1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise for a first time exploration of as much of Hawaii as possible. It met our expectations to sample many of the islands and many of the primary attractions. We took the three day pre-cruise excursion package in Oahu. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a first time exploration of as much of Hawaii as possible. It met our expectations to sample many of the islands and many of the primary attractions. We took the three day pre-cruise excursion package in Oahu. The first two days focused on some sight seeing and the Polynesian cultural village and sights associated with Pearl Harbor and a brief drive through the punch bowl cemetery and all were excellent. Our tour bus driver- Kimokeo "Kimo" was awesome! we learned a lot about Hawaiian culture and history and current events. However, Norwegian changed the third day itinerary-- it was originally a catamaran cruise then lunch at a ranch, but they changed it to a visit to a ranch all day. This was not that great. The people there are very friendly, but we spent a lot of time on a bus riding around looking at pastures. Granted, some had been the site of some movie set, but it was not that interesting to be honest- no sets remain, just a small sign saying something had been here. There is another bunker area being developed but it still needs a lot of work as an attraction. This facility could have a lot to offer however, and I think Norwegian could do better by taking people there and letting them choose what they want to do that day. for example-- you could have gone horseback riding, driving around trails in mudbug/gaters, I think they might even have a zipline course. While we were there the facility had a rodeo going on but we did not have the option to go over to that area and watch-- we had a box lunch there then went on the bus ride around the pastures. This day needs reworked. Taking us to the ship after this day was great-- by the time we got there there was no line and we walked right on and our luggage was in our room. We do want to praise the captain for choosing to sail past the volcano slowly at night so that we could all see what was happening. It was not a sure thing that he would be able to do that. There was also a time when there were humpback whales very close to the ship and he abruptly cut the motors and announced their presence-- terrific! Shore excursions: We took 2 helicopter rides-- one over volcano national park and the other on Kauai. both were fabulous and we highly recommend them despite the cost. There is no other way to see or photograph some of that fabulous terrain- we looked right into the boiling volcano caldera. We did whale watching on both a larger boat and via zodiac. There are trade offs-- on the larger boat there are lots of people (100+?) vying to look at the whales, but the boat is comfortable, has many levels for viewing, offers bathroom, food and drinks and did a good job stopping for viewing. On the zodiac you are closer in the water to the whales when you find them, and only about 12 on the craft, but moving from place to place searching was very bouncy and rough. I would have preferred less zipping around on the zodiac at high speed and staying with whales we found for more in-depth observation. We had about 2 hours on each craft and saw whales both times and got great video of whales and spinner dolphins. snorkeling in molokini crater was wonderful- lots of fish and pretty clear water! But this is not the Caribbean--We suggest bringing your own wet-suit as the water is chilly and the boat RENTS just a swim shirt, but not even a true shortie. We brought 3 ml wet-suits with hoods, booties, gloves and we were OK for about 45 minutes of snorkeling before I got cold. We took one bus tour called " best of Kauai". It takes you to nice overlooks of the waimea canyon, we had an amazing buffet lunch at a beautiful semi-outdoor setting, then you take a brief river flatboat cruise to a pretty fern grotto. It is an easy, relaxing day. We wanted to mention that we also took in a smaller luau event at the Waikiki aquarium just a short walk away from the Marriott hotel used by Norwegian cruise lines for their pre and post tours-- it was great!! They had a nice buffet with locally sourced foods, the expected dancers and entertainment, but also a gentlemen giving ukulele lessons, another teaching lei making and weaving, and other cultural aspects...cash bar after an initial 2 drinks. We recommend this lovely event-- it was held in a tent just behind the aquarium! Regarding meals on board- We mostly used the Oasis Buffet on the aft 11th deck for breakfast and lunch-- you can get your food then sit inside or go towards the back and outside if you wish to eat outside in a lovely, under utilized area. great food options. We tried 5 specialty restaurants for dinner (purchasing a package) . The Brazilian restaurant and Cagney's steakhouse were EXCEPTIONAL for both food and service. The Tappanyaki (Japanese) and Italian restaurant were enjoyable. The french restaurant had delicious food but the service was slow and inattentive the night we were there. We ate in the main skyline restaurant twice and found it delightful, food great, and service excellent. If we do this again, we will likely stick to the main dining rooms and perhaps take in only the Brazilian restaurant again-- it was truly that amazing-- you sample about 11 meats that they bring one at a time. entertainment onboard: we enjoyed the intimacy of pinks lounge where sometimes there was piano, sometimes guitar or ukulele. There are also a couple other small lounges with that kind of entertainment scattered around. There is a very small dance floor in Pinks and we were often the only ones on it. we tried the white hot party in the big club area -- too loud, clearly for a younger set interested in line/group dancing. our ballroom style was out of place :-). The shows were great and professional -- we loved the comedian... funny but not embarrassingly gross. We also had opportunities to learn to make leis of flowers, nuts, and ribbons and could take hula lessons. We did not spend time in the exercise room but it looks nice. The pools and hot tubs are fairly small, but nice and I never saw them so crowded that it was a problem. It does get loud near the pools. people do tend to stake out and put stuff on deck chairs near the pool. Chairs on other levels away from the pools were always available. Be aware that on the day when the boat is anchored, it may take you some time to get off if you are not scheduled into a cruise line planned excursion. priority goes to those who hold tickets sold by the cruise ship. on days when we were docked, there seemed to be no problems getting off in a timely manner. We chose to exit the ship on the last day with our luggage under our control-- it was easy and went quickly. once off, we immediately found a shuttle operator to take us to the airport for $10/person in a van... he gathered a total of 8 of us I think-- which took about 15 minutes, but none of us were in a big hurry. It was much cheaper than the bus shuttles arranged by the ship which I think were about $25/person. so... all in all we really liked this opportunity to sample so many of the Hawaiian islands on a nice, medium size ship. We do recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
This was a wonderful way to get to see 4 of the Hawaiian Islands. This was our first trip to Hawaii. We did an 8 night cruise, the first night was at the Waikiki Marriott. We had a penthouse suite on board, which gave us plenty of room. ... Read More
This was a wonderful way to get to see 4 of the Hawaiian Islands. This was our first trip to Hawaii. We did an 8 night cruise, the first night was at the Waikiki Marriott. We had a penthouse suite on board, which gave us plenty of room. The deck was wonderful. We had breakfast daily in Cagney's which was very good, not crowded at all. A dining package came with our suite so we had 3 dinners in the specialty restaurants: 2 at the Bistro, 1 at the Brazilian Steakhouse. The rest of our dinners were in the upstairs section of the main dining room. The food in the main dining room was okay, nothing special. Service there was spotty at best. I think they had the staff spread too thin. We noted that the servers were also seating the guests, and standing in line a lot, which I think kept them from their tables... The Bistro was wonderful. We had the same server both evenings and he was very attentive. The food was really good, and the presentation was excellent. The Brazilian Steakhouse was very different. They had a system for you to ask for another meat, which they totally ignored. We put the red cards out, and they came around anyway, pressuring us to try whatever they had. Also, we ordered a bottle of wine which the menu said was from the Alexander Valley. When it came, there was nothing on the bottle to indicate it was from the Alexander Valley. When my husband questioned this, our server consulted the bartender, who gave her an explanation that didn't make any sense to us. It was obvious at that point that they had no real wine expert on the staff and at the prices they charge they should! Our concierge was really helpful. He spoke to us at breakfast each day and was very helpful to us. We didn't quite get the butler concept. We saw him most days, made a simple (we thought) time sensitive request (twice) at the beginning of the cruise that was never fulfilled and never referred to by him. He did bring us fruit & canapés, and made our dinner reservations. Our room attendant was mostly very efficient, we rarely saw him. We rented a car on 3 of our stops and it worked out very nicely. We booked only one excursion through the ship and that went well. We booked three excursions(including Pear Harbor on the embarkation day) through the Shore Excursions Group which were all very good and used smaller busses. If you are an American, Pearl Harbor including the USS Arizona Memorial is a must-see. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise because my husband was doing his CME (Continuing Medical Education) credits on board. This was our FIRST NCL cruise. We have sailed on ocean cruises numerous times with a variety of cruise lines from Deluxe to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my husband was doing his CME (Continuing Medical Education) credits on board. This was our FIRST NCL cruise. We have sailed on ocean cruises numerous times with a variety of cruise lines from Deluxe to Luxury; we have also sailed with a private company in the Galapagos as well as river cruises in Europe. Both my husband and I were both pleasantly surprised. The positives: (1) embarkation was a breeze, (2) Officers, Staff & Crew were overall very polite, friendly and helpful, (3) the ship was maintained spotlessly clean and very nicely decorated, (4) easy on and off in ports of call, and all were very different and loads of FUN!, (5) service tended to be spot on, (6) entertainment was better than we had expected, (7) a wide variety of food selection offerings in both the main restaurants and buffets which was surprisingly DELICIOUS!, (8) no Hard Sells pitches for this and that, which was refreshing ... and (9) finally -- THE PASSENGERS! Passengers can make or break your experience on a cruise. The passengers on this cruise were respectful, very nice, and very friendly. That truly does leave a lasting impression, and does make a difference in how much everyone onboard enjoys their cruise. Now ... for the not so positives: (1) Balcony cabin was very small and the bathroom was very poorly designed, (2) NCL holds a monopoly on those passengers that are short on time and are willing to fly out to Hawaii to take a cruise. There are other cruises (from NCL's closest competitors) leaving from the West Coast that are less expensive, and this includes a Transpacific crossing. Having said that, I believe the price point is just a tad high for this particular voyage. (3) Logistics nightmare for seeing the Comedian for the second time during the voyage. He was moved from the theater to a much smaller venue. The 7:30 show was a Mad House and Mayhem; no where to sit, the servers couldn't get to people to serve drinks, there was a Crew member shouting at passengers to leave and come back for the 10:30 show; honestly, upon further review I really can't blame him, but it definitely was not the way I wanted to end our cruise. We just decided to leave as we had no other choice. So, suggestion here would be to add an additional time for the Comedian as he was very funny, and we are sorry we missed his second show. IN SUMMARY: Overall, we would sail with NCL again. However, we try to compare apples to apples when we make our cruise selections, and we generally like to UP PAY for more inclusions. NCL's business model is more on the simple side of you get meals & board along with your entertainment; what I refer to as "deluxe" cruises. We have become quite spoiled with our voyages on "premium" and "luxury" lines. We generally upgrade on our voyages, or we receive some additional perks such as premium beverage packages, pre-paid gratuities, Wi-Fi, and on some of our voyages, Shore Excursions! However, we knew this going into it, and overall, I would have to say that this particular voyage with NCL exceeded our expectations, and we would consider sailing with them again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Sailed on January 20th, 2018. I’m trying to come up with a few positive mentions, but it’s very difficult. Pros: Most of the crew we encountered were extremely nice Water pressure in the bathroom was great ... Read More
Sailed on January 20th, 2018. I’m trying to come up with a few positive mentions, but it’s very difficult. Pros: Most of the crew we encountered were extremely nice Water pressure in the bathroom was great Cons: Ship is very old and not even close to a “Luxury” cruise ship. Design of ship is boring and not exciting…because it’s an OLD SHIP Food in the buffet was pathetic and not much better in free dining rooms Food in the pay restaurants was a notch or two up from pathetic Nickel and dime you for everything Cabins with balconies are very small. Bathrooms basic and small…really small Only saw our cabin girl on the last day and she was not very pleasant. This really was a terrible waste of money. We really could have spent just a little more and hopped from island to island. Having been on 2 other cruise and experienced what a real luxury cruise ship is like, I cannot recommend this ship. Awful Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We sailed on the sister ship Pride of Aloha 11 years ago. We felt this would be a gret experience again. We started our adventure in Honalulu The day before the cruise. I was fun exploring. Embarkationa and disembarkation went very ... Read More
We sailed on the sister ship Pride of Aloha 11 years ago. We felt this would be a gret experience again. We started our adventure in Honalulu The day before the cruise. I was fun exploring. Embarkationa and disembarkation went very smoothly. We were told that our 2 cabins would have connecting balconies. When we arrived instead was adjoining rooms. In hindsight, a ship of this age would not have connecting balconies. We were still very comfortable. We saw a couple of very entertaining shows; A magic show, broadway type musical, and comedian. The food was good, but I was surprised not to see more seafood on the menu. Most of the service was good, but not as good as other ships I have been on. Sadly, we had to wait for 45 minutes to be served our drinks in the Pink Champagne Bar. We booked all of our excursions on our own with no problems. It was a great cruise to explore the different islands, but there was really no down time to enjoy the ship. We were in port each day. since this was the 2nd time for me, I will not be taking this cruise again. I will fly to my favorite island and stay a few days or a week. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
This is a great cruise of four of the major Hawaiian islands; the days on each island were divided well, and we were very happy with NCL and the crew. The ship was beautiful, very clean, and in great condition. Even the public bathrooms ... Read More
This is a great cruise of four of the major Hawaiian islands; the days on each island were divided well, and we were very happy with NCL and the crew. The ship was beautiful, very clean, and in great condition. Even the public bathrooms always looked 'just-cleaned.' We didn't make it to all of the restaurants, but every meal we did have on the ship I'd rate as excellent or very good, ditto for the service. The buffet does get crowded. The NCL employees were very outgoing, and seem to love what they do, which makes a big difference. The concierge (Chris T.) was outstanding, knew us (and many others) by name, and made sure we were having a good time every day . They had great entertainment at the pool, live bands and music, but some quiet time also, and five hot tubs -- one is aft, literally at the back railing, which is an awesome view while the ship is underway. This was our fourth trip to the Hawaiian islands, but our first one that was a cruise, and it was a blast. We would highly recommend this NCL cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
50th Wedding Anniversary, wanted to celebrate in a special way. The cruise was our first half (seven day Hawaiian Islands) followed by 5 nights in Maui. The cruise was recommended by a friend/colleague and we were not disappointed. So ... Read More
