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Background to review: With our children grown and no longer cruising with us, we began booking suites for the extra amenities offered. On this cruise, we booked a penthouse suite with a large balcony on deck 11, Room 11018. We enjoy the extra amenities of eating breakfast and lunch in Cagney’s restaurant, the services of the concierge and butler. This cruise is different than others since you are in port every day. It is like have a floating hotel room. You are there to see and visit the islands. There is NO down time or sea days to just relax. In Oahu prior to boarding on Saturday, we stayed at Hotel Renew which was one block off the beach and much less expensive than the Marriott next store where we stayed on our first trip. Overall Evaluation: (more detail comments appear below) • Our suite was very comfortable and the large balcony was a huge bonus. • Food quality was superb everywhere. We had the Ultimate Dining Package so we ate in the specialty restaurants each night. We ate two nights in Jefferson Bistro, La Cusina, Cagney’s twice. Moderno and Teppanyaki. • Entertainment was excellent especially Oh What a Night. • The staff was friendly and helpful and our Concierge, James, was outstanding as well as our butler. SUITE: I booked a Penthouse Suite with a large balcony deck 11, mid-ship. The large balcony was great. The room was centrally located, quiet and offered plenty of room. A perk for suites owners is access to Cagney’s restaurant for breakfast and lunch. Service is exceptional and the food is superb. DINING: Some people criticize anytime dining but I prefer it. It allows me to control when and where I eat based upon the day’s activities. Other people may prefer traditional dining because they are able to meet other cruisers and develop a relationship with them. Besides breakfast and lunch in Cagney’s, we ate at the buffet in Garden Café, and the Cadillac Diner. The Cadillac Diner is open 24 / 7 and they have great milk shakes along with hot wings. All our dinner meals in the specialty restaurants were good but Jefferson Bistro and Cagney’s are our favorites. ENTERTAINMENT: The shows in the theater were good and Oh What A Night was outstanding. Do not miss the final Farewell Variety Showtime on the last night. It provides a great emotional high and a fitting tribute to a great cruise. PORTS: The most important part of the trip. Since we had taken this cruise 6 years ago, we learned that the best way to see the islands is to tour on your own after some research. We rented a car each day. Parking at the port is easy and in Maui it is free. On Kauai you have to pay $20 but it is well worth it to have the car for two days. Maui: Rental car shuttles are on the pier and the ride to the airport (our driver showed us the back road) took about 5 minutes. Parking overnight is just a short walk to the ship and is free so we rented the car for two days. We DID NOT take the road to Hana. Tried that the first trip and found it to be a waste of time. All day trip with too much traffic. Instead, we visited Iao Valley and the needle. Short drive from the ship on route 32. After Iao Valley, we headed west along route 30 to Lahina. Spent a few hours in this small “whaling” village and make sure we had our picture taken under the Banyon Tree which covers an entire block. We left Lahina and toured the resorts in Kaanapali and Kapalau before heading back to the ship. On day 2, we visited the Maui Ocean Center Aquarium. We spent about two hours at the aquarium before heading to the beaches in Wailea. Hilo: Once we obtained the rental car, we headed to Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots. I would skip Boiling Pots and just visit Rainbow Falls. After visiting rainbow falls, we drove to Onomea Bay area and took the scenic drive by the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens. Great views and picture taking opportunities but you will miss the turn off unless you have done your research. From Onomea, we make a quick visit to the Mauna Loa factory to buy many bags of Macadamias for the trip home. We then returned to the airport to catch the helicopter ride over the volcano. This was fabulous and is a must do at least once when visiting the Big Islands Kona: You will have to tender at Kona but it is very well organized and the trip is very short. We love the little village of Kona. This trip was special for us since a former IBM engineer I use to work with retired on the Big Island and we met him and his wife for lunch at a local spot on the outskirts of town. After lunch, we returned to the town for some shopping. Kauai: The MOST BEAUTIFUL of all the islands. If we ever return to Hawaii, this is where we will spend our two weeks or longer. Once we rented our car, we headed to Waimea canyon. Total driving time to the lookouts is about one hour. We took the second entrance at Kehaha Beach to the road up the canyon at the advice of some locals who indicated we would have a better view of the coast line and they were correct. We stopped at several of the lookouts and made it to Puu O Kila Lookout before turning around. This is like going to the Grand Canyon but with more color. It is NOT to be missed. On our return trip, we stopped at Poipu. No golf this time but we visited Spouting Horn and did some shopping at the village. Day 2 is a short day and you have to really schedule your time. We wanted to take the boat ride to Fern Grotto but it was about 1.5 hours and only left at 9:30 and 11:30. Our plans were slightly interrupted with a small fender bender in the town of Wailua so we ended up visiting the beaches along route 56 up to Anahola Bay before turning back. You have to watch your time going back as the traffic is slow moving throughWailua. The rest of the afternoon is spent on the ship viewing the famous Napali Coast of Kauai. Absolutely amazing views. Any return to Hawaii for me will be staying in Kauai for two weeks and playing golf at the Kauai Westin, Poipu and Princeville.

