1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Pride of America
Here are the highlights and low lights of our cruise on POA departing Honolulu on 04JUL09: 1) Embarkation - We arrived at the pier around 11:15AM via taxi from our downtown Honolulu hotel. We were let off outside a gate with security and needed to carry/roll our suitcases a long way to the luggage drop off. There were no porters around - this could be quite difficult for anyone with any physical problems, heavy luggage, etc. Once we dropped off our suitcases, we walked right into the check-in area with hardly any lines, had the obligatory picture taken, checked in and had our room keys within 15 minutes. At this time we were told to stand in a line that wound around the room until the ship was open for boarding. NCL did provide coolers with water and had entertainment to keep everyone occupied. Again, there was no place to sit other than the floor, so could be a problem for older guests or guest with any physical problems. They opened up the ship for boarding at noon and we filed on and were handed our champagne with a smile. 2) 04JUL afternoon/evening on board - The only area open for food was the buffet but it was very nice and service was excellent. We headed up on deck around 1PM and, at this time, none of the staterooms were available for occupation. They announced the staterooms by deck as they were available: 1:15 - deck 12 1:45 - deck 11 2:15 - deck 10 3:00 - deck 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 3:45 - deck 9 Guess which deck we had - yup deck 9!!! This made for a long afternoon sitting around, especially for those people who had flown from the East Coast ! We headed to our room to freshen up and get our life jackets for the muster drill at 4:30 - no suitcases yet. Muster drill was well organized and they did check off each stateroom but I never saw/heard of a make up drill for those that did not attend. The only down side was for those people who had a muster station on deck on the starboard side - it was very hot with a bright sun and hardly any shade so standing in a life jacket for 30 minutes packed in amongst 50 of your new best friends was not comfortable. Check your muster station and if it is outside on the starboard side be sure and take a hat, put on sunscreen and take some water to drink. Guess where our muster station was - yup outside starboard side We headed back to our room and 2 of the suitcases were there and the other 2 showed up within 5 minutes. Unpacked and headed out to walk around the ship, have dinner and go to the pool area for the sail away party and fireworks. NCL did a great job of recognizing 4th of July with lots of decorations and patriotic songs. The ship sailed at 8PM but just went out into the bay off Waikiki and stopped so we could watch the fireworks. At 8:25 the piano bar pianist/singer sang the national anthem and then at 8:30PM a huge fireworks display started. The ship broadcast the "Honolulu radio station simucast music" over the loudpseakers. It was beautiful and enjoyed by all. 3) Stateroom - balcony cabin on port side. When we arrived in the room, bed was as a king bed so called housekeeping to request beds be made up as 2 twins. We looked around for our room steward but did not see any room stewards.....I thought this unusual because on all other cruises, the room steward comes and introduces him/herself as soon as we enter our room. They may have been unavailable due to working late on our deck to get staterooms ready. We returned to our cabin around 9:30PM and found that the beds had not been changed, in fact the room had not been "turned down" for the evening. We found our room steward a few cabins away and reminded him that we would like to have our beds changed. He indicated he had not received the request but would do his best. We went back to our cabin and enjoyed sitting out on the balcony watching the coast line. The room steward was at our cabin soon and changed the beds and freshened up the cabin. The cabin was perfect for 2 people with plenty of storage, 2 very nice robes, fridge, coffee maker, sofa, coffee table (which we stored under the desk so even more open space) and 2 reclining chairs and small table on balcony. The beds were outstanding with nice linens. The room steward was very nice and left several cute towel animals during the week. Port side balcony - you are always looking at the dock when in port but looking at Kona when anchored out in bay at Kona. You are on the wrong side of the ship for the "lava sail by" which happened around 9PM but on the "right" side of the ship for the Kauai shoreline sail which lasts for several hours and is truly gorgeous!! We had the morning sun almost every day and so was pleasant to sit out in the afternoon unless you are hoping to catch a few rays. We had to go up on deck for any sunbathing opportunities! 4) Dining - We ate most meals at the buffet and never ate in a specialty restaurant. We had one dinner in the Liberty dining room (upper dining room where "nicer" clothes are required on the 2nd night. The service was slow (I enjoy a leisurely meal but this was way past leisurely), service very uneven and the food not that great (steak was tough, lobster was overcooked, etc.) We decided that there was better variety, better quality and we could control the length of the meal in the buffet . We did have lunch in the Cadillac Diner and it was very good - talked about going back but never did..... We ordered room service breakfast a few mornings and it arrived on time and nice to have fresh brewed coffee, fresh fruit and croissants out on the balcony. We did find that the many of the food items (eggs, meat, vegetables, pizza....) in the buffet were cold but that problem appeared to be resolved as the food temperature definately improved during the cruise. 5) Shore excursions - We did not take any since we have been to Hawaii many times and so this was not the focus of our cruise - reading, relaxing was the plan! Since our cabin was on the port side, we could watch as people left and returned from the shore excursions. It appeared that NCl did an excellent job of organizing and facilitating people. We did find the following for getting off the ship on your own: 1) Maui - docked away from town and across the island from Lahaina, etc. There are no shuttles available to get to Lahina so if you did not have a car or were willing to pay for an expensive cab ride each way then you are pretty much stuck around the harbor. We did check and there is a shuttle to a local shopping mall where you can catch a bus to the other side of the island for a $1.00. When we asked at reception, he made it sound like a many change of bus, time consuming effort so we did not attempt but after talking to some crew discovered it would have been pretty easy. 2) Hilo - docked a little way out of town but free shuttles to Kmart and WalMart. We took a cab to downtown ($15.00), walked around for an hour (nice open market but otherwise a bit run down), tooked a cab to WalMart (purchased a few necessities) and then the free shuttle back to the ship. 3) Kona - docked right out in harbor and tendered in. You arrive right smack in downtown Kona so easy to walk around, play on the beach, eat lunch, etc. 4) Kauia - docked a short ways from beautiful beach, Marriott hotel, many shops and a few restaurants. It was about a 15-20 minute walk or there was a free shuttle to the shopping mall right in front of the beach. An easy way to spend the day at a beach and play in the ocean. 6) Fitness/spa - I booked a personal trainer for the week (using the money saved from no shore excursions). Jules was excellent and put together a great work out plan for me to bring home. The fitness room is well appointed and very pleasant. I had 2 massages (to compensate for the personal training) and very much enjoyed both. 7) Entertainment - the Aloha show was excellent with dancing and singing from the different South Pacific islands. Be sure and get there early as one of the dancers comes out ahead of time and his routine is very funny. The Second City comedy shows were side splitting funny - I don't know how people think so fast on their feet. 8) Disembakation - smooth and relaxing!! You could choose your departure time by choosing colored luggage tags corresponding to your desired time (7AM - 9:45AM). Our flight departed at 1PM so we chose the latest departure time. Packed our bags after returning to our cabin around 10PM and put them out in the hall (either everyone on our deck was slow or we were lucky because we did not have anyone putting luggage out late afternoon/early evening thus causing people to trip over). Woke up in the morning, had coffee and juice from room service while getting dressed, went up to the buffet around 8:30AM, enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and then headed back to the room to pick up carry ons and sit out on our balcony for the last time. They called out luggage color about 15 minutes early, walked right off the ship, found our bags easily (there were many porters available to assist with luggage this time), waked outside the building and this time the cabs, shuttles, buses, etc, were right there and so no dragging luggage. We caught a shuttle to the airport ($6.00 per person) and were off. We enjoyed the cruise and did not feel any of the minor problems were anything to get upset about - as they say "a day cruising is better than any day at work"! Please let me know if you have any questions and I will try to answer.

4ht of July on POA

Pride of America Cruise Review by basor

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2009
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
Here are the highlights and low lights of our cruise on POA departing Honolulu on 04JUL09: 1) Embarkation - We arrived at the pier around 11:15AM via taxi from our downtown Honolulu hotel. We were let off outside a gate with security and needed to carry/roll our suitcases a long way to the luggage drop off. There were no porters around - this could be quite difficult for anyone with any physical problems, heavy luggage, etc. Once we dropped off our suitcases, we walked right into the check-in area with hardly any lines, had the obligatory picture taken, checked in and had our room keys within 15 minutes. At this time we were told to stand in a line that wound around the room until the ship was open for boarding. NCL did provide coolers with water and had entertainment to keep everyone occupied. Again, there was no place to sit other than the floor, so could be a problem for older guests or guest with any physical problems. They opened up the ship for boarding at noon and we filed on and were handed our champagne with a smile. 2) 04JUL afternoon/evening on board - The only area open for food was the buffet but it was very nice and service was excellent. We headed up on deck around 1PM and, at this time, none of the staterooms were available for occupation. They announced the staterooms by deck as they were available: 1:15 - deck 12 1:45 - deck 11 2:15 - deck 10 3:00 - deck 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 3:45 - deck 9 Guess which deck we had - yup deck 9!!! This made for a long afternoon sitting around, especially for those people who had flown from the East Coast ! We headed to our room to freshen up and get our life jackets for the muster drill at 4:30 - no suitcases yet. Muster drill was well organized and they did check off each stateroom but I never saw/heard of a make up drill for those that did not attend. The only down side was for those people who had a muster station on deck on the starboard side - it was very hot with a bright sun and hardly any shade so standing in a life jacket for 30 minutes packed in amongst 50 of your new best friends was not comfortable. Check your muster station and if it is outside on the starboard side be sure and take a hat, put on sunscreen and take some water to drink. Guess where our muster station was - yup outside starboard side We headed back to our room and 2 of the suitcases were there and the other 2 showed up within 5 minutes. Unpacked and headed out to walk around the ship, have dinner and go to the pool area for the sail away party and fireworks. NCL did a great job of recognizing 4th of July with lots of decorations and patriotic songs. The ship sailed at 8PM but just went out into the bay off Waikiki and stopped so we could watch the fireworks. At 8:25 the piano bar pianist/singer sang the national anthem and then at 8:30PM a huge fireworks display started. The ship broadcast the "Honolulu radio station simucast music" over the loudpseakers. It was beautiful and enjoyed by all. 3) Stateroom - balcony cabin on port side. When we arrived in the room, bed was as a king bed so called housekeeping to request beds be made up as 2 twins. We looked around for our room steward but did not see any room stewards.....I thought this unusual because on all other cruises, the room steward comes and introduces him/herself as soon as we enter our room. They may have been unavailable due to working late on our deck to get staterooms ready. We returned to our cabin around 9:30PM and found that the beds had not been changed, in fact the room had not been "turned down" for the evening. We found our room steward a few cabins away and reminded him that we would like to have our beds changed. He indicated he had not received the request but would do his best. We went back to our cabin and enjoyed sitting out on the balcony watching the coast line. The room steward was at our cabin soon and changed the beds and freshened up the cabin. The cabin was perfect for 2 people with plenty of storage, 2 very nice robes, fridge, coffee maker, sofa, coffee table (which we stored under the desk so even more open space) and 2 reclining chairs and small table on balcony. The beds were outstanding with nice linens. The room steward was very nice and left several cute towel animals during the week. Port side balcony - you are always looking at the dock when in port but looking at Kona when anchored out in bay at Kona. You are on the wrong side of the ship for the "lava sail by" which happened around 9PM but on the "right" side of the ship for the Kauai shoreline sail which lasts for several hours and is truly gorgeous!! We had the morning sun almost every day and so was pleasant to sit out in the afternoon unless you are hoping to catch a few rays. We had to go up on deck for any sunbathing opportunities! 4) Dining - We ate most meals at the buffet and never ate in a specialty restaurant. We had one dinner in the Liberty dining room (upper dining room where "nicer" clothes are required on the 2nd night. The service was slow (I enjoy a leisurely meal but this was way past leisurely), service very uneven and the food not that great (steak was tough, lobster was overcooked, etc.) We decided that there was better variety, better quality and we could control the length of the meal in the buffet . We did have lunch in the Cadillac Diner and it was very good - talked about going back but never did..... We ordered room service breakfast a few mornings and it arrived on time and nice to have fresh brewed coffee, fresh fruit and croissants out on the balcony. We did find that the many of the food items (eggs, meat, vegetables, pizza....) in the buffet were cold but that problem appeared to be resolved as the food temperature definately improved during the cruise. 5) Shore excursions - We did not take any since we have been to Hawaii many times and so this was not the focus of our cruise - reading, relaxing was the plan! Since our cabin was on the port side, we could watch as people left and returned from the shore excursions. It appeared that NCl did an excellent job of organizing and facilitating people. We did find the following for getting off the ship on your own: 1) Maui - docked away from town and across the island from Lahaina, etc. There are no shuttles available to get to Lahina so if you did not have a car or were willing to pay for an expensive cab ride each way then you are pretty much stuck around the harbor. We did check and there is a shuttle to a local shopping mall where you can catch a bus to the other side of the island for a $1.00. When we asked at reception, he made it sound like a many change of bus, time consuming effort so we did not attempt but after talking to some crew discovered it would have been pretty easy. 2) Hilo - docked a little way out of town but free shuttles to Kmart and WalMart. We took a cab to downtown ($15.00), walked around for an hour (nice open market but otherwise a bit run down), tooked a cab to WalMart (purchased a few necessities) and then the free shuttle back to the ship. 3) Kona - docked right out in harbor and tendered in. You arrive right smack in downtown Kona so easy to walk around, play on the beach, eat lunch, etc. 4) Kauia - docked a short ways from beautiful beach, Marriott hotel, many shops and a few restaurants. It was about a 15-20 minute walk or there was a free shuttle to the shopping mall right in front of the beach. An easy way to spend the day at a beach and play in the ocean. 6) Fitness/spa - I booked a personal trainer for the week (using the money saved from no shore excursions). Jules was excellent and put together a great work out plan for me to bring home. The fitness room is well appointed and very pleasant. I had 2 massages (to compensate for the personal training) and very much enjoyed both. 7) Entertainment - the Aloha show was excellent with dancing and singing from the different South Pacific islands. Be sure and get there early as one of the dancers comes out ahead of time and his routine is very funny. The Second City comedy shows were side splitting funny - I don't know how people think so fast on their feet. 8) Disembakation - smooth and relaxing!! You could choose your departure time by choosing colored luggage tags corresponding to your desired time (7AM - 9:45AM). Our flight departed at 1PM so we chose the latest departure time. Packed our bags after returning to our cabin around 10PM and put them out in the hall (either everyone on our deck was slow or we were lucky because we did not have anyone putting luggage out late afternoon/early evening thus causing people to trip over). Woke up in the morning, had coffee and juice from room service while getting dressed, went up to the buffet around 8:30AM, enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and then headed back to the room to pick up carry ons and sit out on our balcony for the last time. They called out luggage color about 15 minutes early, walked right off the ship, found our bags easily (there were many porters available to assist with luggage this time), waked outside the building and this time the cabs, shuttles, buses, etc, were right there and so no dragging luggage. We caught a shuttle to the airport ($6.00 per person) and were off. We enjoyed the cruise and did not feel any of the minor problems were anything to get upset about - as they say "a day cruising is better than any day at work"! Please let me know if you have any questions and I will try to answer.
basor’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Rates
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian (NCL) Pride of America price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.