1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Pride of America
I have never done a cruise before. I don't know that I ever will again. I went on this cruise to accompany my 86 year old father and spend some times with friends from Australia. We had a mid-ship cabin with a full view balcony that had a bit of rust. There was plenty of closet space and ample room under the bed. I don't know if this is normal, but the shower was extremely small, making it impossible to wash your legs. The service on the ship was excellent, which surprised me given some reviews I had read. The buffet was edible, and the specialty restaurants have some pretty good food, but don't go on this cruise for the cuisine. The steak at Cagney's was very good, and the Teppanyaki was good and fun. The service in the bars, especially Pink's was excellent. The singers and dancers in the cabaret type shows were extremely good. We did not take any tours offered by the ship, opting for renting a car in Maui and Kauai and taking some smaller private tours in Kona and Hilo. Have a car in Maui was nice, but the logistics are pretty much a nightmare. It is a long walk through the terminal, and security at the port is very officious. Despite my begging and throwing out the Americans with Disabilities Act, they would not let me pick up my dad and other elderly people at the entrance to the terminal, making them walk about another 100 yards passed the security gate. Finally we had to spend 20 bucks to take a taxi the 100 yards to get them to the rental car. I had a Budget car, and the only overnight parking offered was to park at the airport, paying $15, taking the shuttle to Budget, and then taking another shuttle to the ship. Needless to say, we just sent the elderly back to the ship on another taxi. We did not take the road to Hana in the Suburban I rented. I download the Gypsy app, which cost about $10 bucks for Maui and another $8 for Kauai. The data is downloaded on your phone and narration is triggered by GPS location. We got a big kick out of the app, so it is worth using, although it was useful having a passenger using Google maps to get us going in the right direction. We explored the far western coast up to Kaanapali one day and the southern western coast down to Wailea the second day, stopping to snorkel on a nice beach at the southern end of Kihei. We stopped in Kihei at the Paia Fish Market, a place with walk up service and some of the best fresh fish I have ever had along with some local brew. Rental in Kauai was much better. The terminal is smaller and security lets you pull up your car pretty close. You can buy a parking pass at JJ's Broiler in Anchor Cove Shopping center to park your car, and the shopping center runs a continuous shuttle back and forth to the ship. We again used our Gypsy app and drove in the morning to Waimea Canyon, exploring the beaches at Poipu and the blow hole at Spouting Horn Park and the way. This was only about a three hour jaunt and very nice. We drop our friend back on the ship for a Luau her family had booked, and my dad and I drove through Kapaa and up the east coast to Kilauea lighthouse. It was closed when we got there, but the view was worth the trip. The next day we back to Kapaa and got some Hawaiian shave ice the gypsy app talked about every time we passed. OMG, this stuff is to die for. I had locally made soursop combined with an organic ginger syrup with mochi balls added. My friend got ginger, mochi balls and some coconut ice cream. We both made moaning noises. My dad didn't, but he ate the whole huge thing. We then went back to Poipu beach park, parked dad in a picnic area, and had some great snorkeling. This beach is very nice, but it is pretty much solid rock in the water, so bring some aqua shoes if you go there. We managed without them, but we were the only ones there without them. For tours on the big Island, we took a local company right off the ship. I'm not sure they were supposed to be soliciting there, but it was excellent. For Kona, we had booked MaryLou's, which was excellent. I would recommend them for the two days on the big island. In Hilo, terminal was not too big, and security was not officious, so it was pretty easy to get off the ship. For Kona, we had tenders, which are little boats that take you to the harbor. The process went pretty much as smoothly as it could, and I give commendations to the ship's crew for executing such a difficult task. I'm not sure it wouldn't be better to say in Hilo for two days and just drive or take tours to Kona. We did the standard tour stuff. We saw some beautiful Japanese gardens, farms, bees, etc., but I would have liked to have spent a few hours in the water at some of those beaches. Even though they were black rock, the water was blue, calm and inviting. Rainbow falls is a must see. It is worth going to Pu'uhonau O Nonaunau, which is a national park and sacred Hawaiian spot. If I were doing it over again, I would book a private tour with Marylou's and have them combine some sightseeing with a snorkel tour. We stayed on Waikiki after we got off the boat, but had been to the island a couple of times before. You have to get off the boat so early in the morning that there is no reason to stay there the night after unless you want to explore Oahu. I would recommend going there long enough before the ship embarks to make it worthwhile renting a car and skip the stay afterward. Anyway, I scoped out lots of places I would like to go back to. I am probably not a cruise person, and my wife definitely is not, so she stayed home, but I had a great time beside myself and can recommend this cruise even if you think it is not your sort of thing.

I had a much better time than anticipated.

Pride of America Cruise Review by lhollingsworth

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2018
  • Destination: Hawaii
I have never done a cruise before. I don't know that I ever will again. I went on this cruise to accompany my 86 year old father and spend some times with friends from Australia. We had a mid-ship cabin with a full view balcony that had a bit of rust. There was plenty of closet space and ample room under the bed. I don't know if this is normal, but the shower was extremely small, making it impossible to wash your legs. The service on the ship was excellent, which surprised me given some reviews I had read. The buffet was edible, and the specialty restaurants have some pretty good food, but don't go on this cruise for the cuisine. The steak at Cagney's was very good, and the Teppanyaki was good and fun. The service in the bars, especially Pink's was excellent. The singers and dancers in the cabaret type shows were extremely good. We did not take any tours offered by the ship, opting for renting a car in Maui and Kauai and taking some smaller private tours in Kona and Hilo. Have a car in Maui was nice, but the logistics are pretty much a nightmare. It is a long walk through the terminal, and security at the port is very officious. Despite my begging and throwing out the Americans with Disabilities Act, they would not let me pick up my dad and other elderly people at the entrance to the terminal, making them walk about another 100 yards passed the security gate. Finally we had to spend 20 bucks to take a taxi the 100 yards to get them to the rental car. I had a Budget car, and the only overnight parking offered was to park at the airport, paying $15, taking the shuttle to Budget, and then taking another shuttle to the ship. Needless to say, we just sent the elderly back to the ship on another taxi. We did not take the road to Hana in the Suburban I rented. I download the Gypsy app, which cost about $10 bucks for Maui and another $8 for Kauai. The data is downloaded on your phone and narration is triggered by GPS location. We got a big kick out of the app, so it is worth using, although it was useful having a passenger using Google maps to get us going in the right direction. We explored the far western coast up to Kaanapali one day and the southern western coast down to Wailea the second day, stopping to snorkel on a nice beach at the southern end of Kihei. We stopped in Kihei at the Paia Fish Market, a place with walk up service and some of the best fresh fish I have ever had along with some local brew.

Rental in Kauai was much better. The terminal is smaller and security lets you pull up your car pretty close. You can buy a parking pass at JJ's Broiler in Anchor Cove Shopping center to park your car, and the shopping center runs a continuous shuttle back and forth to the ship. We again used our Gypsy app and drove in the morning to Waimea Canyon, exploring the beaches at Poipu and the blow hole at Spouting Horn Park and the way. This was only about a three hour jaunt and very nice. We drop our friend back on the ship for a Luau her family had booked, and my dad and I drove through Kapaa and up the east coast to Kilauea lighthouse. It was closed when we got there, but the view was worth the trip. The next day we back to Kapaa and got some Hawaiian shave ice the gypsy app talked about every time we passed. OMG, this stuff is to die for. I had locally made soursop combined with an organic ginger syrup with mochi balls added. My friend got ginger, mochi balls and some coconut ice cream. We both made moaning noises. My dad didn't, but he ate the whole huge thing. We then went back to Poipu beach park, parked dad in a picnic area, and had some great snorkeling. This beach is very nice, but it is pretty much solid rock in the water, so bring some aqua shoes if you go there. We managed without them, but we were the only ones there without them.

For tours on the big Island, we took a local company right off the ship. I'm not sure they were supposed to be soliciting there, but it was excellent. For Kona, we had booked MaryLou's, which was excellent. I would recommend them for the two days on the big island. In Hilo, terminal was not too big, and security was not officious, so it was pretty easy to get off the ship. For Kona, we had tenders, which are little boats that take you to the harbor. The process went pretty much as smoothly as it could, and I give commendations to the ship's crew for executing such a difficult task. I'm not sure it wouldn't be better to say in Hilo for two days and just drive or take tours to Kona. We did the standard tour stuff. We saw some beautiful Japanese gardens, farms, bees, etc., but I would have liked to have spent a few hours in the water at some of those beaches. Even though they were black rock, the water was blue, calm and inviting. Rainbow falls is a must see. It is worth going to Pu'uhonau O Nonaunau, which is a national park and sacred Hawaiian spot. If I were doing it over again, I would book a private tour with Marylou's and have them combine some sightseeing with a snorkel tour.

We stayed on Waikiki after we got off the boat, but had been to the island a couple of times before. You have to get off the boat so early in the morning that there is no reason to stay there the night after unless you want to explore Oahu. I would recommend going there long enough before the ship embarks to make it worthwhile renting a car and skip the stay afterward.

Anyway, I scoped out lots of places I would like to go back to. I am probably not a cruise person, and my wife definitely is not, so she stayed home, but I had a great time beside myself and can recommend this cruise even if you think it is not your sort of thing.
lhollingsworth’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian (NCL) Pride of America price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email