Best way to see Hawaii; veteran cruiser goes on Pride of America!

Pride of America Cruise Review by golfingfool

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2015
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Penthouse with Large Balcony
Background to review:

With our children grown and no longer cruising with us, we began booking suites for the extra amenities offered. On this cruise, we booked a penthouse suite with a large balcony on deck 11, Room 11018. We enjoy the extra amenities of eating breakfast and lunch in Cagney’s restaurant, the services of the concierge and butler.

This cruise is different than others since you are in port every day. It is like have a floating hotel room. You are there to see and visit the islands. There is NO down time or sea days to just relax.

In Oahu prior to boarding on Saturday, we stayed at Hotel Renew which was one block off the beach and much less expensive than the Marriott next store where we stayed on our first trip.

Overall Evaluation: (more detail comments appear below)

• Our suite was very comfortable and the large balcony was a huge bonus.

• Food quality was superb everywhere. We had the Ultimate Dining Package so we ate in the specialty restaurants each night. We ate two nights in Jefferson Bistro, La Cusina, Cagney’s twice. Moderno and Teppanyaki.

• Entertainment was excellent especially Oh What a Night.

• The staff was friendly and helpful and our Concierge, James, was outstanding as well as our butler.

SUITE:

I booked a Penthouse Suite with a large balcony deck 11, mid-ship. The large balcony was great. The room was centrally located, quiet and offered plenty of room.

A perk for suites owners is access to Cagney’s restaurant for breakfast and lunch. Service is exceptional and the food is superb.

DINING:

Some people criticize anytime dining but I prefer it. It allows me to control when and where I eat based upon the day’s activities. Other people may prefer traditional dining because they are able to meet other cruisers and develop a relationship with them.

Besides breakfast and lunch in Cagney’s, we ate at the buffet in Garden Café, and the Cadillac Diner. The Cadillac Diner is open 24 / 7 and they have great milk shakes along with hot wings.

All our dinner meals in the specialty restaurants were good but Jefferson Bistro and Cagney’s are our favorites.

ENTERTAINMENT:

The shows in the theater were good and Oh What A Night was outstanding. Do not miss the final Farewell Variety Showtime on the last night. It provides a great emotional high and a fitting tribute to a great cruise.

PORTS: The most important part of the trip.

Since we had taken this cruise 6 years ago, we learned that the best way to see the islands is to tour on your own after some research. We rented a car each day. Parking at the port is easy and in Maui it is free. On Kauai you have to pay $20 but it is well worth it to have the car for two days.

Maui: Rental car shuttles are on the pier and the ride to the airport (our driver showed us the back road) took about 5 minutes. Parking overnight is just a short walk to the ship and is free so we rented the car for two days.

We DID NOT take the road to Hana. Tried that the first trip and found it to be a waste of time. All day trip with too much traffic. Instead, we visited Iao Valley and the needle. Short drive from the ship on route 32. After Iao Valley, we headed west along route 30 to Lahina. Spent a few hours in this small “whaling” village and make sure we had our picture taken under the Banyon Tree which covers an entire block.

We left Lahina and toured the resorts in Kaanapali and Kapalau before heading back to the ship.

On day 2, we visited the Maui Ocean Center Aquarium. We spent about two hours at the aquarium before heading to the beaches in Wailea.

Hilo: Once we obtained the rental car, we headed to Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots. I would skip Boiling Pots and just visit Rainbow Falls. After visiting rainbow falls, we drove to Onomea Bay area and took the scenic drive by the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens. Great views and picture taking opportunities but you will miss the turn off unless you have done your research.

From Onomea, we make a quick visit to the Mauna Loa factory to buy many bags of Macadamias for the trip home. We then returned to the airport to catch the helicopter ride over the volcano. This was fabulous and is a must do at least once when visiting the Big Islands

Kona: You will have to tender at Kona but it is very well organized and the trip is very short. We love the little village of Kona. This trip was special for us since a former IBM engineer I use to work with retired on the Big Island and we met him and his wife for lunch at a local spot on the outskirts of town. After lunch, we returned to the town for some shopping.

