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I liked the idea of visiting four Hawaiian islands in seven days and cruising at night. Apparently Norwegian is the only cruise line that currently does this. Having a monopoly may help explain a lot. Firstly, I want to state that this is only my second cruise, so I only have one other cruise line to compare Norwegian to, and this is what my comments are based on. Cruising from island to island at night is great. The sound of the water and the rocking of the ship makes for a wonderful night's sleep. The rooms are clean and our room steward was fantastic. Most of the staff are very friendly and helpful, and the ship has most of the amenities that the other cruise ship offered, but less activities during the day, which is to be expected, since the vast majority of folks (including us) spend their day exploring the islands. But compared to our Alaskan cruise, it became obvious that not all cruise lines are created equal. The ship layout is less than desirable. For example, on some decks you can't get from one end to the other without going outside, there is only a couple of elevators that go directly to the third deck, which is where the access to docks are most of the time, etc. The food service is not nearly as good as our Alaskan cruise. The buffet is smaller, so there is much less variety and sometimes it is very difficult to get a seat during peak times. Food quality is spotty; for example the prime rib was cooked well done, which made it tough, the brisket was cooked medium, which made it very tough, etc. I would be nice if the cooks would know how to properly prepare the food they're serving. Also, no food is available during specific times, which means you have to eat on the ship's schedule, not your own. They seemed to try and "nickel and dime" us more that usual by charging for most things other cruise ships provided at no cost (things other than alcohol, which I understand). Not as many activities offered early morning or later in the evening when most people are on board. Lastly the services provided by staff are inconsistent. For example, the person in charge of handing out tickets for taking a life boat to shore in Kona (the tindering process, which itself was a horrible experience compared to the process on our Alaska Cruise) was arrogant, rude and very argumentative. I can't understand why this person would ever be allowed to interact with passengers at any level. On the other hand, the ship's medical staff was wonderful, the service desk was very friendly and helpful... again, inconsistent. I would still recommend gong on this cruise to the Hawaiian islands, because it 's a great way to see several islands in one week. I highly recommend getting a balcony, because of the great weather and it's nice to hear the ocean at night while cruising. But I'd avoid the 10th floor because the supports of the 11th floor restrict your view, and there is a lot of noise from the buffet above. Also, the night at port in Kauai is VERY noisy (all night long) so don't expect to get a much sleep on the second to last night. But all in all, I wan't impressed with Norwegian cruise lines. Maybe having a monopoly has something to do with it? When we take another cruise, we'll be looking at another cruise line, probably the one we used for our Alaskan trip.

Hawaii was Fantastic, Cruise was Just OK

Pride of America Cruise Review by Mike at SB

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2017
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
I liked the idea of visiting four Hawaiian islands in seven days and cruising at night. Apparently Norwegian is the only cruise line that currently does this. Having a monopoly may help explain a lot.

Firstly, I want to state that this is only my second cruise, so I only have one other cruise line to compare Norwegian to, and this is what my comments are based on. Cruising from island to island at night is great. The sound of the water and the rocking of the ship makes for a wonderful night's sleep. The rooms are clean and our room steward was fantastic. Most of the staff are very friendly and helpful, and the ship has most of the amenities that the other cruise ship offered, but less activities during the day, which is to be expected, since the vast majority of folks (including us) spend their day exploring the islands.

But compared to our Alaskan cruise, it became obvious that not all cruise lines are created equal. The ship layout is less than desirable. For example, on some decks you can't get from one end to the other without going outside, there is only a couple of elevators that go directly to the third deck, which is where the access to docks are most of the time, etc. The food service is not nearly as good as our Alaskan cruise. The buffet is smaller, so there is much less variety and sometimes it is very difficult to get a seat during peak times. Food quality is spotty; for example the prime rib was cooked well done, which made it tough, the brisket was cooked medium, which made it very tough, etc. I would be nice if the cooks would know how to properly prepare the food they're serving. Also, no food is available during specific times, which means you have to eat on the ship's schedule, not your own. They seemed to try and "nickel and dime" us more that usual by charging for most things other cruise ships provided at no cost (things other than alcohol, which I understand). Not as many activities offered early morning or later in the evening when most people are on board.

Lastly the services provided by staff are inconsistent. For example, the person in charge of handing out tickets for taking a life boat to shore in Kona (the tindering process, which itself was a horrible experience compared to the process on our Alaska Cruise) was arrogant, rude and very argumentative. I can't understand why this person would ever be allowed to interact with passengers at any level. On the other hand, the ship's medical staff was wonderful, the service desk was very friendly and helpful... again, inconsistent.

I would still recommend gong on this cruise to the Hawaiian islands, because it 's a great way to see several islands in one week. I highly recommend getting a balcony, because of the great weather and it's nice to hear the ocean at night while cruising. But I'd avoid the 10th floor because the supports of the 11th floor restrict your view, and there is a lot of noise from the buffet above. Also, the night at port in Kauai is VERY noisy (all night long) so don't expect to get a much sleep on the second to last night.

But all in all, I wan't impressed with Norwegian cruise lines. Maybe having a monopoly has something to do with it? When we take another cruise, we'll be looking at another cruise line, probably the one we used for our Alaskan trip.
Mike at SB’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BC
Cabin was pretty standard; small but efficient. Balcony was nice, but the steel plates on the 10 floor balconies that support the cantilevered deck on the 11th floor somewhat restrict your views. Also, some noise from the buffet above all day and night, but it wasn't excessive. On the starboard side you can see the lava flows on Hawaii at night from your balcony without dealing with the crowds in the public areas. But the port side may have less noise at night when docking at Kauai.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews