Pride of America Cruise Review by Kimmyloveshawaii
- Sail Date: June 2018
- Destination: Hawaii
- Cabin Type: Balcony
I am not sure why there are so many bad reviews. The ship seemed fine to me. Yes, some of the areas could use some refurbishment. The food wasn't anything spectacular - but I always found something to eat. Yes, the ice makers in the buffet were having some trouble working - one in particular. Yes, the cabin balcony is sort of small. Yes, the cruise is expensive. The staff on the ship was great...we didn't have any problems with staff. They were always nice and helpful. The only real problem I had on the ship is that they charged us for the mini bar drinks (which we had moved to a drawer below the fridge). We put our own drinks in the fridge. I told them at the desk and they were supposed to credit us $32...but it has not happened yet. I'll call them today. Also, we had a fire on the ship the first night - I slept through the alarm. Must not have been a huge deal because we didn't hear anything else about it. They yelled Bravo, bravo, bravo over intercom. I didn't hear it although my sister did in the next room. The power to the ship went out for an hour or so when we were leaving one of the ports. No frozen drinks, no food available, no lights, no pool, etc. We were happy when the blender could blend again.
This was a fantastic way to see the 4 major islands. We rented cars and did our own thing on all of the islands. We had no problems with this. We did not do any NCL excursions. We saw so much and loved Hawaii. We stayed in Oahu for 3 nights after the cruise at the Hampton Inn in Kapolei.
We had no problems with embarkation or disembarkation. 2 of our party did try to get off the ship early on our last day and the ship was a little late letting them off. (maybe 45 minutes).
We were in cabins 10048, 10050 and 10055. Adults had the balcony cabins and the 4 kids shared the inside cabin. This worked really well. Loved having the starboard side cabin to watch the lava. We saw lava in the early morning (5am) on the way into Hilo and then the ship drove by the lava fissure when we left Hilo. We watched the napali coast from the port side deck as it was closest then went down to our cabin to watch as the ship turned around. We were a little further from the coast that way. I loved the balcony cabin. They are all small, and the balcony is small - but it was a treat to be able to sit out and watch things from there. Our balcony cabins were above the lifeboats and unobstructed. All the cabins were forward/starboard. The kids inside cabin was small but they fit fine in it.
We ate in the buffet mostly just because it was quick. We ate once in the diner - it was good. We ate twice in the sit down place - not the Liberty (that is for people that dress up) but the other one. It was good also. None of the food was fabulous. Well, maybe the crepes...in the buffet. And the Lava cake in the sit down place - delicious. There was an ice cream station in the buffet also - we ate a lot of ice cream cones. We packed our lunches each day to take with us. This saved us a lot of money in port. Sometimes we would get the sandwiches at the nightly buffet and put them in baggies (we brought them) and store in our fridge. We packed a soft sided cooler for the trip. The buffet gladly filled our cooler with ice each day. Sometimes if we missed the late night buffet we would get bread, ham, cheese at the breakfast buffet and sit at a table and make our sandwiches. We would buy drinks in port for the day. Where ever we were we would have a picnic lunch. We learned that we could take one drink per person back on board the ship - so we always saved at least one to take back on. I have a coke zero problem and the ship has pepsi. We were also able to get beer back on the ship in Hilo and Kona. They do not x-ray there. We just stuffed them down in bags. One or two were taken. One day we got like 6 back on board (we had 8 people). They were not so concerned about cokes and waters... although I don't think you could take a bunch. They just don't want you taking beer/wine, etc on board. We bought 2 buckets of beer while on the ship (6 beers) for about $44 per bucket. We also had a favorite mango strawberry frozen drink on the ship that ended up being about $14. I think the daily special drink was about $10.
We did not attend any shows as we stayed on the islands as long as possible - and then were exhausted by the time we ate and got cleaned up each night. The kids did go to a couple lei making parties and loved them. Everyone on the ship was very nice and helpful.
My favorite things on the trip: swimming with the turtle at Hilo (Carlsmith beach), sunrise at Haleakala National Park, watching the lava from the ship. Also enjoyed Hanauma Bay (Oahu) and the tubing trip in Kauai. Fabulous vacation. I would love to do the cruise again someday. The sail by NaPali coast was so beautiful too. We were lucky and had a rainbow following - and saw a double rainbow.
All 4 kids loved it too (ages 11, 13, 16, 18). We cliff jumped at Waimea Bay (Oahu) and we did a rope swing at Ho'opi' Falls in Kauai. The kids loved the snorkeling also. The teens were not as excited about getting up for the sunrise. The kids (and adults) loved the tubing trip in Kauai also.
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