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I just got back yesterday (January 16th) from my Hawaiian cruise. This was my 13th overall cruise, and my 4th with NCL. The cruise director was so-so. Definitely in the bottom 2 cruise directors I have seen on board a ship. The entertainment ranged from amazing to mediocre. My mother and I absolutely LOVED Oh, What A Night, the Frankie Valli tribute on board! *VERY* talented men, and the two members I met in person, Randall and Rick, were such sweet gentlemen! The magician was so-so - I was stunned to hear that he had performed at Caesar's Palace previously! The singers and dancers were standard cruise ship performers - good, but not great. The Polynesian dancers were so much fun and so funny! The comedian Michael Sommerville, who has been on Letterman, VH1, and the Apprentice made me laugh! He wasn't the best comedian I have ever seen, but his comedy was very down to Earth and relatable! Now for the food, and I will give two separate opinions of this. My mother said "The food was just bad - I never liked cruise ship food to begin with, but this was just horrible." She disliked the limited desserts in the main dining rooms and the absence of nicer fare, such as bananas foster or baked Alaska. My personal opinion is that the buffet is pretty standard cruise ship fare - hit or miss, depending on what you get and who makes it. I DID enjoy the eggs Benedict and Florentine every day! I had not seen that on any other NCL ships, only on Princess, so that was a nice surprise! The Liberty and Skyline restaurants have beautiful decor and the staff there were so friendly and wonderful to us! The actual food was also hit or miss, though I found myself enjoying most of the entrees! The lemon pepper tilapia was superb, though I'm a tilapia junkie. Many people do not care for it. The Cadillac Diner (AKA Blue Lagoon on other Norwegian ships) has wonderful cheesecake and fish & chips! We stayed in an oceanview stateroom. My mother commented that it seemed a slight bit smaller than other staterooms, though this could be due to the fact that, instead of two twin sized beds and two bunks, we had a queen sized bed and two bunks! Much nicer for my parents, I'm sure! The shore excursions were pretty nice overall, with only one lousy one. We received a $50 credit for that one. The gift shops were also an improvement. Instead of just being randomly placed on the side of a hallway, NCL makes walking through the shop area an *experience,* turning it into a cute little promenade with adorable awnings and signs. The atrium was stunning, with a United States of America/White House theme! The John Adams coffee bar was nice, and the server was friendly and easy to talk to. I also enjoyed the service at the Napa wine bar and the Gold Rush saloon, where I sang karaoke regularly! Embarkation took a while, though not terribly long. Disembarkation was a breeze, faster than I remember it being in the past! It should also be noted that they had an 18-20 year old meet up, which was nice! I am currently 20, so I enjoyed the fact that I had other people around my age I could talk to, though most of the passengers on board this cruise were older - middle aged-elderly, as well as a few younger honeymooners. I even befriended a few of the cruise staff, as I tended to go off and explore the ship on my own. This ship isn't a glitzy Vegas-style stunner like we've come to expect from Carnival, but it's everything NCL is known for - glamour and elegance, without being overdone, more akin to something Princess or Celebrity would offer. I, for one, was pleased with the decor and the ambiance of the vessel. NCL is my favourite cruise line overall - my parents and I LOVE the Freestyle Cruising aspect, which is unique to this line and no other. We have started going on *only* NCL for that reason!

Better than Some NCL Ships!

Pride of America Cruise Review by GinaAllegraXO

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2016
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview Picture Window
I just got back yesterday (January 16th) from my Hawaiian cruise. This was my 13th overall cruise, and my 4th with NCL. The cruise director was so-so. Definitely in the bottom 2 cruise directors I have seen on board a ship. The entertainment ranged from amazing to mediocre. My mother and I absolutely LOVED Oh, What A Night, the Frankie Valli tribute on board! *VERY* talented men, and the two members I met in person, Randall and Rick, were such sweet gentlemen! The magician was so-so - I was stunned to hear that he had performed at Caesar's Palace previously! The singers and dancers were standard cruise ship performers - good, but not great. The Polynesian dancers were so much fun and so funny! The comedian Michael Sommerville, who has been on Letterman, VH1, and the Apprentice made me laugh! He wasn't the best comedian I have ever seen, but his comedy was very down to Earth and relatable!

Now for the food, and I will give two separate opinions of this. My mother said "The food was just bad - I never liked cruise ship food to begin with, but this was just horrible." She disliked the limited desserts in the main dining rooms and the absence of nicer fare, such as bananas foster or baked Alaska. My personal opinion is that the buffet is pretty standard cruise ship fare - hit or miss, depending on what you get and who makes it. I DID enjoy the eggs Benedict and Florentine every day! I had not seen that on any other NCL ships, only on Princess, so that was a nice surprise! The Liberty and Skyline restaurants have beautiful decor and the staff there were so friendly and wonderful to us! The actual food was also hit or miss, though I found myself enjoying most of the entrees! The lemon pepper tilapia was superb, though I'm a tilapia junkie. Many people do not care for it. The Cadillac Diner (AKA Blue Lagoon on other Norwegian ships) has wonderful cheesecake and fish & chips!

We stayed in an oceanview stateroom. My mother commented that it seemed a slight bit smaller than other staterooms, though this could be due to the fact that, instead of two twin sized beds and two bunks, we had a queen sized bed and two bunks! Much nicer for my parents, I'm sure! The shore excursions were pretty nice overall, with only one lousy one. We received a $50 credit for that one. The gift shops were also an improvement. Instead of just being randomly placed on the side of a hallway, NCL makes walking through the shop area an *experience,* turning it into a cute little promenade with adorable awnings and signs. The atrium was stunning, with a United States of America/White House theme! The John Adams coffee bar was nice, and the server was friendly and easy to talk to. I also enjoyed the service at the Napa wine bar and the Gold Rush saloon, where I sang karaoke regularly! Embarkation took a while, though not terribly long. Disembarkation was a breeze, faster than I remember it being in the past!

It should also be noted that they had an 18-20 year old meet up, which was nice! I am currently 20, so I enjoyed the fact that I had other people around my age I could talk to, though most of the passengers on board this cruise were older - middle aged-elderly, as well as a few younger honeymooners. I even befriended a few of the cruise staff, as I tended to go off and explore the ship on my own. This ship isn't a glitzy Vegas-style stunner like we've come to expect from Carnival, but it's everything NCL is known for - glamour and elegance, without being overdone, more akin to something Princess or Celebrity would offer. I, for one, was pleased with the decor and the ambiance of the vessel. NCL is my favourite cruise line overall - my parents and I LOVE the Freestyle Cruising aspect, which is unique to this line and no other. We have started going on *only* NCL for that reason!
GinaAllegraXO’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Oceanview Picture Window
Cabin OC 4030
The cabin may or may not have been a little smaller than a typical stateroom, but the fact that there was a queen sized bed instead of 2 twin beds more than made up for it!
Deck 4 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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    This excursion was so-so. The bus driver/tour guide seemed to be more interested in stopping at gift shops than the actual destination. When we got to the Canyon, I could tell that it's quite beautiful, but 75% of it was covered by fog/vog.
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  • Lahaina Walking Tour
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