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Our family consisted of myself, husband and 23 year old daughter. Visiting Hawaii has been on our bucket list for over ten years. To say, I have been planning for this trip is an understatement- so our expectations for this trip were really high. I am pleased to say that even with high expectations, it exceeded it in every way! First we arrived in Honolulu on Thursday before our departure on Saturday, which worked out great. We spent Thursday getting a rental settled into our hotel, Hyatt Place, Waikiki Beach and going out to dinner. Friday was spent taking surfing lessons on the North Shore, the Iolani palace downtown. Saturday we spent at Pearl Harbor before board the ship around 3 pm. Boarding was a complete breeze, it appeared that most had already boarded so we went through the process in about 15 minutes. The advice we received to go a bit later was perfect. We went to our cabin, dropped off our bags and went to explore the ship. We booked a balcony room. It has been updated with new furnishings and tv. Yes, it was smaller than some of the balcony rooms we have stayed in before, but we had plenty of storage space for all of our stuff, which was a lot. We did not expect to stay in the room other than to sleep. Having the balcony helped to make the cabin seem larger. We were on the 10th floor which was perfect, we were one floor down from the pools and buffet, 4 floors above the dining rooms. We were a bit aft but was not an issue. My only complaint is that the shower is a bit small, but you are on a ship! Dining was fine. We choose to use the buffets and dining rooms. We did not pay for any of the extra dining options. We do not go on a cruise for the food, but only utilize the food to keep us going. We ate breakfast in the buffet most mornings. It was fine. On this cruise people are typically up early, quick bite in the buffet and off the ship to explore. Navigating the buffet is a bit of a challenge, but not a big deal. Two mornings we chose the sit down dining room option. We found it to be really nice and enjoyable. The service in the dining room was exceptionable! All of the wait staff were really nice and so helpful. Some people have complained about the service on this ship, but for the life of me, I don't see what they are complaining about- everyone at all aspects of the ship could not have been nicer. There were several nice touches often such as popsicles out by the pool, cool cloths on hot days getting back on the ship, extra snacks on long excursion days. As for entertainment, there were several things offered that we would have loved to participated, but we spent as much time as possible in the ports. We did see four of the shows. First, we have been on several cruises, seen some great shows and some not so great. The shows on this ship have some of the best talent we have seen! The 'Oh What A Night Tribute Show' and the Vegas Review show were terrific. All of the singers/dancers were terrific. We went to a couple of game show type things we had seen before, but they were really funny. The staff was constantly working to get people involved in the various games, etc. They were always 'on'. The bands by the pool were terrific too. We could do this cruise again and do completely different activities. The ports were great. We did not utilize any of the ship excursions, because I had booked all of those independently. We enjoy unique experiences and do not want to be on excursions with large groups. We did rent a car for 3 different days and were glad we had our independence to see and do. In Maui we booked a car, visited a Lavender Farm and the town of Lahaina. If you are there on Sunday, there was a great outdoor art show by local artist. We purchased 2 reasonably priced cool pieces. Proceeds benefit children's art camps. The town is a great place to walk around, shop, etc. (Our daughter gets car sick easily, so the road to Hana was out of the question for us) The next day we booked a snorkeling outing with Maui snorkel Charters. They are a small family owned company. Great experience! You do have to drive to the dock where the boat is located. They have a max group of no more than 15, but we had about 12 on our trip. Tuesday we booked a trip to Volcanoes National Park through Lavaland. Our guide was Vince. He was so nice and very knowledgeable. Our van was our family of 3, another family of 4 and a couple. The pace was brisk, but very doable. Please note, you do a good bit of walking and getting in and out of the van. He took us on some very typical places where everybody else goes and a few where we were the only ones there. The lunch was furnished and was a tasty sandwich. We were so impressed with his knowledge.We would highly recommend this guide and outing! They also meet you at the port- so easy! For Kailua-Kona- we booked tour through Island Family Tours. We were met at the dock by the guide and walked to our van This turned out better than expected! The description on the website needs to be a bit more detailed. We thought we were going to be snorkeling most of the day with a stop for lunch and the painted church- it was so much more!! We made a stop at an organic coffee farm, an organic bee farm, in addition to the snorkeling and painted church. On this tour in our van it was the three of us and one other couple. Kevin was our guide. It felt like we were on a private tour of this side of the big island. He was open to suggestions and when we didn't have an idea, he always had a great option. It was a fun day! Our favorite island was Kaua'i. Pictures do not display the beauty of this island. We splurged and booked a helicopter excursion through Island Helicopter tours. They were so nice! Picked us at the port and drove us to the airport which was a quick 5-8 minute drive. Our pilot was knowledgeable, but didn't talk the whole time which allowed us time to enjoy the amazing scenery in a peace. There was a really cute sound track playing in our headsets which were nice. Our family of three was on the helicopter with another family of three which worked out great. Afterwards we drove across the island to the town of Hanalei (remember the movie- Pete's Dragon?). On Friday, we just did a quick visit to town and spent the rest of the day on the ship at the pool. We had a busy week so it was time to start winding down. Overall we had an amazing week. Taking the cruise was one of the best decisions we made, not having to pack and repack was great. Everyone on the ship was exceptionally nice. We don't go on a cruise looking for something to complain about- we go to have a great time which we did. We highly recommend this cruise- you will not regret it!!

Just go- do it! You will not regret it!!

Pride of America Cruise Review by AUTigergirl88

47 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2016
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
Our family consisted of myself, husband and 23 year old daughter. Visiting Hawaii has been on our bucket list for over ten years. To say, I have been planning for this trip is an understatement- so our expectations for this trip were really high. I am pleased to say that even with high expectations, it exceeded it in every way!

First we arrived in Honolulu on Thursday before our departure on Saturday, which worked out great. We spent Thursday getting a rental settled into our hotel, Hyatt Place, Waikiki Beach and going out to dinner. Friday was spent taking surfing lessons on the North Shore, the Iolani palace downtown. Saturday we spent at Pearl Harbor before board the ship around 3 pm.

Boarding was a complete breeze, it appeared that most had already boarded so we went through the process in about 15 minutes. The advice we received to go a bit later was perfect. We went to our cabin, dropped off our bags and went to explore the ship. We booked a balcony room. It has been updated with new furnishings and tv. Yes, it was smaller than some of the balcony rooms we have stayed in before, but we had plenty of storage space for all of our stuff, which was a lot. We did not expect to stay in the room other than to sleep. Having the balcony helped to make the cabin seem larger. We were on the 10th floor which was perfect, we were one floor down from the pools and buffet, 4 floors above the dining rooms. We were a bit aft but was not an issue. My only complaint is that the shower is a bit small, but you are on a ship!

Dining was fine. We choose to use the buffets and dining rooms. We did not pay for any of the extra dining options. We do not go on a cruise for the food, but only utilize the food to keep us going. We ate breakfast in the buffet most mornings. It was fine. On this cruise people are typically up early, quick bite in the buffet and off the ship to explore. Navigating the buffet is a bit of a challenge, but not a big deal. Two mornings we chose the sit down dining room option. We found it to be really nice and enjoyable. The service in the dining room was exceptionable! All of the wait staff were really nice and so helpful. Some people have complained about the service on this ship, but for the life of me, I don't see what they are complaining about- everyone at all aspects of the ship could not have been nicer. There were several nice touches often such as popsicles out by the pool, cool cloths on hot days getting back on the ship, extra snacks on long excursion days.

As for entertainment, there were several things offered that we would have loved to participated, but we spent as much time as possible in the ports. We did see four of the shows. First, we have been on several cruises, seen some great shows and some not so great. The shows on this ship have some of the best talent we have seen! The 'Oh What A Night Tribute Show' and the Vegas Review show were terrific. All of the singers/dancers were terrific. We went to a couple of game show type things we had seen before, but they were really funny. The staff was constantly working to get people involved in the various games, etc. They were always 'on'. The bands by the pool were terrific too. We could do this cruise again and do completely different activities.

The ports were great. We did not utilize any of the ship excursions, because I had booked all of those independently. We enjoy unique experiences and do not want to be on excursions with large groups. We did rent a car for 3 different days and were glad we had our independence to see and do. In Maui we booked a car, visited a Lavender Farm and the town of Lahaina. If you are there on Sunday, there was a great outdoor art show by local artist. We purchased 2 reasonably priced cool pieces. Proceeds benefit children's art camps. The town is a great place to walk around, shop, etc. (Our daughter gets car sick easily, so the road to Hana was out of the question for us) The next day we booked a snorkeling outing with Maui snorkel Charters. They are a small family owned company. Great experience! You do have to drive to the dock where the boat is located. They have a max group of no more than 15, but we had about 12 on our trip.

Tuesday we booked a trip to Volcanoes National Park through Lavaland. Our guide was Vince. He was so nice and very knowledgeable. Our van was our family of 3, another family of 4 and a couple. The pace was brisk, but very doable. Please note, you do a good bit of walking and getting in and out of the van. He took us on some very typical places where everybody else goes and a few where we were the only ones there. The lunch was furnished and was a tasty sandwich. We were so impressed with his knowledge.We would highly recommend this guide and outing! They also meet you at the port- so easy!

For Kailua-Kona- we booked tour through Island Family Tours. We were met at the dock by the guide and walked to our van This turned out better than expected! The description on the website needs to be a bit more detailed. We thought we were going to be snorkeling most of the day with a stop for lunch and the painted church- it was so much more!! We made a stop at an organic coffee farm, an organic bee farm, in addition to the snorkeling and painted church. On this tour in our van it was the three of us and one other couple. Kevin was our guide. It felt like we were on a private tour of this side of the big island. He was open to suggestions and when we didn't have an idea, he always had a great option. It was a fun day!

Our favorite island was Kaua'i. Pictures do not display the beauty of this island. We splurged and booked a helicopter excursion through Island Helicopter tours. They were so nice! Picked us at the port and drove us to the airport which was a quick 5-8 minute drive. Our pilot was knowledgeable, but didn't talk the whole time which allowed us time to enjoy the amazing scenery in a peace. There was a really cute sound track playing in our headsets which were nice. Our family of three was on the helicopter with another family of three which worked out great. Afterwards we drove across the island to the town of Hanalei (remember the movie- Pete's Dragon?).

On Friday, we just did a quick visit to town and spent the rest of the day on the ship at the pool. We had a busy week so it was time to start winding down.

Overall we had an amazing week. Taking the cruise was one of the best decisions we made, not having to pack and repack was great. Everyone on the ship was exceptionally nice. We don't go on a cruise looking for something to complain about- we go to have a great time which we did. We highly recommend this cruise- you will not regret it!!
AUTigergirl88’s Full Rating Summary
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