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I was awestruck when entering the ship and seeing the initial view of the lobby ...the whole ship is fabulously decorated and very clean and with so many friendly happy people on board, it seemed like paradise. The saleswoman we talked to on the phone before leaving Texas had the most bubbly personality as she described how we would be treated like princes and princesses on board the Pride of America and when she discovered this was my 60th birthday gift she told us she would have them place a card in the room so that we could get free birthday cake. Being suite customers (there were 5 adults in our party) she explained, gave us many privileges that would really make a huge positive difference in our stay. We were also promised a never ending fruit bowl in our cabin. We signed up for the ultimate dining experience. First disappointment came when we entered the room and there was no birthday acknowledgement. Then, I tried to sleep on the fold out couch the first night. Horribly unbearably hard and uncomfortable and I didn't get any sleep. Desperation provided a solution...by robbing two mattresses off of the single fold out beds in the adjoining cabin that we weren't using. I was afraid the Cruise people would not approve so left a note on the bed to please leave the mattresses alone, which thankfully they did. These mattresses were still not at all comfortable. The fruit bowl ended after the first day. We did get a plate of small appetizers/desserts each day...maybe that was in lieu of the fruit. The big huge coffee maker in the room caused us to be overjoyed at first, since we assumed we could make Lattes and frothy milk toppings for our coffee...it looked like it would do the job... it ground the beans and made coffee..but didn't have a frother. The spout we assumed was for that purpose was solely for dispensing hot water. So it was a big fancy coffee maker that wasn't special other than it ground the coffee. We opted for Starbucks....very expensive option. The gourmet dining areas are definitely the places to eat the best quality and flavored foods...however...there is a trade off. Dining in these places will zap a ton of valuable time the wait staff is very slow even if there are very few customers...and you still have to pay extra for certain items...like soft drinks, drinkable water, and Lobster...on Lobster night...which to me, is insanity on the part of the cruise line. Why? Because we spent a huge amount of money for meals that we didn't know...but they did... that we wouldn't even eat..because we would be on the islands and purchasing local food. We deserved that Lobster. We deserved to be able to drink on board without having to pay extra. We are not talking about alcohol...we just wanted water and soft drinks to be included in the enormous price we paid for the trip. The 'free' table water was really good until on the way back from the last island... I assume they had to refill their tanks with bad water...because it was so bad I could not drink it and was forced to purchase Hawaiian water at our fancy dining meals to have something drinkable. The main dining hall at first seems heavenly...because you serve yourself and the food appears to be delicious. The bacon is the most horrible excuse for bacon I have ever eaten...thin, greasy, not salty...bland crunchy nothing like bacon is supposed to taste. How can you prepare beautiful food that is tasteless... I don't know..but they have it down pat. We got so sick of it that anything at all was a better option. They need just a plain ordinary McDonalds to serve breakfast and it would be ten times better than the Aloha cafe. Also... another big complaint...is that you have to get your own drinks at only one area of the cafe and the general area is so big and congested, the traffic flow is terrible and it is actually very inefficient and hard to do...much easier to do without a drink, or especially a refill. They need at least two drink stations..four would be better...and they need wait staff going around to refill drinks for the tired tourists who are supposed to be treated as princes and princesses. Hidden costs everywhere...just turns that happy cruise vacation mood into a worried and distrusting one fast. I can't fault the cruiseline staff for anything... I really enjoyed the cruise itself and as far as the events...they did a great job. The shore excursions are very expensive....but everything is expensive in Hawaii. To rent a car is expensive unless you plan way far in advance, which we didn't do. Make sure if you rent a car in Honolulu that you do it well in advance and that you reserve a GPS in the car. We managed without the GPS with cell phone apps...but the batteries were eaten up quick. We were actually quoted 1400.00 $ a day price for a minivan at two different locations because we waited until the day before we needed one....supply and demand, I guess. We finally found one at a fairly reasonable cost at Hertz. We stayed at the Marriott Waikiki...awesome place, highly recommend. As far as the cruise line, I was disappointed in hidden charges, poor quality of food in main dining, having to purchase common ordinary drinks, horrible mattress on couch, and promises not kept. What I liked... the appearance of the ship (although the top swimming pool water was never cleaned out and was very dirty by the last day..which made me leery of the hot tubs). The cruise director's enthusiasm, the music...although sometimes wayyyy too loud. Everyone enjoyed the Jefferson Restaurant and the Brazilian one where they bring out all of the skewered meat...that was delicious..excellent service and an awesome experience. Loved the itinerary of the ship... loved the islands... loved the excursions... but it would be nice if we really knew what happened to James Cook...we heard three entirely different versions of his story. Oh yeah, we booked the Road to Hanna excursion late, while at the Marriott, at the Norwegion Cruise line office...and paid for it at the time...and when we arrived at the tour bus to get on..they didn't have the record of it and we didn't have tickets delivered to our room as we did with the other excursions..so it was a foul up..and we were double charged but it was fixed, at least I think/hope it was.

Loved Hawaii, Cruise could be a lot better

Pride of America Cruise Review by GonetoTxas

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2015
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: 2-Bedroom Obstructed View Family Suite
I was awestruck when entering the ship and seeing the initial view of the lobby ...the whole ship is fabulously decorated and very clean and with so many friendly happy people on board, it seemed like paradise. The saleswoman we talked to on the phone before leaving Texas had the most bubbly personality as she described how we would be treated like princes and princesses on board the Pride of America and when she discovered this was my 60th birthday gift she told us she would have them place a card in the room so that we could get free birthday cake. Being suite customers (there were 5 adults in our party) she explained, gave us many privileges that would really make a huge positive difference in our stay. We were also promised a never ending fruit bowl in our cabin. We signed up for the ultimate dining experience. First disappointment came when we entered the room and there was no birthday acknowledgement. Then, I tried to sleep on the fold out couch the first night. Horribly unbearably hard and uncomfortable and I didn't get any sleep. Desperation provided a solution...by robbing two mattresses off of the single fold out beds in the adjoining cabin that we weren't using. I was afraid the Cruise people would not approve so left a note on the bed to please leave the mattresses alone, which thankfully they did. These mattresses were still not at all comfortable. The fruit bowl ended after the first day. We did get a plate of small appetizers/desserts each day...maybe that was in lieu of the fruit. The big huge coffee maker in the room caused us to be overjoyed at first, since we assumed we could make Lattes and frothy milk toppings for our coffee...it looked like it would do the job... it ground the beans and made coffee..but didn't have a frother. The spout we assumed was for that purpose was solely for dispensing hot water. So it was a big fancy coffee maker that wasn't special other than it ground the coffee. We opted for Starbucks....very expensive option. The gourmet dining areas are definitely the places to eat the best quality and flavored foods...however...there is a trade off. Dining in these places will zap a ton of valuable time the wait staff is very slow even if there are very few customers...and you still have to pay extra for certain items...like soft drinks, drinkable water, and Lobster...on Lobster night...which to me, is insanity on the part of the cruise line. Why? Because we spent a huge amount of money for meals that we didn't know...but they did... that we wouldn't even eat..because we would be on the islands and purchasing local food. We deserved that Lobster. We deserved to be able to drink on board without having to pay extra. We are not talking about alcohol...we just wanted water and soft drinks to be included in the enormous price we paid for the trip. The 'free' table water was really good until on the way back from the last island... I assume they had to refill their tanks with bad water...because it was so bad I could not drink it and was forced to purchase Hawaiian water at our fancy dining meals to have something drinkable. The main dining hall at first seems heavenly...because you serve yourself and the food appears to be delicious. The bacon is the most horrible excuse for bacon I have ever eaten...thin, greasy, not salty...bland crunchy nothing like bacon is supposed to taste. How can you prepare beautiful food that is tasteless... I don't know..but they have it down pat. We got so sick of it that anything at all was a better option. They need just a plain ordinary McDonalds to serve breakfast and it would be ten times better than the Aloha cafe. Also... another big complaint...is that you have to get your own drinks at only one area of the cafe and the general area is so big and congested, the traffic flow is terrible and it is actually very inefficient and hard to do...much easier to do without a drink, or especially a refill. They need at least two drink stations..four would be better...and they need wait staff going around to refill drinks for the tired tourists who are supposed to be treated as princes and princesses. Hidden costs everywhere...just turns that happy cruise vacation mood into a worried and distrusting one fast. I can't fault the cruiseline staff for anything... I really enjoyed the cruise itself and as far as the events...they did a great job. The shore excursions are very expensive....but everything is expensive in Hawaii. To rent a car is expensive unless you plan way far in advance, which we didn't do. Make sure if you rent a car in Honolulu that you do it well in advance and that you reserve a GPS in the car. We managed without the GPS with cell phone apps...but the batteries were eaten up quick. We were actually quoted 1400.00 $ a day price for a minivan at two different locations because we waited until the day before we needed one....supply and demand, I guess. We finally found one at a fairly reasonable cost at Hertz. We stayed at the Marriott Waikiki...awesome place, highly recommend. As far as the cruise line, I was disappointed in hidden charges, poor quality of food in main dining, having to purchase common ordinary drinks, horrible mattress on couch, and promises not kept. What I liked... the appearance of the ship (although the top swimming pool water was never cleaned out and was very dirty by the last day..which made me leery of the hot tubs). The cruise director's enthusiasm, the music...although sometimes wayyyy too loud. Everyone enjoyed the Jefferson Restaurant and the Brazilian one where they bring out all of the skewered meat...that was delicious..excellent service and an awesome experience. Loved the itinerary of the ship... loved the islands... loved the excursions... but it would be nice if we really knew what happened to James Cook...we heard three entirely different versions of his story. Oh yeah, we booked the Road to Hanna excursion late, while at the Marriott, at the Norwegion Cruise line office...and paid for it at the time...and when we arrived at the tour bus to get on..they didn't have the record of it and we didn't have tickets delivered to our room as we did with the other excursions..so it was a foul up..and we were double charged but it was fixed, at least I think/hope it was.
GonetoTxas’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

2-Bedroom Obstructed View Family Suite
Cabin SJ
There was a plastic glove outside the window that gave us the creeps when we first looked out the window. We didn't mind the obstructed view because of the lifeboat, because you could still see the ocean. It would have been nice if the window opened to let in fresh air. The coffee maker was a huge disappointment. The lack of a neverending fruit bowl was disappointing. The lack of a birthday acknowledgement was very disappointing. The couch bed was horribly disappointing.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins