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I saw a targeted ad on my Instagram feed for this cruise at a price that I could not resist with no solo traveler supplement (the bane of the solo travelers' existence) likely because it was three days before sail. I booked it, but not before checking that flights were available from SAN for a reasonable price. The embarkation process was smooth and easy with easy access from Waikiki. The ship was clean and the layout was easy to memorize. My stateroom was ready when I boarded and I was only travelling with a carry-on bag so I went directly to my room, unpacked, introduced myself to my cabin attendant who was setting up a room in hallway, and then took a walk around the ship to familiarize myself with the offerings before muster. After muster I proceeded to the Aloha Lanai Bar on deck 11 fully aft to enjoy the weather and a beer and watch as we left port. Here's where the cruise hit a sour note. Mandara Spa had a cruise special for the "Thermal Suite" for $100 so I went ahead and purchased it sight unseen. I visited after snacking(more on the food later) and discovered that it isn't a thermal suite at all. A shower, a steam room (that wasn't functional), a sauna, and a meditation room does not make a thermal suite. There was not a private pool, no jacuzzi, no sunroom. After getting chilled in the steam room and figuring out that it wasn't going to get any warmer, I entered the sauna which was working thankfully. I then did a quick rinse to enter the Meditation Room only to be able to take one step in before quickly backtracking out. The air was so thick with body odor that I could not enter it, despite it being empty. I was the only male in the thermal suite at the time and I was in there for 45 minutes to an hour so I wonder how often they check on the room and clean it? The odor was awful. I told the desk attendant of my concerns when I left. I don't know if they repaired the steam room or cleaned the meditation room because I did not return for the duration of the cruise. I want to feel cleaner and refreshed when I leave such a facility, not the opposite. I blame myself for being ripped off. It's a good thing this cruise itinerary allows for a large amount of time off of the boat, especially Maui and Kauai where you can stay the night on the islands if you so choose, because the food on the boat was so-so on it's best day. On the day of departure I ate at the Aloha Cafe(buffet) (1) and it was bad. I did not eat on the boat again until Day Three after departing Maui. I had the beet salad entree and the pork loin main in the Liberty Dining room (2). The beet salad was good. The pork loin was two thin slices of loin with a small dab of sweet mashed potatoes and two sprigs of asparagus. I passed on dessert. I'm not a breakfast person so I cannot comment on the breakfast offerings. I ate at the Aloha Cafe (3) again on Night Five because all of the other restaurants were full at the time I was hungry. Again it was barely edible. On our final evening after boarding in Kauai at 1:30pm I checked the boards and noticed that East meets West was showing availability so I walked over to see if they could seat me only to be told that they were full, but that they could seat me at the sushi bar, but I had to buy a sushi roll. I declined their offer and slunk back to the Aloha Cafe (4) after looking at the menu at the Corvette Diner. So again, it's a good thing you get to spend a lot of time on the islands and I should have just brought good local food on board with me. Of the seven nights on the boat I only ate aboard 4 times!!! The ship was clean and well maintained and the staff seemed good if not fully seasoned. I did request an adjustment for my thermal suite purchase from a full use pass to a single use for my one visit which was roundly denied. Again, my mistake I should have made the request when I left on the first visit instead of the end of the cruise. That's okay, Mandara Spa will never get another cent from me.

Don't use Mandara Spa

Pride of America Cruise Review by GaryAha

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2019
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Inside
I saw a targeted ad on my Instagram feed for this cruise at a price that I could not resist with no solo traveler supplement (the bane of the solo travelers' existence) likely because it was three days before sail. I booked it, but not before checking that flights were available from SAN for a reasonable price.

The embarkation process was smooth and easy with easy access from Waikiki. The ship was clean and the layout was easy to memorize. My stateroom was ready when I boarded and I was only travelling with a carry-on bag so I went directly to my room, unpacked, introduced myself to my cabin attendant who was setting up a room in hallway, and then took a walk around the ship to familiarize myself with the offerings before muster. After muster I proceeded to the Aloha Lanai Bar on deck 11 fully aft to enjoy the weather and a beer and watch as we left port.

Here's where the cruise hit a sour note. Mandara Spa had a cruise special for the "Thermal Suite" for $100 so I went ahead and purchased it sight unseen. I visited after snacking(more on the food later) and discovered that it isn't a thermal suite at all. A shower, a steam room (that wasn't functional), a sauna, and a meditation room does not make a thermal suite. There was not a private pool, no jacuzzi, no sunroom. After getting chilled in the steam room and figuring out that it wasn't going to get any warmer, I entered the sauna which was working thankfully. I then did a quick rinse to enter the Meditation Room only to be able to take one step in before quickly backtracking out. The air was so thick with body odor that I could not enter it, despite it being empty. I was the only male in the thermal suite at the time and I was in there for 45 minutes to an hour so I wonder how often they check on the room and clean it? The odor was awful. I told the desk attendant of my concerns when I left. I don't know if they repaired the steam room or cleaned the meditation room because I did not return for the duration of the cruise. I want to feel cleaner and refreshed when I leave such a facility, not the opposite. I blame myself for being ripped off.

It's a good thing this cruise itinerary allows for a large amount of time off of the boat, especially Maui and Kauai where you can stay the night on the islands if you so choose, because the food on the boat was so-so on it's best day.

On the day of departure I ate at the Aloha Cafe(buffet) (1) and it was bad. I did not eat on the boat again until Day Three after departing Maui. I had the beet salad entree and the pork loin main in the Liberty Dining room (2). The beet salad was good. The pork loin was two thin slices of loin with a small dab of sweet mashed potatoes and two sprigs of asparagus. I passed on dessert.

I'm not a breakfast person so I cannot comment on the breakfast offerings.

I ate at the Aloha Cafe (3) again on Night Five because all of the other restaurants were full at the time I was hungry. Again it was barely edible.

On our final evening after boarding in Kauai at 1:30pm I checked the boards and noticed that East meets West was showing availability so I walked over to see if they could seat me only to be told that they were full, but that they could seat me at the sushi bar, but I had to buy a sushi roll. I declined their offer and slunk back to the Aloha Cafe (4) after looking at the menu at the Corvette Diner. So again, it's a good thing you get to spend a lot of time on the islands and I should have just brought good local food on board with me. Of the seven nights on the boat I only ate aboard 4 times!!!

The ship was clean and well maintained and the staff seemed good if not fully seasoned.

I did request an adjustment for my thermal suite purchase from a full use pass to a single use for my one visit which was roundly denied. Again, my mistake I should have made the request when I left on the first visit instead of the end of the cruise. That's okay, Mandara Spa will never get another cent from me.
GaryAha’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Inside
Cabin IX 8695
The Cabin was great. Very clean and they had already put the two beds together for me without having to ask. The Lav was clean, but the shower was tiny and you had to move slowly or the bruises on your elbows would remind you. My cabin attendant was the greatest part of the cruise, aside from the itinerary.
Deck 4 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews