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In short, we wanted to visit several of the islands without having to spend all of our time in airports, or packing and unpacking. This cruise filled that bill, but things like the ships food did not meet any kind of cruise expectations. We did extend the cruise with the NCL three day pre-cruise tour of Oahu, which was worthwhile. TIPS- Bring some cheap refillable water bottles for your shore excursions. NCL does not allow any bottled water, soda, beer, or empty water bottles to be brought on board ship. Price for bottled water on the ship is $3.95 for a 12 oz bottle. If you are flying out immediately after the cruise, try to get a late evening flight. You have to be off the boat before noon anyway, and we caught the first shuttle to the airport (about 8 am), rented a car, and spent the day seeing things like the North Shore, and Punchbowl Cemetary. There is value in booking your shore excursions through NCL. The wife fell in the surf on the Road to Hana excursion and hurt her wrist. We visited the ships doctor that evening (normally $149 for an office visit) for a checkout. We were told that since the shore excursion was booked through NCL we were covered by their insurance. No charge for the office visit. We had to go ashore for x-rays, and NCL is supposed to pick up whatever costs our insurance company does not cover. If you arriving a day early, NCL does not provide any airport to hotel shuttles. Use a shuttle service like King Airport Shuttle. Cheaper than a taxi, excellent service, and you can arrange for them to provide a lei greeting. If you still need some souvenirs when you get to Kona, take the K-Mart shuttle. They actually have a fairly nice souvenir area with good prices. Shuttle is free, and there is a mall next door with a number of stores. Ask the driver how to get a free shopping bag at K-Mart. GOOD THINGS The ship serves as a floating hotel/transfer service. No long airport waits or daily repacking if you want to see multiple islands....Cabin was small but clean....Arrivals and departures were on time....Check in at the dock was quick and easy...Captain made sure we could see lava flow when we went by at night. Very neat to see... BAD THINGS Communication is terrible...Web page needs to be redone. Hard to find info, and we booked and paid for two shore excursions on same day based on web page info. Night before excursions got a call saying that there was not enough time between excursions and we needed to choose which we wanted to go on. Why wasn't this caught when we booked on web site?...Pre-cruise info said we needed to check in with NCL rep at hotel. NCL didn't know anything about any check in. Rep was worthless. Asked her about leaving flowers at Arizona memorial and was given totally incorrect info....Getting ready for first day of tours on Oahu, we had to find our tour bus driver in hotel lobby. No organization...Last day on ship, we were to be out of cabin by 8:30 and wanted to catch first shuttle at 8:00 but my diabetic sister needed breakfast. Daily newsletter said breakfast buffet started at 6:00 or 6:30 depending on which page you read, TV said 6:15. Buffet opened at 6:15. Got off ship, and no directions about where to meet shuttle. Had to ask a security guard where to catch shuttle. Food was bad. If this were a local restaurant one visit would be enough. Had breakfast at the buffet (menu did not change). Only one meat available for omelets, and the 'eggs' were a disgusting looking slurry with solids attached around the edges of the container. One day had breakfast at Skyline. Same omelet, but with hash browns. Three little hockey pucks that together were smaller than McDonalds hash browns. McD hash browns would have been a distinct improvement. Had supper at Liberty typically. Wife had an unbelievably tough NY strip steak cooked medium. My prime rib had no taste. Portions were often small, and typical quality was on par with Dennys. Diabetic sister had and 11:30 shore excursion and needed to eat lunch before leaving. Buffet closed for breakfast at 9:30, and opened for lunch at 11:30. Cadillac Diner is only venue open 24 hours, but it does not serve lunch menu till 11:30!...Had a bottle of wine at Liberty cafe one evening. Roughly $10 in extra charges added to price of bottle....Late night snack? Buffet open 9 to 11, but virtually nothing there to eat except ice cream from the machine.

Good hote,l poor cruise

Pride of America Cruise Review by RonDup

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2017
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Inside
In short, we wanted to visit several of the islands without having to spend all of our time in airports, or packing and unpacking. This cruise filled that bill, but things like the ships food did not meet any kind of cruise expectations. We did extend the cruise with the NCL three day pre-cruise tour of Oahu, which was worthwhile.

TIPS-

Bring some cheap refillable water bottles for your shore excursions. NCL does not allow any bottled water, soda, beer, or empty water bottles to be brought on board ship. Price for bottled water on the ship is $3.95 for a 12 oz bottle.

If you are flying out immediately after the cruise, try to get a late evening flight. You have to be off the boat before noon anyway, and we caught the first shuttle to the airport (about 8 am), rented a car, and spent the day seeing things like the North Shore, and Punchbowl Cemetary.

There is value in booking your shore excursions through NCL. The wife fell in the surf on the Road to Hana excursion and hurt her wrist. We visited the ships doctor that evening (normally $149 for an office visit) for a checkout. We were told that since the shore excursion was booked through NCL we were covered by their insurance. No charge for the office visit. We had to go ashore for x-rays, and NCL is supposed to pick up whatever costs our insurance company does not cover.

If you arriving a day early, NCL does not provide any airport to hotel shuttles. Use a shuttle service like King Airport Shuttle. Cheaper than a taxi, excellent service, and you can arrange for them to provide a lei greeting.

If you still need some souvenirs when you get to Kona, take the K-Mart shuttle. They actually have a fairly nice souvenir area with good prices. Shuttle is free, and there is a mall next door with a number of stores. Ask the driver how to get a free shopping bag at K-Mart.

GOOD THINGS

The ship serves as a floating hotel/transfer service. No long airport waits or daily repacking if you want to see multiple islands....Cabin was small but clean....Arrivals and departures were on time....Check in at the dock was quick and easy...Captain made sure we could see lava flow when we went by at night. Very neat to see...

BAD THINGS

Communication is terrible...Web page needs to be redone. Hard to find info, and we booked and paid for two shore excursions on same day based on web page info. Night before excursions got a call saying that there was not enough time between excursions and we needed to choose which we wanted to go on. Why wasn't this caught when we booked on web site?...Pre-cruise info said we needed to check in with NCL rep at hotel. NCL didn't know anything about any check in. Rep was worthless. Asked her about leaving flowers at Arizona memorial and was given totally incorrect info....Getting ready for first day of tours on Oahu, we had to find our tour bus driver in hotel lobby. No organization...Last day on ship, we were to be out of cabin by 8:30 and wanted to catch first shuttle at 8:00 but my diabetic sister needed breakfast. Daily newsletter said breakfast buffet started at 6:00 or 6:30 depending on which page you read, TV said 6:15. Buffet opened at 6:15. Got off ship, and no directions about where to meet shuttle. Had to ask a security guard where to catch shuttle.

Food was bad. If this were a local restaurant one visit would be enough. Had breakfast at the buffet (menu did not change). Only one meat available for omelets, and the 'eggs' were a disgusting looking slurry with solids attached around the edges of the container. One day had breakfast at Skyline. Same omelet, but with hash browns. Three little hockey pucks that together were smaller than McDonalds hash browns. McD hash browns would have been a distinct improvement. Had supper at Liberty typically. Wife had an unbelievably tough NY strip steak cooked medium. My prime rib had no taste. Portions were often small, and typical quality was on par with Dennys. Diabetic sister had and 11:30 shore excursion and needed to eat lunch before leaving. Buffet closed for breakfast at 9:30, and opened for lunch at 11:30. Cadillac Diner is only venue open 24 hours, but it does not serve lunch menu till 11:30!...Had a bottle of wine at Liberty cafe one evening. Roughly $10 in extra charges added to price of bottle....Late night snack? Buffet open 9 to 11, but virtually nothing there to eat except ice cream from the machine.
RonDup’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Inside
Cabin IA 4555
Small cabin, no port hole, but we knew that when we booked. One closet door had a broken hinge, but door still worked. On-board TV had very poor selection of channels. Why can't the system be programmed to only advertise shore excursions and ports of call that are coming up, and not continually talk about places that you have already seen????
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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  • Pearl Harbor
    Part of land based tours before cruise. We had an excellent driver that knew all of the tricks to maximizing your experience. Like sitting up front in the auditorium for the movie, to be first out to the launch to see the Arizona memorial.
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  • Polynesian Cultural Center
    Again, the driver told us what to do first to get the most out of our time. It is impossible to see everything in one afternoon, you need to have a plan if you are going to get the most out of your visit.
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  • USS Arizona
    Based on our tour driver's experience, when you get to the memorial, go immediately to the memorial room to get your photos (my uncle is on the ship). Time is very limited, you need to use it wisely.
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  • Atlantis Submarine
    This is a real adventure for grade school age children. We had some in the boat with us and enjoyed hearing them marvel at the sights. We went down about 100 feet and saw several schools of fish, along with a couple of shipwrecks. Enjoyed the experience, but probably do not need to go again.
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  • Maui
    Not so good tour driver, but neat experience. Wife fell at the black sand beach when she was hit by a wave. When we got back to ship her wrist was hurting. That was when we found that if you book through NCL, you are covered by their insurance.
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