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LOVED the freestyle version of cruising. So much less stressful! We spent a few days in Honolulu prior to embarkation, so we go to see Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor, lots of shopping, the Zoo, the Aquarium, and the beaches. That was a great pre-cruise treat. The Waikiki Beach Marriott was very nice and a GREAT choice for us. Once we got on the ship, (which took a LONG time... that process is outdated, slow, frustrating, confusing and awful) we were immediately struck by how beautiful it was. The Presidential (American) theme was great. For a ship that was 20+ years old, it looked fantastic! We didn't find a single outdated, dirty or unkempt element the entire time. With the one exception of a many legged bug crawling on the floor in the Cadillac Diner one evening...but it didn't spoil the experience. It happens. Also, It didn't take me long to remember that the employees on the Pride of America were, in fact, at work and not on vacation like I was. I say that because, while they were all "nice," they were not what I would consider "Disney" friendly or helpful. They did their jobs well, but they seemed to lack that extra spark that I've seen in other experiences. Again, I realize this is a job for them, and maybe I had too high of expectations, but I never felt "special" the entire time. This was important because it was my honeymoon. ...and if I may say, I realize it's petty, but it was my first time to Hawaii, and given what I paid for the experience it will likely be my ONLY trip there. My only exposure to what I was about to experience was through movies and TV shows. I ABSOLUTELY expected to get a lei when I got of the plane, or somewhere, but I was VEYR VERY disappointed to learn that there were flower leis for the "ladies" and shell necklaces for the men. Really? Why on earth is there a distinction? I WANTED MY FLOWER LEI! lol Never got it... even when I specifically asked for a flower one vs. a shell one, I was denied. It would have been nice to have NCL acknowledge that it was our honeymoon. Nothing fancy, maybe just a note in the room? The excursions... like most excursions were very expensive. The other days we explored on our own with Uber at much less expense. LOVED the volcano hike excursion... didn't care for the HEAVILY advertised Luau on Thursday night though. The ports were all equally nice. Can't think of a reason to like one more than another. I was THRILLED to get to see so many different sites. Loved the "drink of the day" option. For someone who isn't a big drinker, or very versed in cocktails, that was fun... and they were all good! Expensive... but good. The entertainment was just average. The dancers were top notch... the singers were adequate. The shows themselves were typical cruise cheese, but they were entertaining and fun. There was a magician... I was bored. There were several production shows... which were the cheese. There was a tribute band... I was bored. There was a comedian who was fantastic. Also, there were LOTS of activities going on throughout the day for folks who did not leave the ship, so there was ALWAYS something to do. As far as Cruise Director's go, I've definitely had better, more energetic, enthusiastic ones. The food was abundant and good. If I had to compare NCL to the other cruises I've been on with RCL, I'd say they were comparable. RCL MAY be a tad better in this respect. So... would I go again? Not on this particular cruise, no. Would I go on NCL again? Maybe. I'm more interested in the destination and itinerary than I am in the actual company.

A Great Way To See Hawaii!

Pride of America Cruise Review by spnful

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2017
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Oceanview Picture Window
LOVED the freestyle version of cruising. So much less stressful! We spent a few days in Honolulu prior to embarkation, so we go to see Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor, lots of shopping, the Zoo, the Aquarium, and the beaches. That was a great pre-cruise treat. The Waikiki Beach Marriott was very nice and a GREAT choice for us.

Once we got on the ship, (which took a LONG time... that process is outdated, slow, frustrating, confusing and awful) we were immediately struck by how beautiful it was. The Presidential (American) theme was great. For a ship that was 20+ years old, it looked fantastic! We didn't find a single outdated, dirty or unkempt element the entire time. With the one exception of a many legged bug crawling on the floor in the Cadillac Diner one evening...but it didn't spoil the experience. It happens.

Also,

It didn't take me long to remember that the employees on the Pride of America were, in fact, at work and not on vacation like I was. I say that because, while they were all "nice," they were not what I would consider "Disney" friendly or helpful. They did their jobs well, but they seemed to lack that extra spark that I've seen in other experiences. Again, I realize this is a job for them, and maybe I had too high of expectations, but I never felt "special" the entire time. This was important because it was my honeymoon. ...and if I may say, I realize it's petty, but it was my first time to Hawaii, and given what I paid for the experience it will likely be my ONLY trip there. My only exposure to what I was about to experience was through movies and TV shows. I ABSOLUTELY expected to get a lei when I got of the plane, or somewhere, but I was VEYR VERY disappointed to learn that there were flower leis for the "ladies" and shell necklaces for the men. Really? Why on earth is there a distinction? I WANTED MY FLOWER LEI! lol Never got it... even when I specifically asked for a flower one vs. a shell one, I was denied.

It would have been nice to have NCL acknowledge that it was our honeymoon. Nothing fancy, maybe just a note in the room?

The excursions... like most excursions were very expensive. The other days we explored on our own with Uber at much less expense. LOVED the volcano hike excursion... didn't care for the HEAVILY advertised Luau on Thursday night though.

The ports were all equally nice. Can't think of a reason to like one more than another. I was THRILLED to get to see so many different sites.

Loved the "drink of the day" option. For someone who isn't a big drinker, or very versed in cocktails, that was fun... and they were all good! Expensive... but good.

The entertainment was just average. The dancers were top notch... the singers were adequate. The shows themselves were typical cruise cheese, but they were entertaining and fun. There was a magician... I was bored. There were several production shows... which were the cheese. There was a tribute band... I was bored. There was a comedian who was fantastic. Also, there were LOTS of activities going on throughout the day for folks who did not leave the ship, so there was ALWAYS something to do. As far as Cruise Director's go, I've definitely had better, more energetic, enthusiastic ones.

The food was abundant and good. If I had to compare NCL to the other cruises I've been on with RCL, I'd say they were comparable. RCL MAY be a tad better in this respect.

So... would I go again? Not on this particular cruise, no. Would I go on NCL again? Maybe. I'm more interested in the destination and itinerary than I am in the actual company.
spnful’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Oceanview Picture Window
Cabin OA 7578
The cabin was a bit larger than we normally get, so that was nice. Our stateroom attendant did an fantastic job keeping us supplied with towels, etc. The "view" from our window was obstructed by one of the lifeboats (or tender boats?) but we still were able to see the skyline which was nice.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews