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I sailed on the Pride of America with three friends, all late 30s on February 6, 2010. We flew into Honolulu three days early to get adjusted to the time difference and see the island of Oahu. We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, an island onto itself and a beautiful resort. We visited Pearl Harbor, hiked Diamond Head State Monument and drove up to the Polynesian Cultural Center for the Luau and night show. It was a great way to start our Hawaiian vacation. Now, onto the cruise.... the day before leaving we received an opportunity to upgrade our cabin from a regular balcony cabin to a Penthouse suite, for a nominal upgrade charge. We jumped at this chance and could not have been happier. Our suites were huge, with a King Size bed and a pull out sofa, with a separate dressing room and fuill bathroom,with an actual bathtub. No water seeping all over the floor! But the best part was the balcony, which was the size of our original cabin. We also had a butler who made all of our dinner reservations and brought us tasty treats each evening. It was a wonderful surprise upgrade and got the trip off to a great start. SHIP The ship was beautiful. The theme was all American, with beautiful murals of famous American landmarks, such as the Grand Canyon and Mt. Everest at each stairwell. I've read lots of reviews about about poorly the ship was decorated, but my group really loved it. The carpet was color coded, to let you know what part of the ship you were on (front, back, middle), and since the boat was only moving at night, this was very helpful. The ship was easy to manuever, and I actually got the hang of it a few days in, as opposed to the final day, which is what usually happens. The ship was very clean, and hygenic. Hand sanitizers were stationed all over the ship, and we regulaarly used them. The nighttime entertainment was good, it consisted of a band doing a different cover every night, a magician, and as comedian. We enjoyed all of the nightly shows. DINING The ship had 11 restaurants, ewith four of them being no charge .The Liberty and Skyline were the traditional dining rooms. They served exactly the same menu, however, the Liberty is more "upscale" and you have to be more dressed up. The Skyline is the more casual option. The Aloha Cafe is the standard Buffet option, and the Cadillac Diner is a 50s themed diner serving its own menu of traditional diner menu items, like Mozzerella sticks and chicken fingers. There are then a number of restaurants requiring an additional charge. The specialty restaurants included Little Italy, Lazy J's Steakhouse, East Meets West, Tepansaylki, French Bistro, Asian Fusion. We were really only on the ship for dinners, since we were at the ports of call all day. We ate at Little Italy, which was disappointing since we have been to the real Little Italy in NYC many times and nothing compares to it. We also ate the French Bistro, which was wonderful. The service was great,as was the atmosphere, and the food was delicious. Well worth the $20.00 charge. We ate one meal at the Cadillac Diner, which was OK. The rest of our meals were eaten in the Liberty and Skyline Dining Rooms. We loved them and there were plenty of options. We all found the food delicious and the service was outstanding. We've read lots of negative reviews regarding the dining and service elements of the cruise, since the crew is all-American, and we did not experience any of this. The wait staff was always exceptionally friendly and professional sand made you feel like you were dining in a 5 star restaurant all the time. We enjoyed our dining experience very much. SERVICE Like I indicated above in my dining reviews, we did not experience any of the poor service that is posted on other reviews. Our room steward, Abigail was outstanding and was always working, no matter what time we stopped back at the cabin. With the exception of one completely obnoxious employee at the breakfast buffet, we did not encounter ANY rude staff members the entire cruise. Everyone was always polite, friendly and energetic, making it easy to forget that there are 2000 passengers on the ship and that they turn over a new cruise every week. We were very pleasantly surprised by the wonderful service we received. We had a fantastic cruise, saw the beautiful Hawaiian islands, and came home to tons of snow. I wish I were back on the ship and would highly recommend this cruise to anyone.

Hanging Loose on the Pride of America

Pride of America Cruise Review by Woobie7272

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2010
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Penthouse with Large Balcony
I sailed on the Pride of America with three friends, all late 30s on February 6, 2010. We flew into Honolulu three days early to get adjusted to the time difference and see the island of Oahu. We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, an island onto itself and a beautiful resort. We visited Pearl Harbor, hiked Diamond Head State Monument and drove up to the Polynesian Cultural Center for the Luau and night show. It was a great way to start our Hawaiian vacation.
Now, onto the cruise.... the day before leaving we received an opportunity to upgrade our cabin from a regular balcony cabin to a Penthouse suite, for a nominal upgrade charge. We jumped at this chance and could not have been happier. Our suites were huge, with a King Size bed and a pull out sofa, with a separate dressing room and fuill bathroom,with an actual bathtub. No water seeping all over the floor! But the best part was the balcony, which was the size of our original cabin. We also had a butler who made all of our dinner reservations and brought us tasty treats each evening. It was a wonderful surprise upgrade and got the trip off to a great start.
SHIP
The ship was beautiful. The theme was all American, with beautiful murals of famous American landmarks, such as the Grand Canyon and Mt. Everest at each stairwell. I've read lots of reviews about about poorly the ship was decorated, but my group really loved it. The carpet was color coded, to let you know what part of the ship you were on (front, back, middle), and since the boat was only moving at night, this was very helpful. The ship was easy to manuever, and I actually got the hang of it a few days in, as opposed to the final day, which is what usually happens.
The ship was very clean, and hygenic. Hand sanitizers were stationed all over the ship, and we regulaarly used them. The nighttime entertainment was good, it consisted of a band doing a different cover every night, a magician, and as comedian. We enjoyed all of the nightly shows.
DINING
The ship had 11 restaurants, ewith four of them being no charge .The Liberty and Skyline were the traditional dining rooms. They served exactly the same menu, however, the Liberty is more "upscale" and you have to be more dressed up. The Skyline is the more casual option. The Aloha Cafe is the standard Buffet option, and the Cadillac Diner is a 50s themed diner serving its own menu of traditional diner menu items, like Mozzerella sticks and chicken fingers. There are then a number of restaurants requiring an additional charge. The specialty restaurants included Little Italy, Lazy J's Steakhouse, East Meets West, Tepansaylki, French Bistro, Asian Fusion. We were really only on the ship for dinners, since we were at the ports of call all day. We ate at Little Italy, which was disappointing since we have been to the real Little Italy in NYC many times and nothing compares to it. We also ate the French Bistro, which was wonderful. The service was great,as was the atmosphere, and the food was delicious. Well worth the $20.00 charge. We ate one meal at the Cadillac Diner, which was OK.
The rest of our meals were eaten in the Liberty and Skyline Dining Rooms. We loved them and there were plenty of options. We all found the food delicious and the service was outstanding. We've read lots of negative reviews regarding the dining and service elements of the cruise, since the crew is all-American, and we did not experience any of this. The wait staff was always exceptionally friendly and professional sand made you feel like you were dining in a 5 star restaurant all the time. We enjoyed our dining experience very much.
SERVICE
Like I indicated above in my dining reviews, we did not experience any of the poor service that is posted on other reviews. Our room steward, Abigail was outstanding and was always working, no matter what time we stopped back at the cabin. With the exception of one completely obnoxious employee at the breakfast buffet, we did not encounter ANY rude staff members the entire cruise. Everyone was always polite, friendly and energetic, making it easy to forget that there are 2000 passengers on the ship and that they turn over a new cruise every week. We were very pleasantly surprised by the wonderful service we received.
We had a fantastic cruise, saw the beautiful Hawaiian islands, and came home to tons of snow. I wish I were back on the ship and would highly recommend this cruise to anyone.
Woobie7272’s Full Rating Summary
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Hilo
    We rented a car from Hertz, which ended up being a bit of a hassle. The Hertz vans are not large, so they only fit a few people at a time. The driver was asking all the groups to only have 2 people from the group to go in the van to pick up the car, and for the rest of the group to wait back at the pier, however, one incredibly rude and large group refused to abide and proceeded to stuff all 14 Sullivans into the van, leaving no room for anyone else to get on. After much commotion, we finally got out car. We went to Volcanoes National Park, which was also cold in parts, so be sure to bring a jacket, or you will be forced to buy as $40.00 sweatshirt in the gift shop. We stopped sat the Jagger Museum and got some great pics overlooking the volcanoes. The sites are amazing, and its amazing to think that these volcanoes may still become active. There is still tons of Sulfur in the air. We walked through a Lava Tube, and took back some Lava Rocks. It was a truely memorable experience.
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  • Kauai
    Kauai was our last port of call, where we stayed docked overnight from Thursdsay into Friday. On Thursday we rented a car and drove up to Waimea Canyon. The weather stared out sunny and 80 degrees, however, plunged to 54 degrees and was rainy and foggy by the time we reached the highest lookout point. Unfortunately, we did not see much because of these conditions, but the stops along the way provided for some beautiful sites. By the time we got back down, it was sunny and 80 again. Very strange. We drove through the town and stopped for lunch at the Wrangler Steakhouse, which I highly recommend. It had delicious fruit, some authentic Hawaiian dishes and a great atmosphere and service. On the way back, we stopped at the National Botanical Gardens. We did not have a lot of time to spend there, but what we saw was beautiful.
    Kauai Day 2 - Today we had to be back on the ship by 1:30 p.m. so we went on the Sea Fun Snorkel excursion through the ship. It was fantastic. The three guides, Big Paul, Little Paul, and Kailee were great fun, but Kailee was exceptionally patient and professional. The snorkeling was done in two parts, one easier and more shallow beach that had lots of fish and an occasional sea turtle, and a second more challenging, much deeper beach, with tons of sea turtles. The guides had boogie boards with handles that you could hold on to, and essentially float around with your face in the water. Kailee was constantly making sure that everyone was OK and that making sure that everyone's equipment was good. She was extremely conscious of everyone's swimming ability and made sure everyone was having a good (and safe) time.
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  • Kona (Kailua Bay)
    We took the Kona by Land and Sea Tour, through the cruise ship, which was an all day tour with the first haslf being s bus tour and the second half being as boat tour. During the bus tour, we stopped at as coffee mill, where we got to buy Kona coffee and try free samples. We then went to St.Benedicts Painted Chapel and the Place of Refuge. The Place of Refuge was positively stunning and absolutely magnificent. We actually broke open coconuts from the coconut trees and ate them. The pictures will not do it justice, make sure that you find a way to visit the Place of Refuge, even if you do not take this excursion. The second part of the trip was a Whale/Dolphin Watching excursion, which was very good. We saw some whales, and they served a nice lunch and provided some Hawaiian entertainment. It was a very good tour.
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  • Maui
    Maui was our first port of call. We arrived on Sunday and stayed docked overnight until Monday night. On Sunday we rented a convertible from Enterprise and drove the Road to Hana. It was long, but very fun. We picked up an audio CD at the gas station before heading out, which guides you through the main points of interest. It was very helpful in the beginning, but got on our nerves after a while. The road was VERY twisty during the middle portion of thr trip, but we never felt unsafe, and there was very little traffic. We stopped along the waty to see beautiful cliffs, waterfalls, look out points, and local fruit stands. Our final stop was Waianapanapa State Park, where we got to see the Black Sand Beach, which was worth the amount of time it took to get there.
    On Monday, we took the Haleakala at Sunrise Excursion through the cruise ship. Pick up time was 3:45 a.m., which turned out to be an hour too early, since we were up at the crater at 5:15 a.m. and the visitor center did not even open until 6:00 a.m. Sunrise was at 6:53 a.m. Now let me vehemently state that it was VERY cold and windy 10,000 feet above sea level. You cannot bring enough warm clothes. The excursion ticket advises you to "bring a sweater", however, the sweater will only help if you also bring long johns and jeans, as well as multiple sweatshirts and jackets and gloves and hats. It was 42 degrees, but with the heavy wind, felt much, MUCH colder. As much as you may not want to pack winter clothes on your Hawaiian cruise, buck it up and do so, otherwise you risk getting frostbite.
    After we returned from the morning excursion, my group split up. Two of us did the Maui Beach Day to Wailea Beach excursion through the cruise ship. This ended up being a bummer, mainly because the weather took a drastic turn for the worse and ended up cold and windy, but also because the excursion provided NOTHING except a beach chair. NOTHING else was included. Everything included in the tour description, including umbrellas, the water trampoline and the kayaks were extra. There was nowhere it get anything to eat. It ended up being a miserable experience, unfortunately.
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