Pride of America Cruise Review by txyz
- Sail Date: May 2017
- Destination: Hawaii
- Cabin Type: Inside
We were a pretty unusual demographic on this cruise-parents traveling with two "adult"(20 &23) children. The dominant demographic was by far was retired folks from 70-90 years of age (about 70%) from ALL over the world. Very few children/teens in evidence but this might change somewhat in June-August. We were on board in middle May when school is still in session at many locations. A handful of young couples rounded out the passenger list. The ship is clean and nice-appears to be recently remodeled. As it never really leaves US waters, there is no Casino. The extra space has been used to populate the ship with "added charge" restaurants of all types. They were pretty pricey so we stuck with the regular dining rooms and the excellent buffet area. The food/service in the Dining Rooms seemed to be downgraded a bit due to the proliferation of other, more expensive, restaurant choices and the free choice system on NCL boats. I am ambivalent about this system overall. I really like the ability to eat at any time and sit with my family, but I feel the experience has lost something since there is little in the way of dress code (I'm no dandy to be sure but shorts and flip flops are apparently OK-and one tank top clad fellow even carried in his "Bucket o' Beer" from the pool area) you never meet anyone and you rarely have the same waiter twice. The menu was certainly less impressive than many other cruises I have been on but it was still quite good. The service was OK but not super. The buffet area was very good. A bit of a fishy smell was noticeable at first in the halls but quickly dissipated as we left port. We had an Inside Cabin with the Murphy Bunks and it worked well for us even with our big kids. Big luggage easily fit under the lower beds and the closet was plenty big for our hanging stuff. Lots of drawers,shelves and hooks allowed us to stay somewhat organized. Shows were pretty good. we caught two and liked them both. This is certainly NOT a "party boat",not that the crew didn't try,but the demographics of the passenger list (elderly and often non-english speaking) pretty much killed any even moderately rowdy celebrating that was attempted. Don't miss the Lei making classes if you are the least bit crafty as it is awesome to be able to sport your own, handmade ribbon/orchid Lei around the ship. They have an accomplished professional photographer on board that did some excellent family photos for us on the beach at Kona. They certainly were not cheap (professional outdoor shoots never are) but they came out very nice. If you haven't done any family photos in a while this is a great opportunity to get some done in a great exotic setting. Any cruise is a good time to be "on the wagon" and avoid adult beverages as they are very expensive, but this is pretty much standard on every cruise so no foul here.
Where this cruise really shines is the Ports of Call. Generous time allowed at all four major Islands allowed us to do lots of cool things all day and retreat to our floating Hotel every night for a nice meal and a clean,comfortable bed. The two day stops at Maui and Kauai allowed us time to rent a car and really see some sights. Renting a car is easy and cheap in Hawaii (while Cabs are notoriously expensive here) and they pick you up, and bring you back, right at the ship. The only downside is that the Cruise Line has made no provision at all for parking at the pier. Had to hunt up a spot on the street in the somewhat industrial port area at both islands which was worrisome to say the least-but no problems/tickets/vandalism were experienced. Great expanses of empty paved lots all around the ship made it even harder to understand. NCL and the rental car people really need to work something out here. Having the car made using less crowded excursion choices very easy, so we did not book any tours from NCL. Overall we had a great trip. The service was more than adequate, the food was good to very good without having to resort to the added cost restaurants, Our pretty basic cabin was nice and the crew seemed quite happy to be working there. And it is Hawaii so you cant go wrong!
txyz’s Full Rating Summary
Quite satisfied with our cabin. Well designed with lots of drawers,shelves, hooks, a small refrigerator, a safe and a large well designed closet. Really liked the stained wood cabinetry-reminded me of the elegant old liners of the past. Everything was new looking and well maintained. We were 4 adults in this cabin (it had pull down bunks) and it worked out well as long as we stayed somewhat organized. Loved the cabin location in the ship-don't be afraid to go with the "run of the ship" option where you allow NCL to assign your cabin. We took this route on our Travel Agent's advice and we got an outstanding cabin location.
Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
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