5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
we were in cabin 1588 on tenth deck. The Radiance has been done over and everything is so new in the cabins. The Embarkation was really bad but no fault to the crew. Disembarkation in Vancouver was horrible. Trying to get 2000 people ... Read More
we were in cabin 1588 on tenth deck. The Radiance has been done over and everything is so new in the cabins. The Embarkation was really bad but no fault to the crew. Disembarkation in Vancouver was horrible. Trying to get 2000 people upstairs using one elevator People coming on to the ship were coming down same elevator. There should have been security around to help with crowd control. But other than that we had a good time on ship. They brought on a RCMP person to give talks for a hour each morning. He was from Alberta and very interesting. Food was great. All you have to do is ask for something special. The four of us asked the second night for shrimp and we got shrimp the next 10 evenings. Lobster night was great. Husband really enjoyed the desserts. The servers were so helpful and kind to us seniors. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Had 4 days in Honolulu before the cruise. We had Leo as our tour guide. He was wonderful, very knowledgeable & funny. The Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort Hotel was breathtakingly beautiful. We had the ocean view but limited view as other ... Read More
Had 4 days in Honolulu before the cruise. We had Leo as our tour guide. He was wonderful, very knowledgeable & funny. The Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort Hotel was breathtakingly beautiful. We had the ocean view but limited view as other hotel was blocking most of it. Embarkation onto the ship was fast & easy as our luggage was taken from Hotel to the ship while we were on tour. We did not get the free transfer, they said I did not call for it early enough, so be sure & do this. It cost us $35. to get out own through Roberts Hawaii Express Shuttle. On board the ship, All the staff was wonderful, the ship was beautiful. The food was really a good selection & tasty. The excursions exceeded my expectations. All of the guides were very knowledgeable & funny. The staff on board made us feel like VIP's. We had wine, champagne, water, snack, delivered to our cabin daily. Invitations to the VIP receptions, & Sail away party. Overall a GREAT experience. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Norwegian has got to be the top of the heap for cruises. The Pride of America is just the right size ship. You're fairly near to all dining areas and entertainment venues. Excellent Specialty restaurants, especially Cagney's ... Read More
Norwegian has got to be the top of the heap for cruises. The Pride of America is just the right size ship. You're fairly near to all dining areas and entertainment venues. Excellent Specialty restaurants, especially Cagney's Steakhouse. The crew is extremely nice and the freestyle sailing is wonderful. You do everything when you want to not when some cruise director pushes you to. They do Hawaii very well, and I would recommend booking a suite when and if you chose this cruise. As we are Senior Citizens, Shore excursions were chosen to limit physical activity on our part. The whale watching and sunset cruise was wonderful. Being in a suite you have priority boarding and disembarking at most every excursion. If you are young and healthy, they have great volcanic excursions and hiking and snorkeling excursions. Pearl Harbor and the Honolulu city excursions are also a must. Finally you must book the whale watching and luau excursions if you do nothing else on this cruise. I have been reluctant to cruise for many years, but would consider cruising with Norwegian at anytime in the future. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise on the advice of our travel agent, after we decided to go to Hawaii for my 60th birthday, and after Pearl Harbor and not being avid surfers we had no idea what was on offer! We were brilliantly surprised....... the ... Read More
We chose this cruise on the advice of our travel agent, after we decided to go to Hawaii for my 60th birthday, and after Pearl Harbor and not being avid surfers we had no idea what was on offer! We were brilliantly surprised....... the ship is very luxuriously appointed, the itinerary was spot on with the cruising taking place mostly at night and waking at a new port most days. The staff were very friendly, the service was very attentive and the attention to detail couldn't be faulted, it was a fantastic way to see the other islands and anyone who just goes to Oahu, and thinks that Waikiki is the bees knees, you miss out on the best of the islands. The excursions were many and varied and catered for all ages. Embarkation was very busy but controlled and we had a hiccup with one bag going somewhere else ! The cabin was clean and cleverly designed, entertainment was OK, not much in the way of movies, and anyone under the age of 40 would struggle for entertainment, and if I have to give one negative it would be the cost of alcohol on board, which was to my view vastly overpriced especially as there are stringent rules disallowing any liquids brought on board. That said, we had a fantastic time, thank you to the staff. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Best think i did to plan for this vacation is to start planing and saving money a year in advance, its no need to go all the way to hawaii and say you didn't see something.the excursions are the best. Take one on ever island do not ... Read More
Best think i did to plan for this vacation is to start planing and saving money a year in advance, its no need to go all the way to hawaii and say you didn't see something.the excursions are the best. Take one on ever island do not leave out pearl harbor / no bags allowed. the ncl ship was great. But you only will use it as a taxi and meals, the balcony cabin is a must for pictures, which were great. But make it your business to only use your cabin to sleep. Where the best walking shoes you have. If you don't have any, invest in the 928 new balance, they will cost you but you will not regret it. Keep a rain poncho with you the whole time. The meals on the ship are great. Be sure to get the specialty dinning.the land and cruise package came in handy, be cause we were a pearl harbor from dust to dawn, and it was well worth it. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was ore first cruise and our first time to Hawaii. NCL provided a memorable experience and was wonderful to work with the entire time. The cabin was clean and serviced daily by polite and friendly staff. We enjoyed The nightly ... Read More
This was ore first cruise and our first time to Hawaii. NCL provided a memorable experience and was wonderful to work with the entire time. The cabin was clean and serviced daily by polite and friendly staff. We enjoyed The nightly entertainment and other on board activities such as lai making. There was a variety of entertainment options and the ones we attended were all very good. We purchased a three specialty meal plan and all three of our selected restaurants were excellent. The other dining options were all excellent also and we could have easily dined at one of them every night. All the waiters and waitresses were extremely friendly and seemed to enjoy hearing where we were from and a little about us. We were celebrating retirement and our anniversary and everyone one made us feel special. I highly recommend NCL and the Pride of America Hawaiian cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This is the only ship that goes around the islands without cruising half way through the Pacific. To be honest I didn't have high hope on the ship before the trip but everything turned out to be much better than I expected. They did a ... Read More
This is the only ship that goes around the islands without cruising half way through the Pacific. To be honest I didn't have high hope on the ship before the trip but everything turned out to be much better than I expected. They did a good job in refurbishing the ship and there were enough choices of restaurants to satisfy different tastes. There were no at sea days and it stopped overnight in Maui and Kauai so you can do as much or as little as you want to enjoy at a different pace. If you want to see Oahu you can always do a pre or post cruise stay. Except for some rush hour traffic in the morning at the buffet everything else was well organized. Entertainment was very good, cabin was a bit on the small side but clean and functioned well. We joined the Lu'au on Thursday night, it was quite a party. Good experience overall. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Aloha!! Pride of America was stunning, and everyone that was working on the ship were awesome and really made us feel at home. Our room and balcony were beautiful, we had a breathtaking views of Hawaii's beautiful islands. This ... Read More
Aloha!! Pride of America was stunning, and everyone that was working on the ship were awesome and really made us feel at home. Our room and balcony were beautiful, we had a breathtaking views of Hawaii's beautiful islands. This was a wonderful way to view Hawaii for the first time. I am truly sad my trip is over and I wish I could have stayed on the cruise for many more weeks as I just had such an amazing time. The ship was newly renovated so everything looked beautiful. I loved walking on the open deck out side especially during sunrise. Since the time difference for me was 6 hours behind, I found myself waking up at around 5am every day which I enjoyed so much because I was able to catch all the gorgeous and picturesque sunrises every day! Dinning was very delicious. I loved the buffet area in the Aloha Cafe but we also really enjoyed the specialty dinning at all the different selection of restaurants offered on the ship. There were lots of entertainment and activities to do throughout the ship each and every day, and the service on the ship was world class, always treating us like VIPs with so much attention to our needs and being so helpful with any question we had. I did a shore excursion for each and every port we went to, and I booked them all with NCL. They were very organized and the descriptions for each excursion was very precisise. I loved everything about this trip. I recommend the Road to Hana in Maui, Helicopter Tour in Hilo over volcanos, and Kayak, Zip lining and ATVing in Kauai! I travelled with my husband and we both had such an amazing time, I would do this all over again if I could. I cannot wait to book my next trip with the Norwegian Cruise Line!!!!!!! Mahalo NCL for everything, you truly helped to create memories that will last a life time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise because we wanted to have a week in Waikiki and then cruise back to Sydney. We were given permission to board in Honolulu and had the best smooth seas all the way except for the Tasman Sea. Everyone was friendly the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to have a week in Waikiki and then cruise back to Sydney. We were given permission to board in Honolulu and had the best smooth seas all the way except for the Tasman Sea. Everyone was friendly the only member of staff I would have a whinge about was the Crown and Anchor lady,she was very abrupt with me but the people at Customer relations were wonderful Our Cabin Steward Nino was marvellous and our wait staff at dinner Flicson and Ngaruh excellent!! As we were on deck 10 the deck above was where the pool was situated and the cabin creaked all night probably because of the movement of water in pool moving. I would prefer a cabin on deck 9 next time we cruise. I do believe that the excursions RCI offer are far too expensive and the internet as well. We organised our own excursions and they we excellent. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Three first time cruisers, 19 days from Honolulu to Sydney. Loved the ship, great size 1900 guests., not too big not too small. Found the ship to be elegant and stylish for my tastes. Our travel agent choose cabin F1001 on the main ... Read More
Three first time cruisers, 19 days from Honolulu to Sydney. Loved the ship, great size 1900 guests., not too big not too small. Found the ship to be elegant and stylish for my tastes. Our travel agent choose cabin F1001 on the main deck with window on the outside due to three sharing (two singles + sofa bed. Great size and very quite. Loved the MDR for breakfast and dinner, menu selections and quality of food was excellent. All servers were outstanding. Did not enjoy the Lido that much for both quality or choice (just me) the other two I travelled with did enjoy the Lido. Tried Cannoleto and enjoyed it, lunch at the Pinnacle Grill and found to be not as good as the MDR in both quality or service. We found the entertainment a bit lacking. The HAL singers & dancers (think Glee) we enjoyed and a couple of the featured singers. But overall a bit drab. BB Kings was a stand out and the cooking shows I enjoyed. The service generally was outstanding all over the ship, especially our cabin stewards, servers in the MDR. Just loved late night drinks in the Crowsnest (amazing team) Visited lots of South Pacific ports which were generally fun and interesting. Organised 4 ship excursions and 4 non-ship excursions. Ship excursions expensive in comparison but enjoyed them. The only place really didn't care for was Suva (on all sorts of levels) but didn't do a tour just walked the town and local museum Read Less
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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

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