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This was my first Norwegian cruise and I my first first trip to Hawaii. My pre-cruise stay was at the Marriott Waikiki Resort. The location was excellent! The beach was directly across the street and there was lots stores and restaurants within walking distance. The only negative about the hotel was the remodeling; part of the lobby was boarded up and during the day you could hear the construction workers. Shuttle service from the hotel to the ship was quick and well organized. The embarkation process was smooth. I loved each of the ports of call, but the cruise ship and staff were just okay. A waiter in Honolulu had warned me that this cruise would not be as upscale as the Caribbean cruises I'd taken from Florida. I agree with that this is the most economical way to see the islands, but I would have liked more shipboard activities and a more experienced staff. Most evenings I was bored; the entertainment was lack luster. This is the only cruise I've been on that did not have a casino. When we commented on the lack of activities, a waiter told us that the cruise is about the destination and excursions, not the ship. The cruise line assumes that guests would be off the ship while in port and too tired for entertainment when they return in the evening. I ate in the main dinning room once for dinner (it was terrible; horrible tasting alfredo sauce) and twice for breakfast. The service was sub-par. Most of the staff I spoke with had only been working on the ship 4 - 6 months. By day 3 me and my travel mates were convinced that this must be a training ship. The Aloha Cafe buffet was okay. The Cadillac Diner had the best breakfast and lunch options. The specialty restaurants (Cagney's, Jefferson Bistro, Moderno & La Cucina) were exceptional; the food was fabulous, the waiters were experienced and worked well together. I shared a balcony cabin with two other adults. That was a mistake; the cabin was tiny. I drew the short straw and go the fold-out bed, which was the width of a twin bed, but a foot and a half shorter than a normal bed. My feet hung off the bed; it was hilarious. The cabin was so tight, we had to coordinate our movements. There wasn't enough closet space or drawer space for clothing and luggage. Only small carry-on luggage would fit under the beds. By day 3, I gave up on trying to maneuver in such a small space and rolled my luggage 10 doors down to my mother's interior cabin. Her cabin was huge; she got a handicap compliant room even though she nor her roommate had requested such a room. Every evening, I would make my way to my mother's room to prepare my clothes for the next day. Unfortunately, her room was directly under the main kitchen and the noise was so bad that it kept her up at night. When she complained, guest services offered earplugs and a complimentary dinner in a specialty restaurant. My co-worker suggested that I rent a vehicle at ever port. I did rent a minivan for me and my six companions on Maui and drove the Road to Hana. I wish I had rented at every port. Excursions are pricey. Although I absolutely loved my Mt. Mauna Kea excursion, I could have rented a car and done it on my own for half the price of the excursion. Taxis are expensive also. Be adventurous, rent a car, grab a map and venture out on your own. You will have control over when and where you stop and how long you spend at each stop. The locals are very friendly and helpful and road signs are easy to follow. If you take this cruise, keep in mind that it's not a luxury liner; it's a shuttle between islands. But, the cruise will give you a preview of multiple islands; it's more economical than flying between the islands. Rent a car; you will save money and see more of each island.

Pride of America; Not Much To Be Proud Of

Pride of America Cruise Review by FAM_Cruiser

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2015
  • Destination: Hawaii
This was my first Norwegian cruise and I my first first trip to Hawaii. My pre-cruise stay was at the Marriott Waikiki Resort. The location was excellent! The beach was directly across the street and there was lots stores and restaurants within walking distance. The only negative about the hotel was the remodeling; part of the lobby was boarded up and during the day you could hear the construction workers. Shuttle service from the hotel to the ship was quick and well organized. The embarkation process was smooth. I loved each of the ports of call, but the cruise ship and staff were just okay. A waiter in Honolulu had warned me that this cruise would not be as upscale as the Caribbean cruises I'd taken from Florida.

I agree with that this is the most economical way to see the islands, but I would have liked more shipboard activities and a more experienced staff. Most evenings I was bored; the entertainment was lack luster. This is the only cruise I've been on that did not have a casino. When we commented on the lack of activities, a waiter told us that the cruise is about the destination and excursions, not the ship. The cruise line assumes that guests would be off the ship while in port and too tired for entertainment when they return in the evening.

I ate in the main dinning room once for dinner (it was terrible; horrible tasting alfredo sauce) and twice for breakfast. The service was sub-par. Most of the staff I spoke with had only been working on the ship 4 - 6 months. By day 3 me and my travel mates were convinced that this must be a training ship. The Aloha Cafe buffet was okay. The Cadillac Diner had the best breakfast and lunch options. The specialty restaurants (Cagney's, Jefferson Bistro, Moderno & La Cucina) were exceptional; the food was fabulous, the waiters were experienced and worked well together.

I shared a balcony cabin with two other adults. That was a mistake; the cabin was tiny. I drew the short straw and go the fold-out bed, which was the width of a twin bed, but a foot and a half shorter than a normal bed. My feet hung off the bed; it was hilarious. The cabin was so tight, we had to coordinate our movements. There wasn't enough closet space or drawer space for clothing and luggage. Only small carry-on luggage would fit under the beds. By day 3, I gave up on trying to maneuver in such a small space and rolled my luggage 10 doors down to my mother's interior cabin. Her cabin was huge; she got a handicap compliant room even though she nor her roommate had requested such a room. Every evening, I would make my way to my mother's room to prepare my clothes for the next day. Unfortunately, her room was directly under the main kitchen and the noise was so bad that it kept her up at night. When she complained, guest services offered earplugs and a complimentary dinner in a specialty restaurant.

My co-worker suggested that I rent a vehicle at ever port. I did rent a minivan for me and my six companions on Maui and drove the Road to Hana. I wish I had rented at every port. Excursions are pricey. Although I absolutely loved my Mt. Mauna Kea excursion, I could have rented a car and done it on my own for half the price of the excursion. Taxis are expensive also. Be adventurous, rent a car, grab a map and venture out on your own. You will have control over when and where you stop and how long you spend at each stop. The locals are very friendly and helpful and road signs are easy to follow.

If you take this cruise, keep in mind that it's not a luxury liner; it's a shuttle between islands. But, the cruise will give you a preview of multiple islands; it's more economical than flying between the islands. Rent a car; you will save money and see more of each island.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 10136
Balcony cabin was too small for three adults.
  Pride of America Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Mauna Kea
    This was the highlight of my trip. Mauna Kea was breathtaking. Standing 14,000 feet above sea level and looking out at patches of snow on the mountain and the clouds below was amazing. I captured some awesome shots! The tour guide, Ikaika, was insightful; gave a lot of information about Hilo, Hawaiian culture and Mauna Kea.

    The reason I didn't rate this excursion "excellent" is due to the unexpected shopping stop. On the way back to the cruise ship we stopped at a Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company store and coffee shop. I would have preferred to skip this and spend more time on the mountain.
    View All 9 Mauna Kea Reviews
  • Great Island Circle Tour
    This was a long tour, but it gave a great preview of the island.
    View All 27 Great Island Circle Tour Reviews
  • Luau
    The Smith Family Best of Island Luau was fantastic! The 30-acre garden tour was beautiful. Everything was perfect; the Imu ceremony, the luau feast and hula show were spectacular.
    View All 84 Luau Reviews
  • Glass Bottom Boat
    The glass bottom boat tour was okay. Didn't see as many fish as I would have expected. The tour guide was interesting.
    View All 20 Glass Bottom Boat Reviews
  • Maui
    I rented a car and drove the Road to Hana. This was a very scenic drive. Renting a minivan for me and my six companions was more economical than purchasing the excursion to Hana.
    View All 618 Maui Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Maui Cruise Port Review