time. We ate twice at Izumi-almost privately on both occasions and the food was quite good. The Chop House and Samba were also excellent-great food and great service. Just not sure why the ship did not advertize or sell the specialty dining package-we heard about it on the sixth day and then saw a sign in the elevator but it was never promoted that we saw earlier on the trip-it would be worthwhile so look for it early on the trip. The main dining room was fair-in terms of atmosphere and food. The service was good and we had the same waiter in the MyTime restaurant which was a nice surprise and he was quite good-pleasant, helpful and attentive. The buffet is less than average-not great service and the food was mediocre-not well presented and not with a great variety. Need to like Indian food to eat here. Thank goodness it was appealing to us. Also, the hours should be expanded a bit as it was limited, especially when we embarked on the ship. Can't say enough about the entertainment-this was the best we have ever seen on a ship. All 5 Star performances-the band was great; the singers and dancers quite good and the other entertainers the absolute best-Karen Grainger-female impersonator/singer was fabulous; the trumpeter/singer was great, and the comedian/illusionist was also top notch. There was a pianist whose fingers travel at the speed of light and he too, was gifted and a great entertainer. They all performed an extra show on the last day and it was SRO and the audience was so appreciative. The bar entertainers were good, solid performers(we have seen better but they were still competent and well received). There were onlhy 3 stops and two tender excursions-one of which was extremely poorly managed by RCCL-it was a bit wavy and they could not control the tenders no matter what they did but they surely did not look confident or sure as to what to do. Almost lost a passenger between the tender and the ship. Also, the daily newsletter was mostly informative but they could do a better job with giving passengers a small map of the area where the ship will dock so you can easily navigate the local streets and know what to expect (it is what Princess does). A good trip overall-just a few areas for improvement. I will say the service in general was good-the cabin attendant was helpful, pleasant and gracious; the room service quite good; and the bar staff also generally pleasant. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Having read so many bad reviews I did not expect a lot. On arrival we used a porter, and that gets you to the front of the line, and saves half an hour and is a good tip I read previously on a cruise report. The cabins are smaller ... Read More
Having read so many bad reviews I did not expect a lot. On arrival we used a porter, and that gets you to the front of the line, and saves half an hour and is a good tip I read previously on a cruise report. The cabins are smaller than other lines (I have done over 30 weeks on other lines). This caused no problem as we only sleep in the cabin, There was excellent storage spaces. Dining, the food quality is excellent but the choices in the Aloha can be a bit boring, so use the restaurants, we did not use the pay extra restaurants as they seemed a bit expensive. Drinks prices are expensive, $8 for a beer and $30 plus for a bottle of wine, and you can bring wine on board if you pay the $15 corkage a bottle. The beverage package is $65 a week and is good value if you drink lots of soft drinks. The trips are very expensive and each port has plenty of people waiting at the port at far better prices. Maui does a cheap all day bus ticket so it cost us a tenth of the price to get to Lahaina $2 each instead of $50 each, Transfer coaches were ok and free. The music on the ship is mostly 60s and 70s and the entertainment which was mostly superb was again reflective of the era. So in light of that, its not really good for younger people who I noted were the ones giving bad reviews. It you are 50 plus its great. My wife is what I call a fussy eater (Vegan) and she was very happy with the selections available. The staff on board are all Americans, and some of them could do with smiling more but I suppose going round in circles week after week must get tedious. Dont forget to take loads of small denomination money although you wont need it on the ship, onshore they all expect tips. Usually 15-20% and I could not get used to that. Finally I can say that I would do the same cruise again, its a great way to see the islands. We are from New Zealand and I can recommend House of Travel at Mount Manganui for making our holiday smooth and trouble free. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
My wife and I are in our mid-60's, fairly active and long time experienced cruisers. Whether you've previously been to Hawaii, or not, this is the easiest and best way to see the Hawaiian Islands. An important concept to ... Read More
My wife and I are in our mid-60's, fairly active and long time experienced cruisers. Whether you've previously been to Hawaii, or not, this is the easiest and best way to see the Hawaiian Islands. An important concept to remember about this cruise is that Hawaii is the MAIN attraction. In reality, the Pride of America is nothing more then a good, upscale ferry service between ports. Why? because there are no sea days and the majority of shore excursions start early AM and don't return until 5 PM. So, unless you are physically unable to or don't want to get off the ship to see the beautiful Islands ( if that's the case you might as well stay home) you will be on the ship just for dinner, drinks and late night entertainment. If you want to catch some sun, you'll have no problem finding an empty deck chair anywhere on the ship. Except for pool area sun decks were very empty and bar servers did not come around. Embarkation and disembarkation was fast and easy at every port. Even tendering at Kona. Fellow travelers were mostly over 40, with a large contingent of wealthy Japanese, South Koreans Chinese and Australians. Asians traveled in multi-generational families with kids.Very few American kids, We booked a deck 8 aft balcony. Being way aft of the ship there was a noticeable shudder. Room was smaller then comparable rooms on other ships but we didn't care. We didn't spend much time in the room. Furniture were in good shape, closet space was sufficient. Bathroom sink fixtures showed wear and tear. Shower was excellent. Water flow was strong and temperature was easily adjustable. Cabin service was good. Room steward was pleasant and helpful. Decor of the ship was elegant and reflected the American theme very well in all public rooms. Central atrium resembled doom of the the U.S capital. Food - 2 main dining rooms...Skyline with a New York theme. Liberty, with elegant early American theme, is noteworthy for American bunting, top notch wood walls and museum worthy paintings on the walls. Take the time to review them. Food was OK, service was fast, efficient and servers were very friendly. Food and service in the Italian specialty restaurant , La Cucino, was mediocre. Don't waste your money. Food and service in Brazilian and French restaurants was outstanding. Worth the extra charge. Plenty of bars and lounges service at each was very good. Staff and Services - This is a tough to judge. For the most part 4 stars out of 5. But the staff is 70% American and there attitude toward services is different from East European and Filipino staff on other ships. Americans are a lot less formal, more relaxed, more easygoing and laid back then there East European and Filipino counterparts on other ships. It takes time to get used to. Where else but on an American staffed ship would staff, ship officers, crew and guests have an impromptu beach volley ball game in the main atrium during business, hours. Entertainment... excellent.... bands, vocalists and pianists were American, very professional and played only Rock and Roll, Jazz, Broadway hits, C&W, blues, Motown music, hits from 60's to today. SHORE EXCURSIONS: DO RESEARCH BEFORE THE CRUISE. THERE IS SO MANY AMAZING SIGHTS TO SEE AND THINGS DO ON EACH ISLAND. Remember, Hawaii IS A U.S. STATE. Don't be afraid to venture out on your own. We flew into Honolulu two days before the cruise to ease ourselves into the vacation mode and get over the jet lag. We stayed at a hotel on Waikiki beach, rented a car for two days (inexpensive) and drove around the Island of Oahu. Oahu is not a port stop and this is the only way to sight-see the Island in depth. There is much more to see then Pearl harbor. Roads/road signs are comparable to roads in other states (except for dual English and Hawaiian language road signs). Traffic in and around Honolulu is heavy and slow but navigable. Tour companies and tour guides in the state of Hawaii must be certified. If you don't want to take NCL shore excursions, there are many highly reputable companies on each Island who offer bus, six person van or private excursions to the same sights as NCL excursions, often at lower prices. Some guarantee to get you back to the ship on time or they will pay expenses to get you to next port. The four main must see shore excursions are Road To Hana(Maui) , Waimea canyon (Kauai), sunrise on Mt. Halealaka(Maui) and Volcano National park (Big Island Hawaii). If you plan to take NCL excursions only book these tours BEFORE you get to Hawaii, They fill up fast. We booked Volcano National park with MaryLou's a private company. six person van, cheaper then NCL and the driver (Kyle, excellent !) made stops at some great places the large bus tours couldn't stop at. Road to Hana and Mt. Halealaka were booked through NCL. None of the private companies were cheaper all had same itinerary. 5 stares to Tom Doyle who was guide and driver for Road to Hana. Suggest renting a car to tour Kauai. Forty dollars plus gas for a day will allow you to explore Waimea canyon and other Island attractions at your leisure and much cheaper then any excursion. There is not much to do at Kona the second port stop on the big Island of Hawaii so we opted to walk around the small, touristy but nice port town and shop for souvenirs SUMMARY: This cruise ranks as one of the best we've taken. Mainly because of the Hawaiian Islands. Fantastic !!!!! Worth every penny we spent. We saw a lot but missed out on a few great sites and plan to return in 2016. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
We upgraded shortly before we left to a Penthouse for an extra $600. So worth it. We were part of a precruise at Marriott. We were transported to the ship and taken to a special small room to check in with food and drinks available there. ... Read More
We upgraded shortly before we left to a Penthouse for an extra $600. So worth it. We were part of a precruise at Marriott. We were transported to the ship and taken to a special small room to check in with food and drinks available there. Our consignere , Thomas, took us up to Cagney Steakhouse where only the penthouse and suite people could eat breakfast and lunch daily. It was the highest of quality food and we rarely missed breakfast. Our suite was huge, full bathroom with a huge tub, dressing area outside of the bathroom, tons and tons of drawers, flat panel tv, huge sitting area, secretary area, double deck area, champagne, water, flowers. Our butler, Chris, brought us appetizers, chocolates and fresh fruit almost daily. He was available to help us book anything we needed. The tours were great. We did one everyday. The road to Hana should end halfway. It is 50 miles and takes 9 hours. It got to be a really long day and there is nothing to see in hana. Don't miss banana bread at halfway point. Whale watching was great but if I did it again I would go to Lahaina early and take it out of there. We missed booking the National Volcano park and instead did the Puna trip which was a big disappointment. We did walk on the old lava fields going to the black beach. Submarine was fantastic at Kona! Helicopter ride over Kauai was amazing and should be on everyones bucket list. My husband got the opportunity to golf on the Kauai right on the edge of the cliff. Probably one of his best golf experiences. The shows on board were amazing and I did not have high expectations at all. Four Seasons tribute had people on their feet applauding. They did one full show and were part of two other shows. Magician very good and funny. We were pleased overall. As far as the food, again, I was surprised. We did all the extra fine dining and loved almost all of them except the habaci. That was okay. Otherwise even the buffet food was very good. It was better than some other ships we have been on. The people who worked the ship really put forward their best. We met so many of them and heard their stories of why they are there. That was really part of the highlight of the cruise. So many great people. Loved all the bar areas. Pool too small. Back of ship on deck 11 was great for watching the world go by. I hated for this cruise to end. I hated to leave Hawaii. The blue waters of all the islands will always stay in my head. So breathtaking. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
This was my first cruise and as you can imagine I was filled with excitement and anticipation. This was one of my life's ambitions and I was not disappointed with it's fulfillment. A Hawaiian cruise of the Islands was our first ... Read More
This was my first cruise and as you can imagine I was filled with excitement and anticipation. This was one of my life's ambitions and I was not disappointed with it's fulfillment. A Hawaiian cruise of the Islands was our first choice and the greatest one that Geraldine and I could have made. First of all the Hotel stay was great. Every aspect of the cruise was very well planned. Welcoming was warm and hospitable. The cabin we had was beautiful with a window view. and kept clean. The food was very good and plentiful at all times. The planned choice of the Islands visited and time of travel was great. Activities met our desire with adequate time for excursions for every day. Not a day was idol. Nighttime entertainment was varied and great. Getting onto and off the ship was planned with great precision. But have some ready cash if you love to (have a few) in augmenting your vacation! and not having a big charge account at checkout. THIS WAS A GREAT LIFETIME EXPERIENCE! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
This was the first cruise for me and my husband (we are recently retired) and it was amazing! This was my first, and probably only time, to get to see Hawaii (I live in Ohio) and I knew I wanted to see several of the islands. By taking ... Read More
This was the first cruise for me and my husband (we are recently retired) and it was amazing! This was my first, and probably only time, to get to see Hawaii (I live in Ohio) and I knew I wanted to see several of the islands. By taking this cruise we didn't have to make reservations at multiple hotels and, best of all, didn't have to pack/unpack every other day. Also, we could spend our time exploring each island rather than waiting for flights from island to island; Norwegian did the "traveling" for us at night while we were sleeping! The entire staff was exceptional. Each one made me feel like I was the only person on the ship. They are polite, friendly, and take their time no matter the request. We never took any of the shore excursions so I can't give any reviews of those. We rented a car on every island except Maui. Maui has excellent public bus transportation so we used that. We arrived in Honolulu the day before our cruise so if flights were delayed we wouldn't miss the cruise. We took public bus transportation ($2.50 each)to within a short distance of the cruise ship. After the cruise we rented a car for two days so we could see more of Oahu. There is so much to do on each island and on the ship; you'll never be able to do everything. Several times I was torn between doing something on an island in the afternoon or going back to the ship early because I wanted to do something on the ship! I guess the only negative is there are lots of "side sales". Every day there's a photographer taking pictures, for cost of course. We also thought thought the shore excursions were pricey. We didn't buy the soft drink package and I'm glad we didn't. There is coffee, both regular and decaf, iced tea, and lemonade available everywhere at no cost. Also, at the buffet, there is a flavored water that's very tasty! When we signed up for our cruise, there was a promotion to get an upgrade to the Ultimate Dining Package at no cost. We loved it! This package let's you eat at any of the restaurants without paying the cover charge (except for the sushi). The food was fantastic! However, the food at the other restaurants (we went to those for breakfasts and most lunches) was excellent too, so don't feel like you have to pay for the UDP. We had no children with us so I can't attest to children's activities. The cabin seemed very roomy. We got a room with a window with a guaranteed unobstructed view. The sink includes liquid hand soap and the shower includes liquid body soap and shampoo, so you don't need to pack any of those. There's also a hair dryer at the vanity part of the room. I hope I've helped answer any questions for anyone reading this. We had an absolutely wonderful time on this cruise and plan on taking more! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
This was a great holiday. Everything about the ship - the restaurants, the staff and the entertainment - was first class. We enjoyed our ports of call, making two organized trips and two improvised on the day. Using the local buses on ... Read More
This was a great holiday. Everything about the ship - the restaurants, the staff and the entertainment - was first class. We enjoyed our ports of call, making two organized trips and two improvised on the day. Using the local buses on Maui to visit Lahaina is something we would recommend Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
This cruise turned out to be a very pleasant surprise, after reading so many negative reviews I was rather dubious about doing it. from the moment we arrived at the ship everything ran like clockwork. In no time we were in our stateroom ... Read More
This cruise turned out to be a very pleasant surprise, after reading so many negative reviews I was rather dubious about doing it. from the moment we arrived at the ship everything ran like clockwork. In no time we were in our stateroom and it was not even 1pm. The stateroom though the smallest we have experience on any cruise ship, had everything we needed. A bonus was the coffee maker which we have never had before, and it was great to be able to make coffee to our taste - strong. Though there was the odd staff member who had forgotten how to smile the majority were very welcoming and made us at feel at home. The ship was clean and staff were always keeping it that way. We did not try any of the speciality restaurants as we found Aurora in the Liberty Dining Room and she made our cruise one we will always remember. She was a font of knowledge and so much fun helping us with whatever we asked for. Her customer service skills were top class. Breakfast was enjoyed each morning on the back deck - Aloha Cafe - sitting in the fresh air and watching the sun rise over our latest port. Most of the ports can be enjoyed by simply walking off the ship and catching local transport or finding a nearby beach and enjoying the crystal clear water. When we did do a shore excursion I had booked them with a local company and they were good. The entertainment was very good about the same on most of the cruises we have done. The Frankie Valli Tribute group was excellent. Would have liked to have seen more of the ship entertainers as the one show they did was very good. Other performers were very entertaining too. Over all it was a great way to experience the islands of Hawaii - my favourite being Kauai. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
Before my wife and I went on this cruise we read all of the reviews on this site and boy was I nervous about what to expect. We have cruised a lot and mainly with Azamara, Oceania, Uniworld and AMA. These cruise lines are smaller and ... Read More
Before my wife and I went on this cruise we read all of the reviews on this site and boy was I nervous about what to expect. We have cruised a lot and mainly with Azamara, Oceania, Uniworld and AMA. These cruise lines are smaller and service is first class so we were wondering if we made a mistake signing on with NCL after reading all of the negative comments. Well now that we are home all I can say to the negative reviewers is "What are you talking about?"! If you go on a cruise ship that is really just a 3-star and expect to be treated like you are on a 5-star ship then what do you expect? You pay for what you get. And honestly the Pride of America is not that bad. People complained about the food. Is it equal to Azamara or Oceania? Of course not! But it's OK. We went to 2 of the specialty restaurants and my recommendation would be don't waste your money. The 2 dining rooms and the buffet are just fine. In fact we never found the buffet to be all that crowded except for the last morning. People complained about the staff being lazy and rude. I don't think we have been on a cruise were someone wasn't nice. They are human after all. And if you say hi with a smile then we found that most of the time it was returned. We were in cabin 9088 and the lady who took care of the room was great! Waiting staff in the restaurants were friendly and helpful. And in the buffet they were very efficient. We have been on Celebrity before where the buffet staff stood around talking while dishes piled up on the tables. This never occurred on POA. People complained about the ship being old and tired. I didn't see that. In fact the carpets looked new to me. And as I said before, they do a great job of keeping the ship clean. And anyway who goes to one of the most beautiful places on Earth to sit on a ship??? The ship is just a moving hotel so you don't have to pack and unpack many times and you get to see many of the islands. OK off my soapbox. Before the cruise: We went 3 days early mainly because Air Canada flies direct to Honolulu but only on Wednesday and Sunday. If you are Canadian be careful of this Rouge thing. We stayed at Coconut Waikiki, a small hotel about a 10 minute walk from the beach. This hotel served the purpose. Not too expensive - included a small buffet breakfast - wasn't far from the beach and downtown Waikiki. But for us Waikiki is too busy, too crowded and too commercial. If we went back we would just skip this area and go to another island. Excursions: 1. On Oahu before the cruise we took a Circle Island Tour through E Noa Tours. It was good - long with a lot of talking but you sure get to see the island. And it rained on and off that day so it was a perfect thing to do since you spend much of your time in the van. And we only had 6 people so you get personal attention. 2. In Maui on the first day we did a Road to Hana tour through Temptation Tours. If you think that you will rent a car to save some money then good luck to you. The road is exactly as described - dangerous with many one-way bridges and passing points. I guarantee that the driver will see nothing of the beautiful country. The trip we took was the Ultimate trip and was great! Excellent breakfast and lunch also. On day 2 in Maui we just took the NCL trip to the beach. Swim, snorkel on Wailea Beach - it was relaxing. 3. In Hilo we took a Volcano National Park tour through Big Island Aina Tours. Again it was very interesting. A long day but lots to see if that kind of thing interests you. I was a geography teacher so I loved it. 4. In Kona we took the NCL Big Island Snorkel trip which is through a company called Body Glove. I only did it through NCL because you tender at that port and I wanted to make sure that we got to shore on time although as it turned out you could do it by yourself with no problem. They hand out tickets for tender boats. Just make sure you get an early one. This trip was also fun. The bay and reef they take you to is quite pretty and isolated ie. no other boats there. You get a lunch onboard and the boat has a washroom. Saw lots of dolphins and whales. 5 On our first day in Kauai we took a photography trip that I found on AdventureMaui.com site. As a side note this site is excellent. The owner gives you Tips at the bottom of each page and they were very helpful. But this trip was not very good. The young man that ran the trip that day was nice but not very helpful with the photography part. And the company charges you to pick you up at the port. Not worth it although he did take you to some beautiful locations which were very isolated and I'm sure the regular trips would never go there. On day two we just walked to the beach which is about a 10 minute walk (if you don't want to walk they have a shuttle bus that takes you to the Anchor Cove plaza that is right in front of the beach). Beautiful beach for the last day. 6. After the cruise we went back to Maui and stayed at the Whaler on Kaanapali Beach. It is a condo/hotel run by Aston Hotels. You are in someone's condo so there is a full service kitchen if you want to cook breakfast and lunch for yourself. It is right beside Whalers Village were there are various shops and an ABC store for convenience items. Mostly we just relaxed and used the beach and pool. We did take the Sunrise at Haleakala. It was with Temptation Tours again which is the same company that NCL uses. But if you wait and book it directly through Temptation then you save a bundle. This trip was spectacular! When you arrive the sky is just filled with stars - no lights to interfere. And the sunrise is so pretty. You are actually above the clouds. But take heed and dress warmly. It was about 40 degrees F on our trip and that was with little wind. Our tour guide Scott said that we were lucky - it is usually windy which of course makes it feel cooler. We also did the touristy Luau at the Westin Hotel. It is located just down the beach from our hotel so we could walk. It was OK - food not bad and the show was what you would expect. Don't get the Premium seats - not that much different from the Traditional seats. And it started to shower so the people in the cheaper Traditional seats were under cover while the more expensive Premium seats got rained on. They gave us a towel - big deal??? Most of the Premium people got up and moved under cover behind the Traditional seated people. Great! In fact unless you really feel an urge to see this kind of show I would suggest that you save your money. All in all it was a great trip to a beautiful place. Would we go with NCL somewhere else? Probably not. It's just that they are the only choice in Hawaii if you don't want to waste time on a cruise ship getting from the mainland to the islands. Would we go back to Hawaii. Of course but this time we would probably just pick an island and stay there. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
January is a good month to warm up. My wife and I enjoyed our seven day tour of the Hawaiian Islands on Pride of America. For comparison purposes our previous cruise was a family affair in Mar 2014 aboard the Disney Line. I compliment both ... Read More