Kauai: The MOST BEAUTIFUL of all the islands. If we ever return to Hawaii, this is where we will spend our two weeks or longer. Once we rented our car, we headed to Waimea canyon. Total driving time to the lookouts is about one hour. We took the second entrance at Kehaha Beach to the road up the canyon at the advice of some locals who indicated we would have a better view of the coast line and they were correct. We stopped at several of the lookouts and made it to Puu O Kila Lookout before turning around. This is like going to the Grand Canyon but with more color. It is NOT to be missed.

On our return trip, we stopped at Poipu. No golf this time but we visited Spouting Horn and did some shopping at the village.

Day 2 is a short day and you have to really schedule your time. We wanted to take the boat ride to Fern Grotto but it was about 1.5 hours and only left at 9:30 and 11:30. Our plans were slightly interrupted with a small fender bender in the town of Wailua so we ended up visiting the beaches along route 56 up to Anahola Bay before turning back. You have to watch your time going back as the traffic is slow moving throughWailua.

The rest of the afternoon is spent on the ship viewing the famous Napali Coast of Kauai. Absolutely amazing views.

Any return to Hawaii for me will be staying in Kauai for two weeks and playing golf at the Kauai Westin, Poipu and Princeville.
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Cabin Review

Penthouse with Large Balcony
Cabin SE 11018
I booked a Penthouse Suite with a large balcony deck 11, mid-ship. The large balcony was great. The room was centrally located, quiet and offered plenty of room.

A perk for suites owners is access to Cagney’s restaurant for breakfast and lunch. Service is exceptional and the food is superb.
Deck 13 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Hilo
    Hilo: Once we obtained the rental car, we headed to Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots. I would skip Boiling Pots and just visit Rainbow Falls. After visiting rainbow falls, we drove to Onomea Bay area and took the scenic drive by the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens. Great views and picture taking opportunities but you will miss the turn off unless you have done your research.

    From Onomea, we make a quick visit to the Mauna Loa factory to buy many bags of Macadamias for the trip home. We then returned to the airport to catch the helicopter ride over the volcano. This was fabulous and is a must do at least once when visiting the Big Islands
    View All 569 Hilo Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Hilo Cruise Port Review
  • Honolulu
    Stayed in Waikiki Beach at Hotel Renew. Great location for much less than surrounding hotels. Took the walk up Diamond Head. Absolutely worth the walk if you are able to handle the climb. Prior trip we had visited Pearl Harbor so we did not visit the memorial this trip.
    View All 673 Honolulu Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Honolulu Cruise Port Review
  • Kauai
    Kauai: The MOST BEAUTIFUL of all the islands. If we ever return to Hawaii, this is where we will spend our two weeks or longer. Once we rented our car, we headed to Waimea canyon. Total driving time to the lookouts is about one hour. We took the second entrance at Kehaha Beach to the road up the canyon at the advice of some locals who indicated we would have a better view of the coast line and they were correct. We stopped at several of the lookouts and made it to Puu O Kila Lookout before turning around. This is like going to the Grand Canyon but with more color. It is NOT to be missed.

    On our return trip, we stopped at Poipu. No golf this time but we visited Spouting Horn and did some shopping at the village.
    View All 537 Kauai Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Kauai Cruise Port Review
  • Kona (Kailua Bay)
    Kona: You will have to tender at Kona but it is very well organized and the trip is very short. We love the little village of Kona. This trip was special for us since a former IBM engineer I use to work with retired on the Big Island and we met him and his wife for lunch at a local spot on the outskirts of town. After lunch, we returned to the town for some shopping.
    View All 386 Kona (Kailua Bay) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Kona (Kailua Bay) Cruise Port Review
  • Maui
    Maui: Rental car shuttles are on the pier and the ride to the airport (our driver showed us the back road) took about 5 minutes. Parking overnight is just a short walk to the ship and is free so we rented the car for two days.

    We DID NOT take the road to Hana. Tried that the first trip and found it to be a waste of time. All day trip with too much traffic. Instead, we visited Iao Valley and the needle. Short drive from the ship on route 32. After Iao Valley, we headed west along route 30 to Lahina. Spent a few hours in this small “whaling” village and make sure we had our picture taken under the Banyon Tree which covers an entire block.

    We left Lahina and toured the resorts in Kaanapali and Kapalau before heading back to the ship.

    On day 2, we visited the Maui Ocean Center Aquarium. We spent about two hours at the aquarium before heading to the beaches in Wailea.
    View All 618 Maui Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Maui Cruise Port Review