1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Pride of America
We cruised the Hawaiian islands years ago, actually during 9/11. We've also visited the other islands individually. Seeing the islands again was the main positive highlight for us. We took this cruise with our son and his family (their first time to Hawaii) and this also made it very special. We would not cruise with Norwegian again. As a company (not the employees) they proved they really don't care about customer service and seem to base decisions on what benefits them the most. We've cruised alot with Princess, have been very satisfied, will continue with them, will consider other cruise lines, except for NCL. We only booked with NCL due to their location with the islands. Itinerary: Flew in one day early for a pre-cruise stay at Waikiki Beach Marriott. Check-in process was very poor. When we arrived there was a long line and only one agent. It took the agent a long time to assign rooms. They were handing out new luggage tags. We were instructed to leave all bags we wished to have transported to the ship in our room for next morning pickup (very convenient). We took an excursion the next morning to Pearl Harbor, Arizona & Missouri with Go Hawaii. We arranged for them to drop us at the pier vs taking the NCL shuttle. The hotel itself was OK. Location wasn't too bad, easy walk to Waikiki Beach, etc. Embarkation: Unfortunately we were very disappointed when we were informed during embarkation of itinerary change. We had been tracking NCL's itinerary changes due to the volcano and understood the precautions. However, it was HOW and WHEN they informed us of this change that really disappointed us. Several days before the trip we received an e-mail from NCL stating the itinerary would include Kona but not Hilo. Therefore, we would spend an additional day in Maui at Lahiana. In addition the original two days scheduled for Maui remained the same. Upon embarkation we were handed a paper which stated a different itinerary. It now included an additional day in Oahu which meant we were just going to stay docked overnight in Honolulu. It shifted our two days on Maui out a day. So Day 1, docked in Honolulu vs Maui This affected the excursions we had booked at Maui (on our own not through NCL) and a rental car reservation for the two days on Maui. So we spent the afternoon cancelling excursions and making new plans. Fortunately the companies waived their cancellation policies and gave us immediate credit on our charge card. These included The Old Lahaina Luau and South Maui Turtle Town Kayak & Snorkel Tour with Hawaiian Paddle Sports. We can't thank them enough for understanding and waiving their cancellation policy as these excursions were expensive. We couldn't rebook the excursions because they were sold out. We rented a van through Hertz at the Maui Beach Hotel. We were able to change the reservation. This Hertz desk was great to work with. It's a short walk from the pier, no long line at the desk and you can park at the hotel overnight for $5. Plus they will pick you up and return you to the mall directly across from the pier if you like. Day 2, we explored Maui on our own. We headed to South Kihei as we wanted to stop at several beaches and snorkel, etc. We stopped at Boss Frog's to rent equipment. Here we were able to get on a Molokini Snorkel excursion for $50. Transportation was on a high powered raft (Blue Water Raft) with a small group. The captain and his mate made the trip fun. Afterwards drove to Makena / Big Beach. Big surf, nice sand, lots of parking, lifguards but not swim friendly due to surf (one of our favorite beaches as we had been there before). Day 3, we drove to Hana. We had also done this previously. However, this was the first visit to Hawaii for our son and his family. We all enjoyed the ride and various stops. Our son downloaded a audio tour to his phone regarding the Road to Hana which was very helpful. Day 4, docked at Lahaina. Wasn't much to do in Lahaina (had been there before) unless you like to shop, etc. Took a taxi to Kaanapali Beach (nice beach but crowded). Our son and his family rented snorkels and saw turtles near Black Rock. Took an Uber back to the pier. Long line for the return tender. Day 5, docked at Lihue, Kauai. Walked to Kalapaki Beach. It was OK, nothing special. Highlight was Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tour. They pick you up and return you to the pier (but you need to mention this while booking). This was another highlight of the trip. You fly over Waimea Canyon and of course inside and outside of the Napali Coast. Blue Hawaiian Company staff were very professional. The experience was truly amazing. Tried to find a luau to attend because we had to cancel Old Lahaina Luau on Maui due to itinerary change; everything was booked. Day 6, ship sailed past the Napali Coast. Scenery was as expected, unbelievable. Our balcony room was on port side so we were able to view from there. We previously read the ship normally then turns around and sails past the coast again so the other side can view. However, they didn't do this. You can also view from other decks, etc. Day 7, disembarkation went smoothly. Food: Breakfast: Went early and picked up food at the Aloha Buffet and then sat outside on the AFT deck, very nice and quiet area. Dinner: NCL's "anytime dining" is a joke. You still had to make reservations at the main dining rooms unless you wanted to wait a lengthy time. When we did make reservations we couldn't get in before 8pm. Early in the week the menu choices and quality of food were good. However, towards mid and end of week, the menu was repetitive and the quality declined. The last evening, our son and his wife ordered chicken. It was actually raw (no exaggeration). They returned it. The staff offered to give them credit for an after dinner drink, etc. The ideal resolution would have been to provide on board credit to use as they wished. Wait staff was short staffed. They were friendly and performed to the best of their ability. Our son and his family really liked the Cadillac Diner. I wished we would have tried it. We would return to the islands, but not with NCL. We also read upon returning home that NCL was returning to their original itinerary with stops in Hilo and Kona. In a statement sent to USA TODAY, "Norwegian said the decision to return followed a detailed evaluation and consultation with authorities and experts on the island." Well, why didn't they do that to begin with? P.S. See other ratings below (i.e. cabin, etc.)

Hawaiian Islands themselves were the main positive

Pride of America Cruise Review by Shady Rest Hotel

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2018
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
We cruised the Hawaiian islands years ago, actually during 9/11. We've also visited the other islands individually. Seeing the islands again was the main positive highlight for us. We took this cruise with our son and his family (their first time to Hawaii) and this also made it very special.

We would not cruise with Norwegian again. As a company (not the employees) they proved they really don't care about customer service and seem to base decisions on what benefits them the most.

We've cruised alot with Princess, have been very satisfied, will continue with them, will consider other cruise lines, except for NCL. We only booked with NCL due to their location with the islands.

Itinerary:

Flew in one day early for a pre-cruise stay at Waikiki Beach Marriott. Check-in process was very poor. When we arrived there was a long line and only one agent. It took the agent a long time to assign rooms. They were handing out new luggage tags. We were instructed to leave all bags we wished to have transported to the ship in our room for next morning pickup (very convenient). We took an excursion the next morning to Pearl Harbor, Arizona & Missouri with Go Hawaii. We arranged for them to drop us at the pier vs taking the NCL shuttle.

The hotel itself was OK. Location wasn't too bad, easy walk to Waikiki Beach, etc.

Embarkation: Unfortunately we were very disappointed when we were informed during embarkation of itinerary change. We had been tracking NCL's itinerary changes due to the volcano and understood the precautions. However, it was HOW and WHEN they informed us of this change that really disappointed us. Several days before the trip we received an e-mail from NCL stating the itinerary would include Kona but not Hilo. Therefore, we would spend an additional day in Maui at Lahiana. In addition the original two days scheduled for Maui remained the same.

Upon embarkation we were handed a paper which stated a different itinerary. It now included an additional day in Oahu which meant we were just going to stay docked overnight in Honolulu. It shifted our two days on Maui out a day.

So Day 1, docked in Honolulu vs Maui

This affected the excursions we had booked at Maui (on our own not through NCL) and a rental car reservation for the two days on Maui. So we spent the afternoon cancelling excursions and making new plans. Fortunately the companies waived their cancellation policies and gave us immediate credit on our charge card. These included The Old Lahaina Luau and South Maui Turtle Town Kayak & Snorkel Tour with Hawaiian Paddle Sports. We can't thank them enough for understanding and waiving their cancellation policy as these excursions were expensive. We couldn't rebook the excursions because they were sold out.

We rented a van through Hertz at the Maui Beach Hotel. We were able to change the reservation. This Hertz desk was great to work with. It's a short walk from the pier, no long line at the desk and you can park at the hotel overnight for $5. Plus they will pick you up and return you to the mall directly across from the pier if you like.

Day 2, we explored Maui on our own. We headed to South Kihei as we wanted to stop at several beaches and snorkel, etc. We stopped at Boss Frog's to rent equipment. Here we were able to get on a Molokini Snorkel excursion for $50. Transportation was on a high powered raft (Blue Water Raft) with a small group. The captain and his mate made the trip fun. Afterwards drove to Makena / Big Beach. Big surf, nice sand, lots of parking, lifguards but not swim friendly due to surf (one of our favorite beaches as we had been there before).

Day 3, we drove to Hana. We had also done this previously. However, this was the first visit to Hawaii for our son and his family. We all enjoyed the ride and various stops. Our son downloaded a audio tour to his phone regarding the Road to Hana which was very helpful.

Day 4, docked at Lahaina. Wasn't much to do in Lahaina (had been there before) unless you like to shop, etc. Took a taxi to Kaanapali Beach (nice beach but crowded). Our son and his family rented snorkels and saw turtles near Black Rock. Took an Uber back to the pier. Long line for the return tender.

Day 5, docked at Lihue, Kauai. Walked to Kalapaki Beach. It was OK, nothing special. Highlight was Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tour. They pick you up and return you to the pier (but you need to mention this while booking). This was another highlight of the trip. You fly over Waimea Canyon and of course inside and outside of the Napali Coast. Blue Hawaiian Company staff were very professional. The experience was truly amazing. Tried to find a luau to attend because we had to cancel Old Lahaina Luau on Maui due to itinerary change; everything was booked.

Day 6, ship sailed past the Napali Coast. Scenery was as expected, unbelievable. Our balcony room was on port side so we were able to view from there. We previously read the ship normally then turns around and sails past the coast again so the other side can view. However, they didn't do this. You can also view from other decks, etc.

Day 7, disembarkation went smoothly.

Food:

Breakfast: Went early and picked up food at the Aloha Buffet and then sat outside on the AFT deck, very nice and quiet area.

Dinner: NCL's "anytime dining" is a joke. You still had to make reservations at the main dining rooms unless you wanted to wait a lengthy time. When we did make reservations we couldn't get in before 8pm. Early in the week the menu choices and quality of food were good. However, towards mid and end of week, the menu was repetitive and the quality declined. The last evening, our son and his wife ordered chicken. It was actually raw (no exaggeration). They returned it. The staff offered to give them credit for an after dinner drink, etc. The ideal resolution would have been to provide on board credit to use as they wished.

Wait staff was short staffed. They were friendly and performed to the best of their ability.

Our son and his family really liked the Cadillac Diner. I wished we would have tried it.

We would return to the islands, but not with NCL. We also read upon returning home that NCL was returning to their original itinerary with stops in Hilo and Kona. In a statement sent to USA TODAY, "Norwegian said the decision to return followed a detailed evaluation and consultation with authorities and experts on the island."

Well, why didn't they do that to begin with?

P.S. See other ratings below (i.e. cabin, etc.)
Shady Rest Hotel’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian (NCL) Pride of America price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BB 8644
On the small side, but adequate for the two of us. Stored luggage under bed. Bed was comfortable, Found plenty of room for storage. Had adjoining room with son and his family which was nice. Interior of cabin was kept clean by the steward. However, the deck of our balcony was disgusting with long black hair plastered around and an actual toenail! Bathroom was fine. Although our son's bathroom smelled of sewage.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Mighty Mo
    See tour description of Pearl Harbor regarding the tour company. Again at Might Mo we had more than enough time to tour and explore the Might Mo.
    View All 25 Mighty Mo Reviews
  • Pearl Harbor
    The tour company doesn't actually provide a tour of the Pearl Harbor sights, etc. They mainly provide transportation, tickets and other information. Discover Hawaii was good to work with. Discover Hawaii website was offering 10% discount. However, the code wouldn't work at checkout. I had read that if that happens to call them so I did. The agent applied the discount plus didn't include tax so we saved about $100 as there were 5 of us. They will pickup right at the hotel. I arranged for them to drop us off at the pier after the tour as our luggage was previously transported to the pier by NCL. Transportation to and from Pearl Harbor and Might Mo was good. Tour included transportation to Pearl Harbor, documentary film, cruise by Arizona, additional time on our own, transportation to Might Mo, transportation to pier. Tour guide was good. Our time on Pearl Harbor, allowed by the tour company, was adequate. We went through museum, Bowfin sub (additional cost + audio provided), documentary film, boat ride by the Arizona. We weren't able to disembark at Arizona due to construction.
    View All 179 Pearl Harbor Reviews
  • USS Arizona
    Included in our tour of Pearl Harbor with Discover Hawaii. Government wasn't allowing disembarkation at Arizona Memorial due to planned construction and safety concerns. We cruised by the Arizona with commentary provided. This was not the tour company's fault. Giving it 3 stars vs 5 since we couldn't stop at the Arizona
    View All 65 USS Arizona Reviews
  • Helicopter Tour
    Facility and staff were very professional and friendly. We were shown a brief training video. There were 5 of us and we were all able to go in the same helicopter. The pilot was excellent and gave good commentary. The scenery was indescribable / spiritual. To be able to experience seeing parts of Waimea Canyon, Napali and other areas unique to the planet which can only be seen by air is a lifetime experience. It was worth every penny and we would do it again!
    View All 60 Helicopter Tour Reviews
  • Snorkeling
    We stopped at Boss Frog's to rent equipment. Here we were able to get on a Molokini Snorkel excursion for $50. Transportation was on a high powered raft (Blue Water Raft) with a small group. The captain and his mate made the trip fun. Ocean was VERY rough so riding on the raft could be a bit nerve-racking for some. The snorkeling at Molokini is average (we've been there before). But it's interesting.
    View All 40 Snorkeling Reviews