January is a good month to warm up. My wife and I enjoyed our seven day tour of the Hawaiian Islands on Pride of America. For comparison purposes our previous cruise was a family affair in Mar 2014 aboard the Disney Line. I compliment both lines for their attentiveness to cleanliness and hand sanitation during buffet dining as well as specialty dining. The buffet and food was ok on the Pride but whereas the soft drinks were included on Disney; they were not on the Pride. One thing we did discover on the Pride at breakfast was a separate, less crowded single buffet/cook omelet line that opened slightly later than the main buffet. It provided more direct access to the Aloha outdoor deck. Only critique was that it did not have muesli on its buffet line and was a little walk to the main buffet line. On board evening shows on the Pride were ok. Magician was good; exceptional on Disney. Hawaiian culture/history/dance show on Pride was colorful, entertaining and enjoyable; definitely got us in the mood for Hawaiian cruise early part of week. We were going to plan on excursions every day but thought the costs were high. We did participate in two; one was horseback trail, part of which was along the shore; SPECTACULAR part of our whole trip. We elected to rent car in Kauai on day one of two day port call. Loved the freedom of seeing the island on our own; included a drive to the Canyon; much cheaper. Access from port to airport car rental was free and very convenient. Looking back I think I would have tried renting cars more often on longer stays and saving a few bucks and giving us more freedom to see things at our own pace. I will mention we discovered local bus service in Maui at the mall and went to the acquarium at half the excursion cost; ask for AAA and military discounts at the acquarium! Would have been nice the night before if a notice was given as to the noise the anchor makes early in the morning in the Kona tender port. If you're toward the front of the ship it will definitely wake you! Took the Pearl Harbor tour at the end of the cruise. Good way to have transportation included to your hotel if you plan to stay a couple extra days at the end of the cruise. Bad point; closure of harbor on our day prevented us from going to the Arizona site. Missouri battleship tour was awesome. Finally, we found this a good way to visit several islands if new to Hawaii. Inclusion of room and board made it a little cheaper overall than staying at a nice resort and not having to decide which resort. My wife and I both agree that Kauai was our favorite then Maui and the big island. We left plenty to do next trip back.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Booked the Hawaii cruise after receiving an invitation to a Kona wedding. The ship, cabin, food, dining options, entertainment, ports and tours all were very good and met our expectations. We mostly dined in the main dining rooms with the ... Read More
Booked the Hawaii cruise after receiving an invitation to a Kona wedding. The ship, cabin, food, dining options, entertainment, ports and tours all were very good and met our expectations. We mostly dined in the main dining rooms with the exception of one evening at the Jefferson Bistro (very nice). One of the practices that I had not experienced before was the need to take your assigned pool towel from the room to the pool every day. If you lost the towel, you were charged a $20 (?) replacement fee. This virtually eliminated the practice of people saving a deck chair by leaving a towel and wandering off. Other cruise lines would be smart to adopt this practice. The only perceived negative of this cruise was the presence of an "all American" crew. Maybe it was just the nature of "free style" NCL cruising but the staff felt a little less attentive and mature than I've experienced on other cruises. A little less enthusiastic, a little sloppier (shirts not ironed or tucked in, poor grooming), a little slow, a little tired. At times I felt I was at the local Red Lobster rather than on a cruise. I got the impression from many of our wait staff that this was their first and probably their last employment on a cruise ship. Some attention to detail by the restaurant management is needed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
We booked this crusie because it went to all the islands.. The hawaian people are so very eager to show us their beautiful land and tell us about their culture.. We enjoyed this part of the cruise very much and this was a very rleaxing ... Read More
We booked this crusie because it went to all the islands.. The hawaian people are so very eager to show us their beautiful land and tell us about their culture.. We enjoyed this part of the cruise very much and this was a very rleaxing trip for us. We leanred so much about this area of our United States.. The food in the Liberty dinning room was just average at best.. Nothing at all special as it had been on Carnival Magic and Celebrity Millennium The food on both of these ships was fantatic and quality food and presentation.. We were very disappointed with the service in the Liberty dinning room also.It was very slow and we did not feel at all special as we had on both Carnival and Celebrity.. We also would have liked to have the ice cream machine open 24 hours .. It was closed alot of the time. The balcony room we had was very clean and our steward Manny was very good and eager to please us. e did think the room was a bit small compared to our other cruises.. We very much enjoyed our excursions and the tour guides on all the excursions were fantastic. We Zip lined in Kauai and oved it we did the Canopy zip line ..It was awesome and both Bundy and BJ were all about safety .. We did the downhill bike adventure ride in Maui this was great and again the guides Ben and Louie were all about safety and making a very nervous lady at ease.. It was an awesome 16 mile ride even in the rain..Seeing the Hawaiian islands was truly a trip of a lifetime but the ship's food and staff just average. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
We recently returned to the Pride of America (POA) for another spin around the islands. We had sailed on her in 2007, about the same time of year, so the weather conditions were similar. We were once again greeted with an orchid flower lei ... Read More
We recently returned to the Pride of America (POA) for another spin around the islands. We had sailed on her in 2007, about the same time of year, so the weather conditions were similar. We were once again greeted with an orchid flower lei for me and a shell lei for my husband. They had Hawaiian music playing and water available. Since we were returning cruisers, we were able to get in the ‘short line’ so had our photos taken for our key card and were walking across the gangway in a short amount of time. Since our cabin was not yet available, we decided to go to the Skyline Dining Room for lunch rather than the buffet for a change. We were ushered to Table 1, a great little table for two in the corner at the window. I had a FABULOUS marinated shrimp salad and my husband had a cobb salad and fish and chips - the salads were brought promptly, but the fish and chips took quite a while to be served. After lunch we went back out to see if our cabin was ready and they were announcing that cabins were ready floor by floor - there didn’t seem to be any logic or reason to the order as the first deck to be announced was Deck 4, then Deck 9 then us on 11 - I would have thought it would have been the deck with the suites, but apparently not. We were on Deck 11, cabin 11536, so we went up and checked it out. We had never been in a cabin on that high of a deck nor that far forward before so we knew it was going to be a different cruise experience. The cabin interior was the same, with even the same foot protector, but new carpeting. I had forgotten how beautiful the woods are on the POA! I also liked that the murals of various spots and landmarks around the country at the head of the stairs were still there. Apparently the refit was to add 4 studio cabins and more suite cabins and move some areas around to do so, but the rest of the ship was the same, which was good - it really didn’t need improving! The one thing I really questioned was the large overhang from Deck 12 that extended out about 10 feet farther than our balcony, that obstructed the view upwards - it didn’t seem to be that much of a deal, but as the day progressed, it DID turn out to be a liability. At 4 p.m. we heard a VERY loud noise and realized that it was the Blue Angels doing their performance at Pearl Harbor! It was SUCH a delight to watch the angels doing their amazing flying, but again, having that overhang REALLY got in the way. About the time they were finishing up, it was time for the Muster Drill, or as they call it Assembly Drill. I have never participated in a more organized, detailed, quick muster drill in my life! They had even lowered one of the life boats down so folks could look inside. Very impressive! Since we were there as a part of a group, there was a cocktail party at the Lanai on Deck 11, aft. It was nice to be out there as the sun set and we sailed away. We had hit it off with another couple, so all four of us went to dinner at the Liberty Dining Room. This is an elegant room, done in rich navy and maroons with large paintings of presidents and other patriotic items as decor. I had the caesar salad and the mahi mahi, which was served with couscous and mango salsa - it was very tasty! On our way back to the cabin, there was a pianist playing at “Pinks” the Champagne lounge on Deck 6. Michael Masci was exactly the type of pianist I enjoy - talented, yet with enough personality to be interesting but without being corny. He was delightful! Day 2 was the first day on Maui (the itinerary had changed from the 2007 itinerary - for the better I might add). We went for breakfast at the Aloha Cafe - we have learned to go ALL the way to the back where we can enjoy our breakfast outside (I’m actually always surprised that there is usually room out there, which for us, are the best seats in the house, ESPECIALLY in Hawaii!). After breakfast we went down to catch the shuttle to the Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center. On the way back we struck up a nice conversation with one of the many Australian passengers - apparently there were about 300 Aussies on this sailing. There were also a lot of Japanese as well as a handful of other folks speaking languages I didn’t recognize. There was probably an event at the theatre that told how many from the various countries, but we must have missed that one. Once back on board we went up to the Aloha Cafe for lunch, where we again sat outside and enjoyed the warm, but humid, windy and cloudy day (Hawaii was also going through a heat wave, so it was unusually warm). On the way back from lunch we stopped by the spa and made our massage appointments and came back to the cabin. We decided to take advantage of the sauna and steam room prior to our massages - that totally started the relaxation process and by the time my massage with Jesse was over (who was EXCELLENT I might add), I was pretty much a giant blob. Since we hadn’t had dinner yet, we decided to order room service, which was perfect because we ended up turning out the lights at 9:30! Are we the life of the party or what? Maui - Day 2 - Since we had done this cruise before, we had already done the Sunrise at Mt. Haleakala excursion, which I would HIGLY recommend. It is truly a bucket list item that should be done at least once, but having someone else drive and the warmth of a bus is even better. If you do go, make SURE you take plenty of warm jackets as it is VERY cold at 10,000 feet! After our outdoor breakfast at the Aloha Cafe, with today’s weather being a little calmer and sunnier, we went back to the cabin. Since there was a session with my group right after lunch, we really didn’t have time to do too much so it was nice to just have a leisurely morning. We did enjoy watching the activity of truckload after truckload of sand was being loaded onto a barge. After my session, we changed and went down for dinner at the Skyline Dining room. This room is done with a New York theme, with contemporary chairs, mirrors, and etched glass mimicking the skyline of New York. Very simple and elegant. My husband had the french onion soup and I had the caesar again and we both had the special, which was a coconut crusted mahi mahi with a raspberry sauce, along with plantain mashed potatoes and carmelized onions - it was FABULOUS! The service wasn’t so hot, but the food was GREAT! Tonight’s entertainment was the “Not So Newlywed Game” which is one of MY personal favorites on cruise ships. Usually there is one couple that is especially entertaining, but all four of these couples had a particularly entertaining answer at one point or the other, so it was especially good. Norwegian even stepped up a bit more than just congratulating the couples with a bottle of champagne - the winning couple got a gift certificate for a set of bamboo sheets at one of the bedding stores on Kauai! Good for Norwegian! Hilo - Day 3 We were up early and had breakfast so we could do the Volcanos National Park excursion. John was our tour guide/driver and was FABULOUS! Not only was he good at his job, he had just returned after having taken 3 weeks off to move his 75 acre ranch, including family and animals, out of the way of the advancing lava flow. He was amazingly calm after having spent 3 weeks moving, but as he put it, you accept that when you live on Pele’s island. The first stop was the Big Island Chocolate Factory, where we were able to watch the workers make the chocolate. They also gave out plenty of samples and of course, there were lots of sales! We drove by a beautiful Japanese garden and then up to the park. Our first stop at the park was the Kilauea Iki Trailhead, where we were able to look down into the Kilauea Iki Crater, formed in 1959. From there we went to the Thurston Lava Tube, where we got out and were able to walk through the lava tube - what an amazing experience THAT was! We then went on to the Kilauea Caldera, which is where the Halemaumau Crater was formed in 1974 when it erupted. This was also the site of the Jagger Museum, named after the first volcanoist who started collecting data and studying volcanos. It was a very good excursion but warranted a good nap back at the cabin upon our return! Dinner was back at the Skyline Dinner with more friends from our group. Kona - Day 4 Since we were unable to dock, today we were anchored off the coast and had to tender in. After breakfast we got our tender tickets and were shortly on our way to Kona. Kona is a completely different climate than the rest of the islands and it was VERY warm and humid there, and today was no different. We caught the shuttle to Hilo Hatties and loaded up on Hawaiian shirts and macadamia nuts and returned to the pier. Lunch was at a new restaurant , Paradise Cafe, upstairs overlooking the harbor (and ship). Dale had hot chicken wings and I had pulled pork with a mango salsa. It was quite good. Tonight we splurged and paid the surcharge for the steakhouse Cagney’s. Dale had the St. Louis ribs and I had the filet - both were excellent! For dessert, Dale had the raspberry creme brulee and I had the oreo cheesecake. So much for that diet! From there we hopped in the hot tub to warm up a little and then got dressed and went down to the Hollywood Theatre for a Tribute to Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons by the group, Oh What A Night, four guys that were VERY good, both vocally and in their performance. Kauai - Day 5 Today was our excursion to Wiamea Canyon so we met our group at the Hollywood Theatre and we walked down to the busses - all four of them! A young Hawaiian lady was our tour guide/driver, but she was not as good as John. Our first stop was the Spouting Horn out at Poipu Beach. This is a natural formation of lava that spouts water when the waves rush in. It also hosts some local vendors with hand crafted items and rest rooms. We then headed out to another store, which had a variety of refreshments and of course, another opportunity for shopping before heading up to the canyon. The drive from the store to the canyon is a winding road that takes about 20 minutes before you actually arrive at the lookout point. I had forgotten how beautiful the canyon is. So many striated layers of earth, some waterfalls and of course, helicopters and planes doing tours of the canyon. We got back to the ship and had a couple of hours before it would be time to meet to go to the luau. We had the 4:30 meeting time for the Luau Kalamaku - apparently there was a 4, 4:15, 4:45 and 5 p.m. meeting time as well! We found out later that there were about 750 from the ship in attendance!!! WOW! We had been to luaus before so figured it would be about the same - boy were we wrong! This was WAY more than your usual luau! This was a performance that included lights, costuming, make up, props and for lack of another explanation, would call it an opera, done in Hawaiian style. They followed a story line depicting a father and his daughter that had fallen in love. The story followed the father and boyfriend as they went to find the new land and then returned, the couple married and then ended with the birth of the new generation. It was VERY well done - in ALL ways. Kaui - Day 6 My husband left early for his helicopter ride of Kauai - this was his third and his favorite thing to do on Kauai. Since I was involved with my group the entire morning, I met my husband for lunch at the Cadillac Cafe, which is the 50s diner on Deck 6 midship - they had the usual diner menu, so he had a hot dog and I had a cheeseburger and fries, then we split a hot fudge brownie - it was all very tasty, although the service was a little odd. As Platinum members of Norwegian Cruise Lines, we had been invited to a special event held out on the bow of the ship at 2 p.m. as we sailed from Kauai, so headed out with hats and sun glasses. Boy was it hot out there and the reflective light from the white of the ship seemed to make it worse. As you might expect, they were serving champagne and mimosas, so it was a very nice event. After the welcome speeches and actual sailing, it got a tad breezy, although that was welcomed as it did cool us down a little bit, but we lasted about 1/2 hour before it got just too hot. We went back to the cabin and started packing so that we could enjoy sailing by the Napali Coastline, which would happen at about 5 p.m. Since we had already unzipped the expandable part of the main suitcase in order to come, we had to do some real organizing but we got it all into the suitcases and went back out to the balcony to enjoy the beautiful scenery! Sadly, the wonderful narration of the coastline was only available through the public address system on open passenger decks, not through the Navigation channel, bridge channel or even through the loud speakers in the hall, so we missed out on that, but we were NOT going to move from our balcony to one of the crowded open passenger decks just to listen to the narration. After the ship turned around and headed back, we went upstairs to the Skyline Dining Room for our last dinner. We noticed ‘Table 1’ was in the process of being cleared, we asked if we could sit there, knowing it would be a quiet table and were soon ushered to our table. The waiter had a bit of an attitude but we ordered and got through dinner and went upstairs to the Mardi Gras lounge for “The Perfect Couple” Game - since we had never seen this, we really didn’t know what to expect. It was not as good as the Not So Newlywed Game, but it was entertaining. From there we went down a deck to the Hollywood Theatre for the final ‘show’ - the Variety Show. The magician (whom we had missed before) was back, as well as the Oh What A Night guys for some more Frankie Vallie tunes and then the crew did their thank you’s by bringing up on stage as many folks from the various areas of the ship to wave and say good-bye. This is always an emotional event. We pulled into Honolulu Harbor and had our final breakfast. We met for the last time in the Hollywood Theatre and joined the rest of our group at 9 a.m. and disembarked for the last time and boarded the bus. Since our flight wasn’t until 11 p.m., we had the whole day to kill, so this tour would take us 140 miles around the island of Oahu, with a stop for lunch and various places along the way. Leo was our bus driver/tour guide and he was delightful and had 35, 40 and even 80 point questions throughout the day (of course no one was keeping score and the points were random, but it added a sense of fun to the day). It was well worth the money for the tour AND was very informative. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
Traveling to Honolulu on the day of departure from Sydney on Ha452 Hawaiian Airlines was good and comfortable and when we arrived in Honolulu picked up our bags and made our way to the Hawaiian Taxi Service which took us to the Pier2 in ... Read More
Traveling to Honolulu on the day of departure from Sydney on Ha452 Hawaiian Airlines was good and comfortable and when we arrived in Honolulu picked up our bags and made our way to the Hawaiian Taxi Service which took us to the Pier2 in Oahu we were their in plenty of time. We came into the Terminal in Oahu we are gold class so we got on board with no trouble at all after that things started to go down hill you might say, Windjammer buffet was serving so went there and ended up going there quite a few times after that because the food there was better than going to the main dinning area.We did find the waiters did a good job serving us but the food was luke warm to cold and lacked taste.We have been on Rhapsody of the Seas before and noticed a big let down in service everywhere.Also we ended up eating twice at the Chops Grill and a big welldone to the staff and waiters you did a good job both times you pay a fee of 30usd pp it was worth it,and then we also went one night at the Giovanni,s Table it was great as well and you pay 20usd/pp but well worth it. Port excursions we had three tours which we booked online before we left home and found them very enjoyable and informative.Sydney was a nightmare with all that work going on at terminal .Altogether not happy with Royal Caribbean so we will not be back. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
This is my 2nd cruise sailing with Norwegian in a suite; still my favorite line but I can concur with what I've read about the Pride of America Hawaii cruise. Others said that this ship isn't as nice as most in the NCL lines, the ... Read More
This is my 2nd cruise sailing with Norwegian in a suite; still my favorite line but I can concur with what I've read about the Pride of America Hawaii cruise. Others said that this ship isn't as nice as most in the NCL lines, the food in specialty restaurants is substandard to other ships and the service is totally different. It was still fun, the food was not great but acceptable in the Liberty and the wait staff were rushed and hurried at times and while others went out of their way to be friendly and helpful in both the Liberty and the Skyline. We only dined there twice and that was enough for us. SAILORS BEWARE, NCL DOESN'T HAVE LOBSTER NIGHT ANY LONGER. That was the first I'd heard of that when we boarded and asked which night is was to take place. That was a huge disappointment. On the Dawn our concierge service was totally different than on the Pride. We were not even given our concierge's phone number and all requests we were told were to be sent through our butler. That was different than what I had seen on the Dawn. On embarkation we had to stand in line with the passengers for security check point, and there was no help for bags unless you rounded up a steward with a cart yourself, after security we were escorted to the lounge area for suite passengers. From then on it went pretty smoothly. I wouldn't recommend La Cucina. It was so wonderful on the Dawn and the Pride was so inferior to it. I had the pork scallopini with creamy polenta which I liked but no one else cared for their pasta dishes and they ordered a variety of different things. The suppa was very good as were the salads and bread. They served a gluten free roll and had gluten free pasta choices as well. We dined 1.5 hours and never got dessert because of another appt. we had to be at.. We loved La Bistro as always, the filet of beef tenderloin was about the best I've every had. Don't spend the extra on lobster, it wasn't worth it. Cagney's steak house was great as well. Their fillet Mignon was amazing with their roasted mushrooms.. My least favorite was East Meets West. I would have asked for my money back if I hadn't already prepaid. It was tasteless and what I ordered dry. The people behind us in Tepkeneky seemed to be having a good time. I didn't care for the food on the Dawn so I didn't go there on the Pride. It was very overcooked, dry and seafood was way to done. I imagine it's hard to cook for a crowd like they must do and it be great food. One area that I'd read about being good was the Aloha Cafe. I totally disagreed with the positive comments. We only eat there once because it was so over cooked, over warmed, and just mediocre. We took all our meals in Cagney's and it had a great breakfast and lunch whenever we were able to go. Be sure to try the banana cream pie and carrot cake, both to die for. I was disappointing in the crab cake Benedict though. I would get the regular Benedict. The wait staff in the ALoha were not knowledgeable about any area of the ship but what was right in front of them to serve or slice. I found that very frustrating. When you first board a new ship it's hard the first couple days to get used to which direction to go and not one of these guys could answer a simple question for us. I would question also if half of them were actually American citizens as NCL states. The ship itself had a nice laid back feeling. Everything seemed less rushed, maybe the aloha spirit was present because we all took it a little easy and felt no need to hurry off the ship or back on. I did feel the stewards were a little stingy with bath products. We had to ask for more several times. We were given daily treats, the typical dipped strawberries but we got chocolate dipped pineapple one time that was so tasty. Their crudities were just so so. Room service was on time, pizza not near the quality of what I had on the Dawn. I couldn't believe the difference but the kids will eat just about any cheese pizza. If you need gluten free things be sure to let them know. We got chocolate chip cookies one time, gluten free bagels for sandwiches, and mayo and mustard to take off ship a few times. They will even wrap to go up at Cagney's so don't be afraid to ask. I won't tell about our adventures but will say plan well. We were riding back to the ship with folks who spent their whole first day on Kauai just riding around in their rental, lost. I will tell you know which I didn't know ahead of time, there is NO LAVA flowing on the Big Island. We booked the copter ride there and saw a lot of black rock; HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT!!!!!!!!! It does rain in Hawaii but don't get discouraged. I couldn't get our son to believe that the sky would clear up in a matter of minutes and they all went back to the ship instead of great snorkeling because of rain. Hope this helps anyone looking at the Pride of America.   Read Less

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