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I had read other reviews, so I knew what to expect. This is not so much a traditional "cruise" as a floating hotel that moved every other night. Because of this, things regular cruisers expect such as lots of shipboard activities during the day just aren't there. Heard a lot of people grousing about no casino too. If you're aboard POA during the day looking for something to do you got on the wrong ship. That said, we found service and food to be excellent except for terrible service once at Cadillac. We had the UDP, so ate at specialty restaurants 4 nights. We stayed at Marriott Waikiki a couple days before...a good choice because if you purchase through NCL you check in for the cruise at the hotel when you arrive, and you get leis. Embarkation day you leave your tagged luggage in your room, get on the NCL bus, and your luggage appears in your stateroom later. Check in at the port was then a breeze (priority because of Marriott). The entertainment was good but not as great as some NCL shows (again, most passengers were worn out and crowds were small...on the plus side, don't need to line up for good seats). Staterooms are smaller than usual, but we spent less than an hour a day awake in the cabin and went to sleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow. We rented a car in every port except Kona; there we took a tour with a taxi we found on the pier because it cost less than car rental + taxi to airport to pickup and return (no rental shuttle for Avis here, don't know about others). And the ports were the real reason for the cruise! Iao Valley, Old Lahina Luau and Four Winds II snorkel on Maui, Volcanoes National Park and Macadamia nuts in Hilo, coffee plantation, Painted Church and farmers' market in Kona, then Waimea Canyon (amazing) on Kauai. Was it a great cruise? Not great, but pretty good. Was it a great VACATION? One of our best ever. Lots and lots of time to see Hawaii. If you just want a great ship try Breakaway or Getaway instead.

If you go with proper expectations it'll be great!

Pride of America Cruise Review by DwayneG

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2015
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Large Balcony
I had read other reviews, so I knew what to expect. This is not so much a traditional "cruise" as a floating hotel that moved every other night. Because of this, things regular cruisers expect such as lots of shipboard activities during the day just aren't there. Heard a lot of people grousing about no casino too. If you're aboard POA during the day looking for something to do you got on the wrong ship. That said, we found service and food to be excellent except for terrible service once at Cadillac. We had the UDP, so ate at specialty restaurants 4 nights.

We stayed at Marriott Waikiki a couple days before...a good choice because if you purchase through NCL you check in for the cruise at the hotel when you arrive, and you get leis. Embarkation day you leave your tagged luggage in your room, get on the NCL bus, and your luggage appears in your stateroom later. Check in at the port was then a breeze (priority because of Marriott). The entertainment was good but not as great as some NCL shows (again, most passengers were worn out and crowds were small...on the plus side, don't need to line up for good seats). Staterooms are smaller than usual, but we spent less than an hour a day awake in the cabin and went to sleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow.

We rented a car in every port except Kona; there we took a tour with a taxi we found on the pier because it cost less than car rental + taxi to airport to pickup and return (no rental shuttle for Avis here, don't know about others). And the ports were the real reason for the cruise! Iao Valley, Old Lahina Luau and Four Winds II snorkel on Maui, Volcanoes National Park and Macadamia nuts in Hilo, coffee plantation, Painted Church and farmers' market in Kona, then Waimea Canyon (amazing) on Kauai.

Was it a great cruise? Not great, but pretty good. Was it a great VACATION? One of our best ever. Lots and lots of time to see Hawaii. If you just want a great ship try Breakaway or Getaway instead.
DwayneG’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Large Balcony
Cabin B6 8030
Smaller than usual, especially when couch was converted. But clean and livable. The large balcony was nice to watch sailaway.
Deck 12 Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews