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We took this cruise to experience some of the Hawaiian Islands we had not seen. Our uncle from the island of Hawaii joined us on the cruise, so a wonderful week of reconnecting with a relative we rarely see. Getting on and off the boat was a breeze. No huge lines that you typically experience when cruising. The ship was well maintained with lots of great public spaces. Lots of dining choices. We had a a party of 6 people, so it was challenging to obtain reservations at the last minute for speciality or more popular restaurants. If you have a big party, make reservations in advance for the speciality dining. Making reservations when you are on the boat is ok, just realize that you may not get reservations for the same day u r requesting. We tried to walk up to East Meet West but they didn't have availability for 2 hours. Skyline was very quick at seating our group and service was great! It was disappointing that they really didn't have any Hawaiian food choices. They had a Hawaiian night in the Aloha Café, but it really wasn't Hawaiian food. To experience a Loco Moco, shaved ice, Kaulua pork, lau lau, etc..., you'll have to find off the ship. Food was ok, nothing spectacular. Alcohol is expensive, similar to other cruise ships. No all inclusive alcohol package is available. You do not see the drunk stupidity that you often see on other ships. We cruised mid October, so the passengers were mostly older, 60 and above. A few young couples, likely on honeymoon. We had an 18yo daughter with us, and really didn't see many people her age on the cruise. Only a few kids on the ship. It was a very mellow cruise. Since there was only a few kids on the cruise, it was difficult for the kids to connect. Our teens checked the kids club several times a day for the assorted activities, but there were never any other teens. Our kids did not feel welcomed by the kids club staff, so I wonder if other kids felt the same way and stayed away from the kids club and did what our kids did and peeked in to kids club and then left immediately. We purchased the thermal suite package, $99 week/pp, and you can only purchase on the ship, and never used, since we were so busy in ports and exhausted when we returned. No outdoor movie theatre on the ship, which we missed. Transportation: Honolulu-rental cars are very inexpensive at the airport. We rented a car at the airport, drove to the Marriott Waikiki, parked overnight at Waikiki Banyan which is directly across the street from the Marriott for $20 for 24 hours with in/out privileges. Marriott will charge you $50 to park overnight. Public bus #19 or 20 travel from the airport to Pier#2, where POA docks. It costs $2.50 each way. We dropped our car back at the airport, and took the bus back to the cruise ship. When we returned to Honolulu, I took the bus to the airport to pick up a rental to car, and returned with car to pick up the rest of the family. Taxis are also available, but costly. Uber cannot come directly to airport, so you can take the rental car shuttle to the off airport rental car center, and catch uber there. Maui-we rented a car from Hertz at the Maui beach hotel, which is about a 15 minute walk from the ship. We parked our car overnight in the Maui Beach Hotel parking lot, without paying extra, just parked next to where all the rental cars are parked, and had no problem. There were regular rental car shuttles to and from the ship. Hilo-we took a private tour. Kona-There are no airport rental car shuttles. We cancelled our airport rental and switched to Enterprise, Luhia Street location, which has a free shuttle that will pick you up and drop you off at the pier. Kauai-There are free airport shuttles for rental cars that run frequently daily. There is free overnight street parking just around the corner from the cruise ship as you head into town, about a 5-10 minute walk from the ship. Excursions-we didn't do any excursions thru the ship. We rented cars at all ports except Hilo and explored on our own, which was awesome. We used Gypsy Guide app on our IPhone as a tour guide around the islands, which our entire family enjoyed. The cost of this app ranges from $3-10 and well worth it! We used Tour by Locals for an off-road tour to the Green Sand Beach from Hilo. Scott Wiggers was our guide and was awesome. He was patient and allowed us to tour at our own pace. He patiently waited as my teens built up enough courage to jump from the cliffs with the locals. Pools are fresh water, which is different from most other cruise lines.

Great way to get a taste of each of the major Hawaiian Islands

Pride of America Cruise Review by 7riverkids

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2017
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: 2-Bedroom Obstructed View Family Suite
We took this cruise to experience some of the Hawaiian Islands we had not seen. Our uncle from the island of Hawaii joined us on the cruise, so a wonderful week of reconnecting with a relative we rarely see.

Getting on and off the boat was a breeze. No huge lines that you typically experience when cruising.

The ship was well maintained with lots of great public spaces.

Lots of dining choices. We had a a party of 6 people, so it was challenging to obtain reservations at the last minute for speciality or more popular restaurants. If you have a big party, make reservations in advance for the speciality dining. Making reservations when you are on the boat is ok, just realize that you may not get reservations for the same day u r requesting. We tried to walk up to East Meet West but they didn't have availability for 2 hours. Skyline was very quick at seating our group and service was great! It was disappointing that they really didn't have any Hawaiian food choices. They had a Hawaiian night in the Aloha Café, but it really wasn't Hawaiian food. To experience a Loco Moco, shaved ice, Kaulua pork, lau lau, etc..., you'll have to find off the ship. Food was ok, nothing spectacular.

Alcohol is expensive, similar to other cruise ships. No all inclusive alcohol package is available. You do not see the drunk stupidity that you often see on other ships.

We cruised mid October, so the passengers were mostly older, 60 and above. A few young couples, likely on honeymoon. We had an 18yo daughter with us, and really didn't see many people her age on the cruise. Only a few kids on the ship. It was a very mellow cruise.

Since there was only a few kids on the cruise, it was difficult for the kids to connect. Our teens checked the kids club several times a day for the assorted activities, but there were never any other teens. Our kids did not feel welcomed by the kids club staff, so I wonder if other kids felt the same way and stayed away from the kids club and did what our kids did and peeked in to kids club and then left immediately.

We purchased the thermal suite package, $99 week/pp, and you can only purchase on the ship, and never used, since we were so busy in ports and exhausted when we returned.

No outdoor movie theatre on the ship, which we missed.

Transportation:

Honolulu-rental cars are very inexpensive at the airport. We rented a car at the airport, drove to the Marriott Waikiki, parked overnight at Waikiki Banyan which is directly across the street from the Marriott for $20 for 24 hours with in/out privileges. Marriott will charge you $50 to park overnight. Public bus #19 or 20 travel from the airport to Pier#2, where POA docks. It costs $2.50 each way. We dropped our car back at the airport, and took the bus back to the cruise ship. When we returned to Honolulu, I took the bus to the airport to pick up a rental to car, and returned with car to pick up the rest of the family. Taxis are also available, but costly.

Uber cannot come directly to airport, so you can take the rental car shuttle to the off airport rental car center, and catch uber there.

Maui-we rented a car from Hertz at the Maui beach hotel, which is about a 15 minute walk from the ship. We parked our car overnight in the Maui Beach Hotel parking lot, without paying extra, just parked next to where all the rental cars are parked, and had no problem. There were regular rental car shuttles to and from the ship.

Hilo-we took a private tour.

Kona-There are no airport rental car shuttles. We cancelled our airport rental and switched to Enterprise, Luhia Street location, which has a free shuttle that will pick you up and drop you off at the pier.

Kauai-There are free airport shuttles for rental cars that run frequently daily. There is free overnight street parking just around the corner from the cruise ship as you head into town, about a 5-10 minute walk from the ship.

Excursions-we didn't do any excursions thru the ship. We rented cars at all ports except Hilo and explored on our own, which was awesome. We used Gypsy Guide app on our IPhone as a tour guide around the islands, which our entire family enjoyed. The cost of this app ranges from $3-10 and well worth it!

We used Tour by Locals for an off-road tour to the Green Sand Beach from Hilo. Scott Wiggers was our guide and was awesome. He was patient and allowed us to tour at our own pace. He patiently waited as my teens built up enough courage to jump from the cliffs with the locals.

Pools are fresh water, which is different from most other cruise lines.
7riverkids’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

2-Bedroom Obstructed View Family Suite
Cabin SJ 7092
Spacious and plenty of room for my husband and I and our 3 kids. Kids had attached stateroom with 2 sets of bunkbeds and their own bathroom. We had a large room with king size bed, couch, large closet, and bathroom. Centrally located. Occasionally could hear very muted music from somewhere, otherwise very quiet. Floor to ceiling window in both cabins, but definitely obstructed by lifeboat. You can see over the lifeboat to ocean and sights.
Breakfast and lunch at Cagneys for suite guests only was awesome.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Hilo
    Off road in comfortable new 4 wheel drive truck to gorgeous green sand beach area. We stopped at coffee farm and bakery on our way to beach. It is a bumpy trek. It was windy when we were there, so we were sandblasted when we were on the beach...but worth it! He stopped at local cliff jumping place, and waited patiently as my teens built up enough courage to jump with the locals. We never felt rushed, and Scott was willing to do whatever we wanted. We all felt very comfortable with him. He also does volcano tours, so if you are looking for a tour guide, Scott is your man!
    View All 13,789 Hilo Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Honolulu
    Go to the swap meet at the Aloha Stadium on Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday to find inexpensive souvenirs.
    We drove to the Dole Pineapple Plantation which was an easy way to spend a couple hours.
    View All 674 Honolulu Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Kauai
    We drove to Hanalei, which is a beautiful little town with spectacular vistas of huge waterfalls and ocean.
    We also drove to Waimea Canyon, which is breathtaking!!! Make sure you have plenty of time to really appreciate this area. We were limited on time and could not take the time we wanted.
    View All 537 Kauai Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Kona (Kailua Bay)
    We rented car and went to beach at Kalako Honokohau National Historic park. It is the second time we have been to this beach, and there are always turtles at the beach. A turtle swam thru my husband's legs, which caused him to scream and the rest of us to laugh hysterically. It is a beautiful white sand beach. Walking around in the water can be a little rocky, so wear water shoes. You can also snorkel in this area.
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  • Maui
    We used Gypsy guides, an inexpensive phone app you can download to tour at your own pace, to explore the road to Hana and Lahaina. Lahaina is probably the most picturesque town right on the ocean with lots of art and other shopping.
    Make sure you leave early in the day to explore the road to Hana, so you have plenty of time to stop and explore.
    View All 618 Maui Cruise Port Reviews
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