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My wife and I were going on a vacation to Hawaii and my wife wanted to see all of the major islands (no children). Our choice was to pack up every couple of days and arrange flights between islands along with rental cars, or take a cruise around the Hawaiian islands. We found only one cruise that originates in Hawaii and goes to all of the major Hawaiian Islands, the NCL Pride of America. You depart and arrive back to Honolulu. The itinerary is great. Two days in Maui with an overnight, one day in Hilo, one Day in Kona, and two days in Kauai with an overnight. The ship only sails at night so there are no full days at sea. As this cruise is a 100% American cruise and never leaves US waters, there is no casino and no bingo (for money). We took the cruise to see all of the islands, and were not disappointed! The excursions from the cruise ship were excellent. We only needed to use a tender from one port. All the others, we docked on shore. The cabin was very small, especially by the new cruise ship standards. The shower was barely big enough to turn around in! The one thing that caught our attention was that the crew were almost all 100% American Citizens or resided in the US. This was quite different than all of the other cruises that we have been on, as the crew on those ships was mostly international and had almost no crew from the US. On all other cruises, our room steward introduced him/herself as soon as possible and made themselves available to us. On this cruise, even after 7 days, we never met or knew the name of our room steward. Just not as hospitable as other cruises we have been on. I was quite surprised at the main dining rooms. These have typically been no charge dining facilities. Not so on this cruise. If you wanted something special on the menu, even in the main dining rooms, there was a charge. Now don't get me wrong, you can eat for no charge in the main dining rooms, but the better entrees are all for purchase! On all other cruises, there has always been an evening where we had a Lobster Tail. Not on this cruise. That is a for purchase option. As far as entertainment in the evening, this was great. The theater was more than adequate to hold audiences at 7 pm and 9 pm. We went only to the 7 pm shows so can not talk about the later night shows. There was a magician who was excellent as well as a comedian, and of course, the variety shows put on by the cruise company. All were fantastic. As we were most interested in visiting the islands, the service issues we had did not affect the way that we felt about the experience. It was really a great way to see all of the islands!

Great way to visit the Hawaiian Islands

Pride of America Cruise Review by jcvhcv

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2016
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
My wife and I were going on a vacation to Hawaii and my wife wanted to see all of the major islands (no children). Our choice was to pack up every couple of days and arrange flights between islands along with rental cars, or take a cruise around the Hawaiian islands. We found only one cruise that originates in Hawaii and goes to all of the major Hawaiian Islands, the NCL Pride of America. You depart and arrive back to Honolulu. The itinerary is great. Two days in Maui with an overnight, one day in Hilo, one Day in Kona, and two days in Kauai with an overnight. The ship only sails at night so there are no full days at sea. As this cruise is a 100% American cruise and never leaves US waters, there is no casino and no bingo (for money).

We took the cruise to see all of the islands, and were not disappointed! The excursions from the cruise ship were excellent. We only needed to use a tender from one port. All the others, we docked on shore. The cabin was very small, especially by the new cruise ship standards. The shower was barely big enough to turn around in! The one thing that caught our attention was that the crew were almost all 100% American Citizens or resided in the US. This was quite different than all of the other cruises that we have been on, as the crew on those ships was mostly international and had almost no crew from the US. On all other cruises, our room steward introduced him/herself as soon as possible and made themselves available to us. On this cruise, even after 7 days, we never met or knew the name of our room steward. Just not as hospitable as other cruises we have been on.

I was quite surprised at the main dining rooms. These have typically been no charge dining facilities. Not so on this cruise. If you wanted something special on the menu, even in the main dining rooms, there was a charge. Now don't get me wrong, you can eat for no charge in the main dining rooms, but the better entrees are all for purchase! On all other cruises, there has always been an evening where we had a Lobster Tail. Not on this cruise. That is a for purchase option. As far as entertainment in the evening, this was great. The theater was more than adequate to hold audiences at 7 pm and 9 pm. We went only to the 7 pm shows so can not talk about the later night shows. There was a magician who was excellent as well as a comedian, and of course, the variety shows put on by the cruise company. All were fantastic. As we were most interested in visiting the islands, the service issues we had did not affect the way that we felt about the experience. It was really a great way to see all of the islands!
jcvhcv’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BF
Cabin is small by new cruise ship standards. King bed was adequate as was the sofa. The flat screen TV is at an angle to the bed and makes it difficult for viewing with someone walking around on that side of the bed. Wish they would have put the flat screen tv in the wall in front of the bed! The balcony was adequate for everyday needs. There was barely enough shelf/drawer space for two people. My wife spent the greater part of the cruise using her luggage as her drawer space. We never met our room steward. We would recommend calling housekeeping to get to know the name of your room steward, just in case you need him/her.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Volcano National Park & Hilo Waterfall Tour
    Volcano National Park is a must see. Walking through a Lava Tube was quite an experience. If you expect to see flowing lava, you will disappointed. You do not get to see this. What you will see is lava flows from years ago. It is really something to see. If you want to see a lava flow, you can see it from the starboard side of the ship on the evening when leaving Kona. Bring a tripod if you want to take photos!!!
    View All 114 Volcano National Park & Hilo Waterfall Tour Reviews
  • USS Arizona
    This tour was part of our debarkation on day 7. This excursion bus took us to our hotel at the end of the day. The visit to Pearl Harbor included a guided tour of the USS Missouri as well as a visit to the USS Arizona Memorial. The driver arranged all of the tickets and arranged the day so that we maximized what we could see, including a tour of the city. The tickets to the USS Arizona have set times that can not be changed. If you miss your time, you do not get to see the memorial! The movie that you see before taking the transfer boat to the memorial is excellent and very emotional. This is a must see when visiting Honolulu.
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  • Luau
    This Luau was at the end of a full day of sightseeing. The food at the Luau is very good. There is a show on a small stage in the middle of the dining area. The tables are round and several seats have their backs to the stage, so if you want a good seat facing the stage, try to get there early.
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  • Waimea Canyon
    This visit was part of an all day excursion. The road to the canyon is very dangerous with many hairpin turns. Make sure that your driver is experienced going to this location! The view of the canyon is breath-taking. It was a little foggy on the day that we were there but it was still well worth the visit.
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  • Culinary Tour
    This was probably our favorite excursion of the week. Kona Joe's is a beautifully located Kona coffee plantation in Kona. The coffee and tour are excellent. The view of the Pacific is breath-taking. The tour of the Original Hawaiian Chocolate factory is excellent. The owner, Bob, gives the tour and shows you Cocoa Pods growing on the Cocoa Trees. He also opens a pod and shows you the seeds inside the Pod. The Chocolate is really good too!
    View All 10 Culinary Tour Reviews
  • Road to Hana
    We took the Deluxe Road to Hana Excursion, small mini bus. Excellent scenery, however, the bus really can not stop on the road for photos, so most of your photos are taken through dirty windows. There are several places where stops are made that have parking facilities.
    View All 95 Road to Hana Reviews