50th Wedding Anniversary, wanted to celebrate in a special way. The cruise was our first half (seven day Hawaiian Islands) followed by 5 nights in Maui. The cruise was recommended by a friend/colleague and we were not disappointed. So glad we structured it this way. The Cruise Team could not have been more accommodating from the time we arrived at check-in until we departed seven days later. Our accommodations were what we hoped for (view/balcony) and well maintained. The buffet was convenient during the day, the evening dining was superb. My wife has a food allergy and the Manager was so accommodating, not a problem. The evening entertainment was great. Very professional, good variety, talented. We did not schedule package excursions but went on our own and were able to make good use of our time and sights. Wife utilized enrichment activities, I used the Fitness Center, each on a daily basis. Highlight was the courtesy and welcoming staff. Great Team on this Cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We wanted to see all the islands and Pearl Harbor. We did the 7 day cruise and 3 day at Marriott Resort and Spa. We saw so much of the island and Pearl Harbor. The day we were going to get on the ship was the day everyone’s phone ... Read More
We wanted to see all the islands and Pearl Harbor. We did the 7 day cruise and 3 day at Marriott Resort and Spa. We saw so much of the island and Pearl Harbor. The day we were going to get on the ship was the day everyone’s phone went off with the alarm the Hawaii had a ballistic missile threat warning. This is not a drill. Which turned out to be a false alarm. Our tour guide was great with taking care of us . We were still shaken up but we ended up having a great day. Our embarkation was fast and simple. We were very happy with our room. The whole ship was spotless. The show were the best we had ever seen. We ate in the dining room and buffet and both was great. There was a older lady that sprayed everyone’s hands going into the buffet and she was a hoot. She was from Texas and so funny. Our room steward was a little lady and she was the best and a smile on her face and ready to help you with anything. We have cruised a lot but never cruised with Norwegian Cruises but it will not be the last. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
My wife and I chose this cruise for the itinerary which is great (except we couldn't disembark the first day in Maui due to the water level at the pier that day). This was 9th cruise and our first with Norwegian. The cabin was fine ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise for the itinerary which is great (except we couldn't disembark the first day in Maui due to the water level at the pier that day). This was 9th cruise and our first with Norwegian. The cabin was fine although much smaller than what we usually get on Disney. The steward kept it very clean. Unfortunately the lights went out in the bathroom and it took them over a day to get it fixed. The dining experience was quite poor. We follow a ketogenic way of eating so it was very difficult to find acceptable food choices. The servers aren't knowledgeable about the details of what they're serving and most of them don't care to find out. The only dessert that we could find without sugar and flour was sugar free ice cream - only in vanilla. We brought our own stevia sweetened chocolate chips so that worked. In the buffet they had to go down to the main restaurant to get us the ice cream. We mostly ate omelets and salads. They put a lot of unhealthy additives in their sauces which seems to be in or on everything. Vegetarian dishes were rare as were gluten free and sugar free ones. It was also a challenge to get real cream for our coffee. The excursion prices were way beyond what we wanted to pay. The hop on hop off tours were great for our budget. For example, on Kuawaii we paid a total of $95 for the river cruise that the ship excursion charged $130/person. We brought our own snorkle equipment and enjoyed using it 3 times. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I have cruised with multiple cruise lines in the past and have never had such a negative experience. The ship looks extremely old so keep your expectations low or you will be highly disappointed! I would give most of the categories a much ... Read More
I have cruised with multiple cruise lines in the past and have never had such a negative experience. The ship looks extremely old so keep your expectations low or you will be highly disappointed! I would give most of the categories a much lower rating if I could! The embarkation is tedious! Have a very cold bottle of water and prepare to sweat away while you wait to enter the vintage ship! The activities are almost no-existent. There are three extremely small pools and which did not seem hygienic at all! The fitness and recreation room is one of the best areas of the cruise, it is large and very well equipped. The food is horrible, very poor selection. The specialty dinning needs upgrade and they really need to learn how to actually cook the SPECIALTY meals. When having an omelet, request cooking spray otherwise your eggs will be swimming in oil. The lactose free and almond milk are available upon request. The wait staff is rude and often gossip about guests in open areas. The public rooms need serious upgrade, the furniture looks old and dirty, not inviting at all. The best place they have inside for pictures is an old white staircase! really Price of America!!!! They don't have a casino and they have an arcade with about 5 or 6 machines. The shore excursions prices are ridiculous, rent a car and plan your own excursion. This is the only way you will survive this 7 day ordeal. Overall this is not worth the money! Hawaii is a beautiful island with much to explore. Pride of America needs to seriously consider upgrading and providing more activities and a positive guest experience. Its a shame to go on a trio with high expectations and have to return back to write a review such as this! Read Less
Pride of America Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 3.9
Dining 5.0 3.5
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.0
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 5.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 3.0 3.7

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