2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise to see as much of Hawaii as possible. After doing a lot of research, and with the ship just having a facelift we thought Pride of America was the cruise for us. We booked a balcony cabin and were not disappointed. ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see as much of Hawaii as possible. After doing a lot of research, and with the ship just having a facelift we thought Pride of America was the cruise for us. We booked a balcony cabin and were not disappointed. The extra room and view was well worth the additional cost. (However, we thought the overall cost of the cruise was very expensive compared to other cruises.) The Cabin Attendant was excellent. He paid a lot of attention to detail. The room was always clean. The food and entertainment was average, but we didn't have high expectations because the excursions were our focus. We went to Pearl Harbor, took a tour of Honolulu/Waikiki, booked the Road to Hana, Volcano National Park, shopped Lahaina, had a leisurely day in Kona and Kauai, and attended the luau. The islands are breathtaking. The drinks are expensive because of not offering a beverage package. My husband had to see the ship's doctor and he was very good, providing the appropriate treatment. I wouldn't say I'd do it again unless I won the lottery as this was on my bucket list. Once provided a lifetime of memories. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
My husband and I had a bucket list wish to see Hawaii. We decided the best cruise would be the POA due to its itinerary of islands and the length of stay. Quite honestly we did not have high expectations about the ship based on many ... Read More
My husband and I had a bucket list wish to see Hawaii. We decided the best cruise would be the POA due to its itinerary of islands and the length of stay. Quite honestly we did not have high expectations about the ship based on many reviews that spoke of rude crew, malodorous smells, poor service. We figured this would just be our hotel and transportation. My goodness were we pleasantly surprised! We did not experience anything negative! We loved this cruise. We were treated with respect and kindness by every crew person we encountered. Our room Steward was friendly and kept our room clean. She always had ice for us daily. The other stewards in the hall greeted us with fond good mornings or good days. We loved the Aloha cafe. The food was good. It was clean and we never had problem finding a table. The ship had been refurbished and the decor was early American. It was beautiful and It was cheerful. The entertainment was good. We enjoyed the Polynesian show, 4 seasons tribute and Abba dance night. One night we got turned around and couldn't find a restaurant we were looking for. A young woman who was a drink waitress actually walked us to the door. That is service. There was a Hawaiian ambassador on board and we learned about the culture. Guest services were very patient and helpful with any questions we had. Our only negatives are that our ocean view cabin outside window and the Aloha cafe outside windows were dirty. They didn't clean the ship's windows until Friday. It made it difficult to enjoy the ocean view and scenery. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was our 13th cruise with RC and our second on the Radiance. The ship was in good condition (NOT a rust bucket as one person described it). The cruise can be divided into three phases. #1 Getting on the ship in Hawaii was very ... Read More
This was our 13th cruise with RC and our second on the Radiance. The ship was in good condition (NOT a rust bucket as one person described it). The cruise can be divided into three phases. #1 Getting on the ship in Hawaii was very stressful after flying over from the east coast but it was not RC's or the ships fault. Boarding was delayed by our wonderful Govt. agencies that wanted to assert their power. Getting off the ship in Vancouver was a disaster as there were three ships in port and the facility could not handle 15,000 passengers trying to get on and off the three ships at the same time. We hope you never have to experience a situation like this. #2 The port visits (Tours) were very nice, weather was great and the tenders were very efficient. #3 Cruising from Hawaii to Vancouver wasn't great, very cool and the seas were a little choppy. The service on the ship was great, the crew did a very good job. Food in the main dinning room was ok I would say average nothing to right home about. The Windjammer food was typical of every ship we have been on with RC, good with a large variety to choose from. Staff in the Windjammer were very attentive. Our waiter and asst. waiter in the main dining room did a fantastic job We stayed in a GS, the cabin was in great condition and our attendant took very good care of us. Cabin #1534 We did not take in a lot of the shows but the ones we did see were very good. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Hawaiian Islands, not spend four or five days cruising to Hawaii. Bottom line up front: Norwegian needs some competition on this route. NCL is the only cruise that regularly just cruises ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Hawaiian Islands, not spend four or five days cruising to Hawaii. Bottom line up front: Norwegian needs some competition on this route. NCL is the only cruise that regularly just cruises the islands. The result is they have gotten too complacent. The impression give is they don't care. It is in the little things as well as the big ones. You board on a Saturday, starts at noon. However the way they operate this ship is your room will not be ready before 4 pm, and your luggage will not be available before about 7 pm. This is because the rooms are not made up before then. if NCL would just tell you that then you would have boarded with a minimum of carry ons, and had an easier time of it, or waited to board at the last minute. The first day, i.e. while you are waiting for your room and luggage, they have a series of briefings of what services are available, what shows , etc. However on our cruise the directors of the activities or services could not be bothered with showing up to brief. so off to lunch in the buffet, right? Except that the ice and drink machines don't work. The staff is friendly, competent and good at what they do, it is the management that appears to be bored with their jobs. Each night the entertainment is posted to start at certain times and venues on the ship, except they don't, the entertainers are off bsing with one another or guests and don't start until 20 minutes or so after the posted time. yes I know about "Hawaii time", that is not what this is it is a total indifference to the guests, supported or enabled by a lack of supervision from the staff. The food is good, and in the specialty restaurants, it is excellent. The tours were all good, the only problem is the Grayline tours on Maui don't have enough buses to support the number of guests, so be prepared to be "left behind" and then stand around for a while as they scramble. Yes we talked to customer service about all of this, got a very nice meal comped to us. If this is your first cruise, do not be put off by the experience, most other cruises and cruise lines do a much better customer service experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose Pride of America as it seemed to be the best and easiest way to see Hawaii and the islands. Getting on the ship was very easy and we were on just after 12.15 (lunchtime). However, we heard (after a few hours wait) they were doing ... Read More
We chose Pride of America as it seemed to be the best and easiest way to see Hawaii and the islands. Getting on the ship was very easy and we were on just after 12.15 (lunchtime). However, we heard (after a few hours wait) they were doing a full sanitation of the ship and we didn't get to out cabins until almost 5.00pm. As we did not have access to the cases we were unable to use the pool or sit in the sun. The only thing left was to drink and sit and read. I whilst I am a great believer in ensuring the ship is clean I believe NCL should have offered us a complimentary drink (at least) for the inconvenience. Overall we have very few problems with the cruise with the food, accommodation, entertainment, cleanliness being of a high class throughout the cruise. The only complaint I have is the cost of drinks, especially water. No one explained to us that there was a water package in place for which we could buy 12 litres for $28 (+ tax + gratuity of 18% taking it to over $34) which made a litre almost $3 a litre. Not a vast amount but you need to buy 12 litres for a 7 day cruise. However, because we didn't find out about this we bought a 1 litre bottle which cost $6.50!. How they can sell water for $6.50 a litre when it costs $1 at the local ABC store is beyond me. They will also not allow you to bring water on board which we found out when we came on board in Maui with water we had bought and had to dump. They claim it is for security like at airports but they don't stop you bringing sun tan lotion and liquid medicines on board, both of which would not be allowed (if over a certain size) at airports. It is to ensure you pay over inflated prices for their water. The best thing to do is to take a water bottle on board and fill it up from water stations in the Aloha café and this will save a lot of money. We had an ocean view cabin which is small in comparison to Celebrity, Princess and Royal Caribbean cabins and they all seem to accommodate and extra 2 beds which fold down from the walls. As the cabins are narrow the only way to get into bed is bending forward at the waist as the wall beds do not allow you to stand straight. If you have a bad back this might be difficult. The drinks also seems expensive but it is 2 years since we last cruised so it might be the same on other cruise ships. Eg, 2 cocktails would cost about $26 with tax and gratuity included and 2 beers would be about $16 again with tax and gratuity. There is only one place on the ship to get draught beer but it is the local beer from Hawaii. The lager type beer was fine but I didn't like the darker beers that much. The times in the ports are very good and there is plenty to do off ship but, as with all cruises, it is better to sort them out yourself in advance rather than use the ship as it will be much cheaper this way. We hired a car in most ports and, depending on the types of car usually costs from $46 to $60 a day for 2 of us, plus petrol. The roads are generally very easy to drive and the car hire company usually offers free shuttle from the ship. This cruise is a great way to see lots of Hawaii and we would recommend it to everyone, with just one or two reservations Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We really enjoyed the cruise. The food was very good. I'm not sure if I'd go back to Cagney's Steakhouse or La Cucina as it seemed to be the same as elsewhere. The service staff were excellent- bright- cherry-helpful ... Read More
We really enjoyed the cruise. The food was very good. I'm not sure if I'd go back to Cagney's Steakhouse or La Cucina as it seemed to be the same as elsewhere. The service staff were excellent- bright- cherry-helpful & funny! Just loved them! Although on the small size I felt the room had everything we needed and seemed in a good location-Stern 10154 There were several things I didn't like including the cost of drinks $7-14 each and the extra service charge of $13.50 per day per person. This is on top of the tip of our cabin stewarts etc. Overall, the Hawaiian Islands are the best and each island has its own charm and cruising was the easiest way to circumnavigate the main 4. There are lots of optional excursions and I really support taking as many as possible. Unfortunately, there did seem to be too many people (ie 49 on a bus) on most excursions. Lots of people with no "down/contemplation time" at each place. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We wanted to get a taste of several islands without the hassle of flying between each.The cruise was an unpack once option that allowed us to spend time on 4 islands.We booked an ocean view cabin with a large window.We saved a considerable ... Read More
We wanted to get a taste of several islands without the hassle of flying between each.The cruise was an unpack once option that allowed us to spend time on 4 islands.We booked an ocean view cabin with a large window.We saved a considerable sum by not choosing a balcony room, after all the ship sailed at night for majority of cruise and was in port most days where only view was of containers, warehouses and fuel tanks. We didn't pay for the expensive additonal dining package as the variety of included dining options was enough. We were disgusted by the gluttony shown by many passengers at the Aloha cafe ( buffet with plastic plates) so only ate there twice.Mostly we ate at Skyline or Liberty restaurants. The food offered was very good and the nightly shows in the lounges and theatres were entertaining. It's best not to board ship until after 3pm, better to spend day elsewhere as access to cabins isn't allowed until around 4pm We booked our shore excursions independently as those offered by NCL were expensive.Alcohol is also expensive on the ship Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
I've been had three cruises with Norwegian. The 1st was on the cruise to Mexico few years ago. The entertainment was the worst, the room was dirty. 4 Family, 12 people got bite by bugs. The inside state room is small. The food is ... Read More
I've been had three cruises with Norwegian. The 1st was on the cruise to Mexico few years ago. The entertainment was the worst, the room was dirty. 4 Family, 12 people got bite by bugs. The inside state room is small. The food is ok. The 2nd time was in summer of year 2015 to Mediterrianean which the destinations were great. Entertainment was ok. Food was ok. The Ocean view room still small. The 3rd time was to Hawaii during Christmas of year 2016.The entertainment to Hawaii is the best. Balcony room still looks small. on any of the above cruise: all activities, classes, sports on three cruises were similar, but the one to Mediterrianean is the best for the activities. Rooms services, waiter, waitress were nice and hospitality. The Price is the best. Will highly refer to my friend go to Hawaii one. Will try other cruise next time to compare Norwegian. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
This was our first cruise and on it we celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary. We had a balcony stateroom (10552) and would recommend this as it gave us a little more room, allowed fresh air in the room and was great to view the sights ... Read More
This was our first cruise and on it we celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary. We had a balcony stateroom (10552) and would recommend this as it gave us a little more room, allowed fresh air in the room and was great to view the sights from. If we were recommending a stateroom though, we would probably suggest deck 8 or 9 as deck 10 has slightly restricted views due to the super-structure of the ship on that level. Not a biggie though. Restaurants were great and we enjoyed the food. For couples we would recommend the Moderna for breakfast. Both the Skyline and Liberty are great (same menu) and we also had a very enjoyable evening in the Cagney Steakhouse. Entertainment was generally very good and we went to something most nights. We didn't do a lot of shore excursions as we preferred to chill out on the ship most days. On Maui we did catch the local bus to Lahaina and enjoyed that day. On Kaua'i we rented a car and drove to the Waimea Canyon. Service was generally good - many staff were excellent and very helpful, although some were just going through the motions - but you get that. Overall, the cruise totally met and exceeded our expectations (which were a bit vague as this was our first cruise). But we would recommend the cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
It seems the travel industry has decided big is beautiful, we now see huge resorts covering hectares and more to the point cruise liners being the equivalent of land based resorts. I am of course talking about cruising in ships like the ... Read More
It seems the travel industry has decided big is beautiful, we now see huge resorts covering hectares and more to the point cruise liners being the equivalent of land based resorts. I am of course talking about cruising in ships like the Ovation of the Seas versus the Radiance of the seas. It all comes down to personal choice, you might prefer to spend 14 days cruising on a floating hotel with upto 18 restaurants (which means of course at least 4 will miss out) or alternatively spend 34 days cruising and discover maybe 75% of all the liner has to offer. Or choose a smaller ship like the Oosterdam or the Radiance. Both will have specialty restaurants and a variety of activities for all ages and inclinations. I want to talk about the Radiance as this ship was my most recent cruise and therefore the best remembered. The Radiance is one of the smaller ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet; it is also one of the oldest but has undergone some fairly recent refurbishments. It holds about 2300 passengers and 859 crew. It has the hallmark specialty restaurant Giovanni’s which seems to be on all RC ships. It is a not to be missed experience. I have been on three other RC cruises and all Giovannis’ are a gourmet delight. The Radiance also had another hallmark RC restaurant – Izumi and if you’re into Asian food I cannot recommend this more highly. I also dined at the Samba Grill a Brazilian restaurant not seen on other ships. Be advised – starve yourself all day! Now, anyone would think my entire cruising is focused around eating. Admittedly, it’s an important part of a holiday not having to cook any meals and the Lido (cafeteria style) or main dining rooms (silver service) provide wonderful menus. But like all RC ships/cruises they do cater for all ages and interests. There’s the climbing wall and age is no deterrent(!), two swimming pools one in a solarium environment and child free, there is a supervised children play area, seminars, cooking or wine demonstrations in other words the options go on and on. I can only comment on my cabin 7528 as I booked late. It has a large verandah which of course means a smaller cabin (stateroom!). The layout of all the cabins excluding suites is basically the same and they are very adequate for short to medium cruises. The bathroom is a tad small, slightly compensated by a shower curtain rather than a shower screen. The shower is tiny and if you’re a large cruiser – don’t drop the soap! The layout of the main entertainment area is poor and obviously while the concept was great, ships like the Voyager or Explorer have improved on it vastly. On the Radiance the focal point is called the Centrium and located on Deck 4. As the name suggests it’s midship and circular with a bank of 3 lifts on either side. All the main attractions are held here (other than the booked entrainment) it is too small and if you need to sit get there 1 hour earlier. The lifts have a poor configuration and your eyes need swivel 180 degrees or have amazing hearing. And when you do grab one be prepared to be completely disorientated as to forward or aft. I didn’t need to exercise as I spent so much energy walking in the wrong direction for my cabin! But the one thing that sets the Radiance apart from any other ship I have been on is the crew. They are exceptional, if you decide to make one bar your bar then within days the staff remember you and your drink. The cabin stewards are equally attentive and will pretty well try to accommodate any of your wishes. Super glue for broken reading glasses was a bit beyond them! Smaller is personal and that alone makes the Radiance a beautiful cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
Chose this cruise because of the destinations. Found embarkation could have been handled better ie. long time queuing. Hard sales for drinks packages which were extortionate compared to other cruise lines, speciality restaurants and always ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the destinations. Found embarkation could have been handled better ie. long time queuing. Hard sales for drinks packages which were extortionate compared to other cruise lines, speciality restaurants and always pushing for booking another cruise in the news letter received every evening in the cabin. Excursions were also expensive compared to other cruise lines and not always value for money. The staff were nice and we did enjoy the cruise but found not a lot to entertain us for the days at sea. Found the cruise director of entertainment very annoying couldn't talk without shouting. No he wasn't awesome as his catchphrase goes. This was a first cruise with celebrity and was a bit disappointed as recommended by a friend. Found the ship a bit tired in places and although there was a rule about reserving sun loungers etc. never saw his implemented at any time. Most annoying. Would be nice if at the buffet restaurant someone could show you to a seat. Hunting for one was a chore at times so avoided it most of the time. These are observations made by myself and not complaints as such. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This is a great way to see and get an overview of the Hawaiian Islands. Overall cruise was great and we saw a lot! Service as has been reported was mixed. We were exposed to a lot of "new" service crew members and some tried ... Read More
This is a great way to see and get an overview of the Hawaiian Islands. Overall cruise was great and we saw a lot! Service as has been reported was mixed. We were exposed to a lot of "new" service crew members and some tried harder than others and others were just plain "new" and not experienced. Some had language problems but as the week went on the service improved. I must say the upstairs complimentary dining restaurant was much more polished than downstairs, though we did get some great service downstairs too - as I said it was mixed. We did not try any of the speciality restaurants. The Buffet had great variety and quality of food, but its layout was confusing and did not flow well making for a lot of traffic and making it difficult to find what you wanted. Cabin was great located on the starboard side above the life boats which were used to go a shore in one port. Fun to watch them maneuver them into place from our balcony. We were traveling with my parents and had adjourning cabins. We have been on other ships that had a better set up. Only one door between the rooms, not two as in other ships, so we left the door closed for most of the trip. There was tons to do on the ship and we really enjoyed all of our excursions. Ship had just undergone a refurbishment and everything seemed ship shape. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was a cruise we picked for our 30th anniversary. My wife wanted to see a volcano, I wanted to experience a longer cruise and we both wanted to see Hawaii. It was a perfect cruise for us! For background, we are fairly recent ... Read More
This was a cruise we picked for our 30th anniversary. My wife wanted to see a volcano, I wanted to experience a longer cruise and we both wanted to see Hawaii. It was a perfect cruise for us! For background, we are fairly recent cruisers with our first cruise being on the Monarch for our 25th anniversary. This Hawaiian cruise was our 8th cruise, all being with RCI except one with Disney. For this cruise, we spent 4 nights at a resort on Oahu and took a cab to the port. Embarkation was fairly easy but the wait was longer than on our previous cruises, but not an unrealistic one. It was a little hap-hazard in how the lines would snake but the staff was friendly and everyone was in a pre-cruise euphoria. I’ll say that the cruise terminal was large, not that modern and no-thrills. Once on board, we went to our cabin and dropped off our luggage. We had cabin # 7658 which was a balcony cabin located in the aft quarter on the starboard side. The first thing that hit us was a sewage smell in the hallway to our room, which put us in a foul mood (we experienced this on Enchantment before as well). Once inside, the cabin didn’t feel as large as what we had on Freedom or Oasis but was probably larger than Enchantment. The balcony was funny. It was a double-deep balcony, being about 6’ deep. However, only about 3’ of it had a divider between our neighbors’ balconies, so any of our cruise mates could easily peak into our room. That we didn’t like at all. Also, this was an older ship and our balcony had parts of rusted metal visible and beat-up flooring. Our cabin did have lots of storage, which was a pleasant surprise. We found the bed to be very hard, the pillows flat and the refrigerator didn’t seem to work. The room was clean though and didn’t have that bad smell that was in the hallway. After that we went to the Windjammer and were underwhelmed there. I think there was only one protein offered at the buffet, except for their always available hamburger and hotdogs. Selection was minimal we thought. Our impressions grew more positive after each day. The first 5 days of the cruise were port days and we had an excursion lined up on each of them. We had incredible times! On the ship, we had a great time with our table mates at the main dining room for suppers. The staff on the ship was great, and while the ship was showing its age, many of the public spaces had a very comfortable, warm feeling to them. Of the RCI ships we’ve been on, we like the Schooner Bar on Radiance the best. Also, the Colony Club was very nice and the Solarium and spa areas were top notch. Each day on the ship made it feel more like home to us. We knew that this would be an older-person's cruise, and it was. There were many in the 50 to 70 year-old category but a fair amount of 30 to 50 year olds. The kids club had only 20 kids registered. This ship wasn't a golden girls cruise though and adults were older but active in general. Still, there were more than a few people snoring away at the seats in the Centrum or the Schooner Bar during the afternoon. This cruise had 100 or so members of a square dancing club and also maybe 200 hearing impaired cruisers on a group cruise. The ship did well to accommodate them by giving the square dancers places to practice and by having closed captioning and general assistance to those in the hearing impaired group. Most of the shows and events had an ASL interpreter and there were event a few ASL classes offered. I don't think the staff was coached on ASL as I didn't see any of then sign even a basic "thank you". That would have been a welcoming touch to all those on board who were hearing impaired. While the strength of this ship for us were the staff, overall ship cleanliness and the ambiance of many of the public spaces, the negatives for us were the generally low food quality, the mediocre entertainment and the slightly beaten-up condition of the ship in various spots. On cruises, we typically have dinner at the MDR and have most other meals at the buffet and this cruise was no different. What made our dinners at the Cascades dining room great was our tables mates, who we loved talking to (all are very experienced cruisers with a couple being on a back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back Radiance adventure). MDR food was fine, nothing top shelf but no duds either. The service was very good and the venue was beautiful. We had breakfast once at Cascades but the eggs were powdered and the toast was actually very crusty, like it was sitting out for more than a few days. We left and went up to Windjammer. We only did one specialty dining and that was at the Samba Grill, which we have never experienced before. The food was very good but we wouldn’t call it a top shelf experience. The location is funny and the tables were very close together. Service was efficient but seemed a little scripted and impersonal. At Windjammer, the selection did develop over time. There were always Indian food and British food it seemed and I was very happy the day that BBQ chicken was offered. We really enjoyed the Park Café at the solarium as it offered a good assortment of sandwiches and treats in a very relaxing environment. Entertainment is a hard thing to review because it is very subjective. I am not enthralled by song and dance shows and a majority of the evening events were just that. I saw 2 comedy shows and one was quite good but another fell very, very flat (at this show, the audience actually heckled the comedian, something I have never seen on a ship before). We like relaxing at poolside but on Radiance the poolside movie screen wasn’t working right (to compensate, they offered free in-room movies). Other entertainment was the Quest and the Love and Marriage show, both of which were great as always. Of course, there were various trivia contests on the ship and there were a few enrichment talks that reviewed Hawaiian history. The Centrum is often the hub for activities like cake decorating, musical performances, lectures, dance events and so on. However, there is limited viewing space on the floor or on the decks above. Still, the staff does a great job utilizing this space and there is enhanced sound and lights that really help add excitement. For us, we loved the first 5 port days as our “let’s explore Hawaii” time. The remaining sea days were our time to relax. It was a perfect vacation for us. Yes, we felt the age of the ship at times and, compared to Freedom or Oasis, the entertainment was very junior varsity, but as I mentioned the staff was super and many parts of the ship had a level of comfort that just can’t be easily explained. I won't review all the excursions we did but only one would I call "average" and the rest were above average. This was a our first trip to Hawaii and the weather was perfect, so it isn't hard for us have fond memories of our trips. I will give one shout out to the Body Glove catamaran excursion we did. The staff was great, they had prescription snorkel goggles on hand and we saw dolphins, whales, sea turtles and more. Would we go again? That is a tough question. For the right price we would. We won't be able to afford another Hawaii trip and Alaska trips are even more, so I don't think we'll be on Radiance again. Still, we would love to go back on this thoroughly relaxing ship some day. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This is not our first cruise and we would have given an excellent except for the fact that the ship was not really 100% ready for people to cruise on after being in dry dock. I AM glad our trip did not get postponed as a result because ... Read More
This is not our first cruise and we would have given an excellent except for the fact that the ship was not really 100% ready for people to cruise on after being in dry dock. I AM glad our trip did not get postponed as a result because that would have been even worse than the few inconveniences we faced during the trip. Prior to boarding we received an email that certain areas of the ship were not completed during dry dock time due to weather. The spa was one area still a work in progress along with some outside areas. To compensate, we were given a $200 room credit which was nice towards a good meal. Some way we lucked out and were in room 7542 which is a handicap room so our room was probably wider and the balcony larger than most in our category. We had nothing to do with the choice as it was selected by the cruise line months ago. My travel agent told us she did not request it either. It was strange in the closet but everything else was great. Now, they put down new carpet so it should have been vacuumed daily and it was not but it was nice to know there wasn't other dirt on the floor! The room was much better than one I had on the last NCL trip so cannot complain at all! One complaint - our room steward never came and introduced themselves?? We never knew who was cleaning our room and never have had that happen on a cruise. The beach towels were not replaced when we placed them on the floor (twice) and had to call but never met anyone. As far as what activities we chose: Day 1 - Maui - Molokini Crater and Turtle Snorkel - pretty ride but you can see more fish if you just go in Oahu to Hanauma Bay (it was awesome). The captain and crew were good. Someone saw a shark after we departed the crater and were going to try to swim with turtles so we did not get to snorkel in the spot the turtles were spotted earlier. These things happen so cannot complain. Dinner - Cagney's - not good at all the first night. They had new staff, new menu and VERY long wait for food even though we had reservations and seated right away. We loved Jeffrey who took care of us and tried to make it right (not his fault). We promised to come back. We brought our own wine and drank an entire bottle before the food arrived if that tells you - about 2 hours. Day two Maui - Road to Hana Tour (through Viator) which we took a small van (6 people) to Hana and went to helicopter to ride back to Maui (near port). Our tour guide was Steve with Temptation Tours (maybe could have booked through them too). We found a cab driver (Arnold 808-250-9539) who picked us up at the pier and we called him upon return and he picked us up and returned us to the ship. Some people rented a car but this worked for us. The helicopter was Air Maui (we could have probably just booked through them but didn't). Blue Hawaiian also does tours like this and their helicopters were bigger/nicer. Wine/Cheese tasting - pretty fun and informative Repeat customer cocktail party - free drinks - nice time Dinner - Liberty - decent dinner - request server David Main and he can also give you good ideas on places to go along the way. We spoke to him a few times in the breakfast area as well. You can request him when you check in to eat. Day 3 - Hilo - Ricky's Tour (found on Trip Advisor) $70 per person and small group tour of the island. Informative and saw lava vents, lava rock, many historical stops, gardens, etc. and ended on black sand beach. Dinner - boat - Eat Meets West - pretty good but nothing to write home about Day 4 - Kona - Big Island Spectacular - GREAT Trip.. Did book through the cruise line and it was expensive but worth it! We got to see live lava flows and lots of waterfalls. Clear days are great! We lucked out! Dinner - Skyline - nothing too exciting there.. Day 5 - Kauai - what a pretty island! We did the Heaven and Earth Quest tour through the cruise line and it was a smaller group (about 12) and we went on a land tour and then continued on to a helicopter flight which was also very pretty. We rented a car and ate dinner on land Day 6 - Kaui - Golf a Poipu Golf Club - awesome place with about 6 holes along the ocean! We went early and returned rental car in time to be back on boat Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
From first booking until disembarking after the cruise, we enjoyed the Pride of America cruise of the Hawaiian Islands. Communication was good, getting on and off the ship was easy. The destinations were fantastic. Entertainment in the ... Read More
From first booking until disembarking after the cruise, we enjoyed the Pride of America cruise of the Hawaiian Islands. Communication was good, getting on and off the ship was easy. The destinations were fantastic. Entertainment in the theater was excellent, especially "Oh What a Night" The quality of food and service in the main dining rooms was varied, healthy choices, and attentive wait staff. The EXCEPTION was the La Cucina Italian restaurant. The waitress could neither speak nor understand English. Menu choice were limited. The ones we did chose were prepared with spices and ingredients which resembled no other Italian restaurant we had been to, and we could not eat them, Left on the plate. Steak was totally full of gristle. We left, and promptly cancelled all other specialty restaurants that we had reserved for the remainder of the cruise, returning to the complimentary ones. The buffet items were well prepared, and good choices. However, getting a seat in the Aloha Cafe, even a handicapped one, was taking our lives into our own hands. The other ship's guests seemed to have no regard for the disabled. And the staff did nothing to aid us in getting food or a table. Our stateroom steward was great, quick response to all our requests. The one area where we feel that this and all cruises could come up with a better plan for a non-alcoholic beverage plan that is more economical for soft drinks, greater selection of sugar-free, and full glass of soda, that is not 2/3 ice for the prices they charge and not even a single refill! Also, if the only free beverages served were coffee, tea, ice tea and lemonade, they should be available in all restaurants and bars at all times of the day. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
I had a wonderful time sailing POA. This was my second cruise, the first being the Epic when it was the newest ship in the Norwegian stable. POA is an older and smaller ship. It is quieter and more sedate than the bigger and newer ships. ... Read More
I had a wonderful time sailing POA. This was my second cruise, the first being the Epic when it was the newest ship in the Norwegian stable. POA is an older and smaller ship. It is quieter and more sedate than the bigger and newer ships. There is no gambling nor all night discos. The ship closes down by midnight thus this is not the ship for everyone. This cruise is more about the ports that the ship. We sailed to three other islands besides Oahu and four ports. There was plenty of time to explore the ports. I would describe it as a Taste of Hawaii. I loved my studio stateroom. Food was good and plentiful. I appreciated that there was a no sugar added dessert both lunch and dinner. Entertainment was mostly in-house, none of the exciting shows of bigger ships which was ok with me. There was very little shopping, only three stores. One of the stores was a jewelry store with beautiful products but expensive. It was an interesting group of passengers with a large number being from Japan and Australia. I have many warm memories of meeting many nice people. One couple had sailed on this ship 35 times and another couple was on this ship for the third week in a row. (Maybe they own stock in NCL). I am not ready for this voyage just now but in years to come, I might like to do it another time. I was satisfied with the shore excursions offered but they were often long and I was exhausted by the end of the day. I do not believe that I was the only one. I chose to book all my excursions through NCL but Roberts offers the same or similar excursions at less money. The cruise was pricey. POA is the only ship that sails Honolulu to Honolulu. There is no competition, thus, you pay more than if you were sailing in the Caribbean where there are lots of companies vying for your dollar. I felt my cabin was a little costly. The Port of Honolulu has no food or drink to purchase. Eat a big breakfast before going or bring some food. You will be getting on the ship about noon and food will be available. I recommend POA. It was a great way to see Hawaii for the first time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
I was interested in going to Hawaii and this is the only ship that leaves from Honolulu sailing to three other islands. You get a lot of time at four different ports. This cruise is more about the ports than the ship. I sailed before the ... Read More
I was interested in going to Hawaii and this is the only ship that leaves from Honolulu sailing to three other islands. You get a lot of time at four different ports. This cruise is more about the ports than the ship. I sailed before the ship went into dry dock for refurbishing so I do not know how it may have been improved. It is a small and older ship. It seems to attract more sedate cruisers. There are no nightclubs or the gimmicks of the newer and bigger ships. The food was good but not as good as The Epic. The entertainment was average -- mostly house bands. You do not get the Broadway Shows or big names that you would get on the bigger and newer ships. The ship seems to shut down by midnight which was ok with me. There is very limited shopping, only four or five shops but they sell some interesting Hawaiian Products. The cabins are expensive because there is no competition. I booked my excursions through NCL. Others preferred Roberts. Excursions were good but the drivers talk all the time and it can get tiring. You learn a lot but at times it is overload. The drivers were also a little greedy when it came to tips. They expected a big tip and even looked at what you gave them. It made me a little uncomfortable. I have read some negative reviews about POA but I do not believe they are deserved. The cruise is more about the ports than the ship. If nightclubs and water parks are important to you, this will not be the right ship. You are going to be in port almost every day. Now, that I have been once, I would;d love to go at least one more time. This is great way to get a taste of Hawaii. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We are a family group of 6 that have traveled/cruised together before. My husband and I have taken the re-positioning cruise from Hawaii in the past. For the others this was truly a "Trip of a Lifetime". We flew to Honolulu in ... Read More
We are a family group of 6 that have traveled/cruised together before. My husband and I have taken the re-positioning cruise from Hawaii in the past. For the others this was truly a "Trip of a Lifetime". We flew to Honolulu in advance and stayed for 6 nights prior to embarkation. We took some down time at the pool & on the beach at the Ilikai, as well as visited the Kualoa Ranch, climbed Diamond Head & the guys went to Pearl Harbor. It was during the end of rainy season and we had some cloudy days as well as some spectacularly sunny days. The Ship Embarkation was speedy and smooth. We took taxis from the hotel 3 per cab and it cost less than $20 USD. Norwegian did a great job of moving people through and we boarded the ship in no time. We went for lunch in the Aloha Buffet, checked out our cabins and then roamed the ship. We had dinner that night at Moderno. It was a fun unique experience for most of us. Too much food but tasted great. We had the Dining Package and used it as well to go to the Jefferson Bistro and La Cucina. At both of these restaurants the food was great. We ate at the buffet a fair bit and food seemed to be absolutely fine. We had a couple of casual dinners in the Skyline Dining room. Food was good and the wait staff was great. Some of the group had lunch at the Cadillac Diner and said it was good and plentiful. We did not attend many shows or inside entertainment. We love the Aft deck seating area outside the Aloha Cafe. We had breakfast out there and cocktails there most nights. Some evenings we just sat out there and enjoyed the moonlight and ocean views.Yes getting reservations at some of the specialty restaurants can be difficult at times but we booked 3 restaurants at different times during the cruise. We weren't sure of our scheduling while in the various ports to book in advance. The staff encounters we had seemed fine. Everyone seemed happy and very agreeable, ready to help.Norwegian is indeed nickel and dime-ing their guests. But it seems to be happening everywhere these days. Drinks were expensive and perhaps not the best we have ever had. The service charge is 18% - annoying to pay when one gets their own drink. But hey, its a vacation. Relax and Enjoy! Our Cabin The first time we entered our cabin we could hear a really loud whistling sound coming from the bathroom vent/fan. As well there was a nasty odor in the room. This smell has been mentioned in previous reviews. We have cruised enough times for us to know that this is not normal. We waited for the next day and the smell did not go away nor the sound. I spoke to our steward about it and he had someone check it out. It still was there the third morning and I mentioned it again. That afternoon the smell was gone but the only answer to the whistling seemed to be to remove part of the vent/fan. This created a really cold strong draft so I asked for the piece to be put back in. Amazingly the next day the sound was gone. Some other members of our group then complained that the nasty odor was on their side of the ship now and on their deck. The Pride is going into dry dock soon and I hope that the venting odor issue is resolved. To top it all off, on the last night our smoke detector went off at 3:00 a.m. which had the bridge call us. Made for a good story upon returning home. Yes the cabins are small but we managed - it is only a week. The ports: Maui - we rented a car for the first day & went up and down the west coast. Stopped for lunch in Kihei. Then went to the IAO Valley-a sacred/mystical place. The second day, 3 of our group took the Maui Sunrise Bike Tour down the volcano after sunrise and two of us took the ship's Sunrise Tour. (Take a small flashlight). It was an awesome sunrise. Not to be missed. The bike tour was a huge hit and enjoyed immensely by the riders. Hilo - we took a Robert's tour of Volcano National Park and Rainbow Falls. The lava tubes and active crater holes are remarkable. We also did a stop at the Macadamia Nut Factory. Kona - we just enjoyed the beautiful port and wandered around. Two in our group swam in the bay near the pier - they said the water was wonderful. Kauai - The first day we took the private air van flight with Wings Over Kauai. Words cannot describe this flight. The weather was awesome and views were unbeatable, our pilot was very informative. The scenery is out of this world. The flight was fantastic and at half the price of a helicopter tour! That night two of our group went on the ship's excursion to The Luau and said that it was a very good show. Two others of our group swam at Kalapaki Beach near the port. Wonderful little bay. We wandered into Dukes there and the music was good as well as it was Happy Hour. Day two we took the Roberts Fern Grotto & Wailua River tour. Again amazing scenery, great entertainment and the grotto is not to be missed. A very special place. Lastly was the sail past Napali Coast by the ship. We managed to be upgraded from Ocean View to a Balcony. We took advantage of the balcony to enjoy the sail past. The ship sails around the whole island. It is definitely a sail past to remember forever. From our balcony we could hear the guide on board explaining the sites and mystical magical places of Kauai. On disembarkation day things went smoothly. Although if I had been a first time cruiser the bag labeling and leaving times may have been a bit confusing. Half of our group went straight to the airport. The rest of our group had a late flight. Using points we rented a hotel room for the day. The Marriott Waikiki Resort and Spa was full so we couldn't get into our room until 3:00 pm but we were able to use the pool area. We relaxed, had lunch, & enjoyed some much needed down time. Later in the afternoon we went across the street to the public beach and took our final swim in the ocean. Fabulous Itinerary. A Most Amazing Trip of Lifetime! Read Less
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
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
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
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

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